Friday, 28 August 2015

10 Steps To Planning A Holiday with Friends


So in just over a week I will going on holiday for the first time solely with friends. It will feel weird being without my Mum or other family members, but I am excited to have this little independent adventure with my friends! I'm sure it will be the first of many in my gap year.

This little holiday abroad was about a year in the making, so I thought I would share with you a 10 step guide on how to plan and arrange a holiday with your friends. Let's begin!

  1. Find out who is [seriously] up for going on holiday.                                                                                                                                                                                        Perhaps make a group chat on some sort of social media (we did on Facebook) and see who is seriously up for it. The reason I say seriously is that sometimes there are people who will say they're up for something but not actually do it or try to save up money for it!                                                                                                                                                           
  2. Decide when would be the best time to go and how long for.                                                                                                                                                                              Next you need to decide when would be the best time to go and how long for. You may have to decide how long for after you've chosen your destination and accommodation so you know how much you can afford. But if you already know for sure you want to go for however long, then why not? Things to consider: Will anyone be in education or work? Will you be travelling in peak time or off-peak time? How long would it take people to save up enough money? For us, we decided the best time to go would be after exams but before the start of University. Then, we decided going in September would be the best because it would be cheaper for our student banks as it wouldn't be peak time due to people going back to school. As for money, we worked out we would need until after Christmas, around Jan/Feb, to save up enough money; giving us about 4/5 months.                                                                                                                                                
  3. Get an idea of what you and your friends want out of a holiday.                                                                                                                                                                           Do you like city breaks? Or do you prefer a holiday by the beach? Inclusive hotel? Villa? Walking around attractions? As for us, one of us preferred city breaks whilst I preferred to be on the beach so we compromised by deciding we would go somewhere which was a bit of both. Comprising is the best way to book a holiday for everyone so you can all enjoy it equally.                                                                                                                                                             
  4. Find destinations you like the look of and pick one.                                                                                                                                                                                                Make a list of destinations you like the look of. The best websites to use to do this is TripAdvisor and Expedia. What we did was make a PowerPoint of all the destinations we liked and included what you can do there such as attractions, activities beaches and nightlife. Then everybody voted on which they preferred which turned out we all agreed on equally. This is the best way to choose somewhere fairly and ensure the majority get their destination.                                                                                                          
  5. Research accommodation you like the look of and pick one.                                                                                                                                                                                      I think Expedia is the best way to find accommodation. Again, we made a PowerPoint on accommodations with what they include, photos and prices per night so we could all equally vote on it. We ended up having two hotels and one apartment as options and nicely enough we all voted on the same hotel! The cheapest accommodation might not always be the best and the most expensive might not always be the worst. One thing we considered was one hotel was more expensive but it was conveniently by a beach and included breakfast. So the best way is to consider the pros and cons.                                                 
  6. Look up transport.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Using Expedia we then found out the best flights for our chosen dates. Obviously this would differ if you only needed a train or coach to get to your destination. Things to consider are what time you want to get there and what time you want to get back. If you travel early morning to go there for example then you get that whole day whereas if you travel late then you miss out that day on holiday. The same goes for coming back, if you travel late you get that whole day still whereas if you travel early you miss that day. That might be something to consider if you're only going away for a short while.                                                                                                                                                    
  7. Calculations.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So now would probably be the best time to work out how much everything is going to cost. You need to add up your accommodation price per night and your transport price. Remember to divide it by however many people are going! You also then need to work out how much spending money you'll need to take. To do this you must consider whether you're travelling to an expensive area or not, what you want to do (i.e. buy 2 of your meals of the day out) and how long you're there for.                                                                     
  8. When can you book?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Can you all afford to book the holiday now or should you get back together in a couple of months to see how everyone is doing for money? Like I said earlier, we didn't book straight away and instead gave ourselves 4/5 months to save up more money first. You don't need all of your spending money straight away, just be sure that you will save up for enough spending money in time. Also, who is going to book? Is one person going to book it up and all of you give the money to them?                                                                        
  9. Get back together nearer the time.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nearer the time you might all want to meet up again to discuss what you will need to bring on your holiday. Perhaps take a pen and paper. This will be useful to plan who takes what (for example, do you all really need to take a hairdryer?) and also helpful if one of you hasn't been abroad before which was the situation with my friend. Sharing makes it cheaper and easier to pack. You can share shower gel, shampoo, appliances and medication as some examples! You can also then arrange how you're going to get there and back from the airport/station/whatever it is and decide times to meet.               
  10. Be excited!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              There is nothing more exciting than travelling with friends especially when it is your first time away without family. Remember to be excited and try not to get stressed about all of the planning: enjoy every moment of it!

So that is my 10 step guide. My last tips are to make sure you have all the travel documents you need (such as travel insurance and health insurance) and to share a suitcase if you can. It makes it so much cheaper, trust me! Remember to look after one another on holiday and always bring your phone with you in case you somehow get split up or if there's an emergency.

I hope this helps. Let me know if it does I'd love to hear!

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