Holiday booking season is almost upon us, after the festivities have ended many people will often not even wait for the decorations to come down before planning their 2019 holiday and the holiday companies know this all too well. January can be a great time to look for deals on summer holidays as all the travel agents compete for your attention on the latest hot destinations during January.

This article aims to help give you some advice for some of the best destinations for 2019 and to make sure that you have everything ready well in advance so you can start looking forward to your summer break.

Trending Destinations for 2019

Paphos, Cyprus

Cyprus has always been a good family friendly location and Paphos can provide something for all the family, from traditional towns with cobbled streets to modern bars and restaurants, choose from a range of resorts and private villas that cater for all budgets many of which include water parks for the kids and all-round entertainment for all the family, you can see more of what Paphos has to offer here.

Dalaman, Turkey

Turkey has always been a popular destination for family holidays with its mix of great beaches and resorts to suit any budget. Dalaman is situated on Turkey’s stunning turquoise coast which consists of coves, bays and long stretches of sandy beaches with a range of beach resorts, the shoreline has many bars, restaurants, shops and water sports to keep the family entertained, see some of the family friendly resorts on offer.

Mexico’s Caribbean Coast

If your family has older children and you want something more cultural and engaging then Mexico’s Caribbean Coast may be for you. Mexico’s eastern side meets the Caribbean Sea with Cancun being one of the most popular destinations for tourists. With many upmarket hotels the 22km belt of white sand, shopping malls, and a great nightlife. If you are looking to avoid this however why not head down the coast, Mexico begins to shed its tourist skin. Playa del Carmen offers everything Cancun does, but in favour of secluded beaches and seaside villas and ancient Mayan ruins, see what Mexico has to offer.

 

Looking for something different?

If you are bored of the usual tourist destinations how about something a little different..?

Swim with the pigs

No that’s not a typo, you can actually visit a place called “Pig Beach” in the Bahamas where you can not only enjoy the amazing scenery and golden sandy beaches but can also see the “famous swimming pigs of paradise”.

Adventure Holidays

New Zealand is the place for those who like some adventure and challenging activities on their holiday, why not experience downhill Zorbing, Zip Lining, Caving, Jet Boating and Off-Road Driving experiences to add that extra bit of excitement to your holiday, you can see more of what’s on offer here.

Skiing in Dubai

Why not experience the best of both climates by visiting Dubai where you can sunbathe in a luxury resort, go shopping in the Mall Of The Emirates one of the largest shopping resorts and when you’ve had enough of all that heat why not visit Ski Dubai the indoor ski park, for a day of skiing or snowboarding, tobogganing and playing with the penguins, see more.

 

Watch Out For Coupon Websites

When talking about deal websites I do not mean the travel agents I am referring to the likes of Wowcher and Groupon, many of these websites will often pitch amazing deals at a fraction of the price of other travel agents and well know providers, they may also list deals from well know travel providers. However, the business model of these websites is to get as many sales as possible by making the deals looks very enticing, I myself have often used these websites to get a good deal on a travel package both abroad and in the UK, but watch out as is often the case these deals can be “too good to be true”.

For example you may end up booking a particular location and accommodating however when arriving it then becomes clear that because you didn’t real the small print when making the booking through a deal website or third party agent that it only includes the most basic of accommodation and/or does not include the basic standard of features you would have expected for certain resorts or holiday companies. In most cases however it is possible to upgrade your package when you are there this can tend to catch some customers off guard who were expected the same level of quality for a fraction of the price.

The best advice I can give if you are looking at these deal websites would be to check the price and read the terms a bit more carefully, then contact the relevant travel company offering the deal to find out the costs of any upgrade options should the deal not turn out as expected.

 

Be Clever With Your Luggage

Baggage fees have always been the nasty surprise that holiday makers never want to experience just as you are about to jet off on what is suppose to be a relaxing experience, many airlines will now have strict limits and other companies such as Ryan Air have now introduced further fees of £8-25 for simply checking your bags in at the airport on top of the overweight charges.

A recent article published in the Daily Mail claims a recent customer got around these issues by wearing most of his clothes when boarding the plane, while he may have succeeded, for many of us this kind of action is not possible and slightly embarrassing.

However, there are some clever tips for trying to avoid extra charges when travelling by air:

Put your heaviest items in your hand luggage as hand luggage for most airlines will be checked for dangerous items it will often not be checked for weight unless it is usually large like a guitar case or very large bag. Items we would recommend could be laptops, tablets, chargers, coats, jumpers, hair dryers, straighteners etc

Try to wear as much as possible and fill your pockets with any items that would not be flagged by security checkpoints for example non-liquid and no potentially dangerous/sharp items, this could mean wearing more jewellery, one of your heavier clothing items jumper, coat etc.

Avoid taking lots of heavy essentials like toiletries and common items that you can find in any local store, especially if you are visiting a popular tourist destination, you can just as easily grab these when you arrive at your destination on a quick trip to a local store, for example 5-6 shower gels, deodorants and large shampoo bottles could add up to over a kilogram if you are not careful, and many of these same branded goods are sold in every country especially in Europe.

Check Your Passport

During the rush to get a great deal on your next holiday many holiday makers will often forget to check their passports are either still valid or that they have not lost or misplaced them. In some cases this can become apparent when the travel company you are booking with asks for your passport number to book your flight, however other customers simply don’t realise that it is expired or lost until the last minute, which can be very stressful.

Thankfully the passport office does offer Urgent Passport Appointments for those who wish to renew their passport within 1 day or 1 week depending on the urgency. Please note that this service is only available for adult renewals and not first ever passports.

If you are not in a rush or are looking to apply for your first ever British Passport however you can still use the 2-4 week service this is available for both first time passports and renewal of existing passports, you can renew passport online fill in the online form and submit your application within a few minutes, this is often less hassle than having to obtain and fill paper forms and stops common pen and paper mistakes.

Watch out for children’s passports

When children are involved, many holiday makers are often caught off-guard by the fact that children under the age of 16 are not able to get a passport in less than 7 days, due to child abduction rules in place by the Home Office. This often means that some parents have had to change their travel plans or have had to cancel the holiday due to not being able to get a child’s passport in time, so please do not leave it too late to both check and apply for your child’s passports at least 3-4 weeks before your trip as I can only imagine the pain of having to tell your child they are going to miss their holiday due to not having a passport in time, something I feel every parent would dread.

 

I hope that these tips can help you make the best of your 2019 holiday and reduce the stress anxiety of making sure that everything goes to plan and you can spend your holiday doing what your suppose to be doing which is of course “relaxing”.