How do you book your holiday?

With the internet awash with price-comparison sites, booking a holiday has never been easier. The first thing to do after deciding on the destination is to choose between either a DIY or all-inclusive trip. The pros and cons for each type will depend on location, length of stay and when you book, so we’ve put together a handy guide to help when making these ‘make or break‘ holiday decisions.

How do you book your holiday


Popular places for holidays, where there are many hotels and attractions and access is easy, are usually served by tour operators for all inclusive holidays. This is where everything, from your flights to accommodation, and even your airport transfer is organised and included in one price. If there are many companies working in the area, then competition is strong and the chances are that you’ll find a good deal for your flights, connections and accommodation.

If, however, you fancy visiting less frequented places or locations with a sparse population, then you will probably find it more cost-effective to organize your travel yourself. It can be complicated to schedule a trip to a far-flung destination when information on the area is limited, but with a little research into cheap flights and hotels, you should be able to find a great deal from a range of providers.

Length of trip

If time is precious or needs to be managed carefully, then it’s probably better to tailor your trips specifically to ensure you can make the most of it.

Package holidays are good for seven, ten or fourteen nights away, when you can be a little more flexible with departure times.

When to book

Last-minute deals do still exist, but they are, however, almost exclusive to package holidays. This is because tour operators buy up flights and hotel rooms in advance and will sometimes need to push unsold places or they will risk losing money.

Booking a last-minute deal usually means booking no more than around eight weeks before departure, this can work very well for some people, but be aware that your holiday choices might be limited by the time frame. So, if you have your heart set on a particular destination or date, then it’s best to book in advance.



  1. Marsha

    Since I’m usually planning big trips, I’m usually booking well in advance. But I also use a spreadsheet to keep track of all my bookings, prices and possible things to do in each location. I’ve tried to wing it but that makes me nervous. One of these days, I’m going to book a trip last minute and be completely spontaneous.

    1. Author

      I think planning is important, at least you can be confident that you are not being overcharged and that you are going to do everything that you want to. But there is an adrenaline rush that come with winging it.

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  3. Tracey - Life Changing Year

    I used to be a crazy planner with a giant spreadsheet detailing everything down to where we would eat dinner and what it should cost. Of course this included flights being booked well ahead. Now I’m a heap more relaxed and will sometimes book early and sometimes book a week or two before. I’m really slack at hotel bookings – sometimes I book them at the airport before I get on the plane! Makes for some exciting adventures when we reach our destination and they haven’t received our booking yet!

    1. Author

      A spreadsheet for dinner is some crazy planning but it least you never over spent I guess. I try to book any flights a couple of months in advance and hotels within a month or less, as you tend to get late booking deals.

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