The end is (tentatively) in sight – it’s finally time to start planning some well-earned R&R. Here’s Sally-Jo Asser with advice for planning for a successful break away.
Most workers in the UK are entitled to 28 days annual leave a year. As a business owner, you probably take half of that. But after a long and challenging lockdown, we all deserve, scrap that – need – some rest and relaxation.
For many of us hearing of a prospective end to isolation, a holiday is the first thing on our minds. But it takes a bit of hard graft before you can reach for the shades and sun lotion. Like any project, it takes planning and organisation to make it all run smoothly. Here’s a framework you can use to ensure you get the holiday you deserve.
1. Decide your travel project goals
Ask yourself what you want from your holiday. Is total relaxation the aim (undoubtedly for most of us) or have you been longing for the kind of action, culture and exploration that can’t be found within your own four walls? Knowing why you’re planning the holiday and what you want to achieve will give you a starting point to limit the world of choices soon to open up again.
2. Define your holiday budget
There’s a holiday out there to suit any budget, but it’s important to know your parameters of preferred spend and what you’re prepared to extend to for the right experience. With post-pandemic travel you might see some price hikes, or some heavy discounts – keep an eye on your budget as you plan and remember that good and poor value for money can be found regardless of star rating.
3. Compliance, safety and insurance
Know the entry requirements for your chosen destination, consider; passport, visa, vaccinations, medication certificates. What documents will you need for car hire? More topically, know the requirements for quarantine, negative PCR tests and passenger locator forms for your destination and return to the UK. Just because the UK has a current strategy for exiting Covid restrictions, doesn’t mean all countries do. All this information can be found on https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
IIf possible, book a package with a reputable supplier to a) have the best protection of your money in the event of supplier failure, b) have a human being to talk with to resolve any problems that may arise, this has been particularly tested in the last year with the constant changes.
For information on how travel providers have fared, whip over to Martin Lewis and see for yourself.
And whatever you do – don’t leave home without insurance! Book it as soon as you book your holiday because it’s not covered for cancellation until you take out your insurance. Make sure your insurance is fit for purpose, if you’re planning to snorkel, do parascending or a banana boat ride, make sure your policy covers it.
Check what level of cover you have should you become ill with Covid before departure or if you get pinged under Track & Trace. If you have ‘free’ travel insurance with your bank, check its level of cover, these policies can often be very basic.
4. Day-to-day planning
What will your finished holiday project look like? Have a rough guide of what you plan to do on your holiday. If you plan your days to be poolside time then you may want to organise to take some entertainment, download books, music, podcasts. Maybe you’ll plan to venture out on a few day trips? In which case it can be good to do this over a block of days so you can get the best price when hiring a car. Several days car hire is better value than singular days. It also saves you time and paperwork constantly picking up and dropping off the car.
Once you’ve experienced the fruits of all your project planning and have returned home, take a little time to reflect. Keep notes on what worked or didn’t work on that holiday. What would you have done differently? This can be valuable information next year when working on your next travel project, or two or three – well, you’ve got some holidays to catch up on!
The process of planning a holiday can itself feel like hard work. The searching, the booking, the cross-referencing, the insurance – it’s a whole thing. So, if it all feels like a bit more stress than you need right now, a little investment of your time with your travel adviser might be in order to secure yourself the perfect holiday.
If you’d rather free up your time to focus on your business (or shop for a swimsuit) I’m on hand to help ease the load.