Everyone wants to put together the perfect holiday trip for as little money as possible. Such a thing would never be possible without doing thorough research. A DIY travel itinerary requires substantial planning, a settled budget and enough knowledge about the destination country. You may wonder why should you put all this effort into it when you can sit back and relax while a travel company can do it all for you. Well, the answer is simple: you can do it yourself for half the price.
By comparing the available hotels, the flight prices, the car rentals companies, the travel insurance companies and so on, you can obtain a much better price for your trip compared to the one recommended by a travel company. Moreover, by planning the trip on your own, you get to personalize the trip just the way you like it. All travel researches contain at least four stages: finding a flight, a hotel, a car to rent and getting your travel insurance. Learn below how to do it the proper way:
Choosing the flight
The first step in planning a DIY travel itinerary is represented by finding a good flight. The date and time of the flight will determine the rest of the services you need to select, such as the hotel, the car hire pick-up/return time or when the travel insurance begins and ends. There are multiple online platforms that can help you find a myriad of flight options. These platforms offer a great feature that will influence the overall cost of your trip: comparing flight prices. Start by looking for flights to the destination you want. Prices fluctuate massively, so you will have to keep an eye on the website for a while. Don’t settle for the very first offer that seems reasonable. Instead, search for different periods of time and different hours. If you find a flight that seems too cheap, there are several things you should consider before booking:
Long duration flights
Some flights take a lot more than they would usually do. For instance, a flight that would normally last a couple of hours takes no less than twelve hours. This happens because of long stopovers that are very tiring and not worth the waiting. There are few exceptions when you should put the flight duration on the second place and the price on the first one. The rest of the times, opt for flights that have a reasonable duration and the cheapest price.
Connected flights, different airports
Another factor that may influence the price of the flight is represented by airports. Connected flights that involve departing from a different airport can be a good choice only when the distance between the two airports is reasonable, there are means of transportation which are always available between them as well as the price and duration of this transfer. The transfer from one airport to the other can end up costing half the price of the flight itself, so this choice would not be relevant. Pay attention to open-jaw and round-robin flight itineraries as well.
Choosing the hotel
Once you booked the flight tickets and the period of your holidays is fixed, you can start looking for a hotel. Just as in the case of flights, there are a lot of factors that may influence the price. Your research should be even more in-depth when it comes to hotels because this is the place where you regain your powers for the next day. Time is more valuable than everything else during travelling, which means the hotel should be as close as possible to the location you want to visit. Commuting is not an option because a lot of time will be wasted on it.
Many hotels are cheap just because they are located in a bad-reputation neighbourhood or far away from the main tourist attractions of the location. You should use an online platform that gathers together all the deals and discounts you can find for the selected destination. Moreover, you will be able to choose the type of the property you want to rent, you can sort the results based on guest rating, price or amenities, which will greatly reduce the number of results.
Car hire services
There are so many car hire companies out there that you will get lost between the many offers you find. Each offer on the Internet tries to put all the benefits in a good light and omit details that could ruin your whole trip. This is why you need to pay careful attention when choosing your car hire services. Car hire companies tend to exclude some details when they list their offers. Without thorough research, you risk paying triple the amount you initially thought you would pay, while also paying for your own gas refill.
Luckily, online platforms can list results based on the criteria you select. For instance, if you want to pick up or return your car at a certain hour or you require specific features such as a child seat, GPS or insurance, you might need to pay more. It would be recommended to look for a car hire company that offers airport pick-up, to avoid paying more for the airport-hotel transfer. Also, make sure that the company you selected doesn’t set fixed distances that you can drive. Anything over that distance will be paid extra, which is exactly what you want to avoid.
Don’t think twice when it comes to getting your travel insurance. To enjoy your trip at its fullest without worrying about your luggage, your documents or your health, you need to choose a good travel insurance policy that covers all the things that keep you anxious. Because there are just as many travel insurance companies as flight options or hotels, you have to take your time and choose the insurance policy you need. Ask yourself a few questions before choosing:
- How far are you travelling?
- Are you travelling with children?
- Are there any health risks you expose yourself to?
- How much money would you lose in case something unfortunate happens?
If you considered all of the information listed below, your DIY travel itinerary should be safe and complete. It is paramount to start your research long before your departure so that you have enough time to analyse all your options.