Planning ahead. Still the best way to a great holiday

I saw an advert recently for a small airline that suggested the best way to go on holiday was just to shove a few clothes in to a suitcase and “get out of here.”

Well, whilst one might sympathise with the desire to just shove some clothes in to and “just get out of here” the reality of such an idea is far from ideal. After all, the sensible holidaymaker knows that the best way to ensure that you have a successful holiday is to ensure that you plan everything as well as you can, beforehand.

There are the little basics like ensuring that you leave the central heating on when you go on a winter break. And making sure that you cancel newspaper and milk delivery before you depart for your 14 day holiday in the vacation destination of your choice. (And more on that destination, later.)

And you should also ask at your local Royal Mail sorting office to arrange to have your mail temporarily held at the sorting office until you return from holiday. You can also ask a neighbour or family friend to sort out watering house plants and garden plants, too, and to check to ensure that your house is safe throughout your holiday.

Incidentally, if you haven’t got a burglar alarm, you should give serious consideration to having one installed before you next go away on holiday. Not only will it almost certainly reduce your insurance premium, a burglar alarm can put off a thief. Also, consider having lights in the house that are on timer switches or that are controlled by light sensitive switches.

And what about the destination? Find out what vaccinations you might require in your chosen destination. And just because you are going to a country that you consider to be “civilised” does not mean that you can ignore possible health concerns that might exist there. For example, when your author visited Holland in 1978, he had to have a Polio vaccination as there was a major Polio epidemic in the country. This was blamed on a religious sect that banned their members from having their children vaccinated. So, even nations that you would not think about as having potential health risks might give cause for concern. You can check with your travel agent for advice on any potential health problems and if you might need to be vaccinated before you travel.

Also, be careful of when you book your holiday. Someone I knew ago booked a bargain holiday in Florida. Right in the middle of the hurricane season. And yes, one of the region’s largest hurricanes to date struck whilst he was there.

Before you go on holiday, think very carefully about what you are going to do. If it is something you would not want a foreign holidaymaker to do it your town, or something that you would not do in your town, perhaps you shouldn’t do it whilst on holiday? Also, think on setting. Something that might be totally acceptable in Amsterdam would almost certainly get you arrested in a small town in the more conservative rural parts of Holland.

Also, make sure you have your itinerary planned out. For example, it’s no good just trusting to luck that there will be a hire car available at your destination. Booking ahead is always the best option. Not only can APH help your sort out airport parking in the UK, it can also help you book a hire car at your holiday destination. So, whilst “just getting out of here” might have a visceral appeal, if you don’t want you and your family to end up sat on the floor of an airport hundreds of miles from home thinking: “Now what do we do?” take some time to plan your holiday to ensure that it is a holiday to remember for all the right reasons!

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