Are you dreaming of escaping somewhere sunny and peaceful? Or perhaps a winter wonderland or cultural city break is the perfect trip for you...
With so many options on offer, the prospect of choosing and booking a holiday can seem daunting at times. Let's take a look at what's important to consider before choosing the right holiday for you.
1. Decide what you want from your holiday
Thinking carefully about your needs and desires is an important first step in booking the right break. Ask yourself the questions to really decide what you want from the perfect holiday this year…
- Do you love discovering new restaurants while on holiday, or do you prefer to have all your meals organised for you?
- Do you like keeping active by doing tours, excursions and activities, or is a beach holiday your idea of heaven?
- Do you want to explore on your own, or does the prospect of solo travelling make you anxious?
- Can you manage long flights or hot climates?
- Do you need assistance when you travel?
- What length of trip do you feel most comfortable with?
- What type of accommodation would you prefer?
Asking these questions before you book will ensure you get the most out of your trip.
2. Plan, plan, plan
Researching your destination thoroughly will ensure your break is hassle free and help you choose the holiday that’s right for you. If you're planning a city break, what's the public transport system like – will it be easy to catch buses and trains? If there are attractions further afield that you'd like to visit is it going to be easy to hire a car? Do you feel confident driving in foreign countries? It's even important to think about climate. We all love the idea of a sunny holiday but not everyone thrives under the searing hot sunshine – high temperatures can affect those with heart conditions, for example.
If you have limited mobility or use a wheelchair, carefully research any airports or stations that you'll be passing through to find out what facilities and services are available to help you. At the time of booking, make your requirements clear, for example whether you'll need special seating on the aircraft, or assistance travelling through the airport. For those with limited mobility this is essential when choosing the right holiday.
When booking accommodation write a checklist of all your requirements and contact your hotel or villa to confirm it has what you need – consider whether the property has stairs to navigate (and if so, whether there are ramps or lifts to compensate), grab rails in the bathroom and easy access to nearby amenities. Read this accessibility guide for holiday properties if you're not sure what you require and to see what's available. If you're planning a UK holiday, you can check to see if the accommodation is compliant with the National Accessible Scheme.
Websites geared towards mature travellers, like Silver Travel Advisor, are full of useful resources, covering everything from city break guides to independent reviews and travel advice, while companies such as Saga Holidays offer packages specifically for the over 50s. If you are living with a disability, look for specialist travel providers such as Enable Holidays, which offer tailored barrier-free packages.
3. Get insurance
We don't like to think about things going wrong on holiday but purchasing the correct insurance before your trip will ensure you have peace of mind, as well taking care of you should things go awry, from missing luggage to hospital bills abroad.
Before purchasing, carefully research your policy to ensure it meets all of your needs. Does it cover the country you want to visit, and the entire duration of your trip? If you're planning on taking part in activities such as water sports or are going on a cruise are these also covered? If you have a pre-existing medical issue, ensure your policy provides cover for your condition. This may be a reluctant yet crucial thing to consider when choosing the right holiday for you.
Click here for more advice on booking the right policy. Organisations like Age UK offer travel insurance for the over 50s, and Fish Insurance provides cover specifically for those with pre-existing conditions.
4. Consider a staycation
When it comes to ease of travel, peace of mind and a wide range of options, the UK itself has much that will appeal, especially if the weather stays as nice as it is now!
With a wealth of attractions – from stately houses to national parks and festivals – and a huge variety of accommodation options and excellent transportation links, a ‘staycation’ in the UK could be the perfect option when you’re thinking how to choose the right holiday for yourself.
The South West of England is a popular, year-round tourist destination that has plenty to offer holidaymakers of all ages. From beautiful beaches and rugged moorlands to creams teas, cider and fresh seafood, it could be the dream destination for your summer holiday! Check out our spotlight on retiring in Cornwall, Devon and the South West for information on places to explore, attractions to visit and the best things to eat.
Would you like to free up funds for more travel in your retirement? If you’re over 60 years old, the Home for Life Plan could help you afford the perfect home and your dream holiday! Call our friendly team on 0800 043 4488 to find out more today.
In the meantime, you can use our online Budget Booster! It's simple, quick and could provide you with a better understanding of your potential budget.