15 Jan

How not to stress out when booking a holiday with your mates this year

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This blog was written for ABTA’s Travel with Confidence campaign. Find out how to win an Apple Watch by visiting: abta.com/travelwithconfidence

If you’re booking a holiday with your mates this year, we have answered some of the most common problems you may be experiencing and offered some expert solutions.

Problem: So many options
There are so many options out there and it’s taking me forever to get all the arrangements together. Help!

Getting all the elements of a fun trip together can be time-consuming and stressful, not to mention that you won’t be protected in case you run into problems along the way. No wonder 18-24 year olds are increasingly booking package holidays, eg a trip organised by a travel professional or company that combines at least two different types of travel services.

Look for an agent or tour operator and build a rapport with them, either via messaging on their website, by phone or by visiting their shops, and they can provide expert, specialised advice. If you want to by-pass all that, many companies have ready-made travel packages that are quick and easy to book. 

Just make sure you book with an ABTA Member so that you can travel with confidence, knowing they meet ABTA’s Code of Conduct. This means that you can expect high standards from them as you’ll have booked with a reputable travel company. Find out more about looking for the ABTA logo when booking a holiday here.

Problem: low budgets
A group of us want to go somewhere but we have a low budget. How can we spend less and still go to amazing places?

If you’re penny-pinching, beat the crowds by going off-peak or in the shoulder season (between peak and off-peak season). Avoid going around school breaks, bank holidays or special celebratory dates. Surprisingly, though, Boxing Day can be a good day to fly, as most people want to stay put that day.

For a cheap and cheerful getaway, to enjoy some sunshine on the beach, search around for the best off-peak deals for destinations such as Spain and the Canaries, Turkey, Greece, Malta and Bulgaria to name a few. 

But here comes the top tip: when you book with a travel professional, they will often arrange a payment plan with a deposit so you can pay off the cost of the holiday as you go. Some will also provide extra luggage allowance which is perfect if you find it hard to pack light.  

Problem: indecisive
We all want to go to different places. How do we decide where to go?

Be democratic! Pulling destination names out of a hat could work. But do your research before you go such as checking the Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel advice before confirming. 

To help you with the top destinations to visit next year, you can start by considering the ‘12 destinations to watch in 2020’ revealed in our Travel Trends report. The list is compiled independently by a group of ABTA experts and includes countries and regions celebrating significant anniversaries, providing the backdrop to blockbuster films as well as stunning destinations that can be accessed by public transport and ripe for discovery.

Problem: out of pocket
I’ve fallen out with my best friend because she took so long to pay me back for all the bookings I’ve made. Is there a way around this if we decide to go again next year?

This one is easy: book your trip with an ABTA Member who can chase the payment from all the group members for you! Problem solved. 

Problem: worried parents
My parents are worried because they think it’s unsafe for me to travel with my mates. How do I convince them otherwise?

Follow ABTA’s advice for young holidaymakers to plan for a fun and safe holiday.  It includes tips on how to stick together, looking after your belongings and getting appropriate travel insurance. Don’t forget to give your parents or a trusted friend a copy of your policy and paperwork before you travel should you need to claim on it.

Also if you book your trip with a reputable agent or tour operator, such as an ABTA approved one, ABTA provides its members with 24/7, global safety information, so that they can act if anything goes wrong. 

If your problem is not answered here, then do not worry, we have plenty more travel planning tips on our travel with confidence page at: abta.com/travelwithconfidence