If you want something doing…do it yourself!

Uncategorized / Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Travel agent - photo by Dave Collier

Are you one of the few people who still visit the travel agent to book a holiday? Or do you sit at home with a cup of coffee, perusing deals online?

Well, times are changing and it seems that more and more of us are choosing to book our holidays in a DIY fashion, and often saving money in the process.

DIY booking basically means that you book every facet of your holiday independently, often putting together different cut-price deals, to add up to a seriously budget-busting break. Whilst this is a major money saver a lot of the time, it does mean a bit of digging and time in the process of booking. If you’re not so confident with using the internet, internet shopping or if you’re just a little apprehensive about it, then you may need to enlist the help of someone a little more internet savvy, to help you grab those bargains!

Shopping list - photo by Bruce Turner
Lists are important, whether at the supermarket or when booking a DIY holiday. Photo by Bruce Turner

Despite that, booking your holiday independently gives you more scope and choice. It’s important to write a list, so you don’t forget anything when booking. For instance, you need a flight, accommodation, return transfers, and you need to give some thought into how you’re going to get to the airport and back. I personally drive every time, and use Airparks for my booking, saving me money on expensive public transport. If I have an early flight, or if I’m flying long-haul, I also use them to book a bundle deal, and add on an airport hotel. I do this regularly, and often use the Manchester Airport hotels, meaning I’m a stone’s throw from where I need to be. I’d certainly recommend you check this idea out for your next holiday.

Your flight is probably going to be the one part of your holiday that is more stressful, because you need to find one that suits your needs and everything else has to fit around it. For instance, you can’t suddenly decide you want to fly on a Monday and expect there to be a flight at the exact time you want! It’s also a case of watching prices and jumping when you see a price that is as low as you think you’re going to get. It’s a case of patience, but it can be done.

Plane - photo by Jason Puddephatt
Your flight booking may be the more difficult part of your DIY arrangements. Photo by Jason Puddephatt

Accommodation is only a problem because of the amount of choice, so I’d always recommend heading to TripAdvisor for honest reviews and pictures, without relying too much on the hotel website information, which is often inflated to make it sound better than it is! Draw up a short-list of your requirements and find a hotel or apartment that suits your needs. TripAdvisor is also probably the best place to head to find out where exactly your potential accommodation is, and how far a walk it is to the main tourist streets.

If this all sounds a little too much for you, then there are websites that will put together your own bespoke package deal, such as Travel Republic and Sunshine etc. Whilst you’re still searching for deals and putting together your holiday as you want it, you have the back-up of customer services if you book it all through one agency, so you always have someone to call if you’re unsure.

DIY or Travel Agent? I’d always go DIY.

DISCLOSURE: This post was produced and sponsored by Airparks Services.