The recent EU Referendum vote has heaped a daily news misery on UK consumers who are often far removed from its machinations. At this time of year, those UK holidaymakers fortunate to be able to enjoy some precious time away, are likely to be approaching next year's holiday with some trepidation and relief!
Since 2015, UK consumers have been faced with one travel crisis after another or other problems and so I have decided to put together my five and 10 point plan to help you book that great trip away in 2017!
When planning your holiday, don't just book something because of the first cheap price you may see:
1. Research is the key: use several online or hard-copy brochures to get that complete picture of what is on offer
2. Check out those Travel Advisories: don't just read the UK Government's advices, check other government's advice is to their Nationals and do a compare and contrast so you can see what's going on in your intended country or resort
3. Read the T's & C's: the devil is in the detail - check if it's a Package, who runs the Kids Club, who will help you if a problem arises, what's not included - taking the time removes the strain!
4. Understand the differences: Package or DIY Holiday? Package means you have full legal protection for anything that goes wrong; DIY Holiday means your rights are only in all the contracts of the suppliers!
5. Watch out for hidden costs: check the totals, make sure you know what you are paying for, before you enter your credit card details!
Once you have booked your holiday, you can relax, or can you? You should start to prepare your getaway by:
1. Ensuring that you have received all your tickets and vouchers for your travel plans - make two copies and store one of those copies in your luggage - give the other to a family member or friend, just in case you need them!
2. Make sure that you check the validity of your passport(s) and any visas you need for your journey - do not leave visas to the last minute - always check with the embassy of the country you intend to travel to as to their requirements. Get their confirmation in writing and make sure that information tallies with your travel company or the airline you intend to fly with
3. If you have passports(s) in your group that are not full British Passports, or are Passports of other countries, do not assume that they will enjoy the same visa benefits as you - always check before you travel.
4. If you are travelling to a country in the European Union or the European Economic Area, make sure you have your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you - this can give you access to either free or Reduced Medical Treatment.
5. However, such treatment will not cover all your costs in most countries and certainly not for an emergency medical evacuation. Make sure that you also have comprehensive Travel Insurance with you, you should take this out at the time you book your holiday.
6. Always make sure that you buy the best brand of sun cream you can afford and that you always have the highest sun-factor cream for children; wear head and eye protection there is no excuse for burning your skin or not protecting your eyes!
7. If you are using Kids Clubs either in a hotel or on a cruise ship, research that they have adequately trained staff and that they have been checked against criminal records, also, make sure that they have the highest level of security to protect your children!
8. When buying your Foreign Currency, it pays at this time to research several providers and be prepared to buy when you see a rate that is acceptable to you. Whatever you do, do not leave it until you get to an airport, ferry terminal or railway station - you may get a much lower rate.
9. Pack sensibly; only take what you need! Pay heed to weight and hand-baggage restrictions and above all, comply with all security instructions, whether those are at the airport or in resort.
10. Finally, always give yourself plenty of 'travel time' to get to that airport or ferry, particularly if travelling with young children; make that journey part of the excitement of your holiday!
With everything going on around us at this time, it is easy to forget the essentials for planning that holiday; my top five and 10 tips will help you identify what's important and plan for that longed for getaway - enjoy it; you deserve it!