Across the globe, few activities are more highly-anticipated than taking a holiday. Given the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life, a change of scenery and chance to relax in a destination of your choice is always a welcomed relief.
However, before booking a European break, there are several factors that should be taken into consideration. Here are three things I highly recommend you consider before finalizing your European vacation plans.
Three Things to Consider When Planning Your European Holiday
Are You Protected If Things Go Wrong?
Even the best laid plans can go wrong, so it’s vital to make sure you financially protect yourself in case certain emergencies or circumstances force you to cancel or modify your travel plans.
One advantage of European holidays is that you can take advantage of EU flight delay compensation with Flightright, who have helped passengers enforce their rights for over ten years.
How to Claim Flight Delay Compensation
Under European Regulation No. 261/2004, airline passengers are entitled to compensation if their flight is delayed by more than three hours and the airline was responsible for your delay due to things like scheduling/booking errors or certain plane mechanical/technical issues.
If your EU flight delay lasts five hours or more, airlines are obliged under the legislation to issue a flight delay refund for the cost of your ticket.
You can file a claim by going online through Flighright’s free compensation calculator, which uses an array of analysis tools to verify whether or not your submission has grounds for monetary settling under European law.
Doing this simple trick could see you receiving between €250 and €600 in compensation if your flight is delayed through fault of an airline for over three hours.
How much compensation you are entitled to is dependent on the distance you travel, with the highest amounts rewarded to long distance flights over 3,500 kilometres. Depending on the length and time of day of your flight delay, you could be compensated with free food and drinks, overnight hotel accommodation, or refunds.
Best of all is the fact you can even claim compensation when flying budget airlines and may be able to make a claim for your past flights that have already occurred.
Further protect yourself with comprehensive travel insurance which can provide coverage for things like lost baggage, missed or cancelled flights, and overseas medical treatment. You should also select hotels and tours that have generous cancellation policies which may allow you to cancel with no charge with as little as 24-48 hours notice.
The Importance of Budgeting
When it comes to travel, budgeting is another factor to think carefully about. Although it doesn’t necessarily get you in the holiday spirit, financial planning can help to make your money go further and reduce your chance of going in to debt.
Generally, budgeting for travel can be done in stages. You can start by budgeting for transportation costs such as flights and rental cars, and then follow that up with accommodation and tour costs.
From there, you can then see how much you have left to budget for activities like dining, attractions, or gifts and souvenirs, which are a central part of travel for many, as per BudgetBakers.
Budgeting for travel allows you to enjoy your travels and not be hit with shock when you arrive home and receive the credit cards bill. Not adhering to a budget that you can afford can end up costing you a great deal of stress upon returning from your holiday and it could have serious consequences to your everyday life back at home and your future travel plans.
Budgeting also allows you to create a much better itinerary where you can break down how much you have to spend each day of your trip. This prevents you from spending your entire budget in the first few days of your vacation and then be left with a miserable second half of your trip.
Budgeting can also allow you to stretch your Euros to allow you to enjoy more frequent trips instead of spending it all on a single holiday.
What Type of Holiday Are You Looking For?
Choosing your travel destination should be the top priority when it comes to planning a holiday. While this may seem obvious, it’s quite easy to get caught up in the vast array of online deals that try to grab your attention.
While it may be nice to score a substantial deal on travel, you have to ask yourself if the travel experience on offer is actually something you’d enjoy and would book regardless of the deal.
Prioritising and catering to your own interests should be the main driving force behind booking any European getaway, as it will prove to be the most rewarding way to travel.
The “perfect travel destination” is subjective and will vary from person to person. Some travellers may prefer a relaxing cruise around the Norwegian Fjords while other may need a bit more adrenaline-pumping action such as a circuit day at the world-famous Nurburgring in Germany.
If travelling with others such as your family, you also need to make sure that your travel plans include activities that everyone will enjoy or at least provides an experience suited for each individual at some point during the holiday.
Lastly, once you have decided on a destination, make sure you book your holiday at the right time to ensure the best experience. If you dislike crowds, stay away from travelling during a destination’s peak season. If you want to enjoy everything a destination has to offer, be aware that some activities or businesses may close down during the slow season.
You also need to think about seasonal weather and whether it could have a big impact on your travel experience. While you don’t have to worry much about things like avoiding a hurricane season in Europe, you may wish to avoid wintry weather or obsessively hot months which could limit what you can see and do.
Planning in Advance Can Save a Lot of Hassle
Though it may seem time-consuming, don’t ignore issues that I have highlighted above re choosing your destination, budgeting for your travel, and financially protecting yourself through things like flight delay compensation.
By taking the time to handle the many intricate details associated with travel, holidaymakers can enjoy a much needed break while not breaking the bank or their spirit.