This is a two-part series on how to research;
(a) A holiday destination and
(b) A holiday attraction.
In today’s part, we will delve into how you research a destination, and where you get that information. Stay with us because next week you will be learning how we research a holiday attraction in order to decide whether it is worth advising our customers to visit.
At Hot Tub Hideaways, we strive to bring you the best UK holiday destinations with hot tubs. We have divided the United Kingdom into several regions namely the North of England, South of England, South West of England, East Anglia, Wales, Scotland, and Central England. This helps us bring you a complete holiday package comprising of holiday accommodations, local attractions to visit, and things to do during your holiday.
But how do we come up with the lists? Read on.
Main Research Points
Before you even start thinking of a holiday itinerary, you are well advised to decide on which destination you plan to visit. As a general rule, we apply the points below to come up with a destination.
It does not make sense planning a holiday that you cannot afford. The first thing you do when planning a holiday is consider your budget and what it can buy for you in terms of a holiday. In the UK, there are several categories of holidays including;
a) Budget Holidays
It would cost you an average of £140 to £175 per day if you are taking a holiday in London. Outside London it gets a little cheaper at £70 to £90. Plan average of £2100 for a budget 1 week holiday in the UK. Of course if you are travelling with the family, you need to plan for the kids and the pets.
b) Luxury Holidays
A luxury holiday will cost you twice as much as the budget holiday. In some cases, and depending on your accommodation, you can spend as much as £5,500 for a one week holiday. Of course you are well advised to check cheaper accommodations such as hot tub log cabins, lodges or cottages. In some cases they offer as much luxury as a 5-star hotel but at discounted nightly rates.
For more about our lodges its here – www.hottubhideaways.com/lodges/
Of course your budget will vary depending on the category of holiday you want. Other categories of holidays include; woodland holidays, beach holidays, weekend breaks, summer holidays, spring breaks, adventure holidays, relaxation holidays and so on.
The weather prevailing in your destination can either make it a memorable experience or a nightmare that you would want to forget very quickly. In the northern parts of the UK, the winters can be more severe than in the southern due to the fact that they are nearer to the Arctic. This is a blessing for people who love winter sports. However, if you are more of a summer holiday enthusiast, you are well advised to keep to the warmer beaches of South of England and South West of England.
It is important to note that most people go on holiday during summer. The summer rush almost always attracts a rise in the accommodation rates and entry tickets to points of interest. If you are a budget traveller and don’t mind the winter weather, take your holiday then. It your will cost half the normal rates.
3. Preferred Holiday Activities
What is your preferred holiday activity? You cannot head to the mountains of Wales if your preferred holiday activity is lazing on the beach. Perhaps you should be thinking Isle of Wight. Choose a destination that is consistent with your holiday activities.
4. Local Language
This might not be a problem in the UK as all the regions speak English. It is however important to note the differences in accents and pronunciations. The Scots will sometimes speak to you in Scottish Gaelic. And in Wales, people will assume you speak Welsh.
Some regions of the UK have more attractions than others. Some have more castles and cathedrals while others have more mountains and forests, others will have beaches. Choose a destination that has the kind of attractions you would want to visit during your holiday.
6. Your Annual Leave Duration
What kind of a holiday does your annual leave allow you to have? If you have accumulated your annual leave days, then you can travel to the furthest corner of the UK without worrying about making it back on time. If you are however only able to take a weekend break, perhaps you should consider a destination that is nearer to where you live. Going far will not be cost effective.
7. Local Cuisine
Does the culinary options of your chosen destination agree with your healthy eating habits? Are you able to cook your own food using the local ingredients? Supposing you are a vegetarian. Are you going to struggle to get something to eat? Does the local culinary options offer the sort of variety that you would want in your holiday destination? Is your accommodation a self-catering lodge or do you have to dine out? What is the cost of eating out? These are some of the questions that you should be asking yourself here.
8. Age and Number of People in the Travel Party
Travelling with kids and older people during winter is a nightmare. Staying in a small log cabin in the middle of the countryside with an invalid child or an old person will give you the worst holiday experience ever. Before setting out, you need to know whether your destination has accommodations that can host everybody in your party. Are you travelling with pets? Is anybody in your party disabled? Answer all these questions before you make a commitment to a destination.
9. Getting Around
How are you going to get to the attractions in your destination? Walking? Cycling? By train, boat or car? Make sure you have a comprehensive map of your destination. It needs to have clearly marked routes of motorways, railways, and woodland trails. This way you can make a decision on whether to take your car with you or to rely on the public transport.
All of England is safe for you to travel, see this expert round up list of holiday destinations in England.
In this case, we are not talking in terms of crime but in terms of your ability to visit the various attractions. There are places where you should check before you visit if you have kids or disabled people in your party. There are also places where you are well advised to be in the company of a game ranger. You cannot go scuba diving as a novice without an instructor. Neither can you go on a sailing trip without a trained captain. Before committing to a destination, make sure that these experts are available, and that you can afford them.
11. Cultural Differences
Learn the culture of your chosen destination. The Welsh has different cultural attitudes as compared to the Scots and English. The Islanders have their way of doing things as compared to the mainlanders. Take your time to learn the differences, and whether you are going to be comfortable with them.
12. Ease of Booking
Ensure that your destination allows online booking. Also ask questions such as; “is the pet fee inclusive? Can I pay with a credit card? Are there hidden charges? Are travel cots, highchairs, and disability access provided?
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Sources of the Above Information
Now that you know what information to look out for when researching a destination, you need to know where to get credible information. Below are some of the sources that we use to determine whether a destination is worth visiting.
Today’s holidaymaker is much smarter than his 1990’s counterpart. He has so much information on the internet to make mistakes…right? Wrong. Information is there alright, but most of it will just waste your time. You need credible information. Our best sources of information on the internet include;
If a destination claims to have a beach, you can confirm this using Google Earth. If it says it has a lake and a forest, it is easy to verify this with Google Earth.
Most destination websites only put forward the information they know to be true. Exaggeration is bad for business. It affects the reputation of the holiday providers.
There are so many forums out there that can paint a picture of what to expect from a destination. If a destination is getting bad vibes from forums such as Trip Advisor, Lonely Planet, Fodor’s Travel, Wanderlust, Destination 360 etc., it is wise to give it a wide berth.
Wikipedia is an authority site. It very rarely makes mistakes while describing a destination. Read about your destination on the website and get know more details about it. We advise you to not only read the page but also scroll down to its references section where you will get lots of credible information about your destination.
Most destinations have Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest and Tumblr pages. Visit them and see what previous holidaymakers are saying about them.
Trip Advisor ranks destinations according to customer review scores. It is an important resource to gauge the happiness derived by visitors in a certain destination.
Friends and relatives that have previously visited a destination can give you honest feedback about the said destination. Ask them lots of questions….even better, draft a questionnaire with the research points covered above and ask them to fill in.
3. Tourism Authority
There are UK Government Tourist Information Centres spread around the country. You can either physically visit these centres or visit their websites here.
4. Travel Agents
Travel Agents endeavour to give their customers the best holiday experience. They will give you precise information about your chosen destination. Since reputation is very important to them, they will actively look for reliable information before forwarding it to you. Sometimes they do this using brochures and newsletters.
5. Actual Visitation
The best way to determine whether a destination is worth holidaying in, is paying an actual visit. Although this might be expensive, a prior visit before the actual holiday might go a long way in informing the kind of preparations you ought to make. Don’t just pack and go. Researching a destination goes a long way in determining whether you are going to have an awesome holiday. If this piece has helped you make a better choice of your holiday destination, share it using the social buttons below.