6 mistakes not to make when booking a trip this Christmas

Christmas is a busy time. There are presents to buy, lights to put up, and cheer to spread… If you’re thinking of going away too, it’s very easy to make that one mistake that could turn your holiday on its head. Heed our tips for the ultimate stress-free holiday.
Waiting for flight aircraft. Photo: Shutterstock
Waiting for flight aircraft. Photo: Shutterstock

At Insight Guides, our local experts plan, organise and book trips for jet setters all over the globe. So whether you’re looking for your ideal Christmas break, from family fun to romantic getaways, we've got 6 mistakes not to make when booking a trip this Christmas covered. Treat the kids to The Magic of Disneyland Paris, escape the wintry weather and book onto Luxury Sri Lanka and The Maldives or enjoy a true wildlife adventure by selecting Insight Guides’ Completely Galapagos (East to West on M/Y Beluga) trip.  

When you book a trip with us, the planning is taken care of. You can forget itinerary mishaps and travel woes. But for those going it alone, we have compiled a list of helpful tips to take the stress out of your festive holiday…

Plan ahead 

The spontaneous traveller may have world-class adventures, but sometimes playing it by ear can catch you out. While finding accommodation once you’ve arrived at your destination might seem like a good idea, what happens when you find your dates clash with a major convention and there are no hotel rooms free for miles around? Airfares and hotel rates also skyrocket over the festive period, and early bookers are often rewarded with much kinder prices. Christmas is a very busy time, so don’t leave anything up to chance.

Ensure the different aspects of your itinerary work together

With flights, accommodation, activities, tours and more to think about, it can be difficult to organise your trip without any mishaps. (Unless you’re booking with Insight Guides, of course – speak to one of our local experts today, who will plan a detailed itinerary for you so everything’s taken care of.) If you’re doing it on your own, there’s a lot to keep track of. Something as simple as reading a date wrong can throw everything off kilter. Further complications such as limited tour dates, the Christmas high season and booked-up activities can put a dent in your dream holiday. Make sure you check that all the elements work together before booking anything, and keep your eye out for any last-minute changes.

Learn a few phrases

Apart from impressing the locals, learning a few phrases before going on holiday or taking along a good phrasebook can prove invaluable. Getting lost in a foreign city, taking the wrong bus to the airport, embarrassing faux pas… all these bewildering situations can be avoided with just a few forays into the local language. Insight Guides’ phrasebooks, covering a wide range of languages, are compact and lightweight and also come with a free audio app download!


Check the details

Even the most experienced travellers have caused holiday mishaps by neglecting to check the finer details. Always double check which airport you leave from and arrive back to (they may well be different – it’s no fun arriving back to realise you’re stranded and your car is parked at another airport). Never just assume your flight is AM or PM. Always check flight connections aren’t too close together. If checking in online, ensure you input your passport information accurately. Overlooking these simple details may make for a funny anecdote one day, but it’s probably not worth it.  

Ensure your information is correct and up to date

Using information that is not up to date can leave you floundering – out of pocket if you’re using an old exchange rate, standing forlorn outside a closed-down hotel, or in a dreary area that was once the trendiest hang-out spot in town. Make sure you take the most up-to-date printed Insight Guide with you. Or of course, plan a trip with one of Insight Guides’ local experts to ensure that your holiday takes all of the most up-to-date details into account. Our suggested itineraries are all planned with the help of on-the-ground experts too, which will help ensure your trip is a truly unforgettable experience.  

Think about your luggage beforehand

Christmas presents! No doubt you'll want your family and friends to have something to open on Christmas day. If you’re planning on bringing some with you, think about the luggage allowance. Don’t turn up to the airport with suitcase loads of heavy goods for all the family. Remember that hand luggage will be scanned, so put any preserves, boozy or bubbly gifts over the 100ml limit safely in your checked-in bags. Better still, do an online shop and send all your Christmas gifts ahead to your destination. You’ll be able to travel light in the knowledge that your presents are safely waiting for you!

Taking a holiday this Christmas: how to get started

Insight Guides can help you with planning, organising and booking your dream holiday this Christmas. Simply get in touch and share your budget, interests and travel style. Our local experts will then create an itinerary exclusive to you and your requirements, which you can amend until it's just right. All that will be left for you to do is pack and enjoy yourself!