A few years ago it was all so easy when it came to booking a holiday. We all trooped along to our local travel agent, told them where and when we wanted to go, and then negotiated a bit about the budget before paying for the holiday. In the last 20 years the advent of low cost airlines and the internet has enabled far more of us to take the initiative for planning our own holiday, and organising our own accommodation. Most frequently, the main problem encountered with novice holiday arrangers is simply where to start.
Websites where people can post reviews about places they have stayed or have had a meal are a great way of getting the feel about a hotel or resort, but they also have their drawbacks. The sort of people who tend to post reviews are those who are delighted or very disappointed with their experience, so there is little middle ground. There are also some people who will complain and find fault with even the best hotels in the world.
The advantage of staying in a hotel on holiday is that everything is done for you, from the washing up to the daily cleaning. Many hotels overseas can be booked independently from the UK, and guests have the option of staying room-only or having meals in the hotel too. The downside of hotels is that guests with small children may feel confined to the room once their children are in bed and less able to do their own thing. Hotels range from very basic establishments whose rooms have just a bed and a table, to much more luxurious places with king size oak beds and sumptuous soft furnishings.
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A villa holiday is popular with families as having a house means the family can spread out and live very much as they do at home. In addition to the king size oak beds and nice furnishings found in hotels, many villas have their own pools and as good a kitchen as most homes in the UK. There are a number of websites which allow visitors to book villas directly with the owners. Research the area and type of accommodation required carefully as in some of the more popular resorts there are literally thousands of villas to choose from.
The wet, cool summers of the UK may not lend themselves naturally to camping, but it is a different story in the Mediterranean where the warm weather makes getting under canvas a more attractive option. Camping is cheaper than staying in a hotel or a villa, and the facilities at many sites in Spain, Italy or France are excellent. In the summer most foreign camp sites have open air pools and children’s clubs, and there is a more sociable aspect to staying on a camp site than there is to staying in other accommodation. Caravans have similar advantages to tents, and may be the better choice for novices to camping or those who prefer a more permanent structure to stay in.
- Photograph by SkiAustria (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
If you get back home from your holiday and you’re looking for king size Oak beds to buy, head over to the National Furniture UK’s online store.