The summer holidays are finally here, and the prospect of sea, surf, sand and sangria looms.  Holidays are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and enjoy some quality time with your loved ones.  However, planning where to visit for your summer holidays can be anything bit relaxing. From wonderful New York holidays to places closer to home, there’s plenty to see and do both abroad and in the UK, making the dilemma of where to go pretty stressful.  To help, here’s 4 IDEAL tips for planning the perfect summer holiday.

DECIDE HOW MUCH YOU WANT TO SPEND

Unfortunately, money doesn’t grow on trees, which makes budgeting an important part of any holiday plan. While we might all like to travel first class and stay in a seven-star hotel, this isn’t always possible, so be realistic and think carefully about how much you want to spend. Budgeting tools from the likes of MAS will not only give you a detailed spending breakdown, they’ll also show you what’s left after all major bills have been paid – helping you to understand your finances better and to look for a vacation within your price range.

DECIDE WHERE YOU WANT TO GO

Once you know how much you want to spend you can then decide where you want to go. From the tumultuous mountains of France to the sandy beaches of Spain, there are many places to explore abroad, but if you’d rather stay closer to home, the UK is also packed with plenty of beauty spots and places definitely worth visiting. The choice really is yours, but remember if you go to a different country the culture and climate are likely to be unfamiliar so you might want to do some research before you jet off to foreign lands.

RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH

There’s something wonderfully magical about visiting a place you‘ve never been before, but as mentioned above, research is key. If you have a rough idea of what to expect, there’s a high chance you’ll feel more comfortable and relaxed in your new environment – at least for the short period you are there. Of course, you can’t get to know all the deep cultural aspects of a place via a guide book or the internet, but you can look up things such as the climate, currency, language, cuisine and such like. You’ll also find a host of essential Government travel advice online, which will also tell you where is and isn’t safe to visit at the present moment.

MAKE AN ITINERARY

Holidays are precious, so to avoid wasting time, try to draw up an itinerary before you leave. To do this, check out all the best places you want to visit and decide which days are best for excursions. If, for example, you are going to Limassol in Cyprus, you might decide to explore attractions such as the Zoo and new port one day before venturing up into the beautiful Troodos Mountains another.

Leave some free time for relaxing by the pool, eating lunch and for other activities that might come your way and you’ll be onto a winner. It’s worth bearing in mind that while an itinerary isn’t set in stone, it’ll help structure your trip and give it a purpose – but feel free to switch activities around if they don’t fit in with your day.

Summer is finally here, so get your thinking cap on and plan the perfect trip away.