There’s a lot to think about when you book a holiday. Believe me I know – as a Travel Adviser I do it day in and day out! Luckily over the years I’ve learnt all the tricks of the trade to help make sure every aspect of your holiday is as plain sailing as a summer’s day on the Med. Here are my pointers…
Getting the best value for money
Holidaymakers don’t like surprise costs tacked on at the end of their booking, and neither do we. With our flights you get 20kg baggage included, or 15kg if you fly with Ryanair.
With some of our flights you can choose how many hold bags you take. If you don’t need one per person you can share between you. It’s worth asking a Travel Adviser, because you can save some money and it might mean you don’t need such a large hire car.
Look out for early bird special offers when new collections are just released. These give you the best choice of villa and flight options too.
If you love a late deal, you can get really late deals at a steal, if we’ve had a villa cancellation for instance.
Who doesn’t love payday? Now with James Villas you can wait until the final day of the month to pay your holiday balance*.
Stress-busting travel tips
I love Meet and Greet airport parking. You drive to Departures, have your car parked for you and then have it delivered back on your return. For only a little bit more than some car park options, it’s worth it for the time and hassle you save getting the shuttle service.
Got an early flight? A hotel at the airport the night before gives you extra peace of mind on your journey and the chance to catch those extra Z’s for a stress free start to your holiday. Incidentally, if you want a hotel and airport parking, speak to a Travel Adviser who can save you some money by booking a bundle.
How about adding on a ‘lounge’ at the airport? It might be an option for some parties. It takes the stress out of travelling with no queues. Plus food and drinks (sometimes even alcohol) are included. If it’s a special occasion we can even look into an upgrade for a champagne package.
Flights are generally cheapest when they’re first released. This differs by airline and we do offer lots of different carriers, but Thomson and Thomas Cook flights come on sale 18 months before departure, while easyJet flights are nine months before.
If you pre-book your flight seats when making a booking you can guarantee your party will all sit together, otherwise you could be split up.
Finding the perfect holiday
Our new villa collections make it easier than ever to choose a property that’s right for you based on your budget and the facilities you want.
If you’re travelling as a large group we have some fantastic villas that sleep up to 20! Or if you’re holidaying as a group but want a little more privacy, a Travel Adviser can help you find two villas next to each other.
We offer villas that are ‘car optional’, ‘car advised’ and ‘car essential’ – just look out for the car hire symbols. However, even if you’re staying in a ‘car optional’ villa, having a car is a great way to explore and create some great memories to keep.
If you don’t fancy driving abroad we will happily help arrange private transfers in certain destinations and coordinate them with your flight times.
If you’re after something in particular you can check out our James Recommends guides. They include villas great for couples, near the beach or with games facilities, amongst others.
If you want to get really specific, a Travel Adviser is probably the best person to help you. For instance, if you’re travelling with little people and you’d rather have a property without any stairs, we can find a single storey villa, or one with a gated pool.
If you’re still unsure, try a Travel Adviser anyway! When we’re not helping you find a holiday, we’re visiting our villas and destinations, so we might just have that bit of inspiration that you’re after.
The essentials before you travel
Make sure you check that you have a valid passport – some destinations might require 3 months to a year validity – Turkey, Florida and the Caribbean for instance.
When you book your holiday, double check that your name on your flight is as it appears on your passport to avoid hefty admin fees from the airline. If you’re a “Christopher” on your passport, you can’t be a “Chris” on your airline ticket. They really are that particular.
It’s really important to take out travel insurance as soon as you book, not just a few days before you travel. That way if anything unfortunate happens before you go, you’re covered.
Is your holiday centred around an occasion? Let us know this when you are booking and we might be able to help you organise something special in resort, such as flowers, champagne or birthday cakes at the villa on arrival.
Departing late? A handful of our destinations have last day facilities, meaning if you have a late flight our Travel Advisers or Villa Managers in resort may be able to help you find somewhere you can rent a room for the day, relax by a pool and store your luggage.
Book a welcome grocery pack to be waiting at your villa when you arrive. Then your first trip can be to the pool, rather than the supermarket.
Booking a package where accommodation and flights are organised together – and where the company has ABTA and ATOL bonding, like James Villas – offers the best financial protection. That way if there is a problem with either your accommodation or your flights, your whole package is protected together, rather than just part of it.
Download the James Villas Travellers’ App before you go to easily manage your holiday admin and find all of the local recommendations from the guests that have travelled before.
While you’re away
If your villa is available before 4pm, in some destinations we’ll let you know on the day so you can get there early!
Lots of our destinations have expert Villa Managers who live in the region full time and speak the language. They’re great to plug for ideas for days out and they’re also on hand should you need anything while you’re away.
Armed with expert tips and tricks, the only thing that remains is to start the hunt for your 2017 villa holiday.