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HOW TO BOOK YOUR TRIP

This page is both a checklist of things you need to book and a resource of our favourite travel providers.

We make a small commission from purchases you make from this page at no extra cost to you. We have only included the services we think are the best.

Booking from these links will help keep our blog going. Thanks for supporting Anywhere We Roam.

Best UK travel blog, Anywhere We Roam

1 / WHERE TO?

Deciding where you’re going next is one of the most exciting aspects to travel. What new experiences are you looking for? Something active and outdoorsy, or something to test the limits of your comfort? Perhaps you’re looking for meaningful cultural experiences?

For some ideas, start with our inspiration page. Here, we capture all our writing based on the type of travel experience you might be looking for such as hiking holidays, classic road trips, city breaks or wildlife-based wilderness. All the destinations we cover are here.


2 / TRAVEL VISAS

Before booking any travel it’s important to check the entry visa requirements for the country you are travelling to. Some tourist visas can be purchased on arrival, others need to be organised from your home country before you leave.  

Check the entry requirements with your government’s foreign travel website who will be able to direct you to the relevant foreign embassy for updated visa information. For the UK, check gov.uk 

For a full-service agency, we recommend e-visa.co.uk. They have a team of professionals who keep up to date with changes to visa requirements and if you’re stretched for time, they’ll take care of the process for you.  


3 / FLIGHTS

Flights are often the most expensive part of any trip so it’s worth checking the price with an aggregator to find the best deals. Our go-to portal is Google Flights. They have a clear and easy to use interface which displays prices per date while you search – ideal if you have some flexibility on when you travel.

Once you locate flights, you are directed to select from several different providers to make the booking.

We like this because it summarises the latest information on current flight deals but still allows you to book with a provider you know and trust.


4 / CAR RENTAL

Hiring a car can be notoriously challenging. There are many different providers which all have different add-ons and insurance quirks, making it difficult to compare prices. 

The best portal we’ve found for booking rental cars is Auto Europe. They have access to cars from all the major companies which are compared on a grid format that clearly displays the prices for different car sizes across each provider. 

They also display what is and isn’t included in the price and offer good value insurance options. With a great interface and 24-hour customer service, we highly recommend them. Click below depending on your home location.


5 / ACCOMMODATION

Our favourite website for booking accommodation is booking.com. It has a massive range of properties for a wide range of budgets with an easy-to-use calendar that displays all your bookings in chronological order. Regular users can qualify for ‘Genius’ level which gives you 10 or 15% off selected hotels.

Hotels.com also has a lot of choices but with a slightly better filtering system. It can be marginally more expensive but generally makes up for it if you join their rewards programme. This gives you a voucher to the value of the average of your last 10 nights to be used on a future booking – effectively a 10% discount.


6 / ACTIVITIES

The next thing you might want to organise in advance is activities. While strolling around a new city and letting serendipity guide you can be great, sometimes you want to be more organised. Our itineraries cover the order we think you should see things in so you can spend more time collecting memorable experiences and less time finding them.  

This means you can book ahead for major attractions and avoid queuing up. Our trusted partner for attractions is Get Your Guide who offer a massive range of activities, a clean interface and customer reviews. They’ll also send tickets straight to your smartphone.   

Even if you don’t know what activities you may want to do in advance, it is worth doing a search on your destination for ideas.  


7 / INSURANCE

Choosing whether to buy insurance depends on your personal financial circumstances as well as your chosen destination. But we recommend you always have at least medical cover. Replacing a camera will never be more than the cost of the camera, but healthcare can be very expensive.  

If you travel regularly you should go for an annual multi-trip policy, but if it’s one long trip or a backpacking adventure you will want a single trip policy. Before purchasing insurance, understand what you already have. EU citizens travelling in the EU are automatically covered and many credit cards and premium bank accounts include free travel insurance. Check what these cover you for.

True Traveller (Europe) and World Nomads (better for US citizens) offers decent single trip policies, whereas Columbus direct is a good option for multi-trip policies.  


8 /  HEALTH & VACCINATIONS

Now that the world is acutely aware of health, especially travel health, it’s important to check vaccinations and requirements for the destinations you intend to travel to.  

Nomad Travel is an excellent well-presented resource to stay up to date with travel health information. Check what vaccinations are required, book an appointment with a travel clinic and find helpful information on their blog.  

Fit for Travel by the NHS also has detailed information about health risks and precautions for every country. 


9 / MONEY

Check your debit and credit card provider for foreign transaction charges, they can vary considerably. Some card providers no longer charge for payments made abroad (e.g. using your card in a restaurant) but they do charge if you withdraw cash.  

In general, use cash as a last resort and when making payments on your card, always choose the currency of your travel destination. 

If your current provider does have considerable fees and you are a regular UK based traveller then consider getting a Starling Bank Debit Card. It has Mastercard’s excellent exchange rates, no payment fees and no fees for withdrawing cash through an ATM (although the ATM provider may charge you).