• Whether you want to celebrate finishing secondary school, or want to get away from it all between university semesters, nothing beats going on that first holiday with your mates.

    You’ll find that your first independent holiday is quite a bit different from tagging along with your family. With no parents to do the planning and the booking, it means that you are in complete control – which can be both a blessing and a curse!

    You can do exactly what you want to do, but at the same time there may be more involved in planning a holiday than you think. Follow our guide to booking your first holiday and you’re bound to have the time of your life – with no nasty surprises!

    1.       Save up and set a budget


    This is very important, as budget will dictate where and how long you can go on holiday. Arranging money matters between mates can be a sticky situation, so be open and honest from the start about what you can all realistically afford. Remember you will need spending money too, so be sure to include that in your budget. Start saving as soon as you decide to book a holiday, and keep adding to the fund as often as you can to avoid any panicked last minute loan requests from “The Bank of Mum and Dad”!

    2.       Decide what you want out of your holiday

    Do you want a rocking holiday or a quiet one?

    What do you want to do on holiday? Party? Relax? Explore? What about your mates? Take some time to hang out together and discuss what you all want, then you can research destinations that have something for everyone in your group. NRG holidays are specially designed with young groups in mind, so this might be a good place to start.

    3.       Pick your accommodation

    Relax in your perfect accomodation

    Once you have decided on a resort, you need to cherry pick your accommodation. Again, different accommodations will have different strengths, whether it’s value for money, an awesome location or a rockin’ breakfast, so you’re going to have to decide which is most important to you. If you want to be out in the clubs all night long, then pick somewhere central so you’re not having to spend a fortune on cab fares. Alternatively, if you just want a place to chill, pick a secluded property that is a little further out from the resort centre.

    4.       Don’t forget the boring stuff

    It's boring, but it's important!

    Before you get all excited about jetting off, make sure you get all the boring practical stuff locked down.

    –          Make sure your passport is valid for your dates of travel

    –          Get covered with travel insurance

    –          Sort yourself with a EHIC card if you don’t have one already, so you can get healthcare abroad if you need it

    Yes, yes we know that some of the stuff can be a bit dull, but it is important nonetheless.

    5.       Arrange transport to and from the airport

    Have a relaxed trip to the airport

    You’ll be pleased to hear that all Falcon holidays come with transfers to the resort from the airport at your destination, but unfortunately you’re on your own getting from your house to the departure airport in Ireland! Make your plans well in advance, either by getting a lift or via public transport, and aim to get there around two hours before your flight departs to avoid any mad dashes through security.

    6.       Enjoy!

    Most important of all: have a great time!

    Finally, once you have all those plans in place, you can enjoy your holiday! It might take a little bit of work to get everything sorted, but once you get settled into your resort, you’ll realised that it was all worth it.

    What are your top tips for a first holiday? Share them with us in the comments!

    Additional images by Steven Straiton, Indah Susanti, Eva Rinaldi, Emilian Robert Vicol, Sean MacEntee, and Nate Eagleson under a creative commons licence.