• Welcome to 2017! It’s a new year, a chance to start afresh and do things you’ve not done before. And it’s an opportunity to make plans for the next 12 months, which includes booking holidays to experience exciting new destinations. The big question is, how do you plan so far ahead of the dates you’re going to travel? Let us answer that for you with our guide to organising your travel year for 2017.

    Consider your routine

    Do you explore somewhere new in Ireland every Easter on a family holiday; visit somewhere far away and exotic, like Jamaica, every summer; then, in the colder months, grab some winter sun out on the Costa del Sol? If you follow this kind of set travel routine, why hang around? Score out the time you intend to travel on your calendar now and get planning and booking.

    Think about the seasonality

    When it’s summer in one part of the world, it could winter in another, so swot up on the climate of any destinations that take your fancy for 2017. You don’t want to stuff your suitcase with shorts, T-shirts and blouses if you arrive to find that a scarf, hat and gloves would have been better. Nor would you want to be enraged with yourself for bringing a duffle coat when summer gear is all you need. Do your research and spare yourself a travel disaster.

    FAL Lady in the sea in glorious sunshine while on holiday and looking up to a clear blue sky, arms outstretched

    Seek precise information

    Consider the specifics of your travel when doing your research. For example, are you travelling with teenagers rather than younger children? In that case, make sure to narrow your queries to ‘What are the best destinations for parents with teenage children?’ in online forums and searches. Stating precisely what you’re looking for will encourage recommendations and results that match your needs more closely.

    Prep for passport peace of mind

    Your adventure starts in the airport, but make sure your trip doesn’t end there before it’s even begun. Check everyone’s passport is valid for at least  six months after the anticipated end of your travel plans for the year, and that you have all the right documents for entry into the countries you want to visit. That way, you can board the plane and make it through security on the day.

    Avoid being floored by flight changes

    You can come undone before you’ve even left Ireland by missing your plane. When you plan far in advance, there’s always the possibility your flight times can change, so keep up to date in the run-up to your holiday.

    Protect yourself from vaccination problems

    While doing your holiday research, check your party doesn’t require any vaccinations to visit your destination. Some places won’t let you in unless you’ve had vaccinations first. And importantly, don’t forget to bring medical documentation as proof – you’ll need this to enter the country.

    Shot of a sign in the airport pointing to departure lounges and arrivals

    Start saving now

    You’ve decided you’re going to take a few well-earned breaks – now it’s time to anticipate any expenses and get saving and budgeting. Set aside money in your own little holiday fund, so you can relax and enjoy all your holidays to the full.

    In search of some inspiration? Browse our different destinations for ideas, hunt down some bargain holiday deals, and start to make your preparations. You too can have a fantastic travel year!