DIY hol­i­days Craft your ideal get­away with these handy tips

Craft your ideal es­cape by fol­low­ing these tips

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - February Contents -

when it comes to hol­i­days, there is no one-size-fit­sall. From city tours and ad­ven­ture es­capes to spa re­treats and lux­ury river cruises, every­body has dif­fer­ent needs when it comes to the style of travel and des­ti­na­tion – even within a fam­ily. That’s why it makes sense to tai­lor your next hol­i­day ex­actly how you like it and know you’re get­ting the best deal. Here’s how to do it.

CHOOSE FLEX­I­BIL­ITY

Look­ing to ex­plore a new des­ti­na­tion but not sure where to start? Look for a tour com­pany that of­fers guests lots of flex­i­bil­ity. Col­lette of­fers more ways to cus­tomise your tour with fea­tures such as ar­rang­ing pre- and post-night stays, as well as dif­fer­ent op­tional ex­cur­sions that are in­cluded in the price of your tour. On se­lect days, ev­ery tour of­fers a col­lec­tion of op­tional ex­cur­sions care­fully se­lected to pro­vide you with a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive on your des­ti­na­tion. Two great itin­er­ar­ies are the ‘Blue­grass Coun­try & the Smoky Moun­tains’ – a nine-day ven­ture tak­ing trav­ellers

through the heart of Ap­palachia to ex­pe­ri­ence the best of what Ken­tucky, Ten­nessee and North Carolina have to of­fer – and the nine­day ‘Ice­land: Land of Fire & Ice’ tour, where you’ll ex­pe­ri­ence Ice­land’s unique mix of scenery, cui­sine and ad­ven­ture. These are just a cou­ple of more than 150 tours of­fered by Col­lette across seven con­ti­nents. go­col­lette.com.au

KNOW WHEN TO BOOK

If you can be a lit­tle flex­i­ble on what day and time you can fly, you can save big bucks. There are apps that can do all the hard work for you. Down­load Hop­per and get up­dates on the best prices on any given date, as well as sug­ges­tions as to the cheap­est time in the week, or even which day, to book. The app anal­y­ses his­tor­i­cal pric­ing data to iden­tify flight bar­gains. Sim­i­larly, the Kayak app fea­tures a Watch­list, which you can use to cre­ate price alerts sent via text or email. All you need to do is se­lect the route you wish to fly and you will be no­ti­fied when there’s a drop in fares. hop­per.com; kayak.com.au/mo­bile

LOOK AT ALL THE AC­COM­MO­DA­TION OP­TIONS You’ve drawn up your hol­i­day bud­get, now to find suit­able ac­com­mo­da­tion that’s within your means – and there’s now an ar­ray of choices on land and on sea. Be­yond stay­ing at some­one’s pri­vate home us­ing airbnb.com.au or home­away.com, there are op­tions such as house sit­ting and pet sit­ting via trust­ed­hous­esit­ters.com. Of course, if you pre­fer your room made up and all the mod-cons of a ho­tel, sign up to your favourite brand’s news­let­ter now and then look out for sales where you can save a con­sid­er­able amount of money. Do you want your food, en­ter­tain­ment and ac­com­mo­da­tion pack­age all in one? Con­sider tak­ing a cruise around the des­ti­na­tions you’d like to visit – it could work out to be a cheaper op­tion.

Blue Ridge Park­way, North Carolina

Breed­ers’ Cup in Ken­tucky Play­ing blue­grass on a man­dolin. Great Smoky Moun­tains Na­tional Park

Reyk­javik, Ice­land

Aurora Bo­re­alis in Ice­land

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