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Planning Retirement Online

Travelling and Holidays

One of the most common reasons for people to use the internet is to help them travel around and to book holidays. There are many ways in which the internet can help with finding our way to places, looking at destinations that we might want to get to and booking holidays - whether they be cheap, expensive, singles' holidays, activity holidays or any other form of holiday.

Making the Most of the Internet links


Many people have a satellite navigation system in their car to help them navigate their way to places. There's nothing wrong with that and it can be of enormous help. Many people haven't, of course, and even if we have sat nav, like any other technology, it can go wrong. Therefore, it's a good idea to have an alternative system for finding our way around.

This is where the internet can help. Go to Google maps, which is excellent for getting directions both in map form and in writing if you prefer. You type in where you're starting from, either as a post code or street name, and the same for your destination and you get a map and written directions that you can print off.

 


If you want a location map of any area, you can get one from either:

  • The Ordnance Survey, - you just type in a postcode or street name and a map of the area will come up
  • Streetmap, which is similar to the Ordnance Survey and you can even have maps downloaded to your phone - if you use O2.

If we are travelling somewhere and want an overview of our destination or, indeed, of anywhere in the world, we can download Google Earth onto our computer. Go into Google (or your own preferred search engine), type in 'Google Earth' and you will be able to download it free. Once you have it, you can find any location in the UK or the world, see the interesting places in the locality and see its location.

Holidays

Planning our holidays, whether we want to do it ourselves or get someone to help us, is something that we can do on the internet very effectively. All the help that we could possibly want is to be found there. That's not to say that we should necessarily ignore other sources of holidays but the internet should certainly form part of our shopping around. (See the page on Shopping Around by clicking on the link in the box.)

The first thing you might want to do is to have a look at Laterlife's Travel and Holidays section. If you intend going on holiday alone, then go to the Guide to Holidaying Alone, where you will find links to companies that specialise in holidays for single people, tips for going away on your own and lots more.

There is a wealth of help for us if we are planning a holiday, whether we want to do it yourself or go through a travel company.

Doing it Yourself

If we're planning a holiday abroad then the two elements that we need to organise are the travelling and the accommodation.

Travelling

For organising the travelling, we can either go to a website that will compare lots of different airlines (if you're flying, of course!) or we can go directly to a specific airline. For comparison websites, try:

All four will also provide hotels and car hire

  • lastminute.com - which will do the same as the others plus find theatre tickets, seats in restaurants and a host of other things

Specific airline sites include:

There are, of course, many others but these are just a few to try out. The latter two are, of course, budget airlines which people seem to either love or hate. There is no doubt, however, that they have transformed European travel. It is now possible to have a European break very cheaply thanks to the budget airlines and the Internet.

We can book a cheap flight over the internet and then book accommodation also on the internet, which usually means it's cheaper than going through a travel agent. In order to book accommodation, we can do the following:

Accommodation

  • Go to one of the websites mentioned above under Travelling
  • Go to Google and type in something like 'Hotels in' plus your destination. You will then be able to click on the websites of all those that you think look of interest to you.

Travel Companies

If the holiday you're planning is quite complex, with lots of different flights and locations, you might well feel that it's better for the experts to do it for you. If this is the case you can, of course, go to a high street travel agent who will be only too delighted to help. However, again the internet should be part of shopping around . There are a number of very good travel agents that you can access over the internet. They include:

For something closer to home, companies like Warner Breaks offer adult only breaks that may suit us if we want a less stressful holiday!

If you would like to find a specialist travel agent, go to the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) website and you'll find whatever you require there.

If you want to be able to book holidays, see what other people think about various destinations and be part of a debate about holidays, try:

Finally, if you would like to take an activity or learning break go to responsible travel. You will find hundreds of breaks that cover almost any subject you care to think of.

You may have your own thoughts and ideas about your holidays but if you take a browse around some of the websites mentioned here, it will give you some idea about the vast range of holidays that are available. You can then extend your research to other sites until you find your perfect holiday.

You can do your research through typing in the relevant words into Google or your own search engine. You can then put the web sites you think you'll use regularly into your favourites so that you're only a click away.

Now take a look at the rest of the Guide, by clicking on the links in the box, to see how else you can make the most of the internet.

This Guide to Making the Most of the Internet is written by Retirement Specialist Dave Sinclair supported by members of the LaterLife team. As well as writing on retirement matters Dave is Training Director at LaterLife and responsible for the content and continuous improvement of LaterLife's Retirement Courses.
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