Category Archives: Holiday Junkie

What’s on your Family Summer Holiday Wish List?

Summer Wish ListAs the nights draw in, our thoughts have definitely turned to what we are going to do for our summer holiday next year. It’s always a challenge to find a holiday that will entertain and please all members of our family.

So far our plans have taken us right across Europe and back at least twice and yet we still can’t make a decision.  We are very tempted by the thought of the Swiss mountains, all that beautiful countryside, blue lakes and clear fresh air.  But then we would miss the beach, those rolling Atlantic waves have given us some of the happiest holiday memories. Or how about enjoy the wonderful diversity of Britain with a staycation.  Mmmmm, decisions decisions.

Where will next summer find you and your family?  Building sand castles on a sunny beach? Taking a stroll around a sparkling lake, or exploring the valley and village of the countryside?

It’s so difficult to choose which is why we started looking more closely at our wish list for the summer.

  1. Top of our list has to be some sunshine and warm weather
  2. We love water sports and fun so a beach or lake are essential
  3. Swimming pool also essential
  4. Plenty of entertainment to keep every one amused
  5. Somewhere driveable from the UK as we want to people able to explore the area when we get there (so that covers all of the UK and Europe)
  6. Internet access – ok, so not an essential but we do like to interact while we are away!
  7. Mossi free!  Life is too short for constantly applying mosquito repellent.

That’s our list so far, so what is on yours that we should consider?

Getting Mixed Signals

It’s been a strange week so far, winter weather conditions one moment, blue skies and sun the next, but it’s clearly not just me that is confused judging by my mail  in-box.

So far I have been offered some great discounts off sunglasses, holiday discounts for October half term and in my local supermarket I was confronted by row upon row of Christmas special offers!

So which ‘urgent’ need should I be addressing first?  The up and coming school half term, our Christmas plans or our 2013 summer holiday!

I don’t know about you, but I am not quite ready to write off 2012 yet, after all it’s only the beginning of October.  And, there are still things to look forward to including Halloween, Bonfire Night (and Fireworks), a number of music festivals and events, and of course the prospect of many cosy nights in. I still see plenty of opportunities for an October short break, a November get-away and a December holiday – but then I am all about the holidays!

Author: Holiday Junkie

Is a Holiday Review all its Cracked up To Be? Is there a Future for Holiday Reviews?

We love our holidays and travels and so we spend a lot of time reading and writing about them, but we always struggle with the true value of a ‘Holiday Review’.

Holiday Reviews, are they any use?In fact, in recent years the publishing and reading of reviews has become problematic for readers as well as website and blog owners.

So what’s the issues involved, here’s our take on the issues:

For Holiday Review Readers

Whether you are planning to book a holiday or have just booked one we all like to check out what others have said about it, whether to confirm a decision or to help us make one. Holiday reviews are great for getting someone else’s perspective – rather than a glossy brochure – but you need to consider a few things:

  • Are they genuine?  In recent months even authors have been caught out writing their own book reviews on Amazon, so how can we trust that a positive holiday review is not written by a holiday operator or a negative review is not written by a competitor.
  • In our experience people own right Reviews when they have got a particular issue on their mind?  This tends to mean you get reviews that are at the extreme ends of customer experiences (either really good or really bad) which can distort your view of the holiday.
  • Differing expectations. When someone reviews a holiday it is against their perception of what they expected to get for the money they paid.  Of course, we all have very different expectations of a holiday and so what one person may consider 5 Star luxury another might consider basic.

For Blog Owners

If you are trying to incorporate meaningful reviews in a website or blog you are confronted with these issues as well.

  • How do you know they are genuine?
  • Are they legitimate grievances, complaints or compliments? How can you vet them effectively?
  • How can you give ensure that they are reflective of the holiday experience?
  • With numbers of people doing reviews being relatively low, and often those with an issue, how can you get a fair rating?

And, increasingly, we are faced with the issue if I publish a negative review could I be sued by the holiday operator or owner for the comments made even if there is a disclaimer saying it does not represent our views… an issue even Trip Advisor is trying to come to terms with.

So where does that leave Holiday Reviews?

It’s safe to say that life is not all rosy in Holiday Review world.

For me, reviews must now be treated with a certain skepticism but that doesn’t mean they are still not useful especially non-subjective comments such as when they provide ideas for things to do in an area.  In terms of web publishing of reviews on our Find Cottage Holidays website we currently use holiday operator feedback where they have an established and ‘independent’ process for collecting reviews and encourage feedback from users via our Facebook pages.  We publish comments good and bad as long as we feel they are honest and balanced in nature.

But what do you think?

Author:  Stuart @ Find Cottage Holidays

Reality check kindly provided by National Football Teams

After Andy Murray did so well to extend the wonderful summer of sport we wondered when it would all stop.

Could this really be the new way, British sports people routinely ruling the roost?

Erm, NO.

But thanks to the football teams of England, Scotland and Wales for doing such a great job of letting the air out of the British sporting balloon.

Oh well, I am going to pretend the football didn’t happen and focus on our successful Olympians in Strictly Come Dancing instead!

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

Arghhh… Holidays are Over and Now I have to Go to Work, how is a Holiday Junkie to cope?

Whether we were toasting ourselves in the glorious sunshine or dodging the odd rain cloud, we loved our summer holidays. But as we head in to September we have to bow to the inevitable that is returning to work.

We spend way to long thinking about holidays, writing about them and enjoying them, to take going back to work lightly.  It is, after all, simply the worst feeling and a black cloud will sit over me at my desk for quite some time 😦

So how do you get over the post holiday blues?

Some people look forward to catching up with work buddies or trying to make them envious with their holiday tales and photos.  That doesn’t really work for me, it just reminds me of what I am missing.  Clearly I am some form of holiday junky that can only get by with his next holiday fix.

So I take refuge in something even better, PLANNING MY NEXT HOLIDAY.  OK, so it almost certainly isn’t the best use of business time and resources.  But, surely if it helps me recover from post holiday depression quicker then it’s actually a good for the company? It may even save them money as I will be less inclined to take a sickie!  May be holiday Internet surfing should actually be prescribed on the NHS for us holiday junkies?

Planning a weekend break, short break or even the October Half Term holiday all forms a helpful healing process, that while not curing my sadness at the holidays ending, does at least help me move on and give me something else to focus on.

So that’s how I get through it, but what works for you?

Author: Holiday Junkie