Belfast travel agent’s top tips for holidaymakers and how to get the best deal

A Belfast travel agent has given her top tips for those wanting a summer holiday in 2022.

Jackie Geddis, manager of Hays Travel in Victoria Square, says the latest market “is huge” for customers booking last minute deals and how “prices are amazing and the demand is very high”.

The travel expert has revealed the current most popular destinations, the best places to go for families, groups and couples, and the best time to go on holiday in order to get a better deal.

Read more: Read more:Martin Lewis shares travel money advice so you don’t get ripped off

Speaking to Belfast Live, Jackie said: “Bulgaria is one of the most popular destinations as it’s non-EU and great value for money when in resort. Holiday prices have been selling at £ 1200 total for families of six.

“Greece too, especially Kos, as prices have been really good for families, especially in August.”

The travel agent recommends Bulgaria as a destination for families as she says there are great properties with family facilities.

Jackie added: “Tenerife is still a top selling destination from Northern Ireland and offers superb accommodation. This has been huge in our winter months and also Halloween and February mid-term break.

“It is our top selling destination for 2023 for couples.

“New York has sold so well for November and December, especially for shopping and the sights-for groups of friends and couples.”

For hen and stag parties, she said: “There is less accommodation at present that will allow hens and stags so we source first what properties can be offered. Majorca, Portugal and of course Las Vegas are big sellers for these groups. Ibiza is so popular for friends and the 3 and 4 night deals are fantastic. “

For those wanting a relaxing holiday or for couples heading away on their honeymoon, Jackie continued: “Dubai, Maldives and Bali would be our number 1 destinations for honeymoons and for those not wanting to travel as far, 5 * hotels in Greece with swim up rooms are very popular at present and booking so well, right through to summer 2023. “

For the best prices, the agent said: “Off-peak would be anything outside of school holidays or mid-term breaks so September, October and November prices are really good-and then from March to May 2023.

“Menorca has been great value, especially all-inclusive hotels for families, so less spending money is needed in the resort.”

In relation to if prices have risen in holiday resorts, Jackie added: “Feedback is that there are slight increases in eating out but nothing major, still great value for money.”

The branch manager says the demand is very high.

She continued: “There will always be great last minute deals to avail of but for families, it can be more difficult as it can be hard to get free child places.

“The last minute deals this summer have been great and we are seeing a huge increase in bookings from our in store offers and social media.”

With some travelers complaining about passport delays, Jackie said: “It has eased, but we are still seeing families caught out as children’s passports haven’t arrived on time and they are having to change their holiday dates which is adding extra costs to move. “

Jackie’s top tips for booking a holiday are:

  • Go through your local travel agent as they will offer all the advice and requirements needed and look after you during the whole process
  • Check your passports first
  • Check the Covid entry requirements for the destination that you are traveling to
  • Purchase adequate travel insurance on the day you book your holiday
  • Purchase your holiday money before you travel or use a Prepaid Money Card

For those who have already booked a holiday, the travel agent advises to re-check the country’s entry requirements again as they may have changed from when you booked.

Jackie says getting travel insurance should be at the top of your to-do list and should be purchased on the day of booking. Travelers should also check that it covers Covid.

Governing to long delays currently being reported at UK and Ireland airports, the travel expert said: “We are seeing flights canceled and long delays at airports at present due to staffing levels.

“We hope this will rectify, but it can be a complex process as employees must have security checks. This is not something that can be done quickly as all airport employees must have their last five years references to provide before security checks can be passed.

“With coming out of Covid over the last two years, some companies have ceased trading etc, making this process more difficult and causing delays.”

Read more: Read more: Airport hack which might see you reunited with luggage faster

Read more: 32 countries without Covid restrictions you can visit this summer

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