January is the month every year, where travel searches peak across the United Kingdom, and it’s quite significant. They are nearly 300% more compared to any other month of the year. Perhaps it’s something about the cold start to the year that drives us to seek warmer adventures to look forward to, or it could be that we want to get organised and start the year planning our vacations for the coming twelve months. I know I definitely fit into the latter group, for me, January is an exciting month to map out the year ahead and fill it with things I know will make it the best yet.
But what are you searching for when it comes to travel? Below I have taken a sample of the biggest questions you’re seeking answers for when it comes to organising your vacations, as well as some surprising discoveries about your searches.
Your Top Search – Best Holiday Destinations
We all want to make sure that we use our precious travel time wisely, so it comes as no surprise that the top travel searches are mainly about getting the destination right so that we go on a trip to remember for years to come.
Your Surprising Search – Photos Matter Most
It perhaps comes as more of a surprise that we are now often using photo and social media based inspiration to influence where we visit next. Searches for ‘the best Instagrammable travel places’ and ‘Instagrammable destinations’ are rising rapidly, as well as people looking for the holidays that will give them the best photo opportunities in-between enjoying a gelato and exploring historic sites.
If you are looking for inspiration on where to visit in 2020, I have put together a post featuring my favourite all time destinations and many of them have free travel guides and itineraries for you to use.
To save you the click though, my top five are:
However if you want to see what the experts are recommending, the Lonely Planet annual ‘Best in Travel’ guide is well worth a read. You can access it here – https://www.lonelyplanet.com/best-in-travel
They list their top ten countries for 2020 as:
- North Macedonia
- Costa Rica
And finally, if neither of those lists appeal, you can always do as others’ are clearly doing, and use Instagram as inspiration of where to head next, bonus points in doing it this way is that you’re guaranteed to get a beautiful photo to add to your feed as this is how you picked where to head to!
Next Top Search – Last Minute Flights
There’s clearly two types of travellers in the world. Those looking and preparing their plans in January (the majority) and those who love a great last minute deal and are looking for a quick getaway.
Over the last five years, the volume of people looking for last minute deals has dropped. Perhaps we no longer are looking for the standard sunny late deal and our travelling preferences have started to change. However, for those who still love the last minute planning, searches for late flight deals peak in mid-July. Perhaps you are regretting not booking a summer trip as your co-workers head off on their adventures, or you are really needing a break from the day to day by the mid-point of the year, so you quickly get looking for a way to escape reality for just a few days.
For most people, the driver for the later deals seems to definitely be cost, with the word ‘cheap’ being included in the majority of last minute flight searches we make.
If you are looking for a late deal, there are five simple things you can do to make your search more fruitful.
- You get bigger savings when you book a deal as a whole, rather than just flights. Flight themselves are vastly cheaper when booked early. So if you are keen to get a good late deal, book your travel as a package deal to score the best savings.
- Be flexible with your dates, and try to fly mid-week where possible for the best savings. A different of two days can often change the price by hundreds (I have genuinely seen this more often than not)
- Set up alerts and subscribe to websites known for promoting late deals. If you are part of their mailing list, you get first visibility of any sales, or good deals they offer.
- Booking 14 days before or less is known as the ‘magic window’ and it’s the time where companies really slash their prices to fill up their packages and hotels. Try and hold out if you can before booking.
- Be flexible. With last minute deals, you often may not find the package in your price point for the destination you’re seeking. Be open to where you are heading for the best possible savings.
Searches are Changing – Travel Money
Ahead of a trip, we all like to make sure we have our currency for our new destination sorted. Interestingly, a lot of us only start looking into preparing it a week ahead of our planned vacation.
Of course, the top searches are primarily about rates and best exchange offers, but there’s been some interesting shifts over the last five years in travel money questions.
We used to look for the best rates with well-known high street brands. The Post Office is the top searched firm favourite, followed by Tesco, Asda then Sainsburys. Clearly, we like to combine getting our Euros with our weekly shop in the UK!
However these days, we are also looking for the best new alternatives to cash or prepaid cards for our trips. Revolut and Monzo cards searches are rising in popularity quickly, especially ahead of the summer months. This may be because many of us are seeking easy ways to pay abroad, with less hassle and better rates.
Alternatively, it could be that as Brits we now travel a lot more (on average, we see an increase of 8% more travel year on year) so a simpler solution for frequent travel and currency exchange is now needed by many.
Personally, I have a Revolut Card and I love it for many reasons.
- The ease of payment abroad, and fee free cash withdrawals
- The fact that you can monitor what you have spent your money on with great charts showing a breakdown (I clearly have a problem with eating meals out)
- It takes seconds to transfer to another Revolut card holder, making splitting costs abroad simple
- The exchange rates are always great, and you avoid the fees you would incur by paying on your usual cards abroad
If you want a better way to spend abroad (or even just track your finances better at home), get your Free Revolut card using my affiliate link here today.
Something We All Need – Travel Packing Tips
After you have sorted your destination, got yourself a great deal and looked for the best way to pay for your meals and experiences abroad, your next big question is usually seeking advice on what you need to pack for your upcoming adventure.
With the rise in short-breaks and only free hand luggage with budget airlines, many of you are now searching for the best way to get all the essentials on your vacation with you, without paying the essential luggage fees.
Here are the five best packing tips I use on a regular basis that you may benefit from too:
- Roll don’t fold! You can easily fit more in your suitcase if you roll your items vs. folding them (and as a bonus, they will crease less this way too).
- Packing cubes are the best packing travel invention. Sort your suitcase into handy sections which makes living out of a bag much easier, and reduces the stress of pulling out everything in your case numerous times during a trip to find that one item you need that’s currently evading you.
- Plan your outfits before packing, to avoid taking everything you might possibly need and quickly running out of space. Even better, use online capsule wardrobe guides for great inspiration on how to pair a few items to make many outfits.
- Pack in advance. There’s nothing like a last minute rush to guarantee you will forget something or end up taking way too much as you panic about what to add into the case just hours before you need to leave.
- Always have a spare outfit, toiletries and important documents in your hand baggage. You never know what might happen on a trip and it always pays to be prepared.