Hooray, it's time to start thinking about the family holiday again! It might seem ages away now, but the summer holiday will be here before you know it, so get planning now and you can make sure your holiday is the most fun (and best value) it can be.
Here we've gathered our best tips to help you plan a great holiday - and here we'll show you how you can use Microsoft Office 2010 to help. We've also got tips to help you save money and a checklist of essential items to pack.
What to think about when planning your holiday
The key to a great (and cheap!) holiday is to plan ahead. Make sure you bear the following in mind when you're planning your trip:
- Set a budget. Think of all the things you'll need to pay for (flights, insurance, transfers, hotels, food and entertainment) and set yourself a spending limit. Always try to overestimate rather than underestimate, as there's bound to be a few extra costs that come up. We've got more info on using Microsoft Office 2010 to manage your budget here.
- Decide on the type of holiday you want. Do you want to lay in the sun next to a pool? Or will your family enjoy loads of outdoor activities? Or perhaps you want to visit theme parks. If money is tight, why not consider a break in the UK. Get more info on cheap British breaks here.
- Think of your options for booking - do you want a package deal and a holiday rep? Or could you save money by booking everything individually?
- Think of how you'll get there and how the kids will cope with the journey. If you're going to have long flights you might have to take care of bored, hungry and tired kids all the way! So consider what you can take to make the journey less stressful (like pillows, travel sickness tablets, snacks, books and games consoles).
Plan your holiday using Microsoft Office
Using Microsoft OneNote 2010 is a great way to keep track of your all your research and any bookings that you make.
Use Microsoft OneNote to keep your research in order: Open up OneNote and go to File > New to create a new document to use to plan your holiday. Then use a different tab for your research and booking information on different things like flights, accommodation, things to do and so on.
Keep a note of all your research: In each section, note down anything interesting you find out, jot down any prices and keep the links for any useful websites. This information will be really handy later on and if you keep adding notes as you go, it won't matter if you get called away in the middle of something and have to come back to finish it later.
Highlight important information: Go to Draw in the menu at the top and select the highlighter tool - use this to add colour to anything important.
Add a checklist: From the Home menu you can add check boxes - these are great to keep notes of things that you need to pack as they occur to you.
Add a table: Go to Insert > Table to quickly and easily add a table into your OneNote document - these are really useful for keeping a brief overview of your budget and how much you're expecting to spend. If you want to keep a more detailed account of your spending, try using Microsoft Excel 2010. We've got a great guide to managing your family budget here.