Pre planning for a special interest holiday or course

So you’ve decided to take the first step towards researching a holiday to undertake a course or learn a new activity or hobby – congratulations!
This article aims to help you pre-plan what you want from a special interest holiday or course before you start researching it.

It can also be used as a check list to ensure you’re asking the right questions prior to booking the course, but we also have an article on “Basic questions to ask before booking a learning course”

Personal GoalsActivity holidays

Most people who research a holiday which involves learning a skill or participating in an activity have an idea of what they want to achieve.

If you are looking to learn a new skill your expectations will probably be lower than if you want to build on a skill you already have. For example – if I am an amateur photographer, who has always had a leaning towards landscape photography, but would like to increase my knowledge in a specific area such as portraiture and specifically studio lighting, will this course meet my needs?

For others, it may simply be a way to further enjoy a hobby in the company of likeminded people and in some cases it might be a way to try out a new hobby to find out if it’s something they want to pursue.

Course Structure

Again here a beginner may be less bothered about the structure of the course but an advanced artist, may want to know what percentage of the time on the course is spent outdoors, versus in the studio, versus analysing and reviewing work? It is important to think through the content of the course and what you want from it before starting your search.


What sort of tutor are you looking for? Some people search out more advice and guidance than others. What is most important to you? Is it the tutor or guide’s experience and ability n their field, or is it their ability to impart their knowledge to you. Passing on knowledge to others in a constructive way is difficult and not everyone can teach effectively. Think about how you like to learn – are you more a theory or practical person?


Location needs to be researched from different perspectives. Firstly, where would you like to undertake this course? Would I prefer to enjoy a cookery course in Italy, France, India or Mexico. Is weather and temperature important to you depending on the time of year you go?

As part of the cookery course, do you want, and more to the point will you have the opportunity to visit local markets to source fresh produce and if so, where would you prefer to be? This may be influenced by your ability to speak a certain language, or your preference may be dictated by the culture and cuisine of the country.

The second aspect of location concerns the specific location with regards to transport links – nearest destination airport and whether this works with an airport close to you in the UK. Would you rent a car or are you looking for a destination with easy public transport links of transfers to enable you to get there cost effectively?

If you’ve structured your thoughts with regards to all of these points then you are well on your way to getting down to some serious research to find a course or holiday provider. Here are some quick links to areas on our site for some of the most popular types of holiday.

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December 2, 2014

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