Dec 2, 2016

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Should I go to Greece this summer?

Should I go to Greece this summer?

From near economic ruin to bearing the brunt of the 2015/16 refugee crisis, Greece has had to overcome a great deal in the last few years. Amid the height of the county’s problems, the British media went into an all-out frenzy, leaving many concerned over their travel plans top the popular holiday hotspot. Now, however, the situation has calmed down again, with tourism expected to thrive again in 2017. Here’s what you need to think about for a forthcoming trip to Greece. Is it safe to visit Greece this year? TravelSupermarket’s advice is that, based on the current situation, it is perfectly safe to holiday in Greece. There are no restrictions on travel to the country at present from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), which all UK tour operators abide by. The only real advice of note is to avoid demonstrations, take plenty of cash and ensure you have any necessary medical supplies with you for your holiday. Regarding the refugee crisis, the EU-Turkey deal that went into effect on March 20, 2016 has helped reduce the amount of people making the perilous journey to Europe, easing some of the pressure on Greece. Do bear in mind, however, that while this issue is not likely to effect a holiday to Greece, it is still ongoing. How can I protect myself if things do change? Most holidaymakers travel to Greece on package holidays, the bulk of which are covered by the Civil Aviation Authority’s ATOL scheme. If Brits were advised to no longer travel to the country, tour operators have well-established contingency plans to fly their customers home quickly. Those planning to travel would have their holidays cancelled and be offered a full refund. However, it would be extremely unlikely for us to witness mass protests on an idyllic Greek island, for example, as the locals rely so much on the tourist trade for their income that it would be self-defeating for them. While there may be protests in the cities and larger towns, holidaymakers are unlikely to see any disruption at all if political decisions prompt protests. Over the last three years, despite the turmoil in the country, those enjoying the beaches have been able to holiday as normal with no interruptions of note. If you have booked independently you are more at risk. If your hotelier goes out of business you...

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Dec 1, 2016

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Should I travel to Tunisia?

Should I travel to Tunisia?

Following the deadly Tunisian terror attack in the resort of Port El Kantaoui, near Sousse, on June 26, 2015 – as well as the earlier atrocity in Tunis on March 18, 2015 – the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) took the decision to warn against all but essential travel to Tunisia, and a state of emergency has been put in place until at least January 19, 2017. For the latest advice, check the FCO site. I have a package holiday booked to Tunisia in 2017. Can I change or cancel my booking? The current advice from the FCO has been updated to extend the state of emergency status until January 2017. If for some reason you have a booking for travel in 2017 and beyond which you wish to change or cancel, you should contact your travel company or look on their site for updates. Thomson announced on January 31 that it would not be selling any Thomson or First Choice holidays to the destination until the FCO advice changes. Thomas Cook has cancelled all holidays to Tunisia up until at least May 24, 2017. I have made independent arrangements to travel to the country – do I have any rights? If you cancel your trip you may lose money if the travel company you have booked with is not offering free cancellations on its arrangements. However, the vast majority of booking companies should be able to help. Independent travellers with future bookings should contact their airline and hotel companies to discuss what options are open to them. Can I claim for any losses from an insurer? This will be dependent on the type of policy you have, but try to claim what you can back from your travel provider first and then work out your final losses. It’s unlikely that the cheapest policies will cover losses, while many more comprehensive policies will – but check yours to find out. Many providers are looking at claims as a result of the situation on a case-by-case basis and, unusually, some providers such as Aviva have announced that if customers with its policies are unable to recover costs from their tour operator for cancelling a holiday to Tunisia, they will allow claims up to a certain value for this. What if I travel to parts of Tunisia against the advice? If you decide to go to areas...

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Dec 1, 2016

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Is it safe to go to Turkey?

Is it safe to go to Turkey?

Turkey has fallen victim to a number of high-profile terror attacks and political events this year, including a failed coup on July 15 -16. The situation is now calming, but there is currently still a state of emergency in place. The FCO has advised that security operations are ongoing throughout the country, and that the threat from terrorism remains high – although bear in mind that the threat level for the UK itself is currently at ‘severe’ level....

Dec 1, 2016

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Should I travel to Egypt?

Should I travel to Egypt?

Currently, certain parts of Egypt are deemed to be unsafe for British nationals. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office currently advises against all travel to the Governorate of North Sinai and all but essential travel to the areas west of the Nile Valley/Nile Delta regions and South Sinai – with the exception of the area within the Sharm el Sheikh perimeter barrier, which includes the airport and the areas of Sharm el Maya, Hadaba, Naama Bay, Sharks Bay and Nabq. There is...

Nov 29, 2016

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How to do Cuba on a budget

How to do Cuba on a budget

After almost 60 years frozen in a time warp, Cuba is slowly beginning to come out of the cold. As a result, it’s become the Caribbean island on everyone’s lips, with travellers flocking to Cuba “before it transforms forever”. This, combined with uncertainty over the value of pound, the recent death of Fidel Castro and a new US president, is having an impact on the cost of visiting Cuba: from eating out to flights, prices are starting to creep...

Nov 25, 2016

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How to do Prague on a budget

How to do Prague on a budget

The city of spires is that rare weekend-break beast, attracting visitors as much for its medieval history and intricate architecture as its cheap beer and budget-friendly reputation, writes Katie McGonagle. While the past few years have seen some steep price rises in the Czech Republic’s number-one city, it still ranks higher than most European capitals on value for money – and it’s every bit as rich in cultural and historic treasures as Paris, Rome or Berlin. Sure, if...

Nov 24, 2016

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Revealed! 10 travel bloggers’ favourite places...

Revealed! 10 travel bloggers’ favourite places

Where on Earth should you feed your wanderlust next year? The world’s top travel bloggers might be able to inspire you. Though most found it tough to choose a favourite, Travis Levius asked these travel super-influencers to reveal the one destination they love the most – and how to get the most out of it. Thailand: Matthew Kepnes Nomadic Matt: nomadicmatt.com Blog mission statement: Discover the art of travelling anywhere you want. Over the past seven years, I’ve helped thousands...

Nov 23, 2016

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Early season ski and snowboarding holidays in Europe...

Early season ski and snowboarding holidays in Europe

The 2016/17 ski season has got off to a great start, with heavy snowfall across the Alps allowing lots of resorts to open early, writes Jess Bown. So, why not swap rain-sodden Britain for snow-covered peaks? You can snap up some fantastic, last-minute ski holiday bargains at this time of year. Here’s our guide to the best European resorts for early season skiing and snowboarding this year. Val Thorens, France Purpose-built Val Thorens is Europe’s highest ski resort,...

Nov 22, 2016

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Your travel insurance questions answered...

Your travel insurance questions answered

Travel insurance can be tricky to get your head around, but understanding your policy is the best way to avoid a holiday headache. We get lots of questions on our blog about insurance – everything from what to do if you have a pre-existing medical condition to the conditions of cover for helicopter rides. Here we’ve answered some of the most common travel insurance questions – if we’ve missed off yours, ask us in the comments section below and...

Nov 21, 2016

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How to do Corfu on a budget

How to do Corfu on a budget

Corfu’s soft, sandy beaches have a way of making your cares melt away. As you paddle this Greek island’s clear waters and amble through olive groves, the last thing you need is to worry about is your budget, writes Anita Isalska. There are plenty of cheap flights to this Ionian isle, and you don’t need to spend like an A-lister when you arrive. With a little planning, you can keep costs down while enjoying the best scenery, culture...