Feb 1, 2016

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Booking now vs booking late: The great holiday dilemma...

Booking now vs booking late: The great holiday dilemma

The Christmas holidays are a long, distant memory and your New Year’s resolution has already become a tedious ordeal. What could possibly pull you from the rigours of a post-festive slump? Why, booking your big summer 2016 holiday, of course. Whether you are planning a week in the sun, a city break for a long weekend or your main family getaway, you will be deluged with advertising shouting about holiday deals and offers. And, of course, getting organised by researching, planning and booking now will certainly give you something to look forward to at a time when the winter weather can get you down. But is it worth booking this far in advance or should you wait until the last minute to find a better deal? Here we place both arguments head-to-head to help solve a common holiday dilemma. Round one: Your situation If you have a family with school-aged children, work in a job with restricted holiday periods or have a set idea on the type of holiday you want to go on, booking now will be your best solution. Getting in early means you get the pick of the holiday crop and will be able to snare the holiday you want before everyone else piles in and snaps up those valuable seats on the plane. This is especially important for departures during the busy school holiday periods of Easter, Whit week and summer. However, if you’re just after a week away in the sun as a pick-me-up or are happy to be inspired by available deals, booking late and waiting for a bargain might suit you better. Round two: Your flexibility If you have to travel at a certain time or have a specific room or hotel requirement, booking now will mean you won’t have to compromise on your day of departure, or any other element of your break – as being one of the first bookers of the year means you’ll get the best choice of hotel or hotel room type, destinations and holiday length. If, on the other hand, you are truly flexible in terms of where and when you can travel then leaving it late and playing ‘holiday roulette’ can pay off with some truly stunning late deals. You won’t find many last-minute bargains in peak dates, though, so...

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Jan 26, 2016

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Should I travel to Tunisia?

Should I travel to Tunisia?

Updated advice: The current state of emergency in Tunisia has now been extended until February 2016. Please see the FCO site for further information. 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 – many holidaymakers will have had their summer holidays cancelled and may be wondering whether they should still travel to this popular sunshine destination in 2016. Current Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice warns against all but essential travel to Tunisia and the state of emergency has been extended to February 21 2016. For the latest advice, check the FCO site. So, what do you need to know if you’ve booked a trip to Tunisia or are planning to? I have a package holiday booked to Tunisia in 2016. Can I change or cancel my booking? The current advice from the FCO has been updated to extend the state of emergency status until February 2016. If you are concerned about your booking for travel in February 2016 and beyond, contact your travel company or look on their site for any updates. Thomson has announced (January 22, 2016) that it will be canceling its entire summer programme to Tunisia, with flights not set to restart until at least November 1, 2016. Thomas Cook recently followed suit, cancelling all holidays to Tunisia up until November 1, 2016. If you have a holiday booked to Tunisia this year, with Thomson, Thomas Cook or any other airline or tour operator, we recommend that you contact your provider directly regarding your options and the status of your booking. 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 options 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...

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Jan 22, 2016

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Should I travel to Egypt?

Should I travel to Egypt?

As a result of a plane crash on October 31, 2015 in Egypt’s Sinai region that claimed the lives of all 224 passengers, the British government has suspended flights to and from Sharm El Sheikh International Airport. The situation left a number of British nationals stranded in Egypt, and, due to the nature of the incident, it may also be causing concern for those scheduled to fly to the popular resort in the coming weeks and months. UK carriers...

Jan 19, 2016

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Where are Brits flocking to this summer?...

Where are Brits flocking to this summer?

The new year might still be in its infancy, but for many Brits it’s already time to start thinking about the long-awaited summer holiday. And with the January holiday sales in full swing, there are plenty of deals up for grabs for super savvy travellers willing to search – those bargains won’t come and find you, you know. So, to help inspire you when planning your summer getaway, we’ve crunched the numbers to find out where Brits are looking to...

Jan 19, 2016

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The best UK events to perk up your weekends...

The best UK events to perk up your weekends

After a long week of work, Friday slowly rolls around again. “Finally”, you think, “two days of sweet freedom!” Five o’clock strikes and you make a dash for the nearest exit. But in your state of spreadsheet-induced euphoria, you’ve missed one minor detail: you haven’t actually made any plans for the weekend. So another marathon box-set session beckons or perhaps another Friday night at the pub has your name on it? No! Your TV can wait. The UK is...

Jan 19, 2016

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How to book your next holiday with confidence...

How to book your next holiday with confidence

With the influx of travel ads on the TV at the moment, and the freezing weather, many of us have already turned our attention to booking that all-important summer holiday or maybe even a series of breaks for 2016. Will it be the Med or somewhere far-flung? A beach break or a city trip? A cruise or a self-drive adventure? Whatever you choose, make sure you book your holiday safely and securely to avoid any travel-related disasters later...

Jan 18, 2016

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Bored of Barcelona? Try these alternative city breaks in 2016...

Bored of Barcelona? Try these alternative city breaks in 2016

Look beyond classic city breaks this year, writes Anita Isalska. When you swap a well-known city for somewhere a bit different, you’ll dodge crowds, tap into a new culture and your wallet will purr in contentment. So prise yourself away from Barcelona, Paris and New York – our alternative city breaks are so crammed with culture, gastronomy and nightlife that you won’t look back. Bored of Barcelona? Gorge yourself on Girona’s culture and cuisine For travellers, Barcelona is...

Jan 13, 2016

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Is it safe to go to Turkey?

Is it safe to go to Turkey?

If you’ve read reports about the recent bomb attacks in Turkey, you may be feeling apprehensive about the safety of the country, especially if you are preparing for a holiday there. But, despite the recent terrible explosion in Istanbul on January 12, two explosions in Ankara on October 10, 2015 and trouble in the wider geographical region, the majority of Turkey remains a safe place for holidaymakers. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has not changed its stance on Turkey...

Jan 7, 2016

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Happy birthday, Elvis! 8 music-inspired trips to get you all shook up...

Happy birthday, Elvis! 8 music-inspired trips to get you all shook up

Some legends achieve a fame so great that they never really die: Elvis is one of them. And this year, on January 8, the King of Rock and Roll turned the tender age of 81. In true Elvis style, a big party is taking place at Graceland this weekend to celebrate, complete with birthday cake and tours of the Graceland mansion. While a trip to Graceland has to be one of the greatest musical pilgrimages in the world, he’s not the...

Jan 7, 2016

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Revealed! How to get the best deals this January...

Revealed! How to get the best deals this January

The annual push by the travel industry for 2016 holidays is here. You can’t escape the sheer volume of advertising that’s hit our TVs, newspapers, billboards and even our online browsing in the last week or so. From our very own cool German Nico with his budgie-smuggling trunks, through to the cutesy Thomson bear, there are lots of offers and brands after your attention. But how do you wade through the sea of bargains to actually find a...