Retail therapy! The world’s best shopping destinations
With the frenzy of Black Friday fast approaching, we've drawn up a list of destinations all shopaholics should have on their radar.
How to book a New Year break on a budget
Fancy celebrating the start of 2016 on foreign soil but not booked yet? We reveal how to plan a big knees up without spending a small fortune.
10 of the UK’s cosiest hotels
Forget about winter, snuggle up to someone special in one of these incredibley cosy UK hotels.
Retail therapy! The world’s best shopping destinations...1
How to book a New Year break on a budget...2
10 of the UK’s cosiest hotels...3
Nothing ruins fabulous travel memories more than a right royal holiday rip-off. And there are plenty of them. From sneaky debit card charges to scamming holiday companies, rip-offs can fiddle holidaymakers out of hundreds of pounds. However, the good news is that many of these money-wasters are avoidable if you know what to look out for. Here are some of the classic rip-offs – and how to protect yourself. Rip-off #1: The vanishing holiday company Before you’ve even left home, it’s essential you book your break through a reputable company. First, check your package holiday is ATOL-protected, so you’re covered in case the company collapses. Second, it’s worth finding out whether the company belongs to a respected industry body such as ABTA. A final common check these days is to search for online reviews of the firm concerned, to ensure you’re not booking with a dud no one has heard of. Rip-off #2: Plastic fantastic? Extra charges on your debit card Using your debit card abroad just as you would at home will almost certainly land you with extra charges. Almost all cards charge a loading fee – an extra percentage the card company levies on any purchase you make. That’s – usually – between an extra 2.75% and 2.99% every time you pass your card over a shop counter or use it to pay a restaurant bill. So a £50 purchase could end up costing you £51.50. That might not sound much but it adds up over a two-week break. And if you use your card to withdraw money from an ATM abroad, you’ll be charged a cash withdrawal fee in addition to the loading fee. That’s usually in the region of 2%, with a set fixed minimum amount that might be around £2. It doesn’t stop there. Some of the most punishing debit cards to use overseas, such as those from Halifax and TSB, impose yet an extra charge known as either a “purchase fee” or a “spending penalty” that will cost you between £1 and £1.50. Only if you hold a Gold account from Norwich & Peterborough, a Nationwide FlexPlus account or a current account from Metro Bank (only within Europe) will your debit card be either free or relatively cheap to use abroad (check the terms). But for anyone else, the right credit card is...Read More
If you’re planning your main 2016 holiday, the chances are you’ll be looking for the best value break for your money. And a common dilemma for holidaymakers looking for the most cost-effective holiday is which board type to go for. Some holidaymakers religiously travel on a self-catering basis in order to keep their costs to a minimum, while others are all-inclusive converts – but which will actually work out cheaper for you? Here we place the board types head-to-head to help you decide… Round one: The food and drink Whether you want to keep healthy snacks in the cupboard for the kids, or like to have a glass of wine or two with your evening meal, travelling on a self-catering basis will allow you to buy all of your items for less in local shops, markets or supermarkets – so you can enjoy guilt-free treats. Travelling on this basis is also a great choice if someone in your group has a special dietary requirement, or if you want to cook familiar meals. However, be honest with yourself before you book. Will you really use the kitchen in your apartment and stick to a budget when in the supermarket? If not, all-inclusive might work out as a better option for your wallet as it’s amazing how an ice cream here and a can of pop there can soon add up when you’re away for a week or two. All-inclusive holidays – where snacks and drinks are included – can be particularly appreciated by parents as children won’t be nagging for expensive snacks, and you can treat the whole family without worrying about the pennies. But, if you like to eat out in local restaurants while away and don’t tend to spend much time in your resort, think carefully about booking on an all-inclusive basis. If you think you’ll end up eating out more than a couple of times, all-inclusive probably isn’t for you as you’ll effectively end up paying for everything twice. Round two: Your cash Self-catering holidays tend to be cheaper to book in the first place and suit those who are good at sticking to a budget while they are away. They work out particularly well if you’re travelling in a large group as you can split the costs of everything from accommodation...Read More