Tired of Thailand? Try these 9 alternative long-haul destinations instead
Are you daydreaming of new horizons? Stick a pin in a map, grab your passport and don’t look back - check out these awesome alternative long-haul destinations.
Winter warmers! Where’s hot right NOW?
If you're yearning to escape for a winter pick-me-up and a dose of vitamin D, read our guide to where the sun is shining and cocktails are flowing.
9 of the world’s most romantic hotel suites
Forget about forgettable flowers and cliched cards, pull out all the stops this Valentine's Day and surprise your other half with one of these super romantic hotel suites.
Tired of Thailand? Try these 9 alternative long-haul destinations instead...1
Winter warmers! Where’s hot right NOW?...2
9 of the world’s most romantic hotel suites...3
We scrimp and save all year for a big holiday, so that last thing we want is to get fleeced on avoidable costs when we get there. And, even though you’re set for a couple of night’s relaxation, don’t let your holiday good mood cloud your judgement. To help you stay ahead of the game, familiarise yourself with some common hotel rip-offs. Rip-off #1: Mini-bar madness We all love a bit of a splurge on holiday, but there are some areas where the purse strings should remain tightly drawn – mini bars are one of them. Notoriously overpriced, that tempting little fridge in your hotel room is a big bill waiting to happen. Last year, it was reported that a box of chocolates from the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel in California would set you back a wince-inducing £57. OK, so not all mini bars will be this ridiculous, but you get the point. And the best way to avoid this expense-laden ploy? Simple – leave it shut and buy a bottle of water from the local shop. Rip-off #2: Over-the-top wi-fi fees Wi-fi is a strange one. It seems to divide the hotel world. Some offer it for free; some charge extortionate rates for it. It really just depends on where you are staying. Hilton, for example, offers it for free to loyalty club members when they book a stay directly with them, but if you aren’t a member you could be looking at a costly fee. So, if internet access is an essential for you, check the hotel’s policy before you book. Alternatively, you could go without the internet. You’ll survive, we promise. If this is out of the question, check if it’s free in the hotel’s public areas or a cafe or bar nearby. You can then get all of your browsing, Tweeting and email checking out of the way for the price of a drink. Rip-off #3: The hotel laundry service If you’re going away for so long that you need to wash your clothes, the hotel laundry service can be tempting. It can also be a complete rip-off. Our very own travel expert, Bob Atkinson, once paid £5 to wash his smalls in Argentina, and he rues the decision to this day. Hotels can charge anywhere from around 10 euros upwards for a load of laundry, whereas you’re always likely to find a cheaper deal...Read More
Drop the sunblock and back away from that beach towel, writes Anita Isalska. It’s time to seek horizons beyond Benidorm, Majorca and the rest of the beach-lover’s A-list, and we’re brimming with ideas for alternative holidays. Golden sands and periwinkle-blue skies are guaranteed, but you’ll find them on unsung Mediterranean isles, the Black Sea coast and even Albania. Bidding goodbye to Benidorm? Make Croatia’s Riviera your next stop With family-friendly beaches, theme parks and spas, as well as nightlife that captivates the 18-30 set, Benidorm is a tough addiction to break. But you’ll discover similar splendour along the Croatian Riviera. Start with Split, a charming seaside town with some of the Adriatic’s cleanest beaches. Keep the kids entertained with a ferry ride to Hvar island, bike rides on Marjan Hill or segway tours of the old town. Once you’ve stowed the young ones at a hotel kids’ club (try family-friendly Le Meridien Lav Split), you can wander through cavernous Diocletian’s Palace or guzzle cocktails on Split’s charming lanes. Book Croatia holidays Unmoved by Majorca? Sardinia’s shores are waiting Despite excellent beaches on every coast, the island of Sardinia doesn’t draw anything close to the same volume of visitors as Majorca. Find Sardinia’s best sunbathing spots along the northern Costa Smeralda, also home to its most glamorous resorts. Western Alghero is also excellent for kicking back on a beach, but the most peaceful pace can be found amid the baroque beauty of towns such as Oristano. And you won’t long for the Moorish forts of Majorca: Sardinia’s crumbling nuraghe (towers), which date right back to the Iron Age, add mystery to the island’s stunning coast. Compare Sardinia holidays Seduced by the Costa del Sol? Bask on the Black Sea Coast instead There’s more than one sunshine coast in Europe, and the Costa del Sol might have met its match in eastern Bulgaria. Blue Flag-awarded Sunny Beach is just one of numerous seaside dazzlers on the Black Sea coast. At the southern end of Burgas Bay you’ll find Sozopol, one of the region’s oldest towns; it’s popular with kitesurfers and paddleboarders, and backed by a charming old town. Further south find Ahtopol: this nostalgic beach town is beloved of budget travellers – but compared to Spain, most resorts along the Black Sea riviera will leave your...Read More