Jun 30, 2016

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Avoid a visa rip-off!

Avoid a visa rip-off!

With long-haul travel  getting more affordable, exotic holidays to far-flung destinations are becoming easier for Brits. But visas are often required for long-haul destinations – popular favourites such as Australia, India and the USA are good examples. Unfortunately, there are some fraudulent sites out there, offering fake visa services that charge well over what’s necessary. We have found charges of up to £75 on top of the normal visa fees for doing nothing other than directing you to the correct website. To help prevent you from becoming a victim of these sites, here we round up the current process and costs for popular UK tourist visas for travellers with a full British Passport. India India’s decision to extend the online electronic visa service to UK visitors (the e-Tourist Visa) is great news for Brits planning a winter sun holiday to Goa. The process is completely online, meaning no trip to London to visit the Indian visa agency. Apply for a visa for all Indian tourist trips arriving at one of 16 airports including Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkatta, Chennai and Go. You can apply for a visa as late as four days ahead of your arrival and up to a maximum of 34 days ahead of your trip date. Fast facts Length of trip permitted under the e-Tourist visa: 30 days Passport validity needed: Six months from the date of arrival in India Cost: US$60 (around £39) The official site USA The Visa Waiver scheme for trips to the USA, including the holiday favourites of Florida, New York and Las Vegas, is known as the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) and has been in place for many years. However, many holidaymakers get caught out by spurious websites charging over the odds – and which may not even give you the correct documentation for arrival in the USA. Use the official site only. Fast facts Length of trip permitted under ESTA visas: 90 days. Once issued, the ESTA is valid for two years allowing you multiple trips into the USA without the need to buy a new visa. Passport validity needed: The duration of your intended stay Cost: US$14 (around £9) The official site Canada British citizens do no not currently need a visa to enter Canada, but as of September 29, you will need to apply...

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Jun 29, 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. Turkey has fallen victim to a number of high-profile attacks this year, the most recent coming last night when Istanbul’s Ataturk airport was targeted by a gun and bomb attack.  So far it has been confirmed that 41 people have lost their lives, while at least 239 are reported injured. Despite this horrendous atrocity, The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has not changed its stance on Turkey and the vast majority of the country remains safe in the eyes of the government; this advice includes popular coastal resorts where the majority of tourists holiday in Turkey. Visitors to the coastal resorts do not fly through Istanbul or Ankara airports unless they have booked their own flights with a connection in those cities. It’s vital to stress that the coastal resorts along the Med, where the vast majority of the 2.5 million Brits who visit the country each year travel to, are unaffected by this tragedy and many miles away from the cities. In Turkey’s popular coastal resorts, such as Bodrum, Antalya and Fethiye, it is business as usual with tourism continuing on as normal. If you are planning a holiday to Turkey, please check advice before travelling. More than 2.5 million British nationals visit Turkey every year and nearly all of these trips are completely trouble-free. Past issues and the impact on tourism Back in 2013, Turkey witnessed a number of high-profile demonstrations in relation to the current government’s policies and the actions of the country’s then Prime Minister, now President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. A plan to redevelop a park in central Istanbul adjacent to Taksim Square sparked the unrest. Istanbul, the capital Ankara and a number of other major towns and cities in the country were affected by the demonstrations, but tourism remained largely untroubled in the country as a whole. As demonstrations are not uncommon in Turkey, the FCO advises tourists to avoid large gatherings in any area of the country to ensure they don’t get caught up in any protests or crowd control issues. Is it safe to travel to Turkey? In Turkey’s popular coastal resorts, such as Bodrum, Antalya and Fethtiye, it’s business as usual with tourism continuing on as normal. There has been little impact...

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Jun 27, 2016

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The 9 worldwide music festivals you need to be at in 2016...

The 9 worldwide music festivals you need to be at in 2016

Glastonbury has been and gone for another year. If you were lucky enough to land a ticket to the muddiest Glastonbury in history, the post-festival blues have probably set in. If you missed out altogether, you might be itching to get your fix of festival fun. Well, don’t worry. The festival season is just getting started and there’s plenty of live music, art-inspired and cultural events going on all over the world. We round up some of the...

Jun 22, 2016

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The city attractions you MUST see this summer...

The city attractions you MUST see this summer

Fancy exploring a new city this summer but don’t know where to choose? Rome looks oh so tempting, but then again Barca has the beach. Well, if you’re on the fence about where to go on your next city adventure, we might be able to help you decide. Here are 10 amazing city attractions you can’t miss this summer. 1. The world’s longest tube slide in London Remember the ArcelorMittal Orbit? You know, that big, red metal tower that was...

Jun 21, 2016

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Expert opinion: Are hidden airline fees fair?...

Expert opinion: Are hidden airline fees fair?

From charges to change your name on a booking to a fee to print out boarding passes, extra flight charges make us see red. But a crackdown might change this. In mid-June it was announced that the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), who govern the UK airline industry on behalf of the UK Government, was launching an enquiry into whether the charges imposed by airlines for booking, changing details and administration fees are presented in an ‘open and clear...

Jun 21, 2016

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Revealed! How to do Salou with kids

Revealed! How to do Salou with kids

Salou on the Costa Dorada, 10km from Tarragona, is a brilliant destination to visit with kids, writes Catherine Cooper. The beaches are stunning, the average temperature in July is 25C and, by August, the average sea temperature is the same. Where to stay with kids There are plenty of family-friendly hotels in the town – many of which have entertainment laid on for both children and adults. One of the most popular is H10 Salauris Palace, close to...

Jun 20, 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 July 21, 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...

Jun 13, 2016

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How to avoid the Euros completely

How to avoid the Euros completely

Red or blue. 4-4-2 or 4-3-3. City or United. Beautiful Game or over-paid men kicking a ball around – when it comes to division in sport, football cuts the world in half. Everyone has an opinion on the game. Some can’t live without it, others can’t stand the thought of watching 22 men run around for 90 minutes. If you fall into the latter category, you’ll probably want to avoid the 2016 UEFA European Championship (the Euros) completely,...

Jun 13, 2016

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Airline rules you must stick to or you’re grounded...

Airline rules you must stick to or you’re grounded

Last month easyJet announced a new rule for its passengers travelling from London Gatwick – their biggest base in Europe: fail to clear the entry barrier to the security area 30 minutes prior to your departure and you will be bumped from the flight. There are many rules that will cost you either your flight or a serious amount of cash if you don’t follow them when you fly. We round up five of the ways you could...

Jun 13, 2016

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Spectacular places around the world to watch outdoor films...

Spectacular places around the world to watch outdoor films

This summer, the Tower of London’s moat will be transformed into an open-air cinema, with blockbusters being shown on an enormous screen. Films will only be shown on three days in August, but if you can’t snap up a ticket, don’t worry, writes Tamara Hinson – just head to one of these spectacular outdoor cinemas, instead: Sail-In Cinema, Toronto, Canada There’s one thing we love more than a floating cinema, and it’s a floating screen which is free...