Aug 11, 2015

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How to do Cyprus on a budget

How to do Cyprus on a budget

The sunny European island of Cyprus has a well-earned reputation for hot summers and winter warmth. Temperatures can top 35C in July and August and rarely go below 15C, even in January and December – at sea level at least. But it’s a different story in the Troodos Mountains. Rising to almost 2,000 metres above sea level, their highest slopes are snowy from January to March. You’ll even find cheap skiing on the slopes of Mount Olympus, Cyprus’ highest summit. Cyprus is Brit-friendly, too. English is spoken everywhere, and they even drive on the left. The island has plenty of hotels that offer luxury at a price, with frills like fluffy robes and designer toiletries in your room, but do your homework and you’ll find lots of places to stay, eat and play in Cyprus that won’t bust your budget, writes Robin Gauldie. Where to stay on a budget You can save money by staying in a self-catering apartment even if you don’t intend to do much cooking. Having your own fridge means you can stock up on soft drinks, beer and wine from the nearest market instead of paying hotel prices – and because there are so many expat Brits living in Cyprus, you’ll easily find familiar food and drink brands in local supermarkets. A double room with kitchenette at the Sea N Lake View Apartments in Larnaca starts at around £32 a night. All over Cyprus, you’ll pay a premium for a hotel right on the beach. For budget deals, look for places with pools on the outskirts of Paphos, where you can pick up a double room at properties with pools and leisure facilities for as little as £20 – £30 a night. The Capital Coast Resort and Spa and the Aloe Hotel are good options. Book Cyprus hotels What to eat on a budget Eat like a local. Meaty snacks such as souvlaki and sheftalia, served up in pitta bread with onions, tomato and salad, hit the spot. Don’t be talked into ordering the full meze platter in restaurants – instead, do what Cypriots do: order dish by dish. And, tempting as it is, seafood such as red mullet and lobster comes with a hefty price tag. Opt for squid and whitebait instead – you’ll pay around €10 for a generous plateful. Even cheaper are...

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Aug 10, 2015

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How to make a successful travel insurance claim

How to make a successful travel insurance claim

With the summer holiday season in full swing, no-one wants to dampen high spirits by thinking about something going wrong. That’s why we buy travel insurance: to protect us and give us a sense of security in our holiday plans. But, even if you try to cover all eventualities, a claim could still be rejected with common reasons including not actually being covered for the item you are claiming for, taking part in activities that aren’t included in the policy and insufficient evidence for your claim such as missing receipts. So, to help keep things simple and to take the pain out of travel insurance claims, follow our checklist. Step one: Buy the right policy The key to making a successful claim is to buy the right policy in the first place. It can be tempting to buy the cheapest policy you can find without any real reference to either the depth or breadth of cover on offer. But the problem with this approach is that, should the worst happen, you may find you don’t have the cover you expected and therefore can’t make a claim for items from cancellation to curtailment, personal baggage, travel delay, and even the cost of replacing lost passports. Individual needs vary and there are a range of products on the market. However, when comparing travel insurance products we recommend that you look for cover of at least: £2 million for medical expenses £1 million for personal liability £3,000 for cancellation – or enough to cover the total cost of your holiday £1,500 for baggage £250 for cash A policy excesses of less than £100 (as low as possible) Cover for scheduled airline failure and end supplier failure as desirable Delay cover (eg £20 per hour for the first 12 hours) A 24-hour helpline number. Top tip Policies covering the above won’t be the cheapest – but they will give you a good level of cover as a starting point and could pay dividends should you have to make a claim. Step two: Read the policy small print Now you have found a policy that works for you, it’s important to read the small print. This will detail the responsibilities you have a as a traveller to ensure you do not void your travel insurance or any claim you want to...

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Aug 10, 2015

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From Blackpool to hidden Huisinis: Britain’s best beaches...

From Blackpool to hidden Huisinis: Britain’s best beaches

Not managed to get away yet this summer? The good news is you don’t have to board a plane to dig your toes into golden sand or paddle in the sea. From cheery hotels to holiday parks, Britain has a great range of coastal accommodation. Or you could visit our sandy gems on a day trip if you live within striking distance by rail or car. Our round-up of the best British beaches includes the cream of the...

Aug 4, 2015

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Romance on the road: Britain’s most beautiful road trips...

Romance on the road: Britain’s most beautiful road trips

All out of ideas for your next romantic break? Keep it simple and hit the road. You see, the UK is jam-packed with epic scenery that just oozes passion and romance, so why not explore it with the one you love? Jump in the car, stick on your song and discover a beautiful part of Britain you never knew existed. Here are a few ideas to get you going. Like a young Marlon Brando: Cheddar Gorge Length: 15...

Aug 4, 2015

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Revealed! How to travel in style in economy class...

Revealed! How to travel in style in economy class

Many of us hanker to get on a plane and turn left into business class, but until we win the National Lottery jackpot, economy class is where we end up. But don’t despair! While long-haul flights in economy class are no one’s idea of fun, with a few hacks you can turn them into more pleasurable experiences. No, you might not lie flat, but here we give you the inside track on how you can have a meal...

Aug 4, 2015

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The best destination in the UK for a football break is…...

The best destination in the UK for a football break is…

After what feels like an age without football, the beautiful game will soon be back in our lives – so listen closely for a collective sigh of relief from all over the UK. Yes, this week, the Premier League finally returns and our weekends will once again have a sense of purpose; sweet, over-paid, heart-breaking purpose. So, in preparation for the season ahead, and in celebration of Bournemouth’s promotion, we’ve taken four Premier League teams and entered them into...

Aug 3, 2015

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Want to learn how to make an animal out of a towel?...

Want to learn how to make an animal out of a towel?

You’ve probably seen them propped up on quilt covers, hiding in bathrooms or perched lazily on couches. Monkeys, turtles, elephants or, more than likely, swans made from twisted, bent, stretched and distorted cotton… We’re talking about towel art, of course. And what’s the first thing you do when you see it? Take a picture! According to TravelSupermarket, 13% of Brits consider taking a snap of towel creations as a classic part of a summer holiday abroad. So, in honour of the nation’s love of cotton creatures, we...

Jul 30, 2015

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Edinburgh Festival survival guide: 10 ultimate insider tips...

Edinburgh Festival survival guide: 10 ultimate insider tips

There’s only one place in the world to be in August, and that’s Edinburgh. Home to the world’s largest arts festival, the city’s population doubles as people flock to experience comedy, theatre, dance and almost every other type of performance imaginable, writes Owen O’Leary. The Edinburgh Festival actually comprises six events taking place in the city this month. The daddy of these is the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (Aug 7-31), an anarchic, sprawling celebration of the arts that takes...

Jul 28, 2015

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9 of the world’s best places to visit before the masses...

9 of the world’s best places to visit before the masses

True Arabian Nights adventures, alpine valleys lost in time and the epicentre of Balkan boogie. Read our guide to the elite of off-the-beaten-track escapes – and then get there before word gets out. 1. Best for travelling back in time: Albania Why go now? The secret’s out and hotels are going up in some of the prettiest spots. It may be more than 30 years since the Albanians got rid of their dictator Enver Hoxha but they still haven’t...

Jul 28, 2015

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How to do the Algarve on a budget

How to do the Algarve on a budget

With its idyllic beaches, dramatic coastline and endless leisure opportunities, it’s no surprise that the Algarve has become one of the most popular holiday hot spots in Europe. Since it first came to prominence in the 1960s, Portugal’s most southern region has gone from strength to strength by offering something different for all kinds of holidaymaker; and while it may be famous for stunning golf courses, there’s much more to this place than 18 holes in the sun....