Feb 6, 2017

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10 things you must do before you go on holiday

10 things you must do before you go on holiday

Many of us will remember the classic moment in the film ‘Home Alone’, when Kevin’s mother realises that, in all the hustle and bustle of going on holiday, she’s forgotten her eight-year-old son. While this may seem a little far-fetched, if you aren’t prepared, pre-holiday stress can make you forget even the most obvious and important items. So, to help you if you’re jetting off soon, we’ve put together this handy checklist to make sure you’ve got everything covered. Then all you need to worry about is whether to hit the beach or the sights when you arrive. 1. Dig out your passport and make sure it’s in date It might sound simple but there is nothing that dampens your pre-holiday excitement quite like the realisation that you can’t find your passport or that it’s out of date. Checking it a couple of months in advance is something few of us would think about doing, yet it’s imperative you do – otherwise your holiday could be over before it’s even started. Be aware that there are also some countries that require your passport to be valid for a particular period from your date of arrival. For example, the United Arab Emirates, Kenya and Turkey all require a minimum period of six months to be left on your passport from your date of entry. To check regulations for the country you are visiting, simply go to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office  website. If you have any questions about applying for a new passport, read our blog post. 2. Check you have the essential documents for your trip Whether this is entry visas or your driving licence, your boarding pass or hotel confirmation, get organised and put them all together in a plastic folder. It’s also helpful to take a list of useful numbers, for example emergency contact details if your mobile phone or debit or credit card is lost or stolen. Making a note of your passport number is also important in case you were suddenly to find yourself without it. 3. Make sure you know your luggage allowances – even if you have flown recently Over-packing and being stuck at the check-in desk with luggage that’s too heavy can really start your holiday off on the wrong foot. In this situation you’ll either have to try and disperse some of...

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Feb 3, 2017

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How to do Croatia on a budget

How to do Croatia on a budget

Croatia has soared in popularity among travellers over the past few years, with visitors flocking to wander the streets of its marble Old Towns, party on its picturesque islands and paddle in the aquamarine waters of the Dalmatian Coast. There’s plenty to do and see in this sunshine destination, writes Caroline Howley, and it’s easy for travellers from the UK to make the most of it on a budget. Where to stay on a budget The Old Town areas of Croatia are immensely popular with tourists and are therefore the most expensive places to eat, drink and stay. While these walled cities are a must for any traveller visiting Croatia, it’s worth exploring accommodation options outside their ancient boundaries. Take a bus ride from Dubrovnik’s Old Town and you’ll find much cheaper accommodation in a variety of stunning coastal locations such as Zaton, while the Babin Kuk district northwest of the centre and the area around the marina are good options if proximity to a mixture of restaurants and bars is high on your list of priorities. Wherever you choose to stay in Dubrovnik, it’s easy to access the centre via bus, and taxis are safe and cheap if you want to stay out late. In Split, Diocletian’s Palace forms about half of the Old Town – look at options outside this area to find cheaper deals. By opting to take a five-minute waterfront walk along the gorgeous Riva to your hotel rather than stay slap-bang in the middle, you can shave a lot of money off the cost of your accommodation. With Dubrovnik and Split towards the south of the country being two of the most popular destinations in Croatia, hotels generally become cheaper the further north you travel. If you’re working to a tight budget, it’s worth spending some time in Zadar’s Old Town, which also offers a more authentic Croatian experience than the polished – albeit beautiful – cities of the  south. Island-hopping is a favourite activity among visitors to Croatia, and this is where it’s sometimes worth splashing out a little more on accommodation. It’s much harder to get around by public transport on the islands, so staying somewhere central is important to ensure you make the most of your time on Hvar, Brač, or whichever other beautiful island you’re on. Where to eat on a budget Menus...

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Feb 2, 2017

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10 things to do on a city break in Krakow...

10 things to do on a city break in Krakow

A city of culture and cool that often surprises visitors, Krakow is perfect for a cheap city break from the UK. Here are 10 of the best things to do in Poland’s second city. Stride around the largest central square in Europe Smack in the centre of the Old City, Kawkow’s Rynek Glowny (Central Market Square) is impossible to miss. This vast square is a marvellous site in itself, but it also contains a trio of beautiful buildings, each...

Jan 30, 2017

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Trump’s US travel ban: What is it and who is affected?...

Trump’s US travel ban: What is it and who is affected?

Update: On February 3, 2017, a Washington state district court judge suspended the ban nationwide with a temporary restraining order. Travel to the US from affected countries resumes, until further notice President Donald Trump declared on Friday January 27, 2017, that he had signed an executive order to bar certain people from entering the United States. Trump claims the “extreme vetting” order will “keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the US”. What does the executive order say? The main points...

Jan 27, 2017

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10 things to do on a city break in Aarhus...

10 things to do on a city break in Aarhus

The coastal Danish city of Aarhus is European Capital of Culture in 2017, so it’s a really hot destination right now, writes Tamara Hinson. Here are ten things every visitor should see and do. Chow down with locals at Aarhus Street Food It’s easy to miss Aarhus Street Food, housed inside a nondescript warehouse a few metres from the train station. But step inside and you’ll find dozens of stalls serving a wide range of delicious cuisine, from...

Jan 24, 2017

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How do prepaid currency cards work?

How do prepaid currency cards work?

Feeling a bit flummoxed by prepaid currency cards and how they can be useful? Here we’ve set out to explain in simple terms exactly what they are, how to use them, and how to decide whether they’re the best option for you. What is a prepaid currency card? Put simply, it’s a card you load up with a particular currency to use later in another country. Are there different types? Yes. Some cards are used solely for one currency, most...

Jan 21, 2017

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The best holiday destinations in 2017...

The best holiday destinations in 2017

With another exciting year in travel ahead, we’ve picked out 15 destinations that we think will be popular in 2017 – only time will tell if our predictions are correct! Whether you’re after the value of a package holiday, a new city to explore or a once-in-a-life time adventure, our list should have you covered.   Package holidaymakers Spain Spain has been smashing records for tourism recently and 2017 looks like it will be no exception. Close to home, safe and...

Jan 20, 2017

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10 things to do in Iceland

10 things to do in Iceland

Iceland is a place of extremes. Known as ‘the land of fire and ice’, it’s home to lava-filled volcanoes, mighty glaciers, sweeping scenery and more adventures than you can shake a stick at, writes Katie McGonagle. With plenty of cheap flights to Reykjavik it’s an easy weekend away, whether you’re thinking of a romantic escape or a quick trip with the kids. However, check out our top 10 list of things to do in Iceland and you might...

Jan 20, 2017

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Last-minute half-term holiday deals

Last-minute half-term holiday deals

Just because you’ve left it late, doesn’t mean you can’t still find a bargain break this February half-term. In fact, there are still some incredibly good deals out there! From familiar favourites like the Algarve and the Canary Islands to exciting adventures in Dubai and New York, we’ve found some amazing last-minute half-term holidays for this February. All prices were correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.   Algarve – £82pp From Birmingham on February...

Jan 18, 2017

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The best resorts for cheap ski holidays...

The best resorts for cheap ski holidays

Skiing can be an expensive business – even when the pound isn’t taking a pounding. Eastern Europe’s ski resorts are still among the cheapest, although you may have to sacrifice size for price, writes Mary Novakovich. However, if you’re a novice skier, having hundreds of kilometres of pistes at your disposal won’t necessarily be your first concern. What’s more important is saving money on accommodation, eating out, lift passes and ski hire. You should also add lessons if you’re...