May 17, 2016

Posted by | 3 Comments

Top 10 European cities to visit this summer

Top 10 European cities to visit this summer

If you’re the type of holidaymaker who prefers the faster pace of city life to endless days spent on the beach, or perhaps you have only a few days to get away this summer, a city break could be the ideal option. Whether you’re after culture galore, beautiful scenery or buzzing bars and restaurants, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to European city breaks – even if you’ve already visited the big-hitters of Paris, Rome and London. Here we suggest five city break options for a blast of sun and five if a more temperate environment suits you. Five sizzling city breaks Barcelona Barcelona is a lovely city to explore in the warm summer months. You can make the most of the sun by strolling around outdoor attractions such as Gaudi’s Park Guell (off Carrer d’Olot; 902 200 302), hiring a bike to zip along the seafront or sipping a drink in a pavement café. Should you want to cool off, however, there’s plenty of shade in the medieval streets of the Gothic Quarter. You can also shelter from the sun at the numerous indoor attractions such as the Sagrada Familia church (Carrer de Mallorca, 401), the Cathedral (Pla de la Seu; +34 933.428.262) and the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (Plaça dels Àngels, 1; closed Tuesdays). And don’t forget that Barcelona has a beach, too, so you can have a relaxing afternoon or morning lounging on the sands to complement your sightseeing. One drawback of visiting at this time of year, however, is that many locals leave the city during the summer months, meaning some restaurants and bars will be closed. Budapest Budapest is a great choice this summer if you’re looking for a value-for-money destination. It’s consistently features near the top of the Post Office’s City Costs Barometer, which looks at the cost of drinks, meals, sightseeing and accommodation, and we found that it was the cheapest city for a five-star city break, too. But don’t think that this means you’ll be short changed when it comes to sights and things to do. You can soak up some rays while exploring Heroes’ Square and ambling around City Park or venture to the picturesque Castle District to pop in and out of museums and admire the impressive Matthias Church (Szentháromság tér 2, 1014), before taking...

Read More
May 16, 2016

Posted by | 0 Comments

Airline food: The best things to eat at 30,000 feet...

Airline food: The best things to eat at 30,000 feet

Now you can get a head start on indulgent holiday vibes and start your break feeling tip-top by jumping on the latest traveller trend: packing your own delicious plane food, writes Emma Ledger. Venerable luxury-grub purveyor Fortnum & Mason is leading the way with the launch of ‘onboard dining’ hampers from their store at Heathrow Terminal 5. Holidaymakers can choose from five menus designed to taste good when travelling above the clouds. They include some of Fortnum’s most popular high-end products, including game terrine, Oscietra caviar and smoked salmon (the latter in their bestselling hamper, costing £15). In-flights of fancy But is it worth the outlay? Airlines have upped their inflight meal game in the past five years. They know that providing dishes that are hopefully a lot more than just edible will help to keep passengers returning. Science helps; food really does have a different flavour at altitude, so knowing which ingredients go down well in the air can avoid starting your holiday with a proverbial bad taste in the mouth. Charles Spence, professor of experimental psychology at Oxford University, says tastebuds and sense of smell are the first things to lose their edge at 30,000ft – lack of humidity, lower air pressure and background noise being among the reasons. Your sensitivity to sweet and salty foods can drop by 30% while flying, although sour, bitter and some spicy flavours are almost unaffected. According to Spence, seasonings such as cardamom, lemon grass and curry actually taste more intense in the sky. Secret spice Airlines will often give inflight food an extra kick of salt and spice to combat those aerial flavour challenges. United’s executive chef Gerry McLoughlin told an interviewer he uses vibrant flavours and spices to make inflight meals taste “more robust”. But he admits it’s a challenge to ensure they still taste great because “there are a lot of steps between the chef and the customer”. Travellers are thinking more about what they eat while flying, with a growing trend of taking back control of onboard food. The good news is that if your spending money doesn’t quite stretch to a Fortnum’s hamper there are excellent grab-and-go options for every budget in departure lounges. Nutritionist Ian Marber advises choosing inflight food that will help you feel your best. To beat bloating,...

Read More
May 16, 2016

Posted by | 10 Comments

Save more than £500 on half term holiday extras – and treat yourself to a free mini break...

Save more than £500 on half term holiday extras – and treat yourself to a free mini break

The countdown to summer is on and it won’t be long until the kids are enjoying time off school with the arrival of the Whitsun half term in a week or two. If you’re planning to use the week off to get away with the family, now is the time to organise all your holiday extras. Not only will this reduce any unnecessary stress in the run-up to your trip but it will also ensure you don’t end up paying over...

May 16, 2016

Posted by | 10 Comments

European Championships: THE last-minute travel guide for fans...

European Championships: THE last-minute travel guide for fans

We’ve barely had the chance to catch our breath after the most exciting Premier League competition in history and already the European Championships are almost upon us. More than one million visitors from overseas are expected to descend upon France during the tournament, with football fans from all over the continent heading over to cheer on their team. The football festivities kick off on June 10 when the hosts France take on Romania in the opening ceremony and the atmosphere...

May 9, 2016

Posted by | 1 Comment

Your essential checklist when hiring a car...

Your essential checklist when hiring a car

Renting cars abroad has been popular with Brits for generations and having the freedom to explore the open road can really turn a holiday into an adventure. But renting a hire car can be a bit of a headache if you don’t plan properly. Time and time again, we hear from holidaymakers who’ve been caught out and ended up footing the bill for something they could have avoided. So, to prevent this being you, we spoke to a number of experts in...

May 9, 2016

Posted by | 0 Comments

The most iconic music locations in Europe...

The most iconic music locations in Europe

The final of the Eurovision Song Contest takes place on May 14, and 42 years after Swedish band Abba won the competition with Waterloo in Brighton, the contest will be held in Stockholm. So, we decided to pay our own little tribute to Europe’s music scene with a round-up of the most iconic music locations, writes Tamara Hinson. Abba: The Museum, Stockholm, Sweden Must-see exhibits at this musical museum include the helicopter which Abba posed in for the...

May 9, 2016

Posted by | 17 Comments

Bag a bargain! Last-minute sunshine escapes for less than £300pp...

Bag a bargain! Last-minute sunshine escapes for less than £300pp

Not booked your big summer getaway yet? Don’t panic! There are plenty of early sunshine breaks up for grabs at bargain prices. To help with some holiday inspiration, we’ve done the hard work for you and trawled TravelSupermarket to find some of the most tempting deals available. So, escape before the masses and book a last-minute sun escape today. A classic Greek island retreat: Corfu How much? £170pp from London Luton for seven nights Olive groves, rugged mountains and long...

May 9, 2016

Posted by | 0 Comments

Revealed! How to do Amsterdam with kids...

Revealed! How to do Amsterdam with kids

With its red light district and dope ‘coffeeshops’, Amsterdam might not be the first place that springs to mind for a break with the kids, but this small-scale, manageable city of boats and bicycles, fun museums and outdoor diversions, has much to keep a family blithe and busy. Amsterdammers’ penchant for quirkiness and sense of play adds spice to the mix, writes Rodney Bolt. Where to stay with kids Kids love the off-the-wall atmosphere at Ecomama, with its indoor...

May 3, 2016

Posted by | 6 Comments

In pictures: 8 places that look like they’re from another planet...

In pictures: 8 places that look like they’re from another planet

Ever dreamed of leaving this world behind and venturing into the great unknown of outer space? Well, it turns out there are some very enticing Earth-bound alternatives until those shuttle services are up and running. These eight extraordinary landscapes right here on this planet have more than a hint of the intergalactic about them, writes Sally Coffey. 1. Lapland, Finland To fully appreciate this mind-boggling collection of snow sculptures you must visit in the depths of Finnish winter...

May 3, 2016

Posted by | 1 Comment

How to get the best holiday money deals...

How to get the best holiday money deals

Whether you’re heading off for a short city break or on your main summer holiday, you’re going to need some spending money. And, as we all like to think we’re great at getting a holiday deal, it’s surprising that so many of us fail to do the same when it comes to our holiday cash, often falling back on the easiest option on offer. But, read on to find out how easy it can be to save big...