You asked: Is it safe to travel to…?
The latest advice for the destinations on your mind.
Winter city breaks for under £99pp
With deals available for under £99 per person, including accommodation and flights, winter is a great time to explore a new city.
After the Brexit vote: Where is the pound strong?
It’s not all doom and gloom, with plenty of places still offering great value for holidaymakers.
You asked: Is it safe to travel to…?...1
Winter city breaks for under £99pp...2
After the Brexit vote: Where is the pound strong?...3
Wild animal encounters can be incredible and fulfilling experiences for travellers, but the welfare of animals at tourist attractions has come under the spotlight in recent times. Over the last few years, major travel operators such as STA Travel, TripAdvisor and Tui have increasingly distanced themselves from unethical wildlife attractions, raising questions about what is ethical and what is not. To help you choose an ethical experience, we’ve put together some general advice to follow before you book, including some expert advice from World Animal Protection. Look, but don’t touch If you can touch an animal as part of an experience, alarm bells should immediately start to ring, warns Alyx Elliott, Head of Campaigns at World Animal Protection. Alyx says: “As a general rule of thumb, any experience that involves hugging, touching, or physical interaction with wildlife should be avoided. For a wild animal to become this tame and subdued, something unnatural has happened to it. “The sad thing is that often the people who visit these types of unethical animal attractions are those that genuinely love wildlife. Unfortunately, they don’t see what goes on behind the scenes and the cruel methods that go into ‘training’ wild animals like elephants, tigers and so on.” TripAdvisor recently launched a “no touching of wild animals” policy, where ticket sales promoting such experiences were removed from its website, in order to distance itself from unethical practices. The website is also in the process of creating a learning portal to help educate people in this area, but this is not likely to go live until 2017 at the earliest. Think about it logically Would a wild tiger sit patiently next to you while you pose for a profile picture? If you’re brave enough to try, let us know! What you need to consider is “what has happened to this animal to make it so docile and tame?” The reality is, you probably won’t like the answer. At attractions such as Thailand’s recently-closed Tiger Temple, for example, cubs were separated from their mothers at an early age in order to make them used to human contact. The same goes for riding elephants – although these huge animals look like they could easily carry humans, an elephant’s back isn’t actually that strong and certainly isn’t designed to haul around the ‘howdahs’ (seats) upon which elephant riders sit. What’s more, the practices that...Read More
Nobody likes to call time on an amazing holiday. However, there’s one last thing that often perks up even the gloomiest of home-bound travellers: the duty-free shop. But what exactly are you allowed to bring back with you, and does it vary depending on where you are travelling from? Here we explain your duty-free allowances. What is duty free? When you travel abroad, you are allowed to bring home a certain amount of certain goods without having to pay UK duty tax (customs charges), as long as they are for you or are a gift for someone else – you are not allowed to sell anything that you have bought duty free. Duty free literally means ‘goods that are exempt from payment of duty’. What can I bring back from within the EU? There is no tax to pay on goods you bring home from within the EU as long as you have paid duty on them in the country of purchase and you transport them yourself and they are for your own personal use or intended to be a gift for someone else. Although there are technically no limits on the amounts of alcohol and tobacco you can bring back from the EU, if you bring back more than the amounts outlined below, you are more likely to be asked questions at customs about your intentions. What can I bring back from outside the EU? There is no tax to pay on a certain amount of goods that you bring back from outside of the EU. Once again, they must be transported by you for your own personal use or as a gift, and you cannot combine allowances with other people to bring in more than your individual allowance. Alcohol You can bring in 16 litres of beer and 4 litres of wine (not sparkling). You can also bring in either: 1 litre of spirits and other liquors over 22% alcohol or 2 litres of fortified wine, sparkling wine and alcoholic drinks up to 22% alcohol You are allowed to split this last allowance – for example, you could bring back 1 litre of fortified wine and half a litre of spirits (both half of your allowance). Tobacco You can bring in 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g tobacco. You are allowed to split this allowance – for example, you could...Read More