Jul 26, 2016

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How to do Orlando on a budget

How to do Orlando on a budget

A trip to Orlando can quickly become very expensive, with theme park access, accommodation, dining and getting around to think about on top of flights that will already have taken a big chunk out of your holiday savings, writes Tamara Hinson. With that in mind, we’ve put together some top money-saving tips for holidaymakers checking out the world’s theme park capital. Where to stay on a budget If you’re planning to hit the theme parks, consider a hotel which offers ticket packages and priority park access. For example, if you choose one of Universal Orlando’s hotels, you’ll get free transportation to their theme parks and CityWalk entertainment complex, along with early admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Additionally, some of the most family-friendly options are also the most wallet-friendly. At the fabulously retro Cabana Bay Beach Resort (from £99 per room) the family suites have kitchenettes. Resort amenities include a well-stocked shop – you can save by preparing meals in the comfort of your own room. However, getting around Orlando is easy, and hotels away from the International Drive area are often significantly cheaper. They’re less likely to offer extras like complimentary shuttle services, but if you’re hiring a car, it’s an extra you might not need. For example, a double room at the Extended Stay America hotel on Major Blvd, just a few kilometres from the main theme parks, starts from only £51 per night on a bed and breakfast basis. Compare cheap hotels in Orlando Where to eat on a budget If you’re heading to the theme parks, why not take a picnic? You can bring your own food and drink – apart from alcohol or anything which requires heating – and food served on-site is usually extortionately priced. If you would prefer to eat in the parks’ restaurants, investigate the dining schemes on offer. Guests at Disney Resort Hotels can purchase ‘Disney Dining Plans‘ which include packages to suit all budgets, while Universal Orlando offers a very similar scheme. Families should also sign up for Orlando’s ‘Kids Eat Free‘ card, which allows younger visitors to eat for free at hundreds of restaurants. Don’t just focus on the restaurants closest to your hotel, either. You can make serious savings by heading to areas such as family-friendly downtown Orlando or the beautiful Winter Park neighbourhood. The latter is known for its gastro-pubs,...

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Jul 26, 2016

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Travel apps to simplify your trip this summer

Travel apps to simplify your trip this summer

Gone are the days of hauling around gigantic maps and dog-eared guide books; we now have everything we need at the touch of a button on our smartphones. Some say our increasing digital reliance has taken the adventure out of travel (although of course those people are welcome to head off without any assistance!) but many others love how technology has made planning and taking a holiday so much simpler. To help you improve your trip, we’ve put together a selection of essential apps – some fairly established, others less so – that you might find worthy of a download before you head away this summer. For finding that perfect holiday TravelSuper App Hot off the press, our brand-spanking-new app is designed to take the stress out of booking a holiday by providing you with the best deals at the best possible price. You can compare holiday, hotel, flight and car hire deals through the app, as well as save and share potential trips with the clever My Suitcase feature. Platform: iOS Cost: Free For finding your way Citymapper Navigating the streets of a new city is never easy, but nothing screams “TOURIST!” like a massive, unfolded paper map. Citymapper not only takes away the stress of inner-city travel, it helps you blend in at the same time. By breaking down your route, suggesting the best method of travel and showing nearby landmarks to help you get your bearings, the app gets you from A to B with ridiculous ease. Although the app is limited to just over 30 cities at the moment, the big hitters such as London, Paris, Barcelona, New York and Amsterdam are all catered for and ready for you to explore. Platform: iOS and Android Cost: Free Maplets Maplets offers 10,000 downloadable maps, including park guides, metro maps, bus systems, hiking trails, ski resorts, universities and theme parks. The more in-depth content is fairly US-heavy, but there are maps included for cities and areas all over the world, from Sydney hiking trails and the Santiago metro map to London park guides and Luxembourg bus routes. Platform: iOS and Android Cost: £2.28 on iOS, £1.64 on Android Google Maps Where Citymapper dares not venture, Google Maps simply laughs and strides confidently into the unknown. This app is extremely handy for more rural areas and has accurate maps for a staggering 220 countries and territories around the world,...

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Jul 26, 2016

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Surfing in the UK – expert advice for beginners...

Surfing in the UK – expert advice for beginners

Despite our island’s long coastline, surfing probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Great Britain. However, environmental charity Surfers Against Sewage estimates there are 500,000 regular surfers in the country – and after a wave of recent interest, thousands more are eager to get into the water to catch their first break. So, with staycations at an all-time high this year and the weather finally starting to heat up, it seems to be a great time to...

Jul 26, 2016

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Bag a bargain! UK getaways in August from £10 per night...

Bag a bargain! UK getaways in August from £10 per night

The Telegraph recently published a bucket list of 20 things to do before you die in the UK, featuring some of the most fantastic places to visit in our own country. We decided to search out some super bargains to help you tick off these amazing attractions this summer, starting from just £10 per person, per night. Live it up in London with stays from less than £50 per person, per night Staying for a couple of nights in the capital can be expensive, but book with Travelodge in Covent Garden and you’ll be...

Jul 21, 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 events this year, the most recent being an attempted coup on July 15-16. This situation is now calming, however, and flights to and from the country are returning to normal. Following the failed coup, President Erdogan has announced a three-month...

Jul 21, 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 September 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 2016....

Jul 19, 2016

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5 reasons you need travel insurance

5 reasons you need travel insurance

Two fifths of Brits have admitted to going on holiday without a travel insurance policy in place, according to our research. By doing so they are leaving themselves open to a range of risks that could be mitigated simply by spending a few pounds on a travel insurance policy. Here are five reasons you should never go on holiday without travel cover. 1. You’ll avoid hefty medical bills Here in the UK we are fortunate enough to generally only...

Jul 18, 2016

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9 unusual things you can do in the UK...

9 unusual things you can do in the UK

Staycation figures are at an all-time high in 2016, according to VisitBritain. If you’re one of the thousands of people holidaying in the UK this year but you’ve visited many of the better-known attractions, you might find yourself wondering where next to add to your Britain bucket list. Luckily for you, our diverse little island contains a treasure-trove of exciting activities – we’ve picked out some of the more interesting and unusual activities you might not have realised you could do in the UK. Get lost in...

Jul 18, 2016

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Lowcost Travel Group collapse – what are your rights?...

Lowcost Travel Group collapse – what are your rights?

On July 15, 2016, Lowcost Travel Group (LCTG) announced its collapse due to the “recent and ongoing turbulent financial environment”. The news has thrown thousands of holidaymakers’ summer plans into jeopardy, with administrators estimating that approximately 110,000 have a future booking with the provider. A further 27,000 customers were on holiday with LCTG as of Friday. If you’ve been affected by the collapse, here we explain your rights and the next steps you should take. Who is the Lowcost...

Jul 18, 2016

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Welcome to the club! Experts reveal what’s hot in Ibiza this summer...

Welcome to the club! Experts reveal what’s hot in Ibiza this summer

When it comes to the White Isle, everyone has an opinion on what to do, where to eat and the places to be for sunset and sunrise – and of course the best clubs to check out in-between. It’s always a good idea to speak to the experts though, so Hayley Leaver asked some of the DJs, seasoned clubbers and locals that have their fingers on Ibiza’s sweaty, racing pulse this season to reveal their top tips for those visiting the island...