Category Archives: Travel Advice

Pre-Paid Currency Cards Vs. Credit Cards and Hard Cash

Holiday money! Taking what feels like your life savings abroad is likely to make even the most ardent traveller anxious – so what are your options? We discuss the pros and cons of taking cold hard cash, plastic, prepaid cards and using overseas ATMs to give you a better idea!

Image by martaposemuckel CC0

1. Taking all your holiday money in cash

So, you get a good exchange rate at your local bank and cash in on it by getting all your holiday money exchanged in one go.

The pros to this approach include: getting a good deal, and of course enabling you to budget better. Plus you’ll be sure that you have plenty of currency if you suddenly need to tip someone.

Cons: you might lose it all, it might get stolen. You might run out of money. You will probably need to check there is a safe in your room, and that you trust it. Or you can spend your holiday anxiously hoping that nobody finds your entire spending budget stuffed in your shoe at the back of the wardrobe.

2. Using your credit or debit card

Every shop, restaurant and bar in the world has a card machine right? So why do you need to take oodles of cash on holiday?

The pros to using plastic are: it is easy, it is convenient, and you can choose to pay in the local currency (you are far more likely to get a better rate). It’s easier to hide a card in your swimming trunks than a roll of cash.

The cons: card fraud could leave you penniless, cash is always useful, and spending borrowed money makes it difficult to keep to a budget. Plus your bank might charge for each transaction.

3. Using an ATM to get daily cash

A great compromise is to use your plastic to get just the amount of cash you need to last you the day.

Pros: no worrying about carrying (or hiding) large amounts of cash. You still have your card if you want to put your bar bill on your plastic.

Cons: you could get stung by nasty ATM fees, and you are at the mercy of fluctuations in exchange rates. You do also still have a card on you that could be compromised, and leave you with an empty bank account. Or you could go over your budget and get home to a rather sorry bank balance!

4. Taking a pre-paid currency card

Putting your holiday budget on a pre-paid card appears to iron out a lot of the cons of using cash or other forms of plastic.

Pros: no bundles of cash to worry about, no ATM charges to worry about, not affected by changes in exchange rates, easy to use, no chance of going over budget or losing your actual life savings.

Cons: you may have to pay a start-up fee for the card/account, if you lose your card or it is stolen it’s just the same as losing a big bundle of cash. Or is it?….

The Escape Travel Card has a unique cloud account that offers increased security by allowing funds to be transferred from the card back to the account at any time, keeping spends safe if something should happen to the card…

“The majority of prepaid currency cards see funds held on them directly, meaning that if the card is lost or stolen the funds are taken with the card. But Escape’s unique cloud account offers increased security by allowing funds to be transferred from the card back to the account at any time, keeping spends safe if something should happen to the card. A 24/7 helpline for immediate support and can arrange for funds to be sent to a Moneygram outlet near you, meaning you will never be stranded without access to your money. In addition, users can also take advantage of a free SMS service, which can be used to temporarily lock and unlock the card, providing peace of mind if you’re going for a swim and leaving your card in your bag or hotel room, for example.” Rob Darby, Escape Travel Card

Whether you are taking plastic, pre-paid or cash, here are a few tips from Rob that you may find worth remembering:

  • Tourists are better off paying in local currency to avoid paying these steeper exchange rates, as this kind of expense can add up during the course of a trip.
  • Holiday-goers can draw attention to themselves by rifling through unfamiliar bank notes when making a payment. Tourists should always be aware of their surroundings when on holiday, a prepaid currency card means this kind of attention can be avoided altogether.

Don’t forget your travel insurance! If you lose your wallet, passport, or visas you will need travel insurance to ensure that you can get home safe!

How To Find A Reputable Yoga Retreat – Tips For Newbie Yogis and Yoginis

Whether you are yearning to lie in Savasana in tropical surroundings, or sit in Sukhasana on a faraway sandy beach, you probably have one question that is stopping you from investing in that (probably pricy) yoga retreat… “How do I know it is a decent one?” We share some top tips and questions you should ask to put your mind at ease before laying down your deposit…

The only way you’ll know if it’s a decent retreat is to do some investigating. 

  • Have they ever run a retreat before?
  • Are they organising it all themselves or do they have a host?
  • How long have the people running it been running retreats?
  • How long has the teacher been teaching?

There should be reviews for you to read from previous retreats run by the host and teacher. Although there has to be a first time for every yoga teacher or retreat organiser, it is unlikely you’ll find that dream retreat if both yoga teacher and retreat host are new to the scene.

You should always find out a thing or two about the yoga teacher – unfortunately the rise in yoga’s popularity has not been governed very well, and it’s not unusual to hear of people starting their yoga teacher training with less than 6 months yoga experience themselves, and once qualified taking themselves and students off on a cheap yoga holiday.

So, how do you know if the teachers are properly qualified?

  • The teacher should have at least 2 years self practice before going onto a yoga teacher training, checking out their Facebook and Instagram history is one way to see if they have been following the yoga path for a while.
  • Find out who they studied with, and whether it was a properly recognised 200 hour Teacher Training course, governed by The British Wheel of Yoga, Yoga Alliance, or equivalent.

Yoga Teacher Faye Riches says “Don’t be afraid to ask about their experience – you are about to part with a lot of money hoping for a trip of a lifetime, not one that is a disappointment!  You may want to know whether their Teacher Training was contact hours with a teacher, or a course online, and whether they are continuing their education. A teacher who has all the relevant experience and qualifications needed to be able to take a group of students away will not mind sharing their history, and who they have done training with. Faye has over 10 years experience as a teacher and pairs up with retreat specialist Reclaim Your Self who has over 12 years experience, a combination that has kudos – this year they have been listed in The Times top 20, and Guardian top 25 retreats in the world.

Make your first retreat a local one with your current teacher

To get a better idea of what to expect from a retreat, and therefore what to ask about someone advertising an overseas yoga retreat, go on a local one run by, or at the very least recommended by your current yoga teacher. If you already know the teacher, you already know that you enjoy their style of teaching, the price is a lot more palatable, and the duration is generally shorter – removing any anxiety you may be holding about whether a week-long yoga holiday is the right option for you.

 

We have comprehensive cover at competitive rates for one-off trips, and annual policies so you can enjoy your retreat without worrying about your travel insurance!

The Great Big Guide To Going On Holiday With The Kids

Wondering where to go, how to get there, what you might need to take and what on earth you can do to keep the little tykes occupied on the journey? Don’t fear – we have all the answers you need to prep yourself for travelling by plane, train, ferry, or car in this great big guide – complete with tips from experts along the way!

  1. How To Get A Good Deal and Save Money (especially when travelling in school holidays!)
  2. Family friendly accommodation – what to look for
  3. The Logistics of Travelling With Buggies, Cots, Bottles, Teddies, Taggies…
  4. Travelling by air with small children
  5. Travelling by ferry with children
  6. Travelling by train with children
  7. What to pack – essentials
  8. Awesome and ingenious items that will make your life easier

Image by Counselling CC0

1. How To Get A Good Deal and Save Money (especially when travelling in school holidays!)

If you have kids below school age, the world is your oyster all year round, which means you can travel when it is both quieter and cheaper, but the minute your kids are at school, you are restricted to some seriously slim windows of opportunity. We got expert advice from three parenting experts to find out how to get a good deal going on holiday…

Holiday hacks for finding the best family travel deals from Sue Atkins, Internationally recognized parenting expert, broadcaster, speaker and author of the Amazon best-selling books Parenting Made Easy – How to Raise Happy Children and Raising Happy Children for Dummies.

  • Book early to bag the best deals
  • Fly from your local airport
  • Bookmark great deals pages
  • Get a free child place
  • Pre-book kids’ clubs and excursions
  • Take advantage of low deposits
  • Shop around
  • Consider an indirect flight
  • Use price comparison websites – with care & be wary of buying on price alone, check insurance, extras etc
  • Avoid unnecessary frills. Charges for seat selection and priority boarding can vastly inflate the headline price of a flight.
  • Travel overnight
  • Take your own food.
  • Check IT fares. IT stands for “inclusive tour”, the arrangement by which long-haul flights are sold as a package in combination with hotel accommodation or a hire car. Depending when and where you book, it can be cheaper to book this whole package, including the hotel, than buying the flight alone.

Advice to help families book a holiday on a budget from Tanith Carey, Journalist and author of eight books including her most recent, Mum Hacks – timesaving tips to calm the chaos of family life.

“Remember that prices don’t only go high because of the UK summer holidays. The demand also spikes because other children in Europe are also off school. But many countries go back earlier than we do. For example, French kids go back at the end of August, while we Brits can get up to an extra week. So, opt for the latest possible summer dates to save cash. The cost starts to drop the very last week in August and the first week in September. My family has also saved money by going abroad in the two-week October half-term instead, which tends to be cheaper.

“Fly in the middle of the week when travel costs are cheaper. Try and minimise the number of bags you check in. Also, believe it or not, but there are shops abroad that sell exactly the same nappies and formula that are sold here. So save money on baggage and hold your nerve, taking only the basics in your luggage, and stocking up when you get there.

How to have a great family holiday without breaking the bank from Elizabeth O’Shea, Author, parenting coach and founder of Parent 4 Success.

“Camping may not be your first choice, but children love it. There are some great sites in the UK and in France, with plenty of children’s activities, ideal for families holidaying on a budget. That way more of your money can be spent on activities, than flights or accommodation. Children remember more about the little things on holiday, having chips on the beach, playing Frisbee, going out to sea in a kayak, or exploring the rock pools than eating at expensive restaurants. Carve out some time to do all the little things you may not have time to do at home. Playing board games, lying on the grass and looking at the clouds, or teaching your child the favourite games you played as a child.”

It’s not just tour operators that offer Kids Go Free deals, you can save money by purchasing family friendly travel insurance where kids go free on family travel insurance policies too.

2. Family friendly accommodation – what to look for

Image by 3dman_eu CC0

Lots of helpful facilities, and no big groups of partying hens and stags next door! Family friendly accommodation may not always be labelled as such, but look out for things like stair gates, highchairs, bottle sterilisers, travel cots, and playpens in the accommodation listings. If the accommodation isn’t specifically labelled kid-friendly, it may be worth confirming with the provider that there won’t be any disturbances from guests with late-night revelling on the agenda when you go to book. Of course if you see crèche facilities, play areas, and kids meals, you can almost guarantee that the only noisy neighbours you will have are other people’s kids!

3. The Logistics of Travelling With Buggies, Cots, Bottles, Teddies, Taggies…

The smaller they are, the more “stuff” you seem to need. Travelling with small kids might seem like a logistical nightmare – but hopefully these ideas will help!

  1. Send bulky items like travel cots, car seats, and prams separately to your destination.
  2. Consider buying cheaper alternatives at your destination.
  3. Or buy lightweight compact versions just for your holiday.
  4. Ask your tour operator or accommodation provider if they have equipment that you can use or hire.
  5. Use sterilising tablets instead of a sterilizing unit for bottles.
  6. Only take the nappies and baby milk you need until you get there, and buy more from a local shop when you arrive.
  7. Consider using a sling or carrier instead of taking a buggy.
  8. Take a pram that doubles as a safe place to sleep at night.

4. Travelling by air with small children

Image by MarcelloRabozzi CC0

Feeling traumatised at the thought of travelling by air with a babe in arms or toddler in tow? We turned to Easy Jet to find out what parents should know before boarding one of their planes.

  • Booster seats, car seats, buggies, push chairs and travel cots don’t form part of your luggage allowance – you can bring up to two of these items per infant or child.
  • Kids travelling on laps don’t have cabin space, so all essentials must be included in your hand luggage.
  • If you’re travelling with an infant under 2 years of age you can bring an additional small baby changing bag on board the aircraft.
  • Children under 2 with their own seat can sit on a forward facing car seat for comfort, booster seats cannot be used during takeoff or landing.
  • You can take baby food and milk on-board in your cabin baggage, but you may be asked by security to taste it.
  • If you are not taking powdered milk, you will have to purchase liquid milk after security before boarding the plane – this is not restricted to the 100ml rule.
  • If you’re travelling with children under 5, you can board your flight early and you can choose your seats in advance to ensure you sit together.
  • Kids snack packs come with games to keep kids entertained, and toys are available to buy during the flight.
  • Breastfeeding mothers can feed babies on board at any time.
  • Babies under 2 weeks old are not permitted to fly with easyJet.

“Each year over two million families travel with easyJet and we understand that sometimes keeping kids entertained at 30,000 feet can seem daunting which is why we want to make travelling with children as easy as possible.

“We have a dedicated section on our website which details lots of useful information and videos for parents prior to travel and a number of family-friendly initiatives in place including allowing families to bring essential items of luggage free of charge such as travel seats or buggies.” Ali Gayward, UK Country Manager.

5. Travelling by ferry with children

Image Courtesy of Brittany Ferries ©

Travelling by ferry is an exciting alternative to taking to the skies. We caught up with Brittany Ferries to find out about the child-friendly features of ferry travel.

There are no baggage restrictions on a ferry, and you will of course have your car, and car seats with you when you get to your destination. Other perks of ferry travel include the fact that it should be well-equipped, enough to meet even the most demanding of family needs! Shops will be stocked with toys and games, restaurants and food halls will have kid-friendly food at parent-friendly prices, and there may well be dedicated kids entertainment on board as well as games rooms and cinemas suitable for older children. Here are the most child-friendly routes offered by Brittany Ferries:

Portsmouth/St Malo

  • This direct service from Portsmouth to Brittany offers civilised, family-friendly arrival and departure times—you leave Portsmouth at 20.15, giving time for a stroll on deck and a bite to eat before bed, and arrive the next morning at 08.45 – giving plenty of time to get the kids showered, dressed and fed.
  • During the summer school holidays, on the northbound daytime sailings from France to the UK, our cruise-ferry Bretagne hosts its very own summer pantomime, free of charge for all the family to enjoy. For younger passengers there are dedicated play rooms, plus during the summer holidays there’s dedicated children’s entertainment including face painting and magic shows.
  • Comfortable cabins – Available on both daytime and overnight sailings, these are ideal for enjoying a good rest en route.
  • Children’s menu – In the main à la carte restaurant, children under the age of 12 can choose from the same menu as their parents and enjoy whichever dish they wish for just £5.50.

Journey time: 8¾ hours (daytime); 11 hours (overnight). Frequency: Year round Cruise-ferry service, 1 sailing a day in each direction. Return price: Car+family of four from: £335 (Nov/low-season); £459(April/mid-season); £579 (August/high season) – price includes en suite cabin on outward overnight crossing.

Portsmouth/Santander

  • Entertainment for both children and adults.
  • Swimming pool.
  • Children’s menu.
  • Whale and dolphin watching  – sailings to Spain pass through the Bay of Biscay, one of Europe’s very best waters for spotting cetaceans, ranging in size from the harbour porpoise (roughly the size of a dog) to the Blue Whale – the largest living animal. An amazing experience for adults and children.
  • Children’s menu – In the main à la carte restaurant, children under the age of 12 can choose from the same menu as their parents and enjoy whichever dish they wish for just £5.50.

Journey time: 24 hours. Frequency:  3 weekly sailings in each direction. Return price: Car+family of four from: £708(Nov/low-season); £918(April/mid-season); £1184 August/high season) including an en suite cabin both ways.

They also offer a wide range of family-friendly ferry-inclusive holiday accommodation from Cottages and villas to hotels, and golf breaks. The range features a wide variety of holidays that have been chosen with families in mind including resort hotels, in addition to our ever-popular range of chalet campsites and apartment breaks. It also includes a special selection of French gîtes and Spanish casas, which are particularly suited to families. To book: Call 0330 159 7000 or visit brittanyferries.com

6. Travelling by train with children

Image Courtesy of Eurostar ©

If you are choosing to travel abroad by train, Eurostar will be where you start. Here’s what to expect travelling to Europe with your children:

  • Quick 30-minute check-in.
  • Free travel for children under four provided they can sit on an adult’s lap.
  • Special fares for kids aged four to eleven years old are available in Standard class.
  • A generous luggage allowance of two bags per person and hand luggage without weight restrictions.
  • As well as luggage allowance you can bring one pushchair and one car seat per child.
  • All Eurostar trains have baby changing facilities, which you can choose to sit nearby, simply log in and choose your seats once you’ve booked.
  • The onboard bar buffet has food, drinks and snacks, including a special meal deal for kids.
  • They don’t sell baby food but you can warm it up.

7. Essential items to pack (depending on the age of your child!)

Image by congerdesign CC0

  • First aid kit
  • Co sensor
  • Baby Sunscreen SPF 50
  • Baby Insect repellent
  • Insect net for buggy/cot
  • Sterilising tablets
  • Calpol/Nurofen sachets
  • Baby Wipes
  • Anti-bacterial wipes
  • Comforters and pacifiers
  • Bottles and cups
  • 48 hours worth of nappies
  • Digital thermometer

 Top tip: Pack all comforters such as dummies, blankies, taggies, and bedtime teddies in your hand luggage – you don’t want to risk losing them en route!

 8. Awesome and ingenious items that will make your life easier

Tablet/smart phone – apps go a very long way in keeping kids occupied! Take the old phone that is undoubtedly sitting in a drawer at home.

Aquadoodle – a mess-free way for kids to get creative during a journey or in a plush apartment/hotel.

Aqauadoodle Image courtesy of Tomy ©

Trunki – keeps all their stuff together, plus they can ride on it.

Little Life Daysack with reins – excellent way to take a few toys for a toddler and keep hold of them at the same time!

Dinosaur Day Sack Image courtesy of LittleLife ©

Backpack Scooter – same idea, but for older kids – occupied, and hopefully not complaining about walking!

Maxi Flyte Image courtesy of Flyte ©

Pocket high chair – no need to worry about facilities at your accommodation, or wherever you go out to eat.

Pocket High Chair Image courtesy of JoJo Maman Bébé ©

Koo-Di sun and sleep pop-up cot – nifty sleeping arrangement that won’t use up your luggage allowance (1kg, fits in a small bag) and comes with an integrated blackout/sun blind.

Bubble Cot Image courtesy of Koo-Di ©

Baby wearing – a sling is lightweight and small compared to a buggy – you can try before you buy or hire for a month at a time from your local sling library.

Disposable bibs – take less space in a suitcase, and no need to wash them while you are away.

Image by sasint CC0

Bon voyage with your babes in arms, tottering toddlers, hopefully patient pre-schoolers, and soon-to-be travel-savvy tweenies! Don’t forget that KIDS GO FREE on our family travel insurance policies! Call 01892 833338 or get a quote online.

Covet – Travel App of the Month April 2017

If you love to indulge in some serious retail therapy when you are on holiday, you’ll love this brand new app that helps you covet gorgeous finds the world over!

 

What is the Covet app?

Covet makes it easy for shoppers to remember what’s on their wish-list, and where to find it. The app allows you to snap a photo of the product you love and save it to revisit later on. Covet also acts as a discovery tool – helping you to find unique products and giving you the details to track down the ones you like. Covet is like a personal shopping companion whether you’re browsing actual shops or perusing finds that others have curated.

What can the Covet app do?

With Covet, you’ll be able to:

  • Snap an in-store photo of the product you’d like to bookmark for later.
  • Tag your product with a location and get the details you’ll need to head back and purchase it.
  • Save your product and add it to a created list.
  • Browse ‘featured’ and ‘following’ lists to find products others are loving and saving.
  • Locate nearby shops, stores and boutiques to find the best products in your area.
  • Search for products online if you can’t make it to the store.

Why is the Covet app good as a travel app?

Covet is an app for finders and keepers – those who enjoy browsing local shops for unique products and pieces, and those who truly cherish them. Covet makes a great travel companion for anyone who enjoys exploring boutiques around the world, saving their favourite finds for later and sharing them with friends.

What do the Covet app reviews say?

Covet was released in November 2016, so is super new and hasn’t built up a bunch of reviews yet. It looks slick, simple, and easy to use – so imagine that it has the potential to be a five-star app given a little time.

Get it on the app store

check out covet website

Wi-Fi Hotspots on Holiday – Tips To Keep Your Online Surfing Safe

It was once the case that travellers used free or paid-for Wi-Fi hotspots without a care in the world. Then the security flaws were revealed. We share some essential insights and advice to keep your holiday free from cyber invasion next time you go online.

Image by Unsplash CC0

Security experts warn that travellers who use free and paid-for, passcode-protected Wi-Fi hotspots at hotels, bars, airports, restaurants etc, are vulnerable to hacking by cyber criminals snooping around on the network – trying to steal users’ bank details, passcodes, personal contacts and other information. All they have to do is spot users on a network and attempt to hack into any unsecured phones, tablets or laptops or see what their users are doing online and gather data that might prove useful in a criminal act.

How do they do it?

Craig Stillman, Marketing Executive, Cellhire Group explains, “One popular method is to fool customers into thinking they have a connection to the Wi-Fi hotspot, whereas in fact they have connected to someone [the criminal] who is between them and the hotspot. Each Wi-Fi hotspot provider issues their own passcode to their customers, passcodes that can also be accessed by cyber criminals posing as customers – this is all the information they need to set up the alias connection also known as an “Evil Twin” connection.”

The “Evil Twin” connection

The “evil twin” connection is a spoof network that uses the name of a hotel, café or shop etc – and enables the creator access to devices when their owners click the network name and try to log on.

Once connected, customers send information – which might include credit card details and emails, complete with their email address, of course – to the criminal’s device, not to the intended destination.

When criminals have personal information, they can masquerade as the customer at will, whenever they want, until [or if] caught out.

Another risk is malware

Criminals can trigger a pop up message advising users to upgrade their software. By clicking the message – in good faith! – the customers infect their device.

None of this means we should shun Wi-Fi hotspots. But it does mean we should be vigilant when we do, and take precautions, or use our own private MiFi hotspot instead.

Steps you can take to help safeguard you from attack

  • Don’t be an easy target. Ensure you really are connecting to the Wi-Fi hotspot, not a spoof connection. If in doubt, double-check the precise name of the connection with the hotspot owner. Hackers might set up a near-identical connection name and trick the unwary.
  • Use a VPN [Virtual Private Network]. That way, any data you send will be encrypted, meaning that even if a criminal has broken into your connection, they’ll be more likely to dump the data rather than try to decrypt it, unless they have good reason to believe your data is of value.
  • Turn the “sharing” option off on your device, if it’s “on”. That will help ensure your data isn’t shared with anyone on the network.
  • Browse the web using a secured browser. It will make you safer online and help keep you away from rogue, phishing websites, but cannot guarantee 100% security. However, it’s another step in the right direction.
  • Keep your anti-malware program up to date to help guard against viruses and spyware. That’s key even if you believe your device is safe because you’ve taken steps like those above. Determined hackers will still have a go and might succeed in getting your device infected.
  • Use a device that contains no confidential information. Smartphones can be hired, a useful option if you want to go down that route. Hired smartphones can be particularly useful when visiting the US, because strict regulations there mean that a traveller’s smartphone can be taken away for inspection and its passcode demanded, potentially putting its data and information at risk. A hired smartphone will carry no personal data or information, if it has not been used by the traveller.
  • Create your own hotspot – a mobile, MiFi hotspot – that goes where you go and which reverts to 3G where a 4G signal weakens or disappears or isn’t even available.

Using internet security solutions such as anti-malware and anti-phishing programs are only part of the picture. Our online behaviour such as keeping backups of data and information is also important.

If you are a victim of a ransomware attack, and face a demand to pay £x to unlock our infected device, having a backup will get you out of the situation. You can simply ignore the demand and load your backups onto another device. Using cloud-based options for storage is fine, but if you have confidential work or personal information, an offline backup better. Offline backups are unhackable unless the computer it’s attached to is connected to the web. Always perform backups when disconnected!

Mobile Hotspots explained…

A mobile hotspot is generated via a MiFi, a small, portable, battery operated router that has its own passcode – a robust first-line defence against easy or determined hacking.

A MiFi can be hired for use on holidays or business travel, it is small enough to fit in your pocket, and it comes with country – and, in some cases, continent-specific data SIM cards.

Apart from their security aspect, A MiFi often provides noticeably superior web surfing speeds compared to Wi-Fi hotspots – perfect if you want to keep on top of business or social media while you are travelling!

Remember – you aren’t just vulnerable to cyber crime on holiday – criminals are known to use the same techniques the world over. Your smartphones and MiFis are the value of the information they can access, not just what they cost.

Don’t forget your travel insurance, it will cover you for loss, damage or theft of your belongings while on holiday!

Stratajet Travel App of the Month March 2017

Getting to your holiday destination by private jet is no longer an option exclusive to the rich and famous thanks to the very clever technology behind the stratajet app…

What is the Stratajet app?

Stratajet is a private jet booking app that makes it easier than ever before to get from A to B. The app brings private jets to your fingertips for the first time, allowing you to search for and compare a wide range of aircraft for charter and book them instantly. The app also shows the exact prices for your trip so you won’t be stung with any additional charges post-flight.

What can the Stratajet app do?

The app gives you direct access to a fleet of over 1,250 private jets, and the ability to check their availability at a date and time of your choosing.

The beauty of private jet travel is that you control the schedule, but until now confirming a booking has been a time-consuming process. With Stratajet you just enter where you would like to go and the date and time at which you’d like to travel and the system filters through all available aircraft for that route. The results are displayed in seconds, along with accurate prices, and the system allows you to completely customise your private jet experience. You can confirm your booking there and then and pay securely within the app using touch ID.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Within its search results, Stratajet will also automatically include any available empty legs (private jets that are flying empty because they need to be repositioned).

Adapting these flights to suit your itinerary allows Stratajet to offer private jet charter at significantly reduced prices – often a discount of up to 75% off the normal cost. If an adaptive empty leg flight is available for your journey these will show at the top of the search results.

Who is the Stratajet app for?

The Stratajet app optimises door-to-door private jet travel, offering you a way to save time getting from A to B. You can enter what time you need to be at your destination and the app will tell you exactly what time you need to leave your home or office. No delays, no airport queues, no stress.

Thanks to Stratajet’s more streamlined booking process, private jets are no longer reserved for the rich and famous – they’re available at lower costs to the mainstream traveller.

What do the Stratajet app reviews say?

“Managed to get a quote within minutes, and completed my entire booking through the app with no issues.”

“Finally a way to search and book flights instantly – no waiting on quotes by email, no pushy salespeople.”

“What an amazing way to search and book jets!”

Discover more and download the app at stratajet.com

The Biggest Firework Festivals of 2017

If you are looking for a break that packs a big bang for your bucks, then maybe you should plan your next adventure around a firework festival! Here are some of the most impressive firework themed events that are happening around the world in 2017 for you to enjoy.

April 15th Rouketopolemos – Greek islands of Chios

Image by phtorxp CC0

This event translates as “Rocket War”, and it takes certain types of travellers to throw themselves into the chaos that ensues. Rouketopolemos takes place in Vrontados. It is here a pyrotechnic battle is staged between two churches – in rival parishes – firing as many as 60,000 rockets between them actually at each other. Rouketopolemos is their way of marking Easter. We bet not many chocolate eggs survive the ordeal!

July 14th Bastille Day – France

Bastille Day Fireworks Image by Yann Caradec CC BY-SA 2.0

Each year the Bastille Day fireworks display lights up the Parisian skyline, and each year it brings something new in a themed event. War and Peace, Paris Welcomes The World, and Paris Is A Party are examples. Watching untold amounts of money literally go up in smoke from the Eiffel Tower is a popular event, and you’ll be shoulder to shoulder with around a million people! Bastille Day commemorates the storming of the Bastille in 1789, the start of the French revolution.

August 09th Singapore National Day

Singapore National Day Celebrations Image by Tony Gladvin George CC BY 2.0

The fireworks on Singapore National Day is a patriotic display of pyrotechnic wonders that gets bigger every year. To mark Singapore as an international hub, teams from around the world are invited to showcase their culture in the most magnificent way possible – with fireworks and pyromusicals – lighting up Marina Bay. The colorful event celebrates the country’s colourful rise to independence from Malaysia in 1965.

September 22nd – 25th Correfoc, Spain

Correfoc Fire Run Image by Somewhere In The World Today CC BY 2.0

This fiery pastime translates as “firerun” and is actually quite self-explanatory – especially when you read the tourist health and safety advice. Wear old clothes, cover your arms and legs, protect your neck with a bandana and wear headgear to protect yourself from burns. It is also advised that spectators wear earplugs to protect their ears, and that hands should be free to shield eyes at any time a “diable” gets too close. So what’s all the fuss about? During the Correfoc, “devils” are let loose, running through the crowds with fireworks attached to pitchforks. Not for the feint hearted. There are kids Correfoc events that may be less scary for the safety conscious traveller. Correfocs happen at lots of festivals throughout the year in Spain, we’ve picked a balmy autumnal event in Barcelona for your enjoyment!

October 31st Diwali, India

Diwali Fireworks Image by Kinshuk Kashyap CC BY 2.0

The Hindus celebrate the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over despair with the most massive firework display. Diwali hasn’t always had fireworks at the heart of its celebrations – traditionally candles were lit in a more modest celebration of light – and may not have for much longer. It seems that the enthusiasm for fireworks displays during this time is seriously affecting the air quality. Last year’s celebrations caused smog in Delhi for days affecting many people’s health. Weather conditions were thought to be a contributing factor.

November 05th Guy Fawkes, UK

Lewes Fireworks Image by Stuart Chalmers CC BY-ND 2.0

You’ll all be familiar with this celebration, but have you ever witnessed the shenanigans that happen in the little (and usually very peaceful) town of Lewes in East Sussex at this time of year? Lewes Bonfire Celebrations is one of the most spectacular of its kind in the world, where a procession of burning (often political) effigies make their way down the high street and fireworks are let off, well, wherever it seems! Tickets MUST be bought in advance, and don’t go thinking you can just drive in and park – most of the town is closed to traffic in the lead up to the celebrations.

December 24th La Noche Buena, Peru

Fireowrks Image by photogrammer7 CC0

The last date in the calendar takes us across the world to Peru, where locals welcome in Christmas with a big bang. The 24th is a day for feasting and drinking, and then Peruvians take to the streets and light fireworks before partying the night away. It’s summer in this part of the world, which makes celebrating xmas alfresco an unusual and beautiful experience, especially accompanied by festive fireworks!

If you fancy dancing with fire devils, spectating a rocket war, or just taking in the dazzling lights of Diwali, you’d better get yourself some travel insurance. We have a range of competitively priced policies that are low on excitement, but big on cover.

Gifts For Globetrotting Mums on Mothers Day

If you have a mother who enjoys short city breaks, likes spending a well-earned week on a yoga retreat, or is on the fly all the time with work – give her a gift she’ll really love this mothers day…

Oversized Travel Wrap, £59 at Tolly McRae

A pashmina is the sarong’s rich relative, and the perfect present for Mother’s Day. This one by Tolly McRae is woven from fine merino wool and will make a cosy cover-up on the plane, or beach, and work just as well dressing up eveningwear.

Sleep Mask, £22 at In Spaces

The key to looking glam, is feeling well rested. Thankfully these handmade sleep masks designed by Laura Nicholson will make your mum feel glam while she is wearing them too. Delightful delicate Asian-inspired designs finished with satin bows are just too cute for home, they deserve to be seen by fellow travellers!

Adventure Luggage Tag, £6 at The Contemporary Home

Cutesy, quirky, and another way to make sure luggage stands out in a crowd. Globetrotting mums will love these luggage tags, and at this price, you’ll be able to get a bunch of flowers too –or matching luggage in the range!

 

Paper Plane Wash Bag, £17.99 at Totally Funky

Any jet-setting mum worth her passport has a soft spot for Paper Plane, which is why we think this parcel-inspired wash bag will go down a treat on Mothers Day.

Wooden Bead Wristband Headphones, £29.99 at Cuckooland

Your mum will love you forever for this one! It is super-stylish, super-space saving, and she’ll never have to rummage through her luggage to find headphones again! The Wooden Bead Wristband by Wraps combines headphones with microphone and is designed to be worn as a bracelet when not in use. Genius!

GoEuro – Travel App of the Month Jan 2017

goeuro logoTravelling Europe by plane, train and “bus-mobile” has never been easier thanks to a fab new app aimed at those looking for the fastest and cheapest way to get from A to B.

What is the GoEuro app?

GoEuro is a travel search and booking app for train, bus and flights across Europe with over 30,000 destinations in 12 countries – not just cities and airports like many other sites, but small towns and villages that are serviced by trains and coaches as well. The app is your best friend for discovering and booking the fastest and/or most affordable journeys via train, coach and plane.

What can the GoEuro app do?

The GoEuro app is useful for those looking to travel from one European city, town or village to another as they can work out the cheapest or smartest route to their intended destination and compare travel time or price.

The app will allow users to:

  • Discover the cheapest ticket price for the fastest travel time
  • View all available methods of transport to their destination- train, coach or plane
  • Book tickets securely via credit/debit card or Paypal

GoEuro App Screenshot 3 GoEuro App Screenshot 2 GoEuro App Screenshot 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who is theGoEuro app for? 

Adventurers and the budget-conscious! Although the GoEuro app is for anyone looking to book travel in Europe, we think the app particularly suits the budget traveller who is looking to find the fastest and/or most affordable way to hop between European cities, or travellers wanting to explore further afield than the main tourism hubs.

What do the GoEuro reviews say?

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Get The GoEuro app on iTunes or GooglePlay

Can Travel Insurance Save You From These Deadly Creatures?

Travel insurance is pretty good at making sure that travellers get home safe and sound after something nasty has happened. Being airlifted off a mountain after a skiing accident for example, or getting someone on the next flight home should they fall ill on holiday. Should someone fall foul of these deadly creatures however, then travel insurance could well save a life… if you have long enough!


Image source: TravelSupermarket;

Don’t leave your holiday health to chance – get travel insurance!