Category : Latest News

Friday Dreaming – The Mighty Volcanoes of Hawaii

Friday, January 3rd, 2014 by Andy

For our Friday dream holidays, we take a look at Hawaii, known to many of us today as a collection of tropical island paradises, where lots of hula girls play ukulele in grass skirts and coconut bras – but these islands have a much more firey, raw past that is often overlooked. If you love Hawaii appreciating where they come from is what really make the Hawaiian islands so amazing.

The stunning power of the beautiful Hawaiian Islands

 

The “Hawaii Shield” as the archipelago is known to geologist, was formed on the seafloor of the Pacific 500,000 year ago from a series of underwater volcanic eruptions that resulted in the aftermath of formation of Hawaii’s biggest volcano today – Mauna Loa. This triggered a chain reaction that has resulted in the formation of all the islands that are located in Hawaii today.

Due to Hawaii’s location on the Pacific tectonic plate as has turned the islands and volcanoes of Hawaii into a main hotspot, where due to the pressure and uplift creates a mass amount of lava. This all contributes to the plates moving at a rate of 9cm per year in the direction of the north-east, which is the overall reason for the scale and number of volcanic eruptions in the region.

The Amazing Mauna Loa

Not many people know this but Mauna Loa is even bigger than Mount Everest itself, but is obviously classified as a volcano so cannot have the title of “world’s highest mountain”. Towering a massive 56,000 ft above sea level it beats Everest by a staggering 27,000 ft!

When it was first formed, Mauna Loa brought about a rich, fertile but barren volcanic landscape. However due to the fertility of the soil it attracted many forms of wildlife and birds and eventually human settlers in the form of the Polynesians and eventually Europeans.

Although Mauna Loa is frequently active today, it does not have huge gassy eruption all the time unlike it’s European cousins. Mauna Loa is more famous for its constant flowing rivers of molten lava that have helped create the spectacular scenery that you will find all of Hawaii’s volcanoes within.

Go Back to Your Roots

If you wish to discover the roots and foundations of the land you call your home, there’s no better place than to get to grips with that than visiting the volcanoes of Hawaii. See how islands a born and crushed with a centuries instant. Witness the pure power of the rivers of molten lava that are constantly sculpting the landscape they inhabit. There’s no better place on earth to really discover and retrace our human evolution than beholding the spectacle that helped build the land we now inhabit ourselves -the volcano.

For a trip with a difference why not take a holiday of discovery that will have you looking as far back into our past as our own primordial roots and origins. As well as being in the beautiful Hawaii, I’m sure a few cocktails out of coconuts on one of their pristine beaches will be order.

A trip to Disney World Florida

Monday, December 23rd, 2013 by Andy

Do your children like Disney films perchance? Are you a big kid yourself deep down and just waiting for an excuse to take the family on a holiday to Disney World?

What better excuse than Christmas! Take the whole family on a fun, action packed, amazing holiday to the capital of every one’s childhood and dreams. Make a Christmas present to remember, by creating memories you will all cherish for years to come.

Since Disney World is a massive place, with 4 different regions and a water park within it – it may take you some time to around everything you want to see and do. Below we have created a list of great things to do whilst on holiday at Disney World, which will hopefully help guide you in having the best family holiday yet! Have a look at our “Top Things To Do At Disney World”

The Magical Disney World Castle!

Universal Studios

Ever wanted to sit on the actual ‘The Simpsons’ sofa? Fancy sitting inside the famous Delorean car from ‘Back to the Future’? Well now you can! A tour around Universal Studios at Disney World will have you gasping with excitement with many attractions from some of the most beloved films and tv-series of all time.

The Disney Zoo

You maybe in Florida but at the Disney World Zoo you can see animals from all over the world. From hippos and hyenas to giraffes and lions, not forgetting the amazing aquarium here that has dolphins and even killer whales! Don’t forget to stick around for one of the dolphin or killer whales shows that will have the whole family whooping and clapping with joy at the amazing tricks these majestic animals can do.

The Rides…

What would a trip to Disney world be without par-taking in some of the spectacular rides they have here? From epic Roller coasters such as Space Mountain and the Big Dip, to magical rides on the tea cups or getting wild and wet on the awesome rapids – no matter what age or preference you or your children have, you will certainly find a number of rides to keep everyone entertained all the day through!

The Disney Parade

Who’s your favorite Disney Character? Sleeping Beauty? Simba from the Lion King? Balou from the Jungle Book? Here’s your chance to re-live your childhood dreams and make those of your children come true by taking part in the amazing and spectacular Disney Parade. See all your favorite characters dance and sing all your beloved Disney songs, whilst marching through the entire Disney World Kingdom. A feast for the senses and something that should not be missed by anyone who loves Disney!

This Christmas, instead of buying lots and lots of gifts for everyone why not take everyone on a great family holiday to Disney World? Not only will you be making memories that you all will remember for the rest of your lives but you’ll also be spending some quality time altogether during this special festive season. Plus some Florida sunshine will be a welcome change to the usual Christmas weather that everyone will be used to!

If you are looking for a Winter Break to Disney World or any other location, take away one little stress by arranging a meet and greet service at one of our airport parking options.

An Outdoor Holiday in Alaska

Monday, December 2nd, 2013 by Andy

Alaska is the biggest state in North America, spanning over a massive 663,268 square miles of pure, raw untouched wilderness. Not for the faint hearted, Alaska is a mesmerising place with some of the most tremendous scenery etched out of numerous ice ages.

With a plethora of outdoor pursuits to embark on, you’ll never be bored or be stuck for something to do in this great vast mountainous place. Below we have listed a few of the top things to do whilst visiting this enchanting place.

Alaska welcomes the most spectacular of whales – The Humpback

Whale Watching

Every summer the great hump back whales make their journey upstream to Alaska’s chilly waters for their annual feeding and mating season. Take a boat out to the Alaskan Gulf to witness these beautiful creatures in their most natural habitat. Hopefully you’ll be quick enough to capture a snap of one of the great sea beasts before they descend for cover back under the waters!

Hiking

Step through glaziers, gaze up through ice caverns and trek through some of the most stunning mountainous scenery your every liking to encounter. Every twist and turn you make through Alaska’s wild terrain will have you gasping for another breath, over the sheer natural beauty that lay before you. Definitely are great place for people who like walking holidays and there are also some great bike treks around the forests in the summer months.

Kayaking and Rafting

Lake Wonder, reflecting the mountains of Mc Kinley beautifully in its waters just as the sun rises over the snow-capped giants – an image mere words cannot replicate. Take a slow relaxing row for two down one of Alaska’s many lakes or for the thrill seekers take a chance on the rapids and be tossed from one place to the next in all different directions. We repeat once more, certainly not for the faint hearted!

Skiing and Snowboarding

If you like skiing and snowboarding Alaska is definitely the holiday destination for you. As eco-tourism is a very big thing in Alaska many of the slopes and runs are all natural and uncultivated, as to not interfere with the wildlife and nature surrounding them. Bearing this in mind, some of the course can be very rough and wild so ensure you only take on the slopes that you’re confident you can do.

As well as a winter destination, Alaska comes into full bloom during the summer months and is a feast for the senses. A whole wealth of unusual wildflowers and plants grow here and the summer warmth brings to life all of the animals that hibernate during the winter, such as the bears and mooses. A treasure to watch, make sure to take a professional guide with you as these are wild animals in their natural habitat and can be unpredictable! But don’t let such things put you off, as Alaska during the summer and winter hosts a wide fun of amazing things to do in the most beautiful and magical setting.

Valentine’s Day in Paris

Monday, November 25th, 2013 by Andy

Sophisticated and scenic, cosmopolitan and iconic, the ultimate way to warm the soul during the cold winter months is undoubtedly a passionate Parisian getaway during the season of love. Paris is the definitive destination to send Cupids arrow through the heart, or just an inspiringly beautiful setting to spend time with someone special.  Here are some top tips on the best things to do in this beautiful city.

love locks

‘Love locks’ on the Pont de l’Archevêché

Pont de l’Archevêché

Seal your love with a ‘Love Lock’. This is where you and your lover have both of your initials inscribed on a padlock. Near the Notre Dame cathedral, on the bridge ‘Pont de l’Archevêché’ , there are thousands of these inscribed padlocks which lovers have locked onto it, which is an interesting and touching spectacle. Tradition says that to throw away the key is to symbolise your love as locked together for eternity.

World Famous Hot Chocolate

To warm your cockles, why not go to the renowned and world famous Angelina’s for a Chocolat Chaud (or Hot Chocolate). It is typically Parisian with its sweeping gothic architecture, and grand pieces of art hung on the walls; a truly beautiful and ornate tea room.  It has an amazing cake selection to accompany this world class setting, heavenly for the sweet tooth!

Notre Dame

A visit to Paris would not be complete without seeing this incredible ancient building, an unmistakable landmark with its two dominating bell towers, located just next to the majestic River Siene. This Catholic Cathedral is one of the earliest examples of gothic architecture, and looking at it you can see how Victor Hugo was inspired to write the world famous novel ‘the Hunchback of Notre Dame’. Looking up into the towers it is easy to visualise this legendary character looming up there in the darkness.

On a cold February day where better to cuddle your loved one close than inside Notre Dame, which is so heart warmingly spectacular you cannot help but feel romantic. Its altar is almost other worldly, so epic in size and intricacy that whether you are religious or not, being here feels truly spiritual.

Eiffel Tower

The penultimate Parisian landmark we have all seen many times before, whether we have actually been there or not. Standing directly under this steel monster in the flesh is overwhelming, a true feat of engineering, you can feel the oppressive weight of the steel so dizzyingly high towering above you.

Needless to say the higher up the tower you go, the more of an awe inspiring view you will get. By day and night it is an absolute dream. Feeling the cold air up there is so pure and visceral. A common spot for lovers to propose, who knows perhaps some of this magic will rub off on you and you will find yourself on one knee!

As a winter destination, you can’t go wrong with Paris, and there is certainly no more romantic place to spend Valentine’s Day!

Air Passenger Duty – What is it, and How Does it Affect Your Holiday?

Monday, November 25th, 2013 by Andy

When you fly from a UK airport to anywhere in the world, you will automatically pay Air Passenger Duty (APD). What was in 1994 an extra £10 tax on long-haul flying has soared to, in some cases, an up to an extra £188 per seat.

The UK government makes £2.8 billion from the tax every year – a measure they deem necessary, but one which is increasingly being called into question by airlines, foreign tourist boards and passengers. Many believe that the economy would actually be better served by reducing the tax – through jobs, GDP growth and inbound tourism.
We believe that this isn’t a matter that’s simply a concern for the aviation industry and government to sort out: this issues affects you, as the passenger stuck in the middle of it all. We have therefore written a guide that will tell you how much you are likely to pay on your next flight, ways you could be saving despite the tax and what you can do to make your voice heard on the issue. In this guide, we aim to help you answer these questions, and more:


How is Air Passenger Duty calculated?

Air Passenger Duty is levied on all flights departing from UK airports. The amount you will pay per person on top of a ticket depends on two things:

  • Which band your destination falls into. There are four in total (A,B,C or D), determined by how far your destination’s capital is from London: at 2,000 mile intervals, the price climbs higher
  • The class you’re travelling in – economy class rates can be substantially cheaper. Premium Economy and above is charged at the standard rate, and private aircraft have their own (substantially more expensive) rates


How much Air Passenger Duty will I pay?


As explained above, where you’re going and how you travel affects the amount of tax you will pay. You can travel as far as the north coast of Africa by paying just £13 for an economy class seat – but if you travel just a little further south you’ll have to pay over £50 more. Extra long haul flights (Australia, Argentina) involve a tax of £94 per person for economy travel – and travelling in comfort will be £166 per head. For a four person family, that could be anything up to £664 on the top of an already expensive set of tickets.

The graphic breaks down how much tax you’re paying to fly, until 31 March 2014:

AirPassengerDutyWorldMap

Not sure which band your destination falls under? Have a look at Appendix 1 – Destinations by band over at Hmrc.gov.uk (press Ctrl+F to search. If the country doesn’t appear, it is likely that it is in Band D).

When is Air Passenger Duty next due to rise?


Air Passenger Duty is subject to an annual rise, and short of treasury intervention, these will be the new rates from 1 April 2014:

AirPassengerDutyNextRise

Notable Quirks – How to travel 5,500 miles in Band B


Because the bands are determined by how close a country’s capital is to our own, some destinations fall into cheaper bands than may be expected:

  • The most commonly cited example is the United States, which falls into Band B because Washington D.C. is less than 4,000 miles away. However, the west coast (e.g. Los Angeles) is around 5,500 miles away (Band C)
  • Hawaii is comfortably into Band D territory (approximately 7,200 miles away) but as it is legally part of the United States of America, it is considered to be in Band B. This is different to how the rules treat overseas territories (such as the Falkland Islands which falls into Band D)
  • Caribbean tourism has been heavily lobbying the UK government citing the above fact – Most of the Caribbean is only around 4,200 to 4,600 miles away from London – most of the US’ landmass is further away than this, but air travel to Caribbean destinations is still taxed with an extra £16 to £32 over US prices
  • Russia is so big that it is the only nation the UK government has elected to split in two. Nevertheless, the portion of Russia east of the Ural Mountains is taxed only as Band B. A city like Vladivostok (5,200 miles away) is treated as if it’s closer than neighbouring Band C countries like China and Japan
  • Smaller countries still give rise to quirks in the system. Southern Vietnam is further away from London than Cambodia, but because the capital, Hanoi, is in the north, the country edges into Band C

Thankfully, these quirks largely make your flights cheaper than you may expect. Nonetheless, they do undermine a sense of internal consistency in the tax.


How can I plan my holiday around Air Passenger Duty?


While we don’t believe that the existence of Air Passenger duty should get in the way of your quest to see the parts of the world that truly capture your imagination, you may consider actively avoiding the tax if:

  • You’re more concerned about visiting a particular region or climate than a specific country
  • You’re happy to put off going somewhere in a higher band in the hope that aviation industry lobbying will reduce charges in the future

Please note that the banding quirks we mentioned earlier don’t always have a lot to do with the actual cost of the flights. A flight to Hawaii is still going to cost you a similar amount to most flights to the other side of the world, regardless of the amount of money the UK government are taking.
Instead, we would generally recommend seeing whether neighbouring countries fall within different bands to see whether there’s likely to be any notable savings on your flight. Indeed, it may be worth considering taking a flight to one country, and crossing the border on locally booked transport. We’ve listed a few alternatives that some may consider:

  • Caribbean beach holiday alternatives – if all you’re after is sun and sand in a island locale, there are a number of subtropical destinations that may serve as a great alternative. The Azores and Canary islands are in Band A, and Bermuda is the closest you’ll be able to get to the Caribbean without paying for a Band C trip
  • African Safari holiday alternatives – Southern and eastern Africa are renowned for their safari experiences, but the vast majority of countries are in Band C. The one exception is Uganda, which proponents call “unspoiled” and “more authentic” than its neighbours, such as Kenya and Tanzania
  • South America – Brazil is the southernmost country still within Band C: Chile, Argentina and even the relatively northerly Peru are all in Band D
  • The Indian Subcontinent – Pakistan falls into Band B whereas India and Bangladesh are in Band C. Anyone considering a cultural tour of the region may want to consider travelling from Lahore into India via the bus and train services available.
  • South-East Asia – Cambodia is surrounded on all sides by Band C nations (Thailand, Laos, Vietnam), but is in Band D. Thailand additionally shares a border with Malaysia, and may therefore be the best option for travel around the region.


What can we do about Air Passenger Duty?


Changing your holiday plans to avoid APD isn’t a valid long-term tactic. If you are unhappy with the way you are being taxed, there are other ways of getting your voice heard:

  • Sign an E-petition. Currently, the most successful open petition currently has over 32,000 signatures – it has already received a response from the Government but needs a push to 100,000 signatures to be heard again. However, it suggests only the suspension of APD over school holidays
  • The existence of the epetitions site doesn’t mean that traditional means of contact with your government aren’t still open – consider contacting your MP to raise your concerns
  • Keep a close eye on Afairtaxonflying.org, a site where the aviation industry is coordinating its efforts

The sheer volume of petition signatures, letters to MPs and negative coverage in the national press is in some way disheartening: the current government seems set on maintaining and increasing Air Passenger Duty.

Nevertheless, though APD increases have been curated by all three of the main parties in the past, it’s important to remember that UK government elections are coming in 2015. The louder passengers shout about APD, the more likely that the issue will become part of party manifestos.

Air Passenger Duty timeline


AirPassengerDutyTimeline

November 1994 – Air Passenger Duty (APD) is introduced by Conservative chancellor Kenneth Clarke as a two band system. Passengers are charged £5 for travel within the UK and EEA, £10 for travelling elsewhere.

November 1997 – New Labour chancellor Gordon Brown doubles APD: passengers are now charged £10 for UK and EEA travel, and £20 for travel elsewhere.

April 2001 – Gordon Brown decides to restructure APD to introduce tiers based on the class traveled in: a reduced rate is introduced for economy travel. EEA travel gains a half-price reduced rate, but rest of world travel actually gains a doubled standard rate – a £40 tax.

Februrary 2007 – In his final year as Chancellor, Gordon Brown announces that APD is to double.

November 2009 – Alistair Darling introduces a four band system based on distance to a country’s capital city in 2000 mile bands.

April 2011 – George Osborne considers various paths of APD reform but ultimately rejects them and announces further price rises across all four bands

April 2012 – Now an annual event, further price rises come into effect.

April 2013 – Once again, prices rise. Additionally, the chancellor introduces a higher rate specifically to penalise private jets: aircrafts weighing more than 20 tonnes but having fewer than 19 seats.

April 2014 – Further rises have already been defined for the 2014/15 financial year:

[Source: BATA.uk.com, Hmrc.gov.uk and Abta.com]


APD Infographic

Air Passenger Duty Information – An infographic by the team at Air Passenger Duty Information by GoSimply

Embed Air Passenger Duty Information on Your Site: Copy and Paste the Code Below

The Magic of the Northern Lights

Friday, November 22nd, 2013 by Andy

The Northern Lights are one of nature’s most beautiful displays, mystical and hypnotising, giving the appearance of another worldly presence. Swirling colours sweeping, like a living, breathing, giant painting that fills the sky. Photographs of this cerebral piercing show do not do it justice. Seeing it in its full glory, right there before you is the only way to fully experience it. The colours will leave you stunned, a brand new visual experience. I can explain only so far, as words only restrict describing this profound spectacle.

The impressive Northern Lights over Tromso

The best place to see the incredible Aurora Borealis A.K.A the Northern Lights, is above the Arctic Circle in the majestic country of Norway. The best time to see them is between the Autumn and Winter equinox (September to March 21st) when it is dark from 6pm to 1pm.

There are lots of destinations to choose from, so here is a guide to the best spots-

Lofoten Islands

These islands are a prime example of Norway’s dramatic landscapes. Sheer towering mountains like giant fangs, topped with glacier ice twinkling like a mischievous winking eye high in the sky. Already perfection seemingly un-improvable, Aurora Borealis manages to do just that.

A good place to start when on the island is to visit the Polar Light Centre in the town of Laukvik. Here you can see an amazing 3D presentation of the lights, where you are given full scientific explanations, and you can ask any questions you wish. You will also be advised where best to view the real thing. This is a nice precursor to actually seeing Aurora Borealis, making even more meaningful.

North Cape

The Northern Light belt hits at Lofoten Islands, then covers all the way up to North Cape, which is right up on the same latitude as Greenland. This means from here you see the lights from the other end. This means you will experience alternative patterns evoking a slightly different mood, but it will still be just as ethereal and intense.

A popular thing to do is hike the mighty snow covered cliffs, but you must be careful and make sure you know your daylight hours from the night

Tromsø

This is the popular tourist destination town, and there are numerous ‘Aurora Tours’, where you will be taken to the best spots to see the lights. These tours are great value for money, but you have to remember seeing the Northern Lights is never guaranteed. It all depends on the weather and the magnitude of the polls. However, the tours operators are honest and have the experience to know if it is worth going or not.

Wherever you go to see them, if you do manage to catch a glimpse of this evocative dance of nature, it is an experience you will never forget. Norway is the most likely place to see the lights in the world, and a stunning country to visit nonetheless.

A Very Mexican Christmas

Friday, November 1st, 2013 by Andy

The next stop on our fantasy Christmas break is Mexico. The Mexicans celebrate Christmas from December the 16th to January 6th, and it is a jam packed festive season.  Mexico is a vast country with so many destinations, and so much to do! Here are some of the best places in this amazing country to spend your Christmas.

Mexico City

The thriving bustling capital city becomes a tinsel town, Christmas bonanza during the festive period. Expect lots of street parties with lots of traditional Mariachi bands, and plenty of markets selling traditional craftwork. You will see huge traditional Christian displays with reindeers, blown up biblical images, and lots of singing and dancing!

The bars in the Condesa and Roma neighbourhoods have a really nice bustling, warm Christmas atmosphere whilst retaining a true Mexican feel, expect plenty of Tequila!

Oaxaca

I would recommend Mexico City anytime apart from Christmas Eve due to it having some of the biggest traffic jams known to man. The local people will all be trying to get to the traditional late night Christmas Eve meal which is an important family custom.

Instead take the 2 hour drive to Oaxaca. Try to do so by daylight, due to the fact that you will be driving through some incredible volcanic landscapes that you wouldn’t want to miss out on being able to see. You can actually see the Iztaccíhuatl and Popocatepetl volcanoes during this amazing drive.

Ouxaca is very different to Mexico City, here you will be able to take a deep breath and be able to relax. You can get involved in some of the local traditions such as the Danza De La Pluma on the 16th of December, where lots of different indigenous groups come together to perform various dances on the Church steps. Also, a strange as it may sound the ‘Night of the Radishes’ is a real experience. This occurs on Christmas Eve and involves a multitude of intricate art made entirely out of radishes. You can expect some true masterpieces and an almighty celebration.

San Cristóbal de las Casas

The main city in the state of Chiapas, this is a fantastic winter destination. Following the political unrest during the 1990’s with the uprising of the Zapatista farmers, today this charming colonial town couldn’t be more peaceful.

The city of San Cristóbal de las Casas is surrounded by autonomous indigenous villages, stunning churches, natural wonders such as the Sumider Canyon, and Mayan Ruins. You can expect a more traditional Christmas here where you will get to see some truly local traditions. It has a slightly cooler climate than Mexico City, but still lovely and warm in comparison to the UK!

It is an amazing experience to spend a special time like Christmas somewhere completely different, be it with family, group, as a couple or on your own. Mexico at Christmas is a truly unforgettable experience never to be forgotten.

The Perfect Winter Escape – The Secret Tropical Islands of Cambodia

Friday, October 25th, 2013 by Andy

As part of our aspiration series, we explore the prospect of travelling to Asia for that special Christmas getaway.

If you been a frequent visitor to the Thai islands over the past 20 years, you’ll have seen the fast paced changes that a lot of the popular islands, such as Koh Samui and Koh Tao, have gone through. From a few huts spread along the beach, to fancy private resorts and multi-tower casinos; things developed quite rapidly once the Thai islands became a major tourist attraction.

Koh Rong

Koh Rong – A Tropical Paradise

For those of you wanting to find your very own slice of personal paradise and missed the boat when the Thai islands were still left untouched – there are still options available to you close by.

The wonderful country that is Cambodia, boasts a number of simply picture perfect islands along it’s south coast, that are all located within the Gulf of Thailand. Thousands of miles of untouched white sands, warm clear sparkling turquoise waters and heaps of tropical jungle for you to spot all manner of exotic birds and wildlife in.

Koh Rong is one of the most upcoming islands in the area and still yet has only 15 or so guesthouses, bars and restaurants in total.

What to do there?

Koh Rong is the perfect place for diving and snorkeling in the dry season (Nov-June) due to the great visibility. It even has it’s own dive centre where you can go for practise dives or earn your PADI qualification.

Along with diving there are lots of activities to do on Koh Rong such as; jungle trekking, wildlife spotting, kayaking, sailing, fishing, beach hopping and of course just kicking back in your hammock and shooting the breeze with the locals – Koh Rong is a perfect tropical paradise you’ll just want to spend forever in.

Where to stay?

As previously mentioned there around 15 guesthouses and accommodation options on the main strip for you to choose from.

All budgets are catered for with dorm beds at ‘Bunna’s place’ going for around $3-6 a night (depending on the season) with luxury private bungalows in places such as ‘Paradise’ going for around $25 a night. There are a few mid-range options too at places such as ‘Coco’s’ and ‘Bamboo’ which are all located on the main stretch where the ferry drops you when you arrive.

How to get there?

The best way to get out to the islands and Koh Rong is via the port town Sihnoukville. You’ll be able to buy a open return ticket for $10 in low season (June/Sept) and $20 in high season (Oct/ May) from any travel agency in the Serendipity Beach area.

Important things to remember

There are NO ATMs on the island or ways of getting cash out, apart from going back to the mainland (Sihnoukville). Make sure you have more than enough money wise, before setting off.

If you do fancy a wonder in the jungle, REMEMBER to stick to the set out path, wear sensible clothing/footwear and ALWAYS tell your hostel where you heading before you set out. It is the jungle, so you have to keep your wits about you and watch out for snakes etc.

As like the Thai islands, it’s becoming less and less of a secret of how beautiful and amazing the Cambodian Islands are…so get your taste of real, untouched, tropical island beauty now before the mega malls get built!

Escape the rain and cold before it becomes too unbearable whilst you can! As right now Cambodia is coming into its summer/dry season with highs of 80-90c daily!

Heathrow Airport Meet & Greet – Prices Up By £2.3m A Year

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013 by Tim
Passengers heading to Heathrow using Meet & Greet parking are being charged an estimated £2.3m extra a year because the airport has imposed a surcharge of £5.60 on each car using an off-site airport service.

Heathrow Airport adds parking levy to off-airport meet and greet operators


The charge, which adds around 12% to the typical parking costs for three days, is a flat-fee added to cover the cost of charges being levied on all off-airport Meet & Greet services for the use of forecourts at drop-off and designated collection areas within the short-term car parks. The fee has also started to be added to Stansted Meet & Greet off-airport services from December.

It means it is more important than ever for customers to get the best deal on airport parking.

You can avoid this additional charge by using the BAA Official Valet Parking service, but given this is one of the most expensive available, you would not really be saving anything. It just seems a shame that people are facing this hike in fees at a time when everyone is strapped for cash.

The fees were first added to car parking services back in the summer of last year, but have largely flown below the radar because the extra fee is usually included in the quoted prices that customers pay.

Based on our independent customer reviews on-site, BAA’s own Official Valet Parking Service has an 89% rating, behind six other providers – including the award-winning MBW Meet and Greet Parking and Heathrow Sky Super Saver both reaching a satisfaction rating of 90% or more.

These Meet & Greet services are typically used for trips of between three and eight days, so both holidaymakers, those looking for a romantic weekend away, and business travellers will be affected.

Heathrow’s figures released this month showed its retail income, which includes parking charges for both Heathrow and Stansted, had grown from £518.6m in 2011 to £541.7m in 2012.

Grab A Travel Bargain This Valentines

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 by Nick
With the current gloomy outlook for a struggling global economy, and the threat of more difficult times ahead, thoughts of treating the love of your life to a Valentines Day weekend away may bring about a worrying shiver down the spine and a dull ache in the pocket.

Fear not, businesses are doing everything they can in this economic downturn to entice a sale with knock down prices and bonus incentives. Eith the prospect of finding a bargain weekend away you’ll not only get in the good books but could also save a packet on the pre-recession prices.

Make the most of Getaway bargains

Make the most of a Getaway bargain

Stuck for getaway ideas? Here’s 5 popular Valentines getaway destinations:-

  • Amsterdam (Netherlands) – is the Dutch capital city of love. With romantic boat tours on over 165 canals, you can sit back and take in some of the 1281 beautiful bridges and tall houses along the waterways. Dine in candle-lit before relaxing at one of the cities many bars and cafes.
  • Bath (UK) – Bath is an architecturally elegant city which is listed as a World Heritage site. Though named after the roman bath houses for which it was famous, these days you can only visit the ancient Roman Bath house for historic reasons. Couples can still get into hot water in the Thermae Bath Spa, which offers immersion in Britain’s only naturally heated waters. Massage treatments and the chance to look out over the city from the open air balcony pool are also available.
  • Galway (Ireland) – Galway is nicked named Ireland’s cultural heart, and renowned for its vibrant lifestyle, numerous festivals and art galleries. Situated on Ireland’s rugged west coast, it’s a great city for lively couples with traditional live music abound in cosy pubs – perfect for a romantic Irish jig.
  • Bruges (Belgium) – Architecturally beautiful, no couple could fail to be impressed by Bruges. Nicknamed “The Venice of the North”, the medieval maze of cobbled streets, canals and squares offers the perfect romantic getaway. This pretty and perfectly preserved example of a medieval settlement is also a haven for choc-o-holics – visit the Choco-Story museum which tells the tale of chocolate with free samples along the tour.
  • Istanbul (Turkey) – perhaps not the first city that comes to the minds of amorous couples, nether the less, Turkey’s intoxicating capital has a very romantic side too. An astonishingly beautiful city, spread over seven hills and surrounded by water, take a tour across the mighty Bosphorus, the straits that separate Europe and Asia, then sample a delicious meze platter for two.

If you’re jetting away for a romantic break, why not enhance the experience further by starting your Valentines trip with an overnight airport hotel stay before your flight. With deals on airport hotels and big savings available on airport parking, you could even indulge further by enjoying an airport lounge stay from just £13.50 while waiting for your flight.