# Thursday, March 18, 2010

British Airways' chief executive is in last minute talks to try and avert planned strike action due to take place this weekend. British Airways and the Unite union have been in several hours of talks today to try and resolve a dispute over cost cuts. If the talks fail cabin crew are planning a series of stoppages starting on Saturday. BA are expecting to be able to fly around 65% of its customers this weekend during the strike action with a total of 1,100 flights out of the 1,950 scheduled being cancelled. Cabin crew are also planning another four day walkout starting on the 27th of March.

posted on Thursday, March 18, 2010 4:06:04 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, December 21, 2009

Eurostar services have been subject to severe delays and cancellation over the past few days. On Friday five trains carrying passengers broke down. This incident has led to Eurostar cancelling all its services due to difficulties caused by the cold weather. It is thought the problem is caused by hot air in the tunnel melting snow which has accumulated under the trains causing the water to drip into the operating systems. All trains were cancelled yesterday and today Eurostar closed its shuttle car service to new arrivals whilst it works to clear the backlog. It is hoped that a limited service will be resumed by Tuesday and Eurostar have said "We will do our best to get everybody home by Christmas." The firm hopes to run two thirds of a normal service on Tuesday with more services planned on Wednesday and Thursday. The company has asked passengers who had planned to travel over the next few days to change their booking if possible and passengers without booking are being advised that they will not be able to buy a ticket.

posted on Monday, December 21, 2009 3:30:17 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, August 17, 2009

Ryanair have announced that they will launch 14 new routes from Leeds-Bradford airport. The airline will offer 63 weekly flights starting from March next year. Destinations will include popular summer holiday destinations such as Ibiza, Malaga and Malta. Flights to Palma, Limoges, Montpellier, Nantes, Carcassonne, Pisa, Venice, Krakow, Faro, Knock and Murcia will also be introduced. The new routes will create and additional 1,000 jobs and increase the airlines annual passenger traffic to over million people.

posted on Monday, August 17, 2009 11:29:13 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, May 20, 2009

According to this article many UK resorts are charging higher prices for breaks during the summer holidays. Research has shown that UK resorts put a premium on breaks taking during school holidays with families paying up to 65% more at these times. Whilst foreign resorts also increase prices at these time by as much as 25 to 40%, UK resorts impose higher increases. In the research carried out by Abbey Credit Cards a family of four would pay £560 to stay at Butlins from July 13 to the 20th but this would increase to £921 for a week in August. A holiday at Centerparcs would increase from £1,000 in July to £1,450 in August, a rise of 45%. In comparison a self catering in holiday in the Malaga region of Spain would cost £614 for flights and accommodation during mid-July but goes up to £644 for a week in the middle of August. It seems families wanting a cheaper holiday might be better off going abroad.

posted on Wednesday, May 20, 2009 1:24:28 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, April 30, 2009

article-0-049EDFC4000005DC-436_634x395 This is probably one of the most unusual hotel rooms I have come across. It is made to look like a crashed airliner and is situated in the jungle in Costa Rica (pictured left). Whilst it looks like a plane in fact the inside is every bit as nice as a luxury hotel room and it is being marketed as the most exclusive hotel suite in Costa Rica.

article-0-049EE1E6000005DC-939_634x420The two bedroom suite is inside the fuselage of a 1965 Boeing 727. It includes two  wood panelled bedrooms (pictured right), a kitchenette, dining room (pictured below), living area and two bathrooms. It also has the advantage of offering spectacular views of the jungle from the balcony on the planes right wing. Apparently it is the perfect height to observe wildlife such as sloths, toucans and monkeys.

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It certainly an interesting idea. If you fancy staying there it costs between £200 and £250 per night.

posted on Thursday, April 30, 2009 8:39:11 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Government has leant its support to plans for high speed trains connecting London and the North. Under the plans a high speed train service with trains that can reach speeds of 225 mph would run between London and the North. The network could link London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds and if it goes ahead would open in 2007 with construction starting in 2015. The trains would carry up to 800 passengers and would depart every 4 minutes. It would mean that journey times would be cut greatly with a journey from London to Birmingham taking as little as 30 minutes.

posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 1:54:39 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, March 4, 2009

This article highlights what have been named as Britain's 10 worst hotels in a poll of travellers. The poll was carried out by the travellers website TripAdvisor.com It allows visitors to rank hotels giving them stars on a scale of one to five with the worst receiving one star and the best five stars. Seven out the top worst hotels are in London with the Cromwell Crown in Earls Court in central London topping the list.

The worst 10 hotels are:

1. Cromwell Crown, London

2. Corbigoes Hotel, London

3. Nanford Guest House, Oxford

4. Cosmopolitan Hotel, Brighton

5. Eden Plaza Hotel, London

6. Hanover Hotel, London

7. Rose Court Hotel, London

8. Imperial Hotel, Manchester

9. Gresham Hotel Bloomsbury, London

10. Park Hotel, London

posted on Wednesday, March 4, 2009 12:46:15 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Recently airlines have been introducing charges for things that customers have previously taking for granted, like checking in bags on in flight meals. It appears Ryanair may go one step further and start charging customer to use the toilet. According to this article Ryanair are considering charging customers £1 to use the toilet on their flights. The article suggests that they are looking at the possibility of installing a coin slot on the lavatory door, this just seems another good reason to avoid Ryanair.

posted on Tuesday, March 3, 2009 2:06:29 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, February 16, 2009

Blackpool Pleasure Beach has introduced an entry fee for the first time since it opened more than 100 years ago in 1896. Visitors will now have to pay either the £3 entry fee or purchase an unlimited ride wristband. The charges were brought in from the beginning of February 2009.

posted on Monday, February 16, 2009 12:01:09 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, February 9, 2009

Two of the leading British holiday camp operators have announced thousands of new jobs in what could be a revival of the British holiday camp. The multi million pound investment comes as travel experts predict holiday makers will stay in Britain this summer because of the recession and the high value of the Euro. During the 1960's when British holiday camps were at their most popular they attracted around more than a million visitors a week. Pontin's have announced a £50 million investment in its six seaside holiday camps, this will include hiring 2,000 new staff over the new three years. Butlins will also invest £20 million in a new hotel at Bognor Regis and will also hire more staff for the summer. The moves come after they experienced a 15% increase in booking so far this year. At between £414 and £800 a family of four can enjoy a week's holiday in a family chalet during August.

posted on Monday, February 9, 2009 10:41:43 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, December 16, 2008

According to this article British Airways lost nearly half a million bags this summer. One in every 53 bags went missing, a total of 444,492 bags. The figure puts BA in 25th place out of 29 airlines based on statistics on baggage delays. The figures which also show statistics for punctuality show that BA flights were also at least 15 minutes late taking off or landing. On delayed baggage BA fared worse that rivals Air France and Lufthansa but better than KLM and BMI who were the worst performer overall. Virgin Atlantic were among the best performing airlines.

posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 11:05:55 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, December 2, 2008

blogoftheweek_thumbThere will be no Travel Blog of the Week during December to allow PC2Paper staff to concentrate on the increased volume of mail we receive during December. The regular feature will be back at the beginning of January.

posted on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 9:20:14 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, November 25, 2008
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This weeks Travel Blog of the Week is Candy from Strangers: Traveling the World in  Search of Sweets written by Malena. As the name of the blog suggest Malena has set out not only to travel the world but also to track down new and exciting types of candy. One of the more recent posts sees Malena in Switzerland where she takes the chocolate train to visit the chocolate factory naturally. The full tour includes a visit to the Gruyere cheese factory with a description of the cheese making process and some free samples before heading off to what appears to the highlight of the trip, the tasting room at the Cailler chocolate factory. Although the tour of the chocolate factory doesn't actually include a visit to the factory (due to insurance reasons) the main focus of the tour is the tasting room where you can eat as much chocolate as you want. The whole experience gets a fairly good review and Malena comments that the chocolate is very rich and it is hard to eat more than a few pieces. In the name of research she gamely tries a wide variety of flavours, its tough work but someone has to do it.

2340099458_dba839c142.ekze67j31rxq8044gs8kgwwos.92gy272ag7v4coow8ckk4w0o8.th In contrast the Haribo Museum in Uzes appears to be a rather disappointing experience. According to Malena getting to the museum is not easy with the bus only running once a day. Once there the museum focuses mainly on licorice which judging by the the authors comments are not exactly her favourite type of sweets. Whilst not offering a great selection of free samples unless you like licorice the museum is praised for the information it provides on the history of Haribo and the interesting statistics such as "if all of the Haribo gummy bears made in one year were placed in a line, it would circle the earth three times". Despite this the Haribo Museum does not come recommended. As well as the candy related travel articles this blog also contains various little bite sized posts called random candy where the author posts a picture a and a short description of some random pieces of candy with a short description. Pictured left are some gomitas which according to Malena are "sweet, soft, and flavour gumdrops". Its well worth checking out some of the other posts on this blog but beware it could leave you craving sugar.

posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2008 3:38:12 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, November 18, 2008
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This weeks Travel Blog of the Week is Everything Everywhere written by Gary Arndt. Gary set off on a trip around the world in March 2007 after selling his house and putting all his possessions in storage. Since then he has visited over 40 countries to date. His blog is predominantly a photo travel blog with a new picture being posted every day but also includes some short accounts of his travels. Some of my favourite pictures include the Cave-Entrance-Palawan-Philippinesentrance to the underground river in Puerto Princess, Palawan in the the Philippines (left) and  these roots growing oTa-Som-Back-Temple-HDRut of the stone at the Ta Som Temple in Cambodia (right).

One article from Gary's time in Nha Trang Vietnam highlights how local knowledge can often prove more beneficial than a guide book. He tells a story about a European couple who ask for a room at a guesthouse. When told that it will cost $20 a night the couple are surprised and refer to a guidebook which is a year old and quotes a price of $10-15 a night. On querying it with the owner of the guesthouse the couple are told that she has put in internet access and air conditioning since then, hence the higher price. It should really be common sense that whilst guide books can often provide a good overview of any area that prices do frequently change. Gary on the other hand asks a local man if he knows where he can find a room for $20 with internet access. He finds a place in just minutes and is even driven there on the local mans motorbike, all for just a small finders fee. This blog is well worth checking out for the stunning pictures and the informative articles, a well deserved Travel Blog of the Week.

posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2008 8:27:41 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, November 10, 2008

blogoftheweek_thumb3004483222_b162a737d5_bThis weeks Travel Blog of the Week is Life of Justin written by Justin Wright. The blog  looks predominately at hiking destinations within the US. One of the most recent articles looks at the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. The article gives a positive view of the caverns which can be viewed for just $6. The review helpfully mentions that there is a lift to take you down to the caverns but does not recommend using it if you can make the walk as it skips some of the best parts of the walk. Despite warnings that the hike is strenuous Justin comments that its a fairly easy hike but does recommend hiking shoes as it can be quite steep. Its all useful information and worth checking out if you are planning a visit to the caverns. The article is also illustrated with several stunning pictures such as the one on the right.

3003086942_ffa71fa432_o Another post deals with another very different hike. This time its backpacking at the White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. The interesting thing about this hike is that instead of following the path as you would normally, here you follow posts in the ground looking for the next one on the horizon and then walking towards it. Camping overnight under the stars looks to be a really cool experience and the shots of the stars in the sky are worth checking out. Overall this hike gets a favourable review.

A slightly more conventional day out looks at the Arizona Science Centre in Phoenix. As a family day out the venue gets a rather poor review which is partly down to it being fairly pricey and partly to the number of exhibits that are out of order. The initial thought here is that are too many unsupervised children and that the venue seems more like a zoo than a science center. This is obviously not a day out for people without children. The exhibits, however, are described as very cool but the science center gets a poor review because many of them are broken or have an out of order sign stuck on them. The center is also criticised for not including the special exhibits in the entrance price, if you want to see these they cost an extra $9. Overall as a family day out the costs would amount to around $92 for a family of four, the verdict is that at these prices it is simply not worth the money and you might be better off looking around for something that is a little better value. Its well worth checking out some of the other posts on this blog.

posted on Monday, November 10, 2008 8:40:54 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, November 2, 2008
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This weeks Travel Blog of the Week is Travelsphere. The blog contains a number of useful articles both destination specific and general travel tips. One article entitled 7 Top Tips to Pack Light and Right looks at how to pack less and so save money on checking in multiple bags. The tips include planning your outfits around your shoes as shoes take up valuable space in your suitcase. It suggests starting with two or three pairs of shoes that you will be taking and then working your outfits around these, rather than packing an extra pair of shoes just because they go well with a particular pair of trousers. The article also suggests packing neutral colours like black, white and cream and adding a few brightly coloured tops and accessories to liven them up, after all there is no point packing a lime green top if it doesn't go with any of the other item in your suitcase, the chances are it will come back unworn. Packing low maintenance fabrics can also save you space, the article suggests choosing fabrics such as nylon that don't wrinkle easily. Not only do they not crease as easily as linen but they can also be rolled up into a ball to save on that much needed space.

Another useful article looks at the Top Ten Way to Travel Cheaply and Stick to a Budget. This post is aimed predominately at first time backpackers. The tips include swapping items with other backpackers if you no longer need them, travelling overnight to save money on accommodation a purchasing discount cards. Other suggestions include opting for shared accommodation such as shared dormitories and where ever possible walking rather than using public transport. Its all great advice and just a taste of what you will find on this blog. Its definitely worth checking out the other articles if you are planning trip abroad.

posted on Sunday, November 2, 2008 9:32:52 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, October 28, 2008

blogoftheweek_thumb This weeks Travel Blog of the Week is Slow Europe written by Pauline Kenny and Steve Cohen. The blog as the name suggests looks at travel within Europe and offers a number of interesting articles. The most recent post starts with an open letter to vacation rental agencies and vacation rental owners and asks "Please, Tell us who you are!". The post highlights the fact that many vacation rental websites do not give any information about the owners of the accommodation and often don't include prices and availability meaning you need to email them to find out vital information. The good news, however, is that there are some websites that do this rather well and these are highlighted in the article. The Castle Montalto website is recommended for this reason. It gives a photo of the owners and some background information. You can even see a picture of the person who will meet you when you arrive and the name of the pet dog. The names of the two cats, however, are not mentioned, shame, cats have feelings too. Still, the main thing is that with these recommendations you should be able to plan your perfect holiday before you go instead of leaving things to chance.

Another post looks at how to make your own European style bread. Although she confesses to being an inexperienced baker Pauline appears to have perfected the recipe and gives a step by guide that even the worst cooks amongst us should be able to follow and if the photos are not enough there are videos as well. The important thing appears to be using a mix of whole wheat and white flour. You then to need to make up the dough and let it rest before shaping it into a ball. Unusually no kneading is required the bread is simply left to rise for a couple of hours before baking in a covered pot. It looks great I will certainly be trying this out at home.

posted on Tuesday, October 28, 2008 5:37:22 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, October 20, 2008

The Spanish airline LTE International has suspended operations because of serious financial difficulties. LTE stopped taking bookings last Thursday after it announced it could not cover costs for the next few days. The company said that several thousand passengers had been affected by the cancellation of flights. Some customers were also stranded in Spain. LTE currently run flights from Spain to the UK, Italy and Saudi Arabia. They employ 300 staff and have a fleet of seven Airbus 320s. The company has said that it will refund the cost of stranded customers flights but that it is unable to provide alternative transport. It has also said that around 3500 LTE passengers had their charter flights from Tenerife to Europe cancelled and that tour operators are legally obliged to find these passengers an alternative carrier.

posted on Monday, October 20, 2008 12:30:34 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, October 13, 2008

blogoftheweek_thumb This weeks Travel Blog of the Week is Travel Wonders of the World. The blog was created with the aim of bringing together in one place what the author believes are the true wonders of the world. One of the more recent posts which is in two parts looks at Machu Picchu (lost city of the Incas) in Peru. Part Two of the article provides a useful map to help guide you around the site with an in depth description of the various parts of the city and pictures of some of the main features of the Inca city. Part one of the same article gives an overall picture of how the city would have functioned with different areas being set aside for the nobles and leaders and residential areas for the rest of the population. The article also points out that the Incans understood how to build their structures to withstand tremors  and that many of the structures are precisely aligned to the equinoxes. The detailed information combined with a number of pictures makes for a very informative and interesting read.

Photo Vermont Fall1 Another article looks at fall in New England and the stunning array of colours that the season brings (pictured left). The author describes the local past time of leaf peeping where newspapers publish a daily map to help people pin point the best locations to see the vibrant colours and travellers sneak down little known back roads to try and get a better view of the vibrant autumn colours.

A slightly more humorous article looks at Australia's obsession of all things big. The author here, highlights the Big Pineapple, the Big Banana, the Big Potato, The Giant Earthworm and The Big Crab just to name a few. It certainly seems that Australia is the place to go if you want to have your photo taken with something big.

posted on Monday, October 13, 2008 4:05:21 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, October 5, 2008

blogoftheweek_thumb This weeks Travel Blog of the Week is soultravelers3. The blog follows the travels of a family of three who have sold their home to travel the world. The family have now been travelling for a couple of years and as you can imagine during this time have built up a wealth of useful tips. One post that contains some useful tips for family travel is entitled Top 10 Family Travel Tips. The post recommends using an RV when travelling because its a great way of saving money as you can stay in campgrounds overnight rather than having to find cash for expensive B&B's or hotels. Another recommendation is to combine the use of an RV with some extended stays at a more permanent rental home. The tip here is to try and book off season to cut costs and if possible to choose a village house rather a country house so you are not too isolated and can connect with the local community better. Another tip includes having someone at home that you can use as a snail mail address to handle any parcels that you might need to receive. Of course for letters you can always sign up for a PC2Paper mailbox and we can make these available for you to read online. Other useful posts on the blog include How to Eat Healthy & Cheap Traveling Europe, How to do Extended Travel & Mini retirements and Dentists and Travel.

posted on Sunday, October 5, 2008 9:43:44 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, September 30, 2008

blogoftheweek_thumbThis weeks Travel Blog of the Week is matadortravel. The site aims to give travellers detailed information so they can the most out of a tight schedule. It contains a number of useful destination guides written by local experts who have visited and enjoyed the places they write about. One article entitled How to Enjoy Italy on 30E Per Day looks at how to cut costs when visiting Italy. One suggestion for finding cheap lodging is using a network such as Couchsurfing. As the name suggests the network helps connect people looking for accommodation with a place to sleep and vice versa. Whilst the network is not specific to Italy, Rome currently has around 1,400 registered couch surfers so you certainly have a good chance of finding a place to stay. The article offers a few tips for eating out in Italy that could help save a bit of cash. The first is don't feel obliged to tip as the service charge is usually added to the bill. Eating at the bar rather than sitting down can also save you money as it can cost 5 times the amount of an espresso for the privilege of a seat. Other tips include staying away from restaurants close to major monuments, choosing pasta courses that will fill you up and ordering the house wine which is often cheaper than water. This is just one of many useful articles on this website, you might also want to check out How to Enjoy Paris on $100 a Day, The Best of Ireland on a Budget and 10 Things to do in Europe that will make you Smarter.

posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2008 11:45:45 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, September 29, 2008
If you are looking for something a bit special when deciding on a holiday destination then you might want to have a look at Only Exclusive Travel. They are a UK based travel agent that specialises in luxury holidays. They specialise in travel to unusual and exotic destinations and offer among other things safaris and golf holidays. One of the hotels they offer is Le Saint Geran Mauritius, a hotel which is set in 60 acres of tropical garden and offers a 9-hole golf course.  If that’s not enough then guests also have the advantage of complimentary access to the nearby 18-hole championship lle aux Cerfs Golf Course.  Other hotels in Mauritius include the Le Touessrok Mauritius where you can Stay 14 nights and only pay for 7 and get complimentary half board.  Prices start at around £2300 per person.

Only Exclusive Travel also offers what they call experiences. These are holidays which are tailor made to your needs. You can combine a number of destinations resorts or countries to create your perfect holiday whether it is a safari or a wine tasting break. These breaks are obviously not for the budget traveller but are a great idea for special occasions such as weddings, honeymoons and anniversaries. For those thinking of booking  a honeymoon break they offer is a honeymoon gift service. With this you can select your honeymoon and pay a 10% deposit. Then you send the contact details to your friends and family who can contribute towards the rest of the honeymoon.

posted on Monday, September 29, 2008 12:35:51 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, September 23, 2008

BA have suspended flights to and from Pakistan due to security fears after the bombing of a Islamabad hotel. 53 people were killed in the blast which happened at the Marriott Hotel at the weekend. No one has claimed responsability for the bomb but it thought the investigation will lead to al Qaeda and Taliban militants. British Airways have suspended its six flights a week to the country and have said "Our people at headquarters are reviewing the security situation."

posted on Tuesday, September 23, 2008 12:17:23 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, September 21, 2008

blogoftheweek_thumbThis weeks Travel Blog of the Week is Cool Travel Guide written by Lara Dunston. The most recent article looks at Dubai on a budget. The article tries to dispel the myth that Dubai is expensive with a look at lots of stuff you can do for free. The author suggests visiting some of Dubai's museums many of which are free or only charge about one dollar. The Heritages and Diving Village also gets a mention. The village is a reconstruction of the first settlement at Shindagha and gives an insight into what Dubai used to be like. It includes barasti pal frond houses, old wooden boats and traditional performances. Another recommendation is to visit Bastakiya where you can visit some traditional Persian merchants' houses that have been restored and now house cafes, hotels and art galleries. There are lots of good ideas here which are sure to help people trying to save their hard earned cash.

Another post also on the Middle East looks at 9 reasons to love Ramadan. Although many tourists avoid visiting the Middle East during Ramadan the author points out that it can be a good time to explore during the day when the streets are usually empty. In contrast you can expect to enjoy lively nights during Ramadan as everyone breaks their fast at sunset and shares a communal meal with their families or at a mosque. Many of the hotels hold lavish Iftar buffets which are great value and are shared by Muslims and non Muslims alike. Its all good advice which should give readers an idea of what to expect when travelling during the holy month. These are just a few posts from a blog that has lots of useful articles on a wide variety of different topics, it is definitely worth adding to your RSS feed.

posted on Sunday, September 21, 2008 6:01:47 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, September 17, 2008

After much speculation BAA have put Gatwick airport up for sale. The chief executive Colin Matthews said the continuing inquiry into BAA by the competition commission was a "big chunk of the motivation" in putting Gatwick up for sale. It is expecting to receive interest from state backed investors and sovereign wealth groups such as Abu Dhabi Investment Capital, the Investment Corporation of Dubai and the Kuwait Investment Authority. Manchester Airport Group and Virgin Atlantic have also confirmed an interest in Gatwick.

posted on Wednesday, September 17, 2008 5:48:54 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, September 15, 2008

blogoftheweek_thumb This weeks Travel Blog of the Week is Nomadic Matt's Travel Site written by a twenty something traveller called Matt. The blog charts Matt's travels around the world starting in Thailand in 2005 to the present day. One fairly recent post deals with the issue of how to avoid looking like a tourist, an important consideration when travelling. Some obvious tips include losing the Bermuda shorts and giant camera, things that are sure to make you an instant target for any unscrupulous locals. Other tips are steering clear of "the wrong way backpack" because it marks you out as a paranoid tourist and shows you don't belong, the advice here is to simply wear it where it belongs on your back, why else is it called a backpack? Likewise "The Fanny Pack" marks you our as an easy tourist as well as putting all of your valuables in one place making them easy pickings for a thief. Other tips include leaving the giant map at home and making an effort to blend in.

Another post looks at how to make the most from your travel photos. The tips here include planning ahead so that you can shoot when the light is good, usually between 11am and 2pm, looking for an interesting perspective and getting close to your subject. The advice here is not to put yourself in imminent danger but to take advantage of the zoom feature on your camera. It also includes tips on how to use selective focus tips for the best effect. Lots of useful information which is sure to make sure you don't come home with lots of poor out of focus snaps.

posted on Monday, September 15, 2008 10:25:48 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, September 9, 2008

blogoftheweek_thumb This weeks Travel Blog of the Week is Gadling. The blog covers a wide variety of travel related issues. One article deals with using the Internet on your phone whilst you are abroad. The author points out that you need to remember to turn off the international data roaming on your phone when abroad because it can be hugely expensive. It cites a few examples where people have managed to run up large charges without realising how much they will be paying. Using a 3G phone like the iPhone can easily run up charges of around $60 a minute according to the article, a very costly mistake just to access a few emails.

Another post looks at travelling with your pets. The article starts with looking at what trips are possible when travelling with pets. The key, it seems is research before you go. The article suggests calling the hotel rather than booking online, that way you can make sure you can organise a pet friendly room. You should ask for a list of restrictions and policies regarding pets and inquire about any perks that may be offered such as dog beds, treats and water bowls. The article also deals with taking your pet abroad and includes tips of what to pack so that it has a comfortable journey. It also suggests booking your pets flight early and calling to confirm that your pet is actually coming a few days before the flight. It also recommends arriving at the airport early in case of any problems. Its all useful stuff and certainly worth a read before taking your pet on vacation.

posted on Tuesday, September 9, 2008 9:50:08 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, September 2, 2008

9musespoolblogoftheweek_thumb This weeks Travel blog of the Week is Package Holiday written by Ian Sims. The blog  aims to help people find the best package holiday deals. Whilst the blog is relatively new it already contains some useful articles and reviews on various package holiday destinations. The most recent article looks at package holidays to the Greek islands and more specifically to Kefalonia. It includes links to useful websites that are worth checking out before you go away such as Trip Advisor which offers reviews from real travellers. The article also gives an informative review of the package holiday offered through First Choice Holidays. The hotel called the Nine Muses gets a favourable review for being clean and modern and close to the beach. The author also highlights some nearby attractions in Scala which are worth checking out. The only disappointment appears to be that he was not invited aboard Tom Cruise's yacht which was anchored nearby. 

Other articles on the blog give reviews of travel related websites. One such website that I have not come across before is Sidestep a US based site that Ian recommends for finding flights. Although the site is US based he points out that it offers flights to and from any destination so is just as useful for people who live outside of the states. The website gets a good review for being easy to use. It also gets the thumbs up for useful features that it offers such as email alerts on the best deals for your destination and the fact that it saves your holiday dates for the next time you use the website, so you don't need to input them again. This blog offers more than a simple review of the package holiday itself, it goes beyond that and reviews the whole travel experience from booking and researching the holiday before travelling, to the journey and destination itself. Its certainly a useful resource and it worth checking out further.

posted on Tuesday, September 2, 2008 10:28:36 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, August 28, 2008

This article suggests that many British beaches are being contaminated by sewage. The problem is down to the wet summer putting increased pressure on water treatment systems meaning millions of litres of toxic waste are being pumped into the sea. According to the article two thirds of the 488 bathing beaches in England and Wales suffered increases in peak sewage pollution last month. The worst affected beaches are also some of the most popular with Totland Bay, Camber Sands and Watergate Bay being affected. In some cases blue flag beaches which should guarantee that no industrial or sewage waste affects the area have also been contaminated. One example is Porthtowan a blue flag beach in Cornwall where cotton buds and sanitary towels have been found. The Environment Agency has found that at 310 testing sites peak levels of bacteria found in faeces were higher in the first three week of July than in the same period in 2006.

posted on Thursday, August 28, 2008 8:35:37 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, August 25, 2008
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blogoftheweek_thumb This weeks Travel Blog of the Week is Weird Meat - a food and travel blog. The blog is  an exploration of how different cultures around the world feel about food. The author spends his time searching for strange things to eat and when he finds something odd, eats it and posts pictures and an article about his experience. The most recent post sees him in Taiwan sweird_likelocal2-713229ampling chicken testicles and deer penis wine. The wine (pictured right) comes in a large glass jar which is filled with liquor. In the middle of the jar is a preserved deer penis. The verdict is that it is "brutal strong" and not cheap at $9 USD for a shot. Another interesting culinary experience sees the author at a shop specialising in odd duck parts. Here he purchases some duck heads (pictured left). The heads are cooked and seasoned and then split down the centre so you can scoop out the brains and cartilage. Apparently they are tasty but rather chewy. 

drunk_shrimp2-750854Another article looks at a dish called Shanghai Drunken Shrimp (pictured right). The dish which sounds fairly tame is  actually live shrimps which are served swimming in a bowl of sweet alcohol. The alcohol makes the shrimp a little less feisty but the experience is still made more interesting because the shrimp bite barat2-705799ck as you try to eat them. The trick apparently is to leave them in the alcohol for just enough time to get drunk and stupid before digging in. Something with slightly less bite is fried rat (pictured left) which the author tries in Cambodia. This  dish is BBQ'd so that it is well done and tastes like chicken. In all this is a great blog filled with lots of interesting material but is probably best enjoyed on an empty stomach.

posted on Monday, August 25, 2008 7:23:53 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, August 19, 2008

blogoftheweek_thumbThis weeks Travel Blog of the Week is Backpacking Travel Blog. The blog concentrates on travel around Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia and South America and is predominately a photo travel blog peppered with comments. Whilst it is unusual to choose a photo blog as the PC2Paper Travel Blog of the week, this blog is full of great pictures and is well worth a further look. Here are just a few of the photos.

Ta Prohm Crickets

Above the amazing temple Ta Prohm in Cambodia and the local snack of fried crickets.

Below a tree frog in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest and a waterfall in the Canaima National Park

Tree Frog Waterfall

posted on Tuesday, August 19, 2008 9:36:31 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, August 10, 2008

blogoftheweek_thumbThis weeks travel blog of the week is Orbitz Travel Blog written by the Orbitz staff and contributors. The reason I have chosen this blog is because it has a wide variety of articles that look at different aspects of the travel industry. The most recent article looks at family friendly adventures in Edmonton. The article highlights the Edmonton Marriott hotel at the River Cree Resort which is recommended for being particularly child friendly. It also looks at the Valley Zoo with its petting zoo, animal shaped pedal boats and pony rides.

In contrast another article on the blog discusses how to find gay luxury in the Caribbean. Whilst the options initially appear fairly limited the author does have some good recommendations. Puerto Rico gets the thumbs up because the main city of San Juan has a gay beach which is something of a rarity in the Caribbean. The British Virgin Islands also appears to be a good destination to find gay luxury with the Aquamare resort getting a good review. The resort includes three villas on a private beach and has the advantage of being gay owned. It also offers five star treatment and has its own private chef serving up gourmet food and even a professional masseur. It sounds great.

Another post looks at the complexities of group travel. Travelling with a group of people can sometimes be a challenge especially if people within the group have different expectations about the trip. The article recommends asking a few important questions before travelling such as is the trip a vacation or are you expecting to spend time sightseeing. It is also worth considering what sort of budget you have in relation to other members of the group and outlining any "must do" items that members of the group have in mind before you go. Its all good advice and if followed should lead to a happier group holiday with many less arguments.

posted on Sunday, August 10, 2008 12:27:48 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, August 9, 2008

Visitors to Kew Gardens can now take advantage of a hi-tech tour guide. The device is a handheld computer that uses a global positioning system to pinpoint where the user is. It then automatically tells them about the plants and trees that they are walking past and shows information on the colour screen. It costs £4.95 a day to rent and is able to show video, text and pictures as well as having games for children.

posted on Saturday, August 9, 2008 11:39:29 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, August 5, 2008

This week's travel blog of the week is Family on Bikes.

It is the story of a family of four's quest to cycle from Alaska to Argentina using one tandem and two single bikes. The families aim is to break a Guinness World record for the "Youngest Person to Cycle the Pan-American Highway" and a quest to bring the world to young children in classrooms as part of a non-profit organization called Reach the World. Reach the World has been linking travelling educators with classrooms across the globe since 1998.

I have been on a lot of cycling holidays in the past but never one that involved using a tandem with a "bicycle trailer" attached to the back. What I find fascinating is the tandem actually takes three people! Shouldn't it be called a "tridem"?

posted on Tuesday, August 5, 2008 10:33:56 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, July 27, 2008

blogoftheweek_thumb This weeks travel blog of the week is Traveling Mamas. The blog as its title suggests is written by a a group of mothers and offers tips and advice about places to visit with children. One recent article looks at the San Diego Omni hotel. The hotel gets a good review due to its family friendly approach. On arrival the children were presented with some children's backpacks which contained a various delights such as glow in the dark gummy worms, bracelets, a kaleidoscope and a children's cup which gives them free refills in the hotels restaurant. Cleverly the backpacks give the adults in the group much needed time to settle into the hotel and unpack whilst the children are exploring what is inside them. The hotel also gets the thumbs up for its fantastic kids menu and for the packages it provides such as the Seaworld family package which includes accommodation, breakfast and Seaworld tickets.

This blog doesn't just concentrate on vacations for the whole family it also looks at other types of holidays such as romantic getaways. This article looks at how to survive your wine tasting and suggests the Napa Valley as a great destination to visit. It has a few humorous tips including "Don’t get angry when someone says “that’s a big nose” - they are referring to the aroma of the wine, not you" and "When the pourer suggests you may want to spit, you want to do it in the slop bucket, and not at the other tasters." All very good advice and sure to make your first wine tasting pass without incident.

posted on Sunday, July 27, 2008 6:00:48 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, July 22, 2008

This article suggests that an increasing number of British families are now taking their summer holiday in the UK. The main factors influencing their decision seems to be that they are trying to save money and also avoid delays and problems at the UK's airports. Whilst people still appear to be booking short haul holidays to places like France, Malta and the Canaries customers seem to be steering clear of long haul destinations.

posted on Tuesday, July 22, 2008 9:09:01 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, July 20, 2008
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blogoftheweek_thumbThis weeks Travel Blog follows Jon and Jacky as they travel around for three months on  their honeymoon. Their journey started in May when they visited Vietnam. One of the posts from their time there shows some of the interesting items of sale, such as th2334396-Elephant-ear-fish-0ese snakes and scorpions in a jar (right). They also show some of the more unusual food on offer, such as this elephant ear fish (left) which although ugly is apparently perfectly edible.

2492582-Feeding-time-at-the-zoo-0Another post finds them in Singapore visiting the Singapore Zoo.  The title of the post "If Carlsberg made zoos" says it all. None of the animals at the zoo are in conventional enclosures giving an altogether more close up experience as you can see by this picture (right) of crocodile feeding time.

2557888-Monkeys-on-ice-0 The most recent posts find the couple in New Zealand. A few highlights include the ice bar. A2591023-Pancake-rocks-0 bar that is basically an -8 degree room where all the chairs, bar and glasses are made of ice. Another post finds them visiting a glacier and walking around the ice caves and another recent post shows these rather unusual limestone rocks (right).

posted on Sunday, July 20, 2008 5:39:18 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, July 17, 2008

Despite the fact that prices of holidays seems to be more expensive at the moment due to fuel surcharges, there are still some good deals to be had if you look around. One option that is worth looking at is a holiday apartment rather than a hotel. This website for example has some good deals on Barcelona apartments. The advantage of booking a holiday apartment is that it can often work out cheaper choosing the self catering option. Holiday apartments in Catalonia start from as little as £350 a week based on a 1 bedroom apartment near the city centre and according to this article August is a good time to visit Barcelona as many Spaniards choose to go on vacation so the city is quieter and Spanish apartments are often cheaper at this time of year.

Barcelona like Paris has a discount card that you might want to purchase to save a bit more cash. Not surprisingly it is called the Barcelona Card. It offers free travel on public transport, free offers at museums, leisure facilities, nightclubs, shops and restaurants. You can purchase the card for 2,3,4 or 5 days depending on the length of your stay and it also comes with a handy information guide.

posted on Thursday, July 17, 2008 10:32:29 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

BA will cut capacity on winter flights by up to 5% in an effort to avoid losses. They will reduce the amount of flights on its routes and axe some service between October and March. There will be fewer services on the least cash generative routes with no more than two out of 154 routes being axed. Many airlines are currently cutting capacity due to falling demand and high fuel prices with US carriers leading the way. There are signs that the slowing economy is starting to affect travel with BA seeing a decline of 3.7% or 87,000 fewer passengers in June.

posted on Thursday, July 17, 2008 9:06:59 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, July 15, 2008

This week's travel blog of the week is 3 Go Global, yet another blog started by someone who decided to pickup sticks and explore the world with their children in tow so they could say "I did that!"

One interesting article I found was about their trip to Bangkok watching an "horrific" display of a mongoose attacking cobras that were dropped into its glass cage (the snakes were later prized from its jaws). However my favourite part was the visit to the Tiger Temple where tigers sit sprawled out unconcerned by the tourists gauping at these larger than life creatures lazing in the sun.

posted on Tuesday, July 15, 2008 11:24:39 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, July 5, 2008

blogoftheweek_thumb This weeks Travel Blog of the Week is Born to Travel 2526995-Ooops-0written by Sharon and Scott. The blog follows their various travels around the world with the most recent posts finding them in India. One post charts a bus trip to the town of Keylong where the driver negotiates the precarious mountain road whilst holding an animated conversation with the conductor complete with wild hand movements. It all sounds rather scary and the2452300-These-guys-are-nuts-1y post a picture (right) of what can happen if you go off the edge. Luckily they arrives at their destination in one piece despite feeling the effects of altitude sickness - lethargy, nausea, and headaches. Another post is about another bus trip. On this one, however, the couple decided to get off as the bus in question had no brakes despite being about to negotiate the same precarious mountain roads. Despite this it appears that the local people, perhaps hardened to the conditions of the road and the transport were happy to stay on the bus and continue their journey. A third post shows something that you could surely only find in India a man powered Ferris Wheel (left). You have to see it to believe it. These are just a few highlights from this great blog, but its well worth checking it out yourself for more great posts.

posted on Saturday, July 5, 2008 3:20:06 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, July 3, 2008

Exeter International Airport has unveiled expansion plans. Under the plans the airport would expand to include more destinations and would make improvements to taxiways. The plans could increase on site jobs from 1,400 to 3,550 by 2030 with the local economic contribution rising from £105m to £264m over the same period. However, Friends of the Earth have said that plans to increase annual passengers number at the airport are bad for the environment and that any economic benefit would be outweighed by the effects on climate change. The plan is open for consultation for three months.

posted on Thursday, July 3, 2008 11:19:59 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, June 29, 2008

We apologise for missing last month's travel blog of the week, we have all been very busy with upgrades to the PC2Paper website. This week's travel blog of the week is the rather unusually named Hedgehogs Without Borders. The blog covers Jessica and Tim's 18 month "round-the-world adventure" to places such as Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Spain, England, Turkey, Greece, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos....

An article I found interesting was their visit to the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu its usually on top of every adventurers list when visiting Peru. What I liked about their visit was they also decided to scale Wayna Picchu the mountain peak you usually see in the back ground when pictures are taken of Machu Picchu. On top of this peak is an ancient complex of Incan guardhouses which leads to a spectacular view below of the Sacred Valley.

posted on Sunday, June 29, 2008 11:52:19 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, June 15, 2008

blogoftheweek_thumb This weeks travel blog of the week is the official blog of the Romow travel directory. The blog has lots of useful tips for travellers. One post entitled how to make the most of your family vacation suggests stocking up at home for some of your vacation needs as its often cheaper. Packing plenty of sunscreen, batteries and first aid supplies will mean you don't need to pay over inflated prices at the airport and in the resort. The post also suggests travelling off season which can save you as much as 50% off high season prices and also enjoy your destination without crowds of other tourists. It also recommends doing your research and comparing prices on car rental and accommodation before booking and looking out for bundle deals which can often offer large discounts.

Another post looks at travel safety and security. It includes advice such as wearing a money belt to protect your paperwork and your travellers checks and also recommends making copies of all of your important documents before you go and storing them separately from the originals. There is plenty of other useful advice on this blog from tips on what to pack to advice on getting the most of your railway journey. Its well worth a look for any traveller.

posted on Sunday, June 15, 2008 6:06:40 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, June 8, 2008

blogoftheweek_thumbThis weeks travel blog of the week is Less than a Shoestring: Budget Travel Tips for People with no Budget. The blog as the title suggests has a wealth of ideas for people travelling with very little money. One post looks at how to cut costs in London. The author managed to spend five days in London and spent under £100 including flights which is quite impressive. Some tips for keeping costs down include eating only groceries rather than eating out and taking public transport. Other ways to cut costs include visiting things that are free like such as the Tate Modern and the London museums. Another useful post has some tips on how to save for plane tickets, often the biggest expense to consider when you are planning a trip. Tips include selling unwanted items to raise some extra cash and putting aside all your loose change into a flight fund. After a while all those coins can soon can add up.

posted on Sunday, June 8, 2008 3:44:44 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Tuesday, June 3, 2008

This week's travel blog of the week is Coomers Family World Adventures. The blog is about a family of three Shawn, Shawn and Jasmine who set about a two year trip around the world. Amongst their destinations are Australia, Belize & Honduras, Canada, Fiji, Guatemala, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand and the USA.

One interesting article is entitled "Have We Died and Gone To Hell?" Which explains the families trip through the Australian outback and suffering the severe heat which was so intense they had to cancel a trip and spend most of the time indoors with an air conditioning unit. Shawn mentions that in the brief time they were outside even the animals stayed out of sight in the shade.

posted on Tuesday, June 3, 2008 11:00:33 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, May 23, 2008

Last summers storm has meant that bathing water at beaches across the UK is more polluted. As a result the number of beaches with excellent water quality has fallen by 10% on last year. 779 beaches were tested, with 443 getting a good rating compared with 495 last year. The tests were carried out between May and September last year coinciding with the wettest British summer on record. The society has said that heavy rain would have washed sewage and animal waste into the rivers and the sea making the waters more polluted than normal. The tests also found that the number of beaches failing to meet the minimum standard has tripled from 17 to 53. If you want to find out how a beach scored before swimming you can see the results here.

posted on Friday, May 23, 2008 4:43:37 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, May 22, 2008

American Airlines will bring in a charge for checked bags from the 15th of June. They will charge $15 for the first checked bag and already have a $25 charge for the second checked bag. It will also raise other fees for service such as reservation help and fees for oversized bags. The changes come because the airlines fuel costs have increased by nearly $3 billion since the start of the year. Other airlines such as United Airlines are also looking at whether to impose a fee on checked luggage. It seems checking in baggage free of charge might soon become a thing of the past.

posted on Thursday, May 22, 2008 5:49:44 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, May 20, 2008

blogoftheweek This weeks travel blogs of the week is The World Is Not Flat.

Usually when we choose a travel blog we like to make sure it has been updated regularly to ensure its current. On this occasion we have chosen a travel blog that is "frozen in time". The main purpose of The World Is Not Flat was to record the 2 years travels of Lee and Sachi LeFever. At the end of their travels they catalogued their experiences into Favourite Overall Countries, Favourite Experiences, Not So Favourite and Favourite Cities.

The blog is vast and covers travels through places such as Japan, New Zealand, China, Russia, Thailand and Portugal with a wealth of photos and articles of their experiences. From scamming tax drivers to how to deal with street hawkers in India.

posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2008 11:56:18 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, May 13, 2008

blogoftheweek This weeks travel blog of the week is Sixintheworld, covering the travels of a family of six's year long trips around the world. The reason they decided to do the trip was to build family relationships and teach their kids that they have the power to make a difference in the world through good deeds along the way.

The site is well laid out featuring items such as the family's Itinery, Non Profit deeds and Photo collections. The family is so famous for their travels they have even been featured in national newspapers

posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 11:49:16 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, April 27, 2008

blogoftheweek_thumbThis weeks travel blog of the week is The Edmeads Family Adventures. The blogs charts the adventures of a family of four as they travel around the world on a year long trip. The unusual thing about this blog is that the family includes two young children of 4 and 7 years old.

Thailand_A__08__17_The blog starts off showing the preparations for the journey including the vaccinations before  they set off and all the items they need to pack to take with them. One of the Thailand_A___120408more recent posts sees the family visiting the Similan Islands in Thailand. A protected national park the islands have a wealth of interesting wildlife including turtles. The family slept in a camouflaged tent on the beach for the night (pictured left) and the next day were lucky enough to go swimming with turtles, much to the delight of the children.

This blog has many more interesting posts, illustrated with great pictures and is certainly proof that travelling the world with kids is not only possible but also an enjoyable experience for all.

posted on Sunday, April 27, 2008 11:10:56 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, April 20, 2008

blogoftheweek_thumbThis weeks travel blog of the week is The Perrin Post written by Wendy Perrin. This blog is particularly useful because it deals with several issues that have been in the news recently, such as what to do when your flight is delayed or when you are stranded at the airport. 

One useful post entitled top ten things to do when you are stranded at an airport has useful advice on how to amuse children if your flight is delayed. It includes suggestions such as using cots and blankets to make a fort and building towers out of packs of Starburst Fruit Chews. Another useful post includes advice on what you are entitled to if you are bumped from your flight and another post has ten ways to keep your children occupied on a plane without toys. It includes games such as "what shape is that cloud" and a "find the city" game which you can play using the air route map, as well as other advice to buy a drink for the other passengers within earshot. Its all very useful and should make travelling with children a little bit easier.

posted on Sunday, April 20, 2008 1:59:11 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, April 14, 2008

blogoftheweek This weeks travel blog of the week is Claire takes on the world, an amusing and feature rich blog of Claire's worldly travels.

What I enjoyed about Claire's blog is that out of the many blogs I have seen Claire had actually been to the Amazon. After 8 months in South America she had finally arranged a 3 day trip to the Amazon where they attempted to cross a river sitting on a wooden raft. While half way through the water Claire yelled to her clairefriend "Jenny, where's your camera?"

Jenny replied "Claire, it's not the time for pictures!" and then suddenly realised when checking her money belt that her camera and mp3 player were covered in water!

When they finally reached the Amazon, of which Claire likens to looking like a forest in Ireland, Jenny referred to the experience as "We're getting to meet the entire cast of A Bugs Life today".

You can read the rest of Claire's adventures here

posted on Monday, April 14, 2008 11:23:01 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, April 6, 2008

blogoftheweek_thumb This weeks travel blog of the week is steveislost.com. The blog is written by Steven Kazuo Nakano and charts his travels over the last couple of years. After selling off all of his stuff including his prized car back in 2005 Steve has already been to Argentina, Chile, Egypt, Israel, Peru and Venezuela, just to name a few places. The most recent entries find him in India where he purchases a motor bike in order to see more of the country. Steve talks about the complexities of dealing with the local police and paperwork issues and the fact that the best way to deal with them is just not to stop at the checkpoints.

bed bugs monkiesOne of the more humorous posts from his time in India also mentions what Steve describes as "the number two worst room I stayed in". Whilst this is not surprising, after reading the post you probably like me will be left wondering what the worst room he has stayed in was like, perhaps Steve can enlighten us here? Firstly he says the room was very close to a pig sty which gave it a beautiful spring smell, but the wildlife inside the room was slightly more irritating. One thing is for sure his post will certainly have you scratching as you read about the population of bed bugs he shared the room with. You can see what he calls his first nights catch pictured left. He says of the room and the number of bedbugs:
"I have stayed in places before where I have seen a few, but not a major infestation like this. At the joining of the wall to the ceiling was thousands of little droppings where they pooped. After the first night I finally realized where they were coming from and could see them sticking their heads out of the cracks waiting for me to go to sleep" and he resorts to staying awake most of the night as the bugs come out to feed. It sounds lovely. On a more cheerful note he also posts this cute picture of a family of monkeys . ahhh.

posted on Sunday, April 6, 2008 7:04:31 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, April 1, 2008
If your flight has been delayed or cancelled you might want to have a look at this article. It has lots of useful information about what compensation you could be entitled to. For example if your flight is delayed for two hours on a journey of up to 1,500km you should be able to claim free meals and refreshments and two phones calls, whereas if you are delayed overnight you are entitled to hotel accommodation. Its definitely worth a read before you travel.

posted on Tuesday, April 1, 2008 3:54:14 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, March 30, 2008

blogoftheweek_thumbThis weeks travel blog of the week is Family Travel. The blog is run by away.com and features  regular authors Steve Jermanok and Christine Loomis and other guest authors.  It aims to offer practical advice and tips for those planning a trip with the family.

ski_liftOne article written by Nathan Borchelt looks at the Copper  Mountain ski resort in Colorado which Nathan says is an ideal resort for the whole family. The reason he says this is that the resort has a large area which is dedicated to beginners but also has more challenging intermediate and expert runs which are situated well away from those who are just learning the ropes. The resort also holds classes for two age groups children aged 3 to 5 and another for children aged 5 and over, as well as having seasonal youth programs also separated by age group. It certainly looks like a great family destination.

Another useful article written by guest blogger Jennifer Michaels and entitled packing tips from the expert  looks at how to organise your packing and still stay within the airlines baggage allowance. Tips include things lie using a board to fold shirts and shorts and rolling bathing suits and underwear into cubes to save much needed space. Other tips include renting large items of baby equipment once you reach your destination and giving each child their own carry on kit for the plane journey with their special toys and some snacks included. This article is definitely worth a read before you travel.

posted on Sunday, March 30, 2008 3:14:03 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, March 17, 2008

blogoftheweek Today's Travel Blog of the week is Boedus Travel, its one of my favourite types of travel blogs - one with a lot of pictures. One of my favourite articles on this blog is that depicting a photo album of Yemen, it has some amazing pictures of this beautiful country and its people.

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Another article in a similar vain is Ethiopia Photo Raid an article where the author prefers to show his experience of this African country in photos and like the Yemen article the photos are truly stunning.

african-landscape

posted on Monday, March 17, 2008 12:25:27 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, March 15, 2008
Travellers on the East Coast Mainline will face disruption over Easter as services are hit by strike action. Services on the line have already been hit by gales which caused the track between York and Doncaster to be blocked by fallen power lines. This led to a reduced service being run between Scotland and York and Leeds and London. The planned strikes will last for five days starting next Wednesday 19th March and continuing until the morning of Easter Monday. During this time The Rail and Maritime Union members will not work any shifts. Network Rail has said that some services will still continue despite the strike action. The action is in protest to proposed job cuts at the North Yorkshire site and comes after a vote in favour on industrial action.

posted on Saturday, March 15, 2008 3:32:36 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, March 14, 2008
The Queen has officially opened Terminal 5 at Heathrow today. She was accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh and addressed 800 guests, most of who have been involved in the project. The terminal will begin operating on the 27th March and will offer increased customer capacity. The terminal will be used by British Airways for international flights and journeys to and from Manchester, Newcastle, Belfast and Scottish airports.

posted on Friday, March 14, 2008 4:30:22 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, March 9, 2008

 

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This weeks Travel Blog of the Week  is The Brel Chronicles written by Brendan and Mel (Brel). The blog charts their travels over a 10 month period and although it is still relatively new with the first post in January of this year, it already contains a number of interesting articles.

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I have always loved monkeys so was interested to see their pictures from Costa Rica where they have come across Howler Monkeys, Capuchin M2249010677_2da90d99c1_monkeys and Squirrel Monkeys all of which are really really cute. Much of the couples time in Costa Rica was also spent stalking the local bird population with Mel spotting an impressive 75 bird species including toucans, trogons, kingfishers and parrots.

They have also set up a foundation that is designed to try and give something back to the communities they visit. It is called The Brel Drop in the Ocean Foundation and the idea is that they will select a cause in each country that they visit and try offer what help they can, whether it is donating money or some of their time by volunteering on a local project. So far they have helped address the problem of stray cats in Placencia by helping  to reduce the population with a neutering program. They also have plans to contribute to an organisation that provides monkey bridges to help Titi monkeys avoid being electrocuted by electric wires. This blog is certainly off to a promising start despite being only three months old, I am looking forward to reading more of this great content over the coming months.

posted on Sunday, March 9, 2008 5:21:33 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, March 8, 2008
When Heathrow’s Terminal 5 opens later this month, it will become the first airport to introduce mandatory fingerprinting for domestic passengers. All domestic passengers leaving the terminal will now be subject to biometric checks and it is expected that other UK airports will introduce fingerprinting as within the next few years. All domestic passengers who go through Terminal 5 will have four fingerprints taken, as well as being photographed when they check in. BAA says that the move is necessary to prevent criminals and terrorists bypassing border controls and that the biometric information will be destroyed after 24 hours and that it will not be passed onto the police.

posted on Saturday, March 8, 2008 12:40:42 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, March 5, 2008
If you are planning on taking a holiday in the Mediterranean this summer you might want to be cautious when you visit the beach. This article suggests that large numbers of jellyfish are likely to be washed ashore this summer. Scientists studying the mauve stinger have noticed massive numbers of the jellyfish in deeper waters off the Costa Brava which are likely to be washed ashore with the summer tides. Although this jellyfish does sting, it does not seriously harm people.

posted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 1:22:11 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Recent developments in the Eurostar service and cheap flight deals mean that it is becoming easier to travel to the continent. This means it is becoming a viable option for commuters to live in France but still work in London. For people who are interested in doing just that www.francepropertyshop.com offers a guide to French property. It includes a search facility so you can search by region, price and the number of bedrooms you require. It also allows you to find properties near to your chosen ferry port or airport. For people who are thinking of making the move to France, but are not sure where to start there is an also a lot of advice from people highlighting their experiences and tips to make it all a bit easier. This is certainly a useful resource and worth looking at whether you are thinking of buying or selling a property in France.

posted on Tuesday, March 4, 2008 4:30:22 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, March 2, 2008

blogoftheweekThis weeks Travel Blog of the Week  is Location Independent Living. Ever grown tired of the usual rat race? Working 9 to 5, five days a week to earn a salary to pay off your mortgage and eventually retire on a good enough pension and live the good life? Well this blog was started by people who didn't want to live that sort of life, they wanted to live a good life now and from anywhere in the world.  So they sold all of their worldly possessions to travel the world and set up a location-independent business. This blog is here to help anyone else who wants to live this kind of live, it is also quick to add the caveat "without being a millionaire". To me this ensures people do not mistake this site as a get rich quick scheme but as a new way of living.

lipAn article I found interesting had the rather humorous title "How To Travel The World Working With Your Other Half And Not Split Up (Or Kill Each Other)". It covers the challenges facing couples who choose a Location Independent Lifestyle. One example it gives is the insecurity you might feel not being in your home town or close to friends to talk to instead of having to talk to your partner all the time. One solution it gives is to make new friends and to make use of online social networks to talk with friends.

posted on Sunday, March 2, 2008 11:42:00 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback

A scheme to help cut the cost of ferry journeys to and from the Western Isles has been announced by the Scottish Government. It currently costs £140 for the return car ferry from the mainland to Stornoway with local people saying this cost holds back tourism and development. The new scheme which will run as a pilot will cost £22 million to operate over three years but could see the cost of journey cut by a third. The routes chosen for the trial are Stornoway to Ullapool, the routes between Uig on Skye, Tarbert on Harris and Lochmaddy in North Uist and the routes linking Oban, South Uist, Coll Barra and Tiree.

posted on Sunday, March 2, 2008 3:30:54 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, February 26, 2008
British Airways passengers could face severe disruption at Easter unless talks to avert strike action by pilots are successful. BA and the British Airline Pilots Association have agreed to take their dispute to a mediator after 3,000 BA pilots voted for strike action. The action could take place anytime over the next 28 days as long as pilots give at least seven days notice. If strike actions were to go ahead it could affect 100,000 BA passengers a day.

posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 9:09:42 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, February 24, 2008

blogoftheweek_thumb This weeks travel blog of the week is Honeymoon Around the World written by Steve and Christy. It follows their progress as they take time out from their jobs for an extended honeymoon travelling around the world. Their journey starts in June 2007 with their wedding in Mexico and then heads to Iceland, Europe including Ireland, England and Italy and then onto Africa before heading to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and eventually New Zealand.

grasshopper There is a lot of interesting content on this blog but for  me a few posts stood out. The first from their time in Thailand is about the interesting food available at the street markets. One vendor was selling an interesting mix of fried bugs including meal worms, grasshoppers, crickets and cockroaches. Steve and Christy were brave enough to sample the fried grasshopper (pictured left) with Steve describing it as a "a fried mass of legs of body".
 

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Another post also on the subject of unusual food highlights the options available at a local  market in Laos. Here, Steve finds an appetising selection of fried rats and fried bats. Although Steve was not planning on purchasing anything a fellow tourist offered him a bat. Apparently you do not need to add sauce to enjoy a fried bat (pictured right), you simply eat it as it is. The verdict was that it tasted like chicken. Despite trying the bat Steve stayed away from the other delicacies preferring not to sample the fried rat or surprisingly the coagulated cow blood. I can't imagine why it all sounds very tasty.

posted on Sunday, February 24, 2008 3:39:59 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, February 18, 2008

blogoftheweek This weeks travel blog of the week is China Travel. The blog covers the travels of Tom Carter who has spent 2 years backpacking in China. Focusing more on the the things you probably wouldn't see if you went on a packaged holiday.

One of the most amusing articles on the blog is titled Chinese Youth Hostels. As a veteran backpacker, hostels are essential for Tom. He quite comically recalls an extended stay in a laid back hostel in Chengdu over 7 days. Encountering several Australians, Europeans and Americans who had also got pulled into the laid back life style of the hostel. Tom likens the hostel environment to that of a Reality TV Series 'Backpackers Behaving Badly', his stay is filled with occurrences of dorm mates arriving back drunk passing out in the early hours of the morning after going out partying each night.

posted on Monday, February 18, 2008 10:55:53 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, February 10, 2008

blogoftheweek_thumb This weeks travel blog of the week is Riding the Spine. The blog charts the progress of Jacob, Goat and Sean and their three year trip cycling the Continental Divide. They began their trip in July 2006 and are currently in Nicaragua. One of my favourite articles charts an incident where Sean has a run in with the local police. Whilst looking for a place to camp for the night, he had ended up on private property and venturing out for some groceries Sean came across the landlord who called the police. Three policeman quickly arrived armed with automatic rifles and after searching him they proceeded to ask lots of questions. Sean tried to make the Spanish speaking officer understand that he gone out to get some groceries but feared the worse when they ordered him into the police car. The police then proceeded to drive him to the grocery store before helping him pick out the groceries and even feeling each piece of fruit to check for ripeness. They then drove him back to the campsite.

Another article from their time in Mexico highlights the abundance of scorpions. Jacob describes finding scorpions under his mattress every night before being stung by one. He was left with a painful and numb arm and still had a numb finger several days later. These are just a few articles from this blog but there is a wealth of interesting stories here.

posted on Sunday, February 10, 2008 9:55:32 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, February 4, 2008

blogoftheweek This weeks travel blog of the week is Nate and Shelly's RTW Trip, a married couples blog of their travelling experiences around the world.

The blog covers Nate and Shelly's travels to Argentina, France, Guyana, Italy, Peru and Uruguay and is filled with interesting stories and photo's of their travels. One article I found interesting was their trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina where they visited Recoleta Cemetery which is also the resting place of Eva Peron.

I found Nate's 3 points on "what we throw away" in Argentina quite amusing. He says that garbage is collected every day in the city and can be quite a dangerous excise as bin men run down the street next to the truck throwing rubbish into the truck narrowly avoiding pedestrians. Recycling appears to be done by enterprising locals sifting through the rubbish you put out before the bin men collect it. Avoiding dog mess is another issue when walking through the streets as it is never cleared up and requires one eye constantly focused on the ground.

posted on Monday, February 4, 2008 12:40:18 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, January 30, 2008
If you want to fly naked then you are in luck. A German travel agent has started a charter flight for passengers who prefer to fly as nature intended (unfortunately wings are not included). The German company OssiUrlaub has decided to launch naturist flights because naturist holidays are particularly popular in Germany. The flight will initially fly from the city of Erfurt to the Baltic island of Usedom returning on the same day. All passengers will travel naked but they will only be allowed to undress once they board the flight, although cabin crew will remain clothed for security reasons.

posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2008 8:27:00 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, January 27, 2008

blogoftheweek_thumb This weeks Travel Blog of the week is Family Travel - See the World with your Kids. As the name suggests the blog is all about travelling with your children and includes lots of useful tips on places to go and things to do to keep them entertained. One recent article is about children and skiing. The first part of the article discusses the best age to start skiing lessons with children. It also details how to cut down on the expenses involved when taking the family skiing and has useful tips such as renting your ski equipment away from the ski resort to help cut costs.

The second part of the article mentions the growing trend for parent/child skiing lessons which allow the parent not only to learn at the same time but also to spend more time with the children on the vacation. There are also recommendations for ski resorts that include options for family members who do not want to ski and would instead rather spend time in the spa or seeing the local sights. This is certainly a useful resource for anyone who is planning a vacation with their children. Some other sections that are worth a read are the Take the Kids to London section and the Family Travel in New York City section.

posted on Sunday, January 27, 2008 2:32:26 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Monday, January 21, 2008

blogoftheweek This weeks PC2Paper travel blog of the week is Conor's Mildly Thrilling Tales. Its author Conor Grennan travel stories, have been featured in well known travel publications such as Traveler's Tales and  Lonely Planet. He is also the founder of the non-profit organisation Next Generation Nepal, setup to to reunite trafficked and conflict-displaced children with their families. Conor lives in Nepal where he started a home for trafficked children.cg-and-anga

Conor's blog focuses a lot on the great work he does helping these children in Nepal. My favourite article was "Searching for families in Nuwakot" a fascinating story on how Conor managed to find the parents of 17 out of 18 children on a trip through the mountains. How he went on the trip on a beaten up bus and was encouraged to try a local fruit which ended up giving him food poisoning. If that wasn't enough he was unable to sleep on the bumpy bus journey, the buses suspension so bad he had to sit on a fleece to protect his hind quarters. At times he and the other passengers had to get out of the bus to help guide it along steep cliff ledges. But in the end it was all worth it when they got to their destination finding the parents of these children. read the full article >>

posted on Monday, January 21, 2008 12:04:42 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, January 17, 2008
An international passenger plane crash landed at Heathrow Airport today. The plane took the runway too low on its approach before crashing just short of it. All 136 passengers were evacuated down the emergency chutes. There are reports that four people have suffered minor injuries as a result of the crash. The knock on effect is that the south runway has been closed and many flights from the airport have been delayed with some flights being diverted to Stansted and Luton.

posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 3:25:28 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
A planned strike by rail guards at First Great Western has been suspended. Guards had planned to strike for 48 hours from the 20th of January. However, talks between the company and the union have now resumed and the RMT have said that progress has been made. Negotiations are to continue on a number of other issues but there are hopes that the dispute can now be resolved.

posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 2:41:16 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, January 15, 2008
A new iris recognition system for staff is being introduced at Manchester Airport. The system will be used to tighten up staff access to restricted zones and will be rolled out across all three of the airports terminal service yards. The system will be separate from the iris checking technology used by passengers and makes Manchester Airport the first UK airport to use the system for staff access.

posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 4:12:48 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, January 13, 2008

blogoftheweek_thumb This weeks Travel Blog of the Week is killing batteries written by Leif Pettersen. Leif is a freelance writer and is a regular contributor for Global Traveler magazine and Lonely Planet author for Romania and Moldova. Leif's blog contains a wealth of interesting article about his travels but what makes this blog special is his humorous style of writing. His most recent post is about a fly fishing trip whilst he was in Chile. The article charts Leif's first attempt at fly fishing and describes how he managed to learn the casting process without injuring either himself or his instructor Ricardo. Despite a disappointing start to the trip and secret thoughts about the trout attacking Ricardo, Leif eventually managed to catch a rather respectable haul of ten fish, not bad for a first attempt.

For me one of the most interesting sections on this blog is Leif's "Don't go There" series. As the name suggests the series is about places he has been and the reasons why he feels they should be avoided. The most recent post in this series is entitled Don't Go to Andorra la Vella talks about his experiences of the city which he sums up as an "ostensibly bottomless ravine of choking, duty-free despair". The article talks about his fruitless search for a grocery store among the towns endless offering of shops selling nothing but watches, cheap jewellery, perfume and other duty free goods. Leif sums this up nicely when he says "It was truly a duty-free nation. You can walk into just about any shop on the street and save a whopping 25% on your indispensable bottle of CK1. On the flip side, you have to ask directions and stalk back alleys to find someone who will sell you a fricking apple." Obviously his first impressions of Andorra La Vella are not great but he goes on to describe the extent of the air pollution in the town caused by exhaust fumes which left him gasping for breath and with burning eyes after only three hours of walking around the town. Other articles is this series include Don't go to Berlin and Don't go to Monaco.

Another interesting and equally humorous section of Leif's blog is entitled "What I've Learned". This section contains a lot of short but often very useful things that Leif has learnt on his travels. They range from little tips such as "Check to make sure that your very expensive digital camera with numerous delicate moving parts is not in your day-bag before you go to the beach" and "Even if you have a co-conspirator, even if you spill some, even if you’re celebrating something really awesome, three bottles of wine on a Tuesday night is too much wine."

This blog has so many good articles that it has been hard to pick just a few things to say about it. Its definitely worth a visit. 

posted on Sunday, January 13, 2008 3:27:49 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, January 5, 2008

blogoftheweek Happy New Year! We apologise for not having a travel blog last week, but the staff at PC2Paper had a well earned break for a week over new year. Our first Travel Blog of the week for 2008 is The Cranky Flier, a blog focused mainly around (you guessed it!) airline travel.

The blogs author goes by the name of Brett and calls himself "an airline dork" who has had and obsession with the airline industry since he was a boy and became a travel agent by the age of 12!

Brett's blog gives anyone interested in particular airlines or airports a good overview of past problems and things to expect, quite useful if you are booking flights in an area you have never been before. A rather useful aspect is if you are booking flights with an airline that might be nearing bankruptcy.

posted on Saturday, January 5, 2008 8:57:33 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, January 2, 2008
The Unite and PCS unions have cancelled the planned one day stoppage that would have closed seven UK airports. The strike was called off after BAA managers agreed to negotiate any changes that are made to the firm’s final salary pension scheme. Two further strikes could also be called off if a deal is reached by union representatives in a meeting planned for Thursday.

posted on Wednesday, January 2, 2008 3:19:24 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, December 28, 2007
Talks aimed at stopping industrial action by airport staff have failed. Seven of Britain’s airports will now be closed by industrial action next month. The first 24 hour walkout will take place on January 7th with more strikes taking place on January 14th and January 17th. Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Southampton, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen will be affected. If the strikes go ahead the airports will close because they will involve crucial workers such as firefighters, maintenance workers and security staff.

posted on Friday, December 28, 2007 6:31:00 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, December 27, 2007
Around 40,000 customers of Travelscope have been told that their holiday bookings can no longer be honoured after the company went into administration. All customers will get a refund but many who were due to depart in the next few weeks are angry that they have not been given time to make other arrangements.

posted on Thursday, December 27, 2007 6:25:54 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, December 23, 2007

blogoftheweek_thumbThis weeks Travel Blog of the week is Cheapest Destinations written by Tim Leffel who has also written a book with the same title. Tim is a regular columnist for Transitions Abroad magazine and is also editor of the online magazine Perceptive Travel.

His most recent post talks about how the expansion of The Schengen Zone will mean it will now be easier for travellers to move around Europe with just a passport. Basically the agreement means that you can now travel from Tallinn in Estonia to Lisbon in Portugal without any border controls.

rei_mug Another post highlights six travel gifts that can you purchase for $30 or less, perfect for those last minute Christmas presents. Among the gift ideas are the REI vacuum coffee mug which can keep your coffee hot for several hours and a mini shortwave radio perfect for journeys to remote locations and camping trips.

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The blog also contains lots of useful information that should help save you a bit of cash whilst travelling, as well as links to other sites that can help you with planning your trip. In particular this article about Honduras provides a wealth of useful information from sites that have information on local events to links to good hotel guides and dive shops.

posted on Sunday, December 23, 2007 5:03:30 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
Union members at BAA have voted for strike action in a dispute over changes to pension rights. The Unite union has called for 24 hour strikes starting at 06.00 on 7 and 14 of January and a 48 hour strike starting at 06.00 on the 17th of January. The strikes will take place at seven of the UK’s airports including Heathrow, Gatwick and Edinburgh and are expected to affect around 1.3 million passengers.

posted on Sunday, December 23, 2007 1:49:19 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
Work has begun on a new transport system for Heathrow Airport. The system will include a Personal Rapid Transit System with low energy battery produced vehicles. Initially there will be 18 of the driverless guided vehicles which will take people from the new Terminal Five to the business car park. The system will be on trial before it is rolled out across the rest of the airport.

posted on Sunday, December 23, 2007 12:08:30 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, December 20, 2007

blogoftheweek Todays travel blog of the week is really a travel journal from Worldnomads.com. One journal entry I found of particular interest was "Through Siberia". Part of three stories on our writers journey through the Russian Federation.

I've always been interested in Russia but sadly have never had the chance to go, the journal entry covers one of the types of trips I've always wanted to take. Traveling through the Russian Federation by train, getting to see parts of the country side and sleeping on the train. Our writer starts off with three friends sharing a "kupe cabin" from Moscow to Listvyanka which is on the south west banks of the biggest fresh water lake in the world, Lake Baikal. He notes quite a few interesting quirks about the locals such as their encounter with the "self named crazy football hooligans" who were told by the lady in the restaurant car not to steal anything. Other things I found amusing was the train being delayed because they had hit a cow on the tracks or how they painstakingly tied up their rubbish in bags while the other passengers on the train just throw it out of the windows!

posted on Thursday, December 20, 2007 2:56:50 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, December 13, 2007
A committee has recommended that airlines should be forced to increase the amount of leg room on board passenger jets. The study was carried out by the Lords committee on science and technology which accused the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of ignoring its own research that suggested the amount of leg room should be increased.  CAA research found that for a passenger to adopt a safe brace position they needed a minimum distance between seats of 35ins instead of the current 26ins. The lack of leg room on planes also leads to deep vein thrombosis which can cause fatal blood clots, although this is more common on long flights.

posted on Thursday, December 13, 2007 10:34:00 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, December 11, 2007
National Express is to launch a new online train booking website. The service will allow customers to automatically find the lowest train fares for any rail services in the UK and is expected to challenge thetrainline.com which already has a similar service.

posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 7:17:37 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, December 4, 2007

blogoftheweek This Weeks Travel Blog is India Travel Blog by Arun a blog dedicated to his travels around India in his spare time. What makes things interesting is the brilliant photos he has taken of all the places he has been with his Canon EOS 350D.

An article I found of particular interest was "An eventful trip to Melukote", all  about a two day trip to the temple town of Melukote, a place hardly touched by the passage of time. Because the town is so old and untouched there is generally no place to stay so it is usually visited as a day trip from Bangalore. However Arun was able to stay for 2 days by accepting the hospitality of one of the kind locals who allowed them to stay and fed them! Melokote is described as quiet, pleasant and easygoing  where most of the inhabitants are friendly and mainly priests. It has some breath taking views of temples that just have to be seen, to find out more you can read the rest of the article here.

posted on Tuesday, December 4, 2007 12:48:17 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, November 25, 2007

blogoftheweek_thumb This weeks travel blog of the week is carbonneutraltourism.co.uk written by Richard Linington. The blog contains information on leisure and tourism with a particular focus on environmental issues. With so much in the news recently about reducing your carbon footprint this blog offers a lot of useful articles about reducing carbon emissions and offsetting carbon that is produced.

hotelphotogd2One of the most recent articles highlights the TYF Eco Hotel in Wales. The hotel has been working hard to reduce its energy use. All carbon dioxide emissions produced by the hotel are now offset through the support of renewable energy projects in other parts of the world. The hotel also has an ethical purchasing policy and serves organic and local food and drink. In fact nearly all the food and drink served at the hotel is organic. They also reuse and recycle as much waste as possible and even compost all food waste.

Another article looks at Eurostar and how they are addressing the green concerns of their passengers. Travelling by Eurostar is already 10 times greener than flying but Eurostar are trying to minimise their impact on the environment even more. Some initiatives include fitting new controls for train heating, lighting and air conditioning that will reduce power consumption, making better use of train capacity and finding cleaner energy supplies. These are just a few of the articles on this blog but its well worth a read for anyone who wants tips on greener travel.

posted on Sunday, November 25, 2007 3:31:12 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, November 19, 2007

blogoftheweek Elliott is another one of those blogs that champions the cause of the poorly treated traveller. Seen as one of America's top travel ombudsmen, his blog is full of useful advice and warnings about scams. If you've been unfairly treated by the travel industry and don't know where to turn, Elliott is probably your knight in shining armor.

One post I found of particular interest is about rental car scams, car rental companies are becoming more an more innovative in adding all kinds of hidden fees to their rates. From charging you for a full tank of fuel when the meter isn't exactly on F down to even charging you for the disposal of old tires! Elliott says the best way to avoid these fees is to play the car rental companies at their own game. Read their terms and conditions very carefully, stick to them and argue about any fee that is not disclosed on your rate quote.

posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 12:31:30 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, November 11, 2007

blogoftheweek_thumb This week's travel blog of the week is Old World Wandering London to Shanghai by land. It is written by Claire van den Heever and Iain Manley and follows their journey from London to China through Western Europe, the Middle East, India and South East Asia. The most recent posts follow their progress through India. One recent post describes the not so luxurious journey on a train in third class where although you do get a seat (unlike here in the UK) you do have to sit crossed legged on a luggage rack.

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The same post also describes how the local ladies make strong ropes out of coconut fibre by twisting them together before attaching them to a spinning wheel. Another thing that I found really interesting was the way that people get around needing an alcohol license which is apparently a rarity on the island. Beer is served in a teapot to disguise it and if a policeman should come to investigate they are offered an incentive to turn a blind eye.

Another interesting post which is well worth a read describes a ride on the typical Indian bus which the author describes as being "made of metal sheets, generously dented". The bus has no set fare, that must be negotiated with the conductor. It also has no set capacity. This blog contains a wealth of information and stunning pictures. It also includes a useful map that charts their progress so far and shows how far they still have to go.

posted on Sunday, November 11, 2007 6:18:20 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Tuesday, November 6, 2007

blogoftheweek This weeks Travel Blog of the week is Travel Rants, its editor Darren Cronian was inspired to start this blog after a nightmare booking experience with a high street travel agency. It appears that from then on Travels Rants has grown into a popular destination for travel consumers to rant about their travel experiences and to find advice and guides on traveling.

One article I found particularly interesting was how Travel Agents were responsible for airlines charging such extortionate fees for changing the names on travel tickets.  According to the article Travel Agencies used to buy the tickets cheap when they were first released and hold onto them until near departure when they would greatly increase in value and sell them on at a greater profit.

posted on Tuesday, November 6, 2007 12:41:49 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, November 4, 2007
Air South West has announced it will double the number of destinations it flies to. They currently operate from Plymouth Airport flying to Gatwick, Manchester, Leeds Bradford and Bristol and Jersey. From next April this list will be extended to include Newcastle, Glasgow, Dublin and Cork. Flights to Chambery in France will start the following December.
posted on Sunday, November 4, 2007 2:30:14 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, November 1, 2007
British Airways have stopped flights between Britain and Zimbabwe. The final flight landed on Sunday. BA has stopped the service because they say it has become uneconomic.

posted on Thursday, November 1, 2007 2:03:26 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
I came across this website that offers a directory of lodging accommodation within the US and Europe. They are an independent online booking agency so offer a number of alternative hotels that you won’t find on some of the more mainstream holiday engines. They cover a variety of destinations mainly in the US including Vermont Lodging ideal for visiting the USA’s third largest ski resort. Vermont is on the Catamount Trail and holds the record for being the longest cross country ski trail in America.

If you fancy taking in the sights of Virginia they also cover Virginia Lodging. This area is great for beach lovers and you can enjoy fishing, swimming and boating. It is also well placed for the mountains and has over 540 miles of hiking trails. If you fancy something a bit different you might want to look a Connecticut Lodging. Connecticut is home to a variety of craft and antique shops. There is also a wine trail that includes fifteen vineyards and takes two days to complete.

They don’t just offer a directory of accommodation in the US. There are also lodgings available in Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom as well as many other destinations. The prices are not bad either with a room in London staring at a little over $92.

posted on Thursday, November 1, 2007 1:59:32 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, October 22, 2007

blogoftheweek This weeks PC2Paper Travel Blog of the week is City Guide a Community Travel Blog focused on things to see and do worldwide. People are free to promote their own city by submitting articles around several topics such as dining, entertainment, the art, natures and the outdoors...

 

The thing I like the most about this blog is the diversity and how many of the articles are accompanied by informative videos and images. One of my favourite articles is about the Chobe National Park in Botswana which contains one of the highest concentrations of wild life on the African continent, the article describes the park in depth and also mentions the famous Victoria Falls and large elephant population the park is so famous for.

 

posted on Monday, October 22, 2007 11:34:29 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, October 15, 2007
If you are looking for a good deal on a holiday you might want to try discoverycruiseline.com. They are currently offering a Bahamas vacation special. The deal is for three days and two nights at the Flamingo Bay Resort on Taino Beach in Grand Bahama. Prices start at $169.98 for two people and under the deal your companion gets to stay for free.

The Flamingo Bay resort also has access to the Taino Beach Resort Pool as well as tennis, basketball, water sports, miniature golf and beach volley ball. The rooms are also only five minutes away from the nearby white sand beach. The special offer is available for limited time and also includes the roundtrip discovery cruise.

posted on Monday, October 15, 2007 4:20:32 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, October 14, 2007

blogoftheweek_thumb This week's travel blog of the week is Travel Babel written by Claire Walter from Colorado. One of her most recent articles talks about what services are included when you stay at a hotel. Claire mentions her stay at the Midland Hotel in Manchester and the fact that internet access was not included in the price. She ended up having to pay £15 for 24 hours of high speed internet access which amounted to around $30 dollars taking into account the exchange rate. Personally I always look at hotels that include internet access in the price, as I have found you do tend to pay extortionate rates especially when travelling abroad, and internet access is often essential when travelling on business.

Another interesting article highlights a luggage lock that uses words instead of numbers. This is something I would find really useful as I can never remember pin numbers and like Claire tend to be better at words than numbers. Called the WordLock, they are available in a range of different colours to co-ordinate with your bags and use a simple 4 letter word rather than numbers. What a good idea!


posted on Sunday, October 14, 2007 10:21:44 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, October 12, 2007
If you are looking around for a last minute getaway you might want to go to Madrid. HotelClub currently have a number of good deals on Madrid accommodation, some of which start at only 59 Euros a night. All the rates shown on the website are also inclusive of all taxes, so there are no hidden costs.

The same website also has a useful guide to Madrid hotels which recommends which hotels you should stay at to be close to some of the main attractions like the Debod Temple and the main museums. If you are looking for some hotel news you might also want to have a look at their blog which has a number of useful articles including taking your pet on holiday and the top five spring destinations. It also has interesting articles about the best and worst European food, it is certainly worth a read.

posted on Friday, October 12, 2007 9:42:45 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, October 8, 2007

blogoftheweek This weeks PC2Paper travel log of the week is Stuck In Customs a blog filled with some of the most spectacular photo's taken by its author Trey Ratcliff on his various travels, using a photography technique called HDR of which he provides a tutorial.

One of the most amusing photos is as Trey refers to it "The Kwik-E-Mart in the Backstreets of Beijing" featuring a Chinese equivalent of a 7-11 store.

I heartily recommend a visit to this blog just  to browse through the stunning photographs, as they say a picture is worth a thousand words. 

posted on Monday, October 8, 2007 10:16:02 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, October 3, 2007
If you are looking at booking a last minute break to avoid some of the British winter you might want to have a look at hotelreservations.com. They specialise not only in Hotel Reservations but also in flights and car hire. With a choice of 70,000 properties worldwide they have a lot of options. You can also book a vacation package that includes everything. If you prefer something a little more flexible the website also has vacation rentals.

The website is searchable by destination as well as check in and check out date and the number of people who are travelling. An important feature of this website is that you can view it in your own language and currency which is always useful. You also have the option to search the website using a map. This is quite useful if you want to go to a certain region but are not really bothered about which resort you go to.

If you are unsure where you want to go you might want to have a look at the destination guide on the website. It has useful recommendations for holidays based on your interests. It highlights the best beach holidays, the best family destinations, the best bed and breakfasts, the best spa destinations and even the best destinations for golf and gambling. The guide also has lots of useful information about all the destinations offered including useful tips on where to stay, when to go, money and currency and what sort of food and drink you should expect. It also includes information on the local culture and entertainment, postage and even maps of the area. I found a lot of useful background information on St Lucia where I am thinking of going in the new year. I also found some good deals on vacation rentals in the area.

posted on Wednesday, October 3, 2007 7:45:58 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, September 29, 2007

blogoftheweek_thumb This week's travel blog of the week is Corporate American Runaway by Sherry. She has been travelling around the world since the 8th of October 2006 after deciding to quit her job and take some time out. The blog starts with Sherry setting out on her journey bound for Kenya and details all the anxiety that comes before setting off on an adventure. It then charts her travels through Zanzibar, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Bali, Thailand, Vietnam, Greece and Italy, to name just a few of the places she has been to date. The most recent entries are about her time in India but this blog has so much content that it is really worth reading through the older posts if you are new to it.


goats in trees One of my favourite entries talks about her mission to find some goats in trees in Morocco. Having heard stories of these tree climbing goats Sherry was determined to track some down and get some pictures. After a long taxi ride and much searching she is rewarded by seeing a group of goats that climb into the trees and hop from branch to branch looking for food.

 

Toilet

Another interesting article is about her visit to The International Toilet Museum in India. She describes it as "toilet heaven" and finds that rather than being simply a museum full of toilets it is also part of a programme to provide sanitation solutions for India. The work they do includes building public toilets and educating people on the importance of sanitation. It does also have a number of toilets including toilets through history, royal toilets and even toilets disguised as chairs. This is probably one of the most obscure but nevertheless interesting posts I have read recently.

 

Driving My favourite post on this blog is about driving in India. Sherry has lots of useful tips on driving in India such as "NEVER try to drive yourself in India. it's suicide". She talks about how the system of lanes works. Basically there are three lanes painted on the road but there is enough room on the road for five lanes with an inch of space between vehicles, so it's ok to pretty much drive anywhere you want. She also notices that the horn is very important when driving in India. According to Sherry the steering wheel is the most important equipment in the car, followed by the horn. It is generally used for changing lanes near trucks. The trucks have no side mirrors so it's the responsible of other drivers to honk their horn to signify they are there, otherwise they get hit. Another interesting point about Indian driving is that stop lights are optional. Once again the horn plays an important function here, simply speed through the intersection, ignoring the red light, honking the horn to announce your presence. This article is well worth reading all the way through for its tips on buses and crossing the street, truly brilliant.

posted on Saturday, September 29, 2007 4:16:40 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Heathrow Airport will test Terminal 5 prior to opening it. They have recruited around 15,000 volunteers to ensure the terminal runs well. The volunteers receive a free lunch and a goody bag for their help. They will go through mock security and baggage procedures to try and help cut down on delays when the terminal opens for business. During the first four weeks of testing groups of 30 to 100 people will test the facilities, rising to groups of up to 2,250 people just before opening which should test the facilities as though they were operating live. It will be interesting to see if the testing does make the new terminal more efficient.

posted on Tuesday, September 25, 2007 2:39:16 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, September 24, 2007

blogoftheweek This weeks travel blog of the week is The Ecua Traveler, its goal is to provide as much information as possible for tourists travelling to Ecuador by providing information such as hidden costs, things to watch out for, scams, common problems etc...

One of the articles I enjoyed was 30 Surefire Ways to Stretch your Travel Dollar, which covers 30 points to help back packers stretch their travel budgets with tips such as hooking up with other travellers to get group discounts and making friends with the locals who can also give good advice on saving money.

Another article I can relate to to is 5 Tips for Travelling in Large Groups, I have always found travelling in large groups (while safer) can also be cumbersome especially when it comes to making decisions. This article gives you some good tips on how to make it work out.

posted on Monday, September 24, 2007 10:57:45 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, September 19, 2007
I found this interesting method of folding clothes, which is supposed to mean they don't get creased in the suitcase. It is called bundle wrapping and you can see the diagram here. Not having tried it yet, I don't know if it actually works but it’s certainly interesting.

posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2007 5:13:09 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Easyjet has said it supports imposing green taxes on flights. They say the current passenger duty should be scrapped and replaced with a tax based on the amount of carbon dioxide each flight produces. Under this scheme Easyjet believe their passengers will pay less than they do currently. This is because most of Easyjet’s planes are quite new and the majority of its flights are short.

posted on Tuesday, September 18, 2007 5:22:29 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, September 16, 2007

blogoftheweek_thumbThis week's travel blog is The New Hampshire Bushman in Taiwan. Every so often we come across something really special and this blog is one of those rare gems. It is written by M J Klein and details his adventures in Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Laos, China and Borneo.

This blog is full of interesting articles; one of the more striking photographs is of two Thai men that dressed up as ladyboys or Kratoey. Another really interesting article looks at the Hukou Monday Night Market and details what you can find there. It appears there is something for everyone, from games and rides for the children to clothing stalls and fabrics. There is even a stall that sells illegal DVDs but because they are illegal it is untended and relies on customers to put money in a pink receptacle. M J Klein, quite rightly points out the irony of using an "honour system" to sell illegally copied DVD's.

dvd stall

M J Klein also posts a lot of entries about cooking outside and in particular on grills. One in particular shows Shao-hui's Thai marinade and the various stages of cooking what looks like wonderful food. This picture showing a pair of freshly killed pigeons looks just wonderful.

pigeons

posted on Sunday, September 16, 2007 10:57:09 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
I found this website that has some good holiday offers. They cover Beach Holidays, tropical holidays, weekend breaks, car hire and also have a selection of cheap flights. Some of the destinations they offer include Antigua, Barbados, Borneo and the Cayman Islands. I found some really good deals for St Lucia starting at £473 for a three star hotel. To book all you need to do is call one of their UK based travel consultants who will help you find a holiday that is tailor made for your requirements.

posted on Sunday, September 16, 2007 2:48:15 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, September 9, 2007

blogoftheweek This weeks travel blog of the week is Rambling Traveler, I've been visiting this blog quite regularly and have finally got around to giving it the worthy mention it deserves. Stacy the blogs author, has a lovely bogging style featuring the various places she has visited and always with such stunning pictures.

The article I enjoyed the most was God's Child Project, the article explains how Stacy and 5 friends joined a task group to help and learn about the poor in Guatemala. The goal of the organisation is to help families out of poverty by helping the children to stay in school instead of them working to help support their families. They use incentives such as school supplies, food, medical care etc. 

posted on Sunday, September 9, 2007 11:20:05 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, September 7, 2007
George Best Belfast City Airport has announced plans to extend its runway. The plans would allow Ryanair to fly to more European destinations from the airport. Ryanair hopes to offer flights to three European destinations as well as four daily flights to Stansted airport in London. On the subject of Stansted airport you might want to read this article by Ubertramp who has a few things to say about the airports location.

posted on Friday, September 7, 2007 12:28:15 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, September 6, 2007
The first Eurostar train to use the new St Pancras terminal has broken the Paris to London record after a trip of two hours, three minutes and 39 seconds. The train travels at around 192mph. The quicker time should help to drive up passenger number and allow Eurostar to compete with budget airlines.

posted on Thursday, September 6, 2007 3:55:33 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Nepal’s state run airline has an interesting approach to fixing problems. Faced with a technical problem with one of its two Boeing 757 aircraft they decided to sacrifice two goats to help solve the problem. Personally I feel better if they had called an engineer, but what do I know? The goat sacrifice did appear to work and the problem with the plane has been resolved.

posted on Wednesday, September 5, 2007 6:00:21 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, September 3, 2007
There has been a 69% rise in the number of typhoid cases reported in the UK. This rise is put down to the fact that many tourists do not get the proper vaccinations before going to exotic locations. A rise in low cost flights and the fact that more people are holidaying in locations such as south-east Asia and Africa means that more people are bringing infectious diseases with them. There were 248 cases of typhoid reported in the UK in 2006, 122 of which were picked up overseas.

posted on Monday, September 3, 2007 6:09:18 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, September 2, 2007

blogoftheweek This weeks travel blog is My Several Worlds A global mind in Asia. The blog is about the experiences of Carrie Marshall and her fiancé and their experiences in Asia. The couple are currently living and teaching in Taipei in Taiwan. One interesting article is a photo journal of Cambodia. The article shows the inhabitants of a small village and shows a number of pictures of the local children and of fishermen bringing home their catch.

 A slightly more humorous article entitled Vehicles of Burden shows some of the overloaded vehicles they have come across crossing from Cambodia into Thailand. Among the photographs are a man driving a motorcycle overloaded with grass and a picture of a dozen people crammed into the back of a truck. They are currently planning a trip to Tokyo, which should make an interesting read judging by all the things on their itinerary.

posted on Sunday, September 2, 2007 6:17:04 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Thursday, August 30, 2007
I found this interesting vacation rentals website. It allows the owners of vacation rentals to list their properties on the website. You as the traveller can then contact them directly to book your holiday rental. They cover a number of destinations worldwide including Paris vacation rentals and London vacation rentals.

I always think that a holiday rental is nicer than staying in a hotel, due to the fact you have a lot more privacy. Often it can work out a lot cheaper as well, so can be good for people travelling on a budget. For example I found a vacation rental in Oxford which starts from just £30 a night.

posted on Thursday, August 30, 2007 10:32:56 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, August 29, 2007
A second Portuguese Man-o’-War jellyfish has been found in Cornwall. The jellyfish was washed up at St Ives, near where the last one was found, a few days ago. People are urged to be cautious when visiting the area. Anyone stung should immediately remove any tentacles and immerse the affected area in either hot or iced water for 20 minutes.

posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 9:36:50 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
I came across this website the other day that offers short term rentals in Vilnius, Lithuania. The idea is that instead of booking a hotel you can book one of their rental properties. They are available for anything from a few days to a few weeks and can often work out cheaper than staying in a hotel. They also offer a lot more space and privacy than you would have if you stayed at a hotel. Another reason to go for a short term rental is that you can be a bit more flexible, not having to be back at a certain time for meals, as you would have to be at a hotel. This website specialises in rental in the Old Town which are within walking distance of the cities restaurants and shops. All the apartments are fully furnished and many also have internet access which is always useful.

posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 8:10:31 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, August 28, 2007
The World Health Organisation has warned that people are more at risk of contracting an infectious disease because of cheap air travel. Their report says that new strains of diseases such as influenza, malaria and tuberculosis are thriving and that more drug resistant mutations are becoming common. The problem is that it can be hard to confine a disease to one geographical area, due to the fact that people travel so frequently. The article highlights a case where an American lawyer who was believed to have tuberculosis. He had travelled around Europe and could have infected another 127 people with the disease. Although it was later confirmed the man has a less serious form of the disease, it still shows how a disease could spread very quickly.

posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2007 11:46:58 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, August 27, 2007
Some of the Terracotta Warriors discovered in Xian in China are coming to Britain. The figures are over 2000 years and have been loaned to the British Museum for an exhibition. If you want to see tickets are available on the British Museums website and cost £12. The exhibition runs from 13th September 2007 to 6th April 2008.

posted on Monday, August 27, 2007 12:03:11 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, August 26, 2007

blogoftheweek This weeks travel blog of the week is Travelling Stories Magazine, made up of those interesting travel stories we hear in between destinations or at rest stops from fellow travellers while on our way to our next destination.

Its a brilliant idea and makes a fascinating and at times hilarious read and for that I thank its editor Michael Warren and the many travellers who have contributed to Travelling Stories Magazine.

One of my favourite articles is Things My Father Told Me to Never Tell My Mother, it's a funny tail about all the escapades a young man and his father got up to while growing up. From fishing trips to drunken brawls in bars and the unspoken bond of silence never to tell his mother what they got up to.

posted on Sunday, August 26, 2007 11:27:08 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, August 25, 2007

If you are heading down to Cornwall this bank holiday weekend you might want to be a bit cautious. A Portuguese Man-o’-War has recently been washed up on the beach at St Ives. Whilst there is no need to panic, the creatures can cause fatalities and holiday makers are being asked to report any sightings of the creature.

posted on Saturday, August 25, 2007 11:05:53 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, August 24, 2007

As always when we have a Bank Holiday in the UK, travel chaos has been predicted. This weekend is meant to bring some sunshine, so is likely to prompt people to flock to the coast. The worst affected roads are likely to be the M1 and M4 out of London, the M5 from Bristol, the M6 Northbound and the M55 to Blackpool. It is also thought the M25 is likely to be gridlocked in both directions. Drivers have been advised to avoid travelling at peak times and to expect long delays.

posted on Friday, August 24, 2007 10:45:02 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Vatican has announced that it is going to launch a low cost charter flight service for pilgrims. The service will transport pilgrims to holy sites worldwide with the first flight being going from Rome to Lourdes. Other destinations could include Fatima, Santiago di Compostela and the Holy Land. The planes will be decorated with sacred inscriptions and the cabin crew will specialise in voyages of a sacred nature. Currently around 8 million pilgrims travel to Lourdes every year so the service is likely to prove popular.

posted on Thursday, August 23, 2007 2:53:48 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, August 21, 2007

If you are visiting China you might want to go to Xian within the province of Shannxi. The city has a rich history, it was once thought to be among the greatest cities in the world and since the 11 century BC eleven dynasties have ruled from there. Today not much remains of its grand legacy except for the intact city wall.

The city is, however, renowned for the famous Terracotta Warriors that were discovered there, so it is certainly worth a visit. The Terracotta Warriors are the main attraction in the area. They are around 45 minutes drive from the city centre so it is probably best to go for an arranged tour from one of the many Xian hotels that offer them. It's worth combining visiting the Terracotta Warriors with a visit to Ban Po Village which is nearby. The village is one of the best examples of a Neolithic settlement in China and is over 6,000 years old. It has over 40 excavated houses, kilns and cellars and over 250 graves on display.

The city of Xian itself, whilst not renowned for shopping does have a variety of antique and curio shops within the Muslim quarter of the city. There is no distinct local cuisine but most dishes have are Muslim inspired so tend to be quite highly spiced. One thing to remember when eating out in Xian, is that most restaurants will open early in the evening and are likely to close early at around 9.30 in the evening. There are many good hotels in the area but its worth booking these before you go. You can find some  cheap asia hotels here at asia-hotels.com

posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2007 1:03:04 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, August 20, 2007

blogoftheweek_thumb This week's travel blog is travelhappy written by Chris Mitchell a British travel writer based in Bangkok. One of his more entertaining articles is about what he calls "Engrish", for those of you who are unfamiliar with the term; it's the way that the English language can get somewhat mangled in Bangkok. Arrogant Bear
He points out some humorous signs in "Engrish" as well as some really entertaining T-shirts, some of which are a little rude to mention so we decided to highlight the Arrogant and Bear pencil case instead, pictured below.

 Another really interesting article is a video showing swimming with sharks. The video was shot in South Australia with a Canon IXUS camera, and although the clips are short, it is fascinating to see shots of these amazing creatures so close. The videos feature Great White Sharks. For the safety of the diver the video is shot from within a shark cage. In the first video the shark passes within touching distance to the diver and in the second we see a shark approaching tuna fish bait and the amazing speed at which the shark can strike out of nowhere.

posted on Monday, August 20, 2007 9:20:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, August 18, 2007
Madrid is the largest city is Spain and is best known for it cultural and artistic heritage. One important thing to remember when visiting is that due to the extreme heat many people take a siesta at midday; so many stores are likely to be closed at this time. You will find however, that many bars are open until 6 to 8 in the morning. It is important to bear this in mind when choosing Madrid hotels, as places near to bars are likely to be a nightmare for light sleepers.

Some attractions to visit include the Museo del Prado which has one of the finest art collections in the world including paintings by Goya, van Dyck, Botticelli and Albrecht Durer. The National Archaeology Museum is also worth a visit. It contains exhibits from Prehistoric to Renaissance times many of which were removed from churches and monasteries. The biggest attraction of the museum is a replica of the prehistoric cave paintings featuring bison, horses, and boars discovered in Altamira, Cantabria.

You can find some cheap hotels recommendations at HotelClub before you go away. The information they provide on the accommodation is quite detailed including a good description of the room and the location as well as a break down of facilities. If you book online you can also benefit from cheaper rates than if you were to book directly with the hotel. All the hotels offered on this site are also ranked by people who have been there previously, which is a useful indication of the quality of the accommodation.

posted on Saturday, August 18, 2007 1:31:35 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, August 17, 2007
The number of claims for lost luggage has increased twofold this year. The travel insurance firm Insureandgo has seen an 85% increase in claims, so far this year. The figures show that British Airways has been the worst airline for losing customers luggage.

posted on Friday, August 17, 2007 4:38:52 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, August 16, 2007
Sydney is Australia’s oldest city and has an interesting blend of the old and the new. Whilst the Opera House attracts those seeking a bit of culture, it also has a vibrant nightlife in the Kings Cross area. There is also wealth of things to do in Sydney including visiting Sydney Wildlife World and the Sydney Aquarium. If you are planning a visit you might want to check out these Sydney hotel deal before you go.

Darling Harbour is well worth a visit. It is a lively waterfront precinct, with an abundance of Darling Harbour Hotel accommodation close to the nightlife and the Darling Harbour Exhibition Centre. King Street Wharf is the place to go for sleek dining establishments or the nearby Cockle Bay Wharf offers waterfront promenades and alfresco restaurants.

Melbourne is Australia’s second largest city. It combines Victorian-era architecture with museums, art galleries and spacious landscaped parks. Here you can enjoy a stay in a nineteenth century Melbourne hotel and a glass of the local chardonnay. The area also has some of the best shopping and nightlife in Australia as well as offering many specialised restaurants.

posted on Thursday, August 16, 2007 12:15:12 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
All Inclusive holidays can be a good way to stay within your budget when going away. Although it means you might pay a little more for you holiday up front, once you are there you don’t have to worry about the final hotel bill because all your food and drink is included in the price. If you are taking the family away then an all inclusive holiday can be a good idea because a lot of sporting activities and entertainment is also included in the price.

www.otbeach.com currently has some good deals on destinations including Egypt, the Caribbean, Dominican Republic and Turkey. By booking online with them you can save up to 40% off the high street price. I came across some surprisingly cheap deals to Egypt that actually worked about the same as a regular holiday. It seems very reasonably priced particularly when you think it includes all your food and drink.

posted on Thursday, August 16, 2007 9:35:34 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Eurobookings provides a good resource for people booking a hotel within Europe. Their Europe hotels guide provides an inside view into some of the top travel destinations and hotels around the world. The United Kingdom guide has an interesting article on the British pub including information on how to order a round of drinks, which being British myself, I go without thinking. It does also contain a London hotels guide which is very useful when planning a trip to London. I find it is always best to check out the hotels the in an area because it is often nicer to book a room and come home the next day rather than rushing to catch the last tube.

The Amsterdam hotels guide is also useful. The guide allows you to view the hotels on a map and also shows you the price of each hotel. There is also detailed information on what to expect when you get there, even down to which credit cards they accept. A lot of the hotels have reviews from people who have already been there, so you can make an informed decision before booking a hotel, and I always feel better when I can see recommendations from real people.

posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2007 2:40:48 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, August 13, 2007

blogoftheweek The Cheap Family Vacation Planner is as the name suggests a family orientated blog filled with tips and advice for parents taking their little kids or teens on holiday. As I have experienced when going on holiday with friends who have children, that its a bit akin to mobilising a small army. The blog offers tips on how to keep kids occupied on long car journeys, what to pack, how to be safe and suitable holiday destinations.

The one thing I like about this blog is that it shows that family holidays don't have to just be about amusement parks and sea side resorts but can also be as exotic as ancient Mayan cities.

One of the most amusing articles is Six Unavoidable Items to Pack While We Go, Do You Dare? which lists duct tape of all things as an essential item to pack. However I strongly agree with taking a portable door lock with you especially when staying in a place you have never been before.

posted on Monday, August 13, 2007 8:39:07 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, August 8, 2007

British Airways has been named the worst airline in Europe. A report compiled by the Association of European Airlines showed that British Airways customers were more likely to encounter delays than people travelling on any other airline. Between April and June 35.7% of medium and short haul British Airways flights did not arrive on time, with the airlines performance on long haul flights even worse.

posted on Wednesday, August 8, 2007 3:49:56 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, August 5, 2007

blogoftheweek_thumb This week's travel blog is A Month in Venice by Richard Callaby. As the title suggests the blog charts his trip to Venice and aims to provide useful information for people thinking of visiting Italy. Some useful articles include where to get the best slice of pizza in Venice and some tips about which hotels to stay in.

There is also a useful article about getting internet access in Italy which I find is a necessity when I go away. Richard points out that many hotels in Italy do not have wireless access in the rooms. He does, however, provide some useful information on how to find the nearest free wifi connection.

Another useful article talks about how to set up a portable office. Richard talks about how to set up a free email account, setting up a portable fax service and also using a mail forwarding service such as UPS. One thing he might not be aware of here, is that PC2Paper offer an online mailbox where any letters sent are scanned in and made available to read online. This service is often much faster than mail forwarding. Richard also talks about how to set up a VOIP service, although points out that this does rely on having an internet connection so can be subject to problems in Italy.

posted on Sunday, August 5, 2007 1:49:32 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, August 2, 2007

European mobile phone users are now befitting from lower charges under new rules brought in by the EU. British customers, however, will have to wait before it applies to them. Orange, T-Mobile and 3 are delaying making the change for as long as possible and will only switch customers to a Eurotariff on the 30 August.

posted on Thursday, August 2, 2007 9:51:03 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Ryanair is to cut back flights from Stansted after the airport doubled its charges. The rise means it is more profitable for the airline to ground some flights this winter rather than fly them.

posted on Tuesday, July 31, 2007 2:48:28 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, July 30, 2007

You might think you have thought of everything when driving abroad but there are a few rather obscure rules that could catch you out. I read this article that highlights a few things to think about. Some of the more obscure rules were that if you stop at a pedestrian crossing in France you may incur a penalty for holding up traffic. In Spain you need to check the date before parking on a one way street. On uneven dates you must park on the odd numbered side of the street and on even days the opposite side of the street. In Germany you can be fined if you park facing oncoming traffic. All tips that I was not aware of. The article also provides useful advice of motor insurance abroad, such as checking to see whether your current insurance covers you for driving abroad and taking out foreign breakdown cover.

posted on Monday, July 30, 2007 5:15:04 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, July 29, 2007

blogoftheweek This weeks PC2Paper travel blog of the week is "My lifechanging journey", the blog covers the unusual and fascinating journey of Liani and Maria and their two Jack Russell's Katryn and Dante through South Africa from St.Lucia to Cape Town (one of their first journeys).

It's a long journey especially when done by bicycle with baskets fixed to the front for their little Jack Russell's to accompany them.

The thing I found the most fascinating about their journey is how they never encountered any of the dangers you usually associate with South Africa these days. This blog instead exposes the natural beauty and friendliness of South Africa.

posted on Sunday, July 29, 2007 10:53:31 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, July 28, 2007

Barclays has just launched a pre-pay travel card called “Travel Money” Customers load the card with between £100 and £2,500 in either Sterling, Dollars or Euros. The card is free to obtain, so you just pay for the loading the currency. There are, however, a few charges to consider. They charge a 2% fee when you use the card at a cash machine. The card also has a minimum payment of £1.50 and there is a currency conversion charge of 2.75%. These kinds of cards can be useful if you don’t want to take your regular cash cards abroad for security reasons. Other companies who already offer a similar type of card are Travelex and the Post Office, both of which charge a fee to load money onto the card.

posted on Saturday, July 28, 2007 11:21:57 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, July 27, 2007

Caerlaverock Castle in Scotland is hosting its clash of the champion;s event this weekend. The champions will go head to head at archery, quarterstaff, wrestling, spear catching and swordplay. There will also be some bird of prey demonstrations and a medieval village where you can try your hand at archery and other crafts.

posted on Friday, July 27, 2007 2:19:52 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, July 23, 2007

Hong Kong, a former British colony is now one of the major cities of the Far East and an international business centre as well as a major travel destination for tourists. The city boosts vibrant shopping centres and a wealth of restaurants as well as some educational museums and interesting temples that you can visit. As always with any travel destination it’s a good idea to do your research before you go, in order to make the most of your stay. Asia Hotels is a site which not only has detailed information on Hong Kong hotels but is also a definitive travel guide. Using their search facility you can search for hotels in Hong Kong to bring up results to match your arrival, departure dates, length of stay and star rating.

The website also provides good background information on Hong Kong and what you can expect when you arrive. It includes information on the local weather so you know what sort of temperatures to expect and also contains information about possible seasonal problems such as typhoons and black rainstorms which can occur this time of year. It also has a travel tips section that includes useful pointers from people who have already visited the city, including tips on what restaurants are good or what a certain hotel is like. It’s certainly worth checking out this wealth of information when planning your trip.

posted on Monday, July 23, 2007 2:39:21 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Heathrow airport is planning to introduce fingerprint checks next year. The new checks will be introduced when Terminal 5 opens in March. The checks are as part of a scheme to stop passengers evading immigration control. They are necessary because a passenger is currently able to arrive on a foreign flight and board a domestic flight form the same terminal, thus avoiding immigration.

posted on Monday, July 23, 2007 1:40:34 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, July 22, 2007

blogoftheweek There has been a big emphasis in the news recently about reducing your carbon footprint and as we all know, travelling causes a great deal of carbon emissions. This week's travel blog is Great Green Travel. The blog is aimed at the environmentally conscious traveller and concentrates on eco-friendly destinations.

One really interesting way of being green whilst travelling is to spend a week working with the US Forest Service. For only $395 which includes all your meals you can work with them to help improve eroded forest trails by clearing brush to help prevent fires.

Another article looks at volunteer programs where you can spend your time helping important projects such as working with people affected by HIV or teaching English in a school. Other articles concentrate on green accommodation such as hotels that have been awarded the Green Globe award for being environmentally friendly.

posted on Sunday, July 22, 2007 6:07:46 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, July 20, 2007

I was thinking of visiting Amsterdam for a long weekend and was just doing a bit of research before I went to see if I could save myself a bit of money. I started looking at Netherlands accommodation to see what sort of prices to expect and found some quite reasonable prices on Amsterdam accommodation for a stay of four nights. Finding cheap accommodation is always a primary concern for me as I am usually travelling on a tight budget, so I don’t want to spend all my money on a room I will probably spend little time in.

I found this website that offers some good last minute deals on hotels and the prices are inclusive of all taxes. You can search by check in and check out dates and get a range of accommodation. I was looking for something easily accessible by public transport, so this website was useful from the point of view that it tells you about the local transport links and provides a map showing you exactly where the hotel is located. It also gave a clear indication of what facilities to expect from the hotel and from the room itself.

With my hotel found I started to look at other money saving ideas and found that you can get what is called the I Amsterdam Card which you can order online. It covers you for one, two or three days and entitles you to over 30 free offers and reductions including admission to the Rijks Museum, the Van Gogh Museum and Madame Tussauds as well as some reduction on local meals and events.

posted on Friday, July 20, 2007 2:36:59 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, July 18, 2007

You will soon be able spend your Euros in Malta and Cyprus. They are due to adopt the Euro on the 1st of January 2008 pending the final approval by EU ministers. Other recent countries to adopt the Euro as their currencies include Slovenia who started are using it at the beginning of 2007. Lithuania and Slovakia are also hoping to follow suit pending approval from the EU.

posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2007 4:56:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, July 15, 2007

blogoftheweek This weeks travel blog is Joy Of Camping by Myrtha Chang, the site is a treasure trove of information for camping in the 21st century.

One of my favorite articles is Foil Cooking Recipes, the article explains how to cook a whole list of items using nothing more than the trusty old campfire and aluminum foil. And if you feel like desert after all of that, there's even a video on how to prepare foil-wrapped deserts on the campfire!

Another favorite article is Bee Stings at Camp, it shows you how to avoid being stung and what to do when you are.

If you plan on camping any time soon this site is a must!

posted on Sunday, July 15, 2007 8:43:16 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Royal International Air Tattoo 2007 is taking place in Gloucestershire this weekend. The event is held each year at RAF Fairford. Aircraft featured in this years show include the B-52, C-17 and B-1B bombers as well as F-15's and the P-51 Mustang. The highlights of the show are expected to be appearances by the F-117A stealth fighter and the USAF Thunderbirds aerobatics display team who have never appeared at the event before. The Red Arrows are also scheduled to appear, so it should be an exciting event.

posted on Saturday, July 14, 2007 12:18:06 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, July 13, 2007

If you are planning a vacation in the UK, you might want to try St Ives in Cornwall. It has recently been named Britain's best seaside town of 2007. You can visit Paradise Park and see the rare red squirrels as well as otters, the parrot jungle and many other species of rare birds. You can also see the Tate Gallery in St Ives and visit some of the many craft markets. An interactive guide is available here.

posted on Friday, July 13, 2007 10:17:18 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, July 9, 2007

blogoftheweek This week's travel blog is gobudgettravel.com. This blog is a mine of useful information for backpackers and those travelling on a tight budget. One article I found particularly interesting on this blog was The 5 Fundamentals of Budget Travel in the Developing World.

The article looks at regions such as Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America which are much cheaper to visit than Europe or North America. The downside as this article points out is that there are few guidebooks to help someone who is planning to travel the less chartered countries.

The article has five important tips for travellers planning to visit developing countries. The first tip is that if you book with a local company rather than a tour operator you can not only support local businesses but also pay about half what a tour operator would charge you for the same deal. Other valuable tips include eating the local food which surprisingly can make a real difference to your holiday spend and taking advice from the locals about how best to travel once you are there can also mean you can save you hard earned cash.

posted on Monday, July 9, 2007 10:28:15 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, July 6, 2007

The Tour de France is due to open in London this weekend. Around 189 riders will compete in the race. The opening ceremony starts at 18:00 today in Trafalgar Square. The riders will race past Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and through Hyde Park. The route goes through Greenwich, Woolwich and Erith before heading towards Kent. It will then go through Maidstone, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells before finishing in Canterbury on the 8th July. Afterwards it crosses to Belgium and then France.

posted on Friday, July 6, 2007 12:09:59 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, July 1, 2007

blogoftheweek Our travel blog this week is Brave New Traveler, launched in 2006 it includes original and entertaining articles written by the authors and contributors. They focus on topics such as green travel, photography, writing, politics and culture instead of the destination style articles popular on travel blogs.

The article I found the most entertaining was "What's The Worst Thing That's Attacked You?" while scorpion bites can be serious (depending on the type of Scorpion that bites you) our writers bite was not that serious although painful and on his honeymoon! Even after being bitten he asked his wife to take a picture of the culprit for this article!

I've been in some pretty bad places myself when traveling and one of the things I can never get used to is spiders and scorpions. As long as they stay out of my tent, sleeping bag or bungalow I'm happy!

If you are worried about scorpion stings take a look at this informative article on Wikipedia, remember not all scorpions are poisonous but you should seek advice as soon as possible if you are stung.

posted on Sunday, July 1, 2007 4:31:10 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Saturday, June 23, 2007

blogoftheweek This weeks PC2Paper Travel Blog Of the week is Food and City and was referred to us by one of our users. As soon as I entered this site I immediately liked it, Food and City is about food and unique experiences the first article I saw on the blog was precisely that!

The article Real Men Eat Tartar Steak was a concept I had a hard time getting used to. For those not in the know, Tartar Stake is effectively raw steak and if that wasn't enough for you it's topped with a raw egg! The article goes on to explain the fascinating history behind this dish and where it originated from and how honored the author was to be served this delicacy. There are also some tips if you are looking forward to trying it yourself, such as only going for the best quality meat to avoid bacteria.

This blog is sure to provide years of interesting culinary experiences from around the world, leaving you eagerly awaiting what other unusual experiences will be blogged about next.

posted on Saturday, June 23, 2007 10:12:21 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, June 16, 2007

blogoftheweek This weeks travel blog of the week is Nomad4Ever. There are certain sites out there that immediately give you the impression that they've been around for a while and are a constant source of good reading to many readers. Nomad4Ever is one of these sites. Its author, who quit his job as Director of a company decided to follow a nomadic life style backpacking in Asia. His moto "Life is what you make of it!" and "What are you waiting for?" sums it up nicely.

One of his blog entries I found interesting was Is a Nomadic Lifestyle for you?  It goes over all the luxury and digital assets you would usually have to give up when taking on this life style. Funny enough one of the things even nomads can't seem to do without is the good old trusty laptop. Mine's battered and covered in stickers from my past travels, I use it usually to reply and compose emails to friends and family and then send them when I am next able to get a WiFi connection or use GPRS.

This article made me reminisce on how when you're out and about back packing you don't really worry about fashion and gadgets, its all about taking what you need, trying to travel light and having a good time enjoying life's natural beauty.

posted on Saturday, June 16, 2007 5:46:07 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, June 15, 2007

Whitehaven Maritime Festival is on this weekend. Several historic tall ships will be there including the Grand Turk, The Zebu and The Matthew of Bristol. The festival lasts for three days starting today and entry is free. There are also air displays featuring the red arrows as well as a display deaturing a Spitfire and a Hurrican as well as many other attractions. There are more details on whats on here.

posted on Friday, June 15, 2007 10:23:45 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, June 10, 2007
blogoftheweek_thumb.gifI know there are a lot of travel sites out there, but the sites I find the most value are other peoples travel blogs. This weeks recommended travel blog is Nathan Richards ubertramp.com his site has a wealth of interesting articles about his travel experiences.

One of the articles on his site I found of particular interest was Avoiding the Shower Menace: Tips For Travelers not Inmates, the article talks about a particular travel menace I am only too familiar with ELECTRICS! Yes out of all the dangers in the travel books this one is not given the attention it deserves, too many times have I stopped at some out of the way hostel or local low cost hotel and almost suffered serious injury from the rather dodgy wiring on the so called power shower! Nathan offers some good advice here, I in particular don't go near any electrical's that don't look safe and try to avoid places like this. In my earlier years back packing I didn't have that option and many of us sometimes don't when we find ourselves in a new city in the middle of the night.

Many of our readers (primarily the backpackers among you) may have heard of Nathan before in travel magazines such as BudgetTravelOnline, Travelmag and BackPackers.com.

posted on Sunday, June 10, 2007 11:39:16 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, June 9, 2007

There is an interesting article on the Times website showing how the cost of holidays abroad from the UK could go up because British Airways is increasing its fuel surcharge.

posted on Saturday, June 9, 2007 12:13:49 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, June 3, 2007

If you are planning a trip to Ireland and like me find it hard to survive with no internet access you might want to visit Carlow. A project run by the council in partnership with E-net has introduced 24 hour wireless access to all of its main streets making it one of the first towns in the EU to offer open air web access.

posted on Sunday, June 3, 2007 11:41:55 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, May 31, 2007

If you are taking your car abroad you should check your motor insurance to make sure you are covered, that’s according to this article. Most drivers do not realise that their comprehensive policy does not apply when driving outside the UK. Apparently only one in ten policies include European breakdown cover and policies that do include it will often only give third party cover when driving outside the UK. So if you are planning on taking your car abroad it’s sensible to call your insurer to make sure you are covered before you go.

posted on Thursday, May 31, 2007 1:38:03 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Have you been somewhere interesting recently. Do you have a travel story you want to share? Or perhaps some advice that will help other travellers. Then we want to hear from you. You can submit your travel stories by emailing us 

posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2007 12:46:53 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Fees can really mount up when using your debit card abroad. It doesn't help when you think your card is free to use and then find out that you have been charged a fee after all. HSBC advertise the fact that their debit cards are free from transaction fees when used abroad. They do however, charge 2.75% on top of the exchange rate for overseas withdrawals which they say is not a fee, its simply how they calculate their exchange rate. It sounds like a fee to me.

posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2007 12:19:19 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, May 28, 2007

If you've traveled a lot and have spent time in extortionately charged Internet cafe's trying to read your email and sending letters from the Internet  you've probably decided to start taking your laptop with you and making use of WiFi hotspots instead.

WiFi hotspots enable you to connect to the Internet from your own laptop or WiFi enabled device usually for a small fee and in some cases for free. I signed up with BT OpenZone which enables me to access the Internet from various WiFi hotspots world wide for a monthly fee which works out considerably cheaper than using an Internet cafe.

Accessing a WiFi hotspot is usually a simple affair and involves you turning on your computer and accessing any web page which will redirect you to the WiFi providers website. If they are one of the larger providers such as T-Mobile or BT OpenZone they'll provide you with a login screen to login to their service, or if you are from another service provider you are sometimes given the option to log into that service via them. If you don't have an account you can usually sign up for an account online or just buy time online, usually in 1 hour increments. After you are logged in, most WiFi providers will display a status page showing you how much time you have left online. 

If you would like to find WiFi hot spots in the location you will be traveling, sites such as WiFinder and BT OpenZone  are a valuable resource.

posted on Monday, May 28, 2007 1:20:58 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, May 25, 2007

As usual when we have a Bank Holiday in the UK, the volume of traffic increases on the roads, often meaning total gridlock. You can try to avoid this by planning your journey in advance to avoide traffic blackspots. The Guardian has a useful guide to areas that are expected to have large volumes of traffic. You can also plan your route using the RAC's journey planner, which helps you to avoid traffic blackspots.

For those people planning to travel by train this weekend, you might want to refer to this list of planned engineering works from National Rail as many works are carried out over the weekend leading to further disruption.

posted on Friday, May 25, 2007 11:25:06 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

The City of Derry Airport has been closed because of safety concerns after problems were found with runway drainage and bird conrtrol in the area. Ryanair have now cancelled all flights to and from the airport as of Midnight on Friday 25th May. Any passengers booked on flights are advised to contact their airline for a refund.

posted on Friday, May 25, 2007 10:05:55 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, May 24, 2007

Ryanair announced today that it will fly to 13 more destinations from Bristol International Airport. The extra flights will start in November and are expected to produce a fivefold increase in passenger numbers at Bristol. The new destinations are Bratislava, Budapest, Derry, Dinard, Katowice, Knock, Milan, Porto, Poznan, Riga, Rzeszow, Salzburg and Wroclaw. With these new budget flights it seems like the ideal time to book a long weekend away.

posted on Thursday, May 24, 2007 4:34:42 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Still on a holiday theme I came across this article on thisismoney about the cheapest destinations for UK travellers taking into account the current exchange rates. Apparently you can currently get the most for your pounds by heading to countries such as South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. This is because the pound has strengthened greatly against those local currencies within the past year. For example a pound will now get you 12.8 rand, 10% more than this time last year. It’s a different story though if you are thinking of heading off to Eastern Europe you are 13.6% worse off than last year.

The same article has an interesting section about using credit and debit cards abroad. Last time I went abroad I was aware that there would be a charge for overseas transactions but didn’t really pay much attention to what the charges were. It was a bit a surprise to see how the charges had mounted up just in one week. The article contains a handy table comparing what providers charge for overseas transactions. Interestingly enough if you have a credit card from the Nationwide or the Post Office they do not charge you at all. Most other credit card providers have a 2.75% charge when used overseas. Likewise with debit cards most companies charge not only for making card purchases but also to withdraw cash. This is where I got out with my Bank who charges 1.5% on every foreign withdrawal. Once again Nationwide does not charge its customers for overseas transactions. It might be time to open another account to use when going on vacation. I’m sure in the long run it will help save a lot in unnecessary fees.

posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2007 3:40:36 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, May 21, 2007

This was my first trip to Ireland and although most of our time was spent at a friends wedding, I left with the intention of going back again for a longer stay. It definitely wasn’t the weather that made my stay enjoyable, it basically rained on and off all weekend. I did however find it refreshing to be surrounded by beautiful countryside instead of feeling rather crammed in as we tend to be back in London. One thing that immediately struck me was that every person we came across whilst in Ireland greeted you with a cheery good morning or a friendly wave. Back in London, things are slightly different, if you even so much as glance at another person on the bus or train, you are met with a blank, unfriendly look.

During this visit we hired a self catering cottage from Dream Ireland. The cottage is located in the grounds of the Mount Wolseley Hilton Hotel. It included a double room with en-suite bathroom, two rooms with twin beds and a third room with a single bed. It also had another bathroom and toilet as well as kitchen and large living/dining area. In fact it was much bigger than our house and cost 420 Euros, that’s about £287. I was very impressed with the accommodation offered for the price and you also had the option to use the hotels pool, spa and gym. The cottage also had the advantage of being located within an easy five minutes from the main hotel which has several restaurants serving food for most of the day and several bars which were open until very late.

The atmosphere in the hotels bar was a welcome change from a smoky pub; smoking having already been banned in public places in Ireland. On the night we arrived, at nearly midnight, we were surprised to find the hotel’s main bar still open and the locals enjoying a good singsong well into the early hours of the morning. In fact they were still singing when we left at three in the morning. In all it was an enjoyable few days and I will definitely be going back.

posted on Monday, May 21, 2007 9:16:05 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback

I and my husband are heading off to Ireland this weekend for a friends wedding. It always occurs to me when going away how much easier it is for men to pack. They simply pack a pair of jeans and a pair of trousers and a couple of tops. My packing dilemma goes something like this. We are going away for 4 days. The first day we are at the wedding, so I have my dress and shoes, but what if it is cold, I might need a jacket. The next day I will need something casual to wear during the day, so I pack jeans and trainers, but wait I am going out in the evening, will I need something smart? So I pack a skirt and top, but what if it’s too cold for a skirt… I pack trousers. The thing is trousers require different shoes to a skirt so I pack my smart boots as well as my strappy shoes. Ok, the bag is starting to get heavier at this point and thats before I think about day three. Men have it easy. 

posted on Monday, May 21, 2007 9:15:05 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Greek island of Zante or better known by the locals as Zakynthos has long been a favourite of mine. 

zante.jpg

Depending on the time of year you go Zante is either a furnace or incredibly hot, I have never encountered a single cold day when visiting Zante. And you soon understand why the locals do most of their socialising in the evening and leave the hot day for sleeping.

When visiting Zante I would suggest wearing shorts and getting yourself a pair of sandals, your feet will only roast in trainers and socks. Zante is full of nice beaches and its very easy to get badly sunburned, another word of warning is when you go down to the beaches take a large bottle of tap water with you to rinse off the sea water before you tan yourself. The sea water is so full of salt that mixed with the strong sun can easily chap your skin and lead to painful sunburn. Talking about the water its important to only drink bottled water and not tap water, while the locals will drink the tap water its far to high in minerals for people who have not been put onto it gradually and could make you sick. The local "towns" or "resorts" are geared towards tourists you will find many of the local restaurants on the so called high streets will have Australian, English, Chinese themes in addition to Greek restaurants. I often found the best place to eat good Greek food Zante style, is in the little unkown taverners you will sometimes find on the outskirts or down little country lanes. You know they serve good Greek food when even the locals eat there and keep coming back. When staying at a hotel ask the guy behind the bar what he suggests.

I always find the locals welcoming and friendly and when I am there I always stock up on the locally produced olive oil which the super markets here in the UK can't even begin to compete with on taste. The localy produced honey is also out of this world and is essentially honey made from Thyme pollen. Another thing I became hooked on was 5 star Metaxa a drink not unlike brandy but much better. Three star Metaxa rivals brandy and can be drunk with coke hover 5 star should always be drunk by its self.

posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 11:22:06 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback