Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Increase in luxury booknigs to Cuba noted by Kuoni

Kuoni, the leading luxury travel group, has announced that, despite the recessionary times, it is experiencing a surge of interest by holiday makers choosing to travel to Cuba, the Caribbean’s largest island. This fascinating, historic destination has seen an increase in bookings by some 25% when compared to 2010.

There is also increasing demand for luxury accommodation with travellers opting for five star properties above other hotel grades. Current figures show almost half of all Cuba bookings were in five-star properties, up 53% on last year.

Responding to this trend, Kuoni have introduced a new five star property opening in November 2011. Melia Buenavista Royal Service & Spa set on the tropical paradise island of Cayo Santa Maria, with impressive dive sites and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve as a backdrop.

The resort is perfect for couples and honeymooners. This adults-only, all suite resort offers guests a complimentary 25-minute massage and a hydrothermal circuit in the hotel’s grand spa, seductive rooms, butler service and late check-out. The hotel also offers an all inclusive plan, which gives guests the reassurance of knowing everything is paid for.

The Cuban city of Havana is a romantic and atmospheric World Heritage Site, where time appears to have stood still since the 1950s. It's perhaps appropriate on a Cuba holiday to be picked-up on arrival, in a vintage fifties car, and taken to the hotel in style. Cuba is also known for its rich forests, waterfalls, breathtaking beaches and wildlife.

Cuba can be found in the pages of the new Mexico and Caribbean brochure, which can be downloaded from the Kuoni website.

The National Trust? Gnashional Trust! Trust opens its doors to the UKs best-loved cartoon characters

The National Trust has, for the first time, given fictional characters keys to all of its 300 homes and access to the 617,500 acres of land it cares for.  'The Beano' team of illustrators and comic geniuses were granted full creative control as characters from Dennis the Menace to Billy Whizz conquer castles and race ponies across grand estates.

The Beano characters have invaded to help the National Trust bring its many places to visit to life and prove that its doors (and copious amounts of fresh air) are open to all, breaking down preconceptions of the organisation.

Dennis the Menace and Gnasher kick off the chaos as they conquer Powis Castle in Wales, fooling National Trust staff with dozens of "hedge menaces" disguising the real rascal and his companion and becoming King for the day.

The Numskulls, who live inside Edd's nostrils, are sneezed out at Edwardian Surrey estate Polesden Lacey into a game of croquet - and a planned bug hunt - to enjoy the buzz of bumblebee racing, while Minnie The Minx takes her dad on a manic trip to Northern Ireland to discover the iconic Giant's Causeway and find the giant Finn McCool himself.

The Bash Street Kids days out in Devon, visiting the family manor Arlington Court and enjoying the great outdoors, while fellow mischief-maker Billy Whizz - the fastest boy in 'The Beano' - explores the country in less than a day.  Fooled by Attingham Park's false doors, to completing Cragside's 8 foot high rhododendron maze in seconds and experiencing life as an Anglo Saxon at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk, Billy Whizz has a fast-paced day topped off by a good night’s sleep in Lyme Park's Edwardian Nursery.

Tony Berry, Visitor Experience Director of the National Trust, commented: "We are delighted to open our doors to 'The Beano' and all of its mischievous characters. The National Trust and 'The Beano' are both British institutions and we are hoping the news that we have opened our doors to them all will encourage families to take a leaf out of Dennis' book and organise a trip to one of our places.  As our black and red stripy friend says; ‘a menace always has a plan’ and this summer should be no exception.

"Wherever we can we have tried to take away ropes and show the fun side of our places with everything from mazes to talking portraits.  We are certain that real-life Dennises will find that it is not all 'please don’t touch' anymore; in some places you can even have a go on the snooker table.”

John-Paul Murphy, Head of Brand Marketing of 'The Beano' publishers, D.C. Thomson, added: "We couldn't think of a better way to prove what fun kids can have at 'Gnashional Trust' properties by letting the world's most famous menace and his friends from 'Beanotown' loose on them.  Dennis hasn't let his own 60th anniversary affect his ability to cause his own brand of havoc and it is a fitting birthday treat for him to become 'King of the Castle' at Powis.  We're sure 'Beano' readers will have just as much fun as the characters have when they visit the venues featured in our comic this summer."

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Monday, 25 July 2011

Get into the fresh air this summer with National Parks Week 25 – 31 July 2011

Just in time for the summer holidays and your UK family holiday National Parks Week (25-31 July 2011) offers a host of fun, exciting and inspiring things to do in the UK’s 15 National Parks. With over 90 diverse activities there is something for everyone -regardless of your age, interests or ability. So whether you’re looking for an easy going stroll with pushchair or wheelchair access or if you’re after something a little more challenging and adventurous – there’s something for you. So go on, pack a picnic, some sturdy boots, a waterproof jacket and a sun hat – and let the fun begin!

Paying a visit to one of the UK’s 15 National Parks is not only good for you but recently compiled figures show that visitors to National Parks contribute more than £4.5 billion to the economy with over 70 million visitors spending more than 160 million days enjoying the UK’s National Parks.

Carl Lis, chairman of the UK Association of National Park Authorities said: “Together with others National Park Authorities make sure that National Parks are kept beautiful, open and accessible so that everyone can take time out from the stresses of daily life to refresh mind, body and spirit in stunning natural surroundings. National Parks Week is a great opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors in a way that’s not only fun but healthy and good for the body and mind.”

Events on offer during National Parks Week include bush craft and survival skills or map and compass days in the Lake District and Peak District National Parks, a chance to be an archaeological detective for a day in the North York Moors, travel back in time to experience life in an Iron Age hut in Pembrokeshire Coast or be inspired by the National Park’s natural environment and create your own masterpiece at a messy, fun pottery session in the Brecon Beacons. What a great addition to your UK family holiday.

The UK’s National Parks have recently produced a guide to some of the accessible activities in National Parks. It provides practical information to help people with limited mobility get the most out of the inspiring landscape of their National Parks.

Cadw digs deep to bring history alive at archaeological events across Wales

The Festival of British Archaeology, 21 years old this year, is taking place until 31 July, and will be celebrated with a series of activities and tours at historic sites across the Wales, providing the perfect addition to your UK summer holiday.

Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic and environment service, is working with four Welsh Archaeological Trusts; Clwyd-Powys (CPAT), Dyfed (DAT), Glamorgan-Gwent (GGAT) and Gwynedd (GAT), and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW), to put on a coordinated programme of activities including fun days at historic sites, visits to archaeological excavations and guided walks.

Polly Groom, Cadw assistant inspector of ancient monuments said, “The Festival of British Archaeology is all about bringing people into contact with their local archaeology. We want people to come along to as many events as possible, where they can have fun, get inspired, and get their hands dirty; experiencing Wales’ history in its truest form. Archaeology gives you the chance to hold and feel things which were made hundreds or thousands of years ago. It’s a direct connection to people in the past.

Continues Polly, “Archaeology is all about people. It’s about the things they made, and the things they did; and through those ‘things’ — that ‘stuff’ — we can start telling some of those people’s stories. Sometimes it’s the big stories, about battles and castles and politics. Sometimes it’s the smaller stories: the mark of an individual mason on a single stone, a dropped and broken pot irritably thrown away, or a person buried with reverence and honour.’

Back in 1990, the first National Archaeology Day organised by the Council of British Archaeology (CBA) was celebrated with only 10 events. The national event began to grow, and by 2005 it had become National Archaeology Week. In 2009, the CBA launched the Festival — a fortnight jam-packed with the best of British archaeology. By last year there were over 760 events across Britain and more than 190,000 people took part. This year’s event is bigger and better than ever and a great addition to your UK summer holiday.

For further information about where and when events are taking place across Wales, and to book places, visit:

New cruise site launches

CityBreakCruises has launched and claims to be the UKs only website specialising in short cruises to Europe’s major cities and also around the world; a great way to explore and enjoy destinations by day, and cruise overnight to the next port of call. Choose from weekend breaks in Europe, cruises from Southampton, Barcelona city breaks, or mini cruises.

CityBreakCruises combines, for the first time, the current trend for ‘slow travel’, where the journey is part of the experience, with the continued rise in popularity of cruise trips.

The website makes choosing and booking a city break cruise simple, and features a wide range of cheap weekend breaks abroad, cruise deals from Southampton and European cruises, between 2 and 7 nights.

It's appealing to travellers new to cruising by providing the opportunity to experience culture and events in Europe’s cities, with information featured on its destination guide pages as well as offering a different type of experience for keen cruise fans. Another benefit is that the ‘city’ experience is complemented by the on-board food and entertainment experience.

There's also a hot deal page, too.

CityBreakCruises also features a range of information about the European cities that can be visited, along with details of exhibitions and events held there throughout the year, reviews of cruise lines and ships and a selection of special offers.

For further information visit:

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Sunday, 24 July 2011

Still Time For Families To Get Active This Summer On A Last-Minute Adventure

Still not sure where to take the family? Here are some cracking ideas!


ANDORRA: Active Pyrenees (8 days from £829pp)
- A great value action-packed, centre-based summer activity week set in Soldeu. Whilst suitable for kids aged six year upwards, the mix of cycling, walking and white-water rafting amidst the Pyrenean mountains makes it ideal for 10 - 12 year olds. Engolasters and Siscarro Lakes provide a great backdrop to the activity-filled week (tailored to suit abilities), while a 4WD adventure following an old smuggler's route off-road, stopping off to visit farming hamlets and take in the breathtaking views, gives legs - young and old - a welcome rest.

- Price from £829pp includes flights, 7 nights B&B accommodation, transport (minibus, mountain bike, raft and 4WD) and most meals (1 lunch & 6 dinners) and an experienced local group leader.
- Departures 31 July (teenage departure), 7, 14 (single parent departure) & 21 August

ITALY: Land of Volcanoes (8 days from £849pp) NEW
- Offering a great mix of culture and activity on Italy's most iconic island, this week-long adventure offers families the opportunity to keep active whilst taking in the local culture. Though one of several active volcanoes in Sicily, Mount Etna is the most famous and largest in Europe which provides extra kudos as you climb to the summit. Other natural highlights include the wild scenery of Alcantara Gorge and the awe-inspiring canyon of Cassibile while culture vultures will enjoy the rich Greek history of Siracusa, the necropolis of Pantalica, which contains over 5000 caves and temples and the chance to learn one of the world's oldest artistic techniques while taking a pottery lesson. Minimum age seven years.

- Price from £849pp includes flights, transport, half board accommodation and an experienced group leader.
- Departures 21 & 28 (single parent departure) August

TURKEY: Turquoise Coast (8 days from £969 adult / £949 child)
- With so many activities crammed into one trip, this trip is ideal for families aged eight and above. Adventures include a treasure hunt in the rural mountain retreat of Karaagac; a glass-bottomed boat trip to discover the sunken city of Kekova; a 4WD trip to the countryside and villages surrounding Kas; an overnight gulet trip and the opportunity to explore Dalyan and visit old Lycian tombs.
- Price from £969 adult / £949 child includes flights, transport (minibus, gulet, 4WD & boat), 7 nights B&B accommodation (2 nights farmhouse, 3 nights hotel & 2 nights gulet), some meals (4 lunches & 2 dinners) and an experienced local group leader
- Departures 20 August

DESIGNED FOR TEENS (12 years upwards)

EGYPT: Active in the Sinai (8 days from £899pp)
- With desert, mountains, canyons and the Red Sea all to be found in the Sinai and the laid-back resort of Dahab the perfect base to enjoy them from, families really can be as adventurous or relaxed as they want on this teenage adventure. For the more actively inclined there are plenty of options to enjoy both on land (sand-boarding, camel-riding and climbing up Mount Sinai for an unforgettable sunrise) and in the sea (wind-surfing, snorkelling, kayaking and diving) before making the most of the beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters and camping out under the stars in a Bedouin tent in the heart of the desert. Minimum age 12 years.
- Price from £899pp includes flights, transport (minibus, camel, boat, 4WD, kayak), 7 nights B&B accommodation (incl. 1 night camping), some meals (3 lunches & 2 dinners) and an experienced local group leader.
- Departures 31 July & 7 August

FRANCE: Alpine Activity Week Teen Adventure (8 days from £789pp) NEW
- Covered with snow during the winter, the alpine resort of Alpe d'Huez is a great place for an action-packed summer activity week. Families with active teenagers can choose to enjoy leisurely mountain walks and take in the jagged peaks for spectacular views. Or alternatively try a few more exhilarating mountain pursuits in the form of white-water rafting down river valleys and mountain biking along the hundreds of kilometres of cycling routes in the area. Other activities such as horse-riding and summer luging can be arranged locally. Minimum age 12 years.
- Price from £789pp includes flights, transport, 7 nights B&B accommodation, most meals (1 lunch & 7 dinners) and an experienced local group leader.
- Departures 31 July & 7 August

TURKEY: Active Cappadocia Teen Adventure (8 days from £999pp)
- This week-long trip offers active teenagers an opportunity to discover this extraordinary area of Turkey on horseback, mountain bike and foot, with time to relax in beautiful rivers and waterfalls along the way. Highlights include the chance to get up close to the famous fairy chimneys, explore the underground city of Derinkuyu and take in the region's remoteness while wild camping. Minimum age 12 years.
- Price from £999pp includes flights, transport, 7 nights B&B accommodation (3 nights hotel, 2 nights wild camp & 2 nights riverside bungalow), most meals (6 lunches & 7 dinners) and an experienced local group leader.
- Departures 13 & 20 August

To find out more about The Adventure Company's family holidays call 0845 287 1198
or visit

Too busy to enjoy the sunset?

Grand Marnier® reveals top ten sunset hotspots to help time Britons enjoy 'balmy' summer nights in the UK

The beauty of Britain is being overlooked as the nation's workers struggles to secure a work-life balance, according to new research.

Half of Britons admit to taking the country’s surroundings for granted with 59% saying they don’t know Britain as well as they' like to. The majority (62%) blame this on a lack of time in their busy lives, with one in five even admitting to not ever having admired their own country (52%).

The study of 2,000 adults in the UK by Grand Marnier, found that more than half (56%) feel stuck in the same routine, whereas a fifth blame living too far from a place of natural beauty (19%) for their failure to admire their own habitat.

Even when on holiday in the UK, over a quarter (27%) of Britons find it hard to switch off and appreciate their environment. It is when people are abroad that they truly unwind, with 40% stating that enjoying a drink at sunset is the peak of holiday relaxation.

It seems Britons struggle to replicate this when on home turf, with a third admitting to watching a sunset just once a year or less. Two-thirds blame this on not knowing where to watch the sunset in the UK (68%) and almost half (47%) wish they were more organised in planning their free time so that they can enjoy evenings with friends.

Alex Ayres, spokesperson for Grand Marnier comments: “Our research shows we see sunsets as a moment to relish when we’re on holiday abroad but we don’t have time to savour them in the UK. To help encourage us to enjoy the beautiful sunsets that Britain has to offer we’ve teamed up with travel writer Paul Gogarty who reveals Britain’s best kept sunset secrets.”

Paul Gogarty, travel expert and writer comments: “I have always enjoyed exploring all Britain has to offer because there is something for everyone to get excited about. We have some of the finest sunsets in this country, but we don’t always know where to go to see them so the Grand Marnier Sunset Guide should enable you to take advantage of the beauty of Britain.”

The Grand Marnier Sunset Guide

The Grand Marnier Sunset Guide allows people to discover, sit back, relax and enjoy the 10 alternative wonders of Britain and whilst you are at it, why not enjoy a Grand Marnier and Tonic.

1. Primose Hill, London
Whether you live in Primrose Hill or just visit once in a while, there’s more to this charming neighbourhood than you are likely to know. It may not be west facing but the fiery halo at the top of the hill is one of the most beautiful sunsets in London. Visit

2. Limehouse, London
On the bend of the river just before Canary Wharf – mudbanks, coppered water and the subtle architecture of the river makes this a beautiful hotspot. Visit

3. Alexandra Palace, London
The iconic North London venue that offers the best panoramic views of London. It never ceases to thrill watching the last rays of the sun racing across the capital westwards. Visit

4. Big Wheel Exchange, Manchester
The best sunset in Manchester is from the top of the 60-metre high Big Wheel in Exchange Square. If you go with friends and book a capsule to yourselves, you’ll have a wonderful time catching the glorious sunset. Alternatively, if you hire a narrow boat on Bridgewater Canal you won’t be disappointed either. Visit

5. Salisbury Crag, Edinburgh
South Queensferry is a great location for catching the sunset behind the Forth Bridges but up on Salisbury Crags is also a firm favourite with the fiery glow burning behind the castle like some doomsday scenario in a science fantasy movie. Visit

6. Crosby Sands, Liverpool
Ray Davies’ Waterloo Sunset song was originally called Liverpool Sunset in homage to his favourite city. A much loved sunset spot in Liverpool is out of town at Crosby Sands, standing in the dunes, watching Antony Gormley’s army of men seemingly walking out across the sea going home to Ireland. The 100 cast iron, life-size figures spread out along three kilometres of the foreshore, stretch almost one kilometre out to sea. Visit

5. Port Talbot, South Wales
The view from Rhossili on the Gower peninsula is dreamy and romantic but the sunsets above the Port Talbot steelworks as seen from the M4 are simply stunning. If you want more time to take it all in, just pull in at Margam Park. Visit

8. Bath Skyline Walk, Bath
The honey coated Georgian terraces and spires of England’s prettiest city are best seen at sunset from the Bath Skyline Walk – the six mile National Trust hike also happens to be Britain’s most popular walk. Visit

9. Durham Cathedral, Durham
The entrance to Durham Cathedral is the literal highpoint of the city with the country’s finest cathedral as the backdrop and the river down below – and a magical place to watch a sunset. Visit

10. Margate, Kent
Because Margate is surrounded by water on three sides, it means that despite an east coast resort, you get a west facing sunset from the pier. This is probably why Turner painted more canvasses here than anywhere else. Visit

To make sure you don’t miss that precious sunset moment visit The Grand Marnier Sunset Guide to calculate when to capture that day’s sunset wherever you are.

For more ways to make the most of sunset hour in the UK, plus the chance to win fantastic prizes, join them at

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Thursday, 21 July 2011

Cruise 1st Reveal Cheaper Cruise Package to New York

Cruise1st continues to entice travellers with cheap cruises. The UK’s top online cruise travel agent continues to set the standard with packages to some of the more exotic destinations on the globe. But at keener prices than most.

The latest to catch the attention of cruise lovers is the Cruise1st package to New York and Niagara Falls.

Aboard Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, one of the most famous ocean liners in the world, cruise goers will be spoilt from the onset, travelling in style across the Atlantic. With the likes of Harrods stores on board and terraces bars, travellers will be spoilt for choice as the cruise ship crosses the sea.

On arrival in New York, this memorable cruise will continue to dazzle as cruise goers set their sights on one of the most exciting cities in the World. Whether its the right lights or boulevards you’re looking for, New York has it all.

The New York package gives customers the chances to sample all the delights New York offers, the Big Apple, Central Park and the Rockefeller Centre. Some come just for the shopping and of course, New York doesn't disappoint with some of the biggest, trendiest shops in the world! With a two night stay in Midtown, there's plenty of time to explore.

As if that wasn’t enough, this package continues to impress as it takes its customers on to the great Niagara Falls for another two days of bliss. An eleven day round trip to two of the most exciting locations in the US, this package is second to none.

Interested in cheap cruises? Visit to check out the latest deals.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Package Holidays Specialist Pleased by New ATOL Reforms, one of the UK’s top online retailers for package holidays gives its support to the new ATOL rules being reviewed by Government.

New ATOL reforms currently under review by the Government will mean more holidaymakers will receive better protection in the event of a company going bust.

To date, the ATOL scheme compensates those people booked on package holidays if their tour operator goes bust before they depart, or if holidaymakers are already overseas then transportation is arranged to bring them back home.

However, due to the travel industry evolving significantly over the last decade, the methods available today for travel agents and tour operators to dynamically create holiday packages for clients is far more complex than the traditional off the shelf package holidays available ten/twenty years ago, and up until now it is these types of holidays where consumers haven’t been covered.

However, if the new proposals are approved, it means those travellers who are offered dynamic packages, or flight plus holidays where a travel agent manually creates a package from different flights and accommodation, will be covered if any one of the companies they booked through goes bust.

Managing Director Mark Kempster of commented, “Taking the necessary steps to cover more people is good, but the new reforms aren’t quite enough; they need to go further to try and include all independent travellers. In addition, by taking further steps with these reforms there will be a more level playing field for companies involved in selling travel”. is a fully licensed and bonded member of ABTA, ATOL & IATA, providing customers with the peace of mind that when they purchase a holiday on its website; all monies paid are completely safe.

The benefit in booking online through is the opportunity to search through all the leading tour operators’ holidays in one place. is completely independent so users can enter their preferred search criteria and the site then checks and compares all operators’ holidays to the chosen destination to present the traveller with the holidays that best match their criteria at the best available prices.

With the Mediterranean being its primary focus, has thousands of holiday deals to the most popular destinations such as Italy, Spain, holidays to Turkey and Greece holidays.

For the latest offers visit or call 0800 652 5986.

Hat's amazing! Sleeping Bags Specialist Reports Uplift In Hat Sales

Sleeping bags and outdoor specialist Packyourbags Travel Store has experienced a welcome boost in the number of hat purchases made on its website.

Due to the recent spell of fine weather, Packyourbags Travel Store is experiencing a significant increase in the number of hats being bought on its website.

The most popular purchase is the Tilley T3, the hat brand that has been acknowledged as the best in the world for a number of reasons – they are guaranteed for life, insured against loss in the first two years from purchase, provide excellent sun protection, repels rain and won’t shrink - the list goes on.

Other popular hat brands that can be found on Packyourbags Travel Store are White Rock, Rogue, Haglofs and Mammut to name a few, and all are sold cheaper than their normal retail price.

Managing Director Mark Kempster of Packyourbags Travel Store commented, “The summer season started off rather disappointing in terms of our hat sales, so I’m delighted to see them improving, lets hope this dry sunny period continues”.

Packyourbags Travel Store’s online shop sells everything related to travel and outdoor pursuits such as clothing, camping equipment, ski gear, luggage and more. Not only is there a huge selection to choose from, but there’s fantastic savings to be enjoyed on many well known brands too. Choose from the likes of Meindl walking boots, Snugpak sleeping bags and Lowe Alpine rucksacks to name a few. Currently the site is promoting its mid season sale, with up to 40% off selected branded products. In addition, all purchases over £25 qualify for free post and packaging within the UK.

Packyourbags Travel Store was established in 1988 as a travel agent and outdoor specialist called Country Trails Travel. The travel store still holds a prominent high street presence on Mount Pleasant in Tunbridge Wells and still operates today as an independent travel agent and specialist outdoor shop, selling its wide range of travel accessories products.

For further information visit Packyourbags Travel Store or call 01892 779 710.

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British Airways reveals Gatwick airport is top choice for families this year

British Airways reveals Gatwick airport is top choice for families this year

British Airways has revealed that more families than ever are choosing to fly from Gatwick airport as they jet off on holiday this year.

The airline has already seen a ten per cent increase in family bookings compared to last year and the trend is set to continue through the summer.

In July and August, British Airways will serve some 7,000 child meals on its long haul and European flights from Gatwick, and cabin crew will give out over 26,000 special Paddington Bear Skyflyer packs to keep its young customers entertained.

Florida is the number one destination for British Airways from Gatwick during the school holidays, offering 14 flights a week to the Sunshine State, with daily flights to Tampa and Orlando.

Parents travelling with children can benefit from family check-in and the chance to choose seats together free of charge 24 hours before departure.

On long haul flights children also have their own television channels as well as a choice of family movies on the in flight entertainment system.

Gatwick is the only UK airport, to join a new Family Friendly scheme launched by the Family and Parenting Institute which aims to make the UK more family friendly.

Over the past 18 months, the airport has rolled out a number of family friendly initiatives to help take the stress out of travel for families, particularly those with young children in tow.

In Spring 2010, Gatwick became the only UK airport to create separate security lanes – "Assistance lanes" - to give families travelling with young children in buggies extra help through security after checking-in.

Earlier this year, it also created dedicated "kids zones" in the departure lounges of both terminals for children aged between 0-5 years to enable parents and guardians to relax while their children are kept entertained.

Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive of Gatwick Airport said: "Millions of families choose to travel through Gatwick airport every year. We realise that travelling with children can be stressful, so we’re going out of our way to make their journey through the airport more enjoyable. That's why we’re proud to be supporting the Family Friendly scheme."

The second most popular long haul holiday hot spot for British Airways customers is Barbados and there are still some family holidays in Barbados available there and many other destinations from Gatwick, including many with free night offers and kids stay free.

British Airways has also introduced the family favourite destination of Malaga to its Gatwick schedule, moving the service moved from Heathrow and almost doubling frequency to 27 flights a week.

The best views of historic York highlighted at Clifford's Tower

The best uninterrupted views over the city of York are being highlighted by English Heritage this summer, as it shows a new panoramic image of the view from Clifford’s Tower and launches free downloadable podcasts to help visitors put York’s roofline into its historical context.

The podcasts and image will be available on a new website,, which positions Clifford’s Tower as the starting point for any visit to the city, or indeed, a great way for residents to look out over the city’s rooftops at some of the landmarks around York.

Recorded by TV historian and author, Julian Humphrys, the podcasts aim to give visitors not only an audio explanation of the buildings you can see around the city, but also set Clifford’s Tower in its historical setting, as a lookout point, prison and weapons store during its colourful 900 year history. Julian, who is a great fan of York, having visited many times to film programmes about its heritage, takes listeners on a tour of the city skyline from his favourite vantage point.

“York is a fantastically compact city, and with Clifford’s Tower at the very heart of it, visitors here can enjoy unrivalled views over the city to help them better understand York’s fascinating story, from the gothic splendour of York Minster to the iconic Terry’s building that housed the city’s chocolate heart!” explains English Heritage’s marketing manager, Caroline Sinclair.

“From the wall walk, we can also help visitors understand how the view would have been different when the tower was in use – for example, only real history buffs would know that the whole of the Foss Islands area would have been under water when York was home to the king’s official fishponds, providing freshwater fish for the royal table.”

The podcasts will be available for download before people visit, or alternatively, those with smartphones can download the podcasts to enjoy as they are on the wall walk to share Julian Humphrys’ historic view on the city. There are four podcasts in total, each intended to be listened to a different vantage points along Clifford’s Tower’s wall walk.

English Heritage has also produced a leaflet for visitors incorporating the panoramic photo, with key buildings and sites highlighted.

“For many York residents, they may have visited Clifford’s Tower as a child on a school visit, but haven’t been back in recent years. We’d urge them to come back for a look, the view is constantly changing as buildings go up and come down throughout the city.”

Clifford’s Tower is open daily throughout the summer from 10.00am to 6.00pm daily. Admission prices are £3.90 for adults, £3.50 for concessions and just £2.30 for children, or £10.10 for a family ticket (two adults and up to three children). English Heritage members get in free.

Over the school summer holiday, Clifford’s Tower is also hosting Time Travellers Go.... Medieval, an opportunity for children to dress up in the clothing of a medieval king or queen and have their picture taken on a real throne!

For more information, please call Clifford’s Tower on 01904 646940 or visit

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Choice Hotels reveals London summer offers at Choice Hotels!

Choice Hotels Europe, the hotel group behind the Comfort, Quality and Clarion brands, brings to you offers of special summer packages at the following properties in London and the South East specially designed for travellers who want to make the most of sightseeing, shopping and all the capital can offer:

For those who want a stay in a design-led hotel located close to London's West End, the Quality Hotel Maitrise Maida Vale is offering a package for two adults sharing a double room that includes full English breakfast each morning, a three course dinner on one of the evenings in Rafkins restaurant, and a Zones 1-2 London Travelcard for one day.

Richard Bristow, General Manager of Quality Hotel Maitrise Maida Vale, said: "We are delighted to offer this special summer package as London has so much to offer during the summer months including outdoor concerts and theatrical productions as well as the world-class museums and attractions."

Guests who opt for a summer package at the Comfort Inn Edgware Road will enjoy a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates on arrival. The offer is available for two adults staying in a double room for a two-night stay, including continental breakfast, and also includes a Zones 1-2 London Travelcard for two days.

And near to the Oval cricket ground is the Comfort Inn Vauxhall which is offering a summer package for two people staying for two nights in a double room, including a bottle of wine on arrival, continental breakfast and a one-day Zone 1-2 London Travelcard.

Recently re-branded, the top class and award-winning Clarion Collection Croydon Park Hotel is located in the heart of Croydon town centre with easy access to Central London and the South East. The hotel is offering a two-night stay for two adults with a full English Breakfast each morning, a sumptuous five course dinner on one evening, and a day travel card each to visit nearby London.

Guests also benefit from free parking as well as access to a health and fitness centre that boasts a pool, separate children’s pool, hot tub, sauna, solarium, gym and squash court.

These offers are, of course, subject to availability, and offered for a limited time, so travellers interested in making it a special summer in London should make their bookings on the Choice Hotels Europe site at as soon as possible.

EasyJet Holidays reveals we are turning our backs on the traditional two week holiday

A survey by EasyJet Holidays reveals the perfect holiday length for British holidaymakers is officially 11 nights, marking a move towards the end of traditional one and two week holidays offered by traditional package tour operators.

According to the survey conducted by easyJet, seven out of 10 people prefer their holidays to last more than eight days but less than the traditional 14 day escape to the sun.

The easyJet Holidays website reflects the results with 55% of all enquiries to the site from savvy customers searching for flexible holidays over seven nights in duration, but less than the conventional two week getaway.

Reasons for snubbing longer holiday lengths included:

- Missing home comforts
- Holiday budget
- Worries about work
- Missing friends, family and pets

Only one per cent of respondents claimed they would prefer to take less than a three night break for their annual holiday and 17% opted for seven nights or less.

The new 11 night holiday trend is perfectly accommodated on the easyJet Holidays website and offers consumers totally flexible and competitively priced breaks throughout Europe and the Middle East.

Mandy Round, general manager at easyJet said: "Holidaymakers are signalling the end of the traditional one and two week holidays and no longer want to be restricted to the standard deals offered by tour operators.

"Customers looking for complete flexibility and the ability to tailor their holiday length, dates and flight times, as well as having the choice from thousands of excellent value holiday deals to suit all budgets can do so on the easyJet Holidays website."

As a result of this flexibility holiday makers can enjoy breaks of nine days but only take five days off from work commitments - maximising the length of their holiday without eating into their annual holiday entitlement.

The easyJet Holidays website has also witnessed an increase in enquiries for the ten night stay as British holidaymakers tighten their purse strings by searching for affordable deals, but still making the most of their annual escape to the sun.

SENTIDO shows its commitment to the environment

SENTIDO Hotels & Resorts are, they can confidently say, getting greener, with a new sustainability programme having been launched for the hotels in the chain.

The programme focuses on "integrating an environmentally friendly approach in everything we do," said SENTIDO MD, Stefanie Berk, and the benchmark is the Travelife Award.

Travelife is an independent certification system which evaluates accommodation and other service providers against ecological and social criteria. Depending on the outcome of the assessments, hotels receive a gold, silver or bronze award which is valid for two years.

Some 100 criteria are assessed covering a diverse range of subjects that include fair and proper staff pay, reduced consumption of bother water and energy, a reduction in the production of waste and a preference for purchasing goods from local suppliers. Two hotels have already been awarded Travelife certification; the SENTIDO Sultan Beldibi and the SENTIDO Perissia in Turkey.

The Sentido Perissia is a deluxe resort, with its attractive design, attention to detail and stylish ambiance. It is set on a peninsula and offers great views of the Mediterranean. The resort is situated amidst spacious gardens and not far from the historical and cultural highlights of Side.

The SENTIDO Sultan Beldibi allows guest to enjoy Turkish hospitality in oriental style. The spacious hotel is ideal for families and is set in a fragrant orange grove.

SENTIDO Hotels & Resorts can be booked on the internet portal or through tour operators such as Thomas Cook and Neckermann Reisen.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

UK tourists heading to Spain can find best rental deals via award-winning comparator

UK travellers and tourists making for some sunshine on the beaches of Alicante this summer can get great value car hire there thanks to the latest prices offered by The online car hire comparator, which helps people save on car hire in more than 15,000 resorts worldwide, has introduced new prices for car pickups at Alicante Airport this summer.

Picking up a rental car on arrival at the airport is the most convenient way to get a holiday started - particularly if travelling with children. With deals on show from over 50 of the industry's biggest and best suppliers - including Ebookers, Opodo, Avis, Expedia, Sixt, Thrifty and more - sourcing the perfect hire car deal is as easy and convenient as can be.

Getting out to see the various beaches and coastlines around Alicante is best done by hire car since there isn't much public transport on offer in Alicante. Renting a vehicle using the newly updated car hire Alicante Airport available on right now allows people to rent a car for a week for as little as £115 for a one week rental.

Gareth Robinson, Managing Director of, said, “Because we continually search and update from all the biggest car hire providers our site is always the most up to date place to find value for money car hire Spain deals. Alicante remains a hugely popular destination so we advise advance booking before travelling to secure value deals." compares car hire deals from more than 50 rental providers, including Alamo, Auto Europe, Budget, Holiday Autos and Sixt, in over 15,000 locations worldwide. To compare the latest car hire deals visit

EDITOR: Price correct at time of writing for 1 week car hire from July 16th for rentals collected at Alicante Airport. Check for current details at

Fancy a cruise? Best At Cruises Launches Princess Cruises 2013 World Cruise

Best at Cruises adds Princess Cruises new 2013 world cruise aboard the Pacific Princess to its website with some special introductory offers.

The Pacific Princess sets sail on its 107 days world cruise voyage on 27 January 2013 visiting in excess of 40 great destinations.

Departing Fort Lauderdale, the cruise ship’s itinerary includes some amazing destinations including Easter Island, Machu Picchu, Sydney, Shanghai, Mumbai, the ruins of Petra and overnight calls in Lima, Hong Kong, Dubai and Istanbul.

The Pacific Princess World cruise programme has just gone on sale with prices for the entire journey starting from £14,619 per person.

If 107 days is too long, Princess cruises is offering holidaymakers the opportunity to join the ship for shorter journeys, there are 4 short sector cruises available as follows:

27 January 2013 – 34 Nights – Fort Lauderdale to Sydney, from £4,931

03 March 2013 – 23 Nights – Sydney to Hong Kong, from £2,964

26 March 2013 – 24 Nights – Hong Kong to Dubai, from £3,103

19 April 2013 – 26 Nights – Dubai to Venice, from £3,994

While 2013 may seem a long way away, booking this far in advance for a world cruise is the norm and it certainly pays off doing so, as there are many excellent early booking discounts available on all cabin types. It is strongly recommended those interested should start planning their cruise now to avoid disappointment.

Some of the deals on offer are:

• 10% off launch fares for bookings made before 31 August 2011, this can mean savings of up to £2,730 per person.
• Up to $2,000 onboard spending money per stateroom booked before 28 February 2012.
• Captain Circle discount – previous Princess cruise passengers can save up to £500 per person if booking before 31 March 2012.

Best At Cruises is one of the UK’s top online cruise retailers. It offers fantastic deals on all major cruise line operators such as Transatlantic cruises aboard the infamous Cunard Queen Mary 2, or Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas for cruises around the Mediterranean as wells as Dubai cruises aboard Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas.

In addition to working with the well known cruise lines, Best At Cruises also offers smaller niche cruise line operators, such as Azamara Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. For more information call 0207 849 4150.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

That's Food and Drink: Stratford to be treasure trove of good food during...

That's Food and Drink: Stratford to be treasure trove of good food during...: "Shakespeare's birthplace will be transformed into a delicious treasure trove of good things to eat and drink as the town hosts the fifth Str..."

FloridaTix Launch Treasure Hunt Competition

FloridaTix, the online store for Florida attraction tickets, has launched a treasure hunt competition with a chance to win £20 worth of cinema vouchers and a goody bag to the first five people who get the correct answer.

In order to win, participants must collect all the letters which create a unique word or phrase. Once found, the answer can be emailed to:

But! Participants can only win if they guess the correct phrase or word after collecting all of the letters. You can find the letters by scouring the FloridaTix website and other websites associated with FloridaTix. Will you be able to find the clues to guess the correct answer? Start now, by visiting the following web page for more details:

The competition must end on 31st July. FloridaTix will announce the winner in August. Good luck!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Don't spend over your budget!

In the quest for a truly relaxing week away from it all, British holidaymakers let themselves in for sleepless nights, afterwards.

A widespread lack of preparation and planning means they spend over the odds and beyond their means both at home and abroad during the summer break.

In a survey for discount code website, almost half the respondents (46%) admit to always spending more than they budgeted on holiday. They find things more expensive than expected when they get there (48%) and don’t account for essential elements alongside the basic cost of the holiday.

A large number (39%) say they embrace the holiday spirit when they’re away and don’t care about overspending – it’s all about switching off and forgetting everyday cares on a well-deserved break.

But back at home, nearly half say they worry or even lose sleep about how they’ll fund their cherished holiday indulgence.

Over half (51%) of those questioned say they don’t even think about the exchange rate on an overseas holiday until they get there. A quarter say they forget to budget for key items such as taxis to and from the airport. One in seven have had to borrow money while away or arrange a transfer into their bank account from home, and one in five admits overspending because of pestering from the kids.

The unwelcome financial surprises don’t end there. The survey reveals pre-holiday costs add to the price of going away, whether it’s in the UK or abroad. Almost 9 out of 10 respondents spend on summer holiday clothes for themselves and their families, splashing out on average £74 on kitting out the kids. Almost as many buy luggage and other holiday sundries before they go, typically spending around £50.

“Getting through the school holidays and paying for trips away really does stretch families’ finances, so it’s surprising that more people don’t take simple steps to manage their spending, stay out of debt and get the most from their hard-earned cash,” says Founder of, Paula Felstead.

She and her team have come up with some basic advice to avoid paying for a relaxing break in overspending-related stress for months afterwards. “Plan ahead and think carefully about your budget and how to control costs so you’re prepared when you get there and can truly afford to switch off,” she says. “Holiday time is special, whether you’re at home or away, but the relaxation and enjoyment we all crave doesn’t need to cost a fortune, either by design or by mistake.”

Seven summer stress-busting savings tips from

1. Research prices where you’re hoping to go before you book, including the exchange rate

2. Don’t get carried away with last minute summer clothes and travel accessory shopping – look out for bargains and discounts in the run up to your break

3. Shop in advance for supplies if you’re going by car and self-catering

4. Agree a spending budget with the whole family, including an allowance for treats and kids’ activities

5. Don’t forget to include the cost of transfers if you book flights or train travel independently

6. Book parking, taxis and event or admission tickets in advance for the best deals

7. Think about what you really want and prioritise it in your budget and choices. If eating and drinking out is key to your holiday, pick more basic accommodation or packages – you’re not going to be in much anyway. If kids’ activities are most important, pick a holiday with free facilities or inclusive childcare

Paula continues, “Making sure you’ve got the best price on all the things you need can be very time consuming. If you can’t justify spending days searching the web for holiday deals and things you need to get you through the summer break, let a money saving voucher site help you. We have many deals on to help you keep on budget this summer and a study last year showed that the average family can save around £50 per month by using such deals.” is one of the leading UK money saving voucher sites. All vouchers and discounts are 100% free and genuine and include deals on everything family- and holiday-related, such as currency, insurance, luggage, holidays, accommodation, days out, toys and games. This is the perfect time for families to plan ahead and see what savings can be achieved. Examples of current discounts available with include London Zoo which is currently offering 10% off family bookings.

Five Star Hotel Cascade in Cascade Resort is launched

The Hotel Cascade in Lagos, Portugal has officially launched, in the presence of distinguished guests, local dignitaries, sporting personalities, friends and invited members of the press.

On June 28, the Cascade Hotel was officially inaugurated. All the special guests enjoyed the special atmosphere that can be felt in the Cascade Hotel, on the peninsula Ponta da Piedade, and experienced something of the “Cascade Lifestyle”.

Swiss Hotelier Urs Wild, Director of Cascade Resort, with Dr. Júlio Barroso – President of the Lagos Municipal Council and the Swiss Ambassador in Portugal, Dr. Rudolf Schaller unveiled the inauguration plaque. Former Swedish champion tennis player Stefan Edberg was also in attendance due to his involvement with the Cascade Sports Academies.

Mr. Wild spoke of how he fell in love with Lagos 20 years ago and of his dream to build an exceptional hotel and Resort, there.

Some 12 years and 100 million Euros later, his dream has become a reality, but not without overcoming many obstacles met along the way. He is confident of the success of this new venture and of the positive effect it will have to the reputation and attraction to the Lagos area.

This was the view shared by the Mayor who stressed the benefit of the development to the local area socially and economically and in terms of the maintenance of public space and environmental preservation.

Lisbon-based Swiss Ambassador, Rudolf Schaller promised to bring the existence of Cascade to the attention of the newly inaugurated government of Portugal, especially the minister of tourism as an example of the excellence achieved with this development. Stefan Edberg highlighted the individuality of the project with its emphasis on sport.

The Cascade Resort occupies a prime location with 1.5 km of ocean frontage between Porto de Mós and Ponta da Piedade, it is a beautiful area, with stunning views, known for its unusual rock formations and sea caves. Just one of the reasons it is perfect for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, jogging, etc.

Since the soft opening in April, the hotel has received many guests of different nationalities who have all appreciated the excellence in service and the inspirational surroundings. Cascade Hotel has 86 rooms, which portray a unique style in a design conceived to honour the historical importance of Lagos in the period of exploration and in sympathy with the environment.

The interior décor reflects the culture and styles of the four continents: Asia, Africa, South America and Europe, whilst the exterior combines Portuguese architecture with Moorish influences which complement the surrounding area, giving it a distinct personality of its own.

The Resort stretches 38 hectares, where in addition to the 5-star Hotel, it includes 58 apartments divided into 1 and 2 bedrooms and luxury villas, open since 2010. These are available for rent or purchase with a variety of options.

Cascade Resort also features the "Cascade Performance Sports Academies" - high-performance sports academies run by renowned personalities from the world of professional international sport such as Sven-Göran Eriksson, Stefan Edberg and Julia Görges. Also included in the Resort is a commercial area, the Praceta, which includes a medical centre, gym, health club and spa - covering 1,200 m2 located on the ground floor of the Hotel. At Cascade Resort, the opportunities for luxury and well-being are unlimited with the intention and promise of providing a unique and memorable experience.


Monday, 11 July 2011

Action Packed Summer Holidays At Bodiam Castle, Kent

Bodiam Castle's annual 'Summer Fun' event will take place between 23 July and 29 August 2011, offering a host of innovative activities to keep little fingers busy during the long summer holidays.

Every day, visitors of all ages will have the exciting opportunity to join in a variety of special Have-a-Go workshops hosted by Hands on History. Everyone can learn archery techniques and test their skills with a longbow, mini crossbow and paintball cannon. Date: Daily 23 July - 5 August, 11-21 August, 27 August - 4 September at various times. Price: Archery = £5 for 12 Arrows or £3 for 6 Arrows. Paint Ball Cannon = £2.50 for 12 shots. Mini Cross Bow= £1 for 10 shots.

At 12:30, 2:30 and 3:30pm each day visitors will also be able to witness the firing of Bodiam Castle's life size, replica trebuchet, a fierce catapult used in medieval castle sieges. Price: included with normal castle admission.

On Medieval Mondays visitors of all ages can dress to impress with the castle's authentic collection of replica armour and costumes. Transform into a knight in shining armour, a medieval princess, a powerful Lord or even an entertaining court jester. Dates: 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 August 11am-4pm. Price: £2 per person plus normal castle admission.

On 3 August don't miss the castle's annual Family Fun day when the whole family can enjoy a memorable day out together. Between 11am and 4pm the castle grounds will be packed full of entertaining activities for families to enjoy including face painting, arts and crafts, tractor rides, an exciting traditional fun fair and much more. Date: 3 August. Price: included with normal castle admission plus small charge for some activities.

The castle will also be hosting their famous Knight and Princess Academy, which is suitable for all budding knights and princesses over the age of four. The academy brings children's dreams to life as they train to be a real knight in shining armour or a medieval princess.

The 45 minute session allows children to dress in authentic costumes and take part in a special craft activity, before their graduation ceremony, when they will be rewarded with a personalised certificate and a special gift as proof of their new-found qualification. Dates: 9, 10, 17, 18 and 19 August at 11:15, 12:15, 13:30 and 14:30. Price: £5 per child, no castle admission necessary.

Booking can be made by calling 01580 830196. Please do book early to avoid disappointment.

Between the 20 and 21 August there will be the exciting chance for visitors of all ages to join in the 'Dressing for Battle' event. Between 10.30am and 5pm each day visitors can discover how a knight dressed for battle and before trying on the variety of armour themselves. No additional charge but normal castle admission applies.

Before the holidays draw to a close families have the opportunity to take part in the castle's Great Treasure Challenge and join the quest to search for the castle's hidden treasure chest. The castle is brought to life by members of the Bodiam Household, who, dressed in authentic costume, may hide vital clues to the chest's whereabouts. Families have to solve the mystery to track down the treasure and claim their prize! Date: 23-25 August - 11am - 4pm. Price: £2 per person plus normal castle admission.

As well as the activities visitors can explore the castle ruins, including the battlements and towers or browse the shop, which offers a range of gifts and produce, including Bodiam wine and local honey. The Wharf tea-room serves a variety of delicious seasonal treats such as light lunches, whilst Ice-creams, snacks and drinks can be purchased from the castle kiosk (seasonal).

Bodiam Castle Gift Aid Admission: (Standard Admission prices in brackets): adult £6.80 (£6.10), child £3.40 (£3.05), family £18 (£16.20), family (one adult) £11.20 (£10.10).

For more information please visit or give them a call on 01580 830196.

Bodiam Castle has been in the expert and loving care of the National Trust since 1926, it is three miles off the main A21at Hurst Green, midway between Hastings and Tunbridge Wells.

There is a reduced rate of £5.80 and £2.90 for adults and children arriving by bicycle, public transport or the Kent & East Sussex Railway (stations at Tenterden, Northiam and Bodiam)

(EDITOR: That's Holiday will include news from other National Trust properties throughout the summer)

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Tesco calls time on the hidden costs of your holiday 'phone calls

British holidaymakers spend £750 million every year on calls home from their holidays!

Tesco is issuing consumers with a timely warning about the hidden costs of holidays which can have a big impact on people’s wallets. And That's Holiday is pleased to be able to help Tesco in this endevour!

One of the nation’s pet hates is the cost of calls from abroad when they check in with loved ones at home. 

Research conducted by Tesco Calling Card found that one in six people feel they have been ripped off by call costs on holiday.

An investigation by Tesco Calling Card has shown revealed that it can cost more than a pound a minute to call UK landlines from a European hotel.

The average cost of a European hotel phone call back to the UK was over 60p a minute. 

Spain was revealed as the EU country with the most expensive hotel phone charges, with a ten minute call to the UK from a hotel phone costing over £10.60! (EDITOR: Talk about a rip-off!)

The need for low cost phone calls from a landline has prompted the retailer to launch the Tesco Holiday Card.

By calling from a landline using the card from four of Britain’s top holiday destinations – Spain, France, Greece and Portugal, people can stay in touch with family and friends for only 10p per minute to a UK landline and 20p a minute to a UK mobile. The flat cost of making calls when using the card means it is easy for our customers to use.

A Tesco spokesperson said: “This little card should be part of our packing preparation as it means people can call without the worry of unforeseen costs or big bills on their return home. 

“Its really easy to use from any landline so we can now all avoid the complexities of the foreign phone box and the super-inflated charges of a hotel phone.”

The cards are available in £5, £10 and £20 denominations and can be found in the suntan or luggage aisle at Tesco Extras and Tesco Superstores from mid July.

And for the 61 per cent of people who call home up to five times while on holiday, topping up credit is easy and can be done via phone or online.

Terms and conditions apply. Please check for details.

Don't let heartburn and indigestion ruin your holiday!

Research shows 66% of travellers do not stock up on medical supplies before travelling
20 million or so Britons go abroad every year and around 7 million will get ill at some point whilst away
18% lost one or two days of their holiday to being unwell, another 12% lost two to four days
·Faced with buying first aid and medication abroad, 8% said they had language problems in local pharmacies. Another 8% were confused by different names for products in other countries. 9% found products more expensive abroad

Heartburn and indigestion are common, unpleasant conditions linked with over eating.

Up to four in ten people suffer from heartburn each year in the UK. Some have it occasionally, while others suffer from the condition every day

It is thought that up to 20% of the population have symptoms of heartburn every week

£123.9 million was spent on over the counter indigestion remedies in the UK in 20097

In any 6 month period 41% of the population will suffer an episode of dyspepsia (indigestion), and a quarter will have consulted their GP about their symptoms

Heartburn is among the top three ailments we go to see our GP about

Recent research findings indicate that 41% of heartburn sufferers experienced symptoms so severe that they thought they were having a heart attack

What treatments are available?
A tendency to overindulge whilst on holiday can lead to heartburn and indigestion, a painful condition that can leave sufferers feeling down and helpless. It is essential therefore that traveller pack an effective remedy before going abroad to ensure that they are able to make the most of their time away. Research by Zantac 75 Relief has revealed that people are confused when it comes to treating heartburn and may be prolonging their suffering by not choosing the appropriate remedy –in fact, 89% of people don’t know the difference between antacids, alginates, H2 antagonists - the 3 most common treatments available over the counter to treat heartburn and indigestion
Antacid (e.g. Milk of Magnesia/Rennie) - Mild and infrequent sufferers
Antacid remedies work by neutralising excess acid as they are alkaline in nature. While this type of remedy offers fast relief, its effects may not last for very long.
Alginate (e.g. Gaviscon) - Moderate sufferers
Alginate remedies work by forming a thick layer on top of the stomach contents to prevent excess acid rising into the oesophagus. This type of remedy works best if taken after a meal (not suitable for those on a sodium restricted diet).
H2 antagonist (e.g. Zantac 75 Relief) – Regular/frequent sufferers
H2 antagonist remedies work at the root cause of heartburn and indigestion by blocking the process by which the stomach makes excess acid. For this reason, sufferers benefit from longer lasting relief.

Zantac 75 Relief contains ranitidine, an H2 antagonist, for the relief of heartburn and indigestion associated with the consumption of food and drink. Just one tiny Zantac 75 Relief tablet provides long lasting relief for up to 12 hours for all day, or all night relief. Zantac 75 Relief is available over the counter priced at £2.15 for 6 tablets or £4.09 for 12 (larger packs are available from the pharmacist) Always read the label.

Travelling with children? Here's an easy solution!

Planes, trains and automobiles no longer have to be stressful for parents, thanks to ‘My Travel Surprise’ – the first ever one-stop shop for children’s travel toys.

My Travel Surprise ( offers a range of lightweight, budget-friendly games and activities specially designed to keep youngsters entertained on holiday journeys and throughout your break.

My Travel Surprise was founded by mother of two children Amanda Mitchell. Why? Well, Amanda found herself frustrated at the lack of suitable toys available to keep her children occupied during flights and car trips.

Not only have all the products been thoroughly road-tested by Amanda and her sons, they also come gift-wrapped in specially designed holiday cartoon paper.

My Travel Surprise has a range of unusual toys that are not readily available in high street stores and the products can be ordered all year round. With prices starting at a very pleasing £2.50, My Travel Surprise offers games and activities that cost less than a comic and a bottle of water bought from a shop or service station.

All toys carry the ‘CE’ safety mark and the majority of products weigh less than 300 grammes, making them ideal travel toys that can be used throughout the holiday.

My Travel Surprise has toys and activities that are suitable for both boys and girls aged two to 10 years old, including, memory boards, brain teasers, and activity cards.

The range also includes sticky mosaics, fishing games and friendship bracelet kits, as well as obligatory sticker and doodle books.

As we say, each toy ordered from is delivered partially wrapped in cartoon travel paper, so the parent can give it to their child as a surprise ‘gift’ for the journey. Consideration has been given to airport security, allowing wrapped toys to be taken through security controls, ensuring peace of mind for everyone!

Says Amanda: “Preparing for family holidays can be a nightmare for parents. You always have that last minute panic thinking ‘how on earth am I going to keep the kids quiet during a five hour flight?’.

“In desperation, I would spend a fortune in supermarkets or airport shops, ending up with toys that were unsuitable or activity books that my children would finish before we’d even taken-off.

“Keeping children entertained shouldn’t and doesn’t have to be stressful. My Travel Surprise is a simple, fun and inexpensive solution for time-precious parents. I’ve thought of everything from the parent’s perspective – from the suitability and cost of the toys to getting them through passport control.”

My Travel Surprise toys and games can be used to entertain youngsters throughout the holiday and they are also perfect for other journeys, including the school run or car and train trips to visit friends and family.

34-year-old Amanda was inspired to set up My Travel Surprise after getting frustrated at the lack of suitable children’s toys and games available for holiday travel. Amanda is passionate about child and youth development and prior to becoming a mum to Ben (aged five) and Noah (aged two), Amanda was an NVQ assessor in playwork and has worked with children and young people with eating disorders.

With a degree in BA (Hons) in Informal and Community Education, she founded and ran a youth centre for 140 members on the outskirts of London. She is married to Daniel and lives in Park Street, Hertfordshire.

Probiotics can help you have the holiday you want

People can be more susceptible when they travel away from home during the summer and research has shown that probiotics can help maintain a healthy digestive system particularly if taken prior to going away on holiday. In addition to this it can aid healthy digestion as well as support the pre holiday diet.

Professor Glenn Gibson, professor of microbiology at the University of Reading and a leading authority on probiotics says: “Probiotics have been shown to fight "bad" bugs in the gut and improve intestinal health, easing symptoms such as bloating and constipation. Look for products containing lactobacillus and bifidobacterium and in quantities of more than 10 million.

'With tablets, I would recommend Multibionta, as the capsule has a protective coating around it which protects the probiotics from stomach acid until they reach the large intestine.”

Seven Seas Multibionta
Seven Seas Multibionta contains a range of multivitamins with minerals and probiotics to help support a healthy digestive and immune system. Unlike other multivitamins, Multibionta contains TriBion harmonis, a unique blend of natural probiotic cultures which help to maintain healthy immune and digestive systems to help you cope with stressful days when you don't get all the nutrients you need from your diet.

Each one-a-day tablet provides 10 million probiotic cultures and has a unique protective release coating to ensure the probiotics survive their journey through the highly acidic stomach environment and are only released when they reach your intestinal tract. Scientific studies have shown that the special coating means significantly more probiotics reach your gut safely.

Multibionta contains a comprehensive yet balanced formulation of multivitamins with minerals and probiotics and is the ideal supplement for all round, daily nutritional support.

Available at all leading pharmacies, retailers and health food shops, 28s (RRP £5.81), 60s (RRP £10.10), 90s (RRP £14.04).

Let ICE Stop you getting burnt this summer with some hot money tips

2011 could be the most expensive year to take a holiday, as fuel increases push airlines and travel agents to pass rising costs onto travellers. The weakness of the Pound against the Euro and other key holiday currencies is not helping as British tourists who are having to spend more to achieve the same buying power. In response, travel money expert ICE (International Currency Exchange – has produced its top tips for getting the most out of the holiday spending budget:

ICE’s Top 10 Tips to make holiday money go further
  1. Buy foreign currency in advance of leaving the UK, online or from specialist providers on the high street, to avoid less competitive rates at airports
  2. Buying budget airline tickets? Don’t get stung by debit or credit card charges – consider using a Sterling prepaid card to buy your tickets – but shop around as some providers charge as much as the airline in internet and shop transaction fees
  3. Use a PIN protected prepaid card overseas too to avoid hefty debit and credit card charges – some charge as much as 1.4% of the transaction
  4. Check the financial security of your provider – are they linked to a bank for example that is FSA regulated?
  5. Having your currency delivered to home? Look out for free postage charge deals for minimum orders; every penny counts!
  6. Take a mixture of local currency and prepaid card on holiday – enough local currency for when you first arrive and a prepaid card for added security
  7. When in Rome: Do some research on tipping etiquette in your holiday destination to avoid embarrassment and possibly save you money
  8. Consider paying the sundries bill at the end of the stay with cash - 82% of travellers used their credit card to pay for their hotel bill in 2010
  9. Remember, some countries restrict the amount of cash that can be taken in and out. Don’t get caught out, check before you travel
  10. UK banks won’t buy back some currencies. Check before you travel and spend your local currency before returning home
Joanna Williams, Head of Marketing for ICE said “With household budgets being stretched and the cost of holidays going up, Brits will be looking to make savings where they can and stick to a budget. Using a prepaid card at home and abroad can help. Some, like the ICE Travellers Cashcard offer good savings on budget flight transaction charges and offers families a convenient and secure alternative to cash and travellers cheques. Most importantly, the card helps holidaymakers avoid charges incurred when using a credit or debit card abroad, whether it’s paying for small items such as food, drink and souvenirs or for the bill at then of the stay.

“There are many additional charges on travel money that can soon mount up so we advise holidaymakers to shop around for their foreign currency to ensure they get the best exchange rates from a reputable provider.”

Watch your baggage allowance!

A recent poll by revealed nearly one in three of us runs the risk of paying a fine or having to repack at the check-in desk.

28% of customers told the UK's top holiday add-ons company that they have little or no idea of their hand luggage allowance before flying. 

Added to this, over 1 in 10 of us are out of touch when it comes to what is and isn’t allowed in their carry-on bag, with 12% revealing they aren’t even sure of the current restrictions!

Anthony Clarke Cowell, head of product innovation and merchandising at, said: "Nobody wants to be the one holding up the queue with their belongings spread across check-in so it’s well worth checking with your airline before you pack. 

"And with many airlines charging for checking in hold baggage now, taking a well-packed carry-on bag is becoming more and more important."

To ensure you make the most of your hand luggage before jetting off on your summer holiday, has put together these top tips:
  • Check allowances on your airline's website in good time - including number of carry-on bags allowed, size of bags and weight limit
  • Buy a soft, lightweight bag within the correct dimensions
  • Only take what you really need - you can buy some items at your destination
  • Buy travel-sized items where available
  • Pack liquids in hold baggage whenever possible; containers in hand luggage must hold no more than 100ml and must be carried in a single, transparent, re-sealable plastic bag, which holds no more than one litre and measures approximately 20cm x 20cm
  • Download electronic versions of guidebooks and novels onto one device if possible
  • Roll clothing rather than folding
Holiday Extras is one of the to UK providers of  one for pre-booked airport hotels and airport parking, taking bookings for over 6.8 million travellers each year. Holiday Extras' customer service has been recognised in the National Business Awards shortlist for Customer Focus and the Online Retail Awards. 

In January 2011, the company was listed in Which? magazine's top five One Click Wonders, easy-to-use travel websites. A record-breaking 99.88% of customers are satisfied with Holiday Extras' products and service.

The company offers a wide choice of holiday add-ons including airport lounges, airports by rail, London theatre breaks, UK theme park breaks, and holiday insurance. For more information and to book please visit

Make sure your holiday is memorable for the right reasons

We have all seen newspaper reports how, through no fault of their own, a family had a disastrous holiday, often with tragic consequences.

How can families, couples and individuals try to ensure that they will not end up in a similar situation? By consulting, who can provide advice to families on how they can stay safe and have a holiday to remember for the right reasons. is the only travel site which lists hotels from all around the world that have achieved high standards of health and safety. This will let YOU make smarter, better informed choices when booking your holidays to ensure you remain safe throughout your holiday.

As sample of what the advice can offer please find below some accommodation advice on what holidaymakers need to remember when arriving at a hotel.

1.     Check before you unpack... Do not go through the hassle of unpacking your suitcase until you know the room is safe. Hotel rooms see a lot of use and over time things can start to show signs of wear and tear. In some cases this can be a simple matter of requesting a replacement item but sometimes it may require a change of room whilst work is being carried out to repair potentially dangerous problems. Check that the appliances in the room look well maintained, ensure bathrooms are free of problems like cracked tiles or broken fixtures.

2.     Look around, crefully... Particularly if you have children take the time to look around the hotel and be aware of any risks that could be addressed. It is far easier to point these things out to hotel management prior to any accident occurring. Make sure you ensure your children are supervised appropriately, especially where you have identified a risk that they could be exposed to. 

3.     Avoid falls... Balconies can be dangerous, particularly for children, if it is possible for them to climb up on or lean over the balcony. Make sure that they are unable to do so by repositioning items of furniture etc. that can be used to climb up on. Adults should be equally wary of sitting on or leaning over balconies so as to prevent a fall. Another source of problems related to balconies is the glass door or partition that links them to the room, where bright sunlight can make it very difficult to determine whether a door is open or closed.

And remember, visit before you even book a holiday.

Be prepared for Lyme Disease

Lyme disease, which is something people should be aware of whether they are holidaying abroad or in the UK.

Ticks - tiny (the size of a full stop on an A4 page) blood-sucking parasites - peak in population from April to October, and are found throughout the UK, North America and across Europe.

This means that we need to be careful abroad, whether we’re staying at a campsite in France, walking through forests in Scandinavia or are out and about in North America. It’s also important to be aware of ticks here in the UK, whether you’re heading somewhere remote or looking forward to a city break – ticks are also found in London parks.

Lyme disease – caused by the bite of an infected tick - causes a range of unpleasant symptoms which may include a circular red rash, headaches, a stiff neck, extreme fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and disturbances of sight, hearing, digestive system and sleep. If left untreated it can progress to the joints, the heart and the nervous system.

To reduce the risk of being bitten by an infected tick, the charity Lyme Disease Action advises holidaymakers to take the following precautions:

·         Wear long sleeves and trousers
·         Wear light-coloured clothing so ticks are easier to spot
·         Use an insect repellent effective against ticks (look for those containing the chemical DEET)
·         Keep to pathways and try to avoid areas of overgrown vegetation
·         Check for ticks regularly during the day
·         Remove any ticks found attached as soon as possible
·         Pack a tick remover (available from Lyme Disease Action from just £4.99 including p&p) if walking or holidaying away from home

Tick removal
Ticks should be removed immediately with a tick removal tool or fine pointed tweezers. Gently pull the tick's body away from your skin directly outwards, without jerking. Do not try to pull the tick out with your fingers, burn the tick or cover it with creams or chemicals.

If you have been bitten by a tick and notice any of the above symptoms, seek medical help straight away. Diagnosed and treated early, Lyme disease can be treated successfully with antibiotics.  NB tick bites do not itch like mosquito bites, so awareness is important to aid diagnosis.

To find out more please visit

Holiday Health – Make sure you take what you need to ensure, a healthy happy holiday!

Special article by Emma Mihill ND NT DipCNM MBANT, Higher Nature Nutritional Therapist

Likely holiday health hazards
When travelling to foreign countries, the microflora in your gastrointestinal tract is suddenly (without warning) exposed to a variety of bacteria it isn't used to. This can result in digestive upsets, including diarrhoea. Locals have the chance to build up a resistance to the bacteria, whereas you are more exposed.

Sunburn is another common complaint, particularly in hotter countries. It is important to sit in the sun for short periods (15-30 minutes a day) in order to expose your body to the UV rays to make vitamin D on the skin; however, the time you choose to expose should be outside of the 11am-3pm period of the day. Sunburn will age you, dehydrate you and leave you bed-bound, so choose your time in the sun carefully.

How to prepare yourself before you go
Taking a good probiotic about two weeks before travelling will help to build a better gut microflora to prepare against any foreign invaders. Continue the probiotic throughout your trip and for two weeks after you return. Start taking a vitamin C, if you don't already, two weeks prior to travel to build up your antioxidant reserves against the oxidative damage of travelling: aeroplanes, stress, pollution and lack of fresh foods.

Use chlorella and colloidal silver before and during the flight to help protect you from heavy metals and the recycled air on the plane.

What you should take with you
Colloidal Silver – for the plane journey and great for sanitising travel water
Vitamin C – this is a crucial antioxidant to protect you from anything you may face on holiday. It’s also important for your immune system and may be helpful for jet lag.
Probiotics – these will help to keep your gut microflora in fighting condition for any foreign invaders it may come across
Grapefruit seed extract – great for internal or external use and for digestive support while travelling.
Chlorella – this may help with chelation of heavy metals (particularly on plane flights) – chlorophyll is also incredibly nutrient-dense, with minerals, vitamins and amino acids present in highly absorbable forms.
A natural skin sun protection cream should also be a must. Why smother your skin with chemicals when there are perfectly good and effective natural and organic sun creams you can use while sunbathing?

That's Holiday would like to thank Emma and Higher Nature for their invaluable assistance. For more information about Higher Nature, please visit

Monday, 4 July 2011 launches Queen's Diamond Jubilee coach package, the highly regarded website tour consolidator, is proud is announce the launch of its coach holiday packages to coincide with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, following on from the success of the Royal Wedding.

The Royal Wedding and of course the release of the multi award-winning film 'The Kings Speech' has certainly encouraged Brits to enjoy all things Royal-related, whether it be through booking London city breaks or through coach packages that encompass tours of Royal properties/locations such as Buckingham Palace, Hampton Court, Clarence House and many more.

Recent research has also shown that almost a third of Britons feel more patriotic with more than half admitting to feeling a surge of pride as they watched Prince William marry Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey on 29 April 2011. British history, the NHS and the armed forces were among other things that made the country great according to the 3,000 Brits polled for the Best of British Survey.

Rachel Jones, who is the online PR & marketing co-ordinator, for said: "The recent marriage between Wills and Kate has certainly encouraged Brits to be more patriotic and as a result more are choosing to take part in national events to show the world how great Britain truly is. We feel that this increase in patriotism will certainly encourage more Brits to celebrate all things Royal-related and choose to be in London to soak up the atmosphere and join in with the celebrations marking the Queen's Diamond Jubilee instead of watching at home."

In line with demand,’s exciting coach package means that everyone can enjoy the pomp and pageantry of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Passengers who join the tour will be taken to The Mall where crowds will gather to witness the Carriage Procession in addition to the BBC concert broadcast from Buckingham Palace and to watch the 1000-strong flotilla of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant as it wends its way downriver to the heart of the national celebrations.

The Queen came to the throne on 6 February 1952 and her Coronation took place on 2 June 1953. She celebrated her Silver Jubilee (25 years) in 1977 and her Golden Jubilee (50 years) in 2002. The only other British monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee was Queen Victoria in 1897.

Buckingham Palace is co-ordinating a range of events centred around the extended weekend (2nd-5th June 2012 inclusive) and these will include: a big Jubilee Lunch, Diamond Jubilee Pageant on The Thames, concert at Buckingham Palace and the lighting of 2012 beacons throughout the UK.

Rachel concluded: "The Royal Wedding certainly proved to be a massive hit with our customers, with packages selling out almost immediately leaving some disappointed. As a result we certainly believe that our coach packages to the Queens Diamond Jubilee will be as popular, if not more than the Royal Wedding, and we would advise anyone wishing to be a part of these national celebrations to book their place as soon as possible to avoid disappointment."

Packages include all coach travel, return transfers into London, three night's bed & breakfast in a good quality hotel with the services of a Tour Manager throughout.

FACTFILE: is a consolidation of national and regional tour operators creating a diverse choice of UK, European and worldwide touring holidays including coach holidays in Ireland, events packages, city breaks, coach holidays, Paris city breaks, river cruises, theatre breaks and holidays by air to many exciting destinations. All have live availability and offer the customer the opportunity to book online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.