Thursday, 29 September 2011

Package Holidays Retailer Aims To Beat Market Increases For 2012

Online package holidays retailer announces that it aims to be one of the cheapest places to buy 2012 summer holidays.

It has recently been announced by TUI Travel Plc, owners of Thomson Holidays and First Choice, that their holidaymakers will pay more next year as the company passes on rising costs.

As per TUI Travel’s latest trading report, average selling prices for summer 2012 holidays are currently up 10% because of the rising costs of fuel and accommodation.

With many UK tour operators reducing their overall capacity due to the general economic climate, as well as the political unrest in North Africa and beyond, trading is proving to be even more of a challenge.

However, is determined to beat market rates and offer UK consumers a place to buy cheap 2012 summer holidays. Managing Director Mark Kempster said: “The advantage of booking through is our ability to dynamically package holidays at the cheapest prices. Using our advanced booking systems means we can identify and package together the cheapest flights and hotels to any destination of interest, creating the most competitively priced packages in the market for UK consumers to book online”.

Kempster continued, “Our aim for 2012 is to beat the market rates in most instances. In addition, customers can have peace of mind is a fully licensed and bonded member of ABTA, ATOL & IATA”.

To give some price comparisons, booking a 7 night, 3* all inclusive holiday to Turkey in May 2012 is £202 per person compared with £218 per person earlier this year.

A 7 night holiday departing 05th July 2012, staying at the 5* Costa Adeje Gran Hotel in Costa Adeje, Tenerife is £463 per person, whereas the same holiday this year cost £495 per person. is also a great resource for consumers looking for great deals on last minute holidays. Customers can perform one simple search and the site instantly checks and compares the best deals with all major holiday suppliers to the Med. The site has thousands of deals for Spain holidays, cheap holidays to Turkey, Portugal, Italy, Greece and many more.

For the latest offers visit or call 0800 652 5986.

Thistle crowned 'Hotel Group of the Year' at Top AA Awards

Thistle Hotels scooped the prestigious 'Hotel Group of the Year Award' at the AA Hospitality Awards 2011-2012.

Hosted by popular BBC newsreader, Sophie Raworth, at the London Hilton on Park Lane, the ceremony rewarded the best performers in the UK’s hospitality industry, and was well attended by world-renowned chefs, prominent hoteliers, restaurateurs, hospitality gurus and key media.

On selecting Thistle Hotels for the award, the judging panel were particularly impressed with how the hotel group have successfully kept their focus on the guest experience and developed teams in a way that delivered this commitment - genuinely and passionately.

AA Hotel Services manager, pointed out: "Thistle Hotels has significantly improved their overall product and service offering over the last eighteen months. This includes achievements such as full Hospitality Assured accreditation, Tourism for all audits, increasing standards particularly in hospitality and service combined by on-going significant refurbishment have all impressed. All these things combined made them a deserving choice as winner of this award."

On receipt of the award, Heiko Figge, Managing Director of Guoman & Thistle Hotels, commented: "We are extremely honoured to accept this award, and I'd like to thank each and every one of our Thistle colleagues for their contribution and dedication.  To be named 'Hotel Group of the Year' is recognition of the sheer commitment and passion our people have shown in developing and enhancing the Thistle experience.  We're all very proud to be acknowledged with such a high profile industry award."

For more information on Thistle visit, or follow its blog for frequent travellers on finds half of car drivers could not cope without music has revealed drivers in the UK are music fanatics who can't cope without songs on a car journey according to a new poll by the price comparison expert. 53% of respondents said they 'couldn't cope' without music in the car and wouldn't buy a car without a stereo. A further 34% said if they bought a car that didn't have a stereo they would install one pretty quickly.

55% of drivers sing along to music in the car and 27% tap along to the beat with their hands or feet. Queen's 'Don't Stop Me Now' was found to be the favourite in-car tune, closely followed by another Queen classic, 'Bohemian Rhapsody'.

16% of drivers say they drive faster when they have music on and among men that rises to 20%, or 1 in 5.

'Don't Stop Me Now' is the favourite driving song of both men and women but the list differs after that with women choosing 'Bohemian Rhapsody' (2nd); 'Shut Up and Drive' (3rd); 'Bat out of Hell' (4th) and 'Fast Car' (5th) while men chose 'Bat out of Hell' (2nd); 'Bohemian Rhapsody' (3rd); 'Ace of Spades' (4th) and 'Dakota' (5th).

Gareth Kloet, Head of Car Insurance at said: "Having music on in the car has grown into a modern tradition and while we would, of course, encourage all drivers to concentrate on the road, we like happy drivers who enjoy being in their cars. Just make sure to hide away your valuable music equipment when leaving your car as it can be an invitation to thieves."

That's Technology: Eurostar awards on-board Wi-Fi connectivity and in...

That's Technology: Eurostar awards on-board Wi-Fi connectivity and in...: Eurostar, the high speed rail service between UK and mainland Europe, has awarded NOMAD Digital...

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

British Airways adds First and business class to Moscow flights

For the first time, customers on British Airways' London Heathrow to Moscow service will be able to sample the airline’s award-winning services in First and business class from next year.

The changes were announced during a UK trade delegation to Russia hosted by the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, alongside several major British business leaders.

British Airways has three return flights to Moscow Domodedevo airport per day. From April 2012, this route will change from a short-haul service operated with two cabins to a long-haul operation offering customers up to four classes of travel. This means customers will have the opportunity to enjoy the airline’s fully flat-beds, comprehensive in-flight entertainment and sample a wide selection of meals and drinks in unrivalled comfort. No other airline currently offers such a premium service on the four-hour flight between the two capital cities.

Sir Martin Broughton, chairman of British Airways, who accompanied David Cameron to Moscow to represent British business, said: "We are proud to have been flying to Russia for over fifty years. It is an important and growing market for us and we want to reflect our commitment to the region and our customers by enhancing our services and increasing the number of seats that are available to Moscow."

British Airways has close ties with Russian airline, S7. The two airlines are members of the oneworld alliance and launched a code-share agreement earlier this year which means that customers can experience a seamless service between the UK and many destinations in Russia, transferring at Domodedovo airport. 

Both airlines' customers benefit from competitive through fares, co-ordinated schedules and excellent customer service. It is hoped that the codeshare agreement will be expanded in the coming months so that even more parts of Russia will be linked by air services to the UK.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Collinson Latitude Calls For Airlines And Hotels To Focus On Value

As the travel market becomes increasingly competitive, and as loyalty becomes ever more important, Collinson Latitude is calling on airlines and hotels to act fast or risk losing customers.

A global provider of incremental revenue products, Collinson Latitude believes airlines and hotels need to think more innovatively to improve their customer engagement and retention.

Janet Titterton, director at Collinson Latitude, says: “There are many rapid, low-cost ways to maintain the loyalty of the customers you hold, but the travel industry has not yet realised the potential of these opportunities.

"Superior customer service and relevant customer experiences remain key, but you can also increase your customers’ engagement with your brand by providing them with value for money or passing back value derived from your brand buying power. This ‘value exchange’ will enable differentiation and keep your brand top of mind. A long-term, profitable relationship will follow.

“The flexibility of travel loyalty programmes is also key to their success. The market is constantly evolving, so airlines and hotels need adaptive strategies to offer programme flexibility that meets changing market dynamics and customer needs.

“Furthermore, travel companies can apply the best e-commerce thinking to increase the value of their loyalty currency. Take, for example. The company is well-known for providing recommendations based on a previous purchase. Such targeting can be matched by airlines and hotels providing multiple redemption offers – tailored to customer behaviour – to provide customers with ‘everyday benefit’ for their engagement.

“Collinson Latitude is today launching a campaign to advise travel organisations how to achieve more active, loyal and profitable customers for life. In the past, traditional reward programmes have often been expensive to set up and run, so travel companies are now looking for the kind of flexible, sustainable and cost-effective options we offer.

“From an airline or hotel operator’s perspective, improving the quality and consistency of engagement with customers is a priority. Intelligent airlines, for example, offer frequent flyer programmes (FFPs) with lifestyle rewards far beyond traditional air travel redemptions. Indeed, even the means of earning miles is no longer limited to air travel, and can be achieved through non-travel-related products and services, increasing the opportunity to earn loyalty currency for everyday behaviour. However, the ability to redeem this currency is often restricted by low availability, demanding that loyalty programmes need to offer customers more choice in how they can realise their rewards.

“Airlines are also eager to see customers redeem miles for financial reasons, because complex accountancy auditing guidelines mean unexpired miles represent deferred revenue, which the airline can only release once the miles are redeemed. Alongside the benefit of building customer relationships, FFP managers therefore have a high financial incentive to encourage customers to exploit the full range of redemption opportunities.

“The end result is that customers enjoy regular benefits across many aspects of their lives while the airline or hotel operator enjoys increased financial gain.”

Collinson Latitude’s multi-channel products can be seamlessly integrated into an existing airline or hotel loyalty programme. Capitalising on the proven and growing popularity of online shopping is a particularly strong route to customer retention. ‘RewardAll’, for example, is a merchant-funded online shopping and rewards programme that brings together thousands of diverse online merchants globally, so that each time a customer makes a purchase through the ‘Reward All’ portal, they can earn hotel loyalty points or airline miles. To complement loyalty programmes, ‘iRedeem’ is an online redemption solution that allows loyalty programme members to redeem their loyalty currency across a catalogue of diverse travel, lifestyle and leisure rewards.

Collinson Latitude’s parent company, The Collinson Group, has over 20 years’ experience in loyalty, marketing and membership. The Collinson Group also includes the world’s leading global loyalty agency, ICLP, who partner with global airline and hotel brands to build loyalty and customer relationship programmes.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

BoginaBag Is Best Selling Product For Packyourbags Travel Store

Packyourbags Travel Store enjoys uplift in sales for BoginaBag after its appearance on BBC 2’s Dragons’ Den.

Last year, Packyourbags Travel Store’s Managing Director, Mark Kempster, heard BoginaBag’s owner Kate Castle talking about her new product on Simon Mayo’s Radio 2 show and immediately recognised what a good addition BoginaBag would be to the products sold on his travel accessories website.

Following the radio interview, Packyourbags Travel Store made contact with BoginaBag and soon after BoginaBag was available to purchase on Packyourbags Travel Store’s website.

Since then sales for BogingaBag on Packyourbags Travel Store’s site have been growing steadily. However, recently sales have literally gone through the roof as the brand featured prominently on BBC 2’s Dragons’ Den. BoginaBag’s owner Kate Castle appeared on the show seeking £50,000 investment from the Dragons. To her delight, Kate not only managed to secure the full amount but she also secured the Dragon investor she thought most suitable for her business – retail guru Theo Paphitis.

Since the show televised on 30th August 2011, sales for BoginaBag have dramatically increased on Packyourbags Travel Store. So much so, it quickly became the best selling product of the week during the first week of September.

Packyourbags Travel Store’s Managing Director Mark Kempster commented, “It is fantastic for us to be enjoying the knock on effect caused by BoginaBag being featured on Dragon’s Den, and it’s great to see new product innovations like this becoming successful. We are also experiencing similar success with another ‘when nature calls’ product called the Shewee, so it just goes to prove there’s plenty of people out their wanting to buy these types of products”.

Packyourbags Travel Store is a leading UK specialist selling everything related to travel and outdoor pursuits. Choose from a wide range of well known brands such as Lowe Alpine rucksacks, Meindl walking boots and Snugpak sleeping bags. With winter fast approaching Packyourbags Travel Store is now stocking up on its many popular winter products such as Haglofs jackets and fleeces and Thaw Silk thermal underwear to name a few.

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

Royal bed offers a warm welcome in Welsh seaside resort

Guests at a fine dining restaurant and bed & breakfast in Rhyl are always surprised to learn that as they cosy up to the fire in the couple’s hall, they are sitting beside a remarkable piece of Tudor treasure.

A bed in which the much-married monarch Henry VIII romped with his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, has found an unusual resting place at a North Wales hotel.

The wooden section of the bedstead of Catherine, the first of Henry’s six wives, is now part of the grand fireplace at Barratt’s of Tyn Rhyl, in Rhyl.

Historians believe the saucy sovereign slept with Catherine in this same bed during their 21-year marriage. They say there is a compelling case for believing the tradition – she was, after all, pregnant six times.

David and Elvira Barratt, the husband and wife team who have run Barratt’s, a great destination for a UK holiday, for 20 years, certainly believe it is the genuine article. Stories passed down through the generations refer to the old wooden carved surround and its royal connection to Catherine, who married the memorable monarch in June 1509.

Mrs Barratt said: “I found it unbelievable when I first heard about it. Why would Catherine of Aragon’s bedstead be in Rhyl? But once we understood a bit more about the history, I suppose it is like anything. We have things from our parents and they had things from their parents and slowly, things make their way down.”

The Grade II listed building dates back to 1608, just 61 years after the death of Henry VIII and five years after the last of the Tudors, Elizabeth I, and is believed to be the oldest house in Rhyl.

That's Entertainment News: 'All about Opera' weekend at Bodysgallen Hall

That's Entertainment News: 'All about Opera' weekend at Bodysgallen Hall: Join them for a fabulous one or two night Opera Weekend Workshop, with a visit to see performanc... services demand with a range of coach packages to 'The X Factor Live Tour'

The new series of The X Factor now features highly in most people's viewing schedules for the weekend especially with the revamped judging panel featuring Gary Barlow, Tulisa Contostavlos, Kelly Rowland and Louis Walsh and it would seem that customers of coach holidays consolidator,, just can't get enough of the show with an unprecedented demand for tickets to see the as yet unannounced finalists up close on 'The X Factor Live Tour'.

To meet this demand, has increased the number of coach packages and day trips available for customers to book online 24 hours a day/7 days a week to see 'The X Factor Live Tour'. The increase is thought to be down to the continued popularity of the TV series, heightened media attention surrounding the new judges, the drama surrounding Cheryl Cole & whether she will/will not appear in this series and not forgetting the buzz that a buff-looking Gary Barlow is creating too.

Rachel Jones,'s Online PR & Marketing Co-ordinator pointed out: "We knew that coach breaks to 'The X Factor Live Tour' were already popular with our customers but I don't think anyone here realised just how much until the reformatted show hit TV screens across the UK. Interest in the new series of The X Factor was already at its peak with the very public spat between Cheryl Cole and Simon Cowell but, the reformatting of the show and the exciting changes to the Judging Panel are all having a positive effect too. It just goes to show that reality TV continues to be popular and as long as this is the case, will endeavour to service this demand with fantastic great-value coach packages."

The massive 'X Factor Live' arena tour will visit all the major cities from Aberdeen to Dublin with contestants performing classic songs as well as viewers' favourites from the TV series. Apparently these are the most sought after tickets so fans of 'The X Factor' are advised to book early to avoid disappointment.

Spaces are still available on 'The X Factor Live Tour' in London and the package includes return coach travel, hotel-to-venue transfers, one night's bed and breakfast accommodation, a ticket to 'The X Factor Live Tour' at London’s O2 Arena, a visit to Central London for shopping/sightseeing and 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 New Year breaks and Christmas breaks, coach holidays, day trips, mini cruises 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. features over 35 operators, including Cosmos holidays, Travelsphere and Leger Holidays.

Stag Nights v Stag Weekends

According to Google insights we have seen over the last few years continual searches on ‘stag night’ to be much higher than ‘stag weekend’. In early 2009 we could see both searches getting close in terms of volume but thereafter ‘stag nights’ grew more popular and remained a more highly searched phrase on Google.

Now you could assume ‘stag night’ to be an initial ‘informational’ type search but this could also suggest that end users are not as interested or simply cannot afford to go jet setting over to Eastern Europe. Let’s face it, the costs of flights have doubled in the last few years and the perceived effort to travel abroad may be too much for some guys.

With the current economic downturn, stag nights have quickly become more popular than stag weekends. Most choose stag nights for their obvious cost benefits, with most taking place during one evening in a nearby city. This eliminates the need to travel, as well as the cost of a weekend hotel stay. For those wanting the traditional stag weekend, there's no need to compromise. There are many good organisers of stag weekends out there ready to help you manage your trip.

A stag weekend can take place anywhere in the world but ideally Europe. London is always a popular choice, as is Paris. Other popular places include the Netherlands, particularly Amsterdam, Dublin, Ireland, and places in Spain such as Barcelona. However, these destinations can be very expensive, with high-cost hotels, bars, and restaurants.

We recommend that the ideal place for a stag weekend is in Eastern Europe, particularly Krakow, Poland. Krakow offers an affordable alternative to the usual stag weekend, with a city full of hot clubs filled with gorgeous women. Krakow is a compact, bustling town with a large student population, so there are lots of available women. Krakow also offers a number of exciting activities. Choose from go-kart racing, riding the rapids, and much more. Try out the paintball range, or go for the real thing and shoot a variety of real weapons, such as rifles, shotguns, and Glocks.

We also recommend that those planning a stag weekend to Krakow to use stag a organisers vast knowledge of the city to organise every detail. They can coordinate transport to and from the airport, as well as around town, leaving staggers free to drink and be merry without worry of how they'll get back to their hotel. Most organisers can also choose the perfect hotel for a stag weekend, one that is affordable, fun, and ideally located. With beautiful women, cheap prices, loads of activities to choose from, and an attractive town to explore, it's no wonder that Krakow is fast becoming the most popular place for stag weekends.

Submitted by:

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Travel through 9 European Countries with Busabout Hop-on Hop-off - From £335 based on travel to 6 destinations

Young and independent travellers looking for an alternative way to travel around Europe should check-out the Busabout Hop-on Hop-off network that covers 33 destinations in 9 European countries from the funky city of Amsterdam to the southern cities of Rome and Valencia, and loads in between.

Offering a flexible way to see the delights of Europe without bursting the budget Busabout Hop-on Hop-off allows travel from any city in the network at any pace. Travellers can stay as long as they like at each stop and once they have finished exploring can move onto the next destination, with coaches departing each city every two days during the season from May to October.

There are three passes available:

Flexitrip – offering the ultimate flexibility, this pass lets you just choose where you want to go and buy the number of corresponding flexistops to complete the trip. A flexistop is equal to one day onboard the coach. This pass is ideal for those that only have a rough travel plan as you can buy extra flexistops along the way. Price is from £349 per person (students from £335) based on travel to 6 destinations.

Loops – these passes let you focus on one region of Europe or cover the entire network. The route map has been decided into 3 sectors, each of which can be done on its own or combined for a fantastic adventure. Price is from £399per person (students from £385) based on travel up to 13 destinations depending on route.

One Ways – these are ‘off the shelf’ passes which cover popular routes such as the ‘Go West’, ‘Go Roman’ or ‘Sunseeker’ – travellers can take as long as they like doing the routes and don’t have to stop off at cities they have already been to. Price is from £479 per person (students from £454) based on travel to between12 and 20 destinations, depending on route.

Busabout’s network is a unique mix of independence and support where travellers can explore Europe at their own pace, but within the safety of the network which includes well-equipped coaches, guides on every coach and a ‘hostel to hostel’ service that drops travellers as close as possible to selected hostels, meaning they don’t have to lug their rucksacks across town.

Busabout also features nine Adventure tours including the Ibiza Island Hopper, Croatia Sailing and Morocco; seven of Europe’s most amazing Festivals including Pamplona, La Tomantina and Oktoberfest and nine Eastern European Treks – many of which can be combined with Busabout Hop-on Hop-off.

The following Christmas and New Year trips are currently up for grabs:

Christmas in Paris – 4 days for £349 – departing 24 December & including return coach travel from London & 3 night’s accommodation, highlights include Christmas Eve party & Christmas dinner plus a trip to the Palace of Versailles, a bike tour and river cruise

New Year in Amsterdam – 4 days for £369 – departing 30 December and including return coach travel from London & 3 night’s accommodation, highlights include welcome party, New Year’s Eve celebrations & canal cruise

Festive Party Trek from Krakow to Prague (& vice versa) – 11 days from £674through Czech Republic, Austria, Poland, Slovakia & Hungary – departing 22 December & including transport & 10 night’s accommodation. Highlights include skiing in the Polish Alps, New Year’s Eve in Prague, tour of Auschwitz and Birkenau & visiting the Vienna Schnapps Museum. Both treks meet on Boxing Day in Budapest for a massive party


Busabout Hop-on Hop-off is part of the Busabout, HAGGIS and Shamrocker collective. The 2012 Europe brochure is due out in November and will feature a number of exciting new destinations and tours.

The company started in 1998 when they first linked up the best cities and destinations in Europe with a commitment to the independent traveller to make their time, cash and experiences go further. By offering an alternative choice the company has remained dedicated to the freestyle for of travel and their unique hop-on hop-off flexible coach network.

This passion to explore the world, without it costing the Earth has developed over the years into the innovative Adventure tours, with experiences such island hopping in Greece and Croatia, trekking through Eastern Europe or discovering the ancient cultures of Egypt and Morocco.

Busabout is part of a small group of companies that share the same attitude. HAGGIS Adventures pioneered the budget backpacker experience in 1993 with their award-winning trips through Scotland, Cornwall and Wales with their passionate local guides.

In 1999, Shamrocker Adventures started running the same style of trips throughout Ireland with their equally world-famous 100% Irish guides.

For more information visit

To book jump online, call 08450 267 514 or contact your local travel agent.

That's Pets: and Dogs Trust study reveals how owne...

That's Pets: and Dogs Trust study reveals how owne...: According to a new study into car owners and their pets by, over one in three (39%)...

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

New title for site

You will notice that this site has a new title. The new title, That's Travel (incorporating That's Holiday) has been chosen after much thought and debate as it was realised -after the author made a long haul flight from the UK to California for what were, essentially, business meetings- that much travelling is business, rather than holiday or vacation, related.

It was therefore realised that the name: "That's Travel" would reflect the reality of travelling for many of the people who need travel information.

Of course, That's Travel will still carry the same amount of holiday and vacation related news that it did previously, but it will now also contain more business related travel news and information and will have more links to the related site, That's Business.

However, in order not to cause any confusion for those readers who have placed this site as a favourite site, the URL will NOT be changed.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Be prepared for a long haul flight

Last week for business reasons I made a flight from the UK to California. The flights were booked as economy flights and I have some important lessons to share with you.

Firstly, ensure that if you are going on a long haul flight -the flight, including European transfer for the flight to San Francisco was 11 to 12 hours long- that if you can you book either economy plus or business class. You can ask for an upgrade to business to economy, but if that is not possible, and you have problems with a knee or health issues or are exceptionally tall, then you should ask for a seat by one of the exits, as there is more leg room there. You will have to agree to help the plane crew in the case of an emergency, but this should not present you with a problem.

The food on the airlines can be variable in quality, though is, in general, of good quality. On the flight from Europe to California there is generally -depending on the time of day- a main meal (with a choice of two meals in economy) two light snacks and perhaps breakfast. Coffee and tea, soft drinks and water are free  though alcoholic drinks are available for an extra sum. Though seasoned travellers caution against the consumption of too much alcohol during a flight.

Meals in business and first class are generally better, with more choice and on some airlines, free alcoholic drinks, but the point about not consuming too much alcohol remains valid, even for he better off passengers.

Ensure that you tell your credit card or bank that you will be abroad. You do not want your bank suspending your credit or debit card for "suspicious activity" when your spending activity suddenly starts to take place in a different part of the world! Also, get you money changed before you go, if possible. The Post Office offers good rates. Although there is a minimum amount you can order should you buy on line, there's no minimum at the Post Office branch, so check out the nearest Post Office with a Bureaux de Change facility. There rates are generally pretty good and I was able to instantly obtain the US Dollars that I required. Though for purchases using a debit card you will have to take a passport with you as identification.

Do not forget to sort out travel/health insurance before you go. 

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Medical charity to roll-out credit card sized USB devices to hold travellers’ medical records

Crosscard can save
 lives in emergencies
InterHealth, a specialist medical charity that provides health services to major international agencies involved in humanitarian relief and poverty reduction across the world, is rolling-out Crosscard, a pioneering personal electronic medical records card from Advanced Health & Care (AHC). The roll-out is planned over the next few months with individuals initially being provided with the Crosscard personal medical records card on a trial basis.

The Crosscard personal medical record card, which is available to private GP and occupational health provider patients, allows individuals that are travelling abroad to carry their medical records on a credit card sized USB device. The card stores the data in two areas - an emergency area which contains information that is publicly available and a protected area which can only be accessed by entering a password.

AHC’s Crosscard will be offered by InterHealth to over 300 client organisations which support thousands of travellers each year. The cards will enable travellers to securely access and share their medical records from anywhere in the world without requiring access to the internet. Key medical data on the Crosscard can also be accessed by emergency services in the event of an emergency situation should the card owner be taken ill or become unconscious.

The medical information held on the card could include blood group, blood pressure readings, details of any allergies or medical conditions, medication being taken and test results. To update the card details (which does require access to the internet), the card plugs into a PC or laptop’s USB port, enabling key medical information to be accessed and updated within seconds. If the card owner is taken ill or involved in an accident, the emergency services can simply retrieve the card from the individual’s pocket and use the data to gain instant access to key medical information, which could mean the difference between life and death.

Peter Jones, IT and Database Manager at InterHealth, says, “Travellers and relief workers are often located in very remote parts of the world. We therefore recognised the need for an electronic patient records solution that would enable quick and secure access to medical information when on the move without requiring access to the internet.”

Jones continues, “We already successfully use Advanced Health & Care’s Crosscare clinical management software system and so trusted the company to provide us with an electronic records solution to meet our needs. The Crosscard is the perfect answer to travellers’ and relief workers’ medical records needs whilst providing emergency services and health professionals all over the world with quick and easy access to crucial up-to-date medical data.”


InterHealth is a specialist London based medical charity providing healthcare and support to international agencies involved in humanitarian relief and poverty reduction across the world.

InterHealth’s services are tailored to those working in the UK and Worldwide and include:
- Medical Services
- Psychological Health Services
- Occupational Health Services
- Travel Clinic Services

InterHealth supports dedicated staff and volunteers to be physically and psychologically fit, resilient and prepared for tough environments and demanding work in the UK and internationally.

Advanced Health & Care is a leading supplier of IT management systems for urgent & unplanned care, homecare, residential care, hospices, mobile information for community carers and back-office management systems for NHS trusts, local authorities and care providers.

Working with partners in the NHS, local government and the private sector, Advanced Health & Care is delivering IT solutions in support of safe, efficient care delivery with integrated management information. Advanced’s unique proposition is its range of integrated care solutions offering visibility of information for both the commissioner and care provider.

The Advanced Health & Care suite of products includes: Adastra, Caresys, Crosscare, eFinancials Smart Business Suite, iConnect, iNurse, Saturn & StaffPlan.

Mint Hotel Tower of London Launches In-Room Spa Treatments

 Hotels Guests at Mint Hotel Tower of London can enjoy spa treatments without having to step foot outside their door, following the launch of in-room services in conjunction with mobile spa specialist London Serenity.

In addition to the service being available to residents, companies holding meetings and conferences at Mint Hotel Tower of London can also organise treatments for delegates during breakout sessions. Treatments are available at a supplement to existing delegate packages offered by the hotel.

Paolo Dalla Fina, company director of London Serenity, remarked: “We are very pleased to be working with Mint Hotel Tower of London. Guests appreciate having instant access to our dedicated services and mobile masseurs, beauticians, hairdressers, make-up artists and personal trainers.”

“We always go the extra step to deliver what our guests want,” added Patrick O’Connell, General Manager at Mint Hotel Tower of London. “These new services will leave guests feeling even more refreshed and invigorated after a stay or meeting at the hotel.”

Guests can choose from a wide range of massages, or enjoy a facial, reflexology, aromatherapy, manicure, pedicure, waxing treatments, or a make-up lesson. Hair stylists are also available. In addition, guests can keep fit with personal training, yoga and Pilates, either in-room or outside in the nearby Trinity Square Gardens. Bridal packages and pamper day sessions are also available.

Reservations can be made through


Mint Hotel Tower of London opened on 20 December 2010. Located in the City of London, it is perfectly positioned for business and leisure travellers and is a mere 6.3 miles from City Airport.

Mint Hotel Tower of London features a dedicated meetings floor above the hotel’s impressive atrium, offering flexible spaces with floor-to-ceiling windows, natural daylight and complimentary Wi-Fi, which is available throughout the hotel.

Skylounge, Mint Hotel Tower of London’s destination bar, is a chic city cocktail lounge and à la carte restaurant whose outdoor terrace commands panoramic views of the River Thames and London’s cityscape. City Café is the hotel’s signature restaurant and focuses on locally sourced ingredients and seasonality, while Fenchurch Lounge offers a relaxed environment and outdoor terrace for drinks and snacks.

A design highlight of Mint Hotel Tower of London is the Living Wall, which is the tallest living wall on a live building in Europe, reaching 11 storeys in height.

Mint Hotel is a dynamic, innovative and award-winning city-centre hotel brand, co-founded in 1995 by Sandy Orr, Executive Chairman, Donald McDonald, Vice Chairman, and David Orr, Chief Executive, with Bill Crerar. Mint’s portfolio of seven UK hotels – in London (Westminster and Tower of London), Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, Leeds Manchester - and one international property, Mint Hotel Amsterdam (opened May 2011), offers 2,783 rooms and now employs over 1,500 people, with 600 jobs created in the last eight months alone.

Mint Hotel is the only hotel brand offering iMacs in all guest rooms as standard and has free, fast Wi-Fi throughout. All guest rooms are ergonomically designed and embrace natural daylight from floor-to-ceiling windows that can be opened. City Café is Mint Hotel’s award winning destination restaurant, serving contemporary British dining using locally-sourced ingredients. All eight restaurants have outside terraces for al fresco dining in the city. Mint also offers modern, versatile meetings and event rooms with unique spaces for private dining, including its rooftop Skylounge* bar, with outdoor terraces and exclusive private dining.

Find out more about Mint at

*Skylounge is available at Mint Hotel Amsterdam, Mint Hotel Leeds, Mint Hotel Tower of London, Mint Hotel Westminster, Mint Hotel Manchester.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Aer Lingus, and the Travel Department launch new partnership

Aer Lingus is a new partner to and the Travel Department, helping them in providing an extensive range of holidays from Ireland on

In major news for the Irish travel industry and Irish consumers, "Holidays with Aer Lingus" will combine the flexibility of scheduled flights with quality assured accommodation and transfers, giving holidaymakers the complete holiday package solution.

There is a wide range of sun holidays, city breaks, escorted holidays and cruise holidays to most Aer Lingus destinations and this convenient one stop shop solution will give the consumer total flexibility, choice, value and protection.

"Holidays with Aer Lingus" are fully bonded and protected against ash cloud, snow and other unforeseen circumstances, a huge plus for the consumer.

The prices are very competitive and offer excellent value for money. There is an innovative holiday price comparison tool to show the consumer where they can get the same holiday for less by moving their planned departure date by a few days.

"Holidays with Aer Lingus" is a joint partnership between Aer Lingus and and The Travel Department, two Irish owned travel firms with extensive experience in a wide range of holidays.

Stephen Kavanagh, Chief Commercial Officer at Aer Lingus said: "Aer Lingus is delighted to enter into this partnership with and The Travel Department. The partnership will provide customers with the option to book a complete package holiday on"

"Our partnership with Aer Lingus provides the travelling public with more flexibility, convenience and a secure and protected holiday," added Paul Hackett of and The Travel Department.

"There is a definite move from charter to scheduled flights over the years and although people like the idea of a 'DIY' holiday, to have the complete holiday solution with total flexibility all on one site, is a major advantage. By partnering with Aer Lingus we can offer an extensive range of holidays to almost every destination offered by the airline," Paul concluded.

FACTFILE: was launched in May 2010 and is Ireland’s fastest growing online travel company. provides a range of holidays using Aer Lingus scheduled flights at savings of up to 25% compared to charter tour operators.

The Irish owned company currently offer holidays to Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Turkey, Morocco and Croatia. They also have an extensive city breaks programme. Holidays to Florida and flight offers from USA cities will be online from October with Ski holidays planned for next year.

Established in 1996, and the market leader in quality escorted holidays from Ireland, The Travel Department, cover many destinations served by Aer Lingus in Europe and the USA. The Travel Department specialises in sightseeing and cultural holidays, cruises and special interest tours such as wine, garden, opera, theatre and motor sport holidays.

Aer Lingus was founded by the Irish Government in April 1936 to provide air services to/from Ireland. The first flight, from Dublin to Bristol, took place on May 27th 1936. On October 2nd 2006, Aer Lingus entered a new phase in its history with the airline's floatation on the Irish and London Stock Exchanges, becoming a publicly quoted company and realising €400 million in equity for the airline's future growth.

Aer Lingus offers a number of cheap flights to and from Ireland and flight offers from Ireland including travel vouchers.

Aer Lingus' low-cost, low fares model is centred on maintaining low unit cost, offering one way fares, maintaining effective fleet utilisation and developing the Aer Lingus brand. Consistent with this low-cost model, Aer Lingus' primary distribution channel is its website In 2007, approximately 75% of total passenger revenue was generated through

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Eurostar app turns phone into a ticket to Europe

Eurostar has launched a free mobile application allowing passengers to book journeys on-the-go and receive tickets direct to their phones.

The Eurostar iPhone app, available for Android devices as well as iPhone, allows passengers to book and manage journeys between the UK and Paris, Brussels and Lille. Passengers who book journeys using the Eurostar App will immediately receive a mobile ticket with an electronic barcode on their device. The mobile ticket can then be simply scanned at check-in.

Members of Eurostar's Loyalty Programmes (Eurostar Frequent Traveller and Eurostar Plus Points) can also use the App to earn points when they book and to view their point balances at the touch of a screen. Other functions of the Eurostar mobile app include; live service updates to keep passengers informed of disruptions and a personal profile page, which provides an option to store address details and seating preferences.

In addition, to facilitating booking amendments at the touch of a screen, the Eurostar App's simple Express Exchange functionality offers Business Premier travellers the flexibility to change their journey details to fit around their busy schedules.

The free Eurostar App helps travellers;

- Make bookings for up to six travellers between Paris, Brussels, Lille and the UK on the go
- Check-in using mobile ticketing (NB: mobile tickets are not yet available for multiple bookings)
- Review booking(s) and journey details
- Amend booking using the Express Exchange functionality for Business Premier tickets
- Collect and review loyalty points on-the-go
- Access service updates and FAQs

Eurostar has also launched a mobile version of, to give its customers an enhanced online experience when using their mobile devices to access the website. The mobile website offers a simplified homepage, the ability to book and manage journeys as well as access to loyalty point balances and service updates.

Nick Mercer, Commercial Director for Eurostar commented: "Our aim is to make using our services as easy and seamless as possible. So with the majority of our customers now owning a smartphone, we are really pleased that we are able to provide a new suite of services that make booking and checking in even easier for them.

"The new Eurostar App and mobile website represent the start of many exciting mobile developments for Eurostar, which will help ensure we become the first choice operator of short haul travel from the UK to Europe."

The Eurostar App, which was created by Backelite, is available for free from the App Store on iPhone or the Android Market on Android devices.

For more information on the new Eurostar app and to find other Eurostar deals such as cheap Eurostar tickets, interested parties can visit or call 08432 186 186.

(EDITOR: Better hope your phone does not run out of battery power on your journey!) launches Bidango, the world’s only dedicated holiday rental auction site

Bidango launches, from pureholidayhomes For discounts of up to 60% discount on holiday lets, just bid and go!

Bidango is the world’s first dedicated holiday rental auction site where holidaymakers can bid on self-catered properties, harnessing the potential for huge discounts on some of the finest rental homes available. Launched by leading holiday rental website, Bidango offers a unique and interactive opportunity to secure fantastic discount holidays.

With no agency commissions (typically 20% - 40%) by booking direct with the owner, Bidango confidently predicts that a further 20% - 30% saving on certain weeks can be achieved for price sensitive holidaymakers willing to bid for their break.

Self catered holiday rentals is the fastest growing segment of the travel marketplace and the desire for discounted or bargain deals is as strong in the current financial climate as in any other industry.

The market opportunity for homeowners

• Circa 6 million holiday homeowners in Europe and North America who rent their homes for an average of 14 weeks per year. Creating millions of unsold weeks each year.
• Since 2008 reduction in net disposable wealth and a weaker exchange rate has led to UK based holiday home owners looking to increase the amount of income they generate from their property.
• Until now no specific destination website for holiday homeowners to sell discounted available weeks/short breaks.
Will appeal to: Advertisers looking to sell more out of season weeks, selling last minute cancellations, achieving premium rates for peak weeks.

The opportunity for holidaymakers

• Year on year rise in late bookings, in July 2011 saw and increase of 36% in last minute enquiries compared to 2010, according to reports 49% of their users will book only two to four weeks before travel
• A 67% increase in holidaymakers asking for deals or discounts.
Will appeal to: retirees, group holidays, pre-kids, families who like booking late for a deal, flexible short trips and city breaks.

Two examples of great bargains sold in the past 7 days

1. Farmhouse with swimming pool in SW France Sept 3 for 1 week sleeping 8 sold for £145 or £2.50 per person per night.
2. 5* apartment in Spain Sept 24 for 1 week sleeping 6 sold for £345 or £8 per person per night.

Example Lots available

1. 1st – 8th October in the Bay of Kotor, Montenegro. Sleeps 6. Current bid £40 or under £1 per person per night. Click here to view lot.
2. 17th – 24th September in beautiful Calvados, France. Sleeps 9. Current bid £200 or £3.17 per person per day. Click here to view lot.

Sean Collins, Joint CEO of, the company behind the launch of Bidango, points out: “The self-catering market globally is worth circa $100 billion annually and yet no destination website exists focusing on the best available deals. We see this as a global market opportunity that is wanted to by homeowners and holidaymakers alike.

"Our research and consumer feedback is telling us that that Bidango is arriving at exactly the right moment. We intend to soft launch until the end of October to allow us to adapt to the early user experiences and then we will be investing heavily in the growth of this exciting venture.

Bidango is simple to use. Holidaymakers simply search available auction lots by location, date, theme or ‘lots ending soonest’, register to bid and then continue to bid as high as they like to ensure success. For homeowners it is equally as easy. Simply register the details of your property, set a minimum price, a ‘buy it now’ price and time period for the auction lot to run and watch the bids come in. When the lot has finished, Bidango will alert the homeowner as to who the winning bidder is. For further details, view the Bidango video guide here.

Bidango is a new holiday rental auction portal offering unique self-catering properties at home and abroad for holidaymakers seeking the best value, more flexibility and greater choice. Bidango is owned and operated by leading holiday rental portal, which represents more than 24,000 properties in over 85 different countries.

Until 31st October 2011 bidango is waiving all listing fees and operating a reduced 5% commission on all successful lots.

For more information please visit

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Sunday, 4 September 2011

Save £400 On Jilly Goolden Wine Appreciation Cruise

Learn the art of food and wine pairing, how to taste and choose fine wines and discover the history of wine growing on a 7 night luxury cruise in the company of British wine critic, journalist and television personality Jilly Goolden who will be on board for the duration of the cruise.

Luxury river cruise operator AmaWaterways is offering UK guests a saving of £400pp off a luxury river cruise on board the luxurious AmaDolce, embarking in Vilshofen on 14th November 2011 and cruising to Budapest.

Jilly Goolden, known for her eccentric descriptions of wine that have included pear drops, liquorice and even rubber, presented BBC’s `Food & Drink’ show for 18 years. She went on to write a series of books on wine and food, and to appear in a number of TV shows, including the fifth series of `I’m a Celebrity – Get me out of here’.

Ms. Goolden will be joining guests on AmaWaterways’ picturesque `Romantic Danube’ river cruise past rolling hillsides, vineyards and medieval castles, through Austria’s captivating Wachau Valley with highlights that include visits to Vienna and Budapest. While on board, she will present her knowledge of local wines, accompany guests on a wine-themed shore excursion and mingle freely with passengers during meals and in the ship’s public areas.

All presentations, wine tastings and excursions are complimentary to guests and are included in the 7 night cruise price, starting from £1195 per person, which also includes return UK flights, transfers, all meals, free-flowing wine with dinner, free wi-fi and free use of on-board bicycles.

The cruise is one of a series of wine themed cruises offered by AmaWaterways in October and November 2011, timed to coincide with the harvest. The cruises will showcase Europe’s wine regions on the Rhine, Mosel and Danube, and in addition to Jilly Goolden, will feature hosts such as Anthony Dias Blue, one of the U.S.’s most influential wine, food and lifestyle personalities, and representatives from the Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery in Sonoma, and winemakers from the St. Francis Winery and Vineyards in Santa Rosa and Trinchero Napa Valley.  

Itineraries include complimentary onboard lectures, wine tastings and excursions to historic vineyards and cellars.  Passengers will also enjoy special wine-themed excursions, such as a Medieval Wine Fest in the Mosel town of Zell; a traditional “Heuriger” tasting of new wine in the villages of Grinzing and Neustift on the outskirts of Vienna; a tour and tasting at the historic Bergweiler Winery in Bernkastel; an introduction to Alsatian wines at the “Wunsch et Mann” winery in Wettolsheim and an unforgettable candlelit evening and wine tasting at the Hofkeller, or cellar of the famous Residenz in Wurzburg.  Each of the distinctive wine-themed activities is complimentary and open to all passengers.  

Jilly Goolden will be sailing on board the 148-passenger M/S AmaDolce, which debuted in 2009 and is one of six luxury river cruisers that the award winning AmaWaterways operates on Europe’s waterways, to be joined by a seventh ship, the AmaCerto in 2012. The company also offers cruises on Russia’s waterways and on the Mekong. 

Contact AmaWaterways on freephone 0808 223 5009,

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Thursday, 1 September 2011

Make your first cruise a good one with
Never been on a cruise? Looking to go? CityBreakCruises offers 100s of starter cruise options – 2 to 4 night cruises that offer the perfect opportunity to try out a cruise holiday without breaking the bank. Many short cruises leave from a UK port, with no flights or airport hassle involved. All meals and entertainment onboard are included in the price, so a short cruise offers great value too.

Why not enjoy a relaxing break and finish off your Christmas shopping with a 3 night Fred Olsen cruise sailing to Antwerp, leaving Portsmouth December 17th, for great shopping in Belgium’s Christmas markets (without airline luggage restrictions) from £326 per person, including all meals and onboard entertainment.

Or there's the 2 night Cruise & Maritime cruise from London (Tilbury) to Antwerp for just £129 per person for some Chritmas shopping, departing December 11th. Step foot into the Belgian Christmas fairytale. Buy hand crafted gifts and famous Belgian chocolates from the open-air Christmas stalls, take a spin on the ice skating rink next to the fountain of Brabo, join in a festive evening Christmas concerts or simply try a ‘jenver’ while warming by a cosy open fire.

If you want to venture further a field, there’s a 5 night cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas, sailing from Barcelona on May 28th 2012, with ports of call at Cannes / Monte Carlo, Liverno (for Florence and Pisa), and Rome, from £331 per person (excluding flights) – a perfect opportunity during half term to introduce the whole family to cruising as the ship has plenty of facilities for all ages, including a 9-hole mini golf course, kids club, Flowrider, ice skating rink, rock climbing and swimming pool. During the school holidays most cruise liners put on extra kids clubs and entertainment to occupy little ones. Some even offer a babysitting service for parents wanting an evening to themselves.

Cruise aficionados will testify that cruising is a little like golf – once you try it you can’t get enough of it. A starter cruise is a great way of working out whether a longer cruise holiday is for you! A taster cruise could be the start of your holiday revolution.