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Reduction in APD on long-haul flights
Mar 20th, 2014 by elisa

Chancellor George Osborne announced a reduction in air passenger duty (APD) on some long-haul flights in yesterday’s Budget.

In his Budget Report to the House of Commons, he said that he will reform APD to tax all long-haul flights at the same rate as those to the United States.

This is good news for the Caribbean, as passengers have had to pay the higher rate of APD to travel there than those that have gone to Hawaii, which is further away, but on a lesser APD band.

Osborne said: “I want to reform the crazy system whereby you pay less to travel to Hawaii than to fly to China or India.

“It hits exports, puts off tourists and creates a great sense of injustice in our Caribbean and southeast Asian communities in the UK.

“From next year, all long-haul flights will carry the same, lower Band B tax rate that you now pay to fly to the United States.”

The changes will mean that a family of four flying economy class to the Caribbean will save at least £64, and passengers flying economy to Australia will save around £27, and £108 in premium cabins.

Although hailed as a victory for the tourism industry, he also made clear that this was to help British businesses strengthen links to high growth business markets abroad and to make the UK an attractive option for business visitors as well as tourists.

The changes will be put in place on 1st April next year.

Barbados villa: new listing
Mar 6th, 2014 by elisa

Picture-postcard scene

The Caribbean is one of those glorious picture-postcard places that many of us dream of visiting. Here at Villaseek we have many properties to choose from across the Caribbean islands, and we’re pleased to announce a new listing in Barbados.

This large, fully-equipped 10 bed holiday villa in Holder Hill, St. James offers a stunning ocean view. Split into an upper level (sleeps 6) and a lower, self-contained ground floor apartment (sleeps 4) means there are options depending on the size of your party.

Located in one of the most luxurious areas of the island, the property is well-placed for all kinds of activities and places to visit. There are plenty of golf courses, sail cruises and day spas. The island is surrounded by azure-water and pure white sandy beaches such as Blue Monkey Beach and Church Point Beach. You can also visit the nearby Frank Hutson Sugar Museum, or the Folkestone Marine Park.

The property is at the top of a small hill with wonderful seaside views and a large lawned garden with mature fruit trees for shade. The main upper section has 3 1/2 bedrooms, 1 King bed and 5 single beds, one en suite bathroom with toilet, and combination tub/shower. The second bathroom has a toilet and shower. The living/dining room has an ocean view balcony, and the kitchen is fully-equipped with an additional laundry area. The lower section is a fully-furnished 2 bed, 1 bathroom apartment.

Find out more about the property and prices here.

Holiday trends 2014
Jan 6th, 2014 by elisa

Value for money is still top of most people’s priorities when booking a holiday in 2014, according to the Travel Trends Report 2014.

The report by ABTA and the Foreign Office predicts “cautious optimism” for the year ahead.

“We know that Brits hate to cut back on their holidays and after several years of tough market conditions, we are seeing early signs of more optimism amongst British consumers,” said ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer.

“However, with the squeeze on household budgets continuing, we are expecting that tried and tested destinations and package holidays will continue to perform well in the coming year. We are also expecting a range of other overseas destinations to prove popular in 2014, as well as another good year for domestic tourism after the heatwave in the UK in summer 2013.”

The report includes a list of “destinations to watch” for 2014:

Great news for domestic tourism also; the feel-good-factor created by the Olympics and Jubilee in 2013’s sunny summer is likely to continue over into new year bookings.

2013 round up
Dec 30th, 2013 by elisa

It’s nearing the end of 2013, so it’s time for our annual round up of travel news and features covered in this blog over the year.

January is normally the time when you start to examine your finances after the Christmas splurge, and this year was no different for the travel news. A Sunday Times report that found customers were seriously losing out on foreign currency exchange rates when purchasing their travel money at airports.  We also looked at the financial benefits of flying to an airport further from your destination and driving the rest of the way. Meanwhile, Spain was voted the best value destination for 2013, and Eve told us why she thought Spain was a great winter destination.

However, it was all about Greece in February! With its award-winning beaches and Thomas Cook trend survey that revealed a huge increase in bookings during the month. The month ended with a warning to check your travel insurance small print, as many travellers were reported to have fallen foul of clauses in their insurance, which meant they wouldn’t get a pay out on claims.

In March, a woman successfully smuggled a dog onto a plane; we looked at the biosphere reserve that is Menorca; and BA started selling tickets for flights on its ‘red carpet route’ to Los Angeles in its new super jumbo A380. Easyjet installed new, lighter, seats on its aircraft in an attempt to save on fuel and CO2 emissions. Bitter weather threatened to blight travellers’ Easter holidays, but this didn’t stop Peter Rabbit visiting children at Heathrow.

The bizarre law in Florida that all British Citizens must carry an International Driving Permit in the state was repealed in April. Samoa Air launched its controversial pay by weight flights and we looked at the facts about turbulence.

Easyjet began testing its volcanic ash cloud detection technology in May. We found that trillions of air miles are going to waste; and there was the slightly disturbing report of a flight being diverted because the pilot got locked out of the cockpit. There was good news for Harry Potter fans going on holiday in Florida, as the Universal Orlando Resort and Warner Bros. Entertainment announced the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Diagon Alley “environment”.

A US ban on using a laptop during take off on flights was lifted in June.

Tenerife enjoyed at 14% rise in arrivals from the UK in July. It was also discovered that many English families were flying from Scottish airports to save up to £500 on their holiday travel costs. It may have been one of the hottest summers we’ve had in years, but this didn’t stop large numbers of Brits leaving for even sunnier holiday destinations in the last weekend of July. We gave advice on how to avoid common pick pocketing scams as the Foreign Office issued a warning about pick pockets in Switzerland.

As August enjoyed more of the heatwave, Ryanair had a drop in flight bookings; it also took legal action against an unfavourable Dispatches programme “Ryanair: Secrets from the Cockpit”.

Etihad Airways launched its “flying nanny” service to look after passengers’ children in September. Helly Kitty planes took to the skies with Taiwan’s EVA Air, and a computer glitch in US Airways system sold $0 flights on its website. Spain enjoyed record visitor numbers over the summer, proving the predictions earlier in the year.

In October, Manchester was announced to be the UK’s first Airport City; and Ryanair announced that it would work on a better customer service.

It was all about the measure of happiness for travel in November, and BA introduced interactive billboards to remind people of the magic of flying.

The Northern Lights in Norway topped Brits’ “must see” list in December. Britain also endured wide-spread bad weather with winds of up to 140mph battering parts of the country, and flooding hitting others.

That’s the round up for 2013, make sure to follow this blog for more travel news and articles in 2014, and book your holiday villas at a wide range of destinations on Villaseek.

In search of winter sun
Oct 1st, 2013 by elisa

Tenerife picture by Flickr user moroccan_spirit

Tenerife picture by Flickr user moroccan_spirit

As the night’s get darker and the cooler weather creeps in, it seems that winter sun is on many people’s minds this year!

Still the most popular type of break, winter sun seekers have increased in popularity according to ABTA’s Winter Holiday Trends 2013/14 survey. 40% are planning a break in the sun this winter, compared with 39% last year. City breaks are up 8% as 39% plan a city visit, and up by 5% to 15% is skiing holidays.

The Canary Islands are Brits’ favourite winter destination, with Greece, Malta and Tunisia also hugely popular. For those in search of lands further afield, the Caribbean, Mexico and Dubai are also ranking high.

Whatever your winter sun needs, be sure to check out our main site to search our extensive database of holiday villas.

Special Offer in the Caribbean!
Apr 7th, 2013 by elisa

We have a special offer on this beautiful 6 bedroom beach villa in the Caribbean. There is a 20% discount on all stays between March 31st 2013 – December 22nd 2013 OR Rent 7 nights and stay 2 extra nights free!! OR rent 5 bedrooms and get the 6 bedroom free!!!

This lovely villa enjoys spectacular and panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea and breathtaking sunsets. Enjoy a constant cool sea breeze while having that tropical cool drink.

The spacious and luxurious house has 6 en-suite bedrooms.

The master ‘Awafia’ suite has a king-size bed, walk-in closet, plasma television, his and hers vanity and private balcony. The Plantation suite has a four poster queen-size bed, while the other 4 suites have unique Caribbean themes and 2 double beds each, which can be converted to a king size bed if desired. The living area with French doors opening onto its patio creates a spacious open living area – popular for sunset cocktails.

Air conditioned with ceiling fans. Electronic gate,plasma televisions, radio, cassette player, CD player, fax, wireless internet, library, treadmill machine.

Private outdoor pool with open and covered decks.

Rental rates per week include complimentary transport to and from airport,a car and daily villa staff ( chef, maid, laundress and pool attendant ).

The villa can be rented as 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 bedrooms – rental pro-rated.

To find out more, go to the villa’s page.

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