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Orlando top destination for Brits
May 21st, 2014 by elisa

Brits just can’t get enough of the sunshine state of Florida, with Orlando the particular holiday favourite for this summer according to recent analysis.

The metasearch website momondo.co.uk analyses its UK flight search data from the last three months, for travel during the UK holiday period and a departure date between June and August 2014 and came up with Brits’ top summer destinations.

Orlando was the clear winner, proving the theme-park capital and family-friendly atmosphere is something that keeps it at the top of our summer holiday list.

The website also studied the most popular places in the world according to data from 20 of the UK’s biggest airports to create each airport’s “Top 5” summer destinations. Orlando appeared in seven out of 20 of these airport lists.

Other firm favourites were Spanish destinations of Alicante and Malaga, coming in third and fourth respectively on overall most-searched destinations for summer 2014. Both also appeared in the top five for 13 out of 20 UK airport lists. 

“It’s encouraging to see Orlando in favour with Brits this year as a popular place to visit over the summer holidays, with its excellent activities and parks for the whole family. And long-haul destination New York was also popular this summer too – at a time when the climate is warm.

“It seems the traditional Spanish summer break though will always appeal to Brits, with short-haul flights and a practical sun guarantee. It is interesting to see Turkey hot on the heels of Spain however, with Dalaman coming in fifth most-popular destination overall. Sizzling hot weather and great deals on this up and coming destination no doubt will be drawing the crowds in this year,” says Julie Pedersen, Spokesperson for momondo.

OVERALL TOP 10 MOST-SEARCHED SUMMER DESTINATIONS FOR BRITS

1) Orlando

2) New York

3) Alicante

4) Malaga

5) Dalaman

6) Bangkok

7) Faro

8) Palma de Mallorca

9) Los Angeles

10) Tenerife

Flybe adds cheap flights from Birmingham
Feb 3rd, 2014 by elisa

Flybe is adding seven new routes from Birmingham from April and May 2014.

Flybe will offer flights from Birmingham to:

Florence six times a week

– daily flights to Cologne

Toulouse six times a week

Alicante five times a week

– Bordeaux, Palma Mallorca and Porto four times a week

Birmingham will become the airline’s biggest regional base when it adds three of its 2×2 seat Embraer 175 jets to the airport.

Seats are on sale now, with one-way fares from £34.99 including taxes and charges. Flights start on 10th April to Alicante, Cologne, Florence and Porto, and from 13th May for the rest.

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.

Cheapest destinations for autumn sun
Oct 27th, 2013 by elisa

Flight comparison website, Skyscanner, has listed some of the cheapest places to fly for under £50 for some much needed autumn sunshine. Luckily for you, Villaseek has plenty of great holiday villas in 4 of the 7 listed destinations!

El Capistrano Village

El Capistrano Village

Malaga, from £40. With an average high temperature of 24C and 8 hours of daily sunshine, Malaga on the Costa del Sol is one of the best bets for autumn sunshine in Europe.

Accommodating between 2 and 9 people and from £165 per week this beautifully maintained village, El Capistrano, Nerja, is just 45 minutes from the airport and has wonderful views of the Mediterranean and mountains.

Entre Naranjos

Entre Naranjos

Murica, from £49. Average high temperature of 25C and 4 hours of daily sunshine, Murcia is a handy jumping off point for southern Spain. 

40 minutes from either Murcia or Alicante airport is this 3-bedroom villa and 2-bedroom apartment on the new development of Entre Naranjos, set amidst the orange groves and a short drive from Torrevieja. Prices start from £190 for the villa and £140 per week for the apartment.

Tavira, East Algarve

Tavira, East Algarve

The Algarve, Portugal, from £30. Average high temperature of 23C and 7 sunshine hours each day. One of Europe’s most popular destinations but still pretty warm even into November.

Sleeps 4 (plus cot) this townhouse is situated in a secluded, luxury, mainly owner-occupied, hilltop development with spectacular views across the Roman fishing town of Tavira (2km) to the sea. Prices start from £200 per week.

Villas in Pollensa

Villas in Pollensa

Majorca, from £38. Average high temperature of 24C and 3 hours sunshine each day.

Choose from a great selection of properties with pools in Pollensa/Puerto Pollensa.

 

 

 

Summer sun flight sale
Oct 10th, 2013 by elisa

Summer Sun picture by Flickr user Ian A Kirk

Summer Sun picture by Flickr user Ian A Kirk

The summer schedule for 2014 has been announced by Easyjet as flights to 100 destinations now go on sale.

It has more than 11.5 million seats, almost 300,000 more than last summer.

With so many seats going on sale, now might be a good time to book your summer holiday and villa while you can get some good bargains and not have to think about it until it’s time to jet off!

With flights to Spain, Italy, France, Greece and many more, we have a holiday villa to suit your needs.

Record summer for Spain
Sep 23rd, 2013 by elisa

Costa Brava picture by Flickr user felipe_gabaldon

Costa Brava picture by Flickr user felipe_gabaldon

Spain was visited by 8.3 million foreign tourists in August, the highest monthly number of foreign visitors since current records began in 1995. 

Most favoured by the British, French and Germans, Spain was the third most-visited country in the world, tied with China and just behind the United States and France.

The number of visitors was 7.1% higher than August last year, according to the country’s tourism ministry. The surge in numbers is likely due to holidaymakers avoiding previously popular budget holiday destinations – Egypt and Turkey – which were hit by civil unrest this year.

Within Spain, the most popular areas for visitors were the northeastern region of Catalonia with Barcelona as the main attraction, the Balearic Islands benefitted from 2.1 million foreign visitors and the southern region of Andalusia didn’t do too badly with 1.1 million visitors also.

The ministry’s data also showed that the increase did not only occur in August either, but overall from January to August 2013, 42.3 million foreign tourists visited the country, 4.5% more than the same period last year and another record high.

It’s not difficult to see why Spain is one of the most visited countries in the world, it has wonderful coastlines, countryside, culture and not to mention the gorgeous weather. Read our guides on villa rentals in Spain for inspiration on where to visit and go to our main site to find holiday villas in Spain.

Menorca – idyllic biosphere reserve
Mar 6th, 2013 by elisa

Turquoise sea, white sands. Menorca picture by Flickr user Paul Stephenson

Turquoise sea, white sands. Menorca picture by Flickr user Paul Stephenson

Menorca is a beautiful Balearic island; and with more beaches than Mallorca and Ibiza combined, it is serious competition for its more famous neighbouring islands.

Known as the more laid-back island, it’s perfect for families with young children or just visitors who want a relaxing holiday and slower pace of life. The resorts tend to be small and occupied with holiday villas rather than large hotel complexes.

The most popular coastal resort is probably Son Bou / San Jaime, with over a mile of white sand, perfect for sun-worshippers! It is not just good for beach-goers though, the newly constructed coastal path, Camí de Cavalls, is ideal for walkers, too. The whole of Menorca has been classified as a biosphere reserve by Unesco because of the striking wildlife and natural surroundings. On a walk around, you could see booted eagles, red kites, Egyptian vultures and even osprey! If you aren’t sure where to start, you could book a guided tour with Walk Menorca to ensure you see the best there is.

The capital, Maó, spreads along a cliff above the harbour with bars and restaurants. The old town is filled with small plazas and a market to explore. Across the other side at the western most point of the island is Ciutadella, a picturesque old town with cobbled streets, harbour, Gothic cathedral and museum.

If you like a fiesta, however, then go around the Saints’ days between June and September to enjoy the buzz and jollity of each town’s special programme of celebrations. For more information about up-coming events around the year, visit Menorca Live, which I’ve found rather helpful for finding things to do once you’re there.

We have many holiday villas in Menorca, but if you’d like some inspiration, then you won’t go far wrong with this pretty and spacious villa in Puerto Addaia.

The villa sleeps 6 and has 3 bedrooms (2 double & 1 twin – both doubles have air-con). There is a balcony overlooking the pool, and a large roof terrace with lovely sea views. There is a main bathroom, a fully equipped kitchen, lounge with Sky TV and French doors which open onto a partially covered patio with built-in barbecue and large, extendable sun awning. The pool is excellently maintained and has a children’s section. The villa is also close to local shops, restaurants and marina. Also close by is Arenal, a beautiful beach.

Great for family holidays

Great for family holidays

For this villa and many more across Menorca or other holiday destinations, check out our main website for details.

 

Spain best value destination in 2013
Jan 22nd, 2013 by elisa

Malaga sunshine picture by Flickr user mer de glace

Malaga sunshine picture by Flickr user mer de glace

Spain is now back at the top spot for the best-value destination in 2013, according to the latest Post Office Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer.

Last year, the Barometer found that Spain was a better deal than Italy, Greece and Corfu for self catering holidays, but this year it’s gone one better and topped the overall list as a best-value destination, with prices 41% cheaper than five years ago and an increase in tourism overall despite the recession.

Holiday makers going to Australia or South Korea will be seriously out of pocket in comparison, with an average shopping basket (containing a meal for two, bottle of beer, water, glass of wine, can of Coca-Cola, cup of coffee, suncream and a packet of cigarettes) weighing in at £145.28 in Darwin and £146.93 in Seoul. Compare this to the cheap and cheerful £36.14 in Malaga and Galle, it’s no wonder Spain is a popular destination!

Rise in arrests of Brits abroad
Jul 3rd, 2012 by elisa

The number of Britons arrested abroad has risen 6% from last year, according to figures released by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

This year the FCO handled 6,015 arrest cases involving British nationals, compared to 5,700 last year. The statistics also show that Britons are most likely to be arrested in Spain and the US.

Minister of State for Consular Affairs, Jeremy Browne, said: “It is important that people understand that taking risks abroad can land them on the wrong side of the law. The punishments can be very severe, with tougher prison conditions than in the UK. Whilst we will work hard to try and ensure the safety of British nationals abroad, we cannot interfere in another country’s legal system.

“We find that many people are shocked to discover that the FCO cannot get them out of jail. We always provide Consular support to British nationals in difficulty overseas. However, having a British passport does not make you immune to foreign laws and will not get you special treatment in prison.”

In the past year, around half of the arrests involved people under the age of 34. According to anecdotal evidence from Embassies and Consulates overseas, many incidents are alcohol-fuelled, particularly in popular destinations such as mainland Spain, the Canary Islands, Balearics, Malta and Cyprus.

David Thomas, Consular Regional Director covering Spain, based in Madrid, said: “The police on Mallorca and Ibiza have a zero tolerance attitude towards alcohol-fuelled offences and we see many young people being arrested for causing trouble outside bars and clubs at night.”

In contrast, over 70% of arrests in Jamaica, Serbia, Peru and Brazil were drug related.

These figures have been released ahead of the full British Behaviour Abroad report next month.

Vueling Cardiff to Alicante routes
Jun 6th, 2012 by elisa

A new three times weekly service from Cardiff to Alicante is being launched by Vueling from 24th June. The service will run on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

The flights were originally going to run until September, but have been extended through to 27th October due to high demand. The service will switch to Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 16th September.

The airline already operates three flights per week to Barcelona El Prat Airport, and is due to increase its network further by adding flights to Palma de Mallorca also on 24th June.

 

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