Long Haul to offer better value for money
Sep 26th, 2011 by elisa

According to Post Office Travel Money’s 2011 Long Haul Holiday Report, customers travelling to long-haul destinations will get better value for money holidays as prices fall in places such as Sri Lanka (where resort costs have fallen by a third from last year), the USA, Dubai and Egypt.

A spokeswoman for Post Office Travel Money, did however admit that the survey was intended to provide only a “snapshot” of prices in overseas resorts. Nevertheless, Sarah Munro of Post Office Head of Travel Money said prospects were bright for British holidaymakers, adding: “After a summer when the weak UK pound bought less holiday cash in Europe, tourists heading further afield for winter sun can look forward to seeing their pounds stretch further in most long haul destinations.

“Resort prices have fallen in two-thirds of the countries we surveyed a year ago and, in addition, sterling has strengthened against 15 of 26 long haul currencies.

“For example, the UK pound will buy over 19% more Kenyan shillings than a year ago and is also stronger against Caribbean and Latin-American currencies. Holidaymakers visiting the USA, Dubai and Egypt will be quids in too.”

The report claims that a ‘basket’ of 10 items, including a three-course meal for two with wine, would cost £31.81 in Sri Lanka and £51.48 in Thailand.

Elsewhere, China showed the year’s biggest price rise of 27%, to make the essential items average £116.43.

Budget Thai airline
Sep 2nd, 2011 by elisa

Thai Airways is to launch a new budget airline, Thai Smile Air, which will operate domestic flights from Bangkok next July.

Destinations offered will include Chiang Rai, which is the main gateway to the Golden Triangle in northern Thailand; and Surat Thani, the closest airport to islands in the Gulf of Thailand. It will also fly to Ubon Ratchathani and Khon Kaen in the north east.

The carrier will have a fleet of 11 Airbus A320s with 174-seats each and will focus on secondary routes less than two hours flying time from the capital, and offer connections with Thai Airways’ flights.

Thai Airways president Mr. Piyasvasti said: “Thai Smile Air will operate using Thai’s TG airline code, and will be appropriately priced to ensure the product is competitive in the airline market.

“The name Thai Smile Air was selected from more than 2,000 entries from Thai employees, and I think the confirmed name suits our proposed concept of being ‘trendy, friendly, and worthy travel.'”

Thai Airways also have plans for Thai Tiger Airways, a low-fares carrier in partnership with Singapore’s Tiger Airways, which will be launched “as soon as possible.”

Thai Smile flights go on sale early 2012.


Cabin weight-saver
Nov 9th, 2010 by jason

Astonishingly, nine out of every ten Brits holidaying in Spain this year will have got there on a no-frills airline like easyjet or Ryanair. The percentage for most other European destinations isn’t far behind. And with the budget airlines’ charge for checking in a suitcase ever rising, an increasing number of holidaymakers are taking just what will fit into a cabin bag with maximum dimensions of 55x40x20cm. Ryanair also imposes a 10kg weight limit whereas easyJet allows any weight ‘within reason’.

Ryanair has been especially tough on slightly oversize bags, sometimes creating lengthy departure gate queues as passengers with a cabin bag bulging beyond the max argue with staff then desperately extract enough to slim the bag.

If no-one has yet coined the phrase cabin bag anxiety, it’s time they did. But what the extortionate bag check-in charges do mean is that it’s worth investing in a cabin bag that makes the most of what you’re allowed. Luggage specialist Antler has come up a bag specifically designed for that purpose. It claims the Duolite is the lightest, most durable case it has ever produced. Combining a hybrid ABS and nylon material with a frameless construction, the Duolite is super lightweight, with the cabin case weighing in at just 2.1kg. With dimensions of 55x35x20, it meets most airlines’ cabin bag size limits (but always check before flying).

A weight of 2.1kg probably doesn’t mean much to most people, but we’ve been trying one out and the first thing everyone says is, “Isn’t it light?” The second is that  it nevertheless feels well made and strong in a high-tech sort of way, and the third is that it wheels along very easily. So although it has a recommended retail price of £89 (the lowest discounted price we saw online was £84), that could be a worthwhile investment. Our only reservation is that its width of 35cm is actually 5cm, or a couple of inches, less than most airlines allow, so you aren’t quite maximising the allowance. Having said that, the structure of the case intrudes very little into the internal space, which can also be expanded slightly by undoing a zip-fastened gusset extension to give a depth of 23cm if the airline isn’t being too strict. The bag has one zipped external pocket, and comes complete with a TSA padlock (which can be opened by security staff without having to break into the case).

For those trips where a cabin bag just isn’t enough, Antler does two matching suitcases of similar construction. The medium case (67x44x30/33cm) weighs 2.5kg, with a rrp of £105 and the large (74x49x33/36cm) weighs 2.9kg with a rrp of £109. With excess baggage charges of up to £40 per kilo, the two kilos or so saved compared with a typical case could almost pay for these cases, which all come with a 10-year warranty. Further details and stockists at

UK passenger travel trends for 2010
May 26th, 2010 by elisa

Skyscanner, the flights search engine, have just published their UK passenger travel trends for 2010 to show the most popular holiday destinations for we Brits.

The top three are Spanish destinations, Alicante, Malaga and Palma. Portugal’s Faro and Dalaman in Turkey are in 4th and 5th with Tenerife in 6th and Ibiza in 7th. So from this it seems that Spain is rather a popular destination as it dominates the top half of the list.

 The second half of the list are long haul destinations, with New York at 8th, Orlando 9thand despite the political unrest in Thailand, flights to Bangkok are still very popular with British tourists, with the city entering in 10th place.

Perhaps this could be indicating more confidence in travel abroad as we edge out of recession and holidays abroad once again start to take precedent.

Rebranding the Villaseek Asia Pacific section to Thailand and India
Nov 25th, 2009 by Tom Kerswill

The Thailand and India section

The Thailand and India section

Hi everyone

Just to let you know, I have rebranded our Asia Pacific section on Villaseek, to better reflect the villa listings within the section. It’s now simply the Thailand and India section. You can also access the two countries directly, by clicking through to Thailand and India.

So, the change doesn’t actually affect any of the villas in the section, but hopefully will make it clearer to people who are looking for self-catered accommodation in Thailand and India.

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