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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The bizarre law in Florida that all British Citizens must carry an International Driving Permit in the state was repealed in April.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.

140mph winds cause major flight delays
Dec 6th, 2013 by elisa

Some of the worst weather of the year so far is hitting the UK and parts of Europe, causing wide-spread travel disruption. 

Yesterday airports in Scotland were severely hit by delays and cancellations, and many roads were closed as it’s been claimed the country was practically ‘closed down’ due to winds up to 140mph. Although the winds are dying down in Scotland and the northern half of the country today, there are still expected to be some delays and cancellations to flights. Manchester airport is advising passengers to check the status of their flight before leaving for the airport.

British Airways and Lufthansa are warning of flight disruption, while a “significant number” of KLM and KLM Cityhopper flights have been cancelled across Europe.

EasyJet said strong winds will continue to affect northern and north eastern Europe today.

“The weather situation in Copenhagen and Hamburg is still difficult following yesterday’s disruption and flights may still experience weather associated delays,” it said.

Here is a video of a huge A380 aircraft coming in to land at Manchester Airport yesterday, clearly rocking in the difficult conditions. Watch from around 20 seconds in..

Today flood alerts are in place across England and Wales as the weather heads further south. Thousands are being evacuated from their homes in Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk, and around 120,000 have been left without power.

 

Beautiful holiday villa on the Croatian island of Hvar
Nov 7th, 2013 by elisa

Hvar Island

Hvar Island

With vast fields of lavender, olive trees and vineyards, surrounded by stunning beaches and crystal blue waters, the Croatian island of Hvar has to be one of the most beautiful places to visit in the world.

Now is a particularly good time to book as the school holidays are over and many low cost airlines are offering great winter deals on flights.

With special offers when booking as a family or group, or for those staying longer than a week, this recently renovated island house might be just the accommodation for you!

It has stunning views of the Adriatic sea, town and hills. There are five double plus one single bedroom and the property has recently been renovated to an excellent standard. With all the amenities one would expect with such a substantial holiday villa, guests also benefit from two large patios, a garden, sunbeds, outdoor tables and chairs. Laundry will be done each week and you can expect to be greeted by an English/Croatian couple who will give advice on what to do and where to go on Hvar island and other nearby islands and mainland in Croatia.

One of the immaculate double bedrooms

One of the immaculate double bedrooms

Balcony view

Balcony view

The property sits five minutes away from the beach, and cafes, restaurants, piazza, market and boat hire is only a 10 minute walk away. It’s great for a relaxing holiday, but also ideal for those in search of more activity as within half a mile of the house there is sailing, water skiing, sea kayaking, paragliding, windsurfing, diving and tennis.

You can find this Hvar island house in the Croatia section of VillaSeek. For more information on the property and what to do there, go directly to the listing for the villa, where you can contact the owners directly.

Beautiful beaches

Beautiful beaches

 

Bitter weather here to stay
Mar 25th, 2013 by elisa

There is unlikely to be any let up of the recent adverse weather conditions most of the country has been experiencing. Weather reports are predicting that snow and ice could stay until next week, potentially disrupting people’s Easter travel plans.

The Met Office has issued a current alert level 3 amber warning, just one level below that of a national emergency. There is 100% probability of severe cold weather and icy conditions in parts of England until Friday, and 90% probability over the rest of the Easter weekend.

Many airports experienced disruption over the weekend, with cancellations and closed runways because of the ice and snow. Passengers planning to go away this week are advised to keep an eye on the airport and airline websites for updates.

Chris Hogan, a forecaster for MeteoGroup, warned that the freezing weather will feel even colder due to the bitter winds, with no sign of warmer weather just yet. He added: “London will mark the border of rain and snow, with everywhere north looking at a covering of snow and around 6cm in the Midlands, Wales, north England and southern Scotland.

So far this month, the average March temperature in central England is at 3.8C, compared to a relatively balmy 8.3C last year.

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