With Brexit in the news on a daily basis, one thing to consider for next year is the impact of Brexit on your holiday hopes. How are you feeling about holidays abroad? I was interested to discover that leading online travel agency loveholidays has conducted a survey of 2,000 people in the UK to gauge their view on holidays abroad next year. I was fascinated to see that the all-inclusive holiday is making a real come-back due to the worries about Brexit.

Non-EU destinations

Holiday-makers are considering non-EU destinations. Over 45% of those surveyed would consider a holiday in eastern Mediterranean and North Africa destinations such as Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco or Egypt.  According to Google Search Volume, all-inclusive holiday searches to Turkey are up 83% year on year and all-inclusive holidays searches to Egypt are up 20% year on year.  The appeal of all-inclusive holidays is even more popular in the face of Brexit particularly to millennials who are twice as likely to choose an all-inclusive break compared to the over 55’s surveyed.

Post-Brexit worries

It seems clear that travellers are concerned about passport issues. The other big worry is the cost of the holiday and any nasty financial surprises. Post-Brexit anxieties included 24% of respondents mentioning passports.  A quarter are thinking about the money in their pocket with currency and exchange rates worries. Mobile phone charges and queues at passport control are of lesser concern according to the survey results.

Different age groups have different concerns

I was surprised to see that  different age groups have different concerns about post-Brexit holidays. 25% of 18-34 year olds state that it will impact their holiday making decision for 2019 with 49% of them considering a non-EU holiday destination. Those 55 and over are far less troubled, with only 9% suggesting that Brexit will impact their 2019 holiday choices.. This age group also appear to be remaining with European holidays as only just over a third would consider a holiday in a non-EU destination.

All-inclusive holidays

Christian Armond from loveholidays comments, “With peak booking season for 2019 holidays around the corner, we are anticipating an increase in bookings for all-inclusive holidays. These holidays appeal in the current Brexit climate as there are no hidden extras with the cost of meals and drinks all included!”

All-inclusive hotels finder

To help identify the top all-inclusive hotels based on both Trip Advisor reviews and the number of bookings, loveholidays has created an interactive all-inclusive hotels finder. Simply enter a destination for a list of the best all-inclusive hotels in that area.

The ‘All-Inclusive Hotel Finder’ can be found here:

https://www.loveholidays.com/destinations/best/

With my milestone birthday celebrated last week, I have promised myself to have a really positive year ahead. Although I travelled overseas a lot when I was younger, there was a real gap when I did not do so. Blogging came along and off I headed to the United States of America on a press trip but I  think it is high time I  broadened my travel horizons come the New Year. Here are 5 places I would like to visit next year.

Denmark

When I was at school, I tried to organise a trip to Denmark with a group of teenage friends. I think the idea may have come from seeing the story of Hans Christian Anderson at the London Palladium or quite possibly from my love of Lego. I have even more reason to visit now as I did a DNA test and was very surprised to find I have a Danish heritage. I am excited at the idea that you can book a no fly cruise and sail from the UK to all the delights that Denmark has to offer.

Iceland

When I first met my husband, I asked him where he would visit if he could choose anywhere in the world. It was great that he chose a country that I have dreamed of visiting too. Iceland just looks so very different. Needless to say life got in the way and we never did make that romantic trip to Iceland but it’s never too late! What’s not to love about waterfalls, hot springs and beautiful landscapes?

Ireland

It’s not exactly the most far-flung destination but I would like to have a trip to Ireland next year. I have holidayed there before with family and friends. However, it is also where my birth family are and it would be great to make a trip with another adopted sister to meet our special relatives for the very first time. Long Lost Family and all that! In any event, Ireland is gorgeous with its mountain and coastal scenery not forgetting the craic!

Italy

I have never visited Italy which is ridiculous especially as my brother lived there for a few years working at La Scala in Milan. I think Tuscany always looks so beautiful and the people seem to have a great philosophy on life. I would also like to take my artistic daughter to Florence. Did I mention I am the biggest Italian food fan and dream of eating the genuine article in the country itself?

Russia

I cannot remember the first time I decided I wanted to visit Russia one day so I was clearly very young. It always seemed almost like another world entirely. Did you know it spans eleven time zones and two continents? I have always wanted to visit Moscow and St. Petersburg. Ideally I would take a long enough break to enjoy the vast diversity of the country with its rivers, forests and towering mountains. I can’t even imagine what the food would be like and how amazing it would be to immerse myself in such a different culture.

Where are you hoping to travel to next year?

 

What are you most looking forward to about Christmas? For many of us, it is all about seeing family and friends including those that we struggle to catch up with at any other time of year. Travelling by car is often the best option as you may be delivering lots of presents and food along with the usual luggage for a trip away from home.

Preparing your car for Christmas

A famous song at this time of year screams “It’s Christmas!” but we also need to remember it is winter so weather conditions can be tricky. Preparing your car for Christmas alleviates stress and could possibly save your life. You neglect this pre-Christmas task at your peril.

A trip to Northampton

I remember visiting my cousin and his family in Northampton one Christmas. We definitely had the white Christmas and black ice was a real danger. I was so pleased that my Dad always carried out regular services on the car at places like Calmac Tyres AutoCentre. The fact that he was an advanced level driver was also reassuring.

Good car care

It’s vital to check that your tyres are fit and compatible to drive on wet or icy roads. Neglecting regular car servicing is false economy. Make sure that all the necessary things are checked like exhausts, batteries and oil. Have you checked that your car’s air conditioning system is functioning properly?
Guaranteed by VOSA Calmac Tyres Autocentre provides highly skilful services and MOTs in Northampton. Book your service with them today!

You really don’t want to breakdown at Christmas

A car breakdown is always stressful and especially at this time of year. The loved ones waiting for you to arrive will be worried if you are late. You don’t want to be missing out on any of the festive treats or the opportunity to make magical Christmas memories.

Car servicing is good if you intend to sell your car at some point

Eventually you may want to buy a newer car or one more suited to new family circumstances. Potential buyers will be checking whether you car is well looked after. Car services on a regular basis mean your car will look great under the bonnet and you can be someone who is really interested in buying will want to check under there. Invest in regular services rather than a once a year overhaul and you will protect your safety and your finances in the longer term.

 

 

 Spain is one of the most fascinating countries in the world. Packed with famous landmarks, stunning scenery, rich history and a vibrant culture – why wouldn’t you want to visit? Well, you’re not alone. With more than 82 million visitors a year, tourism in Spain is big business – and if you’re not careful, you can easily find yourself trapped with the crowds, eating in overpriced restaurants with little more than tacky souvenirs to remind you of your trip – a far cry from the real Spain. If you really want to escape the tourist traps, keep these tips in mind.

Listen to those who know

Very often, simply talking to someone who has been somewhere many times and knows it intimately is the best way to find out what to avoid. Seasoned travellers and expats often have a lots of great recommendations. And don’t forget to ask your hotel concierge or taxi driver – they generally avoid tourist places when they go out, so it’s a perfect way to get great advice from experienced locals who really know their town.

Of course, when you’re next enjoying your café con leche in the one of the street cafes, why not strike up conversation? Even if you don’t speak Spanish, arm yourself with a few useful phrases and you’ll be surprised just how much a friendly local will help you. People love giving their opinions and this has worked for me on many occasions.

Steer away from the obvious locations

While Spain’s famous landmarks are stunning, you can often find similarly amazing places just round the corner and far away from the tourist hubbub. The extremely popular Las Ramblas in Barcelona is just a few minutes away from the much more local-friendly Rambla del Poblenou, and while the Plaza Mayor in Madrid is wonderful, you’ll soak up just as much of the amazing Madridian atmosphere at the far less busy market El Rastro.

Similarly, make time for smaller museums such as the Sorolla house museum in Madrid and you’ll have a far more relaxed experience. Indeed, why not avoid the tourist trap completely and visit some of the many equally historic and picturesque smaller cities such as Cáceres and Girona, where you’ll often find the Spanish taking their weekend breaks? The magnificent Segovia and stunning Córdoba are packed with history and offer a real alternative to the traditional tourist-thronged major cities.

Follow the history, art and food

Dig into Spain’s vast history and you’ll be leaving the hordes of tourists behind. Visit the region of Extremadura for the country’s finest Roman ruins and mysterious medieval cities, while also enjoying its amazing scenery, food and wine practically tourist-free! Experience Dali first hand without the crowds by visiting the lesser-known Pubol Castle in Girona, while Colonia Guell brings you closer to Gaudí without the bustle of Barcelona.

Wherever you are however, find the best street for traditional tapas and pintxos and enjoy a piece of Spanish life without the queues. You’ll also notice there are plenty of so-called authentic flamenco shows, but these are typically just for tourists. To experience the true flamenco spirit, go to dances in crowded local bars or old gypsy caves.

Take your time

Finally, rather than sticking to a rigid agenda and whizzing from one place to the next, explore at your own pace. Going late in the day after the crowds have left or getting up early is an ideal way to avoid the busy tourists. Arrive just after sunrise and a familiar tourist trap won’t feel half as busy.

It’s also worth taking a tip from the locals and relax in the plazas or take a paseo (a slow walk around town). You couldn’t find a less touristy thing to do – it’s quite simply how the Spanish wind down. In fact, follow what they do and eat when they do and you’ll soon wonder where all the tourists are. A large vermouth before lunch or some churros in the late afternoon may seem strange, but you won’t see tourists doing this and it must mean something for the Spanish to enjoy it so much. So go ahead and order one!

There is so much this country has to offer. Get away from the traditional tourist traps and your holiday will be filled with wonderful memories of the real magic of Spain.

How To Get Away From The Tourist Traps In Spain

 

Cuddle Fairy

There’s nothing quite like a road trip when it comes to feeling the wind in your hair and the thrill of the open road. Road trips are a cheap way to truly get down to some proper exploring, and they can be physically and mentally rewarding too. Far cheaper than flights, road trips also give you total control over your destination and your stops. However, if you want to trim the budget even more, then these hacks from professional travellers might see you being able to afford a road trip much more often. Escape your comfort zone without worrying about your wallet, and embrace the open road in search of adventure.

Slow down

When the long, empty road is ahead of you, it’s always going to be tempting to slam your foot on the accelerator and speed along the route. Doing so might get you to your destination faster, but it could also end up costing you a lot more money. Not only will speeding leave you open to the risk of being stopped and fined, but driving aggressively has been proven to waste your gas too. Slow down, relax, and reduce your gas spend by up to a massive 30%. Of course, taking your time means that you also get to enjoy the atmosphere of your surroundings, and that’s always going to be worth more than how high you get your speedometer. There are some great ways to drive that can save you fuel money, so forget driving fast and concentrate on driving smart.

Consider your transport

If you’re planning to drive your own car, then you need to make sure that it is ready for the journey. Book it in for some maintenance because a breakdown mid-route could end up being very expensive while also ruining your journey. Most professional travellers understand that the best way to reduce car risks is to rent a car for the journey. Car rental is an excellent way to ensure that you get a more comfortable vehicle that is absolutely suited to the needs of you and your passengers. Chose a new model and you’ll even get the perks available, and those too can be a money-saver. Look at renting a car, and you may find that your expenses suddenly drop.

Plan your food

While it’s always nice to eat out in a new restaurant, those food stops can quickly become an extravagant expense. Three meals a day in diners and fast food places still mean spending money that you may not want to waste. Instead of pulling into the nearest restaurant, consider stopping at a supermarket as an alternative option. Grocery stores are a great way to save money on food. By getting a little more creative in the supermarket, you can save your budget, and be healthier too. You could even prep some meals and snacks to take along with you. Make sure that you have tools and utensils with you, and your wallet will thank you as you continue driving by all of those roadside diners.

Take the advice of professional travellers, and your road trip needn’t be a budget-buster. Plan your trip in advance, and you might just end up rushing to the car every time you have a spare weekend, and all without breaking your bank account too.

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