Wednesday, 3 June 2009

The Euro

Bad news for those of you travelling to the 'Eurozone' ( the 16 EU countries in which the euro is their national currency) as the euro keeps on strengthening against the pound and dollar it means goods and services in the region will cost an estimated 33% more than this time last year.

This is a direct result of the economic downturn, due to high unemployment and low inflation the pound is no longer an attractive propositions for people investing in the UK market. Many investors are selling dollars and pounds and buying Euros as the currency reaches a four year high.

If you are looking to go on holiday to the eurozone this summer be sure to look around for the best deal as various travel agencies offer different rates. To check the current rate independently you may wish to use current currency conversion calculator online.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

The Lakes...

I'm off to the Lakes this weekend to visit family and also to attend the annual Keswick beer festival. An event I attend every year although always fail to get a ticket until the last minute! This year is no different although I am hoping they stick to there policy of selling a small percentage of tickets on the day otherwise I'm screwed! Whilst I'm in the lakes I hope to do a bit of walking, weather permitting. Taking in the sights and possibly going out on the lake for a leisurely row on lake Derwent water.

I'm still contemplating where to go on my holidays but little trips like this help break up the summer. There are many places in Britain that offer great holidays within the UK, I am also planning a trip to Matlock in Derbyshire for the end of August/beginning of September (depends if my favourite Rugby team get to Wembley).

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Decisions, decisions...

OK, so I have had a look around and am still undecided about where to go! There are a few destinations that have caught my eye and would realistically be in my prize range however I think what it will boil down to is three things; Currency conversion rate, cost of flights and hotel prices. I am ideally looking to fore go package deals in favour of cheap flights on a good deal on a hotel. I imagine that in the current climate that there may be people who have pulled out at the last minute and therefore left empty rooms that need to be filled and empty airplane seats which equal cheap flights and cheap accommodation (hopefully!).

In the next few days I aim to narrow it down to 3 destinations of choice and by doing that I shall be able to seek out deals to these places. I think by comparing deals on 3 different areas leaves my options open and gives me a 'plan B'.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Summer Holiday

So... We never ended up going to Dublin, due to my girlfriend getting a new job which meant we had to put our plans on hold. I'm now posed with the dilemma of where to go on my summer Jollies! In the next few weeks I intend to have a look around for possible destinations, however i will be on a budget so the Dominican Republic will have to wait, I think this holiday will have to be relatively local ( by local i mean Europe, not camping in a field 5 miles away from my house!) and we will be on a budget but in this current climate where travel agents are falling over each other to get peoples business we should be able to get a good deal. I will keep you posted on future developments :)

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Paris versus Dublin

No, this isn't yet another reality television show bore fest starring the talentless miss Hilton but in fact a dilemma I am currently pondering. I am planning to go away for the weekend with my girlfriend of 3 years, I am currently weighing up the options as to where we should go for her 21st Birthday at the end of April. Wanting to make it special I intend to whisk her away for a weekend, but which is better Paris or Dublin (cue a Harry Hill Impression...)?


The sparkle in the emerald isle, the capital of Ireland, the land of my heritage, where the Guinness flows like water! Dublin is a popular tourist destination for both lads holidays and romantic holidays alike, the bars are homely and freed from the shackles of chains that imprison the major cities in England.

I have visited many times a child and most recently on a rugby tour but have yet to sample the real culture of the city. Yes I have walked down Carlisle Bridge, drank in Temple bar and watched a game of the national sport Gaelic football, in Croke park. Yet I have never viewed it through a couples eyes. What does it have to offer as a romantic break? I love the musicians who frequent many of the cities bars and add their own unique style to every song but how does Whisky in the Jar compare to sipping vino in the Tuileries gardens in Paris?

I intend to see the Dublin within Dublin, the people who made it great, the buildings within the city that bare the brunt of history. My girlfriend being a journalism graduate and a fan of the written word I intend to focus on this, visiting the places that such great literacy minds visited such as Oscar Wilde, Yeats and Jonathan Swift to name but a few.

Of course we would be letting our hair down, dining in one of the cities many restaurants and then heading to Temple Bar to mingle with the 'friendliest people in Europe', enjoying the buzzing Ireland's nightlife, the city has such energy at night which may be due to 50% of the population being under 25, youth is defiantly on its side.

However the Irish capital faces stiff competition from its french counterpart, I am still yet to decide.


Type the words 'romantic' and 'break' into any search engine and Paris will no doubt be at the top of the list. The city and romance go hand in hand, but could this be a dissuading factor? is a trip to Paris with a significant other becoming a cliche? I feel that there could be too much pressure on the trip in which could make it a complete let down.

But before I totally dismiss the idea I will consult and Mr.wikipedia to see what the city has to offer.

The city is full of small intricate passageways, tight roads designed to stop people invading the city. During times of revolution it was felt if you took Paris you took France so the streets were designed to be narrow to evade invading armies descending upon the cities. In total contrast to these tight and cosy streets, the streets of Dublin are wide and welcoming, opening their arms and welcoming like an old friend greeting you as you arrive.

Of course the city boasts many museums, cafes, restaurants, theatres and of course the tower! It is the polished article for any romantic getaway. However it jut doesn't feel right, Dublin just seems to be a much warmer more welcoming location.

So with the location settled all I need to do now is book the flights, hotel, book time off work, dig out my old Ireland footy top and learn to the play the spoons! All going well we should be jetting across the Irish sea at the end of this month :)

Monday, 16 March 2009

Holiday checklist

When travelling abroad, be it for the very first time or your one hundred and first time, preparation is the key. It may seem a bit anal but be sure to make a check list of all the items you are going to need on your person when travelling. This may include any items of clothing, medication, books, money, and passport (very important when travelling abroad!) etc. Not forgetting and most importantly the tickets!

Forgetting something important for the journey can ruin the whole holiday before it has even begun (try enjoying a nice relaxing break when the spending money is sat at home on the bedside table!). Following these simple steps before you leave for your holiday should lead to a stress free journey:

Have all your belongings out and ready the night before you go, don't leave any thing to the last minute. Making sure all items are there and ready for your departure will mean you will not be running round like a headless chicken for hours trying to find your passport!

Only take what you need, do not overload your travel bag with unnecessary luggage. Only have to hand what you need and ensure all other luggage is safely stored in your main luggage.

Luggage should be packed in advance. It might be worth doing a dummy run the week before, packing your suitcase with what you need. This will help you decide what is essential what could be deemed as a luxury and taking up needless space.

Insurance is vital; do not leave the UK without travel insurance. You may not have lost luggage etc. before but that doesn't mean it won't happen, preparation is the key.

Dress sensibly, it may be freezing cold in England but when you get off the plane abroad it might be boiling hot so ensure you're not wearing to many layers (also relevant on the return journey).

Always double check; be sure to check you have all items before leaving the house.

Yes! You will have a great holiday, positive thinking. Don't think about what could go wrong, if you've followed these steps you are well prepared for the journey so go and enjoy yourself!