Category - Travel Tips

Find all the tips and advice you need with our handy online travel tips, created by the experts. Ensure you have the perfect holiday by reading our advice on how to pack, where to find the best deals and even which suncream to wear – Purple Travel

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Joining the Mile High Club – legitimately
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Purple Tips: How to book cheap luxury holidays
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Snowbombing 2014: The hottest ski holiday you’ll ever have
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Purple Tips: what NOT to do in Barcelona
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Amazing Days Out: Pig Museum Stuttgart
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The top Halloween Holidays
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Purple 10 Haunted Hotels
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Purple Tips: cheap 2014 holidays you should book now
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Foodie Corner: What to eat in Corfu
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Book now – Half term holidays

Joining the Mile High Club – legitimately

Mile High Club from purple travelWhile you might wonder about the ethics or even legal status of joining the Mile High Club, it’s no secret that it’s a bucket list entry for lots of people. Seeing a niche business opportunity a US based airline has created a special package for couples who want to do just that.

Flamingo Air, based in Ohio, USA, is offering private flights especially for couples who want to get on board with love in the air. The hour long flight in a Piper Cherokee 6 plane has its own private love nest, and as mentioned on the site, a very discreet pilot (!) Offering champagne and chocolates, the flights of fancy will set you back $425, but promise to give you a flight you won’t forget.

So, ditch the tricky trips to the toilets and take it easy at 20,000 feet in the comfort of your own personal (temporary) bedroom. Just remember, these flights take two people at a time, so no extra funny business!

You should read… the sexiest holidays on earth

Purple Tips: How to book cheap luxury holidays

Forget about a years of saving, get these top tips for cheap luxury holidays from Purple Travel.

Low cost luxury from Purple Travel

1. Book your tickets as soon as possible. That way, you can benefit from online offers and early bird discounts.

2. If you can’t book that early, go for last minute when companies are trying to get rid of the last few seats on a flight, or last few rooms in a hotel.

3. Be flexible in terms of date and time of your departure. It’s cheap to fly on a Tuesday, than at the weekend.

4. Off season bookings are also a cost effective solution. You can head to all Mediterranean destinations in September where the weather and sea are still as warm as in the middle of July. Plus, you’ll get cheap accommodation and most probably have the beaches for yourselves…not bad at all!

5. Consider reducing the length of your trip. Instead of dreaming a 10-day stay in a luxury hotel, why not opt for a five day stay, which might be a more realistic plan for your pocket.

6. Book your flight with a low cost airline, to save more money for a better standard hotel. After all, when you’re swimming in the pool of your 5-star hotel, the flight will be a faded memory.

7. Do not reject all-inclusive options that will save you big money from daily expenses such as food and drink.

8. The closer, the cheaper. Choose nearby destinations that require low cost travelling.

9. Read the reviews and comments of other travellers about the accommodation and airline you’re about to book and avoid unpleasant surprises.

10.  DO visit our cheap holidays website Purple Travel for the best deal to wherever you wish. Your dream holiday is just a click away.

Snowbombing 2014: The hottest ski holiday you’ll ever have

Forest 2_grad

For anyone who loves snowboarding, skiing, and all things off piste, as well as knocking back the Schnapps, putting on ridiculous costumes and dancing on all night, then we want to let you in a little secret: it’s called Snowboming 2014 and it’s happening in Mayrhofen, Austria 7-12 April 2014.

SB_DN-14

The huge snow sport/music hybrid has just announced its latest headliners who’ll be taking to the snowy stages. The 25 million record selling Prodigy will head the Forest Stage for an awesome adrenaline fuelled night. Joining the party is The Chemical Brothers (DJ set), Chase & Status are bringing their dubstep infused beats, Rudimental will hit the slopes and Groove Armada round out the line up that also includes Four Tet, Daphni and Anthony Naples.

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If you still can’t get your head around the idea, let us fill you in: Snowbombing is a festival that focuses on the random. All day the slopes are filled with skiers and boarders of all abilities improving their skills or relaxing at the spa of a 5* hotel.

Arctic Disco // Snowbombing 2012

After night falls, the best musicians and DJs fill unique stages across the mountains, including an igloo on top of the world and an enchanted forest! Snowbombing is heading into its 15th year, so you know it’s doing something right, especially when it gets reviews like: “The Greatest Show on Snow.”

For more info on tickets check out Snowbombing.com. All images courtesy of Snowbombing 2014.

Purple Tips: what NOT to do in Barcelona

Boasting fine dining, iconic buildings by Gaudi and wild nights, the Catalan capital can easily charm you, if you treat it like the locals and not as a tourist. Real Barcelona is found away from busy Las Ramblas, in beautiful neighbourhoods like Gràcia and Poble Nou. So, here are Purple Travel’s tip’s to live like a local in Barcelona.

barca

Images via @ rob4xs , J.Cañadas , mariotomic.com , unicoletti

1. Don’t overdo it on the Michelin awarded restaurants: in a city with 21 Michelin stars, gastronomy is a trademark; however, menu prices can often reach your room rate. Alternatively, head for the tapas restaurants that are on every corner and filled with all manner of delights. We like La Cova Fumada on Carrer Baluard or Elisabets on Carrer d’Elisabets. Cheap, cheerful and tasty.

2. Avoid city beaches: Although the beach in Barcelona is pretty good, during the summer it can get a little busy. We’re talking tourists, locals and pickpockets. If you simply can’t stay away, pick a good spot at the W Barcelona Hotel. Otherwise, hop on a cheap suburban train to Sitges, a lovely little town with little whitewashed houses and long, golden sand.

3. Don’t take the metro: Barcelona is one of the most packed European cities in terms of attractions, sites and Points of Interest so walking around is the best way to discover the city. Alternatively, you can rent a bike, Barcelona has an extensive cycle path.

4. Don’t queue for hours/squeeze in the busiest tourist sites: Everybody wants to visit La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona’s unfinished church. In fact around 3 million visitors pass through its gates every year. To skip the crowds, attend the daily mass in the church crypt where you can enter from a separate gate.

5. Don’t bother with  LaBoquería: Since Barcelona’s rapid growth in popularity as a city break destination, its central market has grown with colours and aromas, and lots of dodgy fake souvenirs and fast food restuarants. Our tip is to skip the central market altogether and hunt out the smaller local shops in different neighbourhoods. We like the renovated Mercat de Santa Caterina in El Born boasting an impressive stained glass ceiling.

Amazing Days Out: Pig Museum Stuttgart

You’d be forgiven for thinking we’ve gone a bit piggy, what with our bacon beach post, but it seems we’re not alone. Read on for this amazing day out: The Pig Museum Stuttgart. Fun for a couples city break adventure, or just something a bit different (really different, if you ask us!)

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Pig Museum via @ Wikicommons

The Pig Museum is a surreal collection of over 50,000 exhibits from all over the world to introduce you to the piggiest experience of your life. The SchweineMuseum on Schlachtofstraße 2A, 70188 Stuttgart offers visitors 25 themed rooms to explore featuring all things porcine. There are (stuffed) pigs to cuddle, representation of pigs in the arts as well as the science of pigs, from their anatomy, how little piglets are made as well as the history of the creatures. The kitsch art and culture is sure to win over grown ups, while kids can enjoy the stuffed animals and myths and legends surrounding pigs.

Pic museum 2 from Purple Travel

Pig museum germanyImages via @ Wikicommons @ dhaun & @ Stuttgart Tourism

Meanwhile, if all this porky talk is making your mouth water (vegetarians look away now!) then you won’t bat an eyelid at the museum’s setting; in a former slaughterhouse. After exploring the piggery, a huge beer garden awaits, with tasty treats like knuckle of pork, grilled suckling pig and many more pork delicacies.

There’s more information on pricing and how to get to the Pig Museum Germany on their website here.

To make your visit extra special, you’ll be pleased to hear there’s a theme song to bring you through the museum, altogether now:

The top Halloween Holidays

You may think that when it comes to Halloween, you’ve done the lot – egging the neighbours’ windows, DIY costumes, waking up drunk in a field somewhere, eating yourself sick on sweets – the list goes on. But for the supreme Halloween experience, you need to travel. We’ve compiled this list of the spookiest destinations available to make sure this Halloween is the most memorable of all. Enjoy these halloween holidays from Purple Travel… if you dare!!

salem

Image via @ Bob Woitunski

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Purple 10 Haunted Hotels

Like a scare at bedtime? If things that go bump in the night and strange noises are things that you actually enjoy, then read on for our top 10 most haunted hotels. But, be warned, you’ll be staying here at your peril!

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Image via @ Nomadic Lass

Karosta Prison Hotel, Latvia: This recreates that delightful experience of staying behind bars. Not only that, but it is said to be haunted by the ghosts of prisoners past whose footsteps echo the hallways at night.

Hotel Burchianti, Florence, Italy: This might be the most haunted on the list. It’s said that a ghost of a child skips down the corridors, while an apparition of a maid still carries out her cleaning duties in the early hours.

The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, India: The late chief engineer of the building is reported to roam the halls of the old wing of the hotel. W A Chambers apparently died of a broken heart, after he found out the palace wasn’t built to his original design.

Castle Leslie, County Monaghan, Ireland: A whole bunch of the Leslie family continue to haunt this 300 year old castle, including young Shane Leslie, who died in a war but returned to watch over the lake. The famous perhaps isn’t a person at all though; it’s a dog called Punch.

Langham Hotel, London, England: This may be a top quality 5 star hotel, but even that can’t stop ghostly carry on. Room 333 is the famous one, with a terrifying reputation. It’s said that zombie type ghosts approach guests with their arms outstretched. No, we don’t fancy that either.

The Stanley Hotel, Colorado, US: Seen The Shining? Did it give you the creeps? Yep, us too. Apparently, the Stanley was the inspiration behind the original Stephen King novel after he stayed there the night before it closed down for the season. The piano in the ballroom plays music, although there’s no one sitting there, while ghosts have appeared in various rooms at night.

Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Banff, Canada: Lost your room key? Well it’s not so bad here as the vision of a former bellhop Sam Macauley roams the corridors, even going as far as carrying guests’ luggage for them.

Ostrich Inn, Colnbrook, England: This one might put you off hotels for life. The owners installed a secret trap door under the bed in what they said was the best room in the house. It was right above the kitchen. When guests fell asleep, the door would be opened and the bed tilted, so the guest would slide into a cauldron of boiling water. Many of these unfortunate guests still haunt the corridors today to warn current travellers.

Hotel Provincial, New Orleans, USA: The Provincial is haunted by a former soldier; the site was once a military hospital which burned down in 1874. Recordings made in the hotel revealed ghostly sounds, while one female guest said she was dragged from her bed kicking and screaming when she stayed there.

The Roosevelt Hotel, California, USA: If you like your ghosts high profile, there might not be a better choice than the Roosevelt, said to be haunted by the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift.

Purple Tips: cheap 2014 holidays you should book now

Well, there are certain pros in booking your holiday early and that’s for sure! First of all, you definitely get the lowest prices possible. Secondly, you can take advantage of a huge range of offers, meaning that you get the best choice, and of course secure your holiday for a deposit. Last but not least, you always have something to look forward to. So, sit back, relax and book cheap 2014 holidays now with Purple Travel.

Burj Al Arab

Image via @ Jaideep Khemani

Dubai

Grab a deal now for Dubai and get ready to soak up stunning weather, high tea in the Burj Khalifa and the jaw-dropping shopping. There are excellent cheap 2014 holidays to Dubai if you’re ready to splash your cash now.

Ibiza

Image via @ victoriapeckham

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Foodie Corner: What to eat in Corfu

corfu-fortress

Image via @Andrew Real

Not just a pretty face, the Greek Island of Corfu offers mouthwatering hotels Mediterranean cuisine, with a Venetian twist. After a long day soaking up the sunshine, what better way to spend an evening, than enjoying a home cooked meal of fresh fish, delicious vegetables and maybe a little tipple of local wine. Come find out more in our Corfu food guide.

pastitsada

Image via @ Lino Santagata

What to eat in Corfu

This is the most popular of local Corfu dishes. Made of shanks of veal stuffed with chopped garlic, parsley, salt and pepper, and is also seasoned with a spicy red sauce.

Purple Tip: The locals say that the sauce is successful only if it can stand on a man’s moustache.

sofrito

Image via @ Peter Streng

Sofrito

Thin slices of fried beef with a white sauce made of chopped garlic, parsley, white pepper, white wine, salt and vinegar. You can eat it either with rice and baked or mashed potatoes.

Purple Tip: Keep the necessary distances or you might knock someone over with garlic breath!

mpourdeto

Image via @ bit.ly/1aHFD1N

Bourdeto

This one goes to fish eaters. Cod fish is stewed with a red chilli sauce made of paprika and a whole red hot pepper, quenched with fresh lemon juice.

Purple Tip: Keep a glass of milk nearby to cool down a bit.

almonds

Image via @ Islaborg

Mandoles

And for those of you who have a sweet tooth….delicious roasted and caramelized almonds which you can find in every pastry shop around the island.

Purple Tip: Watch it with your teeth, because sometimes they are a bit too crunchy!

kumquat

Image via @ tiapicco

Kumquat liqueur

Kumquat is a citrus fruit which can be enjoyed in a variety of forms. The nicest and a Purple Travel team favourite, is as part of a mix of fine liqueur made with the fruit and peel of the kimquat.

Purple Tip: Have it as a digestif after a sumptuous meal or as a relaxing drink at your hotel’s terrace.

Book the best value cheap holidays in Corfu now with the Purple Travel expert team and save.

Book now – Half term holidays

Extend your summer or get in early for half term. The kids are back to school and a new (school) year is starting. Why not have something to look forward to, like an autumn tan, a spring in your step and a good injection of vitamin D in some of our favourite half term holiday picks. We take a look at where is hot during half term and what makes a great choice for children of all ages. If you fancy water slide parks, history lessons or just plain, old sandcastles and paddling in the sea, find out where to go with our best value destinations for half term holidays.

Half term holidays from Purple Travel

Where to spend your half term holidays

1. The Canaries – With an abundance of beaches, scuba diving, family bike rides and fantastic weather, cheap half term holidays in the Canaries are an obvious choice. Why not spend long, lazy days working on a winter tan on a black sandy beach in Tenerife, hike up the side of a volcano in Gran Canaria, or take a glass bottomed boat tour in Playa del Ingles? There is something to suit every type of family in the Canaries. Stay at Barcelo Lanzarote in Costa Teguise which offers adult and children’s swimming pools, playgrounds, kids club, giant monopoly and water slides as well as a spa for mum and dad.
2. Algarve – The Southern area of Portugal is still warm in October and there is plenty for children of all ages to keep busy with. Albufeira is a good family friendly hub, with plenty of child friendly restaurants, a sandy golden beach and nearby water parks. Stay at the Monica Isabel Beach Club in Albufeira, where you’ll find a great welcome, great rooms and great value.
3. Crete – The southern Aegean is ideal in October. Prices have dropped, but temperatures are still high and Crete is a perennial choice for family friendly holidays. Stay at the Knossos Beach Bungalows and Suites, right on a sandy beach, with lots of loungers, umbrellas and children’s activities available.
4. Marrakech – is an exciting, exotic holiday choice all year, but especially good around October. It’s still warm and at only three hours flying time, it’s not too far to get somewhere very exotic. Children and adults can enjoy hiking in the Atlas Mountains, visiting the colourful souks or exploring the Kasbahs. Stay at the Aqua Fun Club – All Inclusive. This 5* accommodation has extensive spa facilities as well as water slides, adult and children only pools, a rafting river and children’s aqua tower.
5. Rome – If you want to get some learning in during the half term break, why not choose a city break in Rome. The weather should still be ok, in the early 20s and you and your children can enjoy seeing the Colosseum and some gladiators up close, head for the Time Elevator Roma (a high tech history lesson made with some very special effects) spark imaginations at the Explora children’s museum and munch on pasta and pizza. Stay at the RSH Spanish Steps Apartments, centrally located near the Trevi Fountain and with plenty of space for all the family after long days exploring the city.
6. Florida – has over 1,000 miles of sandy beaches, is the home of theme parks and has some of the best shopping in the world. Then of course there is Disney World to think of. Meet Mickey Mouse, see the fireworks and parades and generally have the time of your life and a half term holiday you’ll never forget. Stay at the Disney Area Superior Homes for a home away from home experience in Orlando and all the amenities you want within easy reach of the World Disney World Resort.

Tell us your choices for the best half term holidays and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Kate Power is community manager for Purple Travel.

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