As most visitors will attest, Ibiza is the sunny clubbing capital of Europe. However as flocks of tourists swarm on the island during high season it isn’t exactly the cheapest place to be. The megaclubs and activities on offer are various and far beyond and you can blow remarkable budgets away without even noticing. That is if you don’t have a plan! How to have cheap holidays in Ibiza you say? The solutions are numerous and besides getting sponsored or robbing a bank, we give you the 5+1 top sun baked and proven ways to live the party your way without becoming totally broke!
Taking the kids to Disney? Make sure your trip-of-a-lifetime goes as smoothly as possible with our top best Disney tips for getting around with little ones in some of the best theme parks in the world.
- Don’t try to do everything: You want Disney to be the best experience for everyone and it won’t be if you’re suffering from exhaustion! Slow down and take in all the fun and don’t be afraid to head back to your hotel pool for a chill out.
- Age check: Be sure to check out the age and height requirements before you go, you don’t want to get someone all excited about a ride they won’t be able to get on.
- Fail to plan, plan to fail: Disney makes it easy to plan your trip, including a daily planner to guide you through the best selection of amusements and shows to suit you and your little ones.
- Go at the right time: Remember that the height of summer means crowds, heat, mosquitoes, maybe even different opening hours, so keep this in mind when you’re booking those tickets!
- Don’t forget your supplies: Some tasty snacks and especially a couple of bottles of water make those long queues a lot more bearable.
- Book in advance: There’s a tonne of great eating options and even a free advance reservation system. Use it! Just remember, this won’t actually mean they’ll hold your table, but you’ll be seated and ready to eat quickly.
- Label your child! This may sound a little strange, but it’s a big place and it’s easy for kids to wander off. If you’ve got a few running around, instead of growing an extra pair of eyes, using an ID bracelet with your name and contact details could save on nightmares.
- Whistle while you work: Our top tip is of course; to remember you are there for a good time, not a long time! So, go and enjoy yourself, make the most of a wonderful holiday experience.
Passports are tricky things, we can’t tell you the amount of stories we’ve heard from people who realize they’ve left theirs at home the day they were meant to travel, missing flights because they couldn’t find it, or realising it’s out of date the a week before you leave!!
Passport image via @ Nathan17
We don’t want your holiday to be ruined by something like that, so we wanted to answer some of your most asked passport questions in one handy place. First thing is, it is your responsibility to keep your passport safe and in good order.
It usually takes around three weeks to renew a passport and the price changes depending on how fast you request it. You need to bear this in mind when making a booking and ensure your passport will have arrived well before you leave.
If your passport is going to expire soon, you should think about applying for a new one early. Some countries require a minimum of two years validity on your passport from the date you arrive home.
Our rule guideline is that you have validity of at least six months left in your passport after your return date. If you have specific questions you should contact the consulate or embassy of the country you are travelling to. You can search here for UK guidelines on passport requirements by country.
It’s a good idea to leave copies of your passport, insurance details, ticket details and itinerary with friends and family at home too.
Lost: If you’ve lost your passport, or believe it has been stolen you’ll need to report it to the local police so you can get a copy of the report. You will need that to get replacement passport papers and for insurance reasons. Get in touch with the nearest British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate too.
If your passport is lost or stolen abroad, you will need to fill in an LS01 form (available from the local embassy/consulate.) The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will issue you with replacement documents to get back to the UK.
If you need to travel urgently, it is possible to get an emergency passport but you will need to show some document verifying your identity and a copy of a police report if it has been stolen. There is a fee involved in this too, so be prepared to pay the price. And not all countries accept an Emergency Travel Document (ETD.)
Similarly if you’ve reported your passport is missing to an embassy or consulate and you find it tucked away in a bag or under a pillow, you won’t be able to use it, as it will have been electronically cancelled. Be warned, if you try to use it, you may be stopped by the authorities.
In addition, whatever happens everything related to passports takes time, e.g. renewing or reporting it as lost, so your travel plans might be disrupted.
My passport says Miss, but I am a Mrs
As long as the gender on your booking corresponds to the gender on your passport, there should be no problem in being able to fly. Being labelled incorrectly as Ms/Mrs or Miss won’t change your booking. UK and most other passports do not actually state the title on travel documents. However, if this is not the case for you, please contact our team immediately by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
I got married and am in the process of changing my name
Your booking must be in the name that is on your passport. DirectGov has some sound advice. It says if you need to renew your passport it might be better to get one earlier in your maiden name and change it afterwards. Most travel companies won’t allow you on board if your name is different to your passport even if you have your marriage certificate with you.
We would urge anyone in any doubt about any aspect of their passport to contact the Foreign Office for up to date information.
This is a guest post by Debbie Hursey from Hypnotherapy-directory.org.uk.
Image via @ Vox Efx
Fear of Flying affects many people from all walks of life and it is estimated that between 20 – 40% of the population struggle to cope with the anxiety that flying causes.
I have suffered with ‘aerophobia’ since I was 7 years old and I will never forget my first flight, I had never experienced anything like it. As the plane took off, I held my head in my hands and sat in the ‘brace’ position for almost all of the journey in sheer terror.
As I got older, my fear intensified. As we approached the airport, I would get into my ‘zone’ of quietly preparing for the flight in which I was quite convinced that I would die. As the aircraft started to move, I became increasingly agitated, tossing my head backwards and forwards and started sweating profusely. I would notice any slight noise or movement, and if the lights flickered in the cabin it would send me into a quiet, internal, rising panic. I was often physically sick and when I got off the plane I was totally exhausted.
I didn’t want to stop travelling, so saw my doctor who prescribed Propranolol (beta blockers) tablets to slow my heart beat. They did take the edge off it slightly, but I hated taking them and felt out of control.
I decided to go online and do some research for an alternative to the prescribed drugs. There was a lot if information about Hypnotherapy and the benefits of how it can help. I read this page on Hypnotherapy Directory and contacted a qualified practitioner close to where I live. I had 4 sessions and was taught how to focus my mind on relaxing and staying calm.
On my first flight after the sessions, although I didn’t feel it had cured me, I was definitely much calmer and didn’t feel the need to take any tablets so felt much more in control; I could even eat a meal!
Last year my boyfriend and I went to South America. We spent 8 amazing weeks travelling around the continent, with a total of 17 flights, sometimes on some of the most dilapidated and ancient aircraft in operation! I am convinced that the hypnotherapy techniques that I learnt worked, and although I still can’t say that I enjoy flying, I can do it now without the fear and anxiety that I used to feel.
So… don’t let your fear hold you back, find a hypnotherpist in your area to help you and enjoy this beautiful world!
The home of vibrant markets, stunning scenery, spectacular sunsets and erm… cow beaches? Here’s our insider guide to Goa, the perfect winter sunshine holiday destination.
This is the Purple Travel cheat sheet for Goa, it’s right on the western edge of India and known under many guises, including ‘Pearl of the Orient’ and ‘Tourist Paradise’. A former Portuguese colony, it’s home to soaring temples, endless beaches and an eclectic mix of Indian and Portuguese traditions, architecture and food. As you can imagine, holidays in Goa are more than just about beaches and sunshine (although they are near perfect!) they are also about indulging in the unique history and rich culture of this beautiful part of India.
Once a hotspot for hippies in the 60s, Goa’s glorious beaches and wonderful atmosphere has seen it become a firm holiday favourite, with over 2.5 million people visiting every year. Towards the end of September, monsoon season finishes up, leaving lush greenery, around ten hours a day of warm sunshine with little humidity, temperatures averaging 27 degrees and endless sandy beaches to perfect your tan. This carries on through to early March, meaning it’s a great choice for Christmas or New Years too. Throw in great prices, you’ll get a decent dinner for two with some local wine for about a tenner, while there are more budget friendly hotels and apartments than you can shake a stick at. Trust us the ten hour flight from the UK will be worth it. Find out all about this amazing country in our Goa Destination guide.
Goa’s loosely separated into two parts: North and South. The general rule is that it’s a bit busier in the north, maybe because it’s where the capital Panaji is. Plus it was the first part to be developed, when hippies arrived in the early 70s. The Southern part of the country is known as a more relaxed, laidback holiday destination.
Anjuna with a weekly flea market, regular Saturday night bazaars and an alternative feel, Anjuna Beach has got plenty on offer. At sunset the beach is filled with entertainers from jugglers to fire-eaters, a great place to start your night out.
Candolim One of the quieter beaches in the Northern part of Goa, Candolim is not exactly empty, but tends to be on the quieter side. There are plenty of restaurants and bars nearby to keep your energy levels up for all the sunbathing.
Calangute is known as the queen of Goa’s beaches. It’s a really busy, bustling beach with lots of people. You’ll find plenty of children happily plotting sandcastles, while the surrounding bars and beach clubs mean it’s a great place to relax after a heavy night out.
Vagator The cliffside beach is split in two, between Big and Little Vagator Beaches and these are home to some of the best beach parties you’ll find in all of Goa, from trance to techno, hippies and backpackers, it’s a spot for all walks of life and certainly a place to make some new friends as you dance the night away.
Agonda Beach Regularly topping the best beach in Goa lists, Agonda is clean and out of the way. It’s beautiful and secluded so it’s ideal for couples looking for a quiet day relaxing on sand. There aren’t so many food options around, so a sunset picnic sounds like a gorgeous option to us.
Cansaulim offers a really relaxed atmosphere. It’s a quiet, clean stretch close to two airports, so it’s perfect if you want to escape to the sun last minute. The sleepy villages nearby combined with the hotels and resorts mean you’ll never be short of options.
Betalbatim Great value on the shacks that edge the beach, while the peace and quiet is only interrupted by the odd bird or dolphin. Betalbatim has a friendly atmosphere that gets people returning year after year.
Colva A perfect mix of sun, sea and sand, Colva is known for its natural beauty. The 20-odd mile stretch of white sand and sparkling ocean leaves plenty of room to grab a lounger, a good book and take advantage of the sunshine.
Cow beach well, we couldn’t talk about Goa with talking about Cow beach. Bikini clad tourist happily mingle with bulls and heifers. As you do.
Things to do
Family break Many of the hotels dotted along the coast of the Arabian Sea are fully kitted out to make sure you and your little ones get the most out of it. Every conceivable activity is on offer, from Kid’s Clubs, crocodile watching, waterslides, swimming pools, beaches, GoKarting, or cruises. Sounds like a handful for your little handful.
Grownups getaway If you’re after a more grownup approach to your holiday, then a spa break is a pretty decadent way of doing it. Ayurvedic therapies will reunite your mind and body harmony. Failing that, you’ll at least find yourself feeling more relaxed than when you arrived.
Silent discosThe Silent Noise headphone parties in the south of Goa, see clubbers dance the night away – without disturbing any of the neighbours. It’s also some of the best fun you’ll ever have. Two or three DJs play the night away and each clubber has their own headphones so you can tune to whichever song suits your mood. It might sound weird, but when you make eye contact with someone dancing to your song, you’ll know you’re in the right place.
Goan Carnival A yearly procession of colours and costumes, the Goan Carnival lasts for three or four days every year and we’re talking night and day. The legendary King Momo comes to life and takes over to create a riot of music and dance. It’s perfect timing if you’re planning ahead, the 2013 carnival kicks off on February 9th.
Dudhsagar Falls a tiered waterfall just a couple of miles from the capital Panaji, it’s known as one of the most beautiful in India. Surrounded by legend, the story goes that a beautiful princess used to live nearby and enjoyed bathing in her birthday suit, drinking ‘sweetened milk’ from a ‘golden jug,’ honestly, this is how it goes. One day she found herself being watched by a prince. To cover her modesty, threw herself under the jug of milk. It’s said it is that sweetened milk that pours down the mountain today.
Eat in Goa Goa is, naturally enough famous for its seafood. Fish based curries and rice are the staples. Add a dash of coconut and some local spices and you’ll find the intense flavours and delicious aromatic dishes Goa prides itself on.
Find the best cheap flights, hotels and package holidays to Goa from Purple Travel
Or how to avoid embarrassment when naked in a foreign country…
This week we’ve discovered the multiple souks, the ancient ruins and even the camel-wrestling tournaments that Turkey has built its reputation upon (please see Purple Hearts… Bodrum for more on that). However, any mention of Turkey would be incomplete without some acknowledgment that it is also the European capital of overly-aggressive exfoliation. You cannot visit Turkey without adding a Hammam to your itinerary. And by that I mean a Turkish bath, not a theatrical Irish mother. In fact, you may say that life itself is never truly fulfilled until you’ve had a good ol’ scrub-down from a hairy, half-naked Turk!
The problem then lies in knowing what exactly to expect. A quick Google search churns up dozens of stories of awkward moments, frightened old ladies and slapped cheeks (n.b. the Turks’, not the customers’). Take this American woman in a bath in Istanbul, for example: “Of all the women in the room — at least 40 — I was the sole person wearing a bra. I originally thought keeping on my bra would help me blend in and be more comfortable, but it was immediately apparent that it did nothing but make me awkwardly stand out. I shamefully slithered back to the locker room and succumbed to Turkish tradition as I shed my black brassiere and my modesty, and I reentered the room full of bare breasts.”Another women’s account from a PR review followed suit: “With three of us to be scrubbed down and only one lady to wash us, everything had to be done in turn. This meant the other two women either played a limited game of ‘I spy’ with the tiled interior of the Hammam or watched the third member of our group being covered in black soap, washed down and then scrubbed vigorously with an abrasive pad while lying down completely naked on the floor.”
Forget Hammer Horror – this is Hammam Horror. The tales of embarrassment are vast and often off-putting and its common to leave feeling like a castrated house pet. However with this Purple Travel guide to Hammam, you’ll know what to expect and can avoid all those red-faced moments:
1) Yo mamma’s so old, when she was young, the Dead Sea was only sick.
First of all; knowing which Hammam to go to is half the battle. In Turkish, cockroach literally translates to ‘hamam insect’, so you’ll want to avoid the grimy ones. The most famous is Çemberlitaş Hamamı in Istanbul, built in 1584, but as one of the older establishments, it’s relatively pricey. We recommend Mihrimah Bath in Edirnekapi, Oruculer bath next to the grand bazaar or Kadirga bath, not far from the little Hagia Sophia.
2) Yo Hammam’s so stupid, she cooked her own complimentary breakfast.
Knowing some Hammam etiquette is vital – take swimwear with you to be prepared. More often than not, the bath will state a ‘dress code’, but it’s best to stand on the side of caution. And although most people do go naked, uncrossing your legs like Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct is not advised. On the contrary, avoid lap-eye contact with the other bathers.
3) Yo Hammam’s so hairy, Bigfoot is taking her picture.
Before you go, make sure you’ve had a pre-preen. And by this I mean a ‘tidy-up’, unless you’re sure you won’t be offended when you are stared at and offered a wax. Men may not mind this, but women – the Turks are not afraid to tell you if you’re a little unkempt, so wack out the Veet or things may get a little awkward.
4) Yo Hammam’s so greasy she used bacon as a band-aid.
Swallow your pride, it’s time for the massage. Ladies – don’t go in there expecting some sort of relaxing spa treatment with twinkling candles and white-coated beauty technicians; the Turks will kick your ass. And guys – if this whole endeavor seems homoerotic, think happy thoughts; it is as masculine and normal as a post P.E. communal shower.
5) Yo Hammam’s so dirty she has to creep up on bathwater.
After the fifteen minute massage, let the cleaning commence. Most of this part will be later blanked out and stored in that part of your subconscious that’s usually reserved for gynecology visits and waiting to pay in Ann Summers. You’ll be maneuvered this way and that, spun around until you can’t stand straight, soaped up like the dirty cocker spaniel and then rinsed down with bowls of hot water. When you come back around, it’s off to the shampoo station for a final, neck-cracking rinse. It’s at this point that you may be solicited for a tip, but this is not necessary and if it comes down to it, just shrug your shoulders and pat your pocket-free hips with a look that says ‘sorry, I would, but I had nowhere to put my change.’
To wrap things up, let’s be blunt about it. It’s clear that youwon’t feel like an adult here, and you definitely won’t feel a man. In fact, it’s difficult to even feel like a human being after being stripped, emasculated and cleaned down like a wet dog. However, no two experiences are alike, and women will be pleased to find that the female bath attendants are far more chivalrous than the men. And all things considered, this is just one of those things you have to do if on holiday in Turkey. You don’t want to return home and tell all your family and friends of how you chickened out on the most defining facet of traditional Turkish culture. So suck it up and get soapy with the best of them.
You’ve finally bit the bullet and invested in an iPhone (possibly even your second or third) – so what next? So many things you can do with it, where do you even start? Well, if you’re going on holiday in the near future – then you’ve just officially made yourself a valuable travel companion! To get through all the noise, here are the top travel apps for iPhone you need to get before you leave on holiday.
1. Photo Editing & Sharing
Your iPhone has an incredible capability to take photos. Whenever on holiday, taking photos of your experiences is as essential as packing (if not more so)! Aside from the built-in features, investing in some extra apps to help you edit and share your photos will ensure they end up perfect. For editing try CameraBag to brighten, sharpen, crop, and add filters to your photos almost instantly. Use Pano to capture those incredible views in Panoramic images. PixelPipe is an amazing app for sharing your photos with your friends – it is linked to over 50 supported sites (including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and WordPress) and even lets you add geotags to your photos so you can keep track of exactly where each photo was taken.
2. Language Translation
Jibbigo is an application that promises to take all the hand-gestures and guesswork out of trying to communicate in another language. All you do is say what you want to say and it says is back to you in the language of your choice! No typing required. Right now it’s available for English to Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, and Arabic… hopefully with many more on the way. If you are looking for a greater set of language translation options, try iSpeak. Although you need to type what you want to say, an audio playback feature will help you get the words just right and is available in most European languages with more to come.
3. Restaurant Locations & Reviews
The next time you’re drifting about a busy resort wondering what “looks like” a good place to eat, all you need to do is pick up your phone. Zagat to Go gives you access to thousands of restaurant ratings and reviews, including descriptions and price guides. Chances are you’ll only be in the area for a week or two at the most, so it’s best to get it right as soon as possible and save your taste buds – and your wallet.
4. Trip Planning
From airport departure times and delays, estimated landing times and alternate flights, to parking availability, baggage claims, airline contacts and weather – TripCase has your entire travel itinerary needs in one neat little package. To sort out all the fun things you want to do while on holiday (alphabetically, by importance, cost, location & more) and store contact numbers and locations with ease, try GlobeTrot on for size.
It goes without saying that there are so many options out there that it may be possible we missed a couple travel apps worth sharing. If you have any suggestions, we would definitely like to know!
There are so many holiday companies nowadays doing so many different things that getting through all the names and their roles in your holiday booking can be extremely gruesome. This is especially true when you have a complaint to make about your hotel or you’re looking for compensation of some sort. This article intends to help you get through all the jargon and show you how it works. We’ll start from the beginning.
Travel Comparison Websites
If you’re doing an initial holiday search, chances are you’re using one of the many travel comparison website available online. These are websites like Teletext Holidays, Icelolly, Travelzoo, Travel supermarket, Kelkoo, Lastminute.com and many more. When you search these websites, the offers advertised are actually those of other companies and are not provided, organized or booked directly through the travel comparison website. All the offers you see are only advertisements for other travel agents or tour operators. When you call the number on the ads or click on a link, you are directed to the travel agency or tour operator who will give you the details and book the holiday for you.
Travel agents come in many shapes and sizes. From your local independent travel shops around the corner, to your large travel agents like Hays Travel (Hays Travel is also our “parent” company – we work with them and other independent agents to get the best discounts and pass them on to you).
Travel Agents work like brokers, with access to all kinds of flights, hotels, tours, and tour operator packaged holidays. We work with commissions and discounts from these tour operators and various other suppliers that we can pass to the customer, meaning you get better prices than going straight to the source. Travel Agents are also helpful because they can provide you with a wide range of product availability and are not limited to booking with just one company.
Tour Operators come in many shapes and sizes as well. The big ones are Thomas Cook, Thomson, and Cosmos. There are, however, other tour operators that provide great deals on specialty holidays. Tour Operators sell their holidays to Travel Agents with a discount and can also sell their holidays directly to you, the customer. If you go directly to Thomas Cook, for example, you will only be able to get the flights and hotels available through Thomas Cook and no one else. If you book a Thomas Cook holiday through a Travel Agent, chances are you’ve paid less for it and gone through all the different holiday options before settling on a Thomas Cook package.
Tour Operators like Thomas Cook offer flight-only and accommodation-only bookings as well, so it is very possible when you book through a Travel Agent, that you can be flying with Thomson because the flights are cheaper or more convenient and still stay in your preferred Thomas Cook hotel. The main difference between a Tour Operator and a Travel Agent is that Tour Operators often have their own flights and hotel contracts that have been paid in advance and are theirs, while Travel Agents purchase the available spaces one at a time and at the same time you book your holiday.
Bed Banks & Transfer Suppliers
Beds Banks & Transfer Suppliers are companies that provide only accommodation and/or transfers and nothing else. Some examples include Low Cost Beds, Alpha Rooms, You Travel, A2B Transfers and many, MANY more. These companies work in a few different ways. Mainly, they contract hotels and transfers either from a local (i.e. on location) broker or directly with the various hotels they provide. Because they contract large amounts of rooms, they often achieve great prices for accommodation and pass them on to you or to a Travel Agent with commission (even bigger savings for you).
Low Cost Airlines
Low Cost Airlines are just that, low cost. They don’t get any lower in cost and do not offer commissions for travel agents with discounts on flights or extras. Travel Agents can include a low cost airline in your holiday booking and still have your holiday financially protected. This is especially important if you are considering booking each holiday element separately and on your own. Booking each element on your own (not through a Travel Agent) affords you the least financial protection on your purchase and could potentially end up costing you hundreds or thousands of pounds.
Local Handling Agents
These are the agents who will be there, on location, while you are on holiday. They offer the hotel or transfer contracts to your tour operators, bed banks, and transfer suppliers. If you have a transfer booked through A2B Transfers, for example, you need to look for the local handling agent’s name (written on the voucher) when you get to your destination airport.
How This Affects You
Let us say that you’ve booked your holiday with us (a Travel Agent) and the food and service at the hotel is just unbearable. (By the way, we try not to sell these kinds of properties and we do this by asking our customers for their feedback – which is always appreciated). You complain to the hotel reception and they tell you to phone us. Once you call us, we need to send your complaint to the Bed Bank or Tour Operator who we booked your hotel with (since you are our customers, and we are their customers, you usually cannot contact the supplier directly). That Bed Bank or Tour Operator, depending on how they’ve contracted the specific hotel, will contact the local handling agent to pass along your complaint and come up with a solution and a response.
Although this process is time-consuming, we always work with our suppliers to develop better and faster ways of resolving problems. For emergencies, the number of the local handling agent is always on your vouchers. This is the same for any component of your holiday, whether it is booked as a package from one Tour Operator or as a “Dynamic Package” through many suppliers.