7 ways to help travellers save on the cost of their holiday

We are all aware that a holiday abroad can be an excellent way to enjoy a bit of rest and relaxation while spending some quality time with friends and family. However, money is always a very real concern. Many travellers vastly exceed their initial budgets and as a result, a holiday can quickly evolve into a financial nightmare. Let’s take a look at the top seven ways to protect your valuable funds. After all, a bit of planning can go a long way.

  1. Voucher Codes

Online voucher codes are some of the best ways to save a substantial amount of money on airfare, accommodations and visitor attractions. Many of these virtual coupons are absolutely free and they can be easily found by visiting major suppliers. The top three in the industry are:

These massive e-commerce sites are quite easy to navigate and travellers can normally find the most relevant voucher codes for their needs in a matter of seconds. As many codes will expire on a regular basis, it is a good idea to check back regularly in order to make sure that all deals are up to date.


  1. Timing

While this is an obvious concern, many of those contemplating a holiday will nonetheless put off their plans until the last minute. We always need to keep in mind that the costs associated with travel arrangements and accommodations will increase as the intended departure date draws near. It is therefore wise to book any reservations at least eight weeks ahead of the selected date.

It is also important to address the best times of the year to travel in relation to timing. Dates revolving around Christmas and New Year’s tend to be the most expensive and it can be difficult to encounter the most amenable hotel rates. Those who are looking to save money could instead plan their holiday during times of the year when less travellers are abroad. The early spring and the early autumn are two common alternatives in this case.


  1. Take Your Own Child Seats

It is very common to require a car hire service when taking a holiday abroad. Whether exploring the Pyrenees or cruising along the southern cost of Spain, cars can be an extremely convenient alternative to mass transit. However, those travelling with children could run into a significant problem. Child seats are known to be notoriously expensive; sometimes rivalling the price of the vehicle in question. This is particularly the case when there are two or more infants present. It is much better to bring an existing car seat along. Still, be sure to take into account any shipping or checked baggage charges that may apply during a flight.


  1. Pre-booking and Airport Parking

Logistics will play a role in any holiday and the ability to encounter agreeably priced airport parking is a perfect example. We once again need to mention the importance of booking a parking reservation well in advance. Additionally, be sure to check for any voucher or discount codes that may be offered. These actions will result in two benefits. First, it is likely that you will be able to save a substantial amount of money in terms of daily fees and medium-term rentals. Secondly, booking in advance will enable you to encounter a wider variety of locations; ideal if you are unfamiliar with a specific destination.


  1. Appreciating Currency Exchange Rates

Many travellers fail to take into account the importance of exchange rates until they arrive at their destination. High commissions and exorbitant processing fees will often eat into any amenable rates that could have otherwise been enjoyed. Additionally, many airport exchange centres do not offer the most current rates. It is much better to exchange cash at a local bank before you leave the country. It is highly unlikely that your financial institution will charge any type of fee during the process. This can equate to a truly massive difference when changing a few thousand pounds into another currency such as the dollar or the euro.


  1. The Importance of Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is arguably the most overlooked area when planning a holiday. Let us never forget that a normal domestic insurance policy might not include any additional coverage while abroad. Some examples of when visitors are forced to pay massive fees include:

  • Purchasing medication.
  • A car accident.
  • Treating an ongoing medical condition.
  • A sudden emergency such as falling on a ski slope.


Other situations include the theft of a passport or a wallet; both instances which can cause a great deal of consternation. Without travel insurance, the financial losses could be substantial and there have even been times when a holiday has been cut short due to a lack of insurance altogether. Thankfully, sites such as Travel Voucher Codes are able to provide flexible and personalised packages. Some of these will cost as little as £1 pound per day! Policies can be customised around your discrete needs and there are also options for those who plan on taking regular holidays throughout the year.


  1. Mobile Phone Concerns

A locked phone is a sure-fire way to accrue massive roaming charges within a short period of time. Some have even amassed bills well into the thousands of pounds on a two-week holiday alone! The major advantage of an unlocked phone (also known as a pay-as-you-go phone) is that a SIM card can be purchased once you arrive at your destination. It is possible to select different data plans based off of how often you intend to make calls or access the Internet. A final benefit here is that you will no longer have to worry about losing your expensive smartphone while out and about.


Another option is to reroute your phone calls to an existing Skype plan. Your Skype account can likewise be redirected to your phone. While you will still be charged a certain amount per minute, these fees are substantially reduced when compared to common roaming charges.


Putting it All Together

So, we can clearly see that there are a number of useful methods to save money while enjoying a holiday away from home. The key takeaway point is to plan ahead and to take advantage of online resources such as voucher codes. Please feel free to utilise this article as a checklist when arranging your journey. A bit of foresight can go a long way towards ensuring a satisfying and economical holiday.

Posted in A1 News, Travel Tips

Why Benidorm is Perfect For All the Family

Benidorm really is the ideal destination for a family holiday. The days of uncouth youths misbehaving on rowdy, hot nights out are long past, and today this unique resort town on the Costa Blanca is the sort of place that people of all ages can enjoy, without having to spend an arm and a leg.

Beach Life

The beautiful sweep of five kilometres of white sandy beaches was the cause for Benidorm’s original popularity. You can bask under the hot sun with an average temperature in July of 26°C and 13 hours of sunlight. When it gets too hot, slip into the cool blue sea – the average summer temperature in the water is 24ºC – certainly more than pleasant enough.

If you like busy beaches, then you will love Playa de Poniente Beach. For quieter days, try the beaches at Levante or Malpas. Whichever beach you visit, you will be spoilt for choice as to places to eat, whether you enjoy the local tapas and seafood, or prefer more British tastes. There are plenty of water sports available for the more adventurous, or you can easily take a boat excursion out to the Isla de Benidorm.

Family Friendly

The Aqualandia water park is a great day out for everyone with its rides, chutes and rapids. The kids will be equally enthralled if you take them on day trip to Alicante to see Santa Barbara Castle, with its moats, canons and dungeons. Children of all ages will also enjoy the Benidorm Aquarium. Parents will be happy to hear that many hotels have kids’ clubs, affording Mum and Dad some much-needed time off!

Shopping in Benidorm

Take a trip down to the cobbled streets of the magnificent old town and explore the many shops and boutiques while admiring the sun-bleached, whitewashed splendour of the architecture. Alicante does not disappoint on the shop front either, if you are looking for designer labels or local arts and crafts.

Food and Nightlife

There is nothing quite so Spanish as tapas and you will find plenty on offer in Benidorm, especially in the Old Town. A plate of these little delicacies with a glass of Rioja is a true Spanish delight for Mum, Dad and the kids (perhaps without the Rioja!). There are plenty of other local delicacies on offer too. If you hanker for a taste of the old country, or if the kids are demanding pizza or fish and chips, don’t worry, because there are plenty of English and continental restaurants close by, like the famous King’s Arms and the Pig and Whistle. When the kids are safely tucked up in bed with the hotel nanny on hand to make sure they stay safe, parents can enjoy a taste of Benidorm’s nightlife, perhaps in the famous Levante beach bars.

It is clear that Benidorm really does make the ideal destination for the family holiday this year. We have all seen and enjoyed the sitcom named after this sunny Spanish town, but remember that it is just that: a comedy. The reality is just as much fun, but in an altogether classier way.

Posted in Benidorm, Destinations

A Guide to the Top Nightlife & Events in 2017 – Magaluf and Palma Nova

Last year the island of Majorca attracted more than 2 million visitors from the United Kingdom, the highest number seen since the statistics began to be published in 2010. There are sure to be a number of contributing factors, but it is likely due to the current economic climate, the availability of holidays to Majorca, the pleasant temperatures, and the selection of activities and amenities that are present in the island resorts.


This last point is certainly one to note, and will be something that you will want to look into if you are due to visit in the island in the coming months. A lot of holidaymakers pick resorts based on what is on offer – after all, it can be a lot of fun when there are events and activities available around the clock. For this reason, Magaluf and Palma Nova are the hotspots for many UK travellers, and it isn’t hard to see why.


If you are visiting either of these neighbouring resorts this year, check out what’s on in terms of nightlife and events – you’ll find it hard to be disappointed…


Palma Nova

Foodies will be spoiled in the resort of Palma Nova as there are so many restaurants to choose from. New establishments pop up each year, meaning nearly every cuisine is on offer – whether you are travelling as a couple or a group, there is definitely something for everyone. Mealtimes are to be enjoyed late into the evening in Majorca, and they don’t end with the last bite of food. It is customary to sit and watch the world go by with a couple of after-dinner drinks, such as the local sangria.


There is plenty of night-time entertainment to be found too, ranging from the karaoke tribute acts to the spectacular adventure golf course. The evening is a popular time to take on the Golf Fantasia challenge as it can be tiring work in the midday sunshine. There are three 18 hole courses to take on so leave yourself enough time to do them, or do one course each night.



Just down the road is the resort of Magaluf where the bright lights announce that it is playtime for the 18-30 crowd. Those looking for a memorable evening should head to Pirates Adventure, a brilliant dinner show incorporating acrobatics, gymnastics and dancing. Of course, you can also opt to attend the 18+ Pirates Reloaded which has an “adult twist”. Linford Christie described Pirates Adventure as a “show that shouldn’t be missed”. It also has a certificate of excellence based on hundreds of positive reviews.


Perhaps the main draw of Magaluf for many people are the bars and clubs. These are the places that are known for world class DJs and legendary nights; some people are unable to draw themselves away from the festivities and only head to bed when the sun starts creeping back into the sky. Superclub BCM has its reopening party towards the end of April, and will update their event calendar closer to the lively summer months. Magaluf venue Mallorca Rocks has already announced that big acts like Tinie Tempah (1 July) and Bastille (5 August) will be playing, so don’t forget to buy your tickets ahead of time.

Posted in Destinations, Palma Nova, Spain

Five Ideas for an Easter Family Holiday


With the year seemingly speeding by, many families are starting to plan their Easter getaway in the upcoming weeks. Despite it turning to spring it can still be quite chilly and damp in the UK at this time of year, so jetting off to the Mediterranean where weather is more reliably sunny makes it a popular destination. Flowers are blooming and you might even catch a bit of a tan!

Here are five ideas for your Easter holiday getaway this year.

Greece is big on Easter – really big! In fact Easter is one of the country’s biggest festivals. This usually means that most family attractions are closed from Good Friday until the following Tuesday, but if you opt to stay in one of the larger towns or cities, like Athens, you should be able to find things to do to keep you and the children occupied over the long weekend. There’s a hot-air balloon festival in Leonidio on Easter Saturday, or a pot-throwing festival in Corfu. Many of the beaches on the islands are warm but not overcrowded at this time of year, so it can be ideal for the whole family.

View of Corfu castle. Courtesy of Flickr

View of Corfu castle. Courtesy of Flickr


Turkey is also a great destination for families at this time of year. You can hire a luxurious villa and chill by its pool, or try a gulet cruise. A gulet is a traditional, two-mast wooden boat and there are several companies that offer family-friendly day trips around the coast. There’s also the option of heading to the lesser-known but stunning region of Cappadoccia for an astronomy tour among the area’s fairytale mountains.

Image courtesy of Flickr

Image courtesy of Flickr

Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and during Easter it shouldn’t be too crowded. Your best bet is to head towards the southern coast of the island to dip your toes in the Libyan Sea, as it’s warmer than the other areas at this time of year. The beaches can be quite rocky there, but they offer great diving and snorkelling opportunities. For lazing around with the kids, try the beaches at Amoudara and Analipsis. You can also go for day trips on ferries to the smaller islands around Crete, like Chrysi Island.

Beach in Crete

Beach in Crete

Benidorm sometimes gets a bad rap, with tales of debauched hen and stag nights, but the reality is very different and it’s actually very family-friendly. There are plenty of water parks like Aqualandia and Terra Mitica, or you could visit the underground caverns at Canelobre. There are jeep safaris and boat rides a-go-go. If that all sounds like hard work you’ll find Benidorm has lovely clean beaches, including Poniente, Pal Mas and Levante. There’s a short boat-ride from Pal Mas to the Peacock Island nature reserve if you do fancy a more active day out.

Benidorm Beach

Benidorm Beach

Portugal is also very fond of Easter, and the Algarve is home to lots of Easter festivals, fairs and processions if that’s your sort of thing. Head to Tavira on Palm Sunday to see a colourful Carmelite procession wind through the streets, or try out a “Folar Fair” in any of the area’s towns and villages. Folar cakes are moist cakes topped with – of all things – a boiled egg! Alternatively, choose any of the Algarve’s many beaches, like Praia de Rocha in Portimao, or Meia Prais in Lagos. If you like miniature railways, there’s a ride between Pedras del Rei to Praia da Ilha de Tavira in the Eastern Algarve. The choice is yours!


The Algarve

The Algarve

Posted in Easter Holidays, Holiday Types

Top Reasons to Visit Rhodes: Greece’s Entertainment Island


If you still haven’t booked your summer holiday for 2014, you might want to turn your attention to our cheap deals to Rhodes – it could be your perfect opportunity to discover a popular destination that has a lot going for it.


Rhodes is one of the Greek islands located in the eastern Aegean Sea. It’s a brilliant destination for a summer holiday for a number of reasons, including the climate, culture and location – the flight time to the island is less than four hours from the United Kingdom, which is much quicker than jetting off to the Caribbean. Rhodes is also known as the ‘entertainment island’, meaning you wouldn’t be short of things to do on your travels.


So whether you are looking for a trip for you and a few mates, your family, or an escape for you and your partner, find out what you could get up to on your visit this summer….


Party all night in Faliraki

If you fall into the group of ‘18-30 singles’, you might want to make your way to Faliraki for a couple of weeks of hedonistic excitement. This is because Faliraki is home to two strips full of bars and clubs for your enjoyment. You will find foam parties, boat parties and many other ways to let off steam; at the end of your stay you will be gutted to leave behind the daily routine of heading to bed at sunrise…


Make a splash in Rhodes

Close to Faliraki is one of the largest water parks in Europe, so this could be the perfect place for you to visit if you have kids with you. This year the Faliraki Water Park opens on the 5th May, meaning it is even accessible to those who prefer to take their holidays slightly earlier. There are rides for all ages as well as a wave pool, so it really is possible to keep everyone entertained – just remember the suntan lotion!


Sunbathe in Kiotari

Speaking of which, you will need this if you visit the resort of Kiotari – a relatively new addition to the holiday scene. It is worth getting to know though as there is a four kilometre Blue Flag beach to make the most of. Couples and families can claim an area of sand for themselves, whilst younger thrillseekers can get their adrenaline pumping with a spot of parasailing over the bay.


Try something new in Ialyssos

There is also something of a sporty vibe to be found in the resort of Ialyssos should you wish to explore it further. Mountain biking and horse riding are some of the most popular activities to enjoy here, so it could be the ideal time for you to try something new. Of course, you can still use the sea to cool down though, with scuba diving and snorkelling also on offer in this resort. Those looking to stay in shape in between all of the holiday extravagance will appreciate the fitness club which offers aerobics classes and other facilities.

Posted in Destinations, Rhodes

2017’s Most Expensive Cities to Live

Special thanks to Hansen & Company for this infographic

Posted in A1 News, Destinations

Reasons to Enjoy Tenerife in the Spring

If you are looking for some spring sunshine Tenerife is a great option, here’s why.

The weather

The island of Tenerife benefits from being a few degrees further south than mainland Spain. Most of the year the temperatures on Tenerife are warmer than the rest of Spain. In the spring, it is 3 or 4 degrees warmer than the Spanish Costas, so the weather is usually good on Tenerife during the spring months.

It is not quite warm enough to go swimming until May when water temperatures reach 20c although some hardy souls do dip their toes in the water. If you like swimming enough, and want to brave the water, you can especially if you own or rent a wet suit. You just need to be careful to check that the conditions are safe for swimming that day. During the early part of the spring, the water can be rough at times. However, that is good for surfers who enjoy the higher swell.

No crowds

Tenerife in March is quiet but most of the tourist attractions are open. This means that you can enjoy them without the crowds or sitting in traffic. Some attractions are not open as late as they are in the summer because it gets dark earlier.

The ambience of the island is defiantly different in the spring. Somehow, it feels more Spanish. The ratio of locals to tourists is higher, so if you want to experience some Spanish culture and see Tenerife in its natural light the spring is a good time to go there.

Great fiestas

Santa Cruz en Carnaval

Many of Tenerife’s best fiestas take place in the spring. Two good examples are the Romania de San Marcos and Fiestas de la Cruz, which are both big religious fiestas.

If you like traditional fiestas booking during Easter week is a great idea. Naturally, because of the school holidays, the island is busier, but if you are on the island during Easter, you can experience Semana Santa. There is a whole week of religious processions mixed up with carnival, fireworks and other spectaculars. It really is an experience not to be missed.

Throughout the spring, there are many other smaller fiestas to enjoy too. Two popular non-religious fiestas that take place in the spring are the Carnival in Los Gigantes and the Carnival in Los Cristianos (Arona). These themed events are always popular, lively and great fun.


Churros de Pescado, Tenerife

On Tenerife, food is important year round, but in the spring, you will get to try more local specialities because the first crops are being harvested. The carnivals and fiestas mean that there are plenty of tapas routes to enjoy. A tapas route allows you to travel around local bars and restaurants enjoying a drink and a tapas at a reduced price in each one. It is a great way to experience food that is more Spanish. Many restaurants also offer special dishes during carnivals or fiestas in particular over the Semana Santa period.

Tenerife is great at any time of the year, but spring is definitely a lovely time of the year to visit the island. You get the chance to enjoy the beautiful beaches, top class hotels and fantastic food at a slower pace, which ensure that you arrive home relaxed and with good memories. Best of all, while your neighbours teeth are chattering you will be bathed in sunshine.


Posted in Destinations, Tenerife

Four reasons why December is best time to book next year’s holiday

Should you book in advance or hold your breath for a last minute deal? This is the question that goes through everyone’s mind almost as soon as your most recent holiday is over. One way of dealing with post-holiday blues is to start planning the next one, but financially, is this the right move? We’re here to tell you why booking your 2017 holiday right now is the best decision you can make, especially for your wallet. If you need convincing, then check out just four reasons why you should click “book now”.


  1. You can get huge discounts

During the winter months, when people are pre-occupied with trying to budget for Christmas, holiday companies and travel agents will hold sales, and take huge discounts off both full holiday rates and deposits. They want to entice people into booking now rather than later, to avoid disappointment, but it’s you who will reap the rewards. While everyone else is struggling to pay for their holiday in six to eight months’ time, you can rest safe in the knowledge that yours is booked and paid for, and for a much better price.


  1. Get the best rooms available

As a way of cheering themselves up during the post-Christmas blues, most people will book their flights and accommodation for their next holiday in January and February. By beating them to the ‘January rush’, you’ll make sure you get the best rooms. These are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis, so if you have your eye on a particularly lavish 5-star hotel, and you’d like one of their newly refurbished rooms, a request made now is far more likely to be accepted.


  1. Flight prices are much cheaper 

Another reason why booking now is such a good strategy is that you’ll save a huge amount of money on flights. If you miss out on one hotel, then there will usually be more than one in the area, but what about that flight that will get you to Majorca just in time for your best friend’s wedding? When it comes to timings, the most popular and convenient times, such as midday, sell the fastest, and so a premium will often be put on the last few seats on a flight. Right now, demand is low, so you’ll be able to get the same seats for far less money.


  1. If it’s popular with you, it’s popular with everyone

Whether it’s a new and exciting destination you’ve always wanted to go to, or a family holiday classic that you have to visit every year, the most popular destinations and hotels always get booked up in record time. How terrible would it be to try to book your favourite apartment, only to discover that the complex is already full to the brim? If you want to avoid disappointment, then look at booking 2017 holidays to places like the Greek Islands, Croatia, Spain and Portugal, as soon as possible.


Have you already booked your holiday for next year? Let us know why in the comments section below.

Posted in Travel Tips

Heading to Malta this winter? Here are the top four things to do

Malta is a real melting-pot of culture; vibrant, exciting and packed with ancient temples and relics that any budding historian would love to visit. It’s no surprise that thousands of people flock here each year in search of some winter sun in their famous Blue Lagoon. If you’re thinking along the same lines, but you’re not sure where to go first, then read on to find out some of the top things to do in Malta over the festive period.


  1. Go sightseeing and temple exploring

You’ll receive many seasons greetings by the local people of Malta, who love to celebrate this holiday with many traditions similar to our own. A walk around your local town will be a sight to see in itself, as most squares are decked out in elaborate Christmas light displays, with intricately designed nativity scenes on every corner. Of course, you’ll still be able to visit the year-round attractions, such as the awe-inspiring ancient temples and palaces that you’ll find around Valetta, or perhaps take a stroll through history at the National Museum of Archaeology.


  1. Experience a Maltese Christmas and New Year

Aside from the usual festive decorations, there are many events you can go to at this time of year. If you want to immerse yourself in their culture, there’s no better way to do it than by joining the congregation at St. John’s Cathedral in Valletta. Every year they hold a candle-lit carol singing event and service, celebrating the deep religious beliefs that many people of Malta cherish at Christmas time. If you’re staying over New Year then you’ll be in for a treat, as Malta’s capital always hosts a free public celebration with live performances from singers, bands, entertainers and much more.


  1. Take part in the Feast of Immaculate Conception

There are few feasts and festivals that attract as much attention as the Feast of Immaculate Conception, which is celebrated every year on December 8th amongst Catholic nations. This is a tribute to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and has huge significance for the people of Malta. The main celebrations take place in the town of Cospicua, and there are processions through the streets, street music, and of course, dozens of sumptuous dishes of traditional Maltese food for you to sample.


  1. Indulge in foreign culture

If you’d like to stray away from the brightness of the Christmas displays, then you’ll be pleased to know that there is always a medieval town waiting for you to discover it, or baroque church just around the corner. After you’ve finished carolling, you can head for the Museum of Fine Arts, located in an 18th century palace in the heart of Valetta. Or, if you’d prefer something more modern, there’s a private gallery hosting an exhibition on ‘Fusion’ that’s only here until 22nd December.


Where are you staying on your holiday to Malta? We’d love to know what you have planned so please leave us a comment.

Posted in malta

Top four destinations for your Christmas getaway

As the cold, dark nights begin to set in, every city centre is crammed with people all trying to bag a bargain, and the familiar din of festive songs fills the air of every building you enter. So, why not take yourself away, spend some quality time with your family and relax in the warmer climates of exotic places? If you’re in need of a few destination ideas, here are our top four suggestions…


  1. Canary Islands

Canarians have dozens of traditions, just not the ones you’ll be used to, so it’s the perfect destination for culture-vultures. The first change has to be when it comes to cuisine, as you’ll have to swap your turkey and stuffing for fish, when you eat La Noche Buena on Christmas Eve. White asparagus and giant prawns in a Marie Rose sauce are popular here, with the traditional candy, turrón, to finish. Then you can take a stroll around town and photograph the many nativity scenes of Belén (Bethlehem). No matter where you’re staying, this is a hugely popular pastime, and you can finish off with a local Christmas concert.


  1. Malta

For the religious side of Malta, start off with a spiritual evening at St. John’s Cathedral in Valletta, where they hold their annual candle-lit carol singing service. The baroque interiors decked out in stunning floral displays and festive decorations, is a memory that is sure to stay with you. You’ll find all the restaurants and bars in Malta bouncing with festive energy too, but unlike a lot of countries, Boxing Day is not a holiday here, so most shops will be open for you to do some retail therapy before heading home. Of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas without the yearly pantomime held at the Manoel Theatre, so head there for a throwback to your childhood.


  1. Morocco

Whether you want an exotic holiday with a hint of Yuletide, or you’re looking to completely escape Christmas altogether, Morocco is the enchanting city that can help. In the larger cities like Marrakech, you can visit the famous Souk markets with their local wares and delicious spices, whilst spending the afternoon touring sights like the Majorelle Gardens or Bahia Palace. Then, when you get a slight pang of mourning for Christmas, you can always pick up some traditional favourites like the buche de Nôel (Christmas cake) or have a Christmas lunch in one of the luxury hotels.


  1. Cyprus

There are dozens of reasons to opt for a Greek Orthodox Christmas in 2016, but the first has to be the lure of idyllic blue-flag beaches, which you’ll practically have to yourself at this time of year! Christmas here is marked with a song and a dance, as villages display ancient processions with carols, called “kalanda”, which are customs dating back to Byzantine times. You can take part in the major festival and feast here too, held in Nicosia in Eleftheria Square, where the unusual custom of young swimmers diving for a cross takes place on 5th January.

Have you decided where you’re heading this Christmas? For further inspiration visit our Christmas deals section of website for more up to date ideas and special offers departing over the festive period.

Posted in Destinations