Weekly Travel Musing – 1

Weekly Travel Musing – 1

If you flush the toilet on an aeroplane flying directly over the equator, which direction does the water flush?!

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How To Arrange Your Holiday Visa to Anywhere

Many destinations now require a visa for entry, even as a tourist.

This blog will help you regardless of you nationality and destination.

I am not going to list every country and every nationality link that requires a visa because frankly, I don’t have the time or space on my blog. What I can share with you should save you a lot of time and money.

Whatever your nationality and wherever you are travelling to, you can quickly and easily check your visa requirements by looking on the embassy website.

NOW, bare in mind that there will be hundreds of companies posing as the official visa website, always click on the link to the website with the word ’embassy’ in it.

For example;

http://www.chinese-embassy.org.uk

There will be step by step instructions on how to apply for a visa and all the fees. Other companies will offer to process your visa for you, but you will often pay more than 100% mark up for the Priveledge. Yes it’s fiddly and time consuming to do it yourself, but it is straight forward and will save you lots of cash. If you are worried about making a mistake, either get a friend to help you, or most embassies themselves will charge a smaller fee to check it and allow and reapply if you have made an error.

To test the theory, I am a British Citizen and I looked at the cost of a tourist visa to China. It’s £85. The first of these so-called official visa companies I looked at that was not the official embassy website was charging £171 for exactly the same visa! I’m not trying to put these companies out of business because if you can afford to pay extra and don’t have the time or energy to do it yourself then I guess it’s worth paying the extra, but at least shop around a bit.

Some countries off the top of my head that will almost certainly require a visa for tourist entry are;

China

USA

Australia

Vietnam 

India

Again, this will all depend on what passport you are travelling on.

This doesn’t apply with ‘visa on arrival’ which is common in countries like Egypt and Indonesia which is basically just a tourist entry fee and is done, on arrival, like it says on the tin.

I hope this helps you and saves you from being ripped off.

How to Get an Extra Holiday for FREE and Avoid Long Layovers on Connecting Flights and What Exactly a ‘Transit’ or ‘Stopover’ Means.

How to Get an Extra Holiday for FREE and Avoid Long Layovers on Connecting Flights and What Exactly a ‘Transit’ or ‘Stopover’ Means.

Some people will know a little about this. I know that many others know nothing at all, I hope this post helps all of you in some way in your future travels.

When you are travelling super duper long haul, there is only a maximum amount of distance one flight can take you due to fuel restrictions etc, so it’s very common to take a connecting flight to your destination. Sometimes these flights have 2 or more ‘transits’. A transit is basically when you remain airside at an airport in any given destination, without clearing immigration, awaiting boarding your connecting onward flight. This means you have booked the entirety of your journey on one ticket and any checked luggage will be sent through to your final destination for you, and you just need to change aircraft.

More often than not, flights with one or more transits are much cheaper than flying direct, so this is a great way to save some coins if time is on your side.

So, you may often find amazingly cheap flights that involve a connection time at an airport of over ten hours. This is often because of busy dates and limited availability on the flights with good connection times. Take note;

  • This can be excruciatingly dull and you can easily spend what you saved on the flight cost actually inside the airport.
  • Officially a ‘transit’ is only a transit if your connection is under 8 hours. This means you may require a transit visa for 8 hours and 10 minutes, incurring more fees.
  • Anything over 24 hours will certainly require a visa, if required in your stopover destination.

So basically, if you are only considering doing a long transit to save a few pennies, I would say it’s not worth it.

BUT… There is a much better solution. 

  • Be flexible with your dates. Moving your outbound date by just one day could shorten your total journey time by many hours and free up availability in your perfect connecting flight.
  • Abuse the situation and swap your awful long transit to a stopover!!

What is a stopover, you ask?

A stopover is a planned break in your journey. For example, say you book a flight from London- Sydney, with a transit in Dubai. Your luggage will be checked from London to Sydney and in Dubai, you change planes. What you CAN do is actually book a flight to Dubai, stay for a few days and then fly onwards to Sydney. This means you will collect your hold bags at Dubai, clear immigration, leave the airport and return to check in again for your Dubai – Sydney flight. * Please note that all ticket rules vary and whilst many airlines offer this free of charge, some will charge a small fee and there will likely be a small airport tax increase. 

So, if you are flying through Dubai anyway, make the most and tick that country off your list.

Emirates via Dubai is just an example but this can work on almost ANY flight ticket with a transit.

Happy free holiday hunting!

Cheaper Flights in the UK

Cheaper Flights in the UK

The Scottish National Party (SNP) are planning to reduce the APD (air passenger duty) which is a large bulk of the tax we all pay on our flight tickets, by half for all flights departing from Scottish airports. This is an attempt to boost tourism, economy and employment in Scotland.

A one way long haul ticket for an adult out of the U.K. currently has APD of around £73. (£12 for short haul and considerably more in premium cabins). So expect to pay half of these in the future if you fly from the chilly northern country.

What does this mean for Brits?

If you live halfway between Scotland and England, it will be miles more financially beneficial for you to fly from Scotland.

Airlines will likely be encouraged to relocate or increase flights from Scotland in attempt to make revenue.

If you book early enough, trains from parts of the U.K. To Scotland will save you money overall when compared to flying from your local airport.

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Claim Travel Compensation Unless Essential..

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Claim Travel Compensation Unless Essential..

I do not mean travel insurance claims. Of course if you need to claim for medical reasons or any other legitimate reasons, you should!

I am discussing the ‘middle-man compo’ companies who state you are entitled to claim compensation if your flight is delayed by more than 3 hours or for food poisoning in Egypt etc etc. Here’s why;

1. Nothing in life is free. Every time some uptight twit claims money back from an airline or tour operator because their £500 holiday ego has been dented, guess what happens? They hoik up the rest of their premiums to cover the losses. So we all end up paying more.

2. Blood pressure. It’s not worth getting yourself worked up enough because you arrived in Malaga 5 hours later than planned. Yes, it can be a huge inconvenience to be delayed. Let it go. Enjoy the rest of your holiday. Fretting about it will likely ruin your holiday and increase your blood pressure. Having a stroke in Tenerife is not fun.

3. Plan better. Don’t stay in a cruddy 3* hotel in Sharm El Sheikh. You know the drill, frankly if you do, you deserve food poisoning. Don’t plan a flight that lands in an hour before your meeting because flight delays are common.Welcome to aviation – your fault!

People who do the things I have listed above really piss me off and ruin travel for the rest of us.

Have a nice day.

  

Do you fly more than once a year? Get ready to pay more tax…

Do you fly more than once a year? Get ready to pay more tax…

  
In the recent national controversial debates with regards to the planned expansion of London Aiports (Heathrow and Gatwick) and the effects it will have on our environment, another solution may have been found. Green Peace MP, Caroline Lucas has, for some time, been backing an idea of replacing APD (Air Passenger Duty, which is basically the bulk of the tax we all pay when we fly) with FFL (Frequent Flyer Levy).

The idea behind this scheme is that the people who fly the most will pay more tax than those who take an annual holiday. It is thought the most frequent flyers are just 15% of the population but they take a whopping 70% of the flights and approximately 90% of these are short haul, so Green Peace hope that by implementing a scheme resulting in frequent travellers having to pay more tax to fly (increasing with each outbound flight per annum) will ease the strain on airports as people will begin to use trains and other modes of transport. It will also be better for the economy and residents near the airports.

The good news if you only fly once a year as a family holiday… you may not have to pay any tax at all resulting in very cheap flights!

What are your thoughts on this?