Missing Travel..

It’s hard to write about travel, when it seems like years have passed since I had the fortune of stepping on an aircraft.

Sometimes ‘life’ gets in the way and prevents us the ability to whizz off on an adventure.

I still spend literally hours planning trips and pricing up my next wacky journey. But, the reality is at the moment, jetting off is not easy. Work commitments, health scares, moving house etc etc are all part of life’s little bumps.

I miss it. I start feeling disconnected from myself when I don’t get to go off exploring.

Is this normal? Am I addicted to travel?

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.

Thomas Cook it to Cape Town

Thomas Cook it to Cape Town

Charter airline, Thomas Cook has just announced a fabulous new route to add to their collection of long haul destinations including the likes of Cuba, Mexico and Goa.

As of December 2016, they will now be operating a direct flight from London Gatwick to Cape Town 3 days a week with economy and premium cabins available. Ticket prices will start at just £699 which is definitely at least comparable with its schedule airline rivals. They are using a brand new Airbus A330 and have invested millions into their new fleet.

This is fantastic news for South African tourism. Cape Town is stunning and has much to offer the most discerning of travellers including table mountain and the Victoria and Alfred waterfront. The garden route nearby offers stunning and tasty wine regions, too.

Sharm El Shaken

All flights from the UK to and fro Sharm El Sheikh have been halted, temporarily by the government following a Russian plane, Metrojet 9268, that crashed in Sinai.

It is suspected that an explosive device had caused this crash, killing all 224 passenger and crew on board.

What does this mean for you if you are in Sharm or due to travel?

If you are currently in Sharm, you are best to contact your resort rep or travel agent for advice.

If you are due to travel, firstly check with your airline or tour operator that your flight is still scheduled. If you no longer wish to travel, you will need to inquire with whomever you booked with for a refund. Currently the foreign office has not changed its advice on travel to the Red Sea resort, which usually means travel insurance may not cover you for cancellation, but you definitely should still check this out.

[UPDATE]: 5th November.

The foreign office has now revised their advice on travel to Sharm El Sheikh to avoid all but essential travel. The good news here is that your travel insurance should be covering cancellation.

Please note, travel to other parts of Egypt is currently still perfectly OK. A lot of media are stating travel travel to ‘Egypt’ is affected, but this is only Sharm El Sheikh at present.

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?