August Newsletter

August Newsletter

Mellieha July

August Newsletter

Welcome to my very first newsletter with stories, anecdotes, travel news, events, my latest travels and pictures and some useful tips.

Mellieha Jul 15

MALTA

I visited Malta at the end of July for a friend’s wedding

Malta is good for short breaks, divers and the family market. For such a small island it is very diverse with cheap and efficient air conditioned buses or car hire at reasonable cost. It has a unique language, architecture and culture and a good range of accommodation from simple self catering to de luxe. It has some really interesting history, British. WW2 and naval, Venetian and Moorish. The official language is Maltese which is roughly a mixture of Arabic and Italian but English is widely spoken and understood. It is a very reasonably priced destination for families and there a days out at Popeye Village, the waterpark and Playmobil as well as boat trips round the harbour or to Gozo and Comino. For divers they can experience the crystal clear waters of Gozo and Comino.

The capital is Valetta which has forts and castles to explore and is in itself an interesting city to visit for a warm winter city break. There is a flea market on Sundays.

There are some interesting day trip possibilities, Sliema for shopping, Mdina the silent city and the capital pre 1530. Mdina is also famous for glass. Get a ferry across to Gozo or you can or even across to Sicily.

TIPS

  •  It is often cheaper to prearrange a taxi transfer to your destination than to book locally.
  • Use the local transport which is cheap and efficient
SOUTH AFRICA EVENT

A recent South Africa event was very informative and we each got a really useful booklet to keep with lots of hotel facts such as how far from the nearest airports, whether they accept children and whether there are any disabled facilies.

Appropriately it was also World Elephant Day so a good way to celebrate and remind ourselves the barbaric cruelty to Elephants and rhinos who are often needlessly poached and killed for their tusks and horns.

TOP TIPS

  • There are currently 20 rand to £1 so South Africa has never been better value
  • If you use SAA to get you there their seating is 2-4-2 so good for couples and families to sit together.
  • Time difference is as little as 1 hour so no jetlag either.
  • South Africa is visa free for British Citizens and many other nationalities for up to 90 days but you do need two consecutive blank pages left in your current passport.
  • South Africa is best visited with a combination of self drive and its wide network of flights
  • Cape Town now has a hoppa bus service
THIS MONTH

I’ve had some really interesting challenges on my desk recently, stuff that I really like to get my teeth into. All of these required a lot of working out complicated routings to work in the most user friendly and cost effective way possible.

  • A 6- centre to Italy which includes classic cities, trains, lake and beach
  • A 4-centre fly drive to Sicily, a twin centre to the lesser known Canary Islands
  •  A twin centre to Thailand for two people living in different parts of the UK meeting another on a business trip already in Thailand,
  • A USA and Canada combination
  • A Las Vegas and Australia combination
Where shall we go? 

It is difficult to know where to go in August. Everywhere is so expensive in the school holidays or its the hurricane season. Summer is the best time to enjoy Europe as all European desinations enjoy their best weather from May to September and it is also the best season for Baltic and European cruises. Some good summer destinations outside Europe are Bali, Koh Samui, Aruba, New England and Canada.Some European cities have great deals and free nights in August but its worth remembering that it will be very hot and very crowded with day trippers so not very pleasant.

DO

  • My best message to you is to book early. If you can plan literally 9 months to a year in advance your can take your pick on the best flight prices and times.
  • Look out for seat sales and be prepared to fly indirect, midweek or on funny airlines.
  • Look out for release dates or read this newsletter.

DON’T

  • Never book at the last minute for the school holidays unless you are prepared to pull them out of a school a few days early or go back a few days late.
  • Late deals rarely exist for school holidays
  • Often there is a reason the destination isn’t selling because of bad publicity issues eg Tunisia or because of bad weather
THIS MONTH’S NEWS

SUMMER 16 SCHEDULES

Most scheduled airlines eg British Airways etc release about 10 1/2 months ahead although we do have some airlines such as Singapore airlines and Emirates where we have special arrangements to sell slightly earlier which has to be done manually.

Of the low cost airlines, Monarch have alredy released some of the routes for Summer 16. Easyjet will relese up to June at the beginning of September and the remainder of Summer 16 will realease at the beginning of October

Singapore Botanical Gardens in the Orchid Garden 

UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE NEW ADDITIONS TO THE LIST 

This year’s new additions to the list include Singapore Botanical Gardens. Well worth visiting.

http://whc.unesco.org/en/newproperties/

Passport Reminder 

Many countries require a six month validity so before your book your holiday check when your passport expires and renew if necessary

Visa News 

The big news is that India, Canada, and Kenya have all changed their entry precedures recently. Indonesia and China have relaxed theirs conditionally

Contact me for the right web links so you don’t pay over the odds or check the FCO website for the lastest advice on entry requirements as well as some other useful information you should check before travellingYou’ll need to get a visa before travelling to India. You can find further information about how to apply on the Indian High Commission website.From 15 August, British nationals who meet the eligibility criteria will be able to apply for an e-Tourist Visa (e-TV) to enter India at certain designated airports. You can find more information about the eligibility criteria on the government of India’s e-Tourist Visa website.

From March 2016 any visitor travelling to Canada – including those who don’t currently need a visa to visit – will have to get an electronic travel authorisation (eTA) to enter Canada. From 1 August 2015, travellers will have the opportunity to go online and apply for their eTA ahead of time. For more information see the official Canadian government website.

If you hold a British Citizen passport and are transiting by air through several entry points, you can enter China visa-free under a 72-hour visa waiver. . Check with the Chinese Embassy in London or the Chinese visa application service centre for further information. If you’re staying within the airport for up to 24 hours, you don’t need a transit visa.

British passport holders require a visa to travel to Kenya and since the 1st July 2015 Kenyan visa applications can be completed online through the ecitizen website.

CATHIE O’DEA TRAVEL COUNSELLOR

020 7432 4740

cathie.odea@travelcounsellors.com

http://www.travelcounsellors.co.uk/cathie.odea

The biggest compliment you can give me is to recommend me to your friends and family

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