Posts Tagged ‘holiday’
Being on holiday is an expensive business, but if you’re Roger Bannister (no, not that one), you’ll be staying at home and having a Mr Whippy in the park from now on. On a recent trip to Rome, Roger, a company executive from Dudley, was charged £54 for four ice cream cones at a pavement cafe.
And it seems that the Rome tourist board is now getting righteously angry about it too, after local councillor Matteo Constantini witnessed the incident at the Antica Roma ice cream parlour near the Spanish Steps.
Poor Rodge, aware that sit-down prices could be astronomical, ordered the cones to take away. But even so, the bill still came to 64 euros.
‘The cones had three flavours and a couple of wafers but if we wanted whipped cream that was another three euro on top each. How much would it have cost us if we had sat down?’
The owners of the cafe were typically bolshy about it, arguing that Roger had eyes and could read the prices on the menu and that he should just vaffanculo off back to Dudley if he didn’t like it.
‘We get this all the time,’ they raved, probably putting a fag out in a tub of pistachio. ‘We had a similar incident last week with a group of Spanish tourists but the prices are there in black and white. If they don’t want the ice cream they can go somewhere else.’
Councillor Constantini offered to refund the tourists and vowed to do something about rip- off Rome, saying ‘there needs to be tough action against these people.’
God, I could murder some ice cream now.
If you’re lucky enough to be able to afford a holiday this year, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s going to be cheaper to buy your suncream/condoms/beer goggles abroad than ever before.
In a bid to attract British holidaymakers and their rampant alcoholism, resorts in the Algarve and Costa Del Sol are lowering prices for everyday items like coffee, beer, soft drinks, cigarettes and meals. Some prices are down by 15 to 20%, according to the Post Office Holiday Costs Barometer (which I like to imagine is operated by Postman Pat wearing Fake Bake and Hawaiian shorts, but probably isn’t.)
Albufeira in the Algarve was the cheapest resort, thanks to its low-priced meals and drinks. The most expensive places in Europe to visit are Tuscany and Sorrento in Italy, but you probably already knew that.
The advice from the Post Office and their super shiny holiday barometer is this: choose your resort wisely this year, and you could save more overall. So despite a lousy exchange rate, you’ll still be able to get so drunk that you can crash into a swimming pool on a moped and then give everyone you encounter a sexual disease.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office have launched a new app which is designed to stop Brits from crashing when they’re overseas. Believe it or not, foreign countries have different laws to those you’ll find in the UK.
As well as different road laws, the conditions of the roads and driving standards are wildly varied around the world. Driving your car in Thailand is nothing like driving a car through Britain.
In Thailand there were 68,852 traffic incidents resulting in 9,205 deaths while in the UK, there were a mere 1,901 people killed on the roads. See what we’re dealing with here?
“Accidents do occur and not all tragedies are avoidable, but the outcome could be very different with many lives being saved and critical injuries reduced if people adopted the same safety precautions abroad that they would naturally take at home.”
So, a load of information is being made available all under one umbrella, so now, there’s no excuse for you not knowing that, for example, in France, drivers are required to carry their own breathalyser or that in Belarus it is illegal to drive a dirty car.
Have a look at the information here and for god’s sake, don’t die.
It has been available in America for a while, but now Google Flights has launched in Europe so we can all compare prices of flights departing from the UK, France, Italy, Spain, and Holland.
As well as being a price comparison tool, users will be able to look at your flight options and book travel to any international airport, with searches filtered by airline, cost, total travel time and results will be displayed on a rather natty little map.
Google hasn’t actually made agreements with all the major airlines, which means that this won’t be a complete comparison service, however, it is only a matter of time before everyone’s on board with this as Google tend to get what they want in the end.
However, Ryanair and easyJet are noticeably absent, and they may well want to stick their heels in and refuse to play ball, mainly because they’re run by thundering berks.
Google said in a statement: “We are working to expand our relationship with other airlines, and bring Flight Search to more countries and in more languages.
Of course, Google Flights has competition already, with Expedia, Skyscanner and the Travel Supermarket already being big players in the market. With more competition, hopefully we’ll all be getting some decent travel bargains.
Unless Google balls it up like they did with G+ and Wave.
Often, complaints made to companies, defy belief. That’s because a lot of people who complain are hooting imbeciles. So imagine the kind of thing an imbecile might complain about if you sent them on holiday!
Well, imagine no more as a collection of complaints made to Thomas Cook have been rounded up and shared online, with customers moaning about the colour of sand, the distance countries are away from each other and a lack of air-conditioning in nature. Enjoy.
Gemma Fish spent £3,000 on a holiday to Mexico with Thomson, but alas, it wasn’t up to scratch. Not over-emoting at all, Fish and her fiancé were disgruntled by the ‘prison cell’ room they received. Obviously, she complained.
However, what followed wasn’t exactly protocol, with Thomson staff sending her a series of sweary messages, including one that told her to ‘shut the **** up’ and go book with Thomas Cook instead.
Gemma says: “When I arrived at my hotel, the room looked nothing at all like what was advertised on the Thomson website and not what I had expected given the price I paid. Quite frankly it was more like a prison cell than what you would expect after paying £3,000 for a holiday. It was just horrendous. I was appalled that they could do this to us.”
Instead of going outside and enjoying what Mexico had to offer, she preferred to contact Thomson through their 24-hour ‘holidayline’ service. This was a complaint that couldn’t wait ’til she’d got back, clearly. That said, she was moved to a better room but she still found time to complain about the noise, poor food and the beach.
Then, a month later, the emails kicked in. She says: “I don’t swear myself, so I was absolutely gobsmacked that they were even able to get through the system with that language in.” One email read: “Gemma do u really think we give a ****? Because we dont so shut the **** up with ur moaning and book with Thomas Cook coz we dont want ur custom lol and the hotel have said u r one MOANING bitch.”
A spokesman said: “Thomson would like to apologise to Ms Fish for the unacceptable emails she received. An employee interfered with a number of internal email accounts, sending inappropriate emails. We carried out a full internal investigation, as well as supporting the police in their investigation, the issue was dealt with immediately and the staff member was dismissed.”
It seems that there’s something of a resurgence in the humble package holiday as people bid to get some vitamin D without all the hassle of having to think of anything.
And who can blame them?
Nearly half of all overseas holidays booked in 2012 were part of a package deal, rising sharply in the last couple of years according to figures released by ABTA, The Travel Association.
Domestic coach tours and rail breaks were also up, showing that the 1970s version of a holiday was back in a big way.
Victoria Bacon, Head of Communications for ABTA, said consumers valued the “security and cost effectiveness that package holidays provide”, adding that “at the same time the market has also evolved to offer greater choice to holidaymakers. It’s no longer just a week in Benidorm. The market is now very sophisticated, with packages to cater for every taste and budget – whether you want two weeks all-inclusive in the sun, a cruise around Asia or an adventure holiday in South America.”
DIY holidays were down also. It seems that, in times of recession, people want fuss-free holidays where someone else sorts out all the boring bits of a break for you.
The travel website business is all over the place at the minute. What with booking.com and Expedia being investigated by the OFT for breaches of competition law by getting into bed (geddit) with Intercontinental Hotels, who could blame consumers for looking further afield for travel bookings. Even if they find a website that sounds like some kind of weird sexually transmitted disease.
Italian owned venere.com seems, on first glance to be another handy hotel booking site. You can browse properties in your desired area, find it on a map, and see customer ratings and book directly through venere. As a huge benefit, you don’t even have to pay upfront, but can settle up directly with the hotelier when you leave.
However, as most things that sound too good to be true actually prove to be too good to be true, we have discovered that venere.com isn’t actually a hotel booking site at all.
Avid bitterwallet reader John contacted us after he’d got into a spot of bother with his venere.com reservation. You see, John had booked a certain number of nights in his chosen hotel, and had received email confirmation of the booking from venere.com. That email confirmed the total price to pay on departure, and that the booking was non-refundable now made. The hotel, however, had vastly different booking details.
It being the summer season, the hotel were fully booked. John and his family looked like they would be turned away, but eventually the hotel were able to squash them into a smaller sized apartment for the missing nights. John was understandably unamused with this situation, but the hotel were adamant they had only received the shorter booking in John’s name.
On his return to the UK, John contacted venere.com to inform them of the mistake and to enquire how this had happened. After all, he had an unequivocal confirmation from venere.com of his proper booking. He received no response. After a number of further emails, John was eventually sent a cover-all email that had absolutely no reference to his personal situation.
What this email did say, however, was that “only the properties have access to the reservation requests they receive through Venere.com … The role of Venere.com is to create a direct contact between Venere customers and properties. (Bitterwallet’s emphasis)
So venere.com does not actually book rooms on your behalf, it merely requests the rooms from the hotelier. Sometimes incorrectly so. Presumably then, the confirmations issued by venere.com are a confirmation of request, rather than a confirmation of booking. Which is entirely not the same thing.
We investigated further and found that the room rates offered by venere.com are of limited supply, but that once those rates are ‘sold out’, you can still find them cheaper on competitors’ websites, or even directly with the hotel. Travel forum discussions we found on the web suggested that venere.com customers also emailed the hotel after receiving their venere.com ‘confirmation’ to ensure the booking had been made and that the details were correct.
So. If Venere.com do not guarantee your room booking, may not offer the best rate and you are advised to contact the hotel about your booking, why on Earth would you want to use them? We could not think of a suitable answer so we contacted venere.com to ask them.
We put it to venere.com that “there is no point booking through your website as you are merely an introduction service and customers would need to check the booking has been received by the hotel anyway, meaning they may as well book through the hotel” directly. They had nothing to say.
You do? You’ll do for us then. Feast your peepers on this lot from HotUKDeals while you try and figure out if it’s all a big dream or not…
They say it is one of the greatest films of recent years but to be honest, when we watched it, it made us start to daydream about something less complicated, like a box set of Captain Caveman. We speak of course about Inception.
Now you can experience it yourself and get the 2-disc special edition for only £5.00. We don’t know what’s on the second disc, but if it isn’t a simplified version of the film, starring a bunch of finger puppets, then we’ll be disappointed.
From dreams to reality, but the kind of reality that, if you’re a wide-eyed youngling, can seem more like a dream than an actual dream itself. Unless of course, the dream has tap-dancing unicorns in it.
We kind of went off track there, but what we’re on about is a 14-night holiday in Orlando, Florida for only £399 per person. That’s about as good as reality can ever get, so hurry before they’re all gone.
Better still, why not take advantage of an offer that will get you 50 6×4 prints of some of your favourite photographed memories – all you’ll have to pay is the postage, a paltry £1.49. See how each of today’s deals flowed into each other? Beautiful wasn’t it?
(deals found by HUKD members nicster08, Chewchewcheroo and dashernasher)
If you get lost, ask someone from HotUKDeals to help. They’re fully trained in this sort of stuff.
It’s the traditional ‘collect some tokens from a newspaper and get a holiday for only £9.50’ offer. Loads of locations to choose from both at home and abroad but make sure you read the small print first…
If you can’t get away this year, just wait for one of the few days in July and August when it’s hot and make the most of staying at home. There won’t be many of those days – we’ve almost had our complete allocation of summer weather.
But just in case, you can stock our freezer up with a box of Cornettos – right now you can get six of them in classico or strawberry flavour for only £1.09. Our resident maths boffins tell us that works out at just 18p each. Cornettalicilacious!
You’re probably aware of the usual coffee shops and their overpriced caffeinated slop, but did you know that there’s a place on most high streets that will do you a cuppa for the titchy sum of just 49p? Well there is…
(deals found by HUKD membersnicster08, lucerysmum and garbage456)
All that shit between Israel and Palestine is no laughing matter, but Israel are still keen to attract tourists to their fair land and this advert tries to introduce a dash of humour to proceedings.
In a nutshell, they’re flogging the charms of their country by incorporating it into a lame, clunky gag about a man with a tiny knob. Except he doesn’t have a tiny knob – he’s just looking at a map of Israel!
Ha ha ha ha arf – much mirth and laughter all round. But if you go, don’t go on a day trip to the Gaza Strip, lest you end up in a scene like this one.
Phew – Christmas is over and that means the barrage of ads for summer holidays is underway again. Thomas Cook have decided to go for a top-of-the-range celebrity couple to help them big up their foreign fortnights, but they could only get Jamie and Louise Redknapp, the pair who will happily flog or turn up to the opening of anything.
It’s bewildering why anyone would aspire to becoming the Redknapps – he made a tidy packet by being a staggeringly ordinary and perpetually crocked midfielder who now brings his own unique brand of addled, marble-mouthed punditry to Sky Sports, while she is famous for being a footballer’s wife. Something for all the kids to aspire to there.
Ah yes, kids. The Redknapps have two, but they seem to have been lucky enough to have dumped them for the dream break they’re enjoying in this ad. For most of us, a summer holiday is all about the kids, encompassing tantrums, near-death pool incidents, a smattering of illness and inevitably, palpable tension between mum and dad.
Let’s face it, if you came across a loved-up, self-involved pair like the Redknapps while on your hols, you’d be hassling your rep to get you moved to another resort, for the sake of your own bile ducts.
Morning all. Not in a great mood to be honest. Some bargains here though. Thanks to HotUKDeals. Blah blah blah and that…
Okay then, if the lazy, pig-ignorant antics of the electorate in certain parts of the North of England have left you ashamed to come from this country, you might be in the mood to fuck off out of it for a while in order to recover.
If you’re able to scarper tomorrow (Tuesday), you can fly from Manchester and spend a week in Crete for as little as £196 for a family. More details and some petty sniping over at HUKD.
If you’d prefer to just fanny about in your garden and ignore the fact that the 65th anniversary of D-Day was pissed all over by the election to the European Parliament of some actual British fascists, then we’ve got a couple of deals that are right up your weird street.
Firstly, there’s a 14-piece set of resin garden furniture for only £48.90 – down from £199 according to HUKD member nickkazz. It looks ideal, as long as your neighbours don’t mind it blowing into their garden during a strong wind. Mind you, if they’re bone-headed fascist sympathisers, they might think it’s a foreign spy and hang it from a tree.
Then there’s the all-weather table tennis set – was £499.99 and now only £159.99. It’s suitable for indoor and outdoor use and is perfect for strengthening local multi-cultural ties with fun summertime tournaments.
But it’s a double-edged coin and if and when the Nazis do take full control of What Used To Be Great Britain, no doubt the morale-strengthening holiday camps will be filled with outdoor table tennis sets as we all strive to achieve strength through joy. What a fucking depressing fucking thought for a fucking depressing fucking day.
(deals found by okian, nickkazz and whizzkid)
Readers in their mid-30s and older probably remember British ski jumper Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards from the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary. He wasn’t sponsored by anyone, he came in 56th out of 57 jumpers (and #57 was disqualified), and when it came to training, he did it on the cheap, staying in dorms, mental institutions and what have you so as to save money.
Perhaps we could all take a lesson from this as we think about taking a summer holiday this year. Most of us automatically think of booking a hotel room for our holidays, but there are other options, from the palatable (monasteries) to the scary (couch surfing with strangers, as a recent Twitchhiker did). Here are three alternatives to hotels that may suit those of us a bit less daring:
1. Stay with friends. This can make a vacation even better, as long as you know how to be a good house guest. You know the drill: clean up after yourself, don’t be a bother, help pay for groceries (or at least offer to), and show up with a nice gift for your host(ess).
2. Swap homes with someone. Home exchange/house swapping services such as 1stHomeExchange.com hook up vacationers with people in other places looking to trade homes for a little while. You can also try your luck on sites like Gumtree and Craigslist. Just be careful to avoid now-removed erotic services cold-blooded murderers.
3. Camp. OK, if you think of “camping” as staying in accommodations where they don’t leave a mint on your pillow every night, then this option is probably not for you. But for many people, camping is a big part of the fun of vacationing. For sites in the UK, you can try KwikBreaks UK, and for sites in Western Europe, check out The e Camping Directory.
If nothing else, staying at “alternative” accommodations is more likely to give you plenty of great story material for when you get back and people ask you how your holiday went.
It’s March, and it’s still blimey cold and cloudy outside. We’d all surely love to escape the weather and feel the S.A.D. ease slightly… if only there were good deals to get away.
Well, there are. Here are a few options available this week (courtesy of HUKD, our dear readers, and, Travelzoo):
1. Hong Kong Round Trip from £325: Time to collect a few more Gicci wallets, Rolax watches, spy pens and pirate DVDs! Virgin Atlantic is celebrating their 25th birthday this year by giving a big present to customers once a week (what the marketing department left out is that it’s also a good way to keep the profits afloat during the recession). This week’s offer is a return flight to Hong Kong from £325 (thanks, Kingchris!). You have to book by the 11th of March, with departure dates from 05 Mar – 20 Mar 09 and 06 Apr – 11 Jun 09. Don’t forget 2% Quidco with Virgin Atlantic.
Extra tip: Reader cupracooper also suggestsed checking out Cebu Pacific airlines: HK > Manilla return for £85. Having just checked with a filipino friend of mine, this airline is supposedly the best balance of great fares and amazing service and stable flights. When their aircraft has any glitches, they exchange their planes with other free planes within their system to ensure passenger safety. Not only that, but their passengers are also compensated when delays happen.
2. 7 Nights at 4 Star Greek Island for £249: Deal from Qwerty Travel found by bigflump (thanks!), for an all inclusive 4 star package to Corfu (if you don’t mind a ‘downmarket location’ – credit RedonRed). This deal was originally for the early bird, as it is not officially till later the year in September/October as flights depart Gatwick between September 20 and October 15.