Posts Tagged ‘holiday’

Workers want holidays not pay rises

November 18th, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

beach 300x187 Workers want holidays not pay risesOne in three of workers would rather have more holiday than a pay rise, according to a new report.

61% of them also believe, that if a company were to promise them more time off, they’d consider switching to them.

The survey by Expedia of nearly 8,000 people across 24 countries, also saw that Europeans enjoyed more holiday time than those in the Asia Pacific region and North America.

At present, the highest number of days offered to staff is 30 in Denmark, France, Germany and Spain, 28 in Italy, and 26 in Britain.

Down the other end of the scale, holiday allowance totalled 15 days in the US and Mexico, and just 11 in Thailand.

Also, Britain makes sure it takes as much of its holiday as it can, with the average Briton using 25 of their 26 days allocation, compared to Italians who only use up 21 days of their 28, and South Korea took only seven of 15 available days in the past year.

Expedia’s Andy Washington said: “While habits differ, the emotional impact of holiday does not.”

“Somewhere between 80 per cent and 90 per cent of people worldwide say that holidays make them feel happier, better rested, closer to their family, less stressed and more relaxed.”

So would you rather have more time off, rather than more money?

Mobile phone holiday beach GUIDE 01 Tour operators ripping you off for your family holiday?Companies ripping you off is nothing new, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t grass on them. As it is the summer holidays, you should be aware of some of the sneaky tricks tour operators are doing to screw you out of money.

Of course, in the peak season, prices go up for no reason, but operators are taking advantage of families in other ways.

HolidayPirates have got some operators rumbled and have shown that some parents are being hoodwinked into paying premium by charging them MORE for children than they do for adults.

In one case, they found that a holiday was being sold as £245 per person (including all extras for the school holidays), but the holiday is based on four adults sharing. However, if you swap two adults for two kids – for the same flights, same hotel, same everything – the price goes up to £344 each.

In some instances, you can’t just book for adults and take the children instead, so if you’re thinking of pulling a fast one, better buy some fake moustaches for the nippers.

Some tour operators will tinker with prices dependant on the child’s age.

If you book one holiday for a family of four (two adults, one infant and one child aged 12) and one for exactly the same sized family but with the child being 13 (two adults, one infant, one child aged 13), you’ll see a big hike in the price of £133 each.

Have a look at HolidayPirates’ findings and, when you’re booking your family holiday, be sure to play around with the options before processing any payment to make sure you’re not being ripped off.

When you’re terminally ill and jetting off for a bittersweet final holiday with your family, the last thing you want is some incompetent travel company ballsing everything up, causing you to be evicted from your villa an hour after you arrive.

Villa Moncho Puerto Pollensa large 300x214 Hellish holiday hiccup for cancer stricken woman

Well, that’s what happened to Lorraine Beasant, who went to Mallorca for (literally) a bucket deal with her nearest and dearest and was confronted by local police demanding to know what she was doing there.

The Beasant family had booked the holiday through travel company Villa Parade last year, but the owner of the property said he’d cancelled his contract with the company in November 2013 and was no longer renting it out. So they turned up while the owner was out and neighbours then called the police.

So when did Villa Parade decide to tell Mrs Beasant she’d been moved to alternative accomodation? Er, the day before she left, April 11th, in an email, which she didn’t pick up in time.

*golf clap*

She was then moved to another villa, but crucially, it had no downstairs bedroom, meaning that poorly Mrs Beasant had to drag her oxygen cylinder up the stairs. NICE.

In their defence, Villa Parade said they’d tried to phone her 4 times to tell her that her villa had been changed but had received no reply. A spokesman from the company said:

‘Villa Parade would like to stress that we were not aware of Mrs Beasant’s medical condition, but because everyone at Villa Parade are proactive supporters of Cancer Research UK we would like to offer Mrs Beasant and her family our sincere apology.’



Thomas Cook Airlines logo Thomas Cook: Happy to take your money without anything in return?Last night, avid Bitterwallet fan Steve Berry, tried to undertake a normally simple task – get a product in exchange for money. Seems fair and reasonable.

However, Steve was dealing with Thomas Cook. Now, not that long ago, Thomas Cook were sharing some of the preposterous complaints they get with everyone, but this time, they’re not being funny at all.

It seems Thomas Cook are having problems with their website (more complaints about that here), which is where Steve got stung.

He said: “So, I tried to book a holiday with Thomas Cook UK. The web site kept throwing up errors during the payment process. The booking failed. No records. No booking reference. But guess what? They took my money anyway.”

“I’ve tried their customer service folk online (who, of course, keep asking for a booking reference). No joy at all. What a rubbish company. Don’t bother with them.”

Below, the complaint shows the money being taken out of the account and, at the time of publishing, Thomas Cook haven’t rectified the problem.

thomas cook Thomas Cook: Happy to take your money without anything in return?


Keep an eye on this if you’re booking a holiday with Thomas Cook. Customers have been complaining about the Thomas Cook site not working for some people; the last thing you want is to have your money taken off you with no holiday to show for it.

If you’re booking a holiday, it might be worth waiting for this issue to be rectified before booking.

Hapless tourists pay £54 for ice cream

May 7th, 2013 17 Comments By Lucy Sweet

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.

roger 300x165 Hapless tourists pay £54 for ice cream

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.

Portugal best for cheap fags and booze

April 23rd, 2013 6 Comments By Lucy Sweet

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.

varandas de albufeira 300x224 Portugal best for cheap fags and booze

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.

Happy holidays!

car crash App to stop stupid Britons from crashing their cars abroadThe 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?

Mark Kent, ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand, said: “British nationals using the roads in Thailand should bear in mind that road laws and driving customs here are different from those in the UK and road conditions, driving standards and road traffic regulations can vary. Road traffic accidents can have a profound effect on both those individuals involved and their families.”

“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.

Google Flights launches in Europe

March 21st, 2013 8 Comments By Mof Gimmers

google flights 300x178 Google Flights launches in EuropeIt 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.

Thomas Cook complained at by idiots

February 27th, 2013 22 Comments By Mof Gimmers

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.

thomascookcomplaint1 Thomas Cook complained at by idiots

[via Twitter]

Thomson tell holidaymaker to “shut the **** up”

November 29th, 2012 19 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Bitterwallet Thomson seat fees Thomson tell holidaymaker to shut the **** upGemma 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.”

Revenge of the package holiday

October 10th, 2012 3 Comments By Mof Gimmers

summer holiday 300x293 Revenge of the package holidayIt 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.

Is a waste of webspace?

August 9th, 2012 13 Comments By Thewlis

bedroom 300x225 Is a waste of webspace?The travel website business is all over the place at the minute. What with 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 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 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 reservation. You see, John had booked a certain number of nights in his chosen hotel, and had received email confirmation of the booking from 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 to inform them of the mistake and to enquire how this had happened. After all, he had an unequivocal confirmation from 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 … The role of is to create a direct contact between Venere customers and properties. (Bitterwallet’s emphasis)

So 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 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 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 customers also emailed the hotel after receiving their ‘confirmation’ to ensure the booking had been made and that the details were correct.

So. If 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 to ask them.

We put it to 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.

Just saying.

HotUKDeals Of The Day – Monday 4th April

April 4th, 2011 No Comments By Andy Dawson

hukd logob1 HotUKDeals Of The Day   Monday 4th AprilDo you like to dream? But do you also enjoy real life? How about when real life can almost seem like a dream? And do you like to take photographs when it all gets a bit dreamy-reality-like?

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…

913201 1 HotUKDeals Of The Day   Monday 4th AprilThey 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.

913212 1 HotUKDeals Of The Day   Monday 4th AprilFrom 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.

913212 1 HotUKDeals Of The Day   Monday 4th AprilOf course, we all know that the opposite of dreams are memories. And while you can’t hold on to your dreams, you can hold on to your memories – by getting them photographed while they’re happening.

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)

HotUKDeals Of The Day – Tuesday 6th July

July 6th, 2010 No Comments By Andy Dawson

hukd logob1 HotUKDeals Of The Day   Tuesday 6th JulyCup of tea? Ice cream? Cheap holiday? Yes indeed, we’re bursting at the seams with the good stuff today. Take our hand and join us in the bargain fray.

If you get lost, ask someone from HotUKDeals to help. They’re fully trained in this sort of stuff.

714308 HotUKDeals Of The Day   Tuesday 6th JulyEarlier we tipped you off about some of the perils of booking your summer holiday online, and now we’re going to recommend a cheap holiday option for you. We’re mad we are.

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…

714699 1 HotUKDeals Of The Day   Tuesday 6th JulyIf 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!

cup of tea HotUKDeals Of The Day   Tuesday 6th JulyIf you don’t fancy sitting outdoors, shivering as you suck mournfully on an ice cream, maybe you’d like to get inside away from the misery and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee.

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.