Top travel savvy tips for 2014

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I can remember going on holiday with a group of friends 20 years ago hauling an old heavy suitcase that was overflowing with clothes and shoes I didn’t wear in one hand and ghetto blaster in the other so we could all listen to music whilst getting ready for a night out. How times have changed, not only am I a little older I’m also more of a savvy traveller.

My old leather suitcase has been upgraded to a smart lightweight suitcase on wheels so no more breaking my back trying to carry it and the ghetto blaster has been replaced with an iPad. Having travelled many times on business and on family holidays I have found plenty of ways to travel lighter and faster.

Before you go

Ever since that first holiday 20 years ago with my friends I have learned to pack smarter. How many times do you come back from holiday and have clothing you haven’t worn?

  • Make a list of the clothes that you will need don’t forget you can wear the same things twice.
  • Choose versatile and lightweight clothes and stick to a simple colour scheme so that all your clothing mixes and matches.
  • By taking a few accessories you can renew any outfit. If you must take a jacket with you, travel in it to save space in your luggage.
  • Many of the larger hotels have laundrettes so if you’re travelling for two weeks just take enough clothes for one week. I find having a laundrette is an essential when travelling with children as my youngest can be the messiest of children some days.

Do your research

  • Before I go away I always check the hotel website or contact them directly to see if they provide hairdryers, iron, laundry room, beach towels and beach toys for the children.
  • As you know, towels can take up quite a lot of space in your suitcase, many hotels and self-catering apartments now provide towels, so this will free up plenty of space.  I’ve stayed in a few that don’t so I go to the local supermarket and buy some there as they’re cheap enough and saves on the extra weight.
  • Many of the hotels have a recycling drop box that you can leave your left over toiletries, magazine and kids toys. This is becoming more popular now and it does save money and space in your suitcase.

Beach towel

Make the most of your hand luggage and children’s baggage allowance

Airlines don’t always charge you for hand luggage so by giving careful thought to your packing you can get away without paying for it to go in the hold.

  • I found that the lightweight soft shell cases and holdalls are best rather than the hard and rigid ones as sometimes these don’t fit into the overhead lockers easily.
  • Make the most of children’s baggage allowances.
  • An added bonus of having only hand luggage means there is no need to wait at the baggage carousel once you depart the plane.

Check in online

Gone are the days of standing in long queues waiting to check in, most airlines now have online check in. This not only allows you to leave for the airport a little later but it’s also a godsend when travelling with children and if your children are as impatient and get bored easily as mine do this can sometimes be a lifesaver. You will then only need to head to the bag drop area when you arrive at the airport.

ipad-ld

Do you really need everything?

Think before packing things like books, games and DVD’s. Whether I’m travelling with my family or on my own I always take my iPad with me, I can browse the internet, Facebook or even Skype my family to let them know I’ve arrived safe and it also saves on sending postcards. I have read countless books and watched a few films whilst relaxing on my sun lounger.

Camera/phone

More often than not we don’t take a camera on holiday with us as the cameras on our mobiles are just as good.

  • Turn off your mobile phone data roaming before you board the plane, that way you won’t get any nasty charges when you get home.
  • Many hotels and restaurants have free Wi-Fi and just require a password that you can get from reception.
  • To save on taking a multitude of chargers with you, buy a universal multi USB charger.

Keeping the kids entertained

  • When my husband and I travel with the children they take their tablets, this is so much easier than taking games with them.
  • Many restaurants provide paper and colouring pencils to keep them entertained whilst we wait for our meal, many times my husband will join in with the colouring.

Hotels such as Holiday Village Majorca in Cala Millor, Majorca also have Mothercare packs available which includes all the essentials such as buggies and highchairs to blenders and bottle warmers. Let us know on our Facebook and Twitter pages if you have any top travel savvy tips.

 

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Top 10 Craziest Water Parks You Must Visit!

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 1.       Siam Park – Tenerife

WAVEWAVEWAVEWAVEWAVE Super Soak Scoring: 5/5

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One of the most spectacular water parks in Europe.

Latedeals.co.uk Top Attraction: The Wave Palace – with waves that can rise up to three feet high, there was no contest.

2.       Wild Wadi – Dubai

WAVEWAVEWAVEWAVE Super Soak Scoring: 4/5 

Wild Wadi Water Park

This huge water park offers 30 rides and attractions for the whole family.

Latedeals.co.uk Top Attraction: The Master Blasters – make you feel like you’re on a water coaster. Trying is believing.

3.       Caribe Aquatic park – Port Aventura

WAVEWAVEWAVE Super Soak Scoring: 3/5

Caribe Aquatic Park

This Caribbean-themed water adventure park is an aquatic playground for children and adults alike.

Latedeals.co.uk Top Attraction: King Khajuna – perfect for any dare devil out there.

4.       Waterworld – Ayia Napa

WAVEWAVEWAVE Super Soak Scoring: 3/5

Ayia Napa

This Water World offers slides and adventure pools suitable for all the family, and unlike the Kevin Costner film, you’ll really enjoy it!

Latedeals.co.uk Top Attraction: Drop to Atlantis – sit in a doughnut style ring and experience the speeeeeeed as you slide into the water.

5.       Typhoon Lagoon – Florida

WAVEWAVEWAVEWAVEWAVE Super Soak Scoring: 5/5

6ft Tidal Wave @ Typhoon Lagoon - A fab waterpark @ disney

Two million visitors a year make this the most visited water park in the world! This is the daddy of all water parks.

Latedeals.co.uk Top Attraction: Ketchakiddee Creek – little squirts can enjoy hours in this water wonderland.

6.       Aqualandia – Benidorm

WAVEWAVEWAVEWAVE Super Soak Scoring: 4/5

aqualandia 1

Ranked as one of the largest water parks in the world, this is simply a must for holidays in Benidorm.

Latedeals.co.uk Top Attraction: Smooth Slides – five parallel slides let you challenge your family and friends to a high-speed race.

7.       Beach Park – Brazil

WAVEWAVEWAVE Super Soak Scoring: 3/5

inbrazil

Excitement, adrenalin and heaps of fun is what you will experience here.

Latedeals.co.uk Top Attraction: Insano – the world’s tallest water slide. Are you ‘insane’ enough to ride it?

8.       Blizzard Beach – Florida 

WAVEWAVEWAVEWAVEWAVE Super Soak Scoring: 5/5

water_park_image

Discover frosty fun at this winter wonderland water park.

Latedeals.co.uk Top Attraction: Teamboat Springs – feel like your white-water rafting.

9.       Aqualand – Corfu

WAVEWAVEWAVEWAVE Super Soak Scoring: 4/5

aqualand

A great day out for children, families and all those who are young in spirit.

Latedeals.co.uk Top Attraction: Lazy River – sit back, relax and let the river take you on a watery journey around the park.

10.   Etnaland – Italy 

WAVEWAVEWAVEWAVE Super Soak Scoring: 4/5

This thrilling water playground not only has water slides but water attractions too.

Latedeals.co.uk Top Attraction: Red Cannon – don’t be fooled by their small size, these slides will fire you in to the water!

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Should I travel to Egypt?

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Scenes of protest and news of political unrest In Egypt have been hitting the headlines again, and whether you have a holiday booked or are looking to book a holiday we understand that you might be feeling unsure.

Here at Latedeals.co.uk we like to reassure our customers. We are continuously checking with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to ensure all travel advice is correct and up to date. If any information were to change we would contact all our customers and liaise with all relevant tour operators on their behalf.

So, should you travel to Egypt? The answer is yes.

The current FCO advice is that most of the South Sinai is advised against all travel, including the resorts of Taba and Dahab. The Red Sea resorts of Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada and Marsa Alam are very much open for business and operating as normal. Tour operators are in regular contact with the resort staff and they have reported back that guests are enjoying the resorts as normal. Further information can be found at FCO.

Sharm El Sheikh is home to world class diving and snorkelling sites and has a lively resort centres. With year round sun and a fantastic choice of hotels, the Red Sea is a perfect choice for a last minute getaway.

Our latest Red Sea deals

23rd April 2014, 7 nights, flying from London Gatwick, All Inclusive, staying in the Tropicana Rosetta and Jasmine Club in Sharm El Sheikh prices from £392pp* http://goo.gl/0KPoKu

Sharm El Sheikh4th April 2014, 7 nights, flying from Birmingham, Bed and Breakfast, staying in the Grand Resort Hotel in Hurghada prices from £414pp* http://goo.gl/89h0p7

Hurghada*Prices correct 24/03/2014. Prices are subject to change.

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7 travel photos you wish YOU had taken

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Navagio Beach, Zante

Navagio Beach is one of the best known beaches in Greece, some would say in the world, and is located on the North West shore of Zante. The island offers a great mix of resorts from quiet hidden gems like Alykanas and Kalamaki to modern bustling resorts such as Laganas and Argassi.

1. This photo shows Navagio Beach with its famous shipwreck in the sand

zakynthos-beach

Bora Bora

Bora Bora was christened the ‘Pearl of the Pacific’ by Captain Cook and is one of the most beautiful islands in the world. It’s easy to see why with its impressive backdrop of Mount Otemanu, an ancient volcano covered in greenery that rises up from the turquoise waters of the Pacific Ocean. Bora Bora is an ideal destination for honeymooners and other romantic holiday couples with perfect white sandy beaches and a barrier reef full of tropical fish.

2. This is the water bungalows against the backdrop of Mount Otemanu

Bora Bora

Santorini

Santorini is one of the most easily recognised Greek islands with its whitewashed sugar cubed houses, blue domed churches and cobbled streets. Santorini is one of the most traditional and picturesque of all the Greek islands and teamed with its beaches, landscapes and sunsets, it makes an ideal holiday destination.

3.This image shows the traditional whitewashed houses and blue-domed churches

Blue dome 2

Blue Lagoon, Olu Deniz, Turkey

The blue Lagoon is one of the most photographed beaches in the Mediterranean and has a stunning secluded bay with the lagoon being a natural nature reserve. The Blue Flag beach is actually a pebble beach and has been rated in the top five beaches in the world by travel and tourism journalists. It has a backdrop of the stunning Babadag Mountains where you can also paraglide off the 1,960 metre high mountain jump point.

4. This aerial photo gives you a fantastic view of the Blue Lagoon

Peninsula from above

Mount Teide, Tenerife

Mount Teide is the highest point on the island of Tenerife and is the Canary Islands most visited tourist attraction; the volcano is the third largest in the world. Mount Teide sits in the middle of the island with the majority of tourists holidaying in the south of the island in the popular resorts of Playa de las Americas, Costa Adeje and Los Cristianos. For those holidaying in the north Puerto del la Cruz is the resorts to stay in.

5. This photo shows Mount Teide rising above the clouds

Teide 2

Colosseum, Rome

The Colosseum in Rome has the largest amphitheatre of the Roman Empire and is on the bucket list of most history and architectural buffs. This beautiful city has been a tourist favourite for many years and with a plethora of things to do such as sightseeing, shopping and the theatre it’s easy to see why people come back.

6. Who could mistake the imposing Colosseum

Colosseum

Venice, Italy

Probably one of the most romantic cities in the world and offers a unique experience rich in culture, art, history and picturesque sights, this charismatic city has it all. One of the best ways to take in this delightful city is to cruise along the Grand Canal on a gondola or water taxi where you can soak up all the amazing sights this city has to offer as you sail along the endless waterways.   

7. This image shows the impressive Grand Canal of Venice

Grand Canal

Which of these photos do you wish you had taken? Flying high over Olu Deniz or standing in the shadow of the Colosseum perhaps? Let us know in the comments!

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Top 5 Destinations to tie the knot

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You’ve said yes and the engagement ring is sat perfectly on your finger, you’ve popped the champagne and the whole world has congratulated you. Now it’s time to plan your special day, here at Latedeals.co.uk we want to make your fairy-tale, happily ever after come to life!
We know how stressful planning a wedding can be, that’s why more and more people say “I do” abroad. Deciding the location is crucial so we have compiled a list of our most perfect places to tie the knot.

MAURITIUS
Mauritius is filled with stunning scenery and it was Mark Twain who said, “You gather the idea that Mauritius was made first in heaven, and that heaven was copied after Mauritius.” Imagine yourself being stood on the white sandy beaches saying your nuptials, and watching the sunset as a married couple, does this sound like your ideal wedding?

Wedding @ Maritim Hotel, Mauritius

ITALY
This country really pulls on your heart strings, with its stop and stare scenery and candle lit restaurants. Sorrento truly captures the colourful Mediterranean flavour of Italy, here they offer romantic and unique wedding venues. Pushing the boat out? You can be a real life princess for the day and marry your prince charming in a castle with amazing views. Think of the wedding photos.

Scenes from a wedding

MEXICO
If walking down the aisle bare foot and feeling the sand crumble beneath your feet your perfect choice, then this place is for you. If you want a beach where the sand glistens in the sun then head to Cancun beach, the sands actually made up from fossil fragments so when the sun catches the sand it sparkles! If you want to shout your love from the roof tops then the Sensatori hotel fits the bill. With roof top weddings looking out over the Caribbean Sea this will make the guest’s go “ooooo.”

Sensatori Mexico wedding

LAPLAND
Fairy tales do come alive here, with fairy lights twinkling in the snow. Here you fall in love with the snow-covered trees that shine bright in the sun. You can choose many venues here, an ice carved chapel or a frozen ice gazebo decorated in fairy lights are our favourites. If you are looking to arrive in more of a non-traditional way, then maybe a husky/reindeer pulled sleigh is for you. This is the perfect choice for a winter wedding.

Ice Hotel Wedding

FLORIDA
Do you want the ultimate Disney wedding? Then Florida is a must. Only here can you get married with Cinderella’s castle as a backdrop! It’s not all about Mickey and Minnie though, you can say you’re “I do’s” in a gazebo or a white chapel. How about a garden tea party after the service and your first dance in a lantern lit pavilion? Sounds like you’ve just stepped out of a story book!

IMG_0265

 

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