Would you take a Halloween holiday on fright night?

Are you flying off on holiday this Halloween? Will you be looking out for witches through the aeroplane window? Rumour (and legend) has it that if you travel on Halloween, your journey must be over by midnight and if you do have to travel on this spooky night then keep a piece of bread crossed with salt in your pocket as this will keep the witches away!

To be honest, we’re not superstitious here at latedeals.co.uk so if the price is right we wouldn’t hesitate to take a holiday on Halloween, after all a deal is a deal! But where did all this frightful frivolity start? Who invented Halloween? And why does it have such strange customs?

It seems that no-one can actually say for sure when Halloween first started but it is known that Halloween means ‘all hallows eve’. Hallow is an old English word for Saint and when Christianity first arrived in Britain, November 1st was declared All Saints Day.

So that explains that bit but the tradition of ghosts, ghouls and witches seems to date back to Pagan times when they celebrated Samhain, translated as ‘summers end’, on November 1st. This was a festival of the dead and was when the pagans believed that the barriers to the spirit world were weak. They saw this time as the end of ‘the season of the sun’ and the start of ‘the season of darkness and cold’. Or as we would say – autumn!

They lit fires to ward off evil spirits and to ensure the return of the sun (after winter). They threw cattle carcasses into the flames known as a bone fire, hence the evolvement to bonfire. I see a link to Guy Fawkes forming here…

So let’s look at a few Halloween traditions and see if we can find out what they are all about;

Pumpkins

Also known as ‘Jack o’ Lanterns’ this tradition began when a miserable old soul known as Jack died and was classed as too sinful to go to heaven, due to the fact that he also played jokes on the devil (as you do), he was barred from hell too, so he was left to wander the earth with his flickering lantern. Today we light candles in pumpkins and leave them at the door, not so much to ward off the evil spirits, more to entice the wonderful neighbourhood children who drag us away from our warm rooms and evening television to relieve us of our sweets.

Trick or Treat

In years gone by people used to leave food on their doorsteps in the hope that this would keep the spirits happy. Poor people used to knock on doors and be given ‘soul cakes’, and every time one was eaten a tortured soul would be released from suffering. If no food was given then a trick would be played on the household. These days it’s the children who knock for sweets and the only tortured souls are us fools who answer the door twenty seven times in an hour!

Orange

Why is the colour orange associated with Halloween? It is believed that the colour orange signifies strength and endurance – needed when you are fighting witches and avoiding tortured souls! It is also associated with the many fires that were lit in Pagan times, it could even be that the end of October means autumn is well under way, hence the orange tones. Of course here at Latedeals.co.uk we love the colour orange, as you can tell from our logo, maybe that’s because we have some ‘frighteningly’ good deals!

Apple Bobbing

The Roman festival for remembering the dead also fell during October, as did their celebration of Pomona, goddess of fruit trees, so it is believed that when the Romans came to England they coincided their celebrations with those of Samhain on the 31st October. Apple bobbing is thought to be of significance to marriage and the first female to ‘catch’ an apple would be the next to marry. I’m not sure how this links to Halloween but the thought of choosing who marries who by this method is pretty scary in itself!

Fancy dress

Ghosts and ghouls wander the earth on Halloween and many people thought that if they left their house they would be ‘taken’ so they dressed themselves in costumes in the hope that the spirits would think that they were already ‘one of them’. The way some people dress these days though…there’s no need for fancy dress!

So whether you hide behind the curtains and pretend you’re not in or do your best to ‘out-scare’ whoever comes to your door, Halloween is now the third biggest celebration in the UK behind Christmas and Easter, so it’s hard to avoid it altogether. That is unless you book that late deal, jump on that flight and join the witches in the dark night sky.

5 top tips for booking cheap holidays this half term

Are you wondering how to amuse the kids this half term? Days out can be so expensive. Do you fancy escaping the British weather to somewhere a little warmer but think that you can never find cheap holidays when the kids are off? Well here at Latedeals.co.uk we’ve got a few hot tips on how you can find cheap last minute holidays even at half term.

Airports
Everyone always wants to fly from their nearest airport, it saves travel time, cost on petrol, overnight hotels and so on, but we recommend checking prices from a couple of other airports. Travelling slightly further afield can mean BIG savings. Weigh up the cost of getting to the airport with the amount you could save on your holiday – you’ll be surprised at the difference.

Night Flights
I know we all like an easy life and daytime flights are perfect, however night flights are often much cheaper in a bid to tempt travellers so are always worth considering. Don’t forget children are very adaptable and will often sleep during a night flight

Weather
Some people avoid certain destinations as it is getting near the end of the summer season and they think the weather might be bad, but that is not always the case. Turkey, Greece and Spain for example all lower their prices towards the end of October but they don’t always lower their temperatures!

Travel light
Some tour operators charge extra for a higher luggage allowance, and many will charge a lot extra if you go over your luggage allowance. Travel light – do you really need 5 pairs of shoes for one week? Share toiletries with the kids and if you need a chunky knit – wear it to travel in to save weight in your luggage. Wear the chunkiest pair of shoes and pack sandals and flip flops too.

A day or two early

Try costing your holiday for 2 days before half term and see the difference! There is a lot of press about taking children out of school at the moment and people being threatened with fines, so make sure you check with your school first. Just don’t tell David Cameron or Michael Gove about this tip!

So book your late deal today and escape from the great British weather. Head for sunnier shores where the kids can splash in the pools rather than the puddles and you can relax with a cocktail in the sun rather than a cocoa in the dark.

5 reasons to visit the Talayot Apartments in Menorca

Here at Latedeals.co.uk we have some excellent late deals for you to the Talayot Apartments in Menorca. The terracotta topped apartments are set in large manicured gardens and are only two storeys high creating a lovely village feel.

1. Family Fun
The Talayot Apartments, located smack bang in-between Cala’n Forcat and Cala’n Blanes on the beautiful Balearic Island of Menorca are overflowing with family fun and entertainment. There’s a Thomson run kids club meaning mum and dad can relax for a bit too and a splash pool to keep the younger ones happy, and we all know that if the kids are happy then the parents are too!

2. Activities
You’ll never hear the words ‘I’m bored!’ from any member of the family – especially the teenagers as there are 6 swimming pools to choose from for starters! Then there’s the table tennis, pool tables, football, volleyball, mini-golf, tennis, satellite TV in the bar and a games room. Phew! There’s also evening entertainment with professional acts 4 times a week.

3. Accommodation
You’ll find a microwave in every kitchenette and each apartment has a hairdryer too – one thing less to pack! All apartments have either a balcony or terrace and some have child safety locks on the balcony doors. It’s also possible to book 2 bedroom apartments that sleep up to 6 – perfect for larger families looking for cheap last minute holidays.

4. Weather
It’s getting close to the end of the summer season so temperatures won’t be quite as high as the middle of August, however a quick check on the 14 day forecast for Menorca reveals that temperatures are set to stay between 23° and 29°C between now and the end of October, so you’ll definitely be able to top up that tan and escape the wind and rain.

5. Price
Last and by every means least is the price! Here at Latedeals.co.uk we can offer up to 70% discount to the Talayot Apartments for cheap last minute holidays taken before the end of October. No catches, no hidden extras, still the same great service just at a discounted price.

So what are you waiting for? Just enter your details into our search panel and we’ll do the rest, except for the packing – sorry, you’ll need to do that bit yourself!

How to bag yourself a cheap last minute holiday

At last! Here in the UK we can actually say what a lovely summer this was, with day after day of warm temperatures and sunny skies. And now in October we are still enjoying the lingering warmth of the last rays of sunshine, but for how long? We know that any day now we’ll be waking up to torrential rain, thick fog, frozen windscreens, and snow! Well I for one am not ready for that. I’ve been spoilt and the idea of digging out the scarf and boots just doesn’t appeal.

But the sunshine is not totally lost as here at Latedeals.co.uk our customers know that by booking last minute holidays with us, they can top up their tan whilst benefiting from up to 70% discount, as long as they are travelling within the next 8 weeks. Booking trends are showing that more people than ever are heading out on holidays abroad this October and you could easily be one of them.

Why is it cheaper to book last minute holidays?

Tour operators don’t like empty rooms so if they have holidays left to sell and if it’s getting near the departure date they’ll start to discount them to attract attention. It’s as simple as that.

Why do I have to book within 8 weeks though?

This is the time when the tour operators start to worry that some holidays just aren’t going to sell at the full price.

If I leave it until the very last minute will it be even cheaper?

Perhaps but there is no guarantee, if a tour operator offers a deal that’s so good it creates a lot of interest, they could actually remove some of the discount and the price may rise slightly again. The golden rule is that if you see a bargain – book it there and then.

What’s the catch?

No catches, no inferior rooms, no less standard of service, it’s the exact same holiday just cheaper.

Will I get a specific hotel that I want?

To be honest, not necessarily, late deals are all about late availability and tour operators can only sell what they have left, however Latedeals.co.uk have an average of 500,000 holidays on offer at any one time, so you’ll still be spoilt for choice.

So where shall I go?

Current popular destinations with our Latedeals.co.uk customers are the Balearic Islands, where the pound is the strongest against the Euro it’s been for 9 months and Turkey where the Turkish Lira is also great value making last minute holidays to these destinations even better value for money. Our mid haul favourite is Sharm el Sheikh and the Dominican Republic is currently our most popular long haul destination.

Do you still have discount holidays when the kids are off school?

There’s plenty of controversy over taking children out of school for family holidays, with tour operators charging premium rates for these times. Well check out our Turkey holidays for the October half term. Our discounts are still high and the weather is currently predicted to be in the mid-twenties, that’s nearly 80°F! It’s looking pretty similar for Majorca half term holidays too. If you’re unsure of where to go, just search ‘cheapest destination’ and we’ll find the best deal to anywhere!

And don’t forget, even if you can’t travel within 8 weeks at the moment, save us in your favourites so we’re always to hand when you need us.

Could you do that to your kids? These celebrities did!

In a week where a judge in the US tried to ban a couple from naming their baby Messiah, here at Latedeals.co.uk we got to thinking about the names people choose for their offspring, and in particular the weird and whacky monikers that celebrities choose.


Of course we’ve got travel on the brain here so we had to start with those named after places and the first one that came to my mind was the Beckhams. They made no secret of the fact that they named their first son after the city he was conceived in – Brooklyn (good job they weren’t visiting Elephant Butte in Colorado!) Their second son is called Romeo (not sure where that is on the map). Their third was born in Madrid and named Cruz, which is the Spanish word for ‘cross’, we sense a football connection rather than the religious one. And finally along came Harper, relatively unheard of at the time but now making the top ten UK baby girls names.

It is unclear if Alicia Keys’ daughter – Egypt was actually conceived in the country or she was simply a fan of the Pyramids. Similarly, Mike Tyson who called his son Morocco and Mariah Cary who named one of her twins Moroccan.

We cast our minds back and decided that the trend of whacky baby names may have been started way back in the seventies when David Bowie and his wife Angie named their first born son Zowie, quite startling at the time and a name that perhaps he wasn’t too keen on either, as he called himself ‘Joe’ from the age of 12, and when he was 18, reverted back to what was apparently on his birth certificate, which was Duncan. Not quite so rock and roll. Marc Bolan followed the rhyming theme a few years later by naming his son Rolan Bolan.

The Geldof’s caused a stir in the eighties when they named their children Peaches Honeyblossom, Little Pixie and Fifi Trixibelle. Geldof’s wife Paula Yates then went on to have a child with Australian rocker Michael Hutchence who they named Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily. Try shouting that lot down for dinner.
Michael Jackson gave his children relatively normal names in comparison; Michael Joseph Junior, Paris Michael Katherine and Prince Michael, although the first born is actually known as Prince and Prince is known as Blanket. Keeping up?

They perhaps got off lightly as Penn Jillette of Penn and Teller fame named his son Zolten, which is his wife’s surname, and his daughter Moxie CrimeFighter. If anyone knows why – please feel free to share.

It seems that Jason Lee (My Name is Earl) also had a moment of madness when he labelled his son with Pilot Inspektor as a name; however he insists it was inspired by a song called ‘He’s Simple. He’s Dumb. He’s the Pilot.’ Really?

Surnames can come into play too as of course we have to make sure that the Christian names go with them and the initials don’t stand for anything dodgy. We wonder then what went through American actor and star of Numb3rs, Rob Morrow’s mind when he named his daughter Tu. Think about it…

And of course, we have to ask how long it took Kanye West and Kim Kardashian to come up with the name ‘North’ for their baby daughter. Perhaps it was revenge for Kim’s parents giving her the middle name of ‘Noel’.
Some countries actually ban certain names. In New Zealand for instance, it’s against the law to call your child Lucifer, Prince, Princess or Bishop amongst others, with one family being told to change their daughters name from ‘Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii’ as it was deemed too embarrassing! It’s also illegal to call your child ‘Ikea’ if you’re Swedish, although I’m not sure that you’d want to as that’s a bit like calling your child MFI if you’re from the UK.

From Apple to Zuzu, who knows what goes through people’s minds when they come up with these names? Perhaps some were influenced by professions; Sailor, Pirate, Poet, Shepherd and even Rocket Man are on the celebrity baby names list, but Sparrow, Diva Muffin, Moon Unit, Peanut, Lyric, Mars and Pepper! Come on!

Fortunately these children will be brought up in a society where the unusual is acceptable and will never be on the receiving end of the roasting our kids would no doubt receive when they started senior school. Kids can be cruel.

Of course the privilege of giving our children ridiculous names is not reserved for the rich and famous, in the recent channel 4 documentary, ‘My Big Fat Gypsy Ladies Day’ we were introduced to one family’s children; ‘Young-un’, Baby-girl’ and the oldest son, thoughtfully named ‘Boy’. Mind you, I’m not sure anyone would ever give them a roasting over their names either!

On a personal level, I once came across a lady who named her son, Jaguar and her daughter Mercedes; I stifled a giggle when she drove off in her Fiat Punto! Maybe that’s the name of the dog!


So come on then, it’s time to share, can you think of any more ridiculous celebrity baby names? What do you think Simon Cowell and Lauren Silverman will call their baby, expected (pun totally intended!) to be a boy? Did you call your children, or are you called something unusual? We’re nosy here at Latedeals.co.uk and we promise not to laugh, plus you never know, you could inspire a new generation of baby names!