June 2016

  • How to find the best flight deals

    Top travel writer says call a specialist for expert advice

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  • Couples cruise is ever so naughtycal

    No-clothes cruise gets temperatures rising

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  • My best holiday Ever

    Former Olympic golden girl Kelly Holmes loves South Africa and New York

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  • Are you paying too much for insurance?

    Don’t buy insurance from travel companies says Which?

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  • Travel Gossip

    Bagging some cash when your luggage is lost and sending in the clowns to cheer up delayed passengers

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  • Quirky hotel of the month

    Hoover up a caravan holiday in this old German factory

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  • What people are saying

    A selection of customer comments from Trust Pilot

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  • What's on offer?

    A selection of this month’s top money savers...

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How to find the best flight deals

Top travel writer says call a specialist for expert advice

call a specialist
Top travel writer: Phoning for advice is likely to get you the best results

Booking an indirect flight to your long haul holiday destination can be a good way of saving money if you are ready and willing to make the most of, or put up with, lengthy stopovers.

A recent survey considered the cost of flights from London to a selection of cities comparing flights for a one week holiday from August to October this year and January and April of next, and came to the conclusion that layovers can save as much as £224 on average.

But while booking flights on unconventional routings can be the cheapest option, particularly in peak season, not everyone wants to endure an extended journey . . . so what are the best options open to travellers?

The answer is easy, according to Telegraph travel expert Nick Trend, just go to a specialist such as DialAFlight to get the best advice.

He says that this really is the best way to research long haul flights in detail as our agents have an excellent knowledge of fare structures, imaginative route planning and the airlines themselves.

He also points out that a specialist can compare fares at a glance and has access to deals that the airlines do not release directly to the public.

Trend warns that the difficulty with long haul fares is that it is an incredibly complicated market, as prices change all the time, and they are not always publicised through the usual channels.

Special deals might be released through individual agents, airlines themselves often launch their own offers, and for many destinations there is a multitude of different routes and options to navigate your way through.

The well respected Telegraph travel writer also says that although it may sound old fashioned in these days of iphones and computers to actually phone for advice but a call is likely to get you the best results.

And who are we to argue!

Couples cruise is ever so naughtycal

No-clothes cruise gets temperatures rising

The Azamara Quest
Temperatures are rising on new adult themed cruise

Private playrooms, clothing-optional pool areas and a chance to mingle with 'open-minded' couples are set to get temperatures rising on a new adult-themed cruise.

The cruise aboard the Azamara Quest is a couples-only, most things go voyage, which will offer a naughty take on luxury cruising.

Original Group, which specialises in adult hospitality and created Desire Resorts, is taking its adult-themed concept to sea with its first-ever Desire Cruise, aboard the newly-refurbished luxury liner.

The ship will set sail along the Adriatic Sea from September 26 to October 3 next year, departing and culminating in Venice, Italy, and stopping in several ports in Croatia and Slovenia.

Passengers will be able to enjoy a luxurious programme with exclusive amenities including clothing-optional areas, private playrooms, adult-orientated entertainment, provocative theme nights, culinary experiences and sensual staterooms.

Rodrigo de la Peña, CEO of Original Group said: "We have carefully selected this amazing ship and this exotic route to enable us to provide our passengers the opportunity to live a high-end, sensual yet spicy experience in a luxurious and secure environment, where they will receive top quality service and visit paradisiac sites.

"We're thrilled to bring to the sea our more than 30 years of experience in creating the perfect sensual atmosphere for adults, and we have no doubt that the Desire Cruise experience will be life-changing for our passengers and become the sensual way to get away."

The Desire Collection is known for its provocative entertainment programme, designed especially for couples, with temperature-rising effects which include spicy signature theme nights, couples workshops, pool parties and icebreakers.

The ship will also offer exclusive, designated spaces like clothing-optional pool areas and signature playrooms where passengers can mix and mingle with other open-minded couples.

If sex on the high seas isn't your cup of tea, then you may prefer a zombie apocalypse cruise experience. Back for its second cruise in January 2017, Walking Dead fans have the chance to take part in a zombie-themed voyage aboard the Norwegian Pearl.

My best holiday Ever

Former Olympic golden girl Kelly Holmes loves South Africa and says you can't beat the nightlife in New York

Kelly Holmes
Former Olympic golden girl Kelly Holmes

How often do you travel?
Once or twice a month for work. I usually go to Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Doha as I mentor in that part of the world. I've also been to Spain, Turkey and all across Europe for work. I sometimes book an extra couple of days on a trip as a holiday so I can chill out and make the most of the long flights. The last proper holiday I had was to Sri Lanka last year with friends and it was great fun. We travelled by train and on tuk-tuks.

What do you need for a perfect holiday?
Sunshine and warmth. Good restaurants, friends, a comfortable hotel and a place you can easily walk around also help.

Earliest memory of travelling abroad?
On school day trips from Dover to Calais. I remember having to wear a life jacket and getting wet on very bouncy crossings. I went to Papendal in Holland to take part in a mini youth Olympics when I was 16, which I won.

Favourite country you've trained in?
South Africa. I have been going since 1994, and I have had a house in Stellenbosch since 2001. It is easily the best place I have run in as it offers such good weather, climate and altitude training.

Most adventurous travel experience?
The jungle location in Costa Rica that we were taken to for Bear Grylls Mission Survive in November 2014. We had to cope with tropical jungle, different terrains and a long trek. I was bitten from head to foot.

Best holiday ever?
It is hard to say. An unusual one was on a trip as an ambassador to the Beijing Olympics in 2008. We had a few days to explore and went to see the Great Wall and into the Forbidden City, which was amazing. South Africa is the place I like the most though.

Favourite cities and the one best for nightlife?
Rome and Sydney - the ones that I competed in. New York is tops for nightlife. I've been many times and I just love the whole buzz of the city. It never stops, and there is such an enormous amount to see and do there. I've been to see shows on Broadway and basketball matches as well as the sights.

Best piece of travel advice?
Keep the body moving to get the blood flowing. - you can feel stiff after a long flight so it is worth doing as much as you can.

Read the original interview on Telegraph Online.

Are you paying too much for insurance?

Don’t buy insurance from travel companies says consumer organisation Which?

which magazine
Consumer organisation Which? offers trusted advice

Holidaymakers could save more than £100 on their travel insurance if they buy direct from a traditional insurer and not from a travel company, research has shown.

Consumer organisation Which has discovered that a 65-year-old spending a week in the Caribbean could buy single trip cover from Thomas Cook or Thomson for £155 or go directly to Axa, which provides the travel insurance for both companies, for £104. Or take Boots’ Silver policy for just £48.

It also found that a 50-year-old taking a seven day trip to Spain would pay £29 with Thomson and First Choice and just £11 with Boots’ Silver policy or John Lewis Plus.

Travel Gossip

Bagging some cash when your luggage is lost and sending in the clowns to cheer up delayed passengers

Las Vegas
Las Vegas

Take a gamble on this cheap flight
Sun seekers in the UK who fancy a flutter will be able to fly direct to Las Vegas this autumn for as little as £179. Low cost airline Norwegian has announced that the Nevada city, famous for its gambling, full on nightlife and bright lights, is its eighth American destination. The flights from London Gatwick start on October 31 with fares from £179 one way. Flights back are even cheaper from £127 making a return possible from £330. A similar Virgin Atlantic service costs from £583 while British Airways starts at £703.

Ghan you believe how long it is?
Australia's legendary Ghan train that links Darwin in the north to Adelaide, 1,850 miles away in the south, is to become one of the world's longest trains this summer. Consisting of 44 carriages and two locomotives, the train will spend nine weeks running at 1,096 metres (3,600ft) in length, more than 200 metres longer than usual. The extension is due to a surge in demand for tickets and the Ghan service will include 22 guest carriages, six restaurant cars and five lounge carriages.

Taming nature in the park
A four acre section of New York's Central Park has been 'rediscovered' after being lost to nature in 1934. The Hallett Nature Sanctuary was allowed to become overgrown as an enclave for migrating birds, but park authorities have now tamed, renovated and re-opened the wilderness to the public as part of a £28 million scheme and expect it to become a draw for tourists.

Sorting out delays and lost luggage disputes
Passenger with gripes about delays or lost luggage can take them to a new body called Airline Dispute Resolution (ADR) - but airlines themselves have no obligation to join the scheme. The service is provided by the not-for-profit Retail Ombudsman and is backed by the Civil Aviation Authority. It can award refunds and compensation against carriers that land in or take off from the UK. Member carriers must pay out within an agreed time limit or face fines of up to £2,500. If the airline is not a member, it will be within its discretion, ADR says.

French say non to ski sleeper trains
Popular sleeper train services to the French ski resorts are to be axed. This means that UK skiers and snowboarders won't be able to catch the typical Friday night train from Calais to Bourg St Maurice or St Gervaise and be on the slopes of Tignes and Val d'Isere the next day. The French ministry of transport has withdrawn support for the services, citing expense, and as no operator has stepped in all but three routes will be terminated by July 1.

You may need to T off in New Zealand
Holidaymakers wishing to take a road trip in New Zealand should be required to take a driving test and display 'T' plates on their vehicle to warn other drivers of any potential danger, a campaign group has urged. The T plates for tourists group claims that foreign drivers are to blame for a disproportionate number of road traffic accidents and wants to take action to make the country's roads safer. A petition has been sent to Kiwi prime minister John Key asking for government backing.

Get their early for that flight home
If you are flying home from America this summer get to the airport at least three hours before your flight - or risk missing it. The advice, issued by the country's airlines and airports, comes after tens of thousands of passengers waited for more than two hours to clear security across the US recently. Cot beds were hired for families stuck at Chicago and clowns were brought in to try to cheer up those waiting at San Diego. A combination of record passenger numbers and staff shortages at the Transport Security Administration means that waits will probably only get worse this summer

Quirky hotel of the month

Hoover up a caravan holiday in this old German factory

Neukölln district
Caravanning just got cool in Berlin’s trendy Neukölln district

If the idea of caravanning evokes visions of wet weekends in wales, it’s time to think again. Situated in Berlin’s uber cool Neukölln district, Huettenpalast have redefined the traditional caravan holiday within the shelter of an abandoned vacuum cleaner factory. Other accommodation options include traditional wooden huts, motorhomes as well as 6 generous sized rooms with ensuite facilities.

Enjoy the feeling of summer even in the winter with an indoor garden which provides a green and quiet oasis for visitors and residents, all just moments from the bright lights and cultural attractions of Berlin.

What people are saying

A selection of customer comments from Trust Pilot

I’ve been travelling for 40 years but this was the best yet

I feel I must take the time to compliment DialAFlight on their magnificent organisational talent and in particular Richard.

My first conversation with Richard occurred by chance with me looking for a return flight from Birmingham to New York. The conversation quickly expanded to matching a flight, hotel accommodation and a cruise in/out of New York to Bermuda.

The hotel selection and location was excellent, the cruise arrangements and complimentary extras that he obtained from the cruise line were outstanding. Most importantly the advice and tips that he gave, in how to manoeuvre around New York contributed to making this a holiday of a lifetime.

In 40 years of travelling I have never experienced such outstanding service. I certainly will be using DialAFlight again and singing the praises of Richard and the organisation to family and friends, Thank you for helping to create such a wonderful experience.

Patrick Jones gave DialAFlight 5 stars on Trust Pilot

Sparkling footnote: Patrick's name was pulled out of the hat in our monthly Trust Pilot draw and a case of Prosecco is on its way to him.

How DialAFlight cleverly saved me £2000

Harley saved us £2000 booking the same hotel we found through Thomson simply by booking a week earlier. Any queries we had were answered without delay and nothing seemed too much trouble. I’ve recommended this company to friends and family, some of whom have already used them and been impressed by the service.

Vinny Romano gave DialAFlight 5 stars on Trust Pilot
I drove Karl mad but he was just brilliant

I contacted Karl at DialAFlight back in August 2015 regarding a proposed trip to the Far East and Australia. I also contacted 2 other Australian specialists.

Karl put our full trip together. Nothing was too much trouble even though I must have driven him mad. I think he fully understood the type of people we are and what we were looking for out of our holiday. We went to Hong Kong, Sydney, Cairns and Singapore.

The flights were good, hotels we were very happy with and in good locations. The tour companies were exceptional and very organised.

There were only a couple of issues but nothing to do with Karl or DialAFlight and they were sorted quickly. Karl even phoned me to say he could get me a free upgrade in our HKG Hotel which was very much appreciated.

Would I recommend him? Yes most certainly. He will be the first and only person I will phone when planning my next trip.

Sharon Aarons gave DialAFlight 5 stars on Trust Pilot
Booking online was a hassle so I phoned DialAFlight and saved money

I started booking flights to NZ, then to OZ, and back to the UK online but it became apparent that online booking could not deal with this adequately. I turned to Google and fortunately tried DialAFlight. They arranged the flights over the phone, as I required, in minimal time and at prices significantly less than indicated online. They then emailed me confirmation and I downloaded their very useful app. The flights went exactly as specified. A completely hassle free experience.

David Clarck gave DialAFlight 5 stars on Trust Pilot

Read more reviews at https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.dialaflight.com

What's on offer?

A selection of this month’s top money savers...

Club privileges at Atlantis the Palm: Save 40% with FREE HB

Puerto Vallarta

Save a massive 40% on a long weekend at Atlantis the Palm this summer staying in a suave Imperial Club Room. Your stay will include FREE half board as well as exclusive access to the Imperial Club Lounge (for breakfast, afternoon tea and evening drinks), personalised concierge service, access to the pristine Royal Beach of Atlantis and you'll even be able to skip the queues at Aquaventure Water Park. Fly from a choice of UK airports with award winning Emirates.
3 nights from £849pp
Valid 5-30 Jun 2016

A colourful escape to New England this autumn: Save £100pp

Puerto Vallarta

Experience New England in all its colourful glory in the 'Fall' as you venture from Boston to Rockport, Holderness, the beautiful White Mountains, Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and the towns of Newport and Falmouth. There is so much to do and so many iconic sights to see on this short but action packed itinerary. We include a saving of £100pp as well as car hire and flights with Delta.
8 nights from £1549pp
Valid for deps 1 Sep- 24Oct 2016

Malaga is marvellous with 20% off 5* Puente Romano

Puerto Vallarta

Enveloped in beautiful Mediterranean gardens and a stunning 7km stretch of golden sand, Puente Romano provides a luxury bolthole offering a Six Senses Spa and a huge choice of sports and activities including tennis at the Tennis Club which boasts 10 courts. Alternatively you could simply laze in the sunshine by a choice of 3 swimming pools. Save 20% with our offer which includes flights from Gatwick and daily breakfast.
5 nights from £649pp
Valid 18 Sep- 26 Oct 2016

Indulge yourself at Sandy Lane, Barbados with $1200 resort credit

Puerto Vallarta

Surround yourself in luxury at world renowned Sandy Lane, Barbados and enjoy the pinnacle of Caribbean luxury this autumn. Stay 7 nights in a beautiful Orchid Room and enjoy $1200 credit per stay for indulging yourself with heavenly spa treatments, fine wines and sumptuous dining. Flights are included with Virgin Atlantic. Ask about upgrading to Upper Class or Premium Economy.
7 nights from £3499pp
Valid 1 Nov- 12 Dec 2016

Cruise the Med on the world’s largest cruise ship and save 10%

Puerto Vallarta

Experience the sensational new Harmony of the Seas on this 7 night cruise beginning and ending in Barcelona. This ground breaking Royal Caribbean vessel has to be experienced to be believed and this 7 night itinerary gives you plenty of time to discover all that’s in store as you sail around the Western Med’s most fascinating cities. Save 10% with our deal which includes flights and full board.
7 nights from £1459pp
Valid 25 Sep 2016

Save 45% on Indian Ocean bliss at Westin Turtle Bay, Mauritius

Puerto Vallarta

Escape to the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius for 7 nights of beach bliss at the Westin Turtle Bay Resort and Spa. If you are feeling active try your hand at waterskiing and snorkelling or alternatively just laze in the spa or by the beautiful sparkling pools. Our offer includes 7 nights in a Beachfront Deluxe Room on a half board basis with a 45% discount, transfers and flights with Emirates.
7 nights from £1345pp
Valid 11 Aug- 23 Sep 2016