5 Reasons to Travel to the UK and Europe in 2016/2017!

 

Following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, the pound has fallen to its lowest level in more than 30 years against the dollar, and the euro is not far behind

If you are from the UK, when you travel abroad, your pounds will now buy you fewer euros or dollars, the cost of accommodation and food will rise and your spending money won’t go as far as it did before Brexit.

However, if you are from abroad and want to travel to and tour the UK, things have never been better.

 

1. Exchange Rates.

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The immediate effect after the Brexit vote is that it’s a good time for American travellers to tour Britain and Europe.

This is of course due the the exchange rates and the falling pound and Euro.

 

2. Price Cuts.

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The American dollar is about 20% stronger compared to the British pound at the moment, your dollar will also stretch much further in Europe.

That means that nearly everything purchased by Americans visiting the UK will be cheaper. This includes alcohol, food, museums and many tourist attraction and guided tours.

 

 

3. Hotel Rates.

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The Brexit vote may have an effect on European visitors to the UK which will mean hotels will probably charge less due to lower demand.

Book your hotel now if you are thinking of visiting the UK and pay in full to make sure you get the favourable exchange rate as prices may go up later.

If you have already made a deposit payment, ask the hotel to process your final bill as a new transaction, again, to make sure you get the favourable exchange rate.

 

4. Flight Prices.

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Airfare rates may also be effected and go up or down depending on where you are travelling from.

For example, people may be put off going to America because of the exchange rate, so airlines will have to reduce prices to fill seats.

On the other hand, according to the ‘Association of British Travel Agents (Abta)’, travellers may face higher air fares  between the UK and the European Union because of all the financial uncertainty caused by Brexit.

 

5. Britain and Europe on Sale.

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Last but not least, Britain and Europe is more or less on sale at the moment due to the weak pound and Euro compared against other currencies.

It may not be good news for the British, but for American tourists, Brexit has provided a fantastic opportunity to visit the usually expensive UK and Europe on the cheap.

Whether you book a flight, hotel or full package coach tour, you will grab a bargain – visiting the UK and Europe from the USA has never been so enticing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 ‘Brexit’ Effects on Travel Plans?

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‘Brexit’ refers to the British exit from the European Union, and you may be wondering,  How does this affect my travel plans?

Well, Here’s what we know up to now…

 

1. Impact on travel.

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If you’ve already booked or are planning to book a holiday, Brexit should have no impact on you as a traveller. This is because many of the effects of Brexit won’t happen immediately, the negotiations for the UK’s exit from the EU are expected to take around two years, so no sudden changes.

 

2. UK & Europe borders.

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Travellers with valid passports and the correct visas will be allowed to travel from London to all countries in Europe. Brexit  will not effect visa policies of the Schengen Regions in Europe.

 

3. British passports.

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The UK will remain part of the EU as long as it takes to negotiate its exit. For this reason, British passports will remain valid throughout this time, meaning no changes if you are planning to travel to Europe this year or in the next two years at least.

 

4. Excellent exchange rates.

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 With the UK’s vote to leave the EU came the inevitable effect on the pound, making it weaker against most other world currencies, and the same can be said for the Euro in the coming weeks and months. People travelling and planning to travel to Europe can therefore expect a better exchange rate in the UK and Europe in the foreseeable future.

 

5. Still safe place to visit.

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Finally, the UK and Europe is still one of the safest places to travel and Brexit should not put you off following your dreams. Excellent public transport, cultural diversity and amazing experiences to behold are just a few reasons to travel, especially on a guided tour so you know you are in extra safe hands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back-Roads – The Roads Less Travelled!

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A fully packaged popular coach tour can really tick all the boxes when deciding on a well deserved break. Sometimes though, a more laid back and intimate experience is what people need, something a bustling coach tour just can’t provide.

Well, there are touring companies out there that can fill that need, companies like Back-Roads Touring who are experts in small group and tailor made touring holidays. With their small group size tours, they offer a unique range of fascinating and leisurely regional tours throughout the UK and Europe.

With Back-Roads Touring, the journey is just as important as the destination, so you get to travel along the beautiful back roads, enjoying spectacular scenery and exploring hidden gems all along the way.

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What’s more, you will also experience specially selected accommodation loaded with charm and home comforts, dine at the local restaurants sitting amongst the locals, meet traditional local producers and mingle with local characters.

This is the Back-Roads Difference!

Maximum Group Size of 18

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For most Back-Roads tours there is a maximum of 18 passengers, which allows the professional tour leaders to offer a more personalised experience.

This in turn enables more attention given to the interests of individuals, flexible touring days and a less obtrusive style of touring.

Less people means more intimate hotels and restaurants with local charm and character can be selected.

 

Scenic Back-Roads not Freeways

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Back-Roads Touring mini-coaches may be smaller but they are also are extremely comfortable.

Unlike larger motor coaches, their smaller size allows them to travel along smaller local roads and across breath-taking mountain passes to find charming villages and picturesque vistas.

They also usually drive into the centre of tiny villages and towns to park beside charming accommodation and intimate local restaurants.

 

Authentic Local Experiences

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With Back-Roads Touring you will be shown the heart and soul of a nation with their Authentic Local Experiences.

You’ll really get to know the people, customs and history of a region in depth by enjoying intimate concerts and seeing demonstrations by local producers and tradesmen.

You’ll also get exclusive access to private tours of country houses and gardens, as well as being able to explore towns and villages that aren’t on the tourist trail.

Leisurely Paced Itineraries

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A lot of other tours can start their days early and finish late, but not Back-Roads Touring.

Most days begin around 9 am and itineraries are carefully planned to avoid cramming too much into a day, as well as keeping long drives to a minimum.

Discoveries can be made at a more leisurely pace with time to socialise or delve deeper into attractions on your own.

 

Charming Accommodation

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Accommodation is carefully selected to always reflect the character and charm of the destination you are staying in.

Whether an old country estate, traditional villa or castle hotel, the accommodation will be situated in a stunning setting or have interesting historical and architectural heritage.

Others may be chosen for their owner-hosted welcome or excellent food, with guaranteed quality and comfort a given.

Culinary Experiences

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Back-Roads Touring makes sure tasting the local cuisine is an important part of any holiday, and ensures that particular emphasis is placed on food and drink whilst on tour.

Their included Culinary Experiences enable you to enjoy truly authentic cuisine at iconic restaurants run by award-winning chefs.

You’ll also be able to enjoy cooking classes using regional ingredients and visit local farms and wine tastings.

Solo Travelling!

holiday-1260208_960_720Travelling alone gives you the chance to indulge yourself fully and not be concerned what other people want to do.

norway-772991_960_720People also often say that “meeting new and different people” is one of the reasons they love travelling alone.

abstract-1239389_960_720Travelling on a coach tour is by far the easiest way to do this, as well as enjoying all the other benefits of a holiday designed to cater for your every need.

coach-tours-trafalgar-trips-world-wideFor example. a coach tour with Trafalgar on their ‘European Highlights’ tour gives you all this:

Dining Highlights6 hot buffet breakfasts.
3 dinners.
First class travel HighlightsLuxury air-conditioned coach with WiFi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
Hand-picked 4 and 5 star accommodation
Hand-picked Insider Experiences
Optional Experiences and free time
All porterage and restaurant gratuities
Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
An expert Travel Director and separate Driver
All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
VIP entry to many sights
Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing
Ferry from Dover to Calais.
Ferry from Calais to Dover

Guided holidays are a hassle-free and enjoyable way for you to discover your destination if you’re travelling solo.

However, travelling alone can also mean the dreaded ‘single supplement’ which can put people off.

You can avoid it altogether by booking with a tour operator that offers roommate matching, or still have a single room with a reduced fee.

A double bed in a London hotel

Trafalgar offer solo travellers a 50-100% discount on their standard single supplements on selected trip departures.

For example, you could get the whole 100% discount with their Italian Holiday (ITIH) – 7 days tour starting on the 15 Apr 16.

 Cosmos also have some great offers on their holidays for single travellers.

Cosmos also have a single share option where you share a twin room with a fellow traveller of the same gender.

As an added bonus, Cosmos will let you enjoy a single room to yourself at no extra cost if there is not another single traveller on your tour.

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If you are travelling with Expat Explore on your own, they provide a room share with another traveller of the same gender as standard.

If, however, you would prefer the privacy of your own room, you can upgrade to a private single room with private bathroom for the duration of your tour.

Expat Explore prices are so reasonable that the extra cost won’t hurt so much!

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In the end one becomes many…………….

Mother’s Day Getaway!

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Mother’s Day is on Sunday 6th March in 2016, the one day when we can truly show appreciation to our wonderful mothers.

Mother’s Day is a day that has been chosen especially  to celebrate mothers and all mother figures in every shape and form.

From grandmothers, great grandmothers, stepmothers and mothers-in-law, everything they do for us through their love can be shown to be appreciated by setting this one day aside.

Flowers and chocolates are usually the main gifts bought on Mother’s Day and are, of course, hugely appreciated.

 

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But as a special treat, why not choose a coach holiday around this date to whisk your loved one away for a truly memorable Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day is the perfect excuse for a special weekend getaway, go shopping, visit a museum or take in a show.

Say a massive thank you to your mum and treat her to an unforgettable Mother’s Day weekend in London.

Better still, try one of the fabulous coach tours that take you around Britain and beyond………

Book now for Mother’s day or as a Mother’s day gift for future dates!

 

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Britain and Ireland Experience 2016

Experience the Britain and Ireland of a simpler time, through medieval castles and churches that have stood for centuries. Admire Ireland’s breathtaking Dingle Peninsula and roam the charming streets …

  • Lasting for 12 Days
  • Prices Starting From £88 per day

 

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irish highlights

Irish Highlights 2016

The fast-track to Ireland – this seven-day encounter with the southern side takes you from Dublin and back again, stopping at Waterford, Limerick and the scenic Ring of Kerry along the way.It’s Inside…

  • Lasting for 7 Days
  • Prices Starting From £121 per day

 

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European Highlights 2016

Discovering six countries in seven days, this intimate introduction to Europe compares its big players, France and Germany, and their smaller neighbours, Switzerland and The Netherlands.It’s Insider m…

  • Lasting for 7 Days
  • Prices Starting From £141 per day

Applying for a Schengen Visa!

It’s great to imagine a spontaneous visit to the UK or Europe. If you are from one of the following countries you don’t need a visa for a tourist stay of up to 90 days: UK, European Union, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, and  this list is by no means a complete one.

However, if your passport is from India, China, Pakistan, Indonesia, any African country, most South American countries and many others, then you must apply for a visa for the UK and the ‘Schengen Area’. First, however, it would be helpful to understand some background information in order to understand what the Schengen Area actually is.

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The background to the Schengen Area stems from the formation of the European Union (EU) in 1993. The EU is a group of 28 mostly European countries that participate in the world economy as one economic unit and have one official currency, the euro.

 

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From this European Union, the Schengen Agreement was signed which created the Schengen Area. Countries in the Schengen Area have removed border controls with the other Schengen members and strengthened border controls with non-Schengen states. Of the 26 countries bound by the Schengen agreement, 22 are part of the EU and the other 4 are part of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

 

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 The countries that are not part of the EU but are part of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) include Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Lichtenstein. The other six EU members that do not form part of the Schengen Area include Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Romania, Ireland and the United Kingdom. The first 4 are legally obliged and wish to join the area, while the last 2 have opted-out.

 

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This may all sound very complicated, but for the benefit of travelling around Europe, it does have its advantages as only one visa is needed to cover your journey – the Schengen Visa. To apply for the Schengen Visa it is advisable to allow at least 8 weeks for the process as you have to pay for your travel arrangements in advance, and these travel arrangements form part of the evidence you need to show to the consulate where you are applying. Correct paperwork is also essential for the consulate to issue a visa, so checking you have the right information beforehand is very important.

 

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Notably, the booking conditions of most tour and travel arrangements do not provide a full refund within 8 weeks of travel. A sliding scale of cancellation charges kicks in usually within 8-10 weeks before departure. If you have to cancel your travel plans you will lose your airfare, your tour deposit and probably a lot more since you won’t know if your visa has been granted until possibly a couple of weeks before travel. Unfortunately, visa refusal is not an insurable event. The best thing to do is make sure you have all the information you need in the first place to obtain your visa.

 

Key points to remember:

  • Apply to consulate of your main destination. If you are visiting different countries in the Schengen area, but one country in the Schengen area is where you will be spending most of the time (in number of days) that is your MAIN destination.

  • If you are visiting different countries in the Schengen area, but you are spending an equal number of days in each country, your first port of entry in the Schengen area is the country you apply to. BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT NOW – Allow minimum 10 working days to have your passport returned after the appointment date!

  • Apply in your country of residence. If you are currently living in the UK as a student or worker you can apply in the UK as long as your UK residence permit is valid at least three months beyond the return date of the tour.

For the Schengen Visa Global Coach Tours will write you an application support letter when you have booked and paid in full for one of their tours. Again, you must have a UK resident permit to apply in the UK and not just here for a short visit. Your UK residence permit must be valid at least three months beyond the return date of the tour. You should apply in the consulate of the country where you spend the most time. Allow several weeks before your tour as you will be seen by appointment only.

 

 

Easter Extravaganza!

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Easter, which always falls on a Sunday, is a Christian festival celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

 In countries where Christianity is a state religion or has a large Christian population, Easter is often a public holiday. Good Friday, Easter Sunday and

Easter Monday are public holidays in many countries with many businesses having an extended Easter break.

 

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In places like Europe and America, Easter is also a cultural festival whereby many

cherished Easter traditions and symbols have been around for many centuries.

Easter eggs are just one popular cultural symbol of Easter.

The tradition of Easter eggs dates back centuries whereby eggs are specially decorated to celebrate Easter.

The oldest tradition is to colour chicken eggs,

although in more recent times, chocolate or candy is used to make eggs.

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In Poland and other East European countries, eggs are seen as a symbol of new life.

In Russia, you can find beautifully created eggs made from precious jewels in their Imperial Court.

The United States celebrates Easter by holding an annual Easter egg roll on the White House lawn for children.

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The Easter Bunny is also a prominent secular symbol of the Christian festival, and probably dates back to when German immigrants brought to America

their stories of an egg-laying hare called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” . Rabbits are also known to be prolific procreators, so as well as eggs, another

symbol of fertility and new life.

 

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Again, as with eggs,  spring chicks are a fertility and new life symbol dating back many thousands of years.

 

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The spring lamb is also a prominent Easter symbol in Central and Eastern European countries.

Christians believe that the lamb represents Jesus and relates to his death to that of the lamb, sacrificed on the first Passover.

Notably, Christians also traditionally refer to Jesus as “the Lamb of God”.

 

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Hot Cross buns are another edible tradition eaten on Good Friday.  Although the Christian symbolism is quite evident in the bread, spices and cross, there

are many theories related to the hot cross bun.

These include references going back to Roman times and also to Saxon times. Some believe that they are a pagan rather than Christian tradition.

Theories also date back to 12th or 14th century monks and even that the Easter tradition relates to the Elizabethan era.

When all is said and done, it doesn’t really matter where the origins come from – they are absolutely delicious anyway!

 

Hot cross buns

 

Travel in the lap of luxury with Cox & Kings!

Luxury Tours and Tailor-Made Holidays from Cox & Kings:

You may have heard of Cox & Kings as being the  longest established travel company in the world! You may also have heard that they  offer the  highest quality global tours which include group tours, private journeys and tailor-made holidays to many of the world’s most fascinating regions.  But do you actually know how they actually came about in the first place?

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The year 2008 marked the 250th anniversary of the foundation of Cox & Kings, confirming it as the  longest established travel company in the world. The company’s history stretches back to the summer of 1758 when Richard Cox was appointed as regimental agent to the Foot Guards by his mentor, Lord Ligonier, the Commanding Officer of His Majesty’s Armed Forces.
Richard Cox is appointed as regimental agent to the Foot Guards by Lord Ligonier

The role of agent included arranging  payment and providing clothing to officers and men. Regimental agents did not have a very good reputation before Cox, but such was his honesty, reliability and organisational ability that he made it a respectable business and Cox & Co soon became the agent for the majority of British regiments. The company’s business grew hand in hand with the British Empire, becoming involved in banking and shipping.

In the late 19th century, Henry S. King & Co was a rival bank and shipping agency, started by Henry Samuel King and subsequently run for over 45 years by his son, Henry Seymour King, an MP and renowned mountaineer. The company had particularly strong links with India. After the First World War the two companies merged as Cox’s & King’s and moved into grand premises on Pall Mall. In 1923 the business was sold to Lloyds Bank and whilst the banking arm stayed with Lloyds (becoming the Cox & Kings branch, as it is still known), the shipping agency became a separate company, running tours and organising the passage of people and their belongings around the world, notably to Egypt, India and South Asia.

In 1970, Cox & Kings Agency was bought by Grindlays Bank as part of a deal with the Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, to develop tourism into the country, and so the modern history of the company began.

The company is now privately owned and has extended its travel expertise to cover more global tours including the Indian Subcontinent, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, the Far East, Europe and Australasia.

 

Luxury Tours and Tailor-Made Holidays to Indian Subcontinent

 

 

Fun and Exciting CIE Tours

CIE Tours offers the best tours of Britain and Ireland. The company, which has been in business for 81 years, is an industry favorite among travelers. One of the main reasons for this is the high level of customer service provided by the tour guides. These tour guides, who are extremely friendly, work tirelessly to ensure that each tour is a huge success. The tours offered by CIE are guaranteed to start on time and are well worth the money one will pay to participate.

CIE Tours Coach - travel in the height of comfort aboard one of our state-of-the-art touring coaches

Relax and travel in style aboard one of the state-of-the-art CIE coaches

CIE offers tours of many different travel destinations. Some of the most popular and well-known of these places are Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, Italy, and Eastern Europe.

Each one of these wonderful travel destinations offers visitors a fun and unique experience. People have the option to register for an independent or a group tour. The independent tours are highly organized and give travelers a multitude of attractions to choose from. These tours are customized to meet each individual person’s desires.

The same holds true for the group tours. These tours are classified as either a brochure tour or a customized tour. CIE gives travelers a list of tourist sights and attractions. It is up to the traveler to choose which places they want to visit. The professionals at CIE are always available to help people out with these decisions. They make it a point to do everything in their power to ensure that each one of their clients has a safe and exciting travel experience.