Category: Vacation deals

Last Minute Package Holidays – What Are The Main Benefits?

Package holidays are still the popular choice for UK tourists, and booking at the last minute even more so. But why exactly are these breaks proving to be so widely loved?


One of the biggest incentives for people booking last minute package holidays is the chance to make considerable savings. It pays to understand the process behind last minute packages in order to appreciate exactly why you’re able to secure such a cheap deal.

Package holidays allow people to reap savings when tour operators secure bulk spots on flights and hotels. When people buy these packages at the last minute, tour operators often slash their costs radically in order to fill spots they have already spent funds on.

The downside to this is that the more popular the package holiday, the less likely you are to find spots still available at the last minute. For this reason it is better to have an open mind about your destination and date of travel in order to secure the best deals.


Booking a package holiday takes away the stress of booking individual items such as flights, hotels and transfers and ensuring that all of these will run seamlessly to make the perfect getaway. By going straight to a reputable operator, you will have all of these arrangements made for you, at one cost that is paid for upfront.

Package holidays also have the benefit of being financially protected, and good travel providers will sell their holidays with ABTA and ATOL protection. This means that if anything were to go wrong, such as the airline you were booked with went into administration before your trip, you’d be able to get your money back with no arguments needed.


Package holidays not only mean the hard yards are taken care of by somebody else – it’s also all done by a qualified industry expert. Booking accommodation can sometimes feel like a bit of a guessing game and plenty of people know that sinking feeling when you arrive at a hotel that looks nothing like the photos.

Even the most experienced travellers will find themselves dining in tourist trap restaurants from time to time and there’s nothing worse than realising you’ve spent the night drinking at the most expensive bar in town.

Booking a package holiday means you can jump on a plane feeling confident that the accommodation, transport, dining and entertainment are all approved by industry experts who are experienced at securing authentic experiences at affordable rates.

Anyone shopping for travel stuff this holiday season?

Happy American Thanksgiving!

After some real shopping and some online shopping on this Black Friday, I figured I’d ask how everyone here did with their shopping.

I’ve found that buying travel as a gift for anyone besides my wife can be pretty tricky. And then when I buy for my wife she rightly points out that I’m really just buying for me. So I didn’t buy any vacations or travel gear today but I did buy some stuff for traveling, namely some winter coats (50% off in Pet Supermarket thanks to Black Friday) for my dogs. Well their Christmas present is set but they are pretty easy to shop for, even if my little girl does complain every time we put clothes on her.

I did get a few emails for Cyber Monday travel deals:

Sceptre Tours will be offering exceptional pricing on 5 of its most popular Ireland vacations (both independent and escorted) for 24 hours beginning Monday, 11/26 at midnight and continuing until 11:59pm (EST). Included in the sale are 4 independent vacations starting at $799pp including roundtrip air, accommodations, rental car, taxes and fees and more, and 1 escorted tour from $399 pp (land only) which includes luxury motorcoach tour, accommodations, most meals, admissions to attractions, taxes, fees and more. Details can be found on the attached release or by visiting

Viceroy Hotel Group Cyber Monday offers are actually on now and end on Cyber Monday. With 14 hotels worldwide, book unique experiences and access special savings now. Use Promotional Code: CYBER12

USA Today has a bigger list.

Travel deal & itinerary: 10 days in Peru + airfare (Machu Picchu, Cuzco, and Lima)

I’m not sure what it costs to to visit Peru but this seems like a pretty good Groupon deal. And if nothing else at least we have a Peru travel itinerary to read and consider:

DAY 1, Friday or Sunday – Depart the USA, Arrive in Lima

Depart the USA for Peru. Your flight includes meals, drinks, and in-flight entertainment for your journey

DAY 2, Saturday or Monday – Arrive in Lima, Afternoon City Tour

Early this morning, arrive in Lima and transfer to your hotel. After time to rest and eat breakfast, you will join a tour of Lima. Enjoy the sights of Peru’s capital city with 2000 years of indigenous and colonial heritage before stopping at the San Francisco Monastery, famous for its 17th century architecture and world-renowned library. Spend the remainder of the evening at leisure in the “Gastronomical Capital of the Americas” by exploring Lima’s nightlife or sampling some of its famed dishes, such as Ceviche and Pisco Sour, the national drink
Optional: Dinner at La Dama Juana
Overnight: Lima
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 3, Sunday or Tuesday – Fly to Cuzco, Visit Chinchero Market & Ollantaytambo Ruins

This morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Cuzco. Upon arrival, transfer to the Urubamba Sacred Valley to visit the bustling Chinchero market where you can bargain for alpaca wool scarves, jewelry, and other hand-crafted goods. After the tour, enjoy a typical Peruvian lunch before restarting your journey. On the way you will have the opportunity to visit Ollantaytambo. During the Incan Empire, this site was the royal estate of Emperor Pachacuti, known as the greatest Incan Emporer due to his role in expanding its territory, and served as a town and ceremonial center. Marvel at the architecture of the Incas before being transferred to your hotel. This evening, enjoy dinner and music at a local restaurant
Overnight: Urubamba Sacred Valley **
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4, Monday or Wednesday – Full Day in the Sacred Valley

Today, enjoy the full day at leisure in Urubamba. The Sacred Valley is scattered with ancient ruins and once served as the gateway to the jungle. Today it is considered one of the most important tourist destinations in Peru, and is popular for activities such as hiking, kayaking, rafting, horse-back riding, and bathing in thermal baths
Optional: Full Day Maras and Moray
Optional: Dinner with a Local Peruvian Family
Overnight: Urubamba Sacred Valley
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 5, Tuesday or Thursday – Full Day Machu Picchu

Early this morning, transfer to the Sacred Valley’s Ollanta Station and board the train* for Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site virtually unknown to the western world until Hiram Bingham III’s “re” discovery in 1911. Spend the afternoon viewing the ancient citadel before boarding the train for your return to the Sacred Valley’s Ollanta Station in the evening. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel in Cuzco
*Plan B passengers will ride on the Expedition Train and Plan A passengers will ride on the Vistadome Train
Overnight: Cuzco
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 6, Wednesday or Friday – Full Day in Cuzco

Spend today at leisure in “The Imperial City”. The city of Cuzco is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and once served as the capital of the Inca Empire. Take time to sightsee or shop independently as Cuzco is known for some of the finest handicrafts and textiles in all of Peru. Cuzco is declared the Historical Capital by the Constitution of Peru and hosts nearly 1 million visitors every year. Visit some of the numerous Inca monuments or investigate the culinary secrets of Andean cuisine. Tonight, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant
Optional: Half Day Cuzco Behind the Scenes (AM)
Optional: Half Day Highlights of Cuzco (PM)
Overnight: Cuzco
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 7, Thursday or Saturday – Raqchi & Puno

This will be a long and rewarding touring day. The regions you will pass through will provide a view of local Peruvian life in the agricultural fields. You will leave Cuzco early in the morning and travel through the Andes Mountain Range to Puno, located on the banks of Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake at 12,421 feet above sea level. En route stop at the Incan archaeological site of Raqchi, site of the Temple of Wiracocha, where you will see the temple complex, living quarters, storehouses, fairgrounds, and ceremonial baths. A box lunch will be served on the coach. Arrive to Puno in the evening and check into your hotel
Overnight: Puno
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 8, Friday or Sunday – Excursion to Uros Islands on Lake Titicaca

Today begins with a boat trip to the Uros Islands. These islands are completely man-made structures, and their inhabitants, the Uros, continue to maintain them as they have since pre-Columbian times, using totora reeds from the lake to build not only the islands, but also their houses. Return to your hotel later in the day and enjoy the balance at leisure
Optional Half Day Sillustani Tombs (PM)
Overnight: Puno
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 9, Saturday or Monday – Fly to Lima

Transfer to the Juliaca airport to catch your flight to Lima. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner with local Peruvian specialties and say goodbye to your travel companions and Tour Manager
Overnight: Lima
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 10, Sunday or Tuesday – Depart for the USA

Transfer from the hotel to the airport for your departure flight.
~Please note: Some flights to the US depart shortly after midnight in the very early morning of Sunday or Tuesday
Meals: Breakfast

** Due to the high elevation, travel in the Peruvian highlands may cause some passengers to experience the temporary effects of altitude sickness. If you have any concerns about traveling to higher than your accustomed elevation, please consult your healthcare provider.

Vacation deals: Ireland tours

SniqueAway has a deal for Ireland, a 6 ($1300) or 8 night ($1500) self guided tour:

Round-trip airfare from New York City (JFK) to Dublin (other departure cities available; prices vary); 1 night at the Four Seasons Hotel Dublin, 2 nights at the Muckross Park Hotel in Killarney, 2 nights at Glenlo Abbey Hotel in Galway, and 1 night at The Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt in Wicklow; full breakfast daily; and a rental car. The 8-night package adds 2 nights at Lough Eske Castle in Donegal.

See also: Ireland true & false, Ireland travel plan, Leap Year movie tourism, County Cork movie tourism.

While Dooley Vacations has a 6 night tour ($1400):

Upon arrival in Dublin, travelers will make the short drive to lovely Co. Meath, to the northwest of Dublin, where they will spend the first night at the four-star Dunboyne Castle Hotel. The property is home to the SEOID Spa, where guests can revel in the tranquility of the hydrotherapy pool after a soothing massage — before enjoying dinner at one of the three magnificent restaurants on the property (spa services and dinner are additional).

The next morning, continue north to Donegal, where travelers can visit sites such as Donegal Castle and the Kilclooney Domen while staying for two nights at the magnificent Lough Eske Castle Hotel and Spa. The only five-star hotel in Donegal, it sits within 43 acres of forest woodland, along the shores of Lough Eske in the shadows of the Blue Stack Mountains.

From here, journey south along the west coast of Ireland to the beautiful city of Galway where two nights await at the five-star Glenlo Abbey Hotel. Known as Ireland’s Cultural Heart, Galway is renowned for its various festivals, celebrations, and events. During the two days in Galway, travelers can soak up the artistic side of Ireland that gave to the world musical performers like The Saw Doctors and Siobhan McCormack. Or, if history is a favorite passion, visit the Church of Ireland St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, located in the heart of the city. It is the largest medieval church still in everyday use in Ireland.

For the final stop on this vacation, travelers will make their way back across the heart of the country to spend one final night in Dublin at the four-star Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel.

This Castles & Abbey of Ireland package includes the following:

1 night at the four-star Dunboyne Castle Hotel in Co. Meath;

2 nights at the five-star Lough Eske Castle in Co. Donegal;

2 nights at the five-star Glenlo Abbey, in Galway

1 night at the four-star Fitzpatricks Castle in Dublin

Round-trip economy class airfare to Dublin;

Standard shift economy (3-door) car rental for the duration of this trip with unlimited miles.

All local taxes, hotel service charges, government taxes/fees/facility charges on airfare.

This package is priced from $1,399 per person from New York and Boston, $1,469 from Chicago, and $1,425 from Orlando for travel from July 16 to August 22. The package is available at slightly higher rates through October 22, 2012. All rates are per person based on double occupancy for travel on select days of the week. Packages are subject to availability and are capacity controlled and may not be available on every date or on all flights and may be restricted to certain hotel room categories.

Available Package Options:

6 Breakfasts, Upgraded Rooms, Tours, Spa Treatment, and more for $99 per person: Enjoy Full Irish Breakfasts daily (6 total), Belleek China Visitor Centre, Cliffs of Moher, Spa Treatment at Dunboyne Castle Hotel (30 minutes), 25% off any spa treatment at Lough Eske Castle (60 minutes+) upgrade to Riverview Room at Glenlo Abbey and Executive Room at Fitzpatrick for only $99 per person. (Available online or through call center.)

8 night package including 5-star Killarney Hotel from $1,599: Includes the above package plus 2 additional nights at 5-star Muckross Park Hotel in Killarney with extended car rental. Total price from $1,599 per person incl. Air, Car, 8 nights, taxes & fee.

Upgrade to Automatic Car from $99 per person: Upgrade to an automatic car from only $99 per person in July and August.

Add a 7th night from $99 per person: Spend an extra night at Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel Dublin, plus extended car rental for only $99 per person.

Excuses and travel deals

My apologies for not posting more regularly. My computer is old and pretty messed up but I can still post from my laptop as I’m doing now.

If you’re ready to buy now (offer valid for reservations ticketed on or before October 5) you can head to South Africa from America for $1100 plus taxes and fees. Valid for departures from the USA between October 1 and November 30, 2011. Pretty last minute I know. South African Airlines won’t let me link directly but you want to end up at the US specials page:

Here’s a minor Maui travel deal that basically saves you a few bucks on a rental car if you want a compact. I guess Maui travel deals aren’t known for being super cheap. Offer good until November 30, 2011. Travel dates valid for January 4-31, 2012.

For deeper discounts, you may want to check out Florida or the Caribbean. According to this blog Autumn is slow season and hotels are offering good prices for booking now even if you plan to travel later. For example:

In Turks & Caicos, Bahamas and other locations, Club Med is offering seven-night, all-inclusive escapes for families and couples at the price of a three-night stay, starting at $870 per person. Book by Oct. 31 for travel through April 13. The deal includes lodging, food, a full bar, daily activities from junior tennis to circus school and nightly entertainment. The rate is subject to availability, for a double occupancy room. It does not include Club Med membership of $60 per adult and $30 per child. For more information, visit or call 1-800-ClubMed.

Where do you find deals on all-inclusives?

As I pack for Estonia and wonder how much cheaper Tallinn will be than the Finnish cities I’ve been to, I also think about cheaper future vacations (and I think about my dogs since some new pictures went up on the pet hotel website recently), I have some travel deals for you.

Interestingly, I found their promotions page to be something of a learning experience. I noticed one deal “Varadero: Kawama” and wondered what the heck it was. Turns out Varadero is a resort town in the province of Matanzas, Cuba. It is said to be one of the biggest resort areas in the Caribbean.

Being an American I don’t know when it will be legal for me to go, but at least now I know. It sounds like quite a deal too – a week at an all inclusive for $550 including taxes.

And there are other deals to resorts in the caribbean – it seems to be their specialty. Lounging at an all-inclusive also sounds like a good possibility for a next vacation. My wife and I like traveling around Europe but we also like nice relaxing vacations and it’s been a while since we lounged around at a resort. I think it was 2007 actually (though to be fair we have done a couple of cruises since then and they tend to be relaxing).

Their Facebook page is in French (though a few subpages have English) and I’m told that they mostly serve French-speakers but they are set up to help English speakers so we can take advantage of any good deals we find. Actually I emailed them to make sure and they do indeed have English speakers.

Night at the museum quasi-travel experience for kids?

Just curious if any parents here have sent their kids off to a museum sleepover like this one at Ripley’s Believe it or Not in New York City. It may not be a vacation but it does seem kind of like a ravel experience in that you spend the night in a foreign environment and hopefully learn a thing or two while having fun.

In fact, if I learned of museum sleepovers for adults I might even be interested. Of course they are a bit pricey but Groupon currently has a sale up – $70 instead of $115… Only two dates to choose from which is a little weird for a Groupon: Friday, June 17 or Friday, July 29 at 7 p.m.

A couple of you have told me that using Groupon for the cities you’re visiting is a good idea and I’ve tried it – I bought some half price tickets for Delta Skyclub lounge passes and for NYC waterway cruises. I haven’t used either one but the return policy is excellent so it hasn’t been a problem.

So anyway, has anyone got any experience with museum sleepovers?

Orlando Disney World – where to get discount tickets

A reader wants to know where she can get the best discounted Disney World tickets. Here’s a question I think I can answer pretty completely but feel free to add comments.

Reader question: Going to Orlando Disney World next month; anyone know a good place to get discount park hoppers? I was going to try AAA.

Answer: With AAA, you essentially get the tickets face value but tax free.

Tax free is nice but a discount is better. Undercover tourist sells Disney tickets for between $9 and $48 below Disney prices AFTER taxes. There is a link on the site to Undercover Tourist, but if you subscribe to their monthly newsletter you’ll get a private link to a slightly larger discount.

You’ll probably also want to save some money on food, especially if you plan on eating in the Disney resort. There are also several (though possibly out of date) blog entries on this site about Disney hotels and resorts including this one on Port Orleans vs. Caribbean Beach.

Travel deals: cruises castle hotels, and resorts

Here are some travel deals I found in recent press releases for you. I haven’t had time to compare these deals to other ones so do your own research before deciding just how good these deals are…

The first one is from Variety Cruises. I had never heard of them before so if anyone here has some expereince with them a comment would be appreciated:

Variety Cruises is unveiling last-minute sales to Greece and the Adriatic Sea. Now through May 30, travelers can save big when booking Aegean Odyssey, Jewels of the Cyclades, Classical Greece and Tales of the Adriatic cruise programs. It’s just one more reason to experience the intimacy and ambiance of small-ship cruising with Variety Cruises!


Classical Greece, Aegean Odyssey and Jewels of the Cyclades

50% discount for the second person based on double occupancy.

No supplement required for single travelers.

Includes choice of two-nights at a deluxe Athens hotel OR a $140 shipboard credit per person.

Aegean Odyssey: Seven-night cruise including stops in Kusadasi, Turkey and Patmos and Samos islands. Regular fares begin at $1,935 per person. Sale dates: May 7 & 28, June 4, July 23, August 13 & 20, September 3, October 8, 15, 22 & 29.

Jewels of the Cyclades: This seven-night cruise heads southeast of mainland Greece through a collection of charming islands. Regular fares begin at $1,530 per person. Sale dates: April 30, June 4, August 27, October 15, 22 & 29.

Classical Greece: Discover the best of the Aegean Islands, Crete and Continental Greece over seven nights. Regular fares begin at $2,150 per person. Sale dates: June 18, July 9, August 6 & 13, October 15 & 29.


Tales of the Adriatic: New for 2010, this program traverses Venice and the Croatian Coast of the Adriatic Sea. Regular fares begin at $2,690 per person. Sale dates: June 27, July 4 & 11, August 6, 8 & 13.

Two for one fare – second passenger in a twin cabin sails for free.

No supplement required for single travelers.

Variety Cruises offers are available for limited number of cabins and do not apply for group bookings. Port charges are excluded from these discounts. All reservations are on request and on first come first served basis. Special is valid for reservation requests made up to May 30, 2010.

For up-to-date availabilities, you may contact the reservations department at [email protected], call 1.800.319.7776 in the USA and 1.866.944.8498 in Canada or visit

This next one sounds pretty good to me. Not that I wouldn’t enjoy a nice cruise, but Ireland is pretty high on my list and I like castles:

For those who want to be treated like royalty, Dooley Vacations offers the ultimate Ireland experience. The Castles of Ireland package is priced from only $599 and includes six nights in castle hotels, a manual rental car, and round-trip economy class airfare beginning in either Dublin or Shannon.

Travelers will spend two nights at the Bunratty Castle Hotel and Luxury Spa in Co. Clare, which features spacious rooms, glorious dining, and a spa of exquisite indulgence. Another two nights will be spent at Kilronan Castle Estate and Spa in Roscommon, one of Ireland’s most luxurious castle hotels majestically set on the shores of Lough Meelagh and surrounded by over 40 acres of breathtaking Irish scenery. The final castle is the Clontarf Castle, one of Dublin’s top castle hotels,that is just a stone’s throw from a city bursting with life, energy and vitality.

The Castles of Ireland package includes:

6 nights accommodation including 2 nights at Bunratty Castle, 2 nights at Kilronan Castle, and 2 nights at Clontarf Castle;

Round-trip economy class transatlantic airfare to/from Dublin and Shannon*;

Manual shift car rental

This package is per person, based on two people traveling and is priced from $599 per person from New York, $629 from Boston, and $649 from Chicago for travel November 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011 (excluding Christmas and New Years). Other departure gateway cities are available. Stated prices exclude government taxes/fees/facility charges of up to $60 eastbound and $120 westbound and the September 11th Security Fee of $2.50 for US enplanements.

*Travelers can also upgrade to Business Class airfare for a supplement of $499 per person each way.

Travelers can opt to upgrade this package to include an automatic car with GPS navigation and entrance to the Belleek China Factory for an additional $75 per person.

For additional information on this package, visit or call 877-331-9301

This next one actually covers Paradisus resorts in a few places. I’ve never been to a Paradisus resort so if anyone here has, please leave a comment about your experience:

Paradisus Playa Conchal in Guanacaste, Costa Rica is currently offering the Spa Getaway Package which is a 4 night/5 day stay and includes:

In-room welcome gift

Welcome 30-minute facial treatment per person

Free use of Jacuzzi at Ahuia Spa

One 80-minute Shell massage per person

One 30-minute private yoga class for two

15% discount on any additional therapies bought at Ahuia Spa

Price per person/per night based on double occupancy for 4 nights:

Deluxe Garden Junior Suite: $318

Royal Service Regal Junior Suite: $398

Valid until August 31, 2010

Can be booked by calling the hotel directly at (506) 2654 4123 or by emailing [email protected]

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Paradisus Riviera Cancun is offering two great spring packages:

Special Moments Package- Stay like a king and queen with a three-night visit in the luxurious Royal Service Junior Suite for only $1,197 for double occupancy.

This package includes:

· 3 nights’ accommodations in the Royal Service Junior Suite with garden view

· Choice of an 80-minute massage (deep tissue, bio massage or therapeutic) and facial for each guest

· Five-hour city tour of Cancun

· Welcome gift

Just For Us Package- Relax on your three-night getaway with a full spa package while staying in Paradisus Riviera Cancun’s luxurious Deluxe Junior Suite for $897 for double occupancy.

This package includes:

· 3 nights’ accommodations in a Deluxe Junior Suite

· Spa package that includes a 25-minute hot stones massage, 20-min reflexology session and a 5-minute shiatsu facial for each guest

· Five-hour city tour of Cancun

· Welcome gift

Both packages are a savings of 20% and valid until December 22nd, 2010 and can be booked on

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Spa Escape at Paradisus will be offered for stays from May 1- July 30th at Paradisus Palma Real in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

The package includes:

3 nights’ accommodations in a Deluxe Garden View Suite for double occupancy and each guest can enjoy-

Green Exfoliation 25 min

This 100% organic experience combines aromatherapy with deep cleansing. Skin is exfoliated using seaweed and a green tea moisturizer is applied to the skin to lock in and retain moisture.

Fresh Herbs Eco-Facial 50 min

This facial is designed to avoid the chemicals and preservatives found in many of today’s facial products. It is composed of 100% all natural ingredients that clean, balance, hydrate and protect the skin from environmental pollution while promoting cell regeneration and facial tone.

Skin is deep cleansed, exfoliated and protected with antioxidants which is followed by a hydrating and balancing clay mask. The last step is a lotion that protect the new radiant complexion and seals in the benefits of the natural products. The facial also includes an energizing and antiseptic toning massage and a rejuvenating acupressure facial massage with oil.

This package is $769 per person for the three night stay, and additional nights are $213 a person.

Guests can book by calling 809-221-1111.

Travel Trends for 2010, Christmas Gift Ideas

This blog has already reported that 2010 should be a year of travel bargains, but what else can we expect next year? I always find it fun to look at the predicted popular travel destinations for the coming year; these are the top 10 destinations for 2010, according to Lonely Planet. I know absolutely nothing about Suriname (other than where it is) and am not sure I want to go there, but I would love to go to Nepal one day.

Lonely Planet also predicts that certain cities will be popular in 2010 – among them, Abu Dhabi, Kyoto, Vancouver (hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics), Cork, Cuenca (in Ecuador – I had to look that one up) and Singapore. Istanbul is European Capital of Culture next year and is also likely to be popular. Eco-tourism will supposedly be increasingly popular next year and Stockholm, which is designated as European Green Capital for 2010, will also be a hot destination.

Budget travel is likely to be increasingly popular (for me, anyway) and apparently, one trend is for hotels to start offering basic rooms for a rock-bottom price and then charge you for any additional items, such as air-conditioning, etc. This article reports that a hotel in Malaysia is offering rooms for 20 cents a night and there are plans to have similar hotels in the UK and Australia. I think it’s a great idea, although whenever I try to take advantage of these things, I always seem to be told that the offer has expired / all the cheap rooms have already gone, or some similar thing. Rather like using frequent flier miles – all the mileage seats all seem to go before you can book anything.

If you are looking for Christmas gift ideas for somebody who loves to travel, there are plenty of useful gadgets out there, including a folding footrest and various adaptors, to cope with the different power outlets found around the world. And apparently, there is now something called a Chumby, a mini computer with a wi-fi connection that sells for about $200. Yet more technology that I know nothing about! Books always make good gifts and this site has a list of the best travel books published this year.