travelmatch.co.uk bloghttp://www.travelmatch.co.uk/blog/feeds/rss/Latest additions to the travelmatch.co.uk blog.en-gbBeach BreaksDestinationsEurope FestivalsInfographicsLifestyleLocal GuideLuxury TravelNewsSpa TOP 5Top HotelsTravel TipsTue, 17 Jan 2012 10:14:32 +0000Top 50 Attractions Infographichttp://www.travelmatch.co.uk/blog/2012/01/17/top-50-attractions-infographic/Planning a getaway for 2012? Know which travel destinations to target (or avoid) this year... <p>The infographic below, developed by <a href="http://www.travelsupermarket.com/blog/top-50-tourist-attractions/">TravelSupermarket</a>, outlines the top 50 most popular travel destinations based on information compiled about the world's most visited museums, <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/#state=BwoUKFAAUKHmMRAA">theme parks</a> and heritage sites. It provides a snapshot into global travel destinations, helping to answer the question: 'Where in the world is everyone going?</p> <table> <tr> <td><img src="http://www.travelsupermarket.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/most-visited-tourist-attractions-edits2012.png" style="max-width:660px; margin-left: 0 !important; display:block !important"></td> </tr> </table>Tue, 17 Jan 2012 10:14:32 +0000http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/blog/2012/01/17/top-50-attractions-infographic/InfographicsHow would you rate the airports in the UK?http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/blog/2011/12/22/How-would-you-rate-the-airports-in-the-UK/Find out what airports scored highest and lowest by Which? members... <p><em><a href="http://www.which.co.uk/news/2011/12/uk-airports-rated-by-which-travel-275225/">Which? Travel</a></em> recently carried out a survey rating UK airports. The survey asked 8,012 members to rate their satisfaction with how likely they were to recommend a UK airport they had used in the previous 12 months. Surprisingly, the results showed that it was among a group of smaller airports (with fewer than four million passengers a year) who topped the table.</p> <h2>Best Small Airports</h2> <p>Of all the UK airports, <em>Which?</em> members rated <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/holidays-from-robin-hood-airport.html">Robin Hood Doncaster Sheffield</a> the highest, gaining the highest customer score of 80% in the survey. Blackpool was the second placed airport on 77%, followed by <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/holidays-from-humberside-airport.html">Humberside</a> on 76%, and London City and <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/holidays-from-southampton-airport.html">Southampton</a> on 75%. <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/holidays-from-norwich-airport.html">Norwich</a> and <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/holidays-from-exeter-airport.html">Exeter</a> also got higher scores than any of the large airports. </p> <h2>Best Large Airports</h2> <p>In the large airport category, <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/holidays-from-newcastle-airport.html">Newcastle</a> and <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/holidays-from-birmingham-airport.html">Birmingham</a> Terminal 1 were the highest scoring, both getting 64%. They were followed by <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/holidays-from-edinburgh-airport.html">Edinburgh</a> and <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/holidays-from-london-heathrow-airport.html">Heathrow</a> Terminal 5 on 60%, with Birmingham Terminal 2 on 59% and <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/holidays-from-east-midlands-airport.html">East Midlands</a> on 58%. Apart from Heathrow Terminal 5, all the London airports came at the bottom of the table. Heathrow Terminal 3 was last with a customer score of 40%.</p> <p>Lorna Cowan, editor of Which? Travel, said: "People are unlikely to drive miles out of their way to a better airport, but knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your chosen airport can help you better prepare for your journey."</p> <h2>Flying over Christmas...</h2> <p><a href="http://www.abta.com/resources/news/view/457">ABTA</a> (Association of British Travel Agents) has revealed that a total of 4.25 million Britons are due to travel overseas over the festive period, between December 16th and January 3rd, compared with just under four million in 2010/11.</p> <p>This year, around 1.7 million festive travellers will be leaving from Heathrow airport, 425,000 from <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/holidays-from-london-stansted-airport.html">Stansted</a>, 750,000 from <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/holidays-from-london-gatwick-airport.html">Gatwick</a> and 210,000 from <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/holidays-from-london-luton-airport.html">Luton</a>. Also, 340,000 will be departing from <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/holidays-from-manchester-airport.html">Manchester airport</a>, 165,000 from Birmingham and 120,000 from <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/holidays-from-glasgow-airport.html">Glasgow</a>.</p> <p>Heathrow's most popular destinations this Christmas are New York, <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/dubai-holidays.html">Dubai</a>, Dublin, Amsterdam and Paris. Popular destinations for Britons travelling abroad include the <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/canary-islands-holidays.html">Canary Islands</a>, <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/cuba-holidays.html">Cuba</a> and <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/mexico-holidays.html">Mexico</a>, while top city break destinations include Paris, Rome, Dublin, New York and Reykjavik in Iceland.</p> <p><em>Did you know...</em> <em>Passengers using Heathrow during this festive period are expected to take 6,000 tonnes of luggage each day, which is equivalent to the weight of 20 jumbo jets!</em></p> <p>Which airports have you flown from in the UK and how would you rate them?</p>Thu, 22 Dec 2011 16:01:10 +0000http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/blog/2011/12/22/How-would-you-rate-the-airports-in-the-UK/DestinationsNewsTOP 5Where should I go on holiday?http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/blog/2011/12/15/where-should-i-go-holiday/A Weathermap Infographic: giving you a better idea of 'where' and 'when' to go on holiday... <h2>Let the weather decide for you...</h2> <p><a href="http://www.thomson.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/infographic/weathermap-v8/index.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><img style="max-width: 500px;" src="http://www.thomson.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/infographic/thomsonWeatherThumb.png" border="0" width="500px" height="330px" /></a><br /><span style="font-size: 12px;">Click the image on the right to open the interactive version (via <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/thomson-holidays.html">Thomson Holidays</a>).</span></p> <p><a href='http://www.UploadScreenshot.com/image/612910/9645126' target='_blank' rel="nofollow"><img src='http://img1.UploadScreenshot.com/images/main/12/34010402264.png' alt='Click here to view full size' /></a></p> <p>If a much needed injection of winter sun is just the thing you need to see you through the rest of the season, take a look at this fantastic infographic from <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/#state=BwoUKFAAUKGIARAA">Thomson</a> to give you a good idea of where in the world you should go to find the best weather at this time of year.</p> <p>It’s all well and good knowing that you want to go away, but when you actually come to book a holiday, it can be difficult to know where and when you should go to certain destinations. That’s where this interactive infographic comes in handy - it’ll tell you where’s hot, when. It allows you to choose a date or a destination based on the weather, giving you details of the hours of sunlight, temperature, rainfall and humidity levels at different locations. It’s almost an extension of the search criteria’s that we provide on travelmatch, only a little more detailed.</p> <p>If you want to fly from the UK between <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/december-holidays.html">December</a> and <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/march-holidays.html">March<a/>, but don’t want to travel too far, the <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/canary-islands-holidays.html">Canary Islands</a> are great to head to in order to catch some rays. From <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/may-holidays.html">May</a> to <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/october-holidays.html">October</a>, suddenly it becomes a lot easier to find destinations with beautiful weather and you have a wider choice of options. </p> <p>You may need to upgrade to the latest version of your browser to view the interactive map. Please note users on IE8 or below may experience problems viewing the infographic. IE9 is available on Windows Vista and above. Chrome or Firefox users with the latest version should not experience any issues.</p>Thu, 15 Dec 2011 11:21:48 +0000http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/blog/2011/12/15/where-should-i-go-holiday/DestinationsEurope InfographicsTrending Travel Termshttp://www.travelmatch.co.uk/blog/2011/11/17/trending-travel-terms/Like them or loathe them; travel has yet again added a few more wacky words to our vocabulary. <p><em>Every year, hundreds of new words are added to the English language, and this year, travel donated quite a few. We thought we’d keep you in the know and have provided you with just some of our favourite terms that have captured the changing trends and concepts in travel.</em></p> <h2>Austerication</h2> <p>Austerication is a combination of the words ‘austere’ and ‘vacation’ and was coined to describe the growing trend of downgrading your holiday by swapping hot travel destinations for something more affordable and closer to home – for example, the <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/balearic-islands-holidays.html">Balearics</a> for Bournemouth. </p> <h2>Adrenication</h2> <p>An ‘Adrenication’ is where you seek out ‘adrenaline’ activities while on holiday. These can vary from things such as bungee jumps, sky diving and zip lining, but can also cover other adventurous activities such as skiing, mountain biking and quad biking. Are you an adrenication junkie?</p> <h2>Bleisure</h2> <p>We’ve all heard the saying “don’t mix business with pleasure”. Well this is one of those times when you most definitely should! If you’re being sent on a two-day business trip and your office has booked you into a double room, why not make the most of it and invite your partner to tag along? All you’ll need to do is shell out for the air fare. </p> <h2>Cuddle class</h2> <p>Economy has often been referred to as the “cattle class” and we’re sure you’ve experienced it a number of times. Now Air New Zealand has introduced a new way of flying, known as the ‘cuddle class’ - even the name sounds comfortable! Basically, the airline has designed the <a href="http://www.airnewzealand.co.uk/economy-skycouch" rel="nofollow">Economy Skycouch</a> in its new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in a way that a row of three seats can be converted into a couch at the touch of a button, allowing you to fly flat without paying first class rates. We’re hoping that since the idea is so revolutionary, other airlines will be forced to follow suit! To travel “cuddle class”, passengers pay for two seats at the standard economy rate, and half of a third seat. </p> <h2>Flashpacking</h2> <p>A flashpacker shares some of the characteristics of a backpacker: a sense of independence, no fixed itinerary and relatively long periods of travel to more exotic and far-flung destinations. Whereas backpacking is traditionally associated with budget travel and destinations that are relatively cheap, flashpacking has an association of more disposable income while travelling. Think of backpacking, but with a bigger budget!</p> <h2>Greycation</h2> <p>A ‘greycation’ is where three generations of a family go on a joint holiday in a drive to save money and boost togetherness – some might also call this ‘free babysitting’. Going on holiday as an extended <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/#state=BwoUKFAAUKGOARAA">family</a> means that costs are reduced as travel and accommodation expenses are shared between a larger group, for example, opting for a <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/villa-holidays-2013.html">villa</a> as opposed to a number of hotel rooms.</p>Thu, 17 Nov 2011 10:30:53 +0000http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/blog/2011/11/17/trending-travel-terms/LifestyleNewsGrow a Charity tache for cash…it’s Movember!http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/blog/2011/11/1/grow-charity-tache-cashits-movember/We hope you’ve joined us today with a clean shaven face, ready for the month of Movember! <h2>What is Movember?</h2> <p>Movember is a month-long charity event running throughout November which raises funds and awareness for men's health issues. The great thing about it is that participants don’t have to do anything more than engage in a bit of basic grooming. The campaign has world-wide appeal and is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces. To take part, guys need to register at <a href="http://uk.movember.com/">Movember.com</a> on November 1st and must begin the month with a clean-shaven face.</p> <p>In the UK, the aim of the Movember is to target testicular and prostate cancers which are the number one and two killers of British men at present. Over one million people have participated in the campaign since it began, resulting in over £106 million being raised. In the UK last year alone, more than 112,000 MoBros and MoSistas participated to help raise £10.3 million. Yes that’s right, males AND females can join in on this one! <img alt="alt text" src="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/images/blog/image_168.jpeg" title="Title" /></p> <h2>A little history</h2> <p>Adam Garone was one of 30 guys in Australia who came up with the idea of Movember and in November 2003 placed a bet to see who could grow the best moustache (Mo) over the course of a month. After realising the fund-raising potential of the Mo, they decided to attach a purpose to the project - this being ‘men's health issues’.</p> <p>Since Movember has such great appeal across the globe, we’ve decided to take a look at moustache culture around the world.</p> <h2>Italy</h2> <p>The word Moustache actually derives from the Italian word ‘Mostaccio’. The Italians hold the annual ‘Beard and Moustache’ festival in Puglia, where thousands compete in honour of the world of Mostaccio. If you’re eager and continue growing your moustache past November, then perhaps we’ll see you entering the competition one day!</p> <h2>England</h2> <p>The English moustache is very unique. Beginning at the middle of the upper lip, it is narrow with long whiskers which are pulled to the side and slightly curled with the ends pointing slightly upward. The areas past the corner of the mouth are usually shaved. Perhaps one of the most famous of Moustache wearers is England’s own Charlie Chaplin. Mr Chaplin had his own unique style that became a trademark of the great entertainer. Slightly trimmed at the sides, but in full growth towards the middle of his mouth, Charlie’s moustache played a defining role in his career.</p> <h2>India</h2> <p>It is estimated that around as many as 80% of men in southern <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/india-holidays.html">India</a> wear moustaches, which immediately places India above most countries in terms of moustache-wearing men. Having long held an important place in Indian culture, moustaches are seen as a potent symbol of virility. Bajansinh Juwansinh Gurjar holds the title of the world’s longest moustache, measured in 2004 at a whopping 12.6 feet! <img alt="alt text" src="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/images/blog/image_169.jpeg" title="Title" /></p> <h2>Mexico</h2> <p>Mexico is one of the world leaders in the moustache-density stakes. If you asked anyone to describe a stereotypical Mexican, the chances of them having a moustache are pretty high. Many years ago, few indigenous people grew facial hair, so when the European settlers arrived in <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/mexico-holidays.html">Mexico</a>, growing a moustache may have been a way of demonstrating “superior” social status.</p> <h2>Turkey</h2> <p>In recent years, more and more men have shed their moustaches, in an effort to appear more modern and professional. Despite this trend, the moustache still plays an important role in Turkish society, and remains an important symbol of masculinity. Of course, there may also be religious reasons influencing the choice of a moustache, since a high proportion of male Turks are Sunni Muslims.</p> <p>Movember is a great cause and a really good excuse to grow that epic moustache you’ve always secretly wanted; whether you’re aiming for the horseshoe, walrus or the toothbrush. Even if you do look ridiculous with a moustache, one thing you must say to yourself is, 'I'm doing it for charity.'</p> <p>If you need some inspiration to find out what Mo is right for you, then check out the <a href="http://him.uk.msn.com/in-the-know/movember-the-a-z-of-famous-moustaches">A-Z of famous moustaches</a>.</p>Tue, 01 Nov 2011 12:44:10 +0000http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/blog/2011/11/1/grow-charity-tache-cashits-movember/LifestyleNewsGet into the holiday spirit of Halloweenhttp://www.travelmatch.co.uk/blog/2011/10/31/get-holiday-spirit-halloween/How festivals for the dead are celebrated around the world. <p>Halloween is one of the oldest and the most popular <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/all-inclusive-holidays-2013.html">holidays</a> celebrated around the world. Over the weekend, people have celebrated by decorating their houses, visiting haunted attractions, carving pumpkins, dressing up in costumes, and tonight, many will go out trick or treating. However, the customs and traditions of celebrating this festival differ from place to place. Although we celebrate Halloween here in the UK on October 31st, the following festivals are held over different days. For instance, the Day of the Dead in Spain and Mexico is a 3 day festival, as is the Obon festival in Japan. </p> <h2>Spain and Mexico</h2> <p>In <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/mexico-holidays.html">Mexico</a> and <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/spain-holidays.html">Spain</a>, Halloween is known as ‘El Dia de los Muertos’ (the day of the dead) and is a three day celebration, beginning on the evening of October 31st and ending on November 2nd. However, this isn't a time for sadness but one of great rejoicing. Designed to honour the dead who are believed to return to their homes on this day, many families make an altar in their home and decorate it with sweets, flowers, photographs, fresh water and samples of the deceased's favourite foods and drinks.</p> <h2>Japan</h2> <p>The Obon festival is an annual Buddhist event, celebrated in Japan in mid-August, which lasts for 3 days. It is believed that during this time, the ancestors' spirits return to this world in order to visit their relatives. It is similar to the Halloween festivities in that it is dedicated to the spirits of ancestors. However, this festival is celebrated during the summer, with special foods and red lanterns hung. Some are floated on water while others are placed in the house and at the door to let the dead know where their relatives are.</p> <h2>USA</h2> <p>Of course, the place that Halloween is celebrated most widely, is <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/north-america-holidays.html">North America</a>. As America began to adopt European customs and traditions, Halloween became a day for parties and public events – a time to celebrate the harvest and remember dead loved ones. It is now a time for children to dress up in costumes and go trick-or-treating - relating to the idea that the dead will play tricks on you if you aren't nice to them!</p> <p>Whether you choose to celebrate the festival at the end of October, beginning of November, or during the summer, the main aim behind these varied customs remains the same and that is to honour the dead and deceased.</p> <p>Where do you think is the best place to celebrate Halloween around the world? How have you spent Halloween this year? </p>Mon, 31 Oct 2011 16:18:55 +0000http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/blog/2011/10/31/get-holiday-spirit-halloween/FestivalsLifestyleHalf Term Getawayshttp://www.travelmatch.co.uk/blog/2011/10/14/half-term-getaways/Take the family away this Autumn during half term... <p>A recent survey by the travel search site <a href="http://www.skyscanner.net/news/articles/2011/10/010710-middle-east-growing-in-popularity-as-a-half-term-hotspot.html">Skyscanner</a> found that 25% of families prefer to go on an overseas holiday in October than any other time of year - the main reason being that October holidays offer better value than those taken during the peak summer months.</p> <p>Next week, schools all over the country are going to be breaking up for half term so it's your last chance before Christmas to go away on a <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/#state=BwoUKFAAUKGOARAA">family holiday</a> or short break with the kids. Despite the heat wave we had a few weeks ago, the summer is now officially over here in the UK. However, if you’re still looking to get away this October half-term in search of warm weather, we’ve found a few of the top holiday destinations which are perfect for family breaks. <img alt="alt text" src="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/images/blog/image_159.jpeg" title="Title" /></p> <h2>Florida</h2> <p>According to <a href="http://www.britishairways.com/travel/home/public/en_gb">British Airways</a>, <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/florida-holidays.html">Florida</a> holidays are still a top choice for families looking for family entertainment. With world class <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/#state=BwoUKFAAUKHmMRAA">theme parks</a> and attractions, a whole host of family friendly hotels and no language barrier, holidays to America provide something for everyone. According to Skyscanner, 31% of you think a Florida theme park holiday would be the ideal dream family getaway. </p> <p>You’ve got a great excuse to go to Florida this year, with the opening of the new fun-filled theme park <a href="http://florida.legoland.com/en/">LEGOLAND Florida</a>. Opening on October 15th, it’s perfect for children aged between 2-12 and only a 45 minute drive from the main Orlando theme parks.<br /> </p> <h2>Dubai</h2> <p>The Middle East is another popular choice for October and <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/dubai-holidays.html">Dubai</a> has seen a huge rise in popularity, with 23% of respondents of the Skyscanner survey saying they preferred the weather here at this time of year. The uncomfortably high temperatures and humidity can put a lot of people off during the summer, but by autumn, the weather becomes a lot more bearable. Dubai is a great place to visit on any budget, with a range of 3-5 star hotels as well as a huge selection of luxury five-star resorts.</p> <p><img alt="alt text" src="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/images/blog/image_160.jpeg" title="Title" /></p> <h2>Canary Islands</h2> <p>As we mentioned last week, <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/spain-holidays.html">Spain</a> remains the top destination for a family getaway and since half term is usually just <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/#state=BwoUKFAAUKHrURAA">one week</a> in length, one of the most popular options is to head down to the <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/#state=BwoUKFAAUKGCwRAA">Canary Islands</a> of Spain. Still relatively warm and lively in October, the islands of <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/gran-canaria-holidays.html">Gran Canaria</a>, <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/lanzarote-holidays.html">Lanzarote</a> and <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/tenerife-holidays.html">Tenerife</a> provide loads of options for keeping the family entertained. With only around a 4 hour flight from most UK airports, with accommodation types to suit all budgets, the Canary Islands are the ideal destination for a cheap family holiday. </p> <h2>Majorca</h2> <p>With around 300 days of sunshine a year, <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/#state=BwoUKFAAUKH8YRAA">On the Beach</a> believes <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/majorca-holidays.html">Majorca</a> is the ideal destination to take the children during half term. Throughout October, the weather dips to a more comfortable temperature allowing families to enjoy their holiday without overheating. As the largest of the <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/#state=BwoUKFAAUKGEQRAA">Balearic Islands</a>, Majorca has the benefit of being able to supply fantastic amenities and attractions to families.</p>Fri, 14 Oct 2011 14:34:28 +0100http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/blog/2011/10/14/half-term-getaways/DestinationsLifestyleThe ABTA Consumer Trends Reporthttp://www.travelmatch.co.uk/blog/2011/10/6/abta-consumer-trends-report/Travellers will not sacrifice their holidays and list 'financial protection' as paramount <h2>Brits are determined to keep travelling</h2> <p>It is understandable that many people are trying to save money during these tough economic times, but it seems as though the majority of you would rather ditch the new phones, laptops and cinema trips than skip going on holiday. </p> <p>These findings come as a result of the <a href="http://www.abta.com/resources/news/view/428">2011 ABTA Consumer Trends survey</a>, which generated responses from over 2000 respondents, asking consumers what they would be most unwilling to cut back on.</p> <p>The survey revealed that consumers struggling financially during the recession are prepared to give up new smartphones, laptops, meals out and home improvements, but 37% would not lose out on their annual family holiday. One in five people consider holidays a necessity they couldn’t do without; whether it’s a holiday abroad for a longer time or a short break in the UK. Females were more unwilling than males to forego a trip abroad as they appreciated the chance to relax on holiday and viewed it as an opportunity to recharge their batteries. <img alt="alt text" src="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/images/blog/image_158.png" title="Title" /> Victoria Bacon ABTA Head of Communications said: “Consumers have been telling us for years just how important their holidays are. In tough economic times we all have to think of ways in which we can tighten our belts but it is very reassuring for the industry to hear that holidays are the least popular choice for the chop and for many, something they simply cannot live without.”</p> <p>Of course, it is important to look at ways to save during this economic climate, but it is very reassuring to know that holidays are one of life’s luxuries that many do not want to sacrifice.</p> <p>The survey also positioned <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/spain-holidays.html">Spain</a> as the number one destination for almost one in five holidaying families in the 35-44 year-old age bracket - one of the main reasons being the amazing welcome and facilities that Spain and its people offer to families. Surprisingly the UK came second ahead of the <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/usa-holidays.html">USA</a>, France, <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/usa-holidays.html">Greece</a> and <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/italy-holidays.html">Italy</a>. </p> <h2>Prioritising protection over price</h2> <p>Meanwhile, another ABTA report was released at the convention in Palma de Mallorca listing the elements that consumers see as essential or important when booking a holiday.</p> <p>When asked to name their top ten essentials when it came to booking a holiday, holidaymakers said they predominantly looked for financial protection, ATOL and ABTA membership, and a well-known name in the holiday industry. Secure accommodation was also listed as of high significance as was low prices. However, only five in ten were influenced by the lowest prices, revealing that price is obviously not the most crucial factor when booking a holiday. </p> <p>Mark Tanzer, ABTA chief executive, said: "Even in a year when customers are tightening their belts, the lowest cost is not their number one consideration. The message from our customers is loud and clear: financial protection is a top consideration when booking their holidays."</p> <p>Having caused huge problems for travellers and the travel sector, the ash cloud crisis and heavy snow that spread across parts of the UK last December, have made people realise the importance of guarding against financial loss, so financial protection takes priority.</p>Thu, 06 Oct 2011 14:26:10 +0100http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/blog/2011/10/6/abta-consumer-trends-report/NewsWorld Tourism Dayhttp://www.travelmatch.co.uk/blog/2011/09/26/world-tourism-day/Celebrating World Tourism Day <p>On the 27th September each year, we support World Tourism day (WTD) - an initiative to raise awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. For 2011, WTD is being celebrated under the theme "Tourism – Linking Cultures."</p> <p>The theme is a celebration of tourism’s role in linking together the cultures of the world through travel, and will be hosted in the Egyptian city of Aswan <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/egypt-holidays.html">Egypt</a> is world famous for its history, scenery, diving and culture and as a result, millions of tourists visit Egypt every year. It is precisely this interaction between the people and cultures of the world, driven by tourism, which is at the heart of the theme.</p> <p>With millions of people travelling the world each year, never before have so many individuals explored so many places, nor been so exposed to other cultures. This interaction between individuals and communities, and their diverse cultures, leads to tolerance, respect and mutual understanding - the building blocks for a more peaceful world. As the most widely celebrated global day for tourism, World Tourism Day represents an opportunity to address how tourism can help build tolerance and understanding worldwide by serving as a catalyst for communication and exchange between the different cultures of the world.</p> <p>Travel &amp; Tourism remains the world’s fastest growing economic sector, has played a dramatic role in bringing the world so much closer together The ability of tourism to create deeper, richer global understanding is now more important than ever before, as people across the world get to grips on how other nations, other cultures, other economies and other policies impact their lives. 
As stated by Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, in a message supporting the importance of the sector, and the occasion of World Tourism Day:</p> <p><em>“There is no better way to learn about a new culture than to experience it firsthand. Tourism offers a wonderful connecting thread between visitor and host community. It promotes dialogue and interaction. Such contact between people of different backgrounds is the very foundation for tolerance. In a world struggling for peaceful coexistence, tourism can build bridges and contribute to peace. Tourism’s contributions to development also advance the cause of global solidarity. At a time of profound global economic uncertainty, tourism’s ability to generate socio-economic opportunities and help reduce the gap between rich and poor, is more important than ever.”

</em></p> <p>The timing of World Tourism Day is particularly appropriate in that it comes at the end of the high season in the northern hemisphere and the beginning of the season in the southern hemisphere, when tourism is of topical interest to hundreds of thousands of people.</p> <p><em>"World Tourism Day is an opportunity to reflect on the importance of tourism to global well-being. As we travel, let us engage with other cultures and celebrate human diversity. On this observance, let us recognize tourism as a force for a more tolerant, open and united world."</em></p>Mon, 26 Sep 2011 15:07:51 +0100http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/blog/2011/09/26/world-tourism-day/LifestyleNewsBabymoonshttp://www.travelmatch.co.uk/blog/2011/09/14/babymoons/Enjoying a final holiday together before 2 becomes 3 <h2>What?</h2> <p>Babymoons are one of the latest trends to grace the travel industry and are becoming increasingly popular with expecting <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/#state=BwoUKFAAUKGOERAA">couples</a>. So what is a babymoon? Originally, a babymoon, similar to a honeymoon, was defined as the period of time after a baby's birth that the family spends alone together, enabling the parents and baby to bond. However, in recent years, the meaning has grown to include pre-baby getaways taken by the expecting parents. The purpose of a babymoon is primarily about making sure you have plenty of rest and relaxation before the sleepless nights kick in - ensuring you spend valuable time with your partner and nurture your relationship as a couple before becoming parents, and what better way to do this than go on holiday! <img alt="alt text" src="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/images/blog/image_156.jpeg" title="Title" /></p> <h2>When?</h2> <p>For most pregnant women, the second trimester is the most pleasant time to travel. By this point you should be rid of the tiredness and nausea which is experienced during the initial stages and not yet in the final stages where you may be feeling uncomfortable. One of the safest periods for a pregnant woman to travel is between 18-24 weeks. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t travel during the rest of your pregnancy - you just need to be sure to talk with your doctor before planning any trips. It is also advisable to check with your airline before you fly as some will require you to have a letter from your doctor stating your pregnancy is healthy and you are safe to travel. Most babymoons are around <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/#state=BwoUKFAAUKHrQRAA">3-5 nights</a>, but can be for as long or short as you like - if you are able to take a week away then go for it!</p> <h2>Where?</h2> <p>There are plenty of options to consider when it comes to planning a babymoon. Whether you plan on taking a <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/#state=BwoUKFAAUKHroRAA">beach</a> or city break, the key is to choose a destination which appeals to both of you and will allow you to relax and enjoy your time together. It is advisable to try to minimise the amount of time you will be travelling when searching for the perfect destination for your babymoon. European destinations are an ideal choice since they are only a short flight away from the UK. When searching for hotels, opt for those that offer <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/#state=B4oUKFAAUKHrsRAA">Spa and Relaxation</a> to make sure you pamper yourselves to the fullest with <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/#state=BwoUKFAAUKHnQRAA">beauty treatments</a> or <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/#state=BwoUKFAAUKHngRAA">massages</a>. The <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/detail/peter-island-resort-peter-island.html?alltabs=1#state=BwoUKFAAUKGNMRAA&amp;view=description">Peter Island Resort</a> in the British Virgin Islands, is currently offering a tailored babymoon package. The <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/detail/thalassa-hotel-paphos.html?alltabs=1#state=BwoUKFAAUKKA3rsRAA&amp;view=description">Thalassa Boutique Hotel &amp; Spa</a> in <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/cyprus-holidays.html">Cyprus</a> offers mums-to-be a whole spa menu of treatments including one of the few body wraps safe to be used on pregnant women. As the hotel doesn’t accept children under 12, you’ll most definitely get some pre-baby peace and quiet! It is important to remember that wherever you eventually decide upon, some countries have poor medical facilities, so you need to make sure that if you need urgent medical attention, you’ll be able to have immediate access to it. <img alt="alt text" src="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/images/blog/image_155.jpeg" title="Title" /></p> <h2>Look to celebs for inspiration</h2> <p>Many celebrity couples have caught onto the trend of babymooning – but where have they been taking theirs this year? - Presenter Jenni Falconer thought <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/detail/lasource-pink-gin-beach.html?alltabs=1#state=B8hQoUABQoYKxEA&amp;view=description">‘La Source’</a> resort in <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/grenada-holidays.html">Grenada</a> was perfect for her and her husband when she went on her babymoon earlier this year. - Actress Kate Hudson and her boyfriend Matt Bellamy sunned themselves in <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/mexico-holidays.html">Mexico</a> while they waited for their baby to arrive. - Politician Anthony Weiner and wife Huma Abedin went to the beautiful <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/amalfi-coast-holidays.html">Amalfi Coast</a> in southern <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/italy-holidays.html">Italy</a> for their babymoon. - Singer Beyoncé and husband Jay Z have recently been spotted enjoying their babymoon in <a href="http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/holidays/croatia-holidays.html">Croatia</a>. </p> <p>Did you and your husband enjoy a babymoon before you became a Mum? Are you expecting a child and wish to go on a babymoon? Why not drop us a line and let us know.</p>Wed, 14 Sep 2011 15:09:23 +0100http://www.travelmatch.co.uk/blog/2011/09/14/babymoons/LifestyleSpa