British holiday makers head for Rwanda and Bosnia

The African country not only offers safari for a much cheaper price than more
mainstream African destination but gorilla watching.

Other destination that have overcome wars in the recent past include Croatia,
Cuba and Vietnam.

However some countries do not remain popular for long. Libya, that was
enjoying a boom in tourists coming to see Roman ruins is now off limits
again and Syria, that was a popular for short breaks to Damascus, has been
hit by civil unrest.

Tourists are advised to always check the security situation before travelling
with the Foreign Office.

Emma O’Boyle, of TripAdvisor, said British holiday makers are becoming more
adventurous.

“As Brits look for their next great travel experience, it seems destinations
that only a few years ago would never have been an option are now being
considered,” she said.

“We’re seeing rapidly growing interest in destinations like Rwanda and the
Republic of Macedonia, showing that British travellers may be becoming more
intrepid and looking for something different than the traditional beach
holiday.”


Tara Reid Marries Fiance Of Hours In Greece

Actress Tara Reid, fresh from filming her new movie American Reunion had a couple of announcements over the weekend. First, she announced she had just gotten engaged. Then, she announced she had just gotten married.

The blond, who came to the big screen with the 90’s American Pie craze, has been known for being wild. That was the premise for her own travel show, which didn’t go nearly as far as she did in filming it.

As a crazy girl, she has been engaged twice but never married. Once was to former MTV TRL host Carson Daly, and once to business man Michael Axtmann. In both cases she called things off before walking down the aisle.

So it might not be a surprise that just hours after announcing Danish boyfriend Michael Lillelund had popped the question, she was Tweeting that they had just made things official.

Well, congrats guys!


British holiday makers head for Rwanda and Bosnia

The African country not only offers safari for a much cheaper price than more
mainstream African destination but gorilla watching.

Other destination that have overcome wars in the recent past include Croatia,
Cuba and Vietnam.

However some countries do not remain popular for long. Libya, that was
enjoying a boom in tourists coming to see Roman ruins is now off limits
again and Syria, that was a popular for short breaks to Damascus, has been
hit by civil unrest.

Tourists are advised to always check the security situation before travelling
with the Foreign Office.

Emma O’Boyle, of TripAdvisor, said British holiday makers are becoming more
adventurous.

“As Brits look for their next great travel experience, it seems destinations
that only a few years ago would never have been an option are now being
considered,” she said.

“We’re seeing rapidly growing interest in destinations like Rwanda and the
Republic of Macedonia, showing that British travellers may be becoming more
intrepid and looking for something different than the traditional beach
holiday.”


Should You Travel to a Bargain Destination in the News?

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Greece is reeling from austerity measures; Mexico is at war with narcotics traffickers; and Egypt is undergoing an unprecedented political transition. Normally, American travelers would avoid these areas, but maybe now is a good time to snatch up deals to these locations. What does it mean to travel during this time of international uncertainty and how might the average traveler save a buck?

Trip Planning

Tour operators are a good place to look for deals. Abercrombie Kent, an experienced travel outfitter, has great fall itineraries to Egypt with discounts on certain packages of 30 to 40 percent, and reports from their summer expeditions to the land of the pharaohs indicate that travelers are very happy with the reduced crowds, friendly locals and renewed energy from the Egyptians. Security has not been a problem, and with a staff of over 400 in Egypt, AK is able to respond quickly to changes. Some of their best discounts are for solo travelers, so leave your partner at home and hit the road!

For those DIY travelers, deal directly with hotels, and don’t be afraid to inquire about discounts. Many hotels are under booked and owners are eager for business. Same with daytrips, attractions and sites; look for discounts online, and call or email directly for more information.

Besides leaving copies of your itinerary at home, consider registering with the U.S. Embassy in the destination country. Using the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) offered through the U.S. Department of State Consular Affairs, travelers can quickly indicate travel plans and itineraries, which are shared with the destination embassies. U.S. Consular officers are able to assist U.S. citizens with serious legal, medical or financial difficulties.

Personal Safety

Greece is a beautiful destination for singles and families alike, with ancient ruins alongside beautiful beaches. This summer, with taxi driver strikes and protests in the streets, it might have seemed a destination to avoid. Not so, says Marie President, who traveled to Greece this summer and “felt perfectly safe the entire vacation”. Even traveling with her family, Marie found the protesters to be courteous and respectful of tourists, and while she did not notice any discounts per se, “merchants were anxious for our business and were quite accommodating”.

Always when traveling, consider your personal safety and learn about your destination before you go. Take standard precautions such as keeping your eyes and ears open, limiting the amount of luggage you carry, keeping cash and valuables out of sight, and using the buddy system when out at night.

Make a copy of your passport and leave one at home, and pack another separate from your original. Call your credit card company before departure to let them know you are traveling, and prevent credit card transactions from being denied. Keep phone numbers (not the 1-800 numbers, the direct dial numbers) for your credit card company in a safe place away from your credit cards in case cards are lost or stolen.

Insurance

Insurance for a trip to one of these “in-the-headlines” destinations is fiscally prudent – in case of cancellation or interruption of the trip, you would recoup some of the cost. According to Chris Harvey of Squaremouth, insurance companies are trending towards a new product in the coming year, which would cover non-medical evacuation. Most current trip insurance plans have coverage for terrorism, but in most cases (London, Egypt) the situation is really civil unrest. This new product, for non-medical evacuation, helps bridge that gap in coverage.

Double-check with your insurance company about their reimbursement policies. In the case of Greece, where strikes are shutting down public transportation and closing tourist sites, most insurance companies required proof of a common carrier ticket in order to reimburse stranded travelers.

Gudrun Enger is a travel, food and lifestyle blogger based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Find her @kitchengirl.


Why Spain is once more a favourite destination for Scots holidaymakers

Jul 27 2011
By Lisa Adams

A beach on the Costa del Sol
beach in costa del sol, spain

The Spanish Costas are becoming popular with Scots holidaymakers once more

SCOTS holidaymakers have fallen back in love with Spain, latest figures reveal. They’re ditching plans to stay at home and grabbing bargains to popular hotspots such as the Spanish Costas and the Balearics.

Last month, 1.5million Brits travelled to Spain, up by 80,000 on June 2010, according to the Spanish ministry for tourism.

And 5.9million Brits visited the country in the first six months of 2011- up 9.6 per cent from last year.

It’s a big boost for Spain as the weak pound and the recession had slashed the number of holidaymakers heading to the traditional sunspots by up to 20 per cent since summer 2008.

A beach in Andalusia

Now experts say price rises in Turkey and unrest in rival getaway destinations such as Egypt, Tunisia and Greece are giving tourists the push to return to sunny Spain.

Bill Munro, director of Barrhead Travel, said Spain is putting other holiday destinations at home and abroad in the shade this summer.

He said: “Spain’s enjoying a well deserved resurgence in popularity this year thanks to competitive prices in its resorts and a variety of entertainment options that appeal to families.

“But Scots have always had a love affair with Spain. They were pushed towards countries like Turkey by price.

“Turkey became the number one favourite as people were warned to stay away from the eurozone. People went to Turkey as the prices were so cheap.

“Now, the hoteliers in Turkey have cottoned on to this and put their prices up. In Spain, the prices have come tumbling down.

“Living costs have come down too. Spain is in worse trouble than Britain in terms of recession, with a huge number of unsold properties.

“There’s lots of brand new holiday homes that have never been sold.

“As a result, prices in Spain have come down substantially and gone up elsewhere.

“The infrastructure, the hotels and facilities in Spain are much superior to Turkey, so Scots are flooding back.

“There has also been a dramatic reduction in prices in bars and restaurants, making your pound go further.”

Today, a quarter of all visitors to Spain come from the UK, more than any other nation, followed by Germany, France and Italy.

Spanish tourism minister Miguel Sebastian said the new figures “confirm the positive evolution of Spanish tourism”.

And Antonio Bernabe, the director of the Spanish tourist board, said the figures were down to “the magnificent position Spain has as a safe destination, with magnificent infrastructure and high-quality, diverse offerings.”

Cheap and quick charter flights direct from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen are a top reason why Scots are choosing to jet off to Spain over other destinations.

Last month, at Glasgow airport 262 charter flights a week jetted to the land of sun, sea and sangria.

Munro added: “For package holidays you just can’t beat the transport from Scotland to Spain.

“It’s cheap, direct and quick.

Palma is just two and a bit hours flight away from Scotland. In the summer, people don’t want to fly too far but they do want sun. Spain gives them both.

“That’s why the country is more popular than France for Scots. It’s much harder to fly direct to France because there’s not the same demand.

“Next to Germany, France has one of the most robust economies in Europe so things tend to be more expensive.”

Guaranteed sunshine, with average temperatures in July hitting 29C means Scots are flooding back to the Costas.

The security of holidaymakers knowing Spain as a home away from home is also a factor.

Munro went on: “Spain has had 40 years of building up resorts that suit the Brits.

“You can enjoy fish and chips and a pint of ale in Spain if that’s what you want. A holiday in the UK is far more expensive than a break in Spain.

“We sell a lot of UK holidays and it appears cheap on the face of it. But when you add up the costs of living, it can be pricier.

“It’s still much cheaper to go abroad generally. Many holidays to Spain are all-inclusive, which is very attractive for holidaymakers.

“If it’s hot, there’s a beach and it’s all-inclusive, holidaymakers are happy. But Spain also has castles and museums. There’s so much to see and do if you don’t want to lie on the beach all day.

“It’s a tried and tested formula that ensures holidays to the country are ones to remember, whether you prefer sunshine and sangria or a taste of the real Spain.”


Tara Reid Gets Married in Greece

Tara Reid Gets Married in Greece | Tara Reid

Tara Reid

Toni Passig/WireImage



Tara Reid is having a vacation to remember.

The American Pie actress married Danish businessman Michael Lilleund in Greece on Saturday, her rep, Jack Ketsoyan, confirms to PEOPLE.

Reid, 35, Tweeted feverishly Saturday, and announced the happy news herself in a series of short messages. “Just got married in greece I love being a wife,” she Tweeted Saturday evening.

And it wasn’t a long engagement: only hours earlier she wrote on Twitter: “I just got engaged!”

The actress, who recently wrapped filming American Reunion, met Lilleund in November in Saint-Tropez.

Reid was previously engaged to Internet entrepreneur Michael Axtmann, but called it off in 2010.