The Howard Travel Blog

  

Stay at Home Sightseeing

Written by 
  • 03 April 2020

While the world of travel has been put on pause for now, there’s nothing to stop you engaging in a bit of armchair travelling with us, before we can get back to exploring our wonderful planet again. We’ll be taking you to some of the world's most popular, surreal and magical destinations from across the globe, to give you that brief escape that we are all in need of.

So, sit back, relax and take in the world with us, all from the comfort of your own home.

Need your outdoor adventure fix? With most events/gatherings being cancelled due to COVID-19, the organisers of the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour are rescheduling their UK screenings but have made ALL their films free to view for our quarantine viewing pleasure.

The Banff Mountain Film Festival brings fearless explorers and intrepid film-makers onto the big screen as they venture deep in the world’s most isolated and spectacular landscapes. The below free list, curated by Lianne Caron, features movies starring climbers, skiers, mountain bikers, sailors, kayakers, high-wire walkers and much more. Enjoy your stay in!

Coronavirus Travel Update

Written by 
  • 28 February 2020

With cases of Coronavirus being reported in specific locations in a number of countries throughout the world, it is very important that travellers are aware of affected areas and stay up to date with Foreign Office travel advice. Here is everything you need to know as of Thursday 27/02/2020:

  • The FCO currently advises against all but essential travel to mainland China, Daegu and Cheongdo in South Korea and 11 towns in Italy (Codogno, Castiglione d’Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo, San Fiorano and Vo’ Euganeo).
  • Travellers are advised to stay up to date with the UK Foreign Office travel advice which is updated regularly here.
  • Although the overall volume of reported cases is very low, with the majority in China, some destination authorities have introduced enhanced health measures, so it is very important that travellers follow the public health advice relating to a local destination that they are travelling to.

Travellers should also keep up to date on local advice during their visit. 

CORONAVIRUS FAQ

Q:What happens if my travel plans are affected?
A: Your travel plans may be affected in different ways, depending on Foreign Office advice. If the Foreign & Commonwealth Office advises against travel to a destination and your holiday arrangements have been affected, your travel provider will get in touch and advise you of the options open to you. Travellers are advised to read the Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel advice for the country they are travelling to, which includes a link through to the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) TravelHealthPro website that provides specific travel health advice for countries. The Foreign Office also has a specific page with more information on Coronavirus.

Where the Foreign Office advises against travel to a country or a specific resort or area of a country the following applies:

Q: Does my tour operator have to refund the full package or only the parts of my holiday that are cancelled?
A: Tour operators can offer alternative holidays if they are able to. If these mean a significant change to the original arrangements, for example spending the whole or part of the holiday in a different country, you aren’t obliged to accept the alternative and will be entitled to a full refund of the package price.  

Q: When am I not entitled to a full refund? 
A: If you have booked a package and are not due to travel imminently, tour operators will decide on an ongoing basis how far in advance they’ll begin offering alternative arrangements or providing refunds. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office advice is in relation to imminent departures and it is too early to say that your holiday can’t go ahead as planned. Therefore, customers with future departure dates will be required to wait to find out whether the advice changes and their holiday can continue as planned. If you cancel early you may have to pay cancellation charges.

Q: If I cannot follow my initial travel plans due to the Coronavirus outbreak, am I entitled to compensation?
A: You won’t be entitled to any compensation, as the reason for the holiday not continuing is outside the control of the tour operator. 

Q: I’ve booked a flight to a country where the Foreign Office currently advises against all but essential travel to a country or a specific resort or area of the country, what are my rights?
A: Speak to your airline or travel provider to check what the airline’s policy is. You should also check your travel insurance to see if this will cover any additional costs. 

Q: What if I'm unsure about going on my holiday?
A: Most destinations do not have any British Government advice against travel. If there is no advice against travel to your destination, if you don't want to go, you’re free to make that choice, but there's no obligation on your holiday company to give you a refund. Normal cancellation charges will apply. It is highly unlikely that you will be able to claim any cancellation charge on your insurance as there isn’t normally cover for disinclination to travel but you can check the terms of your policy. 

If you have any questions regarding Coronavirus travel advice, are travelling near affected areas, or have a specific question regarding your holiday booking, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Hannah's South African Tour

Written by  Chris Talbot
  • 24 February 2020

In December, our travel expert Hannah visited South Africa on a luxury small group tour, where she experienced some of the wonderful sights and sounds the country has to offer. Throughout her trip, Hannah kept a travel diary, showing the amazing activities she got up to during her 9 day stay.

Rats, lanterns and the world’s largest annual human migration? The most important celebration in the Chinese calendar returns on January 25th. The Chinese New Year will last around 15 days, with around 20% of the world taking part in the annual parades and traditions.

HOW IS IT CELEBRATED?

As it is an official public holiday, Chinese residents can get seven days off work from January 24th, with schools and businesses in China closing for the first few days of the new year. This gives everyone time to spend with their families, enjoying delicious food, especially noodle soup, which is said to bring good luck for the year ahead.

Before the festivities can begin, people give their homes a thorough clean in order to get ready for the celebrations to begin. Once New Year’s Day comes, it is traditional not to pick up a broom as the good luck can be ‘swept away’. Washing your hair is also forbidden on New Year’s Day as it is seen as the good luck being ‘washed away’.  

As clocks strike 12am, over 1 billion fireworks will light up the sky, the largest amount anywhere at any time of year. Many believe that setting off fireworks and firecrackers scare away evil spirits of the past year and celebrate the coming of the new year.

shutterstock 239183506

Like at Christmas time in other countries, people exchange gifts during the New Year period, with the most common gift being red envelopes containing money, with the colour of the envelope believed to bring good luck. The money is supposed to help transfer fortune from the elders to children or can be given between bosses and employees, co workers and friends.

shutterstock 1014582280

THE YEAR OF THE RAT

The first animal on the Zodiac Cycle, the rat may not be one of the most adorable animals, but its characteristics are seen to be intelligent, charming and quick-witted. The rat also symbolises wisdom and the ability to adapt quickly to new environments. The Zodiac Cycle is based on a 12-year cycle, with each year relating to an animal and is calculated according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar. 

rsz 1shutterstock 1337350436

THE WORLD'S LARGEST MIGRATION

In 2019, 2.99 billion trips were made during the Chinese New Year period, making it the largest human migration on the planet. Many people in China return home for family reunions during the Lunar New Year, with the number of travellers increasing from 100 million in 1979 to 3 billion. China’s railway network handled over 400 million passengers, with 73 million people travelling by air, with road trips being the most popular method with 2.4 billion travelling by car.

shutterstock 450477805

UK CELEBRATIONS:

Known as the ‘largest’ Chinese New Year celebration outside Asia, the streets of London are lined with colourful parades, performances and dragons. Over 300,000 people take part in the celebrations, as the parade travels through Chinatown and ends in Trafalgar Square, where spectators can witness the official opening ceremony. There is also a pyrotechnic display at Trafalgar Square for the grand finale and an explosion of Chinese New Year fireworks in London.

shutterstock 567929410

12 Destinations to Watch in 2020

Written by 
  • 30 December 2019

ABTA have recently released their 12 best destinations to watch throughout 2020. The list has been compiled by ABTA experts which feature a range of different landscapes, cultures and attractions. We have put together some of the top things to do in each location, so if you’re unsure about where to travel to, this list could be the inspiration you need.

Howard Travel Year in Review 2019

Written by 
  • 13 December 2019

As another busy year in travel draws to a close, we have taken a moment to look back and review 2019 at Howard Travel - and what a year it was! 2019 saw new faces, ‘excellent’ customer service, awards, fam trips across the globe and a whole lot of summer holidays!

Black Friday Offers

Written by 
  • 29 November 2019

We have collated the best offers this Black Friday from a host of different operators. Hurry though, Deals will be departing soon! Call our holiday experts today to find out more about any of the below offers - 01225 777 227 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

⚫Mauritius - Stay for 7 & pay for 5!

⚫ From £1,090pp
Save £452 per couple

- 7 nights staying at Mauricia Beachcomber Resort & Spa

- Emirates flights from Gatwick £1,090pp, Heathrow £1,115pp

- Half Board Choice of free land & water sports

- Airport transfers in Mauritius

- Departs 18 May 2020

- £150 Deposit

- Book by 6th December

*Subject to availability, price based on 2 sharing.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

⚫ 7 nights 3* Orlando

⚫ From £459pp

  • Return flights from Gatwick
  • Valid for travel 07 May – 04 June 20
  • 7 nights at 3* Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista a Rosen Hotel B&B

*Based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

⚫ 9 Day Classic Peru

⚫ From £1,829

  • Return flights from Gatwick
  • 20 March 2020
  • 8 nights’ accommodation
  • 8 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
  • English speaking guide
  • Selected sightseeing & transfers

 

Lima | Cuzco | Aguas Calientes | Machu Picchu | Puno | Lake Titicaca

 

Highlights

  • • See Spanish colonial architecture in Lima
  • • Discover Aymara and Quechuan Indian cultures of Puno
  • • Enjoy a guided tour of the iconic Inca city of Machu Picchu
  • • Explore beautiful Cuzco or relax and take in mountain views
  • • Take a boat tour on the world’s highest navigable lake, Lake

Titicaca and stay with a local family

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

⚫ 7 nights 4* Phuket

⚫ From £799pp

⚫ Save up to £505pp

  • Return flights from Heathrow
  • 7th May 2020
  • 4* OZO Kata Phuket B&B
  • Return Transfers

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

⚫ Sri Lanka from £799

⚫ Save up to £470pp

  • 7 nights at 4* Club Hotel Dolphin, Waikkal, all inclusive
  • Return flights from Heathrow
  • 4th May 2020
  • Return private transfers

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Florence - 3 nights from £391pp ‼️

- Departing 27th March 2020
✈️Fly from Bristol Airport
- Staying at the 3* Hotel Rosso 23
- Includes breakfast

*Subject to availability, price based on 2 sharing.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
☀️5* Tenerife ☀️
‼️7 nights from £979pp
✔️SAVE £680 PER COUPLE
?Departing 14th April 2020
✈️Fly from London Gatwick
?Staying at 5* Vincci Seleccion la Plantacion Del Sur
?️Bed & Breakfast in a Twin/double room

*Subject to availability, price based on 2 sharing.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
☀️10 Nights Australia Multi-centre
⚫ from £1,399pp
✔️SAVE UP TO £360pp
‼️Includes one FREE night in Sydney, FREE breakfast in Brisbane & one FREE night in Surfers Paradise
⚫ Departing 9th August 2020
✈️Fly from London Heathrow
⚫ 3 nights 4* Rendezvous Hotel Sydney Central
⚫ 3 nights 4* Novotel Brisbane with Breakfast
⚫ 4 nights Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise

*Subject to availability, price based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
⚫ Malaysia Summer School Holiday
‼️10 nights from £749pp
✔️SAVE UP TO £110pp
⚫ Departing 20th August 2020
⚫INCLUDES 4 FREE NIGHTS
✈️Fly from London Heathrow
⚫ Staying at 4.5* DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang

*Subject to availability, price based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
☀️4* Barbados
⚫ From £1,499pp
⚫ Departing 1st June 2020
✔️SAVE UP TO £580pp
✈️Fly from London Gatwick
⚫ Staying at 4* Treasure Beach by Elegant Hotels
⚫ Return flights
⚫ 7 nights in a Garden View One Bedroom Suite
⚫ Bed & breakfast
⚫ Return Transfers

*Subject to availability, price based on 2 sharing.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
☀️5* Mauritius☀️
⚫ 7 nights all inclusive
⚫ From £1529pp
✔️SAVE UP TO £2333PP
⚫ Book by 6th December 2019
⚫ Junior Suite
✈️Fly from London Heathrow
*Subject to availability, price based on 2 sharing.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
⚫ Azores, Madeira & Portuguese Highlights Cruise
Discover lovely Madeira, the ‘floating garden of the Atlantic’, plus the historic and colourful cities of La Coruña and Lisbon, bringing contrasts to this wonderful cruise.
⚫ Ship - Marco Polo
❌WAS - £2129pp
✔️NOW FROM £885 – 70% OFF!
⚫ Departing Tuesday 24TH March 2020
⚫ 7 night cruise
⚫ Departing Bristol Avonmouth

*Prices shown are per person based on two adults sharing a twin cabin and include all cruise offer discounts and savings
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
⚫ Easter River Seine Experience Cruise

Cruise the beautiful River Seine with its panoramic vistas across the Normandy countryside.
⚫ Marco Polo
❌WAS £1069
✔️NOW £471 – 65% OFF!
⚫ Departing Tuesday 7th April 2020
⚫ 7 night cruise
⚫ Departing Bristol Avonmouth

*Prices shown are per person based on two adults sharing a twin cabin and include all cruise offer discounts and savings
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
⚫ Iceland & Northern Isles Cruise
Home to one of the world’s most dynamic landscapes, Iceland is the legendary ‘Land of Fire and Ice’! Vast ice caps, active volcanoes, spouting geysers, bubbling mud pools and geothermal hot springs are all part of the exciting nature you may experience on this extraordinary island.

❌WAS £1079pp
✔️NOW £917pp – 60% OFF
⚫ Departing Sunday 9th August 2020
⚫ 12 Night cruise
⚫ Departing London Tilbury

*Prices shown are per person based on two adults sharing a twin cabin and include all cruise offer discounts and savings
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kimara's Italian Adventure

Written by 
  • 27 November 2019

Howard travel expert Kimara has returned from her trip exploring some of the finest sights Italy has to offer. During her 4-night stay, she came across some of the world’s most famous sights such as Pompeii, Mount Vesuvius and the Colosseum. From a tour of the gorgeous Amalfi Coast, to trying a metre-long pizza, have a read about Kimara’s action packed time in Italy through her daily travel diary.