Best UK towns for a Winter Break

Great Britain is bursting at the seams with small towns full of cosy pubs, historic buildings and restaurants offering the best of British culinary delights. Soak up the Christmas atmosphere by venturing to a small UK town over the season.

Saffron Walden, Essex

In this delightful medieval market town, you’ll find The Eight Bells, a cosy 16th-century pub with real ales on tap, log fires and a beautiful original timber framed barn. The twice weekly market held Tues and Sat started in the 12th century. Food is the market’s greatest strength. Jamie Oliver is a big fan and a local patron.

Shrewsbury, Shropshire

Home to more than 650 listed buildings, many of them stunning examples of Tudor or Jacobean architecture, all built in a charming, haphazard fashion. It even boasts a Medieval castle. There’s a vibrant arts and music scene making it an ideal weekend getaway location. You won’t be disappointed with the dining choices on offer, Shrewsbury has a diverse selection of international cuisine.

Melrose, Scottish Borders

If you’d like to plan a hike over the holidays, Melrose is the perfect place for you. The Eildon Hills will be beautiful this time of year, crisp with winter frost. Stroll along the river Tweed and visit the home of Sir Walter Scott. Relax in a cosy pub or browse through the local independent shops. Melrose bistros offer a speciality popular with both visitors and locals, known as Borders lamb. 

Bakewell, Derbyshire

The home of the Bakewell pudding, this town is jam packed full of tea rooms and quaint pubs. Visit the Original Bakewell Pudding Shop which will also gift wrap and post your treats to anywhere in the world. The market square is home to various independent shops and galleries.

If you are travelling over the festive season, book your taxi in advance with cabmania.com. Our reverse auction system offers the lowest prices for airport transfers, guaranteed. They bid, you choose.

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The Best Christmas Markets in Europe

It’s that time of year again! If you are planning a Christmas break, we’ve rounded up four great locations to make it one to remember.

Salzburg Christmas Market, Austria

Set in Salzburg’s traditional Cathedral Square, the market is filled with the stalls of traditional craftsmen and the pleasing aroma of mulled wine. Visitor’s won’t be disappointed, there’s an extensive programme of events, from choral singing to “Turmblasen” (wind instruments) and nativity exhibits in the Resinenz courtyard.

Christmas Market in Piazza Navona, Rome, Italy

One of the biggest and most beautiful Christmas markets in Italy, the Christmas and Epiphany Market is held in Piazza Nova in the Centre of Rome. Stands are situated in the elliptic square, in front of three impressive fountains. Festooned with coloured lights, they sell everything from special gifts, pastries, hot drinks to unique holiday food. There’s a joyful atmosphere, with Christmas songs played throughout the holiday season.

Winter Wonder on Potsdamer Platz, Berlin, Germany

From early November the Potsdamer Platz is transformed into a gigantic winter wonderland. Set in the heart of Berlin, it features an outdoor skating rink and a toboggan run with views of the Brandenburg Gate. Sample the delights of German and Austrian food in the wood huts dotted around the resort. From late November the Christmas Market opens with artisans offering crafts such as leather, pottery and textiles.

I Believe in Christmas – Dublin, Ireland

If you’d rather something closer to home, why not nip over to Dublin? The market is centred on the countries most iconic Christmas tree. Inspired by the world-famous Rockefeller Tree in New York, it stand’s at 50 feet tall. Expect a wide range of artisans, local craftspeople, businesses, food stalls. The Scandinavian themed lodge offer’s a selection of craft beers from local distilleries. Santa is there of course, and jazz musicians keep adults entertained while they enjoy the festivities.

Next time you travel, plan ahead and order your airport taxi in advance with cabmania.com. Our reverse auction system allows cabbies to bid for your fare so you get the best deal. Guaranteed! They bid, you choose.

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Cut your post-Brexit holiday costs

Brits have been taking to social media in outrage at the rising costs of their summer holiday. Although travel experts have stated that the costs of holidays have not increased, the fluctuating exchange rate has upped the price of our usual European getaways.

As there’s so much political uncertainty, when the pound, is up, we never quite know how long for. We need to be a little bit smarter about how we book our holidays. Here are our top tips for saving money on your travel post-Brexit:

1.    Book your summer holiday now to beat the rush. Popular destinations will be cheaper this time of year and rise in price as the bookings roll in.

2.   Go for a package holiday. Although they’ve fallen out of favour in recent years, you really can save with package holidays. Major tour operators get more favourable rates and the cost will be lower overall when booked as a package.

3.    Even better, go all inclusive. You won’t be affected by exchange rates if the pound dips further against the euro. When it comes to your daily needs you’ll be sorted!

4.    Choose from one of our 10 cheapest  beach destinations in Europe to get the most from your money while you are away. They are based on 10 popular holiday purchases, like a three-course meal for two, beer and coffee.

5.    Go off-season. Generally May or September will be cheaper and still very warm in popular holiday destinations such as Spain, Portugal and Greece.

6.    Make the most of the Black Friday sales this week November 25th. Most airlines and travel operators have fantastic offers. See our blog for tips on making the most of the Black Friday sales

7.    Never buy your currency at the airport! Some airports were trending on social media recently for offering one pound to the euro. Plan ahead to get the best rates and buy when the pound is high.

8.   Book your airport transfer well in advance with cabmania.com for the lowest price. Our reverse auction system allows cabbies to bid for your fare. They bid, you choose based on user ratings.

9.   Plan ahead and search out where the locals dine out and shop for the best prices. A lesson we learned on a recent trip to Malta when food was multiple times the price beside the hotel.

We hope this helps you save money on your next holiday!

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Top tips for Black Friday bargain hunting

It’s getting close now! The one day blow out sale on the 25th November where it’s possible to get discounts of up to 70%. Some of you might be waiting for Black Friday to do some all important Christmas shopping, or maybe just treat yourself to a new tablet, TV or weekend away. Here are our top 10 tips for successful Black Friday bargain hunting.

1.    Start checking the prices now so you can see just how good the deal actually is. They may change throughout the week.

2.   Search around for leaked ads and decide on what you will by. Check out www.blackfridaydealsonline.co.uk/ or Google leaked ads from top retailers.

3.   Shop around to compare prices. There are price comparison websites such as shopping.com to make life easier.

4.   Sign up to your favourite store’s newsletters to be invited to secret sales. Some stores don’t advertise their Black Friday sales – particularly high-end stores so you’ll have to be on their mailing list to be in the know.

5.   Register with the stores you intend to purchase from before the big event and add the items to your favourites for easy access and quick checkout on the day.

6.   Create a budget and stick to it. Black Friday sales are designed to get consumers to overspend and empty their pockets!

7.   Be wary of accessories. Often a retailer will discount the main product such as a laptop and make their money back by adding on lots of pricey accessories. Shop around as you may get them cheaper somewhere else.

8.   The cheapest is not always the best deal. Sometimes it’s worth paying more for quality, especially for a TV that you will have for many years. Ask yourself if it will still be a good buy in a year or two, or it the technology will be obsolete.

9.   Make sure to check the returns and exchange policies in case anything goes wrong.

10. Start early in the day and be persistent if you are shopping online. Websites will often have a long queue. Check out our previous blog on where to find the best Black Friday bargains

Next time you travel, visit cabmania.com to book your airport transfer. Our reverse auction app allows cabbies to bid for your fare so you get the best deals. Guaranteed!

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What does Trump victory mean for U.S. Travel?

Donald Trump has made history today with a shock victory over Hillary Clinton. Trump has defied the pre-election polls to claim the title of 45th president of the United States. Whatever your feelings for the new president, your visit to the U.S. shouldn’t change too much. In the short term anyway.

Short Term

Sterling has received a boost against the dollar so you can expect cheaper travel to the U.S. and other countries that are tied to the dollar. Travel to Latin American countries such as Cuba, Hong Kong and many Middle Eastern countries will be cheaper in the short-term as they are pegged to the dollar.

As fuel prices are tied to the dollar, airline costs should be lower. If airline companies pass on the savings, this should have a positive impact on the cost of our flights here in the UK.

Longer Term

This is more difficult to predict as Trump has been extremely vocal during his campaign about implementing travel restrictions to the U.S. It could make it more difficult to get a visa to the U.S., or travellers may have issues getting through passport control, depending on faith.

In practice, this may be near impossible to implement and will severely affect the tourism states. To ban Muslim travellers it would cost the United States at least $18 billion. If tourism is affected, it could lead to travel companies scaling back massively which would make U.S. travel more expensive in the long run.

Culture

Trump has stirred some strong emotions in American people and throughout his campaign he has alienated minorities. He has backtracked quite a bit and subsequently reached out to minority groups for their support. Time will tell if he moderates his intended policies on travel restrictions.

If you are planning travel to the U.S., the tourist states such as Florida, New York and California are probably your best bet, as they are least likely to be affected by major culture shifts.

Travelling soon? Book your airport transfer with cabmania.com. Our reverse auction system allows cabbies to bid for your fare so you get the best deal. Book in advance for the lowest prices!

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The best places to travel to in February

February is the perfect time to book a trip. The holidays will be feeling like a distant memory and January can be little blue without something to look forward to.

Make the most of the airlines Black Friday deals by booking a sneaky getaway! Here are our top places to travel in February:

Oman

February is the Perfect time of year to travel to the Middle East before the sizzling heat of the summer sets in. Visit the sultan’s palaces in Muscat, gaze at the beautiful mosques and wander through colourful noisy souks. Go off the beaten track to the Wahiba Sands Desert to see the Bedouin villages and their people.

Miami

If you are looking for some winter sun and love the party scene, Miami is the place for you! South Beach bars and restaurants will be in full swing in February. Sip giant cocktails on sea view terraces and rooftop bars. Miami is full of fantastic art deco architecture. The temperatures will be pretty good too, usually in the 20’s Celsius.

Venice

February is carnival time in Venice, so it could be the best time to come, to the worst. Depending on how you look at it! You won’t experience the quiet charms of the floating city, however, those who do come this time or year will have an experience like no other. Dress up as 18th-century aristocracy and immerse yourself in the celebrations!

Canadian Rockies

If you love to ski, February is the perfect time to hit the slopes, as prices start to drop whilst skiing conditions are optimum. Forget Aspen, unless you are seriously loaded, there are other wonderful options for skiers. Jackson Hole and Banff are two fabulous places in the Canadian Rockies. Banff features hot springs, dog sledding, ice staking, cross-country skiing and gondolas. What more could you want?

The next time you travel visit cabmania.com to book your airport transfer. Our reverse auction system lets cabbies bid for your fare. Book in advance to get the best deals!

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Don’t get caught out by travel scammers

Criminals and opportunists are using our love of travel to part people from their hard-earned cash. We’ve researched some of the most popular travel scams to make sure you don’t get caught out.

British Airways Travel Scam

Fraudsters posing as British Airways offer gift vouchers for free flights in return for your personal information. The emails, appearing to come from British Airways, claim to offer the chance to win a £1,000 voucher with the introduction:

“We are happy to announce a number of new regional routes. To celebrate, we are offering our selected customers a great chance to receive a £1000 British Airways Voucher!”

The reader is then asked to submit their dream destination which takes them to a website which could be used to steal their information.

To avoid being scammed, ensure the domain name of the site is the same as the company name. If you notice anything unusual about the domain, it’s best to exercise caution.

Copycat Websites

A host of copy-cat websites have sprung up offering to help you through the process of applying for  travel related government services such as passports. They charge to provide information that is either free or available at a substantially lower cost.

They also offer help when applying for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for a fee, often up to £25. This card is free to apply for and entitles you to state-provided healthcare in other European countries for free or at a reduced cost. Always go to the .gov site.

Clone Travel Accommodation Sites

Fraudsters commonly hack into common hotel accommodation sites and clone or redirect them to a fake site. Unsuspecting travellers could end up paying for accommodation that doesn’t exist.

Before you book, check online to ensure the travel provider has a good online reputation. Trustpilot is a great place to hear from other users. Blurred logos or other abnormalities should raise alarm bells. Again, keep an eye on the domain to ensure you haven’t been redirected to another site.

Next time you fly, visit cabmania.com to arrange your airport transfer. Our reverse auction system allows cabbies to bid for your fare so you get the best deal. Book in advance for the lowest prices!

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What to do this Halloween in the UK

If you are too old for trick-or-treating but still want to have some fun this Halloween, we have some top picks in four cities.

Birmingham Halloween Street Food Festival

Featuring DJ stars Craig Charles and Joey Negro. The Day and Night markets combine street food and top DJ’s to create a festival-like atmosphere. Check out the spooky themed Halloween weekender running Friday, October 28 and Saturday, October 29th. See more event details here.

Horror Films at the Rivoli Ballroom, London

Scare yourself silly at special screenings of Halloween and The Shining by Crofton Park Pictures at the Rivoli Ballroom. Enjoy drinks, ice cream, popcorn, and hotdogs while you watch. Dates available at the time of writing Thurs Oct 27 & Fri Oct 28.

Manchester City-Wide Halloween Festival

The first year of the event promises over 4,000 pumpkin lanterns and a giant robotic spider roaming the streets. Manchester Town Hall will be going green for Halloween. Imposing cemetery gates will be erected, featuring sound effects such as wolves howling and witches cackling. Try on scary outfits and take selfies in the booth. Face painting for kids and family fun. The festival takes place in Manchester City centre between October 21 and 31. Read more.

Chester Zoo’s Halloween Spectacular Liverpool

Another family friendly event, the zoo is set to be transformed into a mysterious wonderland. It’s the first event of its kind to be staged in a zoo so really worth visiting. An evil sorcerer will cast a spell over the nocturnal animals to try to steal their powers. There will be a host of performers, from acrobats to musicians during the event. It runs from Saturday, October 22 to Monday, October 31.

We hope this gives you some ideas for some spooky Halloween fun!

If you are travelling soon, visit cabmania.com for the lowest airport transfer rates. Our reverse auction system allows cabbies to bid for your fare, so you get the best deal. Book in advance to get the cheapest rates!

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Your entitlements if your flight is delayed or oversold

Have you ever arrived the airport to be told that the flight has been overbooked? It’s a frustrating experience. If you are denied boarding, the airline must compensate you under EU law, even if you are seated on a later flight. Airlines must also provide compensation for delays of two hours or more. Many people are now discovering they can claim.

Bumped off a flight?

Look on the bright side! You are entitled to a reimbursement of your ticket, return flight to the first point of departure our re-routing to your final destination.

The airline also must provide reasonable care, such as meals, refreshments, accommodation, transport, two free phone calls and email facilities while you are waiting for your next fight. In addition, you also entitled to claim cash compensation, depending on the length of your flight.

Compensation rates are as follows:

£225 for flights 1,500 km or less

£360 for intra-Community flights greater than 1,500 km

£360 for all flights between 1,500 and 3,000 km

£540 for all other flights

Flight delayed by more than two hours?

As is the case with the airline overbooking, they must provide free meals, refreshments, two free phone calls, emails, hotel, and transport if the flight is delayed until the next day.

Cash compensation is awarded depending on the distance of the flight and the time delays, usually  between 2 and 4 hours. People are having success at claiming as far back as 2010.

£225 for flights 1,500 km or less (2 hrs +)

£360 for intra-Community flights greater than 1,500 km (3 hrs +)

£360 for all flights between 1,500 and 3,000 km (3 hrs +)

£540 for all other flights (4 hrs +)

See more detail at Air Passenger Rights. Martin the money saving expert also has some great info on the latest ways to check how long your flight was delayed.

Want to find the best deals on airport transfers? Visit cabmania.com. Our reverse auction app lets cabbies bid for your fare so you get the lowest price, guaranteed.

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Thinking of booking a holiday in December? We have you covered!

December is the perfect time to fit in one more last holiday before you begin a new year. Why not make it one to remember by doing something extra special? There’s still time to book if you’re quick!

St Petersburg, Russia – If you are looking for a winter holiday that will give you that magical Christmas feeling, St Petersburg is the place to be. Snow is very likely and there are numerous fantastic Christmas markets to visit. The stunning Baroque and neoclassical buildings are lit up at night, creating a beautiful festive atmosphere like a scene from a Russian novel.

Iceland – the Northern Lights are a beautiful natural occurring phenomena of green lights dancing in the sky. December with its long dark nights is the best time to see them. Iceland also has many natural hot spas and fantastic nightlife.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates – if sun, sea and sand is more your style, Dubai has a lot to offer. With average temperatures in December of 27 degrees, you’ll shake off the British chill in no time. There’s plenty of shopping and sightseeing for architecture enthusiasts.

Harbin, China – the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival is held every year. Technically not in December, the ice festival is held Jan 5 – to Feb 1, but well worth extending your holidays for. It’s one of the world’s biggest snow sculpture festivals with the tallest ice sculptures reaching 46 metres high. Neon lighting and computer controlled special effects are used to create unforgettable displays.

Lapland, Finland – Meet Father Christmas on a Lapland Holiday. Snow is pretty much guaranteed in Finland during December. During the trip, you’ll get to experience husky sledding, go ice fishing, ride a snowmobile and drive a herd of reindeer if it tickles your fancy. Of course, you’ll also get to meet the big man himself and his elves. Finland is also perfectly situated to view the magical Northern Lights in the night sky.

To get the best prices on your airport transfer, book ahead of time using cabmania.com. The earlier you book, the more money you can usually save. Our reverse auction app allows cabbies to bid for your fare, so you are guaranteed the lowest prices!

See more fantastic ideas at https://www.onthegotours.com/uk/Holiday-ideas-for-December

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