Would you give up your career to live abroad?

Author: jayzep  |  Category: Travel News, Visa Advice

It appears so, after a new survey was released by a renowned visa help website in the UK. The poll asked a selection of participants whether they would be willing to take an unskilled job to secure a work visa abroad, to which 35% said they would. Only 20% said that they would consider a job abroad if the move was a ‘career step up’.

The survey also asked respondents why they would consider taking an unskilled job to move abroad, with 41% saying that the life experience would be worthwhile. 33% said that the lifestyle appealed to them and 24% acknowledged that life wasn’t all about career progression.

This news comes after another survey found that January was the busiest time of year for people to emigrate. A new year, a new life and January blues were all listed as reasons for the increased emigration.

Would you give up your career for a life abroad? Leave your comments below.

work permit

Picture: sagoingtonz.co.nz

Visa charges for UK citizens travelling outside of Europe

Author: jayzep  |  Category: Travel News, Travel Tips

As most of you will now be aware of, from April 2014 all visitors travelling to Turkey will have to purchase their visa online before they travel, but what about other countries visas? Airport Parking and Hotels (APH.com) has you covered.

APH has compiled a comprehensive table comparing visa regulations and prices for UK Citizens travelling outside of Europe. This handy guide also tells you how to apply for the visa, period it is valid for and an estimated processing time. The list contains 14 countries from outside Europe including Australia, China and Cuba, as well as India and Kenya.

The list shows a huge difference between the cost of a single entry tourist visa and the processing times throughout the world. For example, visitors traveling to Cambodia will only have to pay £12.25 for their tourist visa, where those travelling to Tanzania will have to pay more than double (£31). Processing times also differ substantially ranging from being available instantly to taking over a month to process.

Travellers are urged to be aware of the documents needed and processing time of their chosen visas to avoid disappointment. Those who are still unsure should ask for help at a visa application website. Companies such as IXP Visas are renowned for making the visa application process quick and stress free.

You can also go to your local foreign embassy to ask for advice for your travel visa; they will usually be able to start the application process there as long as you have the correct paperwork.

Turkey may surprise you

Author: jayzep  |  Category: Travel Destinations, Travel Guides

Turkey is not all about kebabs and men with moustaches selling carpets; it is a very historic land with lots of culture and scenery. Naturally for many holiday makers, the beach is the attraction and Turkey is not short of those, but it has mountains cities and ancient architecture too.

For the beach lovers perhaps Lara is the place which is in the district of Antalya; Lara is lively and has been described as the Las Vegas of Turkey for clubbers. But it is for one of the longest sandy beaches in Turkey curving elegantly into the Gulf of Antalya that many come here for. It cannot be denied that the beach is rather “trendy” just asking for you to stretch out beneath the glorious sun and splash in the inviting cool and shallow waters. With plenty of beach bars and cafes for you to retreat when the mid-day sun suggest you should be having a snack and a cooling drink, it is in these where you will find cuisine of all tastes be it Turkish or European, is all catered for.

But there is much more than beaches in Turkey, you will find that Turkish culture embraces dance, opera, cinema and music, in most of the bars and restaurants you can be treated to an evening of jazz from the rooftops whist enjoying a few beers. In Istanbul you can take in the atmosphere of the markets, bars and shops, perhaps the historic sites on the Aegean coast are more attractive, you can see the ruins of Troy here and the Black Sea is the place if you want to be away from the usual tourist attractions, enjoy the wild even adventurous feeling of this area.

Looking for glorious sunshine, you will get it in Turkey right through from March into November, Turkey will surprise you have no doubt.

Picture: annie_stru

Do expats embrace the culture of their new country?

Author: jayzep  |  Category: Travel News

Thousands of Brits each year leave their life behind in the UK to start a new one in another country, but do expats embrace the culture of their new country? A new study suggests that many British expats opt a live a British lifestyle abroad rather than embrace the culture of their new country.

The new research, conducted by a visa application website has found that the majority of Brits prefer to live a similar life to the one they had in the UK. A staggering 35% of respondents said that they are happy to live the British lifestyle in a foreign country, while 44% said that they could do better to embrace the local culture of their new residence.

The poll asked “From the following options, which do you think best describes how much you’ve embraced the culture of the country that you now live in?”, here are the responses:

•    Completely – 11%
•    Mostly – 17%
•    Partially – 34%
•    Not really – 38%

The study also asked, “What elements of your new life do you think that you’ve embraced the most?” and found that food was top of the list with 32%, followed by making new friends (28%) and learning the language (21%).

For those who didn’t really embrace the foreign lifestyle, the study found that 36% only watch British TV and that 51% were following a better wage rather than any other lifestyle choice or retirement.

Picture: Nicola Campbell

Cruise Companies – P & O Cruises

Author: jayzep  |  Category: Cruise Holidays, Travel Tips

P & O Cruises is the UK’s premier cruise company.  We offer our passengers a second to none five-star service throughout our cruise fleet.  P & O Cruises has the trip which is tailor-made for you, whether you opt for a meander around the Mediterranean, a foray through the fjords or a cruise across the Caribbean.

With P & O you can expect luxury service during the day and haute cuisine table service and cocktails in the evening.  We specialise in luxurious living and our top quality service, coupled with our exciting destinations and day trips, promise a premier holiday experience for all members of the family.  Offering cruise destinations suitable for both couples and families, we arrange day trips at each of our port destinations to ensure our passengers have the best value and safest day trips.

Your dream holiday begins as soon as you step on board a P & O cruise ship.  Our friendly crew will do all they can to ensure your stay with us is both memorable and pleasurable.  Nothing is too much trouble for this team of professionals who offer courteous and friendly service throughout.

P & O is a long established UK company and our cruises are specifically geared to the British taste and lifestyle.  With P & O cruises you can experience the world whilst retaining the familiar home comforts we all enjoy.  Choose P & O for your cruise requirements today and look forward to your holiday of a lifetime.

Picture: Scott Anderson

Some tips for older travellers

Author: jayzep  |  Category: Travel Tips

We are an ageing population, but that does not mean that we do not like to go away to our favourite holiday destinations, the reverse in fact as our elderly population now has more disposable income than our predecessors.

If you have decided that you want to take an elderly relative on holiday or maybe helping them to book one, please remember to make sure you know its position and its suitability for elderly holidaymakers. Access is important, high floors and hill climbs can be a problem, also avoid noisy locations, they are not going to enjoy it if it is near to loud bars and clubs. If mobility is an issue, does it have wheelchair access? Check with the online travel site and get this information.

UK airports are required to offer assistance to passengers with reduced mobility, by that we mean not just disabled people, but anyone that has difficulty walking. This raises the travel to and from the airport, if you are driving to the airport, then consider booking a meet and greet parking facility. This is ideal for elderly people all you do is simply drive right up to the airport terminal, meet your driver and go straight through into the airport to check-in avoiding the hassle of the need to park your own car. On your return from holiday, you will be met by your driver with your vehicle in the same place you left it and ready to drive home.

Madeira for couples and singles

Author: jayzep  |  Category: Travel Destinations, Travel Guides

There may come a time in life when you have to holiday alone and it is a great “bone of contention” that a single traveller has to pay a supplement to the travel company because they are not sharing a room with someone. Obviously tour companies book a number of rooms in hotels and set their prices accordingly, so when a person ask for a room on their own, often the company will charge a huge supplement, often this can be the price two people would pay.

Now the way that most hotels work both here in the UK and more often in Europe is to charge for the room, irrespective of how many people are occupying it. With this in mind, if you are a single traveller you will find that there are companies that will cater for singles and the prices are usually competitive.

An example is a trip to Madeira which is one of Europe’s most beautiful travel locations with many thousands of tourists returning year after year. This Portuguese Island is an all year round summer climate and wonderful fauna and flora and is also virtually crime free and one of the safest holiday destinations in the world, surely an ideal place for a single to holiday. From wonderful parks and gardens with exotic flowers to seascapes with blue ocean and towering cliffs to rustic villages in quiet valleys breathtaking scenery and mountains which are more that the height of those found in Scotland for example.

One of the pleasures of an island holiday is that the ocean is never too far away! Spend your days exploring the coastline of majestic cliffs, a trip to pebbled beaches and beautiful rock pools, Porto Santo offers miles of golden beaches and all round Madeira is blessed with an almost perfect climate, you are sure to return.

Picture: Gertrud K.

The beautiful island of Phuket

Author: jayzep  |  Category: Travel Destinations, Travel Guides

Phuket, Thailand is one of the most magical places in the world.  Ironically, people were reminded of the beauty of Phuket through one of the ugliest disasters that befell the island, the Asian tsunami in 2004. Today, there are no traces of the devastation and, in fact, many believe that Phuket recovered so well that it is actually more alluring today than it was before 2004.

This paradise destination is located in the Andaman Sea to the west coast of Thailand.  The fastest way to get there is by plane from the capital city of Bangkok, the cheapest is by train, the least practical is by inter-city bus, while the most romantic is by sea. 

Bangkok is about 840 kilometres away.  Getting there by land will take about 12 to14 hours, which is a good thing for those who want to see the countryside.  Buses can be hailed at Bangkok’s southern terminal station or at the Khaosarn Road.

Cruise ships are slow, which is why it is perfect for travellers who are not in a hurry but would love to enjoy the journey as much as the island.  Cruising from Bangkok to Phuket is the most popular cruise package in the country simply because the waters are lovely and the island destination is the best that Thailand can offer.

The island of Phuket is home to the most pristine Asian beaches, lovely seaside restaurants, pulsating bars and nightclubs, ancient temples, and simply the most beautiful views and sights.  The island has 17 white sandy beaches, the three most popular of which are Karon Beach, Patong Beach and Laem Singh Beaches.

Meanwhile, two religious attractions are the buddhist temple of Wat Chalong and the Big Buddha on Nekkerd Hill.  Two destinations worth visiting are the nearby Phi Phi Island, and Pang Nga Bay for its emerald green water, limestone cliff formations, and intriguing island caves.

Picture: Charlie Pryor

How to protect yourself from holiday rental scams

Author: jayzep  |  Category: Travel Tips

The emergence of the internet is great for holidaymakers, you can now search for the perfect holiday in your own time and find the cheapest deals, but booking a holiday online can leave you vulnerable to scams and bogus websites.

This is especially true when looking for holiday villas and apartment lets, so here are some tips to help protect you when you’re booking your dream holiday.

How to check that the holiday villa or apartment is genuine

•    Check how long the villa or apartment has been registered with your chosen website, the longer the better. If it has only been on there for a short time then ask for the owners details so that you can contact them directly.
•    Contact the owner and ask them about the villa/apartment, the location, local attractions etc. A genuine rental owner will be happy to oblige.
•    Look for trusted or verified reviews online to see what other people thought of the rental.
•    Search for the property on Google maps, does it match the pictures on the rental website?
•    If the rental owner has their own website, do a whois lookup; this shows you the details of the website, is the owners name the same?

Protecting your payments

Protecting your payments is crucial to getting your money back if something bad should happen, but the level of protection will vary depending on what payment method you use.

•    Electronic transfers and cheques are the preferred method of payment for rental owners, but offer little protection to the holidaymaker in cases of fraud. Instead ask the owner if they will accept an alternative payment method.
•    Paying using a credit card is the safest way to protect yourself against fraud. Most banks protect payments of £100 or above and most genuine travel agencies should offer this facility.
•    Some owners may let you pay via Paypal; this allows you to pay using your credit card and is covered by Paypal for up to 45 days after payment against fraud. This should give you enough time to make a claim if something is wrong.
•    Most holiday payment procedures take a 25% deposit with the full balance to be paid 6-8 weeks before departure. This is standard procedure so be wary if full payment is requested up front.
•    Some owners who live near to the rental may offer a cash on collection of the keys, although this is a risk on the part of the owner due to no-shows.

The best way of protecting yourself is by using a registered website that has ATOL or ABTA protection; this will protect you against any unforeseen circumstances including airline or travel agencies going bust.

For more information on how to protect yourself when booking a holiday villa or apartment online click here.

Picture: Lucas Fox

Weird visa application questions revealed

Author: jayzep  |  Category: Travel News

Most countries around the world require some sort of visa to authorise an individual to enter or leave the country, many of which involve filling out a form with a bunch of questions.

A study by visa advice website IXPVisas.com has highlighted the top ten weird questions found on visa application forms or asked by authorities, some of them you won’t believe:

1.    Describe your moustache/beard – found on a Mexican visa form.
2.    Have you been to a farm in the past six weeks? – found on the Australian visa form.
3.    How many wives do you intend to bring? – found on a Middle Eastern visa form.
4.    What side of the bed does your wife sleep on? – A question asked by US authorities.
5.    Reasons for visiting? – found on a Chinese visa form (one of the options was ‘visit’).
6.    State your religion – found on an Indian visa form (there is not an option for ‘none’, instead you have to tick ‘other’ then write none.
7.    Foreigners please sing in the box – typo seen on a Mexican visa form.
8.    In times of either peace or war has the applicant ever been involved, or suspected of involvement, in war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide? – Applicant was asked question by UK authorities.
9.    Has the applicant ever been involved in, supported or encouraged terrorist activities in any country? – found on both British and US visa forms.
10.    Name three things about… – potential students are asked this to make sure that they are knowledgeable about the subject they plan to study abroad.

Do you have any weird and wonderful questions that you have been asked when applying for your visa? Let us know below.

Picture: Ian Mackenzie