How to Get Cheap and Cheerful Thomson Holidays

Pay less for your Thomson Holidays by taking your child for free, haggling with your travel agent or going to the right place at the right time. Here’s how to get yourself a bargain summer break, winter holiday or 2018 Thomson trip…

1. Chose a cheap place to visit

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Surprisingly, it could be cheaper to whisk your family away to Bali than Spain this summer 2017. Thanks to a risky exchange rate, long haul exotic adventures could prove cheaper than a traditional European break. So if you’re serious about saving money, why not trek through jungle, sail around tropical islands or explore Bangkok in Thailand with Thomson Holidays?

2. Go all-inclusive

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Depending on your package, Thomson all-inclusive holidays promise three meals a day, as well as snacks like afternoon tea, soft or alcoholic drinks and all manner of fun. Think volleyball or football and evening entertainment, like stage shows, barbecues and quizzes – leaving you to relax knowing everything’s paid for and also stay on budget.

3. Explore Thomson last minute deals

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Didn’t book nine months in advance? Browse Thomson late deals up to eight weeks before you want to go – the ‘Last Minute Holiday’ filter gives you a choice of summer and winter 2017 deals, last minute long or short haul trips, city or beach breaks. Save £425 per person on a week-long Thomson all-inclusive holiday to Greece, for example.

Call Thomson Holidays before booking, to check the price online is actually still available.

4. Be flexible with your dates and flights

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Searching for your Thomson Holiday online? Tick ‘flexible by +/ -3 days’ to see if you could get the same trip for less. Plus, Thomson Holidays’ Flexible Flying program lets you chose your flights with other airlines – giving you the chance to fly for less mid-week or at a more convenient hour. Use the ‘Flight Insight’ tool on ‘momondo.co.uk’ to compare 150 routes or try to predict the best time to buy your flights on ‘kayak.co.uk’ which tells you whether the cost is likely to go up or down within seven days.

When you book your own flights, Thomson Holidays will take 70% of the cost as your deposit, leaving you to pay just 30% of your flight cost eight weeks later.

5. Take your kid for free

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Book a Thomson Holidays trip for two full-paying adults and your little one could come for free – flying for free, sleeping free in selected hotel rooms, apartments or villas, eating for free on the same board as you and riding the free transfers to and from the airport. Thomson’s free child places sure are generous.

6. Spread the cost of your Thomson Holidays

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Take advantage of Thomson’s Low Deposit Scheme to help you split the cost of your holiday. Pay a partial deposit to secure your holiday and hand over the rest eight weeks later. That’s £75 per person for your short or mid-haul holiday, for example, or £125 per person to book your long-haul trip. And if you decide to cancel your holiday within 14 days, you should get a full refund.

7. Haggle with Thomson Holidays’ travel agents

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Decide the highest price you’re willing to pay for your Thomson Holiday, before calling today. Aim for the biggest discount by asking them to improve the cost per person, not the total cost of your holiday. And if that doesn’t work, ask if there’s a discount for paying the full amount immediately or whether extras like car hire and days out can be included in the price.

You’re more likely to whittle the cost down on long haul trips, because travel agents have to sacrifice their commission to give you a discount. But a slim chance is still worth taking for cheaper Thomson Holidays.

Travelling? 5 Total Game Changers for Holidaymakers

From exploring virtual reality hotel rooms to a free 20 minute holiday in London, here’s what holidaymakers can soon take advantage of…

1. Vodafone scrapped roaming charges to 40 European countries

Never pay extra for calls, texts or data when holidaying in 40 European countries – if you’re a new Vodafone customer on the Roam Free deal, from Thursday 15th June 2017. Not only does that leave you more money for souvenirs, but you can call you mates from Croatia, add them to Facebook in Austria or text them from Turkey at no extra charge. That’s right, even non-EU states are included in Vodafone’s deal, such as Norway, Iceland and Turkey. Check if your next holiday spot is included by reading the full map of destinations here.

Unlike Three, who also offer free roaming in 42 countries on advanced plans, Vodafone let you call numbers in the country of travel and UK numbers for no extra charge. Ultimately, USwitch say one in four travellers are hit with an average £52 roaming charge when they get home from their jollies. If you want to brag about your trip without forking out for roaming charges, call Vodafone to swap your phone contract today.

2. Explore Expedia’s Virtual Reality hotel rooms

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Have you found the perfect hotel? Have a look around before you book. Expedia are creating Virtual Reality hotel rooms that are incredibly interactive – all you need is a VR compatible headset to slide open hotel doors with your controllers to walk around your room, into your ensuite and out onto your balcony. You could soon explore ships before booking a cruise too, making sure your holiday is packed with the right kind of surprises.

3. Fly from Vienna to Los Angeles for the first time ever

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You can now fly nonstop between Vienna and Los Angeles with Austrian Airlines. The 9,900km route is the airline’s longest. So you could go from munching Wiener Schnitzel in Austria’s capital to walking down Sunset Boulevard after a 12 hour 30 minute flight. You can fly out any day except Tuesday and Sunday, and from Tuesday 13th June 2017, flights will leave six times a week.

4. Bag a free 20 minute holiday to France’s most romantic coast

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You don’t need your passport to enjoy the sights, sounds and love stories of one of France’s most glamourous coastal regions. Leave London’s streets behind you this May, by stepping aboard an EasyJet plane for an immersive theatrical experience, ‘Un Voyage sur la Côte d’Azur’. It won’t cost you a bean, because tickets are free.

Film buffs can see the red carpet at Cannes Film Festival, before throwing yourself into the carnival of Nice and walking the white sand beaches of Antibes on France’s south coast. Fans of La La Land or Carry Grant’s classic, ‘To Cath A Thief’ will love the magic and splendour of EasyJet’s immersive travel experience. Who knows, perhaps it’ll inspire you to experience the real deal?

Claim your free ticket here today. And search #FeelCotedAzur on Twitter to see the action, if you can’t make it to London.

EasyJet’s ‘Un Voyage sur la d’Azur’ experience is between Friday 5th and Saturday 6th May 2017 – run from 4.30pm on Friday and 11.30am on Saturday, performances last 20 minutes.

5. Take advantage of Emirates’ tablet loan service

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Flying to the States from the Middle East, North Africa or Turkey with Emirates’? You can’t fly with an electronic device bigger than a smartphone, thanks to President Trump’s ban.

But Emirates are the first airline to offer a work around. You can use your laptop or tablet right up until you board the plane, although you have to hand it over, you’ll get it back when you land. Not only can your smartphone connect to the inflight WiFi, but you can now bring power banks and power supply units to charge your mobile mid-flight.

Emirates Premium customers on all non-stop flights from Dubai to America can loan a Microsoft Surface tablet, complete with Microsoft Office 2016, for no extra cost. When you’re finished, simply download your work onto a USB – which you can now bring aboard your flight.

Carnival photograph copyright Debb Collins, licensed for use under Creative Commons.

The 5 Best Winter Sun Destinations

Feeling sun-starved? Here’s where’s hot right now…

Winter doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom if you fly out to one of these sun spots with easyJet or Thomson Holidays, Emirates Airways or Thomas Cook. Not only are these places still positively tropical this time of year, but winter breaks can be dramatically cheaper than summer, leaving you more money for day trips or cocktails on the beach. Go on, put your sun cream, not scarf on during our sub-zero British months.

1. Malta – October average 25°c

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One of the world’s smallest, but perfectly formed countries, Malta’s sunny for at least 300 days a year, guaranteeing you a toasty winter break. Run riot in Qawra and Bugibba’s waterparks or head down south to Mellieha Bay to relax on one of the island’s few sandy beaches. Fancy sightseeing? Here, you could explore everything from prehistoric temples to the oldest stone building in the world.

Fly to Malta with easyJet or Thomson Holidays.

2. Tenerife – December average 21°c

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After the dry season, the Canary Islands come alive with plants during the milder winter months, making Tenerife’s Teide National Park especially beautiful. Climb Spain’s highest mountain there or soak up the winter rays on Playa del Duque beach, lined as it is with cafes and high end shops. Those of you with kids in tow can let them loose on the Thai-themed Siam Park, Tenerife’s largest waterpark. This time of year, your all-inclusive resorts are far quieter, calming and more relaxing, whether you stay at Los Cristianos, Puerto de Santiago or somewhere else.

Fly to Tenerife with easyJet or Thomson Holidays.

3. Kerala, India – December average 27°c

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Feeling adventurous? Winter is the best time to visit Kerala, India, where you could canoe down the backwaters, trek tea-covered hills or find your personal paradise somewhere along the 600km stretch the Arabian Sea coast. You wildlife lovers will also be in your element, as the Western Ghats, one of the world’s most biodiverse places, are famously known as the ‘Elephant Hills’ and you could come face-to-face with a big cat in Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary tiger reserve.

Fly to Kerala with Thomson Holidays.

4. Morocco – October average 21°C

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Swap your hot chocolate for mint tea this winter. Morocco has you covered, whether you fancy camel trekking in the Saharan desert, hiking through forests potted with waterfalls and caves or relaxing on 9km of sandy beaches in Agadir – a bustling city, packed with European style cafes, that gets 300 days of sunshine a year.

Fly to Morocco with easyJet or Thomson Holidays.

5. Gambia – November average 27°C

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Just six jet-lag-free hours from the UK, Gambia offers an incredibly laid back sub-tropical winter break where you could sunbathe on the incredible Bijilo or Cape Point beaches by day, and party in Kotu or Kololi when the sun goes down. Of course, the wildlife here is a major attraction, you could find anything from leopards and hyena in the Kiang West National Park, to monkeys and crocodiles in the Abuko Nature Reserve. Just don’t expect the traditional African safari experience, this is far more unique.

Fly to Gambia with Thomas Cook.

To speak to some about your holiday booking or to ask about winter discounts, phone easyJet or Thomson Holidays, Emirates Airways or Thomas Cook direct.

 

Malta copyright Flavio Ensiki licensed for use under Creative Commons. Tenerife copyright Javier Losa licensed under Creative Commons. Kerala copyright Mehul Antani licensed under Creative Commons. Morocco copyright Mycroyance licensed under Creative Commons. Gambia copyright Forbes Johnston licensed under Creative Commons.

Flight Compensation & Rewards Few People Claim

You’re so close to your holiday, you can practically feel the sand between your toes and the bounce of your hotel bed already. Then disaster strikes, your plane is delayed or cancelled altogether and you’ve missed the first day of your holiday. It’s hellish.

You’re not alone – Which? reports that 37 million journeys, to or from the UK, were delayed by 15 minutes or more last year, which is an inconvenience at best. Good luck if you’re leaving from Gatwick Airport this summer, the biggest offender in the country. Or using airlines like Thomas Cook, EasyJet and Ryanair, who can struggle to get their short-haul flights into the sky on schedule.

900,000 people are eligible to claim for compensation, but only 38 per cent bother to claim.

Perhaps travellers don’t fully understand their rights or they hold such little faith in the system and don’t bother exercising them – bailiffs threatened to impound a Thomas Cook Boeing 747 in Salzburg, Austria, over unpaid compensation claims last month. You’re actually entitled to your legal rights as early as check-in.

When you’re entitled to compensation, you can lodge a claim for anything that the airline could have foreseen and prevented on the day, but didn’t. Anything from airline strikes when notice was given, to poor flight turn-around times and overbooking.

The European Court of Justice ruled that delays caused by technical problems are no longer ‘extraordinary circumstances’ either – because airlines ought to inform you of air carrier problems 24 hours before you’re due to take off.

This new addition bolsters your chances of a fair settlement, of up to £437 per head if you were delayed up to three hours. Sometimes compensation can exceed the cost of your fare, depending on the length of the delay and how late you reach your final destination.

Delay on the Day

If your short-haul flight is delayed by two hours, your mid-haul by three hours, or your long-haul by four hours – you’re entitled to a minimum of £190 cash compensation when the airline is at fault. Don’t feel pressured to accept vouchers.

But even during exceptional circumstances, such as extreme weather conditions beyond their control, your airline must provide two free phone calls, free meals and refreshments when your flight is delayed by three hours. If you’re kept overnight, because of technical problems for example, you should receive free hotel accommodation and hotel transfers as well.

When your flight is delayed for 5 hours or more, you don’t have to take the flight, regardless of what’s to blame. By law, you can request a full refund on this flight and your return journey with the same airline. And you’re entitled to a flight back to the airport you originally departed from. Fly anyway, and you can still claim up to £470 if there was a technical fault.

Cancelled flight? Your airline must legally provide a full refund, including the fare value, taxes, surcharges and optional extras, as well as a replacement flight to get your destination.

Back to 2010

You have six years to lodge a claim for flight delays to or from the UK, and five years to or from Scotland. So if your case was put on hold, don’t panic, there’s plenty of time to rectify it. You simply need to demonstrate that the airline company didn’t do all that it could to prevent a delay.

The final amount depends on when the flight was cancelled, the distance of the flight, and the departure or arrival times of the rescheduled flight.

Write to the airline Chief Executive, quoting the EC regulation 261/2004 and request your compensation or full refund. You’ll find some cracking templates to help you online – on Which? and Money Saving Expert. While Virgin Atlantic have forms on their website.

Fobbed off?

If you’re at logger heads with the airline, you can escalate it. The Civil Aviation Authority can take your case after eight weeks of launching your claim. Or else you can contact the small claims court – who will take commission from your reward.

To speak directly with a customer service professional, call EasyJet, Emirates Airways or Thomson Holidays.

Happy holidays and safe travels!