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.

Pay Less to Jet Off on Holiday

Itchy feet and a hankering for sunshine are classic symptoms of the Travel Bug that’s rife this time of year. But help is at hand if you’ve caught it. With careful planning and a pinch of insider knowledge, you can save money on actually getting to your getaway!

Whether you’re hatching a weekend city break or a once in a lifetime trip to a far flung destination, you may expect flights to take a large chunk of your budget. But before you click ‘book’, try a few tricks of the trade to see if you can grab a bargain.

Always start with flight comparison websites

Skyscanner.net is a holiday makers’ number crunching best friend. It compares millions of flights to find you the cheapest deal as quick as a flash. No matter where you fancy travelling, it’ll show you every low cost flight out there. Better yet, you can book directly with the airline or trusted travel agent – so there are absolutely no hidden fees or charges.

On average, you’ll find the cheapest flights five weeks before you’re due to take-off. But it varies wildly on your destination. In fact, they recommend waiting to book thirteen weeks before you fly to Turkey and up to five months before your trip to the States. So it’s best to keep checking.

Why not compare your results on Kayak and Google Flights as well? They tend to be time and money-saving too.

Set up a price alert

Flight prices fluctuate all the time, but you don’t have to keep a beady eye on them to get the best deal. At least, not when you search for a seat on Skyscanner and opt in for price alert emails.

They’ll check the price of your journey and email you every time it goes up or down. Once you’ve got your hands on the best possible deal, you can stop the messages at a click of a button.

Be flexible with dates and times

The more flexible you are, the cheaper your flights are likely to be. Those who search ‘whole month’ or ‘whole year’ when they’re looking will always get to cherry-pick the purse-friendly results.

Holidaying off-peak in Europe during May, June and October will not only save you money, but you may get more room on the beach and less hassle exploring local attractions. Don’t forget, quiet midweek flights and Sunday travel tend to be cheaper as well!

Delete your browsing history

Websites are sneaky. They notice when and why you visit airlines online, and then they can subtly bump the prices up on that flight you’ve been eyeing. But you can be just as sneaky. Sometimes you can avoid price hikes just by deleting your search history or using the incognito private window in your browser.

Jet off for less

Check one way fares, only take what you can carry & avoid added extras

Sometimes single journeys are cheaper than round trips. Yes, you may fly home on a totally different airline, but the focus here is purely on getting a mighty fine price.

That goes for your luggage too.  You’ll get to keep more of your hard-earned cash if you take hand luggage only. EasyJet have an unlimited weight limit for your 56x46x25cm bag, while Emirates Airways give you 30kg for free.

Opt out of added luxuries like speedy boarding, fast track security, seat selection and a chauffeured drive to the airport to save even more.

Long-haulers should get in quick

If you have a have a specific destination and a specific date in mind, the safest option is to book as soon as the tickets go on sale. Especially if you’re travelling long-haul – you’ll rarely find a better deal on sites like Skyscanner. Most tickets go up ten months to a year in advance. But then, you might want to gamble on the January sales? It’s a tough game, finding cheap flights.

Sign up for email updates

Sometimes it pays to be in the know. If you sign up for email updates from your local airport and EasyJet for example, their newsletters may well hold the key to saving. Whether they’re launching a new route or discount sale, you’ll be one of the first to know.

Break up families or groups into smaller, separate purchases

Group discounts are few and far between, each plane has only a few discounted seats after all and the chances of you snagging them all is rather low. While searching for flights for your entire group is a worthwhile starting point, there’s an alternative. Although it’s a hassle, if you split up into pairs or even sit individually, you may well fly cheaper.

Remember that the cheapest flight isn’t always the best value

Every now and then, a cheap flight is too good to be true. If it is, you should walk away. If the first flight of the day is cheapest, way it up against a stopover in a hotel and the price of a taxi across in the morning. Is it still cheaper? And what if your overnight bargain flight doesn’t connect with travel links at the other end?

All in all, there are bargains to be had if you put the work in to find a cheap flight.