Travel advice

Latest travel advice

  • What are embassies and consulates?

    Although the words embassy and consulate are often used together, the two are in fact very different things. The embassy is ususally the larger and more important of the two. It is a diplomatic representation located within the borders of another nation, usually in the capital city. Its ambassador is the representative in residence by one government or sovereign to another and is in charge of the bilateral relations from one State to another. In other words it is responsible for representing the home country abroad and dealing with major diplomatic issues, such as preserving the rights of citizens abroad. On the other hand, the consulate has ... more
  • Your money on holiday

    Forget cheques. First of all because writing out a cheque is expensive: banks charge a commission fee per cheque issued abroad. It can be very high. Secondly, because shops often refuse them: they also charge a high commission on foreign cheques. How does it work?Changing pounds into another currency isn't free. This transaction has a cost, which varies according to the demanded currenciesThere are three sorts of currencies: those from the "euro" zone, also called "in", they are the eleven currencies of the European Union ; the currencies from the so-called zone "out" (the American Dollar and the Japanese Yen) and the numerous non-convertible ... more
  • What APD tax means for you

    Air Passenger Duty (APD) is a tax which is due on chargeable passengers being carried from a UK airport on a chargeable aircraft and applies to passengers carried on board an aircraft of 5.7 tonnes or more, irrespective of whether they were carried for a fee. Included in the price of your flight ticket, the rate of APD depends on the passenger's final destination, class of travel and aircraft of travel. At present there are four destination bands based on the distance between London and the capital city of the destination country or territory. Each destination band then has three rates of duty (reduced, standard and higher) depending on the ... more
  • Insurance and assistance

    There is a difference between insurance and assistance. The first will financially compensate the insured who has been subject to a risk provided for in the contract. Whereas the assistance will provide help and pay for the expenses linked to the encountered difficulty: medical expenses, repatriation, technical help, legal aid. Contrarily to certain insurances, an assistance contract is not compulsory. The guarantees of Insurance contracts Cancelling / modification of insurance: flight or holiday refund (totally or partially) in the case of a serious reason (death, illness, accident, loss of job) or in the case of a change of dates or of journey. Baggage ... more
  • Couchsurfing tips

    Couchsurfing has become one of the latest ways of getting around without having to fork out too much cash for accommodation and it can be done through the site: This gives you the added benefit of staying with a local, and indeed it is one of the best ways to a holistic trip as well as making new friends all around the world! Why not surf your way through Thailand on people's couches and then return the favour a few years on? Selecting a 'couch' can be a daunting experience. So here are a few tips to help potential couchsurfers overcome their fear of the unknown when trying to choose a comfortable and safe couch: Before ... more
  • Rights and claims for the holidaymaker

    Delayed flights and overbookings. On a regular or a non-regular flight, "The carrier is liable for damages occasioned by delay in the transportation by air of passengers, baggage or cargo" (Warsaw Convention, Art.19). Furthermore, since the new European Legislation established on the 17th of February 2005, in the situation of a denied boarding (due to overbooking), the passenger has the right to: either choose a full refund of the flight's ticket, or accept another flight to the final destination in the best delays or at a later date, as well as conserving the right to legally demand a compensation for financial or moral prejudice. Namely ... more
  • Duty-free

    While travelling, many people like to take advantage of duty free airport shops for their abundance of untaxed items such as perfumes and other beauty products, audio material, photo and video equipment, tobacco (cigarettes, cigars, etc), alcohol (wine and spirits), and clothing. However there are certain limits imposed on the amount of duty free goods you can return home with, so take a look at these guidelines before you shop. Liquor, tobacco and perfume are classed as duty free, and all other items are classed as tax free. For flights originating outside the European Union you are allowed: Tobacco products - 200 cigarettes, or 100 cigarillos, ... more
  • Avoiding travel sickness

    To minimise the risk of travel sickness, eat lightly before and during the journey. Avoid alcohol and stimulating drinks (tea, coffee). Choose the spots where there are less oscillations, near the wings on a plane, in the centre on board a boat or a bus. In a car, avoid reading and smoking. Stay in a vertical position as much as you can, lean your head-supportbackwards, stay still and avoid any rotation of the head. During transportation, if the first signs of sickness appear, look at a steady point in the distance or try sleeping. If all these preventive measures aren't enough, your doctor can prescribe you drugs like light sleeping pills or ... more
  • Jet-lag

    Drowsiness, confusion, insomnia, jet lag affects various biological functions, hormonal, digestive and intellectual. It is felt when you cross three or more time zones. Generally, the adaptation period is estimated at a few days. To ease jet lag, here are a few precautions: rest before leaving and avoid precipitation and anxiety before departure, avoid big meals that inflate your stomach, and alcohol which dehydrates. Drink still water or non-alcoholic beverages like fruit juice. Wear losely fitting clothing in order to travel at ease. Recuperation time depends on the individual and the number of time zones crossed, as well as the how ... more
  • Travelling with proof of ID

    TRAVEL OUTSIDE OF THE UK: To travel internationally, by law British citizens require a valid passport, as well as any other documentation, such as a visa, that is required by the relevant country you are travelling to. Non-British citizens of the European Union, European Economic Area and Switzerland may travel within Europe on presentation of their valid National Identity Card. Today, carrying a passport which is valid for at least six months from the day of your departure is required by a number of countries so be sure to check this before you travel. Children who are not included on their parent's UK passport will require their own valid passport ... more