Tag: Flybe

Home vs Abroad

TRAVEL BLOG

Why has there has there been a significant rise in Brits escaping to holiday abroad? When the weather is good, the UK is a green and pleasant land, which offers holidaymakers diverse landscapes, intriguing towns and stunning coastal opportunities. Steeped in history there are a million and one narratives to discover and immerse yourself in. So is it just the weather that makes us travel beyond our borders?

Who?

The stats indicate that staycations have stayed steady since 2016. Good news for the UK economy. However, according to last years ABTA figures there has also been a small but significant rise of Brits taking holidays abroad.

On average we take 3.8 holidays abroad every year. 87% of the population now head out of the country and 26% of us book early to do so. City breaks have overtaken beach holidays in popularity and the traditional two week holiday has been shunned by many. Demographically, if you live in the North West of England, you are also more likely to travel abroad for your holidays.


Why?

According to the stats, UK travellers seem to be making the most out of the temporary pre-Brexit status quo. Ease of access ahead of the imminent separation from Europe seems to be a major factor, as is the fairly stable sterling rate.

Only 12% of French travellers venture abroad. Most take their holidays within their own country. At three times the size of the UK, France offers an abundance of history, a more diverse range of landscapes and ever increasing temperatures as you travel south. But is temperature the only reason why we spend hard earned pounds abroad?  

It seems that other northern hemisphere inhabitants also feel the need to escape their native climate. The Germans seriously love travel and are huge sunseekers. Like the Brits, they frequently head for Spain. 77% of the German population and over 80% of the Dutch travel across their home borders for their holidays. France remains the No.1 destination for both the Dutch and Brits. With Italy and Portugal trailing behind and the US beginning the No.1  long-haul destination


Why not?

Putting aside the weather. Holidaying on our home territory offers a sense of familiarity. You know what you are going to get. The language, food, shops and currency don’t require extra thought or organisation. Car or plane, it doesn’t make much difference now either. Many of the budget airlines (EasyJet, Ryanair and Flybe in particular) offer amazing domestic flight deals, making the stunning far-flung destinations of Cornwall, Scotland and Ireland a quicker and cheaper option.

Although generally better quality, accommodation prices can be the slight hiccup in most staycation plans. Slightly more costly than in Europe, especially during the school holidays, prices often afford a sharp intake of breath. However, with more and more UK providers offering pet-friendly locations, the cost and emotional-benefit of taking your furry friends along tips the balance slightly.

With interesting economic times ahead of us, the inevitable Brexit fallout will undoubtedly change the trends in the travel market. For better or for worse? Who can tell yet!

 

Travelling light? – beware of weight restrictions

Travel blog

Travelling light is not just about being careful with your money. Speed and weight are an attractive factor for minimising your luggage. However, the goal posts constantly sift and some airline weight restrictions are shockingly low. So doing your homework is essential before you book.

Speed

Flying with only hand luggage with a pre-printed boarding pass gives travellers the freedom to skip the check-in queues. It also saves precious minutes waiting for luggage to drop onto carousel when you land and excludes the chance of lost luggage. The downside to travelling light is joining the rush to jam it into the aircrafts overhead storage lockers.

Weight

Gone are the aching shoulders and backs from loading and unloading the car or taxi. Or struggling up and down stairs at the train station. Hand luggage with wheels allows any traveller to glide effortlessly through the airport like the airline staff. However, with reduced weight comes the unfortunate reality of a restriction in content. Travelling light is perfect for short holidays, hot destinations or somewhere with laundry opportunities. But not so great for those winter holidays to colder climates.

Budget airlines

The budget airlines, Flybe, RyanAir and Easyjet have allowed many travellers to become masters in the art of travelling light.  And their generous weight allowance can allow most travellers to pack adequate clothing for a few weeks.

Shockingly holiday specialists Thomson offers the lowest weight of hand luggage on their flights. A mere 5kg. Thomas Cook is not much better with just 1kg more. Both companies flight prices keep them out of the realm of the budget airlines. And both charge for hold luggage if you book flights independent of their package holidays. Just a little something to watch out for when heading for the sun this summer.

Mont Jura – a quick and easy ski fix

TRAVEL BLOG

As a gateway for ski fanatics, Geneva is a cheap and easy destination served by some of the UK’s major budget airlines (Easyjet, Flybe, and Jet2 ). It is the perfect portal for a quick ski fix and most of my snow junky friends book flights in advance, watch the snow levels and head for the well-known resorts in France, Italy or Switzerland. With short transfer times of just over an hour, perfect for maximising slope time, I normally do the same. However, on my last trip I had the opportunity to discover some unknown little resorts within a fifteen-minute drive of GVA.

Nearby little gems

Small and relatively unknown to English skiers is the little gem of Lélex – Crozet. As one of the largest downhill ski areas of the Monts Jura resorts, it is suitable for all levels of skiers. It makes a perfect day resort for seasoned skiers or a great weekend destination for families.

The 30km of slopes can be reached easily via gondola from Crozet, on the French side of Geneva. With its summit at 1650m, this petite ski resort doesn’t suffer from blistering cold temperatures or windswept pistes. What it does offer are cheaper day passes, delightful tree-lined runs and quick, easy access to the slopes. Its potentially low elevation is alarming to some. But the resort boasts a high ratio snow cannons to service its 26 runs. It is this attention to detail which guarantees snow coverage in cold conditions and enables the resort to still thrive in lean snow years.

Slightly farther afield from Geneva is the Col de Faucille and access to the ski resort of Mijoux. Nestling above the charming historic town of Gex and just thirty minutes from GVA, it boasts 12 downhill runs. It also offers some great cross country, tree-lined walking trails and stunning views of the Northern Alps.

The third but smallest of the Mont Jura resorts is the Menthières ski area. A hefty 15 km from Bellegarde and fifty minutes from GVA it is not a solution for a quick easy ski. However, it is full of atmosphere and offers up to 10 downhill ski runs and some nordic skiing so is worthy of a mention.

Snow record

Unfortunately, snowfall in the area has been sketchy over the last couple of years. However, this season the snow depths have been incredible. So if you are short of holiday leave and low on funds but need an end of season quick fix, one of these small resorts could the answer to your dilemma.