Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Know before you go – drink drive limits whilst on holiday

I am sure that I am like most people in that when I go for a meal I like it to be accompanied by a glass of wine or cold beer. The drink drive laws in the UK allow drivers to do this and it does show that we as citizens are given a degree of personal responsibility provided that we do not go beyond the stated limited. You deserve zero sympathy if you do.

The zero sympathy attitudes has morphed into a zero tolerance policy across other countries such as Russia where this policy is now in place due to the government doubting whether its drivers could stop at only one drink. 

Although Russia is not top of the list of destinations for British holidaymakers, it is worth taking it as a sign of the hardening of laws across Europe and the attitudes towards drink driving as a problem. A sign of the changes is the request by the European Parliament of the European Commission to propose a one rule fits all policy to EU Member countries. This proposal has been followed by a policy in France requiring all drivers to carry a disposable breath tester to see if they are legal to drive.
It is worth taking a closer look at drink drive policies in countries such as Spain, Greece and France. Spain now has a 50mg limit compared with 80mg in the UK and a 30mg limit for those who have passed their test less than two years previously. In Greece, the policy is zero tolerance for those who have been driving less than two years along with people riding motorcycles. Greece imposes a 50mg limit for drivers with over two years experience on the roads. 50mg in real terms equates to one beer or one small glass of wine.

Although it could be argued that the 50mg is about right, I do think it is sensible to have lower limits on younger people and or less experienced motorists. In order to make sure that you are not on the wrong side of the law it is strongly advised to adhere to foreign laws or to simply walk to restaurants and bars that you would like to go to. Don’t let the sun go to your head and think that sangria is not very alcoholic or that four small beers don’t count!

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Customer holiday review – Galini Sea View, Crete

Alihoco holidaymaker Scott March travelled to Crete in early June with accommodation at the Galini Sea View Hotel in Agia Marina. As part of his holiday booking and being an all-round nice chap, he agreed answer some questions on his experience of the hotel.

Hi Scott, Thanks again for agreeing to answer a few questions about your recent holiday. How did you rate the overall experience at the Galini Sea Viewhotel?
My girlfriend Sarah and I were very impressed with the property and it was a great place to spend a week in the sun away from the rain at home during the Diamond Jubilee weekend. A special mention should go to the staff who were extremely helpful and ensured that guests were looked after at all times.

How did you rate the all-inclusive offering at the hotel?
Again we were very impressed. There was always a nice selection at breakfast and plenty of healthy options. There was also a wide variety and lunch time and lots of dishes cooked to order in the evenings. The pool bar was also very well run and the staff made sure that people were well looked after whether they were drinking alcohol or not!

Did you explore the local area?
We did make a visit to Chania Old Town on one day and this was well worth a visit. We visited the Old Harbour and it was very interesting because I was getting a little bored of the pool! It was easy to get around and we caught a bus which only cost a few Euro’s and took around 20 minutes each way.

Would you recommend the hotel to everyone?
I think the hotel would appeal to couples and families but it is a little bit isolated for those looking for a lively holiday. The sea view are a huge feature of the hotel but this also means that the area around the hotel is quite steep and could cause problems for people with mobility issues.

Would you visit again?
Definitely - but maybe in a few years.

Thanks Scott, you’ve been a star.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Is it time to take advantage of Greek holiday deals?

The sad state of the Greek economy could well be a great time to travel to the country for a variety of reasons. The tourist areas remain safe and it has never been cheaper to travel to as a destination. It could be argued that this is exploitative of holiday makers to do so yet the Greek economy needs money more than ever to restore confidence in itself and the also the Euro zone. The strength of the pound against the Euro is also at its highest for over 2 years and holidays in UK are getting more expensive as inflation continues to gnaw away at spending money.

One of the biggest Greek tour operators cut their prices over the weekend in order to stimulate activity to its islands and our own advertisers have also seen some great offerings for holidaymakers on our website.
A sample holiday search departing from London Luton to Corfu returned a holiday price of £293 per person with accommodation at Almyros Natura Hotel with is set in picturesque Acharavi with accommodation based in comfortable bungalows.

For those looking for only hotels there are some excellent deals to be had during the summer. An example is The Marilena Hotel in Crete which is located in its own large grounds and only 200 metres from a lovely sandy beach. One weeks hotel accommodation on an all inclusive basis for two adults and two children is currently priced at £692 in total with accommodation from 24th – 31st July.

If you were to compare the cost of the Marilena Hotel to an alternative 4* option in Majorca such as Ola Maioris Hotel in Cabo Blanco, the equivalent price is £956 in total (£264 more) than The Marilena Hotel in Crete.

It has been well reported that British holidaymakers will continue to travel to Spain and that it remains the number one destination for people’s summer holidays yet if you are feeling a little more adventurous, now may be a great time to sample Greece at a brilliant price.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

NetJets place biggest ever Bombardier order

There has been some good news over in Northern Ireland. The private aviation company NetJets has places an order with Bombardier Aerospace for at least 100 Challenger Jets worth a minimum $2bn and potentially worth $7bn.

The order by NetJets is the biggest in the companies history and also in the history of private aviation. Bombardier is the biggest manufacturing  firm in Northern Ireland who employ around 5,000 people.

NetJets is the largest provider of private planes in the world and the operator returned to profitability at the end of 2011. Thank you Mr. Buffett!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Plenty of room at the London inns during the Olympics

A prominent accommodation provider has said that hotel bookings in London during the Olympics are down by around 30% compared with bookings during the same time last year.

Mario Bodini of JacTravel has said the the expectations regarding the Olympics have been too optimistic and that the prices of hotel rooms are partly to blame:

"It's a great event; great publicity for the country, but what we need is sensible hotel pricing, and to make sure it goes back to normal very quickly,"

Bodini went on to suggest that hotels which typically cost around £120 per night are now costing up to £415 per room per night. The above quote from an industry figure could go to explain a displacement effect whereby regular tourists are put off a destination due to high prices and overcrowding.

There is a similar story over at Thomas Cook in terms of capacity available but the operator has now decided to slash it's prices and amend accommodation options in an attempt to shift it's stock over the Olympic period. The operator are believed to have almost a quarter of its 300,000 tickets available to sell after corporate sales proved worse than anticipated. Thomas Cook are now offering packages which were expected to be bought by companies to members of the public at discounted prices. Packages which were formerly with accommodation at The Waldorf Hilton are now being packaged with Holiday Inn  accommodation with prices from £99 rather than £599.

The move by Thomas Cook does seem to be of common sense in troubled times. By marrying packages with 3* accommodation they are now targeting the public who have become disenchanted with the ticket application process that has been problematic and confusing. Thomas Cook would have also hoped that we were not going to move back into a double-dip recession during a time that is meant to be lucrative for the country.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Manchester airport facing potential fuel shortage

Manchester Airport is facing a fuel crisis which means that by 6pm this evening it will temporarily run out of aviation fuel. The result of the shortage is that flights to and from the airport are likely will be delayed with long-haul destinations expected to be the worse affected.

Problems have arose after aviation fuel suppliers from Stanlow oil refinery in Ellesmere Port, were disrupted as a result over concerns of quality of jet fuel. The refinery is run by Essar Energy who has a pipeline to Manchester Airport that can pump 250,000 litres of furl per hour.

Manchester Airport hopes to have the issue resolved by midnight on Wednesday but the knock on effect could last well in to Thursday as the airport may need to replenish with around 3m litres of fuel or 79 trucks which is its daily usage on a busy day.

A spokesman for Manchester Airport said: 
"Whilst we do not expect this to cause widespread disruption, it is possible that some airlines may decide to cancel, divert or delay a small number of flights from 6pm tonight [Wednesday] into tomorrow morning. We would advise all passengers travelling this evening and tomorrow morning to check their flight status with the airline before coming to the airport."

Let's hope that this gets resolved very quickly and that not too many people are adversely affected.