Lessons in the "Travel" Category

Blogger saves £7.72 on train fare from Sheffield to Essex by flying via Berlin

Recently, teenage blogger Jordon Cox decided to do a return journey from Shenfield in Essex to Sheffield in northern England. Cox, 18, managed to book himself a cheap £19 ticket for the journey north but discovered the cheapest fare home was £47. An open return would have cost him £97.70. He decided to look for an alternative way to get home.

Following some online research he discovered he could save money on the rail ticket if he included a flight via Berlin in Germany. The ticket would normally have cost £47.00 by train and taken 3½ hours. By going via Berlin it took him an extra 1,017 miles and 13 hours to get home. It also included a quick tour of Berlin.

(Photo: Jordan Cox)

Russian plane brought down by a bomb in Egypt

The Russian plane crash in Egypt was brought down by a bomb. According to French aviation officials it was not due to technical failures. They added the flight data recorder – the black box - suggests a “violent, sudden” explosion caused the crash, killing all 224 people on board.

According to British spies, intercepted militant calls indicated a bomb was put in the hold before take-off. Militants, known as the Sinai Province, and who are linked to the Islamic State group (IS) in Syria, have said they downed the plane.

What is couchsurfing?

Today, let’s talk about couchsurfing. What’s that I hear you ask? In a nutshell it’s when you kip on a strangers couch when travelling. Risky? I think so. Yet many young people around the world think it is not. The webpage www.couchsurfing.org finds you a registered couch for the night!

Today’s theme actually began on a train I took recently from Budapest in Hungary. I was travelling with a friend to Bratislava in Slovakia. On it we met several travellers; including a South Korean student who was travelling around Europe for two months alone! She was taking the night train to Prague in the Czech Republic.

Category: Travel / City to City / Couchsurfing

New sleeper coach service from London to Scotland

Planning a visit to Scotland this summer? If you are and you’re a budget traveller you might want to consider taking a new sleeper coach service that is going to be introduced this summer by coach company Megabus.

You’ll be able to travel from London to Edinburgh or Glasgow (or in the opposite direction) in under eight hours. The new budget coach service will offer passengers cut price tickets that will include a bunk bed and a sleeper kit.

Category: Tourism / United Kingdom / Places to Visit

‘Mind the gap’ returns to London Underground

‘Mind the gap’ – one of the most iconic phrases once heard on several London Underground tube stations is set to return to one tube station. Passengers standing at the platform at Embankment Underground station on the Northern line will once again be able to hear one of the most famous phrases in London. What’s more, it will be the original voice of Peter Lodge, the man who recorded the classic phrase back in the 60s.

Category: London / London Underground / Places to Visit

Going underground on London Underground

Most people who visit London tend to try out the London Underground. Going on the tube is an experience in its own right. It is part of the exciting London experience when seeing the sights. Oyster cards are a popular way to get around.

London Underground first opened on January 10th 1863 with the opening of the Metropolitan line between Paddington and Farringdon. Originally, there were many companies who each built separate lines. It was only in 1902 that a Charles Yerkes bought most of the lines, putting them under one company. Over the years the network grew into what it is today.

Londoners and tourists alike all use the famous Underground map to get about the city. Created in 1931, Harry Beck’s Tube map is a classic map design of non geographical layout and colour coded lines. Many other transport lines around the world copied the idea. Compared to the real map it simplified how to get around the capital quickly.

Category: London / The Underground / Underground Stations

VW Camper Van tent set to be a hit this summer

A tent that looks like a VW Camper Van is set to be a hit at camping sites and music festivals this summer. The life size replica of the original VW Camper Van has been officially licensed by the German car manufacturer for the first time. The pop up tents each contain two zip-separated double sized rooms and provides enough sleeping space for four to five people.

The tent, which is available in red, blue or yellow cost £299.99 (€340), which is a tad cheaper than the real VW Camper Van that can still sell for up to £25,000 (€28,000). It measures 398cm long, 187cm high and 155cm deep, so it’s easy for most people to stand up in. The fabric roof and sides have a high waterproofing rating, ensuring it will provide an effective shelter if the summer festival season is a washout.

Category: VW Camper Vans / Tents / Camping

Ski in Slovakia in style

There are many places in the world to go and ski - like the Alps, Bulgaria or North America. But have you ever considered skiing in Slovakia? The country that is in the heart of Central Europe has an abundance of ski slopes in the Tatra Mountains. In fact the country has a long skiing tradition.

Coming to Slovakia won’t even break the bank, as the cost of living makes it one of the cheapest places to currently visit in the eurozone. The euro is another major plus point for visitors when they visit the country now. Slovakia lies within the Carpathian mountain system, which after the Alps is the second largest and longest in Europe. The huge arc of the Carpathians begins beside the Danube, close to Bratislava, and stretches through the length of Slovakia, Ukraine and Romania.

Category: Europe / Slovakia / Skiing

Czechs offer “Retro” communist holidays

A Czech travel agency has come up with a novel idea for a holiday. It is offering holidaymakers “retro” holidays where punters are given the opportunity to turn back the clock and re-live the past. These ‘communist’ holidays are package holidays for people nostalgic for the trade union perks of communist Czechoslovakia, when factory workers were bussed off to recuperate from the daily grind.

For a modest sum guests can stay at a grim-looking hotel in Slovakia’s Tatra Mountains, to relive the sights, sounds and smells of pre 1989 holidays the BBC recently reported. These ‘retro’ holidays are being offered in the style of the workers’ breaks that used to be organised by the Communist Revolutionary Trade Union Movement – or ROH – to use a Czech acronym.

The holidays were a reward for a year of toil in the offices, factories and coal mines of socialist Czechoslovakia. Most visitors today are middle age or elderly Slovaks or Czechs – coming to rekindle fond memories of times gone by. Why not?

Icelandic volcanic ash creates travel chaos

Spectacular scenes emerged from southern Iceland recently as its Eyjafjallajoekull volcano began erupting. On April 14th it suddenly began sending a plume of ash 8.5 km (5.3 miles) high into the air. The volcanic ash spewed out gradually spreading across Europe, causing travel chaos, not only in Europe but worldwide.

Within days, the ash had crossed many parts of Europe, forcing closure of most of Europe’s air routes. The Met Office in Britain warned the disruption could go on for another week, causing flight misery to passengers. Geologists warned the travel chaos could last months.

Meanwhile airports remained closed across much of Europe. Travellers instead opted for any means possible to get home. Cross channel ferry services were rapidly booked up, as was Eurostar, who raised prices and was accused of profiteering.