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Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Have you heard what happening at Holiday Letting Shop ?

Holiday Letting Shop owner, Sharon Jackson, has introduced a new retail travel partnership between the Holiday Letting Shop and her newly acquired retail travel agency RubyBlue Travel Limited.




Sharon added, "After acquiring the retail travel agency, it made sense to form a partnership with the two products and offer our Holiday letting Shop customers an even greater service as part of the RubyBlue Group".

Holiday Letting Shop Customers will also benefit with discounts and special offers from the travel agency when they deposit or rent their accommodation through Holiday Letting Shop.



Sharon also added "I have decided to take the business in a new direction and expand our whole travel services package; I believe that both products enhance each other perfectly and this is a natural progression for the group".



"We have a team of designers working on our new website at the moment as part of the whole development plan, and I am very excited about the re-launch of the new and improved Holiday Letting Shop".

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

10 top things to do in Tenerife


Tenerife - the island of eternal sunshine
Located 200 km off the north west African coast, (though a Spanish Autonomous region), Tenerife is the largest of the seven main Canary Islands. Known for its diversity, Tenerife is several worlds rolled into one. The sunny tourist orientated south of the island boasts the majority of the beaches and virtually continuous sunshine. Daily temperatures range from typically 24 C in the winter to 34 C in the height of the summer.
Nowadays, this island of eternal sunshine is better known as a destination of world-class beaches, unbeatable nightlife, luxurious spas, fabulous trekking, jaw-dropping scenery, year-round golfing and yes, believe it or not – a thriving cultural scene, especially at the eye-popping Tenerife Auditorium!


Mount Teide Summit by PeterNijenhuis.
The main resorts in the sunnier south are Playa de Las Americas, Los Cristianos and Costa Adeje. In the more verdant north, Puerto de la Cruz rules the roost, with the fishing village of Garachico drawing in day-trippers and holidaymakers keen to experience the world-renowned and chic Hotel San Roque. In the northwest Los Gigantes still lures those seeking seaside solitude.
Wherever you’re based though, don’t miss a trip into the interior where you’ll discover tiny whitewashed hamlets hiding beneath a fringe of pines and the surreal landscape surrounding Mount Teide, the third largest volcano in the world.
 
So once you have arrived on the island and are looking for something to do other than sun bathing, what is available? Here is our top ten of the best things to do while you are on holiday in Tenerife.  
  1. Mount Teide & National Park - No visit to Tenerife is complete without at least a drive through the pine forests to the bizarre lunar landscape of one of Spain's most popular national parks. And of course, once there, you can't miss the volcano. Not just any volcano though. Mount Teide is the world's third largest standing at a towering 3718m above sea level. This dormant volcano last errupted 1909. The National Park is the most visited in Spain. A cable car can be taken to within a 200 metres of the top, access can be gained for free by visiting the Park office in Santa Cruz in person.
  2. 
    Siam Water Park
    
  3. Siam Park - The owners of Loro Parque outdid themselves with this amazing Thai themed waterpark which blew it's competitor Aqualand, quite literally, out of the water. Named as one of the best 10 water parks in the world, if you like your thrills and spills wet, you have just got to go to this water park with loads of scream-inducing rides and slides, a gigantic wave pool complete with gold sand beach, and a mini-aquatic park just for kids.
  4. Loro Parque - Home to over 700 parrots, Loro Parque is a superb day trip destination. Here you'll find, dophins, tigers, whales, gorillas, sharks, sea lions - and the largest population of penguins outside the Arctic. Wander through the jungle walkways in the free flight aviary of Katandra Treetops. In Katandra Treetops you can meet emus, cockatoos, kookaburras and many other exotic birds.This is one of Tenerife's top attractions and a day out you'll never forget. Located in Puerto De La Cruz in the north of Tenerife. Buy your tickets in advance here and you will save on the entry price.
  5. Whale & Dolphin Safari - The waters between Tenerife and La Gomera are one of the few places in the world where you are pretty much guaranteed to spot the resident population of pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins. There are many boats from either Los Cristianos or Puerto Colon harbour who will take you a few miles off the coast of Tenerife where you can see whales and dolphins close up.
  6. 
    Masca
    
  7. Masca - Tenerife's very own Shangri-la. This picturesque village cligns precariously to the side of the mountains in the north-west of Tenerife, hidden from the rest of civilisation and looking very much like it did centuries ago. A switchback road corksrews up and down to the the village from Santiago del Teide, so if you're of a nervous disposition you might want to close your eyes (not if you're the driver obviously).
  8. Island Tour - Take a day tour of the island to see the diversity of the island for yourself. Most tours take in Candelaria and the basilica in the church, Puerto De La Cruz & Icod De Los Vinos, Buenavista, Los Gigantes & Masca the lost village.
  9. Golf - If you're a fan of golf, then Golf del Sur is where you should head. Of the courses available, one of the best is Playa Del Americas, with Golf del Sur getting a special mention for its tranquil feel. Within easy reach you'll also find Amirilla and Adeje - both of which offer an entertaining round of golf. If the sport's your thing, feel free to ignore the other things to do in Tenerife and make this your sole focus!
  10. Shopping - In Tenerife's larger towns you will find lots of mainstream shops, but there are also plenty of opportunities to buy locally made crafts and produce. Hand-rolled cigars made from island tobacco are available including novelty half-metre long ones. In the past one of Tenerife's main industries was wine-making but today these wines are hard to find abroad; head to Casa del Vino La Baranda at El Sauzal to pick up a bottle or two. You can buy traditional Canarian outfits from shops such as Artenerife at the port in Puerto de la Cruz and several shops in the town sell quality contemporary fashion. Embroidery is an island speciality, with detailed tablecloths and cushion covers sold from a number of outlets. Pearl Jewellery is another traditional craft; Tenerife Pearl at Armenime has a range of pearl on sale and an exhibition showing their finest examples. There are markets on every Sunday down at the promenade in Los Christianos. They sell everything from fake bags, perfume, jewelry and anything else that the tourist will buy and bring home as presents. They have markets every Thursday and Saturday in Torviscas which are the same as Los Chistianos so If you miss the Sunday market you can go there. The markets on a  Sunday start at about 9-10am and finish up at about 2pm.
  11. 
    Tenerife Carnival
    
  12. Carnival - The pre-Lent carnival is the biggest festival on the island, with Latin American-style festivities filling Puerto de la Cruz and Santa Cruz. If you are lucky to be on the island at this time, there are two weeks of flamboyant fancy dress parties, parades and firework displays culminating on Shrove Tuesday with a grand parade. Outrageous costumes, singing and dancing are the order of the day at a carnival that is probably the best outside of Rio de Janeiro. The party draws to a close on Ash Wednesday with El Entierro de la Sardina, the burial of the sardine, a comedy funeral with silly costumes and pretend mourning.
  13. 
    La Gomera
    
  14. Day trip to La Gomera - Try to fit in a trip over to the small island of Gomera, to the south west of Tenerife. Take the ferry or hydrofoil from Los Christianos and lose yourself in the natural wonders of the Parque Nacional de Garajonay. An ancient laurel forest lies at the heart of this 10,000-acre national park where a magical mist is created by the cool Atlantic trade winds clashing with warmer breezes. Little light penetrates the canopy of this dense forest where the trees are swathed in moss and lichen.
Holiday Letting Shop has some superb, luxury holiday accommodation in Tenerife available for 2011. Hollywood Mirage and Regency Country Club are two of the leading resorts on the island and we have some great offers available. Click here for further information.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Your holiday money - be prepared and shop around is good advice

New research from the Office of National Statistics has revealed that UK holidaymakers spent ten per cent less while overseas over the past year. The research calculated that UK travellers' spending while on breaks abroad has declined to £31bn over the past 12 months.

As UK travellers may be watching their spending on holidays abroad, businesses like the Post Office and Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis are reminding them that they can make their foreign currency go further by avoiding foreign exchange commission charges or uncompetitive foreign currency exchange rates. Both advise UK holidaymakers to research the best deals on travel money before heading to the airport to find the best deals on their foreign currency.

The higher costs of foreign currency exchange at airports and poor foreign currency exchange rates in resort hotels or foreign currency kiosks overseas recently ranked as two of the top five holiday 'rip offs' in research from the Post Office. However, many people still wait until reaching the airport before changing their travel money, where less favourable rates of foreign exchange and commission fees are typically levied by bureaux de change.

Research from the Post Office also shows that while spending is down, UK holidaymakers are set to spend £3bn on their credit cards while abroad before the end of 2010. However, the research found that some 4.8 million travel credit card users are likely to face extra charges imposed by credit card companies for using travel credit cards overseas.

Of all UK holidaymakers who plan to use their travel credit cards abroad, almost half (42 per cent) admitted to being unaware as to what it would cost them. When asked why they would be using their travel credit cards while on holiday the research found that 300,000 people claim to use their card abroad because they will have no extra money left after paying for the holiday itself. A quarter of those planning to spend on a travel credit card while abroad will do so in order to top up their spending money after they have used all their cash, and 15 per cent will use their travel credit card to spend more while they are away and then pay it off at a later date.

The Post Office reminds UK holidaymakers that using travel credit cards for spending overseas can sometimes prove expensive as many providers typically charge additional fees for both purchases and cash withdrawals when using travel credit cards abroad.


In order to avoid these charges, the Post Office is advising travellers to shop around for the best deal on their travel credit cards before they depart. Unlike many other providers who charge travel credit card fees, the Post Office offers its travel credit card holders 0% commission on overseas purchases.

Martin Lewis’ top five travel money tips are:

  1. Use the right credit card: Most cards add a 3% cost to the exchange rates banks themselves get, yet a few specialist cards don't add this 'load', meaning you get perfect exchange rates beating even the best bureau. Pocket one just for spending overseas, though always repay in full to avoid interest. Take a look at prepaid cards if you don’t have a decent credit score.
  2. Never change money at the airport: Airports and ferry terminals tend to give the worst rates, as you’re a captive customer. If you must get it from the airport, pre-order for pick-up to get a better rate (usually possible until four hours beforehand). Better still useLewis’ TravelMoneyMax.com comparison site to find the best possible deal including all fees and any commission.
  3. Debit cards can be the worst way to spend: While specialist credit cards give good rates, most don't. And while any card which charges you interest is a bad deal, some debit cards (bank account cards) actually have the worst fees – as they add up to £1.50 every time you spend. These include Lloyds TSB, Halifax, RBS, Intelligent Finance, Santander & NatWest. Don’t spend on these abroad.
  4. If they ask ‘Want to pay in Pounds or Euros?’, say ‘Euros’: If you’re paying on a credit or debit card and an overseas retailer offers to let you pay in pounds, reject it. It's called dynamic currency exchange and means the shop does the conversion, usually at a worse rate than your own card.
  5. Beware how you pay for foreign exchange: While Lewis’ TravelMoneyMax.com comparison site will give you the best rates, there’s another possible hidden charge at bureau de change. All credit cards and some debit cards, including Barclays, Lloyds TSB, Natwest, Santander & RBS, charge a cash withdrawal fee. Use a different card if possible or withdraw pounds on your debit card and pay with that.
And if you are looking for low cost travel insurance, this is our latest find which might interest you with insurance from just £2 per day.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Timeshare - it's all in the timing

When it comes to timeshare ownership, time really is of the essence.

As many timeshare owners now know, getting the most from their ownership requires effort, persistance and time. Whether you are exchanging, renting or even requesting an annual floating time allocation, owners need to plan in advance and take the time to look in to all the options. Holidays are important and timeshare owners have paid considerable sums of money to enjoy quality holidays every year. Yet without committing some time to make it work, timeshare holidays are not going to provide owners with what they are looking for.

Remember, just because it is about holidays doesn't mean you don't have to work at getting it right for you.

Exchanging your timeshare

When it comes to getting the best exchange for your week, there is one simple rule to follow. You need to deposit it early. RCI recommends, for example, that whenever possible you bank your week with them two years in advance. This might mean having to pay the management fee in advance, or maybe a contribution to it, but at least you will enjoy the maximum trading power for your ownership. The longer you leave it to bank your week, the lower the trading power allocated to it and the harder it will be to get the exchanges you want.

Simply explained, if you leave it to six months before the start date of your week to deposit, you are only gettting a fraction of the trading power possible. This means that when you want to take a week out of the system, you are only offered accommodation that is of a similar trading value - which is why you may have to choose a lower standard resort or even take a smaller unit. You might even hear the dreaded phrase "sorry, it's not available". That doesn't mean that it is not in the system, it might just not be available to you because your trading power is not high enough to book it.

When it comes to making your exchange, again timing is important. Wherever possible go online for the latest information and do this well in advance. If you leave until three months before you want to holiday, you are going to have a much harder time finding what you want. Another tip is to make time to call your exchange company directly. If you can't find what you are looking for, then call them. You might need to spennd some time waiting on the phone, but nothing beats speaking with the agents directly.

So time is definitely important when it comes to getting the very best exchange. Plan in advance, know what you are going to do and bank the week/s as early as possible. This will give you the best chance to get the accommodation you want.

Renting out your timeshare

If you are not planning on using your timeshare week or are simply looking for a contribution to the management fee, then renting your timeshare out could be the best option. While there are many companies that offer this service, Holiday Letting Shop (HLS) is the only company that specialises in timeshare rental using weeks provided by timeshare owners. They do not offer a re-sale service or exchange - they just help timeshare owners rent out their weeks.

One of their best tips for successful timeshare rental is registering the week as early as possible. "By giving us your week at least nine months before the start date of the week, you will be given a fixed valuation which we will honour whatever our final rental price. This valuation is based on your resort, the week number, unit size and demand for the area. We call this valuation band A and it acknowledges and rewards timeshare owners who give us their accommodation in plenty of time for us to rent it out" explained director Sharon Jackson. For owners who cannot give HLS their week so early there is a sliding scale of rental valuations. Further details can be found here.

Yet again, time has proved to be important in ensuring the very best valuation for your timeshare when you choose to rent it out.

Floating time allocations

The rules relating to floating time allocations are different from resort to resort. But the tip remains the same. Check your constitution and make sure you are aware exactly when you can request your annual allocation, check if and when you have to pay the management fee and make sure that you are on the phone or online as soon as you possibly can. Leave it too late and all your fellow owners will have got the best weeks.

There is much more to timeshare than simply sharing your accommodation. Getting the timing right and spending time making sure you get the very best exchange, rental valuation or allocation means you will have plenty of time to lie back, relax and enjoy your purchase.


Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Give a holiday in Wales a go with HLS

With more Britains holidaying in the UK this year (read the news story here), there is a wealth of attractions and places to visit to keep everyone occupied, rested and happy.

If mid Wales is your destination of choice then here are a few ideas of what is available. Mid Wales has a great variety of amazing places to visit, all set in a unique landscape. National parkland, areas of outstanding natural beauty, breathtaking heritage coastline and world famous castles are all here to discover. To find out more about mid wales and the attractiions in the area go to http://www.midwalesattractions.co.uk/

Using Macdonald Plas Talgarth as your base you can explore the Snowdonia and Brecon Beacons National Parks, the Ceredigion Heritage Coast along Cardigan Bay, the Cambrian Mountains and not forgetting the lakes, small towns and villages, picturesque resorts and harbours.


CENTRE FOR ALTERNATIVE TECHNOLOGY


April - Nov:
Adult: £8.50 / £6.50
Child (5 to 15): £4
Concessions: £7.50 / £5.50
Child (under 5): free
Family ticket available

Tel: 01654 705952 / 01654 705952

Email: events@cat.org.uk

Website: www.cat.org.uk/events

KING ARTHUR'S LABYRINTH
March - November
Open daily 10am - 5pm
Last trip departs at 5pm
Admission to Labyrinth
Adult £7.50
Child £5
Senior £6.75

Tel: 01654 761584 / 01654 761584

Email: info@kingarthurslabyrinth.co.uk

Website: www.kingarthurslabyrinth.co.uk

TALYLLYN RAILWAY

Museum open (free entry) February to December
Train Service March to November & Christmas - New Year
Open 9am
Adult £12
Child £3
Family, group & concession rates available.

Tel: 01654 710472 / 01654 710472

Email: enquries@talyllyn.co.uk

Website: www.talyllyn.co.uk

PORTMEIRION

Open all year. Daily 09.30 to 17.30
Adult £8
Child £4 (under 4 free)
Family, group & concession rates available.

Tel: 01766 772 311 / 01766 772 311

Email: toll@portmeirion-village.com

Website: www.portmeirion-village.com

WALKING IN THE RHEIDOL VALLEY

A pack of 25 walks in the beautiful countryside in the area of Aberystwyth and Rheidol Valley with detailed maps, estimated times and informative guidance notes. For further information contact:

Ceredigion Tourist Information Centre

Tel: 01974 612125 / 01974 612125

FOREST WALKS IN CEREDIGION

The following Forest Walks are waymarked with a picnic site near each car park .

1. Nant Yr Arian, Ponterwyd, 1.5 or 5.5 miles moderate trails, SN718813

2. Gogerddan, Penrhyncoch, 1.5 mile moderate trail, SN 634837

3. Black Covert, Trawscoed, 1.25 mile easy and 2 mile moderate trails, 667729

4. Tyn Bedw, Llanafon, 0.75 and 2.5 mile moderate trails, SN 694 717.

5. The Arch, 2 miles E of Devil's Bridge, 0.5 mile easy, 1 mile moderate, 1.5 miles strenuous trails SN 765756

Forest Enterprise

Tel: 01970 890500 / 01970 890500


Holiday Letting Shop has some superb offers at Macdonald Plas Talgarth if you are looking of superb accommodation and great on-site facilities. Click here for the latest deals.