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Freedom Direct: Book early for best holiday deals

Many holidaymakers are unaware that last minute deals on holidays do not always offer the best deal on flights and accommodation, according to online travel agency Freedom Direct.

Booking earlier can often result in a better deal than booking at the last minute, since the travel industry often sets the price of flights to Spain and other destinations at a cheaper rate when they are first scheduled.

By booking a holiday early, travellers can ensure that they get the most for their money, leaving extra spending cash for when they arrive at their destination.

"The last minute holiday booking culture has become popular for a good reason – there are a lot of great last minute holiday deals available from Freedom Direct and other travel websites," said Nick Jackson of Freedom Direct.

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Halifax: Cheap flights fuelling weekend break boom

Halifax, the high street bank, has identified a rise in the number of cheap flights offered by low-cost airlines as a major factor behind a trend toward numerous, shorter holidays throughout the year.

A spokesperson for the bank added that with people taking more holidays to places like Spain each year, it was more sensible for holidaymakers to take out annual travel insurance rather than a number of policies for each trip.

"There is a trend towards more short breaks rather than one long summer holiday," said David Bruce, a spokesperson for Halifax Travel Insurance.

This was "partly due to cheap airlines making it a lot easier and more affordable for weekend breaks abroad," he explained.

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UK bank to offer holidaymakers euros at ATMs

Travellers heading out on Spanish holidays can now withdraw their holiday euros from an ATM on the UK high street.

Halifax has become the first high street bank in Britain to offer its customers the chance to withdraw euros and US dollars from a multi-currency cash machine in one of its UK branches.

The first euro cash machine was opened for business at the bank's Old Broad Street branch in the City of London on Wednesday, with more planned before the end of the year for other locations both in London and elsewhere across the country.

Nigel Turkington, head of travel money at Halifax, said: "Our customers have told us that the immediate availability of foreign currency would be a valuable addition to our services and we plan to roll out more of these multi-currency ATMs in the near future.

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Frequent short breaks becoming the holiday norm

People are going on holiday more often during the year, but for shorter amounts of time, according to a new survey.

A report conducted by Euromonitor International found that people were increasingly likely to take a greater number of short trips abroad throughout the year, rather than just one big holiday in the summer or winter.

On-line travel was encouraging the trend, the 'Global E-Travel Habits' report concluded, since bookings through the internet made the process of low-cost booking holidays at short notice far easier than ever before. Many of the short breaks involved the use of low-cost airlines, Euromonitor found.

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Plans for geological park in Murcia

A new geological park aimed at tourists taking holidays in Spain could be set up in the province of Murcia after fossilised animal footprints around 11 million years old were discovered in the area.

The geological park, if it goes ahead, may include the region of Jumilla, where the footprints were found. Nearby areas including Minas de la Celia, La Hoya de la Sima and Cabezon de la Rosa may also be covered by the planned park.

The fossilised footprints were discovered during a geological dig in the Sierra de las Cabras in Jumilla, a wine-producing region of Murcia close to La Manga.

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Spain the place for green holidays

With more holidaymakers looking for environmentally responsible holidays than ever before, visitors heading out on Spanish holidays can take comfort in the fact that a holiday in Spain can be both green and good for the environment.

A study published by the International Ecotourism Society showed that over the course of 2004, eco-tourism was growing three times faster than the global tourism industry as a whole.

"We are seeing the beginning of real consumer demand for more responsible tourism," a spokesperson for website, commented.

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Government: family holidays better during school vacations

The UK government advised parents last week that it is better for children if family holidays are taken outside of term time, during the official school holidays.

Although family holidays can be taken all year round, with schools allowed to grant up to ten days authorised holiday within term time, officials advised that it was better for children not to miss school.

Soaking up the Spanish sun with Mum and Dad was better done during the official school holidays, as Kevin Brennan, the children's minister said parents should be aware that "even a couple of days" could mean kids miss out at school. He also called for holiday prices during school holidays to be made cheaper.

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Flights to Spain to become even safer

Spanish authorities are to make security checks on flights to Spain even more secure, helping to ensure passenger safety.

From today, September 19th, all airlines flying into the country will require Advanced Passenger Information (API) from UK passengers on flights to Spain.

The information includes just a few simple details from the back page of a holidaymaker's passport, including the traveller's full name, nationality, date of birth and passport number.

"The data will be collected either at the airport, when you check in, or in advance, usually when you make your booking.

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Sporting Alfas win seventh national cricket title at La Manga

La Manga is home to some of the best sports facilities in Spain and this week the five-star resort played host to the final of the Cricket Espana National League, which saw Sporting Alfas romp to victory, picking up their seventh national title.

Sporting Alfas beat rivals Madrid Cricket Club by 64 runs. With just 27 boundaries being hit throughout the afternoon, the match was hard work for the batsmen at La Manga, and Madrid finished at 175 all out against Sporting Alfas' 239-5.

Speaking to the Costa Blanca and Costa Calida Leader newspaper last month, Tony Coles, the general manager of La Manga club explained how cricket was an important part of the sporting scene at the five-star resort, which is often better known for its golf and tennisholidays.

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Fun for all with family holidays at La Manga

The luxury five-star resort of La Manga is more than just one of the world's great golf and tennis resorts. La Manga offers plenty to keep younger visitors entertained, ensuring that the Spanish holiday destination remains the top choice for family holidays.

As one of the premier sports and leisure resorts in Europe, La Manga Club provides everything a family could ever need to prevent boredom from setting in. A range of sports including tennis on 28 grass, clay and hard courts, golf on three world-class championship golf courses, horse riding, squash, diving and much more should keep even those with the shortest attention span entertained.

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