Our clients come from all over the world

Increasingly we are finding that people want to give Experiences rather than specific items as presents. Certainly we have personally found as we age and our house fills up with clutter we would much rather have a shared experience with a loved one, than be given yet more “stuff” to find a home for.

Many of our clients are booking holidays to celebrate a special occasion or milestone such as big birthdays with a zero on the end, significant anniversaries, as well as many proposals and honeymoons. The joy of this is that the giver often benefits from the experience as well! In this case the anticipation of the special occasion break adds to the experience with shared excited plotting and planning.

In other cases the gifter is arranging this trip in secret and we send the travel packs out to a different address so the game is not given away ! Then the surprise weekend break is given as a present on the big day, as people often do not actually travel on their special day so they can be at home with a wider group of family and friends.

The extreme surprise planners like to be away for the big moment and to try to get the recipient to the airport without knowing where they are going! This is always a bit trickier as the packing to some of our destinations such as attending a Venice Carnival Ball or going on a Northern Lights Trip in Swedish Lapland need a bit more thought than the usual weekend away!

Sometimes though it can be tricky if you are unsure of their date availability or their break preference and people prefer to give the idea as a present, and if it is well received then book it. The issue with that though is that availability may have gone in the meantime, and due to exchange rates and flight movement, we can only confirm the exact price for an exact date for 48 hrs and the price may have moved in the meantime. Both lead to an awkward situation!

Therefore the final option of gifting a voucher to a certain value is a good option for a special occasion break gift. This option lets the recipient choose themselves where and when they wish to go to. With over 19 countries on offer across our 4 websites, and with breaks ranging from travelling on the luxury Maharajas Express in India, to going to see the spectacular Verona Opera in the Roman amphitheatre, to Whale Watching in Iceland or an exotic Safari to see the Migration there is bound to be something that appeals!

Gift vouchers are also a popular way for friends to buy a present, or as a retirement gift, as everyone can contribute the amount they wish, and it is surprising how quickly this adds up to give someone a unique and memorable special occasion break.

These vouchers are valid for 3 years and can be topped up by the recipient if they wish to go on a more expensive break than you had intended.

So if you are thinking of gifting a Special Occasion Break do give us a ring on 01722 744695 or take a look at our 4 websites; Aurora Nights, Italian Short Breaks, Weekend a La Carte and Safari Addicts for inspiration.

With Brexit now confirmed we wanted to update you. Travel to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein has changed.

Therefore please

  • Check your passport and if it has long enough left on the passport.
  • Check you have the right driving documents
  • Check your insurance does not have any exemption clauses that kick in if we Brexit without a deal

Passport Requirements

You may need to renew your British passport earlier than you anticipated if you’re travelling after Brexit. The new rules will apply to passports issued by the UK, Gibraltar, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey.

On the day you travel, you’ll need your passport to both:

  • have at least 3 months left on day of travel home
  • be less than 10 years old (even if it has 3 months or more left)

If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 3 months needed.

Please see a link below with further details and also a link for you to check your specific passport

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-brexit#check-a-passport-for-travel-to-europe

 

There are three main types of travel. The first are the beach holidays. Flights, car hire and a hotel/villa and you’re all set. These are great for when you just want to get away and have a relaxing break. They are perfect for those that don’t want to plan and just decide as they go what they do with tomorrow. This is the sort of trip for someone who wants to keep full control of their schedule. They are simple, easy trips. Pick a beautiful location and half an hour on Expedia, and it’s all done.

The second category is the full set tour package. Whether it is a case of you travelling alone, wanting to meet new people, or whether you are just unsure how to put together everything you want to do, these are the breaks for those wanting someone else to plan out the A’s to B’s. It could be a case of too much to organise or just not knowing how. City breaks are easy to organise, but how about a trip to the arctic on a northern lights holiday? How do you organise a husky sled tour? Or maybe you are travelling around. Organising a trip to Golden Triangle India trip say, would be quite daunting for most people. This is where the tour package excels; it gives you effortless travel without the worry. Trying to arrange this sort of trip would feel like a comparison search for new car insurance at the end of the day, and that rather defeats the point of a wonderful holiday!

But there is a downside to the second category. What if you don’t get on with everyone in the group and you spend part of your coach or cruise trying to avoid set people? Also, it means many early starts, which feels contradictory taking into account that for a few days/week etc. you want to escape the alarm clock! Lastly, whilst you’re happy to get up early for a tour you are looking forward to, there are always parts of the ground programme you have no interest in, and that’s when getting out of bed early, packing the case and checking out of your hotel to be driven to the next place, just feels like too much hard work.

Onto category three. At Weekend a la Carte most of our clients have done many of the previous types of trips, and they know what they want. This includes hassle-free travel and to be looked after, but not to be part of a group and have no say on their itinerary. Everything we do is bespoke travel, reaching from an African Big 5 Safari, Venice Carnival package, Northern Lights trips, to city breaks. We know you want control of your holiday, but we also know you want someone else to work on the finer details. Most of our travellers are celebrating special birthdays and wedding anniversaries. These are our forte. We know how to make your trip special. You won’t be waiting for others to get on the bus, we won’t take you places you have no interest in, your hotel won’t be away from all the local sights.

The travel dates, hotels and duration are for you to decide. We are very flexible! We have many clients who want us to arrange ground only and then leave them to their devices, and if you want a second tiger safari on your Golden Triangle India holiday or a second night at the Verona opera, we can do this. We have been doing it for thirteen years, and are constantly looking at ways to improve our breaks, extensions being one of the main ways. We really do have something for everyone. Why not take a look?

Weekend a la Carte – a chocolate box of trips including Slovenia, Russia, Prague, Jordan, Morocco and Vienna.

Aurora Nights – Northern Lights inspired trips to Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Greenland.

Italian Short Breaks – Verona Opera, Venice Orient Express Train, Venice Carnival and the Siena Palio.

Big 5 Safaris – South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and Namibia.

Now the only hard part is for you to decide where your next adventure takes you!

Muslims world-wide have celebrated the Holy month of Ramadan for the month of August.

In Egypt, as a Muslim country, we have celebrated Ramadan through 29 or 30 days (depending on the Arabian – moon calendar) after which we celebrate our breaking fast Feast.

Ramadan is the name of the Holy month during which we believe God has instructed all Muslims to fast from Fajer (day break) to Maghreb (sunset). You may be excused from fasting if you are sick, traveling or still under adult age. In the first 2 cases the individual must compensate for the days missed without fasting once he is well or back home.

Fasting is known to be quitting eating and drinking, but in fact fasting is a bit more than that. We are requested to quit anything that will break our peace of mind and soul (e.g. like shouting, quarrelling, fighting, gossiping, to be unfair, oppressing), i.e. to do anything that can be described as “bad”.

In the Holy month of Ramadan families gather at one home and eat together the Break Fast at sunset. Break Fast usually starts by eating a small amount of sweet food, drink water if needed, and then they leave to go to the mosque to pray Maghreb (sunset pray). Many people pray the Maghreb at home with their families instead (all is accepted by the holy God).

If you walk In Ramadan at Maghreb time, you will find amazing scenes that you can’t see anywhere else in the whole world except in Muslim countries. You will find hundreds of tables set ready in the streets with full meals to be eaten by any person passing during Break Fast time. No limitation, no restriction and what’s more all the attendees are sharing the tables and the food. It is a moment of love that is shared by everyone, rich or poor … it doesn’t matter – we are all hungry and must eat. These tables are set and financed by rich people for the poor ones during this month.

Likewise if you are driving your car at the time of Break Fast, you will find many hands carrying food towards you. You can stop and take whatever you want.

Ramadan is known as the month in which God sent Quran (Muslim’s Holy book) to earth, and hence most of the Muslims will read the whole Holy Quran at least once during the month of Ramadan. Quran is divided into 30 chapters, thus we read one chapter per day till end of the month. It is not very difficult, and Muslims believe that it has to be done to get the blessing from God.

Ramadan is rotating every year and this year it has come in a very hot month in Egypt (August), but we don’t really suffer from this heat like we used to 30 years ago as almost everything now is air conditioned (house, car, office), yet it is the challenge that you have to carry on all your daily duties in life while you are fasting and having low sugar in your body.

This month of the year really comes as a break from the monotony of life and Muslims enjoy celebrating it – especially as it bring strong ties between members of the family, neighbours and friends and helps poor people by feeding them and giving them Ramadan charity.

This article was sent to us by our Egyptian Partner with whom we offer Cairo and Luxor short breaks and deluxe luxury Nile Cruises. Search for Egypt under Destinations to review these breaks.

Click here to see our Treasures of Cairo Private Tour

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