Our clients come from all over the world

With the uncertainty of Brexit we wanted to make you aware of the government advice re passport requirements, and Driving License Requirements for driving abroad in Europe, if we Brexit with out a deal.

Passport Requirements

The rules for travel to most countries in Europe change if the UK leaves the European Union (EU) with no deal.

  1. You should have at least 6 months left on your passport from your date of arrival. This applies to adult and child passports.
  2. If you renewed a passport before it expired, up to 9 extra months may have been added to your new passport’s expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months that should be remaining for travel to most countries in Europe.

The new rules will apply to passports issued by the UK, Gibraltar, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey.

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



Driving Licence Requirements

In the event that there is no EU Exit deal, the government will seek to put in place new arrangements for EU and EEA countries to recognise UK driving licences when people are visiting, for example on holiday or business trips. Until such arrangements are in place, UK driving licence holders may need an IDP in addition to their UK driving licence to drive when visiting EU and EEA countries.

Each EU and EEA country will decide if they require a foreign driver to have an IDP, in addition to a driving licence, to legally drive in their country.

There are three different types of IDP (International Driving Permits) covering different countries so if you already have one please check it is the correct one for the country you are travelling to.

For example –

Italy, Norway, Sweden – 1968

Iceland – 1949

It is very easy to get a IDP from a Post Office (There are 2,500 that issue them in the UK). You would need to take with you a passport photo, your plastic photocard driving licence and we would recommend taking a second Photo ID such as your passport as well. It costs £5.50 and it is issued there and then over the counter. We would strongly recommend if driving in Europe (including Norway and Iceland) you get one as the local suppliers are also not clear if they will need them or not. For example in Iceland one car hire company think they may not need them, another one says they will need them. For the sake of £5.50 it seems an easy decision for peace of mind for your trip, and as we would not be able to help overrule this requirement if on arrival it is required we do recommend you get one.

Please see the link below with further details, as well as the ability to search for you nearest issuing Post Office.


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!

At Weekend a La Carte we try to develop breaks that will give you an experience of a lifetime. Istanbul, with its mix of Spice Markets, Bewildering Bazaars, Stunning Mosques, and Sumptuous Palaces all set on the stunning setting of the banks of the Bosphorus, easily meets this brief. Many people visit Istanbul with us in order to take a special occasion break  to celebrate a significant birthday or anniversary. It’s not hard to find a romantic spot in Istanbul!

One of the joys of Istanbul is you can really visit it at a level that meets your budget as there are a huge range of hotels. They vary from excellent value central 4 star hotels such as the Yasmak Sultan Hotel with its little roof terrace overlooking Topkapi Palace where you can enjoy breakfast in peace, or luxurious Palaces such as the Ciragan Palace which was home of the last Ottoman Sultan, right on the banks of the Bosphorus with an exceptional level of service and views across the river.

Istanbul is the only city in the world to straddle both the East and West, and as a result seems to offer the best of both with a wonderful mix of Asia and Europe. The Bosphorus River obviously cuts this exotic city in half and offers a lovely relaxed way to view the stunning skyline of minarets and mosques as well as to get around. Sadly traffic on the roads can be a major problem now in the city at peak times, and the river is a great way to avoid this.

On a private tailor-made Istanbul City Break with Weekend a La Carte we feature the Bosphorus by organising a private 1½ hr cruise along the Bosphorus so you can see up close some of the majestic palaces that line the river banks, as well as see the array of impressive mosques. As a client of ours once said “We particularly enjoyed the luxury boat trip along the Bosphorus in, what could only be described as a millionaire’s boat.”

We would recommend you also combine this with a private guided tour of some of the highlights of Istanbul such as the Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, St Sophia, Topkapi Palace. For those of you who don’t feel up to bargaining on your own take your own private guide to the Grand Bazaar, and let the negotiations begin!

For more information on our breaks to Istanbul click here and here

A tomb believed to be that of St Philip the Apostle was unearthed during excavations in the ancient Turkish city of Hierapolis. Hierapolis whose name means “sacred city”, is an ancient city famous for its hot springs and a spa since the 2nd century.

It was found whilst working on the ruins of a newly unearthed church. It is believed that the structure of the tomb and the writing on the wall proved it belonged to St Philip. He is thought to have died in Hierapolis, in the SW province of Denizli in around 80 AD. St Philips is recognized as one of Christianity’s martyrs and it is believed he was crucified upside down or beheaded.

Whilst it is expected to become an important Christian pilgrimage destination the tomb is not open to the public yet and a date is not known at this early stage as to when it will be.

Turkey is a treasure trove of archaeological sites as it has seen a potpourri of cultures over the centuries – Assyrians, Phrygians, Persians, Romands, Ottomans and Byzantinians.

Weekend a La carte offers a Istanbul and Cappadocia break where you can see some of these sites by combining some of the main sites of Istanbul such as the Byzantine  Hippodrome and Roman Cistern with the beautiful Byzantine art in the open air churches of Goreme and the 7th Century Subterranean City of Kaymakli founded by Christians fleeing persecution.

Click here to see our break to Istanbul and Cappadocia

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