Holiday Help Desk
|Airline Compensation Law||Duty Free||Tipping|
|UK Package Holiday Law||Travel Insurance||Timeshare|
|What's Safe to Pack||Passports & visas||Euro Currency|
Package Holiday Law
Regulation 15 of The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992.
The above regulation ensures that tour operators in the UK must provide the service and facilities they describe in their brochure or on their website and if they fail in this matter they are in breach of contract and are liable to pay compensation.
Section 14 and Trade Descriptions Act 1968
If a description in a brochure contains false information and was published 'knowingly or recklessly' the tour operator could be charged with a criminal offence under the above law and should be reported to Trading Standards.
What to take on the plane as hand luggage and what needs to go in the hold.
Most airlines accept aerosols totalling less than 2 litres (2kg) in your hand luggage, which includes hairspray and deodorants
However each single item must be 0.5 litres (0.5kg) or smaller.
Some airlines prefer aerosols to go in the luggage hold but the following allow them in hand luggage in small quantities.
Britannia Airways, British Airways, BMI Baby, Easy Jet, Excel, KLM, Lufthansa, Ryan Air, Thomas Cook, South African Airways, Virgin Atlantic. These details are subject to change so please check with your airline before travel.
It is recommended that electrical items such as hairdryers, etc are packed in the hold.
Restricted Items include:
New rules have come into force compensating airline passengers for the inconvenience of flight delays and cancellations. Note: The follow points are Real Holiday Guide's 'interpretation' of the rules and have been edited for publication purposes.
These rules ONLY apply for those travelling on an EU registered airline and provided you check in on time.
All British citizens require a full, 10 year British passport to travel to any of the destinations on the Real Holiday Guides website. The UK Passport Office recommends travellers who need new or replacement passports apply at least 12 weeks before departure. Up to the minute processing times are published on the official recorded message hotline: 0990 210410.
Current passport prices and policies:
Applications can be submitted to main post offices.
For more information on passports visit the official site : www.passport.gov.uk or telephone 0870 521 0410
USA Travel requirements
People heading to the United States from Britain will now be fingerprinted and photographed.
The new measures came into force on October 1st (2004) and is part of a drive to increase security.
In addition, all British passport holders, including children, travelling to the US without visas will need their own machine-readable passports (MRP).
Practically all UK travellers will already have an MRP, but the new measure will particularly affect children who are currently on a parent’s passport.
For more information about the new policies visit:
Advice for UK travellers
Sales of Duty Free goods at airports and onboard aircraft, including cigarettes and alcohol, have been discontinued within the European Union. This includes; Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy. These restrictions however do NOT apply to the following destinations: Spanish Canary Islands (i.e. Tenerife, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria), Madeira, Malta, Tunisia, Morocco, Turkey, Caribbean, USA.
If you're travelling from somewhere outside the European Union (e.g. the US) there are still limits to what you can bring in to the UK before you are obliged to pay duty.
To those non EU destinations the allowances are as follows;
You are also allowed to bring home up to £145 worth of other goods, such as souvenirs and gifts. Anything over that is taxable and you're advised to keep the receipts.
If you’re travelling within the EU you can purchase as much wine and tobacco as you like, provided you can prove the goods are for your own consumption.
Anyone intending to sell the items faces a stiff fine and could face up to seven years in prison.
The EURO is the legal currency in 12 European countries including those featured on this website, i.e.; Spain, Greece, Portugal, Italy and France. There are eight different coins - the one, two, five, 10, 20 and 50 cents as well as the one and two EURO. The coins will be different on one side in each country but can be used in any of the participating countries.
There are eight different EURO notes - five, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500. You are advised to check with your tour operator for more information on foreign exchange.
People providing any kind of service on holiday expect a tip and in many cases a gratuity forms up to 80 per cent of their wage. These include; bar and restaurant waiters, taxi drivers and bell services at your accommodation. The amount to give varies from country to country. Check our handy tipping guide below.
In the USA you will be pampered everywhere you go, but at a cost. For satisfactory service leave 15 %. Excellence is rewarded with a tip of 20% - and the service in the States rarely falls below excellent. Coach drivers will be happy with a few dollars while for bell services at your accommodation the rate is usually around a dollar a case/bag. See the handy conversion chart below.
A recent survey claims travel operators are charging holidaymakers up to four times more for travel insurance than independents.
Consumer watchdogs released a report accusing the big high street chains of abusing their dominant position. 'Holiday Which?' claims some charge more than £40 for a policy to cover two weeks in Europe while the same cover is available for just £10. Clearly it pays to shop around.
Holiday Which? the UK-based watchdog carried out an in-depth study into timeshare operators and is urging people to be aware of con merchants who prey on potential and existing timeshare owners.
Whilst recognising there are many satisfied timeshare owners here are some tips to those who are considering buying into a property