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Beth Harrison

Jet Off To Cooks Club

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Cook’s Club focuses on things that matter the most to a new generation of travellers: great design, delicious food and fantastic cocktails, alongside the perfect playlist that builds from day to night. The vibe is created by a line-up of handpicked soundtracks, cocktails flow from a mixologist-created menu and plenty of food in the Cantina.

I was lucky enough to explore Cook’s Club in Hersonissos, Crete, to bring you the lowdown on its laid back, urban atmosphere. Cook’s Club is a game changer, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it…

When it comes to holidays, it’s hard to find something for me. The best I can usually hope for is a clean, bright hotel in a central location, either near a buzzing town or a reasonable taxi ride from the big clubs. The first thing I look for when I get to my hotel is a cool pool area. There are two pools at Cook’s Club Hersonissos, dozens of comfy sunbeds (both in the shade and in the sun) and resident inflatables in all different shapes and sizes, so you don’t even need to pack your own. I opted for the toucan ring!

Just a few steps from all the action, you’ll find the Captain Cook Bar, serving everything from milkshakes to mojitos throughout the day and into the night. My drink of choice: the Freddo. It’s the perfect way to start your morning, with two shots of espresso over ice. And, trust me; it’s enough to blow off the cobwebs from the night before.

The poolside playlists sound exactly how summer should, with chilled, ambient House tracks and remixed club classics. And, when you start getting peckish, head to the Cantina for a range of delights, from salads and dim sum too big juicy burgers. The menu’s surprisingly affordable, around seven or eight euros at most for a meal, and there’s a huge focus on sustainability. All the food is made-to-order, meaning minimum waste and maximum freshness.

There’s also very often an event on; Latin nights, RnB parties and BBQ cookouts to name just a few. They also have movie nights which are projected on the huge outside wall by the pool, featuring cult classics like Pulp Fiction, so everyone can enjoy a bit of downtime in the warm evenings.

The music here carries on until midnight, but the early hours of the morning are all yours to explore Hersonissos’ nightlife and chill at the beach clubs down the road. Why not let off some steam in the self-professed Fun Lab, from dancing the night away in your own private disco to smashing up some stuff in the Rage Room? You and your friends will never be stuck for things to do at Cook’s Club.

You’re probably wondering where you’ll be resting your head at the end of the night. Well, the rooms are spacious and spotless, all cloaked in muted grey, colourful fabrics and warm lighting. It’s laidback cool in all its glory; from the rainfall shower head to the plasma TV, providing the perfect sanctuary before starting all over again the next day.

Are you joining us on board for your next adventure? What’s your favourite way to spend your holiday with friends? Let me know in the comments below.

 

This post was sponsored by Thomas Cook Cook’s Club 

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61% of travellers prefer the window seat

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Ask anyone ‘window or aisle seat’ and you’ll get a pretty quick answer. People know where they sit on the debate and they know where they want to sit on the plane.

We ran a survey of 2,000 recent travellers to finally put the argument to rest – what do Brits deem to be the best seat on the fleet?

The debate: Window or aisle?

There are pros and cons to each seat.

The window seat gives you spectacular views, a place to rest your head and you get control of the shutter. But you might have to wake the person next to you for a quick toilet trip – that or make the awkward decision on which way to face as you pass them.

From the aisle seat, you can walk around as much as you like and get at the overhead compartment. But, when it comes to sleeping, the best you’ve got for a pillow is the person next to you – and expect to be woken up when your neighbours want to get out.

But when we asked British travellers about their preference, the result was decisive: 61% said they prefer the window seat. That was almost double the vote for the aisle seat, which got 31%, while 5% didn’t have a preference and just 2% of people out there actually choose the middle seat.

 

Why the window seat wins

The most popular reason for picking the window seat was even more clear-cut– 83% cited the unbeatable views.

If you’re a comfortable flyer and you enjoy sightseeing, the window seat is undeniably the best for take-off and landing. But even when you’re mid-flight at 38,000ft, a window seat can still offer breath-taking views of the sky that you have to be a seriously frequent flyer not to find impressive.

While the window seat took the clear majority overall, there were some differences among age groups. Of those aged 55 and over, 54% went with the consensus, while an overwhelming 74% of those aged 16–24 picked the window seat – window seat selfie?

 

 

So why the age bias?

The data says social media might be a key driver of this generational trend.

When asked about social media habits, 67% of all respondents said they’ve taken a photograph out of the window. And just under half of those who take a quick plane snap also post it on social media. It’s understandable – sometimes when you’re off on holiday you just have to brag to your friends that you’re not at work.

But it seems that those who snap and share a picture every time they fly mostly fall into a set age bracket. No great surprise with this one – nearly 40% of the 16–44 age group has shared a picture from a plane window, compared with only 8% of those aged 55+. Meanwhile, of all those who say they take a picture and post it on social media every time they fly, 83% are in the same 16–44 age group.

 

 

How important is our chosen seat to us?

When asked what seat they prefer, a total of 94% were decisive. We get it – flying is an experience, and where you sit on the plane can affect it significantly.

And respondents were just as clear on the reasons for their preferences. While 83% who picked the window seat cited the views, among the minority who prefer the aisle seat, the number 1 reason was being able to leave their seat with ease (73%).

The data even shows that there are 2% of people out there who actually feel strongly about the middle seat. Nope, us neither – we’re guessing that’s a small minority of very sociable people.

One thing’s for sure: wherever we prefer, we all know where we stand on the issue. And it seems UK travellers are prepared to put their money where their mouth is: 64% would even be prepared to pay extra to reserve their chosen seat.

You can reserve your seat in advance when you book a flight with Thomas Cook Airlines (even if you fancy the middle). Find out more about choosing your seat.

 

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Alternative Easter

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We run down some of the most unusual Easter celebrations from around the world…

Traditional Majorca

Where: Palma

When: 18th to 22ndApril

In Majorca, Easter is full of traditions dating back centuries, while many European countries have lost the religious aspect of the celebrations, it’s still very important on this Spanish island.  Watching the re-enactment of the Passion of Christ on the steps of Palma Cathedral and through the streets of Palma and is as exhilarating as it is moving.

If you are looking for something less religious, Majorca’s traditional Easter fair pops up every year on the outskirts of Palma for a couple of months. Thousands visit for the children’s rides, Ferris wheel, thrill rides, stalls and refreshments.

Palma Cathedral

Pot throwing in Corfu

Where: All over Corfu

When: Saturday, Easter Weekend

The tradition of “Pot Throwing” usually takes place on the morning of Holy Saturday. People throw pots, pans and other wares out of their windows, smashing them on the street.

Some say the custom of throwing of pots welcomes spring, symbolizing the new crops that will be gathered in new pots.  Others say it derives from the Venetians, who on New Year’s Day used to throw out all of their old items.

Pot Smashing, Corfu

Egg fights in Bulgaria

Where: Throughout Bulgaria

When: Easter Weekend

The good luck crack is a unique Easter tradition! Participants take turns in tapping their eggs against the eggs of other participants, whoever comes out of the game with an unbroken egg is the winner and assumed to be the most successful member of the family in the coming year.

In another Bulgarian tradition, the oldest woman in the family rubs the faces of the children with the first red egg she has coloured, symbolizing her wish that they have good health throughout the year.

Bulgarian eggs

Easter Parade

Where: New York, USA

When: Easter Sunday

On Easter Sunday, New York City hosts a tradition that has been around since the late 1800s. Originally the Easter Parade began with modest Easter flowers in churches.  Over the years the flower decorations became more flamboyant and stylish and by the late nineteenth century, people wore fashionable clothing and paraded down the streets to see the flowers in church.

Today, eye-catching Easter bonnets are worn by people of all ages in a procession from 49th to 57th street on Fifth Avenue, Manhattan.

The best place to watch is from St Patrick’s Cathedral.

New York

Scary Sicily

Where: Prizzi, Sicily,

When: Easter Sunday

The Abballu de daivuli takes place in the hills south of Palermo.

The locals dress in red robes and masks made of zinc, then pester as many “souls” as they can (which means making them pay for drinks) before the afternoon when the Virgin Mary and the risen Christ save the day – the devils are then chased away by angels.

Abballu de daivuli

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Game of Thrones Locations

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Kings Landing, Blackwater Bay, the Dothraki, the Red Keep, any of this sound familiar?  If so you are one of the millions of fans tuning into the final series of Game of Thrones.

Once the dust has settled, if you are anything like me you won’t know what to do with your life once the show is over. GOT was filmed in an impressive nine different countries over eight series, so why not visit a few of the iconic locations that have made the show one of the biggest and most successful in the world.

For all the Game of Throners out there, this is your top 5 countries to visit:-

 

Dubrovnik

Old Town                                                            

GOT location: Kings Landing

Dubrovnik’s Old Town is one of the most famous filming locations for Game of Thrones. The City Walls, entrance gates, narrow streets, surrounding harbours and the palaces and fortresses that once protected its boundaries have all played a starring role as the Westeros capital.

One of the most memorable Dubrovnik Game of Throne locations is the Jesuit Staircase, which doubles as the steps of the Great Sept of Baelor in King’s Landing – where Cercei made her walk of shame in Series 5, Episode 10 ‘Mother’s Mercy’

 

Jesuit Staircase

 

Hotel Belvedere

GOT location: The Mountain and the Viper

Hotel Belvedere is a now-famous derelict hotel located just outside Dubrovnik. This was the location for the epic fight scene between Prince Oberyn and the Mountain in the Season 4 finale ‘The Mountain and the Viper’.

The small amphitheatre set on a cliff edge is instantly recognisable and a great place to visit if you’re a Game of Thrones superfan. 

Hotel Belvedere

 

Spilt

Diocletian’s Palace                                                                                                                  

GOT location: Meereen

Diocletian’s Palace is a staple for any fan looking to visit some of the shows key scenes and moments.

This was the location for Daenerys’s throne room when she ruled over Meereen.  One of the most famous scenes from Diocletian’s Palace is in Season 4 Episode 4, ‘Oathkeeper’.  The Palace itself is a stunning example of ancient Roman architecture, it’s imposing and fascinating, by far the most famous site to see in Split.

 

Diocletian’s Palace

 

Kliss Fortress                                                                    

GOT location: Meereen

The Kliss fortress in Split was another location used to represent the city of Meereen, making an appearance in Series 4 when Daenerys and her army conquer the city.

Kliss Fortress

 

Malta

St Dominic’s Convent, Rabat                                                                                        

GOT location: The Red Keep

St Dominic’s Convent in Rabat, Malta featured double as the Red Keep Garden in Series 1.  It’s also where Cersei Lannister utters these famous words ‘When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground’.

 

Morocco

Ait Benhaddou                                                                                                            

GOT location: Yunkai the Yellow City

A city made entirely of clay is a site to see, Ait Benhaddou has remained in place for centuries and was the perfect location to represent the slave-trading city of Yunkai. Amazingly Ait Benhaddou also once had some dealings with the slave trade – fitting don’t you think?

When you approach the city, you can see that the walls were made to keep people out, which is a disturbing thought.  Climb to the top of the city, where the granary once existed, you can see for miles in every direction.

Ait Benhaddou 

 

Almeria                                                                                                                              

GOT location: Land of the Dothraki 

The “deserts” in Almeria were perfect to portray the land of the Dothraki, however, the deserts were not the only locations in Almeria shown in Game of Thrones.

The Alcazaba of Almeria shared some scenes with Real Alcazar in Seville as it also portrayed the residence of the House Martell.

 

 

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Behind the Surf in the Canary Islands

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Forget Hawaii, forget Indonesia; even forget Australia!

The Canary Islands are a mecca for surfers around the world. Whether you’re a grommet or a pro, the beaches around Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote are where you’ll find not only super swells but also some pretty unique places to kick back and relax when the waves have washed away. Here’s why you need to get on-board with surfing in the Canaries.

 

Tenerife

 

The conditions are perfect

There’s a reason Tenerife is known as the Island of Eternal Spring – it boasts a year-round climate of between 18°C to 24°C, meaning it’s a pleasant dip in the ocean any month of the year.

Due to the Canaries prime position off the coast of Africa, the waters are littered with coral reefs and rocky point-breaks, ideal for creating gnarly waves, while the cliffs and mountains bring in strong off-shore winds.

In general, October to March is the most popular time for tourists, although hard-core surfers should time their trip around November to February for the famous 6-8ft swells.

Los Surf

Scenic beaches everywhere you look

Ever surfed on a black sand beach? Or around the bottom of an old volcano? You can do all this and more in the Canary Islands. Los Lobos is a short ferry ride from Corralejo in Fuerteventura and is an ancient volcanic island, much like the rest of the Canaries, although the swells here are famous for getting over 10ft – a must for experienced surfers!

For other spectacular beaches, El Golfo in Lanzarote has a natural lagoon, tinged an incredibly bright green colour, which provides a beautiful contrast against the black sand. Los Cancajos in La Palma and El Bullullo in Tenerife also boast dramatic black rock coastlines and volcanic beaches. For the picture-perfect white sands and turquoise waters, head straight to the Jandia Peninsular in Fuerteventura for one of the best beaches in the world.

Grand Canaria

Breaks for all levels

Beginners should start in Gran Canaria, particularly around the eastern beaches, which are more protected from the strong winds.

Intermediate surfers can tackle some of the tougher reef breaks in Lanzarote, where you can find quality waves 365 days of the year. Playa de Famara and La Santa on the north coast are your best bet.

For the pros out there, the Canary Islands offer a multitude of challenging and difficult waves for you to conquer. Fuerteventura is home to many international competitions – try your hand at The Bubble, Hierro and Spanish Left, while Tenerife has the ever-popular Billboards and La Fitenia.

Grand Canaria

It’s like nowhere else in the world

Volcanoes, beaches, unique flora and fauna, endless sun and fantastic surf… the Canary Islands really are paradise on Earth. When you’ve got a day off from the waves, make sure you see all the rest that the islands have to offer. In Tenerife, stay on land and check out the view from the top of Mt Teide, the highest mountain in Spain, or visit Siam Parque for some man-made aquatic fun.

Gran Canaria is the ideal spot for biking and hiking, and its Palmitos Park is a fun day out where you can meet all of the Canaries native animals, exotic birds and tropical plants.

Lanzarote is known for its incredible landscapes, notably the Mountains of Fire and the Jameos del Agua, natural lava tunnels and caves.

 

Whether you come for the surf, the scenery, or the sun, there’s never a shortage of things to see in the Canary Islands!

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Top tips for plane sleep with Sleeper Seat

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March is national bed month and what better way to celebrate than launching our brand new Sleeper Seat.

What’s a Sleeper Seat, you say?  It’s a row of three seats that are all yours. Once airborne our cabin crew will transform them into your bed in the sky.

 

Taking a night flight? Here are our top tips for a great night’s sleep

Block out light, noise and disturbance

  • Use your sleep mask and earplugs from the amenity kit provided.
  • If you prefer to listen to music, bring some good quality noise-cancelling headphones.
  • Put your seat belt on over the top of your blanket you are not disturbed by cabin crew to check it.
  • Clear your mind with a guided mindfulness audiobook.

Stay warm and comfortable

  • Wear comfortable loose clothes like leggings and jumpers and bring an extra layer or two just in case it’s cold.
  • Take off your shoes and put comfortable warm socks on or flight socks if you’re concerned about DVT (deep vein thrombosis).

 

via GIPHY

Avoid alcohol and caffeine

The same rules apply on a plane when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. Drinking alcohol can make you fall asleep faster, but also reduces your sleep quality – this can lead to you waking up earlier and then not falling asleep again.

When it comes to caffeine, try and avoid it altogether if you are hoping to get a good night’s sleep – if you must drink it,  leave at least two hours before you plan on falling asleep.

 

Stay hydrated

via GIPHY

Avoid screens

The blue light from devices such as tablets and smartphones simulate the brain and trick it into thinking it’s daytime. Avoid looking at your tablet or smartphone 30 minutes before you settle down to have a nice long sleep.

Try natural sleeping aids

There’s an extensive range of herbal and natural sleeping aids to choose from if you need that bit of extra help to get to sleep.

You’ll find Sleeper Seat on most long-haul routes, on our A330s, in Economy Class*.

Buckle up as usual in your seat for take-off and landing. Once airborne just ask our cabin crew to set up Sleeper Seat for you. If you’ve booked a meal, please ask the crew to set the mattress up after the meal service.  If you’re sleeping, we won’t disturb you (unless the plane is getting ready to land). And just fold the headrest up if you’d like to stretch your legs.

*Subject to availability in economy classes except for Economy Light. Not on flights to/from Cuba.

Find out more about Sleeper Seat here

 

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Participant Interviews – First time flyers

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In January 2019, we partnered with hypnotist, Aaron Calvert, to give frequent flyers a ‘first time’ flying experience, with the hope that they would fall back in love with flying again.

The participants spent eight hours under hypnosis and experienced every element of air travel as if for the first time, here’s what they had to say about the experience.

The Participants

Jo Cattini from Hemel Hempstead, 47.  Jo has been on more than 30 flights, taking a couple of family holidays a year.

Lee and Jade Evans, 30 and 29, from Portsmouth are regulars on planes – with Lee’s job as a project planner taking him on monthly flights to Scotland and Europe.

James Jebson, a 36-year-old photographer from Blackpool flys 18 times a year on average.

Chef Murray Tweddle, 32, of Kinross flys 24 times a year on average.

 

Jo Cattini

How was your overall experience?

Incredible! the whole experience Murry Tweddle age 32   

A real range of emotions – it makes you realise how incredible flying is, and it’s open to everyone not just for the rich elite, we are so lucky that we can all fly.  The fact you can fly anywhere in the world is truly amazing – James Jebson age 36

Interesting, amazing,– it’s really brought back that love of flying. It was genuinely as though I had never been anywhere on a plane before which allowed me to enjoy all of the things we take for granted as frequent flyers. – Joanne Cattini (age 47)

The whole experience was really exciting, truly amazing and enlightening – no phones or clocks made us pay attention to the journey, which went really fast – Jade and Lee Evans

Lee is usually moody when flying but not this flight! Maybe he needs to be hypnotised every time?! Jade Evans (age 29)

 

Lee and Jade Evans

 

What would you say to people that have never been hypnotised before, and who may be a bit sceptical?

 Do it, it’s an incredible experience. I have eaten food today I have never eaten before in my life – it must work – you need to try it and see – Murry Tweddle age 32 

I’m usually the first person to say that it must be fake! – I guarantee 100% it’s the strangest, beautiful and bazaar experience, I remember everything that was being suggested and I was trying to fight it. It’s so difficult to explain. – James Jebson age 36

Murray Tweddle

 

What’s it like being hypnotised?

I really like being hypnotised, I’m a control freak so someone else taking over gives me a sense of peace. It’s really enjoyable – Joanne Cattini (age 47)

It’s strange because subconsciously you know you have flown before but you just can’t express it – you forget your name.  Life seemed blurred, in fact the whole experience is now a blur like it never really happened – Jade and Lee Evans

James Jebson

 

Has it made it appreciate flying more?

Yes! We were treated really well.  Just appreciating the service, the plane itself and the little things – seeing the views from the window all makes you realise how amazing flying is.   To be above the clouds is an incredible experience – Murry Tweddle age 32 

 

 

What would you say to someone that hasn’t flown before?

 Do it!  It will change your life – any apprehensions you might have are understandable but don’t let it hold you back! – James Jebson age 36

 Go for it – nothing to be scared on don’t leave it too late – Joanne Cattini (age 47)

 Sit back, relax and enjoy it. It’s amazing we can do this and have the planes to take us on holiday – Jade and Lee Evans

 

 

Has it made you fall in love with flying again?

Definitely. I want a holiday now! I might go back to Tunisia again. – Murry Tweddle age 32 

 I have totally fallen in love with flying again – James Jebson age 36

 

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Look into my skies – First Time Flyer

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In January 2019, we surveyed 2000 UK men and women and over a quarter (28%) said they wished they could experience their first flight feeling again.  We also revealed that more than a third (35%) of Brits say they’ve fallen out of love with flying and over half (55%) feel that flying is just a means to an end.

With this in mind, we wanted to show how great we think flying actually is and decided to partner with TV hypnotist, Aaron Calvert, to give frequent flyers a ‘first time’ flying experience to help them fall back in love with flying.

Watch the amazing results here…

 


Aaron spent 20 minutes putting our five participants under hypnosis. Each person was told they were being filmed for a documentary on being a first time flyer before being taken through the airport and onto the plane – where they believed they were boarding an A321 for the very first time.

Our participants spent eight hours under hypnosis and each person was filmed as they waited expectantly in the departure lounge, watching the planes take off, before excitedly boarding.

Manchester based TV hypnotist Aaron, 27, said: “It’s been really eye-opening. These guys absolutely believe this is their first flight. And what’s amazing is the simplest things are bringing such joy. They looked out of a window, saw a plane and couldn’t believe the size of it or that it could actually take off. There was an almost childlike excitement to their constant questions!’

 

The Participants

 Jo Cattini from Hemel Hempstead age 47, estimated she’s been on more than 30 flights, taking a couple of family holidays a year.

Married couple Lee and Jade Evans, 30 and 29, from Portsmouth, are also regulars on planes – with Lee’s job as a project planner taking him on monthly flights to Scotland and Europe. The duo even flew long haul for their honeymoon just four years ago.

Also put into a trance were James Jebson, a 36-year-old photographer from Blackpool, and chef Murray Tweddle, 32, of Kinross.

James said:I have a massive range of emotions. It’s made me realise how incredible flying is. If I hadn’t been hypnotised myself, I’d be the guy saying, ‘that’s fake’. But I can guarantee, it’s the most strange, bizarre and beautiful experience. If you haven’t flown before, just do it.”

 

Our Survey

On average the British public take 280 million flights each year, our survey found that while almost three quarters (72%) remember their first flight fondly, on average, it takes the average Brit 21 flights to stop feeling excited by it.

But many people do see it is an opportunity to catch-up on a fun activity. Over one in ten (11%) use the time in the sky to catch-up on their favourite TV show or watch a film, over two in five prefer (38%) to use the time to catch-up on some sleep, and almost half (48%) immerse themselves in a good book.

New Zealand (24%), Australia (21%) and Japan (15%) were the top countries that people want to travel to and experience for the first time, followed by the USA (12%) and the Caribbean (11%). However, many Brits still have travelling abroad on their bucket list, as 5.9millionare still yet to fly for the first time.

 

 

 

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5 great excursions from Cayo Coco, Cuba

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The island of Cayo Coco sits just off the coast of Cuba, with white sand and palm trees as far as the eye can see. It’s doubtful you’ll ever tire of these tropical beaches but if you fancy getting away for the day, here are some fantastic excursions to enjoy from the top Cuban tour operators: Cubanacan, Gaviota Tours, Havanatur and Cubatur.

 

Catamaran at a resort in Cayo Coco

Cayo Coco

Jeep Safari

Zoom through the stunning countryside of Cuba in a 4×4 Jeep, stopping at Cuba’s largest water reservoir, Laguna de la Leche. After all that excitement, stop at the fascinating town of Moron, where you’ll have time to explore and do some shopping for those all-important souvenirs.

MORON, CUBA

MORON, CUBA – Recent change in law allows the Cubans to trade cars again. Cars in Cuba are very old because of the old law.

For lunch you’ll visit a traditional Cuban farm and try some of the country’s typical dishes, followed by a trip to a real-life crocodile farm – the kids will love it!

Woman making tamales in Cuba

Woman making tamales in Cuba, the tamal is a traditional Mesoamerican dish made of masa, which is steamed or boiled in a leaf wrapper. The wrapping is discarded before eating.

End your day with a stop at the incredible Cunagua Hill, where you can see for miles, and get a fantastic photo to remember your day by.

This once-in-a-lifetime trip costs £53 for adults and £40 for children, and lasts for an exhilarating eight hours.

find flights to cuba

Cave Party

Cuba is known for its incredible cave formations, and what better way to see them than by partying in one! Dance the night away to a live Cuban band in the amazing natural cave, Cueva del Jabali. The price for this exciting experience is just £17 and includes an open bar, so you can drink and dance as much as you like until the early hours.

Entrance to the Bellamar Caves

Entrance to the Bellamar Caves – one of the largest in Cuba

Rustic souvenir shop at the Bellamar Caves

Rustic souvenir shop at the Bellamar Caves.

 

Horseback Riding

Explore the natural beauty of Cuba by horseback. For just £7 an hour, you can trot through the countryside and trek across the beach along these stunning nature trails. You’ll have your very own guide to accompany you and show you all the incredible sights of the Cuban countryside.

Vinales Valley, Cuba

Horseback riding in Vinales Valley, Cuba

CubaHorseback riding on the beach in Cuba

Colonial Trinidad

Discover the beautiful city of Trinidad on this exciting excursion along the coast of Cuba. At a cost of just £54 for adults and £24 for children you can admire the beautiful valleys of Valle de los Ingenious on the way to Trinidad and the stunning countryside of Cayo Coco. When you arrive at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Trinidad, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the romantic cobbled streets and pretty squares, such as Plaza Mayor and Plaza del Jigue. After some lunch in a traditional restaurant, discover the local museum and shop for some souvenirs to take home.

Colonial town of Trinidad, Cuba

Colonial town of Trinidad, Cuba. UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tower of Museo Nacional de la Lucha Contra Bandidos.

Streets of Trinidad, Cuba

Colonial buildings in the streets of Trinidad, where old cars are a relic of Cuban revolution.

musicians play in the street in Trinidad, Cuba

musicians play in the street in Trinidad, Cuba. Cuban music is popular throughout the world and is influenced by West African and Spanish music.

Cayo Coco, Cuba

Resort view in Cayo Coco, Cuba

Sugar, Cigar & Rum

Cigar rolling

Cigar rolling

Cuba is all about its sugar, cigars and rum, and you can discover these famous products on a fantastic Cuban-themed excursion to the town of Moron. Travel back in time with a ride on a horse and cart and find out how Cuban sugar and rum is produced with a tour of a traditional sugar mill, you can even bring back a souvenir bottle of rum and a cigar! Afterwards, go wild and visit some of Cuba’s most dangerous reptiles at the Crocodile Breeding Farm, followed by a relaxing lunch in the Cayo Coco countryside.

Prices for this fascinating day out are just £44 for adults and £15 for children.

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Italy’s Most Romantic Destinations

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Italy is arguably one of the world’s most romantic getaways. It is a culture rich in the ways of pleasure – from its food and drink, to its music, architecture and love affair with couture, literature and art. It seems designed for couples in search of romance in its deep, dramatic corners.

Here are a few of its most delectable destinations; from the Amalfi Coast to Turin, Italy is the beating heart behind any romantic trip.

The stunning Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast is the chicest and snazziest coast to be seen at.  Appropriately nicknamed ‘the road of 1,000 bends’, the miles of landscape bursting with sparkling lemon trees and vibrant olives groves is set to a backdrop of dazzling blue sea.

The beauty of this coast is that the view is so breath-taking you’ll want to spend the day luxuriating in it. For this, couples might try picturesque Positano, glamorous and beguiling with its buildings seeming to hang precariously off the cliffs.

The Villa Rosa hotel is especially lovey, serving hot coffee and pastries on the sunbathed terraces in the morning. Furore is also a characterful stop – full of colourful murals and a rugged lime scale landscape, filled with vines.

 

Turin

Turin

To the west of Turin is a ski area rather romantically coined, ‘The Milky Way’ and it is a part of Italy that doesn’t disappoint couples looking for a love nest in wild and wonderful climes. There is 400 km of piste and 140 ski slopes.

Curl up together with a wine after taking in the slopes at the elegant Claviere resort and feel all warm inside. Turin also has an array of stunning eateries for intimate dining experiences with your loved one. A particular spot that seems too good to miss is Circola dei Lettori. It was an old private members club, attracting writers, poets and artists – you can spot who’s who from the line of portraits hanging on the restaurant walls.

There are still book launches and workshops on this restaurant’s lavish crimson carpets, which add to the Old Romance of this charming spot – and the menu seems steeped in creative ideas.  

 

Naples               

Romance

Bay of Naples

Italy’s third largest city is far more artistic and romantic than many give it credit for. There is a heap to do and see here if you are on a romantic weekend. Opera in San Carlo is a place of exquisite charm, full of historical grandeur.

One of the oldest opera houses in Italy, it has housed many of the world’s finest composers – Bellini and Rossini have both acted as directors here. An evening here is a very worthy visit and a memorable stamp on a romantic trip. The famous painter, Caravaggio lived in Naples for four years after fleeing a crime – killing Ranuccio Tomassoni in a duel.

Three of his works now hang in Naples: Seven Acts of Mercy, The Flagellation and The Martyrdom of St Ursula. His murky past, dramatic life and sublime work cast a certain romantic charm to a visit.  

Naples is famous for its coffee. For couples that want to spend hours together, sipping, chatting and soaking up the real, day-to-day life of Naples together, get lost in coffee culture. Served hot, strong and sweet, try Intramoenia Caffee Letterario for a coffee in one of the city’s most beautiful piazzas.  Or Caffee Amadeus, where a heartfelt message can be patterned into your loved one’s foam.

 

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Overheard In The Air

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It all comes out at 35,000ft. Here’s a selection of the baffling, terrifying and downright daft things kids have said in the air – as reported by parents and Thomas Cook Airlines cabin crew:

This article has been taken out of the Thomas Cook Holiday Report, find out more about the report here: The Thomas Cook Holiday Report 2018

1.

As the Captain announces he is preparing to land, young girl shouts:

“Would someone please tell the Captain I am just not prepared to land!”

via GIPHY

2.

Child says to man in front: “I am going to Spain, where are you going?”

via GIPHY

3.

“Aah, so this is heaven.” Scared lady in front: “I really hope not.”

via GIPHY

4.

While 30,000ft in the air: “Mummy I’m hot, can I open the window?”

via GIPHY

5.

“Daddy, what if we fly into Santa Claus?”

 

via GIPHY

 

6.

Four year boy old says to Mum after take-off: “Mummy, that made my willy go all tickly!”

via GIPHY

 

7.

“What planet are we on Mum?”

via GIPHY

 

Canaries

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First time visiting… Antalya

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Never been to Antalya in Turkey before?

There’s plenty to see in the popular area of Turkey that you can’t possibly do it all in one trip, that’s why we have put together our top 5 things to do in Antalya for first timers.  Whether’s its waterfalls, beaches or history, Antalya has something to please every traveller looking for adventure.

 

1. Kursunlu Waterfalls

Kursunlu Waterfalls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hidden at the end of a trail in tranquil shady forests lies the Kursunlu Waterfalls.  You can hire a car, hop on a bus or take a daily tour to this site – it’s just a 20 minute journey from central Antalya.  You’ll immediately fall in love with the remote and peaceful setting, the waterfalls are the perfect place to unwind after a busy day sightseeing.

As you’re walking along the paths towards the falls, look out for wildlife – there are trout in the rivers and turtles in the lakes. The paths have plenty of picnic spots along it so make sure you bring some food with you and take your time.

The Waterfalls are spectacular, with water streaming down across the rocks into the green-blue waters below. Kursunlu is smaller than Duden Falls but a more peaceful day out.

Top tip: The falls are reduced to a trickle during the dry summer months, so best to visit in Spring or Autumn –  however, the picturesque walk is worth the visit alone.

2. Termessos

Aspendos may get all the tourism fame, but Termessos beats it hands down for atmosphere.  Termessos was a Pisidian city built at a lofty altitude of more than 1000 metres in the Taurus Mountains.

The well-preserved remains of this fascinating ancient city lie scattered along a hillside, the result? jaw-dropping views across the surrounding countryside.

Like anywhere worth visiting, this site requires sturdy shoes and a thirst for adventure – take plenty of water if you want to fully explore the site.

 

Termessos

Top tip: Don’t miss the theater, where the vistas across the peaks of the Taurus Mountains are incredible – it’s a longer walk but so worth it.

 

3. Kaputas Beach

Voted as one of the worlds best beaches, Kaputas is a hidden gem popular with locals – perfect for a first time traveller to Anatalya as it will leave you wanting more.

Situated between Kalkan and Kas, the beach at Kaputas was formed by a gorge that opens out into a stretch of sand.  There are very few facilities on the beach, so take water and shade if you’re planning to stay a while.

Top tip: Minibuses between Kalkan and Kas stop off at Patara, go on a windy day there will be some impressive waves.

 

Kaputas Beach

 

4. Kaleici

Also known as Old Antalya, historic Kaleici is at a sight to behold.  With its massive stone walls, meandering streets, and picturesque old houses, visiting Rome Kaleici is like going back in time.

You enter the city through Hadrian’s Gate that was built in 130AD to commemorate Emperor Hadrian’s visit to the city. Kaleici is now a protected area, in order to preserve the historical buildings and stop construction projects that coould spoil the prehistoric skyline.

Top tip: Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and traditional food served in the range of restaurants in the town.

 

5. Antalya Muzesi

If it’s Turkish history you’re after, don’t miss this excellent museum.  The exhibits showcase all the best finds from sites across the Turkish coast.

The museum offers displays from the Bronze Age to Byzantium, with a particular emphasis on ruins in the nearby area.

Antalya Muzesi

 

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Top tips for first time flyers

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Are you a first-time flyer?  Flying for the first time can be daunting and exciting at the same time, to help your flight go as smoothly as possible we have put together a handy guide for all you first-timers.

Know before you go…

  • Make sure all documents are in order at least a month before travel, check the expiry dates on your passports, check visa requirements for the destination you are travelling to and make sure you have digital/paper copies of all other booking confirmations such as parking, car hire and airport hotel.  If you have hired a car don’t forget your driver’s license – it’s also handy to have one as an extra piece of identification.
  • If you chose to check in online some airlines will issue a boarding pass that you can either print out or display on your phone.  You can also choose your seats online to ensure that you and your travelling partners are all sat together then you can simply arrive at check-in and receive your boarding passes with pre-selected seat numbers.
  • Make sure you don’t go over your booked baggage allowance, check your booking to find out how much you can take in kilograms over how many cases.  Once you have packed, weigh your luggage using some hand-held luggage scales or bathroom scales.
  • Make sure you have booked your travel insurance before you leave for your holiday. You might want to print out your policy documents, however, a digital copy within an e-mail will be sufficient.

 

 

At the airport… 

  • Most airports will have guides for first time flyers written specifically for their first-time flying customers, which should help you to familiarise yourself with the specific situations you’re likely to encounter while travelling.
  • Arrive at the airport early so you can account for traffic, parking time and longer queues. The more time you have the less stressed you will feel.
  • Before you go through security make sure you have separated your liquids from your hand luggage and put them in a clear plastic bag, listen to the instructions given by security staff to avoid any unnecessary delays – for more information of what you can and can’t take through security click > here

 

.Images by Gareth Jones

On board…

  • Take the time to watch the flight safety demonstration or video and then make sure you read through the flight safety card during take-off.
  • Take some hard sweets or chewing gum with you to have on the plane during takeoff and landing – sucking or chewing will help to pop your ears during the changes in cabin pressure.
  • It’s normal to feel some bumps while the plane is climbing and descending, so don’t worry – make sure you read our article on aeroplane turbulence to find out more about the facts behind those common bumps and what to expect.
  • When the plane reaches cruising altitude, which is usually the highest it will get, the captain will turn off the seat-belt signs and only then can you get up and stretch your legs or visit the loo.
  • While airborne, make sure you take advantage of what’s on offer.  If you are flying short haul (1-3 hours) most airlines don’t offer personal in-flight entertainment, so make sure you have your tablet or mobile device to keep you entertained.  The extra time is also a great excuse to read a good book or magazine.  You can pre book a meal or purchase hot and cold drinks or snacks from the trolly service.
  • If you are flying long haul (6+ hours) most airlines will provide seatback on-demand in-flight entertainment and in-flight meals are usually part of the onboard service.

—————————————————————————————–

If you suffer from a fear of flying and are going to attempt your first flight soon, try the ‘Fly and be Calm’ audio method > here.

 

The post Top tips for first time flyers appeared first on Thomas Cook Airlines Blog.

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Top tips for first time fliers

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Are you a first-time flier?  Flying for the first time can be daunting and exciting at the same time, to help your flight go as smoothly as possible we have put together a handy guide for all you first-timers.

Know before you go…

  • Make sure all documents are in order at least a month before travel, check the expiry dates on your passports, check visa requirements for the destination you are travelling to and make sure you have digital/paper copies of all other booking confirmations such as parking, car hire and airport hotel.  If you have hired a car don’t forget your driver’s license – it’s also handy to have one as an extra piece of identification.
  • If you chose to check in online some airlines will issue a boarding pass that you can either print out or display on your phone.  You can also choose your seats online to ensure that you and your travelling partners are all sat together then you can simply arrive at check-in and receive your boarding passes with pre-selected seat numbers.
  • Make sure you don’t go over your booked baggage allowance, check your booking to find out how much you can take in kilograms over how many cases.  Once you have packed, weigh your luggage using some hand-held luggage scales or bathroom scales.
  • Make sure you have booked your travel insurance before you leave for your holiday. You might want to print out your policy documents, however, a digital copy within an e-mail will be sufficient.

 

 

At the airport… 

  • Most airports will have guides for first time flyers written specifically for their first-time flying customers, which should help you to familiarise yourself with the specific situations you’re likely to encounter while travelling.
  • Arrive at the airport early so you can account for traffic, parking time and longer queues. The more time you have the less stressed you will feel.
  • Before you go through security make sure you have separated your liquids from your hand luggage and put them in a clear plastic bag, listen to the instructions given by security staff to avoid any unnecessary delays – for more information of what you can and can’t take through security click > here

 

.Images by Gareth Jones

On board…

  • Take the time to watch the flight safety demonstration or video and then make sure you read through the flight safety card during take-off.
  • Take some hard sweets or chewing gum with you to have on the plane during takeoff and landing – sucking or chewing will help to pop your ears during the changes in cabin pressure.
  • It’s normal to feel some bumps while the plane is climbing and descending, so don’t worry – make sure you read our article on aeroplane turbulence to find out more about the facts behind those common bumps and what to expect.
  • When the plane reaches cruising altitude, which is usually the highest it will get, the captain will turn off the seat-belt signs and only then can you get up and stretch your legs or visit the loo.
  • While airborne, make sure you take advantage of what’s on offer.  If you are flying short haul (1-3 hours) most airlines don’t offer personal in-flight entertainment, so make sure you have your tablet or mobile device to keep you entertained.  The extra time is also a great excuse to read a good book or magazine.  You can pre book a meal or purchase hot and cold drinks or snacks from the trolly service.
  • If you are flying long haul (6+ hours) most airlines will provide seatback on-demand in-flight entertainment and in-flight meals are usually part of the onboard service.

—————————————————————————————–

If you suffer from a fear of flying and are going to attempt your first flight soon, try the ‘Fly and be Calm’ audio method > here.

 

The post Top tips for first time fliers appeared first on Thomas Cook Airlines Blog.

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10 Mistakes Every First-time Flyer Makes

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Flying can be stressful, whether it’s having all the proper documents ready including an in date passport, keeping within the baggage allowance limit or making sure to make your flight on time – if you are a first-time flyer the experience can be daunting.

While not every first-time flyer will confuse the flight time with the boarding time, there are some common mistakes that first-time travellers frequently make – and even some frequent flyers!

Confuse Flight Time With the Boarding Time

If your flight departs at 11am, arriving at the gate 10 or 20 minutes before will be too late and annoy your crew and fellow passengers – you might even find a closed boarding gate – international flights can board up to an hour before departure.

Check your boarding pass for your boarding time and check the live flight update boards within the terminal, they will tell you as soon as you can start boarding and which gate to head to.

 

via GIPHY

 

Check Passports

When you are travelling internationally, some countries require your passport to be valid for at least 6 months into the future.  Some first time flyers fail to research their destination requirements which can lead to devastating consequences.

via GIPHY

Forgetting to Book a Specific Seat

As it’s your first flight you will probably want to sit with your family/friends, the majority of airlines allow you to choose your seat at the time of booking which will guarantee seats together.  A lot of first time flyers fail to do this until check-in which can mean you are less likely to get seated together.

Packing Too Much

One of the most common mistakes a first timer flyer will make is going over the baggage allowance, packing is a fine art and takes a while to master.  Always check the baggage allowance you have booked or add more to your booking as required. Paying in advance for baggage is often cheaper than charges you will face at the airport if your bag is over the allowance.

via GIPHY

Packing Large Liquids in hand luggage 

You don’t want to be THAT person at security, remember if you do decide to take liquids in your hand luggage: containers must hold no more than 100ml.

The containers should be in a single, transparent, resealable plastic bag – generally, it is one small bag per person.

 

Forgetting your Visa/Esta 

Forgetting to apply for a Visa is an easy mistake for a first time traveller to make.  Some destinations require you to apply for a visa in advance, most will allow you to do this online at a cost – so remember to research your destination before booking to make sure you fit the criteria.

 

Holiday insurance

Stuff happens, even when you travel (but hopefully not!).  Travel insurance can easily be forgotten or left until the last minute, check your insurance coverage with your bank as more often than not this includes travel insurance, if not purchase a one-off travel insurance policy.

Many policies come with protection against cancelled flights, lost bags, or major delays.

 

Exchanging too much money before you travel

It’s always a good idea to have some local currency on hand when you land, but don’t draw too much. If you have too much cash with you and it gets lost or stolen, it will be very difficult to replace. Figure out your budget and grab some cash at your bank, online or an airport cash machine.

via GIPHY

Not preparing for jet lag

Having never travelled before (particularly long haul) you will have never have experienced jet lag, and probably didn’t know much about it either.  Depending on the length of your flight and time zone you are travelling to, jet leg can hit you as soon as you come off the plane.   You can minimise it by sleeping on the plane, relaxing as much as possible or taking a natural sleeping pill or herbal supplement.

 

via GIPHY

The post 10 Mistakes Every First-time Flyer Makes appeared first on Thomas Cook Airlines Blog.

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Maldives-Holiday

10 Mistakes Every First-time Flier Makes

no thumb

Flying can be stressful, whether it’s having all the proper documents ready including an in date passport, keeping within the baggage allowance limit or making sure to make your flight on time – if you are a first-time flier the experience can be daunting.

While not every first-time flier will confuse the flight time with the boarding time, there are some common mistakes that first-time travellers frequently make – and even some frequent fliers!

Confuse Flight Time With the Boarding Time

If your flight departs at 11am, arriving at the gate 10 or 20 minutes before will be too late and annoy your crew and fellow passengers – you might even find a closed boarding gate – international flights can board up to an hour before departure.

Check your boarding pass for your boarding time and check the live flight update boards within the terminal, they will tell you as soon as you can start boarding and which gate to head to.

 

via GIPHY

 

Check Passports

When you are travelling internationally, some countries require your passport to be valid for at least 6 months into the future.  Some first time fliers fail to research there destination requirements which can lead to devastating consequences.

via GIPHY

Forgetting to Book a Specific Seat

As it’s your first flight you will probably want to sit with your family/friends, the majority of airlines allow you to choose your seat at the time of booking which will guarantee seats together.  A lot of first time fliers fail to do this until check-in which can mean you are less likely to get seated together.

Packing Too Much

One of the most common mistakes a first timer flier will make is going over the baggage allowance, packing is a fine art and takes a while to master.  Always check the baggage allowance you have booked or add more to your booking as required. Paying in advance for baggage is often cheaper than charges you will face at the airport if your bag is over the allowance.

via GIPHY

Packing Large Liquids in hand luggage 

You don’t want to be THAT person at security, remember if you do decide to take liquids in your hand luggage: containers must hold no more than 100ml.

The containers should be in a single, transparent, resealable plastic bag – generally it is one small bag per person.

 

Forgetting your Visa/Esta 

Forgetting to apply for a Visa is an easy mistake for a first time traveller to make.  Some destinations require you to apply for a visa in advance, most will allow you to do this online at a cost – so remember to research your destination before booking to make sure you fit the criteria.

 

Holiday insurance

Stuff happens, even when you travel (but hopefully not!).  Travel insurance can easily be forgotten or left until the last minute, check your insurance coverage with your bank as more often than not this includes travel insurance, if not purchase a one-off travel insurance policy.

Many policies come with protection against cancelled flights, lost bags, or major delays.

 

Exchanging too much money before you travel

It’s always a good idea to have some local currency on hand when you land, but don’t draw too much. If you have too much cash with you and it gets lost or stolen, it will be very difficult to replace. Figure out your budget and grab some cash at your bank, online or an airport cash machine.

via GIPHY

Not preparing for jet lag

Having never travelled before (particularly long haul) you will have never have experienced jet lag, and probably didn’t know much about it either.  Depending on the length of your flight and time zone you are travelling to, jet leg can hit you as soon as you come off the plane.   You can minimise it by sleeping on the plane, relaxing as much as possible or taking a natural sleeping pill or herbal supplement.

 

via GIPHY

The post 10 Mistakes Every First-time Flier Makes appeared first on Thomas Cook Airlines Blog.

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Come Fly With Me Study – Terms and Conditions

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1. £150 Incentive
1.1 If selected, each of the 8 participants shall receive £150 in cash for participating. In order to receive the £150 cash incentive we require participants to:

1.1.1 take part in an introductory interview with our Development and Research Representative via a video call lasting no more than 20 – 30 mins;

1.1.2 download the free DScout research App who are collaborating with us for this project. You must ensure that you have updated your phone if required (iOS 10 or higher for iOS users and 5.0 or higher for android users). The DScout App will be used in order for you to keep a diary, provide your feedback and to upload pictures/videos for us to view. This will be over a course of two days (from the day before departure to arriving at the destination. We will use your contact details provided in order to send reminders to you to submit your entries into the App; and

1.1.3 participate in a follow up interview when returning home. Please note: Participants must be willing to record and upload short 30/60 second videos of themselves and/or their smart phone screens while travelling, as well as providing written feedback in the DScout App.

 

2. How to enter
2.1 We are looking for participants departing between Mon 21st Jan – Sun 27th Jan 2019. Participants must also be available for an introductory video between Mon 14th – Fri 18th Jan 2019.

3. A desire to be included in the study must be submitted through the Google survey form via the link provided in the email by no later than 12:00 GMT (Midday) on 14 January2019 (the “Closing Date”). All entries received after the Closing Date are automatically disqualified. Participants will be selected by our team in order to ensure a range of demographics and destinations.

3.1 By submitting an entry, you are agreeing to be bound by these terms and conditions. Our decisions regarding all elements of the diary study will be final, shall be binding and no correspondence or discussion will be entered into.

3.2 The Promoter accepts no responsibility for entries not successfully completed or received due to any technical fault (including any technical malfunction, computer hardware or software failure, satellite, network or server failure of any kind).

 

4. Claiming the incentive
4.1 All participants who have adhered to the minimum requirements (stipulated in clause 1.1) will qualify for £150 cash incentive. This will be rewarded to the participant once the final interview has taken place. The incentive shall be transferred to the customer securely via PayPal and handled securely via the DScout App.

4.2 The incentive may not be claimed by a third party on your behalf.

 

5. Data protection and publicity
5.1 Thomas Cook Airlines will only process your personal information as set out in the Privacy Policy: https://www.thomascookairlines.com/en/our-company/privacy-policy.jsp. Data supplied in the diary study will only be used by Thomas Cook Airlines for research purposes to inform the development team on how best to improve our digital offering.

5.2 Your diary entries and interviews will be stored in the DSCout App in order for us to view the same and will not be published.

 

6. Eligibility
6.1 The diary study is only open to all residents in the UK aged 18 years or over, except:

(a) our employees or any company within Thomas Cook Group PLC;
(b) employees of agents or suppliers of ours or any company within Thomas Cook Group PLC, who are professionally connected with the competition or its administration; or
(c) members of the immediate families or households of (a) and (b) above.

6.2 In entering the diary study, you confirm that you are eligible to do so and eligible to claim the cash incentive. We may require you to provide proof that you are eligible to enter the study.

6.3 Only those contacted and in agreement to participate in the study will be eligible for the £150 cash incentive.

 

7. Limitation of liability
7.1. Insofar as is permitted by law, we, our agents or distributors will not in any circumstances be responsible or liable to compensate the winner or accept any liability for:

7.1.1. personal injury or death except where it is caused by our own negligence, our agents or distributors or that of our employees;

7.1.2. any loss or damage occurring as a result of taking up the prize.

Your statutory rights are not affected.

 

8. General
8.1 Participants are deemed to have accepted and agreed to be bound by these terms and conditions upon entry. If there is any reason to believe that there has been a breach of these terms and conditions, we may, at our sole discretion, reserve the right to exclude you from participating in the diary study.

8.2 We reserve the right to hold void, suspend, cancel, or amend the incentive where it becomes necessary to do so.

8.3 These terms and conditions shall be governed by English law, and the parties submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.

8.4 Insofar as is permitted by law, the Promoter, its agents or distributors will not in any circumstances be responsible or liable to compensate the winner or accept any liability for loss, damage, personal injury or death occurring as a result of taking up the incentive except where it is caused by the negligence of the Promoter, its agents or distributors or that of their employees. Your statutory rights are not affected.

8.5 This diary study is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by Facebook or any other social media sites and participants agree that none of these organisations have any liability for the operation of this promotion or supply of the incentive/prize.

 

9. The Promoter
9.1 The promoter of this study is Thomas Cook Airlines Limited incorporated and registered in England and Wales under company number 02012379 whose registered office is at West Point Peterborough Business Park, Lynch Wood, Peterborough, PE2 6FZ.

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Our 35th annual Flight of Dreams

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We flew 220 deserving children and their families on a very special festive flight above the Manchester skies.… their mission? to find Santa’s Sleigh with Thomas Cook Airlines and the Thomas Cook Children’s Charity.  

This year we once again gave our customers a chance to nominate a child in need they know that really deserves a treat this Christmas. Kids put forward from charities including Cash for Kids and Reuben’s Retreat, as well as those nominated by Thomas Cook colleagues and customers, were greeted by Thomas Cook Airlines check-in staff in Christmas jumpers and hats. For many of the children taking part, it was their very first time on an airplane!

There was a magical festive atmosphere at check-in, with carols, face painting and a little help from volunteers, an airport choir and the Christmas Teddy Bear and Elves from Hamley’s.

The fantastic Hits Radio breakfast team, Gemma Atkinson, Gethin Jones and Dave Vitty also joined in the fun as part of their Mission Christmas campaign with Cash for Kids charity based in Manchester.

The take-off

As the airplane took off for a one-hour festive flight, the pilot urged children to cheer as loud as possible to get the engine started, and cabin crew had children cheering and singing as they searched for Santa out of the window.  The excitement reached its peak when Santa landed his sleigh on the roof of the plane and joined the children on board for presents, photographs and some festive music.

After the plane landed, the children were treated to more presents and a personal chat with Santa himself.

Aoife McDonogh from the Thomas Cook Children’s Charity said “It was a magical day for all involved. For many, this was their very first time on an aircraft and it is fantastic to be able to create memories that will stay with them for a long time. The generosity of staff and holidaymakers means that we are able to bring a lots of smiles to really deserving children and their families.”

Michelle Williamson, Charity Manager at Hits Radio Cash for Kids said “Cash for Kids is so happy to be involved again this year as part of our Mission Christmas campaign. It’s our mission to give a helping hand to disadvantaged and disabled children in Greater Manchester all year round and it’s fantastic to be able to give children who would never get to experience anything like this, the opportunity to have a magical time!”

The Thomas Cook Children’s charity has raised over £900,000 to support nominated charities in regions throughout the UK in 2018, and donations are welcome here.

The post Our 35th annual Flight of Dreams appeared first on Thomas Cook Blog.

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Comment on The Love Map – LGBT+ Pride, Past and Present by Beth Harrison

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Hi,

If you click on the 1975 dot on the timeline then scroll, you will see the first pride in Alaska info card 🙂

Happy pride

Thanks,
Beth

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Flight of Dreams 2018

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It’s that time of year again when our Thomas Cook Children’s Charity invite some local children to enjoy a once in a lifetime experience, to go in search of Santa on a Thomas Cook Airlines plane.  This year we one again gave our customers a chance to nominate a child that they know who really deserves a treat this Christmas.

The magical flight took place on the 5th of December from Manchester Airport with Thomas Cook Airlines and the Thomas Cook Children’s Charity taking 220 deserving children and their families on a very special festive flight above the Manchester skies.… their mission? to find Father Christmas!

 

 

For many of the children taking part, it was their very first time on an airplane. The children and their families from charities including Cash for Kids and Reuben’s Retreat, as well as those nominated by Thomas Cook colleagues and customers, were greeted by Thomas Cook Airlines check-in staff in Christmas jumpers and hats.

 

Festive pilots on the hunt for Santa

 

 

There was a magical festive atmosphere at check-in, with carols, face painting and a little help from volunteers, the Airport choir and the Christmas Teddy Bear and Elves from Hamley’s.

 

The Hits Radio breakfast team, Gemma Atkinson, Gethin Jones and Dave Vitty also joined in the fun.

The Hits Radio breakfast team Gemma Atkinson and Dave Vitty.

As the airplane took off for the one hour flight, the pilot urged children to cheer as loud as possible to get the engine started, and cabin crew had children cheering and singing as they eagerly searched for Father Christmas out of the window. The excitement reached its peak when Father Christmas landed his sleigh on the roof of the aircraft and joined children on board for presents and photographs.

 

After our plane landed, the children were treated to more presents and a personal chat with Santa.

 

 

“It was a magical day for all involved. For many, this was their very first time on an aircraft and it is fantastic to be able to create memories that will stay with them for a long time. The generosity of staff and holidaymakers means that we are able to bring a lots of smiles to really deserving children and their families.”

Aoife McDonogh from the Thomas Cook Children’s Charity

 

“Cash for Kids is so happy to be involved again this year as part of our Mission Christmas campaign. It’s our mission to give a helping hand to disadvantaged and disabled children in Greater Manchester all year round and it’s fantastic to be able to give children who would never get to experience anything like this, the opportunity to have a magical time!”

Michelle Williamson, Charity Manager at Hits Radio Cash for Kids

 

The Thomas Cook  Children’s charity has raised over £900,000 to support nominated charities in regions throughout the UK in 2018.

 

 

The post Flight of Dreams 2018 appeared first on Thomas Cook Airlines Blog.

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