13 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT DUBAI
Did you know that Dubai hosts early morning camel races? Holds around 150 world records? And is home to the tallest manmade structure in the world?
A CORONAVIRUS TRAVEL UPDATE ON THE BALEARIC ISLANDS
What do you mean, where are the Balearic Islands? They’re right where we left them: in the Mediterranean off the coast of the Iberian Peninsula.
IT’S OFFICIAL: SPAIN HAS ANNOUNCED A FOUR-PHASE PLAN TO EASE CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS
Ryanair and EasyJet have announced to be resuming a percentage of flights from 1 July and 15 June, respectively. This is great news for British residents looking to travel to Spain, although the FCO travel advice still advises against all but essential international travel. Teletext Holidays is here to report on the current state of affairs in Spain, so you can make an informed decision about whether and when to travel.
WILL IT BE POSSIBLE TO TRAVEL TO GREECE THIS SUMMER
With various low cost airlines announcing they’ll start to resume some flights in June and July, Greece has also expressed its desire to reopen its borders to international tourists gradually from 1 July. Instead of going through an obligatory 14-day quarantine, tourists from the UK should prepare to be subjected to coronavirus testing.
IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL TO TURKEY NOW?: CORONAVIRUS UPDATES
With EasyJet and Ryanair looking to resume a number of flights in June/July, things appear to be looking up for tourism in Turkey, and the local authorities hope to be able to welcome British tourists again by the end of July or August. That said, the FCO travel advice for British residents hasn’t changed to date, and there are a number of factors to consider before taking the decision to go on holiday to Turkey.
Having worked in travel for over 20 years I’ve been lucky enough to visit many countries and experience the food, drink and culture first hand. Sometimes on business trips it’s easy to fly in and out of a destination and only visit the office or attend the meeting you are there for, and whilst sometimes this is all you have time for I always try, where possible, to add a couple of days to have a look around and understand a bit more about the place, the people and the culture of the destination - or at least soak up some of the sights and highlights.
I have two sons, who have always enjoyed travelling with me (not on business trips!) and so they’ve also developed the travel bug which is great for me! As they’re now a bit more grown up it’s really special to explore new cities or return to places we’ve been before but focusing on the interests they have in the destination.
“From theme park fuelled family holidays in Florida to lazy beach breaks in Dubai and hectic weekends exploring fabulous cities, I love to travel and long-haul has it all.”
One of the hidden gems that I’ve found on my travels is Winter Park - a beautiful green city near Orlando, Florida. You really get to experience authentic, old town Florida here, and a much slower pace of life - there are boutique coffee shops, farmers markets and local art galleries everywhere you look. Winter Park City is like a tiny little piece of history - but it’s only 15 miles from the high energy theme parks and rides of Universal Studios and a 40-minute drive from the magical Disney World.
Another great place I love to visit, but a little further south in Florida is Guppies on the Beach which you can find on Indian Rocks Beach, a great beach destination to combine with an Orlando holiday. It’s a small privately owned fish restaurant that’s frequented by the locals of Clearwater, on the Florida coast. It serves the most amazing fresh fish and has a really nice local atmosphere where people come in straight off the beach, kick off their sandy flip flops and enjoy some amazing food.
Staying with Florida, I have been going to Miami and visiting the beaches and the Keys in south Florida for a number of years with friends and family. I love the Art Deco style of the Miami hotels down on South Beach - it really has that retro 40s-50s feel and it’s full of small, stylish boutique hotels, all of which have memorabilia that harp back to this stylish bygone era. There’s also the magnificent Fontainbleu Hotel Miami, the setting for many American films. The beach is wide and goes on for miles and is great for relaxing and catching some sun or for sitting with a cool beer and watching the world go by.
The latin vibe is very strong as you’re not far from the closest point of the USA to Cuba down in Key West, so once the sun goes down the neon lights come up, the latin music and the smell of cigars is everywhere! It’s a great place for a weekend catch-up with friends.
Dubai is a favourite for that year-round sun. It’s a great place to take the family, regardless of their age. All the hotels are built to an amazing standard and the service is fantastic, I like to stay on The Palm at Sofitel the Palm, which is a little bit out of the city centre, and around 15 minutes away from Jumeirah beach.
There are lots of things for children to do in Dubai: there’s Atlantis waterpark, Wild Waddy, and some amazing shopping malls which are no ordinary shopping malls, one includes an aquarium, and of course don’t forget to take your ski wear to the mall as one even has an indoor ski slope! The highlight of any trip to Dubai is to go into the desert and experience either a camel ride or a Jeep Safari Adventure.There are lots of attractions in Dubai and it’s only an 8-hour flight away from the UK. The Dubai 2020 Expo is happening albeit now in 2021 / 2022 but this will be an amazing event not to be missed and will drive a huge amount of tourism into Dubai.
I recently took a 4 day trip to New York with my eldest son. We went to see the New York Rangers’ play Boston Bruins in an all american ice hockey game in the famous Maddison Square Gardens. It was a hectic few days but with a bit of planning and the help of a hop on hop off bus tour we managed to take in most of the sights and squeeze in a 10k run around Central Park every day. It was such a great city to walk or run around, with the grid system of avenues and streets it’s almost impossible to get lost. We stayed at the Paramount Hotel which is just of Times Square so it was easy to get up in the morning, jump on the subway to Central Park, do our run around the 10k track in the Park, and then stop at the Central Park Cafe for pancakes and coffee. The jogging paths run through the zoo, so you can even see the sea lions get fed on the way round.
On the West Side of New York, you can find an old railway track called The High Line. If you head down to the Meatpacking District, where you will find a lot of little restaurants in old factory buildings, coffee shops and interesting shops, you can then walk back into central Manhattan on the High Line - it will feel like a country walk right in the heart of the city!
Cyprus is a place that i’ve been going to with my family for many years. The weather is great in season and there’s a great mix of culture, beaches and things to do with the family. The local people love having children around and many of the restaurants have kids activity areas within them so once the kids have finished their food they can go off and play with other children in the play area whilst you relax with a drink and they’re still in eye shot.
Many of the hotels are situated on the beach and there are lots of boat trips and water sports that you can book when you’re there including the pirate trip which the children will love and the fishing trip where we caught our first fish! A trip to Famagusta is a must to see the deserted ghost town which forms an important part of the history of the island.
The Dominican Republic is one of the places that I haven’t been to yet. The country interests me - particularly the south of the island, which has seen a lot of new hotels pop up over the last few years. The south coast used to have a bit of a reputation for having older hotels, but a lot of the Spanish hotel chains have upgraded their properties and it now has the newest and most modern hotels on the Island. The Dominican Republic is still one of the most competitively priced Caribbean Islands, but its hotels look amazing and its beaches outstanding. I’d love to take my sons there one day and see Santo Domingo, the highest mountain in the Caribbean.
Did you know that Dubai hosts early morning camel races? Holds around 150 world records? And is home to the tallest manmade structure in the world?
Magical theme parks, rocking rollercoasters, sweeping sun-drenched beaches, scintillating nightlife – Florida has it all.
With a mix of Greek and Turkish influences, Cyprus is an island full of charm and character, dotted with historic sites and ancient ruins to discover.
Andreas’s passion for travel was instilled in him from a very young age, when his parents gave the gene of restlessness to him.
Cathrine Garnell is the author of several children’s novels, and now writes the funnest cat blog in the U.K. and beyond, sharing tips and all things cat at BionicBasil.
Claire Hall is an award-winning UK family travel blogger who juggles life as a mum to two in Devon alongside running a freelance copywriting and social media business. She started her blog, Tin Box Traveller, in 2012 and it is now ranked among the top travel blogs in the country.
Dacey joined Teletext Holidays India in 2007. On her travels, she’s managed to visit the dream destinations that she used to sell as an agent, including Dubai and Goa. Next on her holiday wish list are the Maldives - she can’t wait to travel there with her son!
Dannielle runs the award-winning travel and lifestyle blog While I’m Young. Her blog is for other young (or young at heart!) people who want to see the world.
Dennis is the CRM Manager at Teletext Holidays. Having worked in the travel sector for pretty much all of his career, he knows the industry inside and out - on top of that, he has some impressive travel experiences under his belt.
Donna Wishart is a full time blogger over at What the Redhead said. She writes about all aspects of family life with her two children Athena and Troy. She loves to travel, turns each day into an adventure and is happiest with her family by her side.
Hayley McLean is a homeschooling mother of three children under seven who has run the successful family travel and lifestyle blog Sparkles & Stretchmarks for seven years.
Heather Cowper is an award-winning travel blogger at Heather on Her Travels, writing about authentic travel with a little luxury for the 50+ traveller. Heather shares her travel tales on her blog and social media channels.
Helen Neale is the owner and editor for the kids’ activities and learning resources site KiddyCharts. She has run the site since January 2012, and it currently has over 250,000 page views a month.
Henry Jeffreys worked in the wine trade and publishing world before becoming a full time writer and broadcaster. He now blogs at Henry’s World of Booze. He has written three books: Empire of Booze, The Home Bar and, coming in September 2020, The Cocktail Dictionary.
Ingrid King is the award winning author of five cat books, and the publisher of The Conscious Cat, a website dedicated to conscious living, health and happiness for cats and their humans.
Inma Gregorio runs the sustainable travel and lifestyle blog A World to Travel. An advocate of the simplest things in life, she’s the happiest outdoors, meeting interesting people, and with a camera in her hand.
Jenny is a former midwife, nurse, blogger and mum of three… there isn’t much time for anything else! She loves to support pregnant and new mums.
Jo is a passionate traveler who loves wildlife, the great outdoors and beer! She jots down her worldly escapades on her blog, WanderWithJo.com
Kellie Anderson MSc is a professional cancer health educator and food writer with a taste for global food - and big flavours - made with fresh, seasonal British ingredients. Her blog, Food To Glow, is mainly plant-based.
Laura Dove is a family and travel blogger, wife of Gareth and mum to five very special children. On her blog she shares the highs and lows of parenting, the logistics of travelling as a large family, and showcases the places she has been whilst always planning for her next adventure.
As the former Content Manager at Teletext Holidays, Lauren is heavily involved in all travel content on the Teletext blog and website. When she’s not travelling, she loves to write about the destinations that she’s been to or research the ones she’s yet to visit.
Lucy Dodsworth is a freelance editor and travel blogger at On the Luce, based in Cheltenham in the UK.
Marc is one of the founders of one of the top UK cat blogs, Katzenworld. Katzenworld is a fun and quirky place for cat lovers from all around the world to unite and share their experiences and fun stories about cats. Of course top travel destinations for cat lovers form part of this!
Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006, after her son Diego’s birth, together with a group of mothers who felt the need to meet up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London.
Nichola West writes family travel pieces for her website and blog, globalmousetravels.com. It has been consistently named as one of the top UK family travel blogs for her adventurous travel around the globe and off the beaten track.
Nora Dunn is The Professional Hobo: a woman who traveled full-time for 12 years in a financially sustainable way. She teaches people how they can do the same thing (without glorifying the lifestyle cuz there are enough people out there doing that thankyouverymuch).
Rebecca Smith is a mum in her early 30s who loves travelling, reading and spending time with her family.
A multicultural travel couple, Ruben (who has been to 90 countries around the world on his own) and Rachel have travelled to 15 countries together. Together, they created the blog Gamintraveler where they document their adventures of travel and digital nomad work.
Sam Wood is a British freelance writer, blogger and social media manager living in Berlin, Germany since 2014.
Sarah is the Group Marketing Director at Teletext Holidays. She has lived in Spain and Italy and has travelled extensively through the wine regions in the United States; she now has to adjust her holiday habits to the realities of being a parent to a beautiful baby daughter.
Shobha George is a family travel writer and blogger at Just Go Places. Her work has appeared in both online resources and in print. Most recently, she has contributed both text and photos to The Family Travel Handbook published in January 2020 by Lonely Planet.
Susanna founded the BritMums influencer network in 2008 after a career in marketing. She is often quoted as a pioneer in the Mum Blogging space, has been named a top female entrepreneur and featured in The Times, The Independent, The Guardian and more.
To help everyone experience a little luxury in their lives, Suze and Paul feature the best hidden gems and unique activities.
Varma is the Associate Vice President of Teletext Holidays in India and your go-to person for finding a cheap deal. A true sun-lover, he loves the theme parks of Florida and the beaches of the Bahamas.
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