Archive for category Travel

Budget Travel false advertising?

It’s that time of year where a lot of us think about getting away to the sun for a few weeks to destress ourselves and reenergise our batteries. Well being no different than everyone else, I decided to see if I could get any great last minute deals.

My first port of call was the famous Budget Travel (www.budgettravel.ie) – they always seem to have great last minute deals for your typical package holiday which is all I’m looking for. Nothing fancy, just a quick, relaxing week in the sun….

So it was no surprise when I found holidays to Lanzarote with prices from €189 per person sharing. But having been caught out in the past with Ryanairs hidden charges and with Michele discussing Aer Lingus’s stealth charges, I decided to do a test to see how much the holiday would actually cost.

Unfortunately, Budget Travel is no different and probably worse than Ryanair. At least when Ryanair say they don’t have any fuel surcharges they mean it. But this is not the case for Budget Travel. If you happened to have picked up the Budget Travel brochure by now, you will see on the front cover a big message stating “No Fuel Surchrage Guarantee”. I don’t know what this is in reference to, but it certainly isn’t referring to ordering online.

Here’s an example of the quote I got online from Budget Travel – bear in mind that I chose a weeks holiday for 2 at an advertised price of €189 per person sharing.

So as you can see – there is a fuel surcharge of €50, a late booking fee of €30 (how ironic, how can you charge for a late booking fee??) and of course, the lovely Inbound Together Seating charge… Brining the total cost to nearly €150 more than what they advertised.

I know you can’t complain because it’s still a very good price, however It’s about time the government outlawed this sort of false advertising!

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Tsappi Hotel, Kremasti, Rhodes

I’m just back from a last minute holiday to the sun. In the past I would have gone to any destination, just go get away but this time it was different, we had our little baby girl to think about.

After much whinging at the missus to get her to organise a holiday away with me, I finally gave up pestering her about it and told her I wasn’t going away this year since she didn’t seem that pushed….

Well that was definitely the wrong thing to do, she was now determined to go on holidays and took it on herself to go off and book the holiday. I got a phonecall from her on the Thursday afternoon, “all booked, we’re going to Rhodes on Sunday…..”. I was stunned!! What hotel, what resort i asked??? “Well that’s why I’m ringing you”, she said. “Can you look up the Tsappi Hotel in Kremasti, Rhodes”, that’s where we are staying.

So off I went researching the place and the hotel. There was plenty of information on the location, located just 10 MINUTES from the airport, small village, not much to do etc….. I could find absolutely nothing about the hotel itself. At this stage I was quite worried, we were bringing a 3 month old baby to a place that sounded like a hole and it looked like the hotel didn’t even exist! Anyway, I just thought, feck it, I’ll deal with it when I get there, at least I know not to expect much.

When we arrived in at the Tsappi Hotel, it was obvious right away that it wasn’t a hotel at all. It was merely a nice name for a set of apartments. From the outside they were clean and modern looking compared to the other buildings around this deserted little village. On the inside, not too bad either clean enough, but no air conditioning. This was obviously worrying as our little baby was already sweating with the heat. In an attempt to cool her down, I went out onto the balcony with her. Only sitting for two seconds, I could see what looked like headlights of a Juggernaut heading towards me. I knew though that there we no roads in the direction i was looking. Pretty quickly it became apparent though, that this in fact was a very low flying plane, heading right in our direction. In fact we were right in the path of planes landing at the airport. Just to give you a flavour of how close, you can view the video below, or just look at this on Google Maps (below – click to enlarge)…… The second swimming pool to the right of the airport is the Hotel Margaret, which was just a few yards away from where we were staying.


View Larger Map

Oh, and the video evidence…. this was taken on my mobile phone and is on it’s side. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MX59NcvjDIo

There was absolutely nothing else to do on the holiday, granted the beach was nearby and the main village was about a five minute walk (through a housing complex).  The village was lovely, but very little there. Prices weren;t much cheaper than here in Ireland for eating and shopping, but the beer was cheap!

All in all, unless you are looking for a complete flaking out session don’t go here and oh if you think airplanes flying over your head every 60 seconds, with between 15-20 min intervals, steer clear of this place!! :)

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