- January 2005
In this issue: (Click on the bold words to move to that article)
Car Hire: The 'lingo' explained
Motorhomes: Welcome to new UK motorhome company
Motorhomes: The positives and negatives of a motorhome holiday
Rail: Want to be 'independent' but don't want to drive in Europe?
Quarterley Trivia competition - now made easier!
Getting to the best value starting point - The European Budget Airlines
Holiday cooking - 2 Quick and easy recipes
Canal boat Holidays: Did you know?
Next issue: Whats coming up
With car rental, there are so many different companies around. Unfortunately though, the inclusions and exclusions are not all standardised so it is difficult to compare. So if you have looked at a couple of rates and some stand out as almost 'too good to be true' then it often can be. It really pays to look at the fine print to ensure that you are comparing 'apples with apples'. As an example – in the USA the Collision Damage Waiver can cost you USD$12.99 per day !! State taxes can be 14% etc. These are the things to look for and an explanation:
An airport surcharge: If you pick up at an airport. Does not apply if you return at an airport.
A premium location fee: Some companies charge this if you pick up in certain areas in London
Additional driver fee: If you want to cover a second driver. Often charged 'per additional driver'
Young driver fee: Often charged if the driver is under 25 years of age
Road Tax or Road Registration fee: A fee charged per day to cover government charges
CDW: Stands for Collision Damage Waiver as is a misnomer as it does not actually 'waive' the fee but reduces it to roughly AUD$750 / GBP500 / Euro 750
CDW Reduction or Excess Reduction Waiver: Where you pay a fee per day to reduce your excess to a lower amount or nil.
Theft Protection: Often called "TPW" or Theft Protection Waiver. Again a misnomer as it does not 'waive' the charge if your hire car is stolen. There still is an excess to pay if the car is stolen.
Theft Protection Reduction or Waiver: Where you pay a fee per day, to reduce or waive excess
London Congestion Charge: When you drive through central London between 0700 and 1830hrs Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays), you have to pay £5 per day. This also applies to hire cars , so if planning to drive through central London, ensure you ask about the procedures in place when collecting your car.
We have Drive and Go who operate out of Southend and servicing the London area. They also have an arrangement with a Scottish supplier so we can also help out of Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Now we welcome EmBee caravans and motorhomes. They service the Manchester area which is handy for those flying into that airport as transfers can be arranged. Plus points
The 'Negatives' of Motorhome Travel
to be 'independent' but dont want to drive
Some handy websites to help you with timetables, routings etc would be:
For the UK - http://www.railtrack.co.uk
Ok, Ok – we heard you. We have 'lightened up' on the questions & made them a tad simpler.
Closing date: 28 Feb 2005. Winner announced March 05 newsletter
Email your answers to : firstname.lastname@example.org
The prize: A Nike travel bag, 2 bottles of Aussie Wine and a $100 travel voucher to be used on this website. The prize will be mailed anywhere in the world.
Here's a little money saving tip. Some countries are better priced than others when it comes to renting a motorhome...or a car. Of course, this is not an 'absolute' statement because every rental is different, so exceptions will apply. For instance our Winter Special out of Amsterdam, is absolutely phenomenal ... less than half the normal price if you travel for 2 or 3 months between 01October and 15April. As you know, we are happy to look at your individual plans & advise you.
So let's say that you are scheduled to fly into London... but you want to start your motorhome rental in Europe. No problem.... Thanks to EU reforms and deregulation you can hop onto the net and book yourself a 'no frills' airline. As an example, in October we flew into London but our starting point for our motorhome was Madrid. Logged onto www.easyjet.com and booked ourselves flights for a measly £12 each – including taxes and charges. We were also smart in that we did two separate bookings. On the return leg from Madrid to London, we paid €12, which worked out much less then £12 because of exchange rates.
But before you go rushing off to check this out, you must be aware of certain things that make up a budget airline. The tickets you book are generally non-refundable and virtually non-changeable.
Some of these airlines fly into non major airports. Flying Ryanair and Frankfurt is an example. The main airport in Frankfurt is Frankfurt-Main (wow! Bet you would never have guessed!) ... but Ryanair flies into Frankfurt -Hahn airport which is 110km west of Frankfurt. Not a major drama really as they are well geared up and busses run regularly into the city of Frankfurt. The cost per adult is Euro 11 one way or Euro 16 return and children up to 7 years are Euro 5.50 one way.
Now if you don't find a direct routing to your destination, you can go part way by plane and then hop on a train...if the alternative full priced airfare is too expensive. However, now that there are so many budget airlines, you should be able to find something.
Now here is something that is going to make you go rushing off to check things out. At the time of preparing this newsletter, 15 December 04, Ryanair are offering absolutely heaps of FREE airfares!!
All you have to pay is the normal tax and booking fee, credit card charges etc. There must be at least 50 destinations that have free seats on offer ...
So these are some
of the budget airlines you can check out... We do suggest
you first go to www.skyscanner.net or www.flightful.com
and see which airlines operate on the route you want and
then you can also check out the individual airline directly....
www.easyjet.com - about 20 destinations from UK to Europe
www.ryanair.com - over 50 destinations
www.flybmi.com - over
www.buzzaway.com - over 15 destinations
www.gexx.de - German discount airline
www.airberlin.com - German
www.air-europa.com - mainly Spain to other European destinations
www.europebyair.com - flight passes with flexibility - large routing
www.skyeurope.com - London to Eastern Europe
www.basiquair.com - London
www.flyglobespan.com - from Scotland to Europe
www.germanwings.com - from UK/Scotland to Germany
www.jet2.com -from Bradford and Leeds to Europe
www.bmibaby.com - from UK to Europe
www.xl.com - from UK to Europe
www.flybe.com - from UK to Europe
Just 2 pots...which is handy as most campervans will have at least 2 gas rings.
Smoked Salmon Risotto (serves 3-4)
Put 4 cups of water on to boil, throw in a vegetable or chicken stock cube or two (nice & tasty) and keep it simmering.
Meanwhile, slice some mushrooms and saute that in a pot with a bit of olive oil. Set aside.
Pour in another tablespoon or two of olive oil and throw in 2 cups of arborio / paella rice.
Coat grains in oil and saute for a minute or two. Add the simmering stock, a ladle or two at a time, allowing it to be absorbed and then continuing in this way until the rice is soft. About 15-20 minutes (If you run out of stock just more water, a bit of a stock cube if necessary and continue simmering). In between ladling in the stock, slice up some smoked salmon and optionally, shred some baby spinach leaves or parsley and when rice is soft and still quite moist remove from heat, stir in the salmon, mushrooms and the 'greenery', and serve with parmesan cheese, cracked black pepper and lemon quarters.
Hint: If you dont like smoked salmon, substitute with chopped bacon which you can stir fry with the mushrooms.
Quick Minced Beef stew
Brown 500g minced beef in a pot. Add a chopped onion and a beef stock cube for flavour.
When browned add a tin of baked beans and about half a cup of water. (more water if you want it to be runnier). You can put in other veggies if you have ie. Tinned corn, peas, mushrooms, etc Simmer for 5 minutes.
Serve with instant
mash, make burritos (use less water so mixture is thicker), on toast
or over leftover rice or noodles which you have reheated.
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