Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Deals of the week - (NYC & Boston £270, Qatar 48 flash sale, free hotel credit)

My round up of the best flight, hotel and air mile deals currently going round the inter web this week.

Flight deals, calms travels, www.calmctravels.com, avios deals, deals, holidays, flights


Qatar Airways (48 hour flash sale)

Economy (flying from London, Manchester, Birmingham or Edinburgh)

Dubai, travelling in June = £311 - £330
Bangkok, travelling in Oct/Nov = £420-£440
Singapore, travelling in Nov = £450-£475
Bali, travelling in June = £450-£500


British Airways 

Business Class (flying from Inverness)

Inverness - LHR - New York, travelling anytime = £1300

Availability is wide open through the summer and to the end of the year. The booking is through British Airways but from London - NYC you will be flying on an American Airlines 2016 business class seat on their Boeing 777 (most people actually find this better than British Airways business class).

Economy (flying from Inverness)

New Yorktravelling between 28th Sep - 21st October (KLM) = £295 
New York, travelling 12th to 17-18 or 19th Dec (KLM + Delta) = £295 

Boston, availability wide open through the year (KLM or BA) = £270 or £300 
(you can actually pick a long layover in Amsterdam (KLM) for no extra cost making this a great twin centre trip)


50% off a booking with Booking.com

The guys at Inside Flyer have posted a link which allows you to get $40USD cash back after a stay, so if you book a hotel for $80 you will get $40 back. its worth using this if your planning a cheap stay somewhere (city break to Glasgow?).

10% of code for hotels.com

Hotels are currently running a 10% discount code, click here to access the site and use code "JUICY" to get 10% off all bookings.

50% extra Avios when purchasing them on Iberia 

If you have an Iberia account (Spanish equivalent of BA) you can get a 50% bonus on all Avios purchased on the site. You will need to have an active Iberia account for this and the offer ends on the 1st of June.

30,000 Avios = 385 Euros
150,000 Avios = 1800 Euros

It works out at around 1p per Avios which is good if you are using a 2 for 1 companion ticket (click here to read about my beginner guide to Avios) but I would only really be buying some if you need a few extra to get the flight you want.

Heres a quick example of a flight to NYC in Business and First Class

Cash Ticket (normally price) 
Business = £2200 per person (so two people = £4400)
First = £4000 per person (so two people = £8000)

Reward flight using Avios and a 2 for 1 voucher (for 2 people)
Business Class Reward seat = 100,000 Avios + £960 taxes (£480 per person)
First Class Reward Seat = 136,000 Avios + £1080 taxes (£590 per person)

So as you can see buying Avios can actually be a cheap way of flying Business or First class. There will be more 50% bonus deals later in the year so don't worry if you missed this one.

Make sure you sign up to my email subscription to get all the best deals and points straight to your inbox. 


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Sunday, 28 May 2017

Best 5K route in Glasgow - (passing some of the cities most iconic sights)

I don’t run much but on the odd day that I do go for a little jog I cant imagine anywhere better than this flat land route via some of Scotlands most famous modern buildings. This is a simple 5K flat land route that you can run, jog or walk round with ease. 

Cal Mc Travels, Finniestion Crane, Glasgow 5K

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Thursday, 25 May 2017

Cheap flights to New York and Boston (Edinburgh - NYC or Boston £200 return)

Norwegian Air are again selling some discounted seats to NYC, Boston & Connecticut from their new hub Edinburgh. These flights have just been released so you need to be quick to grab yourself a sub £200 return flight to the big apple. Also there is at least 3 seats on each flight at this price possibly more. 







A quick search over on www.norwegian.com comes up with lots of options through the year, enter
any dates and then click the button that says "show low air finder"

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Monday, 15 May 2017

Deals of the week (Business Class flights £800, New York £260, 5* Holidays £800)

Here's my round up of the best travel offers currently floating about on the inter-web. 

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Review of The Royal in Playa Del Carmen (Mexico)


After a trip to Mexico feasting on pancake breakfasts and drowning in booze I’m back home in sunny Scotland and thought I would share my favourite hotel with you guys, The Royal Playa Del Carmen.  If you don’t want to read my ramblings then scroll down to the end for a quick review.

The Royal used to be located at the end of 5th Avenue (the place to be) but after years of expansion in Playa Del Carmen it’s now right in the middle (down a quiet street of course). So forget about those fancy hotels where your isolated from the world (unless that’s what you’re after) and check out the best 5* hotel for those who want to explore.


Rooms

Every room is a suite and at The Royal even the entry level ones have a hot tub. You get an included mini bar with optics and even room service which can be delivered to a drop box removing the need to interact with other humans. If you like to have a view then ask for a garden room or a partial ocean view suite to make the most of the huge balconies.   


Pools

The Royal has three pools, the quiet one, the main one (Olympic length) and most importantly the one with the swim up bar! We spend most of our time at the lively pools but it’s worth a visit to the quiet pool for a more relaxed feel. Bar service starts at 10AM and the staff are always about to keep your drinks topped up.  The main pool has some activities through the day to keep you entertained and some nice loungers in a shallow ledge around the pool to frazzle your skin on. Is it busy? It depends what time of year, in the three times we have been there June was quiet, December was moderately busy and April was heaving. One annoying fact is you have to play the towel game here and reserve your favourite sun lounger early, there are signs to deter you from doing this but unfortunately everyone is at it so you end up just joining them (staff were not removing towels or items left by any patrons).


Food

With 7 Restaurants to choose from theres no lack of choice, there is an extra charge for lobster or to dine at the Chefs Plate (unless you’re in a master suite) but all other restaurants are included. Only Chefs Plate and Maria Marie require reservations, everywhere else allows walk-ins where the most you will wait is 30mins. Pre-dinner tequila anyone? The food is awesome and with Asian, Mexican, Italian, Mediterranean and French restaurants on offer there is enough to keep everyone happy. 


Drink

With optics in your room to top shelf booze at the 7 restaurants and 5 bars there is no staying sober here. Even when the bars close and you want to party-on there is a 24/7 snack room where you can make your own drinks, grab some snacks and play some ping pong. Or you could venture out onto 5th avenue to one of the many insta friendly bars!


Beach 

Every hotel has its weakness and The Royal is no different, unfortunately if you’re looking for a quiet tropical beach you may be best at one of the secluded resorts further up the coast as the beach here is quite rocky and sometimes does have a problem with seaweed. That being said it’s not exactly an ugly beach and since its all public land you can walk for miles and miles along the coast (there is also a swimmable area but its quite small). 

The People


I couldn’t have a review without mentioning the Mexican people and the staff at The Royal, these guys are probably the friendliest and most helpful people you will ever meet! They will make sure that you’re having the best time and never without a drink (it must be a policy to keep everyone well intoxicated)




Quick Review




If you want a luxury Caribbean holiday but don’t want to be confined to your resort then The Royal is the choice for you. Being just 5 min walk to the local bars and restaurants of 5th Avenue yet still having the feel of a quiet resort gives this place the edge over the competition. All-inclusive at The Royal really means all-inclusive - top shelf alcohol, cocktails and enough food to feed an elephant.  they've got you covered.

Distance to Airport = 40 mins by private transfer
The Royal private transfer = £170 return for 2-6 people
Other transfer (Canadian transfer) = £80 return
Target Price = £200-350 per night (depending on high or low season)

Book here 

(remember and sign up to hotel.com reward nights and receive a reward night after 10 nights stay)
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Wednesday, 10 May 2017

16 night triple centre Bali escape with business class flights £1780 (HURRY WON'T LAST LONG)

How about a 16 night ultimate luxury triple centre trip with business class flights so you can enjoy a nights sleep on the plane before waking up refreshed and ready to explore the next location. 

£1780 per person


  • 2 nights in Copenhagen 
  • 3 nights in Singapore 
  • 9 nights in Bali 
  • 2 nights travelling (sleeping on a fully flat Qatar Airlines bed)


For this deal you need to book the following flights no your MasterCard and use the code "MASTERCARD" when booking the Qatar Airways flight (if you don't have a MasterCard then you will not receive the 15% discount)



This Qatar Airways fare is for business class in the new Dreamliner and Airbus A350 aircraft, both have the new fully flat beds and offer one of the best business class products currently available. This is normally a £3000 flight from the UK so getting it for £853 is really a bargain (click the link and enter the dates and flight details into Qatar website to gain the quote).

Added bonus? 


Add your British Airways Executive club number to the booking during check in to gain 10-20,000 Avios for this booking and almost enough tier points to become a British Airways Silver Member (lounge access, free seat selection)

Flights (all return fares)


2nd -19th June =  Edinburgh - Copenhagen       £63
4th - 18th June = Copenhagen - Singapore (Business Class Qatar)      £853
8th - 17th June = Singapore to Bali     £134

Itinerary 


Friday 2nd - Flight from Edinburgh to Copenhagen
2 nights in Copenhagen to explore
Sunday 4th - Flight from Copenhagen to Singapore via Doha ( Business Class) Arrives Next day
3 nights in Singapore to explore
Thursday 8th - flight to Bali (2.5 hours)
9 nights in Bali to relax
Sat 17th June - flight to Singapore
1 night in Singapore 
Sunday 18th June - Flight to Copenhagen from Singapore via Doha (Business Class)
1 night in Copenhagen
Monday 19th June - Flight to Edinburgh

Hotels 


Head over to www.hotels.com and check out some of these hotels, remember and sign up for hotels.com rewards as you will receive 1 reward night after 10 nights stay. Click my link for added discount on the hotels. I have only listed the Bali hotels here, you can check out some of the Copenhagen and Singapore hotels yourself or check out Airbnb for some cool apartments. Click here for £15 off your first nights stay at Airbnb.



5* hotels which all cost £900 for 9 nights 



TOTAL COST (for a couple) 

Flights = £1050 x 2 = £2100
Copenhagen hotel = 3 nights at £80 a night = £240
Singapore hotel = 4 nights at £80 a night = £320
Bali hotel = 9 nights for £900 (from above 5 * Hotels)

 £3560 or £1780pp


Need some help with different dates or with hotel ideas, drop me a message at calmctravels@gmail.com for some free advice. 


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Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Cheap Business class flights from Europe to Asia (£800)

£800 for Business class flights to Bangkok from Europe with Qatar Airways!



This is the cheapest I have seen in a long time, if you credit the flight to British Airways then you will receive almost enough Tier points for BA Silver status.  You will also receive 10-20,000 Avios depending on your status which is worth £100-200 in its self. You will need to book a cheap flight to Venice but it will be well worth the effort.

Deal of the year 


Sofia or Venice to Bangkok
Qatar Airways
Various dates throughout 2017 (I picked October)
Use code "MASTERCARD" (you also need to pay on MasterCard)

Click here 





Other deals worth mentioning (Use "MasterCard" code for 15% extra off)


Stockholm to Dubai - £968
Stockholm to Krabi (Thailand) - £1121
Oslo - Maldives - £1248
Oslo - Singapore or Bangkok - £1050
Nice - Tokyo - £1340

Click here 

British Airways Club World Sale? 

Nothing too exciting here

UK - Dominican Republic - £1250
UK - Cancun - £1700

Click here 

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Friday, 5 May 2017

How to book a cheap Euro Rail trip (with first class rail fares)

With Brexit luring on the horizon you may want to plan yourself a little Euro Rail trip before travelling in the EU becomes that little bit more difficult.

You have probably seen the heavily advertised euro rail websites where you can buy fully flexible monthly passes but it is much cheaper to avoid these websites. Instead try these steps to cut your costs down for a more affordable journey allowing for some added luxuries (like first class rail or swish Airbnb's).


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Tuesday, 2 May 2017

New British Airways lounge at Gatwick South (+ Club Europe flight)

During a recent trip to Mexico with some friends I stopped in past the new British Airways business class lounge at Gatwick and thought I would share some thoughts. 


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