General Discussion: Official holiday thread


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andymakesglasses
andymakesglasses avatar

20190 posts since 26/1/06

16 Aug 2016 15:29
m15try wrote: Just get one of these, load it up with £3k and when you withdraw from ATMs over there it'll be at the spot rate at that time.

Or get a Halifax Clarity credit card. Similar idea, any payments or withdrawals you make abroad are at the published MasterCard rate which is considerably better than what you would get in money exchange places.

You're charged interest on withdrawals but not on card payments. Paying the interest at the end of the month can still be cheaper overall than using a money exchange place, and you have the option to pay off your balance the day that you make a withdrawal if you don't want to be charged interest.
brodie
brodie avatar

6719 posts since 15/10/05

posted 16 Aug 2016 15:45, edited 16 Aug 2016 15:45
Ulster_Blue wrote: Revolut looks good. Legit enough?

Yeah it's great. Used it for 6 months along with a travelex supercard when travelling recently. Only downfall was that there was a limit on free withdrawals per month before charge.
CovOne
CovOne avatar

8652 posts since 17/8/04

posted 16 Aug 2016 16:31, edited 16 Aug 2016 16:31
Got revolut too. Used it a few places so far. App is really handy.
andymakesglasses
andymakesglasses avatar

20190 posts since 26/1/06

16 Aug 2016 17:12
If you've loaded money onto a Revolut card but don't use it all when abroad can you transfer the remaining balance back to your bank account or do you have to spend it via the Revolut card?
Rirawin
Rirawin avatar

9231 posts since 17/7/05

posted 16 Aug 2016 17:46, edited 16 Aug 2016 17:46
I use Halifax Clarity card for all foreign purchases and cash withdrawals - Mastercard Exchange rate 9 times out of 10 is far better than Visa's. If I'm making a cash withdrawal I just load up the card a day before or the day I do the withdrawal, that way no interest is charged.

However, don't withdraw too frequently, as despite paying it off straight away, the act of withdrawing on a credit card regularly will affect your credit card rating. Not good if you plan to make a mortgage application…
brodie
brodie avatar

6719 posts since 15/10/05

16 Aug 2016 17:48
Yeah you can transfer back, takes a few days to appear in your bank account though
Goldie
Goldie avatar

4601 posts since 17/10/07

4 Sep 2016 10:09
Need to get from Palma airport to Puerto Pollensa on my own, anyone ever booked one of the bus transfers?
andymakesglasses
andymakesglasses avatar

20190 posts since 26/1/06

4 Sep 2016 10:46
Yes, we did it through this site 3 years ago and it went through Puerto Pollensa. It takes quite a long time as it stops off at a lot of places, and people can be slow getting on and off, but from memory the bus left in plenty of time to account for that.
phish
phish avatar

271 posts since 5/1/10

4 Sep 2016 13:48
anyone got any recommendations for decent all inclusive resort options in qatar/abu dhabi/dubai? looking to go away for a week march/april next year but keeping cost reasonable
Goldie
Goldie avatar

4601 posts since 17/10/07

4 Sep 2016 17:36
andymakesglasses wrote: Yes, we did it through this site 3 years ago and it went through Puerto Pollensa. It takes quite a long time as it stops off at a lot of places, and people can be slow getting on and off, but from memory the bus left in plenty of time to account for that.
Was that just the general shuttle? Not the express one?
andymakesglasses
andymakesglasses avatar

20190 posts since 26/1/06

4 Sep 2016 20:41
It doesn't say specifically in the booking confirmation e-mail but it was 32 Euros for the two of us for return buses so I think that must have been the basic one.

We were staying in Playa de Muro though (a mosquito-infested hellhole) and the bus stopped at Puerto Pollensa, Alcudia, Port d'Alcudia and loads of hotels in between before reaching our apartment. From memory I think it took about an hour and a half. But the journey to Puerto Pollensa will be quicker as it's an earlier stop.
Brian Damage
Brian Damage avatar

7991 posts since 21/10/03

6 Sep 2016 09:13
Off to Madrid for a few days next week. Any bar/club/restaurant reccs please?
gkitch
gkitch avatar

72 posts since 30/6/11

7 Sep 2016 13:50
bar santurce by the rastro flea market. food is top, especially the calamari.
NigelBenn
NigelBenn avatar

4053 posts since 6/2/08

7 Sep 2016 18:59
Doing Ibiza for the first time next week. Any recommendations?
abagnale
abagnale avatar

653 posts since 6/1/14

11 Sep 2016 10:17
Off to South Africa for work in a couple of weeks. Any tips for Johannesburg and Cape Town? Where to stay, what to do during the day, where to drink at night? I'll have the weekend off in Cape Town so mainly interested in this.
Trent
Trent avatar

1845 posts since 18/1/09

11 Sep 2016 11:43
phish wrote: anyone got any recommendations for decent all inclusive resort options in qatar/abu dhabi/dubai? looking to go away for a week march/april next year but keeping cost reasonable

If you're planning to go to an all-inclusive resort and stay in the hotel then I'd suggest going somewhere else. Best part about the Middle East is the food options. It would cost a fortune to stay in a good hotel all in and if you plan to stay on the complex then I'd suggest somewhere else (i.e. Sri Lanka, Oman, Islands etc)

Happy to give you advice on places if you still feel like doing it though. PS - Dubai is the place to go, not Abu Dhabi (it's a day trip) and Qatar isn't great for tourists at all (I used to live there)
bawseshadz
bawseshadz avatar

1424 posts since 21/9/11

11 Sep 2016 18:01
Trent wrote:
phish wrote: anyone got any recommendations for decent all inclusive resort options in qatar/abu dhabi/dubai? looking to go away for a week march/april next year but keeping cost reasonable

If you're planning to go to an all-inclusive resort and stay in the hotel then I'd suggest going somewhere else. Best part about the Middle East is the food options. It would cost a fortune to stay in a good hotel all in and if you plan to stay on the complex then I'd suggest somewhere else (i.e. Sri Lanka, Oman, Islands etc)

Happy to give you advice on places if you still feel like doing it though. PS - Dubai is the place to go, not Abu Dhabi (it's a day trip) and Qatar isn't great for tourists at all (I used to live there)

Advice on Dubai…places to go/see. Cheers man. Going in 3 weeks time.
Trent
Trent avatar

1845 posts since 18/1/09

12 Sep 2016 08:06
It should be starting to cool down by then! Which hotel are you staying in? It's a huge place and I can be more specific to restaurants etc around you. I've stuck a few groupon vouchers against things to give you a gauge for prices.

First off, depending which airport you're flying into then if you have a chip in your passport you can use the scanner and beat the immigration queue. Secondly, you'll be ushered into the more expensive black cabs (or hassled at the airport by a local to overcharge you in a taxi queue). You need to get in a normal taxi, these are cream / yellow. Taxis are quite reasonable and despite the metro being great, it doesn't get everywhere so taxis are good unless you're on a budget. Most hotels will have a shuttle service to populate places - Dubai Mall / Mall of Emirates / Marina / Creek

If you want to lessen the burden of expensive alcohol then BUY FROM DUBAI FREE IN THE AIRPORT. Aside from hotel bars and restaurant this will be your only place to pick it up. Most bars are happy hour from 4-8pm daily. Pick up a Time Out Dubai magazine on your way through the airport.

If you want to go up the Burj Khalifa, book in advance and it'll save you about 50%. You can also download the Entertainer app which gives 2 for 1 at certain restaurants, I can probably ping you over vouchers if you know where you want to go.

I would suggest you at least do some of the following:

- Burj Khalifa (I'd suggest at least if you don't go on the tour then try Atmosphere (bar) in there) / Dubai fountains (start at 7pm and every 30 mins after) - Thiptara or Karma Kafe are good places to eat and watch. You could have a wander around Dubai Mall from here too.
https://www.groupon.ae/deals/at-the-top-burj-khalifa-6

- Burj Al Arab. I've never actually been in here and I'd been to Dubai maybe 8 / 9 times before I moved here 18 months ago. I'd suggest that if you want to get some phtos outside of it that you go to Beach Bar or better yet 360 bar in Jumeirah Beach Hotel (the wave shaped one adjacent). Failing that, the Madinat has a few nice bars and restaurants too.

- Dubai Marina. Nice walk and impressive to think this didnt exist 10 years ago. Can hire a boat relatively cheap here. Pier 7 is good for food (The Scene is Simon Rimmers restaurant but there is a bar restaurant on each of the 7 floors). The Yacht Club is good for views, drinks and food.
https://www.groupon.ae/deals/open-sea-flouting-restaurant-2

- Dubai Creek. This is more authentic and away from the shiny side of Dubai. There's a nice hotel XVA which has a gallery attached in the cultural centre. Also, Creekside Cafe is nice. Wander round the textile souk then get an Abra (boat) across to the gold / spice souk, it's a dirham (about 15p). Most of the more cultural things are down this side of town.
https://www.groupon.ae/deals/happy-days-sea-cruising-llc-2

- Brunch. Brunch is an institution in Dubai. You can go from 1 star to 7 star and range from 100dhs to 750dhs (about 150quid). Most tourists opt for Saffron @ The Atlantis which is about 500dhs - all you can eat and drink for 4 hours from 12-4pm on Friday. Friday's are the most popular day. There are loads of these - Mina A Salam is my favourite.

- Beach clubs. There are a few of these. Depends what you're after and went they re-open. Ibiza types vibes at Blue Marlin and Eden etc. Barasti is a bit brits abroad. Zero Gravity kind of cuts between those. There are big names playing every week but rarely planned in advance. I can let you know what is on close the time.

JBR The Walk - Cool and popular beach front amassed with hotels, bars (inside the hotels), cafes and restaurants.

Desert Safari - Land Cruiser into the desert with a local up and down dunes then to a Bedouin tent for drinks and shisha. Given the time of year I would suggest an early morning, the night tours are usually better.
https://www.groupon.ae/deals/dream-night-tours-6

Water Park - Wild Wadi / Aquaventure. I'd probably suggest Aquaventure on the Palm out of the two.

Trip to Musandam (Oman) - beautiful (google it) just outside of the UAE.
https://www.groupon.ae/deals/water-world-tourism-llc-5

Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi - very impressive and you can get inside, you'll have to wear a kandora if you're in shorts. It'll take about an hour from Dubai.

I know the travel heads will probably hate me saying this but a two-day ticket on the Red Bus will give you a gauge for what you want to see. Aside from the above there's Al Serkal Avenue (art galleries), shooting ranges, great golf courses, City Walk, outlet malls and Theme Parks (which should be open by your arrival but I can't comment on quality just yet)


Trent
Trent avatar

1845 posts since 18/1/09

18 Sep 2016 06:43
Anyone done Seychelles? Just booked flights but no hotels yet. Hoping to dot around islands though.
stoney
stoney avatar

17376 posts since 22/1/05

18 Sep 2016 18:08
looking for somewhere warm in like 3 weeks time (no canaries) was thinking Santorini, mate suggested Sicily, anyone got any thoughts of somewhere decent and warm on the med ?