All posts by Darrif William

7 trends that will change the way we travel after Coronavirus

Since the world’s destinations closed their doors to tourists in early 2020, we’ve been left wondering what travel will look like after COVID-19? While we’re hopeful that overseas travel will resume in a similar way to before the virus, there are undoubtedly a few trends set to influence the tourism industry moving forwards.

Let’s take a look at what our holidays could look like…

1. Holidays on Home Turf

Whether you’re working from home and want to upgrade your desk view for the week, or you’re taking annual leave for that well-earned trip – you won’t have to travel too far, as we’re exploring what’s on our doorstep now more than ever. That’s right, staycation bookings have soared throughout lockdown with more and more people taking the opportunity to experience all that the UK has to offer – spoiler alert: there’s a lot more beauty in our back gardens than you might think!

Read Also: 10 products that can help you to travel more sustainably

2. Let’s get sustainable

Sustainable travelhas become a hot topicin recent years, with a strong focus on how we can reduce carbon footprint with eco-friendly products and methods of transport, too. Since lockdown began, one of the few highlights was that we watched the environment slowly begin to heal; with less pollution (due to less people), brighter skies, cleaner waters and more wildlife roaming freely. While some of these positives may only be temporary, it’s time to make a conscious effort and make small sustainable changes that will have a big impact on the planet – starting with a few easy travel swaps. Unsure where to start? Read our dedicated blog and get clued up on the eco-friendly trends to adopt before you travel next.

Read Also: The Safest Destinations to Travel Around the World from the UK Post-Lockdown

3. Flexible Bookings

One thing that many airlines have now implemented due to COVID-19 is flexible booking policies. Having the freedom to book your flights with the option to change the date, destination, or cancel the trip entirely gives traveler’s huge confidence when considering their next holiday. This is a trend we hope will remain for the foreseeable…

4. Meaningful Bucket List Trips

We believe another top trend that the travel industry is going to see is a surge in planning more meaningful escapes – those bucket list trips we’ve been dreaming of. The last year has prompted us to do more of the things we love and make the most of our free time with family, so whether you’ve always wanted to experience the Northern Lights or witness the world’s most beautiful creatures on an AfricanSafari tour, these once-in-lifetime trips are going to fast track their way into our calendars.

5. Working Holidays

Why take a week-long break in order to rush home for work, when you can travel for a fortnight and check off a few emails here and there, too? Lockdown has revolutionized the way we work, with many remote offices around the world innovatively crafted from kitchen tables and a pile of cookbooks to prop up your laptop (or is that just us?!). Since Barbados announced its 12-month remote working scheme, more and more travel lovers are opening up to the idea of working while away and saving those all-important annual leave days at the same time! Working with a beach view wouldn’t be so bad, right?

6. Have you read the rules?

For many, the possibility of a holiday is very exciting – although we should bear in mind that we are still a long way from achieving normalcy, despitemaking positive steps to get there. When planning your next holiday, be sure to read the safety rules and requirements that are issued by the local government and worldwide, so you can stay clued up no matter where you’re heading to. Every destination is dealing with the conditions separately, so be sure to do your research!

7. Bring On The Family Reunion

With Easter, Christmas and New Year being a no-go last year (and half of this year), as soon as travel is permitted, we’re sure there will be a flurry of fabulous family reunions! Whether it’s booking a big trip abroad for some quality time in the sun, or squeezing around a table for a big celebratory feast – we’re sure to see a rise in group travel, gatherings and events.

10 products that can help you to travel more sustainably

Sustainable travel has been a hot topic in recent years, with many brands, communities and individuals  promoting campaigns to help protect our planet – with much of the focus on creating a responsible travel movement. Change in any size or form can be daunting, but we don’t need to do a total 360° in order to make a positive impact, a few small eco-friendly swaps will go a long way – even to Barbados and back!

We’ve rounded up a few of our favourite eco-friendly products to help you travel more sustainably this 2021…

1. Water Bottles

We all know by now the harm that plastic has on the planet, but it’s easily forgotten if we’re heading out in a rush or grabbing lunch on-the-go. Reusable bottles are one of the easiest ways to be more sustainable and you can get some amazing designs from companies such as KeepCup, Chilly’s, Boobalou and more. Not only are will they significantly limit plastic pollution, but they’re cost efficient too – hospitality venues such as coffee shops even charge less for your hot drink when you buy or bring in a reusable cup. It’s a win win.

2. Reusable Utensils

Using reusable cutlery, tiffin boxes and straws can be a great move when you are always on the go – but people may be turned off by thinking they have to juggle even more items in their handbag. But that’s not the case – there are actually plenty of compact and minimal space containers available that can be easily packed and taken with you on all your trips. It’s also a great way to swerve the plastic packaging you’ll find in food stores and always have a straw handy!

3. Microfibre Beach Towel

We know you haven’t been able to hit the beach just yet, but there’s no harm in shopping around for your beach bag essentials now, right? Microfibre towels are a real saviour when you’re thinking of purchasing eco-friendly travel accessories, they’re soft, fluffy, lightweight, compact and often use materials such as organic cotton made from recycled plastic bottles! The best part? Microfibre towels are super absorbant and quick drying, so you won’t have to worry about it causing puddles in your bag.

4. Swap Toiletries For Solid Bars

Did you know you can swap a lot of your toiletries and essential items such as soap and shampoo for a solid bar that’s more efficient to travel with and less harmful to the environment. By swappin to bars, the product itself actually lasts much longer plus you don’t need to pack a lot of plastic bottles in your bag (only to then throw them away) either.

5. Non-Toxic Sunscreen

This may come as a shock, but the common chemicals found in your bottle of sunscreen actually harms the ocean’s coral reefs and other marine life. Approximately 14,000 tons of sunscreen is said to wash into the oceans each year; that’s 82,000 chemicals, which has caused 80% of corals in the Caribbean to be lost in the last 50 years – and it will continue if we don’t make this small change. There are lots of Reef friendly sunscreens available to buy which don’t contain harmful chemicals. A super simple swap that will save our underwater world.

6. Natural Insect Repellent

Insect repellent is one of the most essential items topack before you fly, particularly if you’re heading somewhere exotic. However, there’s evidence to suggest that these repellents may trigger undesireable hazardous interactions with biological systems with potential to have a harmful effect on humans and the environment. This is something you can easily swap it for a nature-friendly repellant, that’s readily available on the market. There are some great options for you to buy from, but we specifically like the solid bar option instead of a spray– add a link to where you can buy solid bar please

7. Canvas Shopping Bags

Canvas bags are the fashion item to pack, whether you’re looking for a chic sustainable tote for the beach or a more practical bag to do your self-catering and souvenir shopping! These eco-friendly bags will stop you from using a number of plastic ones throughout your trip (there could be countless amounts you use without even thinking twice); theytake up very little space in your suitcase, or you can use them as a carry on while at the airport!

8. Bamboo Toothbrush

One billion toothbrushes are discarded every year (that’s enough to stretch around the earth four times!), with each single plastic toothbrush having a negative effect on the planet. 50 million pounds of toothbrushes in total are added to landfills in the US annually, and there’s no time like the present to  reduce this impact. An easy way to go green is to recycle your plastic one and browse for a new bamboo toothbrush instead – since bamboo is biodegradable, you don’t need to worry about throwing it away (responsibly) once the bristles fall off – it’ll do its thing to help the planet, not hinder it.

9. Flip-Flop

Possibly THE most popular item on any holiday is the beloved flip flop. They are fabulous in getting us from A to B in the warm weather, but there is the odd occasion we lose them in the sea which unfortunately results in thousands being washed up on the beach, along with other plastic waste. Introducing the eco-friendly flip flop – there are lots of brands such as Original Cork Shop and Sole Rebels that sell items made with natural materials such as hemp, FSC-certified rubber and more, so you can feel good about your holiday footwear! – add website links to the brands please.

10. Solar phone charger

You wouldn’t leave home for more than a few hours without taking a phone charger with you, right?You don’t have to feel guilty about all the electricity you’re using when you buy a solar phone charger instead. As the name implies, it uses solar energy (aka the power of the sun) to supply the electricity you need for your devices – meaning they don’t require an external electricity source to function. Take it with you on your beach day and you’ll be powered up to send those all-important sun, sea and sand snaps to friends and family back home!

The Safest Destinations to Travel Around the World from the UK Post-Lockdown

Have you been wondering which destinations you can fly to once restrictions start to lift? After a year of lockdowns, closed borders and social restrictions, we’re all eager to grab our suitcases and kick off our travel plans once again – and with leisure travel likely to open in May, it’s important to stay up to date with which corridors are finally being added to quarantine-free ‘green list’ in June.

To help us plan our long-awaited summer beach holidays, a new traffic light system is set to be discussed that would refer to a three-color guide outlining the restrictions travel-seekers would face as the world starts to open up – green signals the go-ahead for restriction-free travel, amber may require restrictions such as COVID-19 tests and quarantines, while red listed countries are likely to face the harshest measures.

While we aim to keep on top of any changes to travel restrictions as the days pass, we’ve rounded up a few of the destinations currently due to open for 2021 tourism in the coming months…

1 – Barbados

The beautiful Caribbean Isle of Barbados has officially reopened its borders to international travel, but there are specific travel protocols in place for both locals and visitors of Barbados during the COVID-19 pandemic, that have been in effect since February 3rd 2021.

Rules and Requirements: Visitors will need to submit a negative COVID-19 test report on arrival no older than three days and submit an ED card 24 hours prior to travel. If your test results are negative on arrival, visitors from the UK must quarantine and take another test five days after the first negative test and quarantine until that test returns positive.

Visit Mauritius, Maldives and Mexico Virtually

2 – Dubai

If you’re looking to visit the UAE, tourists from the UK can currently only visit Dubai and Abu Dhabi. This awe-inspiring city is one of the best places to travel if you want to lap up the luxury, with the best of both worlds to indulge in – from city-sized malls to powder white sands. Rules and Requirements: If you’re travelling to Dubai you will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test no older than 72 hours – in some cases you may need to take another test on arrival. If you’re travelling from UAE to the UK you will need a negative test no older than 96 hours and will be required to quarantine in a government hotel for 10 days.

Best Hotels To Stay At In The Maldives

3 – Maldives

Luckily for us, one of the dreamiest destinations for couples and honeymooners is now open for tourism. If you’ve been counting down the days to escape for a week of R&R with your partner, the Maldives has lifted its ban for anyone who has departed from or transited through the UK in the last 14 days. Take us to the water bungalows!

Rules and Requirements: If you are travelling to the Maldives then you will need to submit a negative PCR test for COVID-19 no older than 96 hours upon arrival.

How well do you know your surroundings? – Scotland edition

4 – Antigua and Barbuda

Located in the Caribbean, Antigua and Barbuda has opened their borders to UK nationals, so tourists can start dreaming of lazy beach days, all-inclusive resorts and mouthwatering local food on their first exotic escape of 2021.

Rules and Requirements: Arriving passengers must wear a mask in public areas while in the country and complete a declaration form. If you are over 12 years you would need to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test no older than seven days.

A Backpacker’s Travel Guide To Ukraine

5 – Cuba

Crowned as one of the world’s most distinctive countries, Cuba serves up miles of white sands, a capital lined with colourful Cadillacs, a few of Hemingway’s favourite haunts, and some pretty spectacular beach resorts. Whether you’re soaking up the sun at an all-inclusive hotel, sipping rum punch on the beach or swaying your hips at an exotic salsa show – there’s so much to be explored in Cuba.

Rules and Requirements: While travelling to Cuba, you will need a negative COVID-19 test report which should be no older than 72 hours. However, you will still need to take another test on arrival in Cuba.

6 – Seychelles

Seychelles is one of the top destinations for that luxurious and lazy beach holiday you’ve been dreaming about. Exotic coral islands, fine dining restaurants and buzzing bars mark their presence in this sweet spot of the world.

Rules and Requirements: You will need to present a negative COVID-19 test report, which should be no older than 72 hours. Your stay must be at a government approved hote, but there will be no restrictions movement restrictions.

7 – Costa Rica

We hope you know how phenomenal Costa Rica is? With its tropical climate, stunning beaches and an attractive culture, it really does stand out among the rest. Adventure enthusiasts will be in their element here, since its rugged landscape serves up a pick ‘n’ mix of beaches, tropical forests, national parks, nature reserves and more.

Rules and Requirements: To enter Costa Rica you will be required to buy Costa Rican insurance and complete an epidemiological form in advance.

8 – Ghana

Ghana has all the ingredients for a perfect holiday; with tribal influences, lush wildlife, rich tradition and culture, balmy beach vibes, ancient history and mind-blowing heritage – it’s a whirlwind destination that’s open and waiting to give you a warm welcome.

Rules and Requirements: If you’re travelling to Ghana you will need to complete a self-declaration form before boarding the flight and a hard copy of the form on the flight. A negative COVID-19 test report is required, which should not be older than 72 hours, followed by another test on arrival.

9 – Saint Lucia

Equal parts adventure and inspiration, St. Lucia is a heaven in disguise. With a warm climate and exotic beaches, the island is nothing short of desirable. While you’re visiting, be prepared for club-hopping, zip-lining, rainforests adventures and mouth-watering fresh seafood…

Rules and Requirements: Everyone entering St. Lucia must complete a pre-arrival registration form. A negative COVID-19 test report is also needed at the time of entry and must be no older than 7 days. Upon arrival you must stay at a COVID certified property.

10 – Bahrain

Also known as Dilmun in ancient times, Bahrain is an eclectic mix of all things old and beautiful. Nestled in the Persian Gulf in the Middle East, Bahrain (which was once known for its pearl trade) still has its fair share of modern skyscrapers and luxury hotels that neighbour its worn history – some of which are sure to give Dubai a run for its money! One of the most iconic places to visit here is the world-class Formula One racetrack.

Rules and Requirements: When you enter Bahrain you will need to pay for enhanced testing at the airport and must self-isolate until you receive the results. If your stay exceeds the five-day mark, travellers will need to take another test. Travellers must also download the BeAware app.

11 – Phuket

Thailands largest island, Phuket is one of the mos popular holiday destinations if you want beautiful far-stretching beaches, bustling city life, vibrant culture and an atmospheric nightlife scene – perfect for honeymooners, groups of friends and families alike. You’ll find a mixture of traditional and tourist life here, where local market stalls rub shoulders with chic all inclusive hotels, but that’s what makes it such an interesting place to visit.

Rules and Requirements: Visitors will have to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival along with a vaccination card as proof for entry. There will be no quarantine if both conditions are met for UK citizens.

12 – Malta

If you’re looking for rich history and culture, atmospheric harbour towns, buzzing nightlife and heaps of activities, Malta is the European gem you should head to first. Explore the UNESCO-listed capital of Valletta, hop on a boat and uncover hidden lagoons and cavess, or wander St Julian’s upmarket town and stop for a bite to eat – when you’re not lazing on the beach of course! Better still, if you like to party, Malta is a destination that’s packed with exciting calendar events and festivals to get involved in!

Rules and Requirement: If you have had your vaccination then you won’t need to take a COVID-19 test before or upon arrival in Malta. You should carry your vaccination card at the time of boarding, also your vaccination completion and time of boarding must be 10 days apart.

Note: This article is updated as per the latest news, any changes are subject to alterations done by the local government after accessing the present scenario.

How well do you know your surroundings? – Scotland edition

There’s an abundance of natural beauty to discover across the UK, and you’ll no doubt find a lot of it in Scotland. This spectacular location is full of rugged landscapes, architectural wonders, quaint villages and bustling cities – so you can guarantee you’ll find something for everyone if a staycation is on the cards this year. We’ve rounded up some of our favourite things to do if you’re planning a holiday in Scotland, from family experiences to breathtaking sights.

1 – Board the Hogwarts Express


Let’s face it; we all wanted a ticket for platform 9 ¾ when we were growing up to board the enchanting Hogwarts Express. Well, we’ve got the next best thing right here in Scotland. Hop on board the Jacobite Steam Train and enjoy an 84-mile round trip to admire breathtaking views of the scenery from your window seat. The train shuttles through places of interest including Loch Eil, Loch Morar and Mallaig, serving up some pretty special vistas along the way.

Where: Glenfinnan

2 – Northern Lights, In Scotland?


Believe it or not, you can see the Northern Lights from Northern Scotland. It’s true, we’re not joking. Experiencing the beautiful Aurora Borealis is at the top of the bucket list for a whole host of travellers, and it’s easy to see why. This natural light display often occurs in high-latitude regions, whereby magnificent green and purple colours shimmer and dance in the night sky due to disturbances in the magnetosphere caused by solar wind. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled if you’re visiting Scotland during the autumn and winter months, when the conditions are more favourable.

Where: Applecross, Lochinver, north of Ullapool

3 – A Wonder Sport

Land Yachting

Ever heard of land yachting? You have? Then you know how cool this experience sounds and look. Land yachting is a combination of motor racing and sailing. Often the locals engage themselves in hosting race with their homies. Scotland offers many sports which boosts your adrenaline rush but land yachting tops it amongst locals and tourists due to it being eco-friendly. If you know nothing about this sport then let us tell you that you will be using your hands and feet to move on land in a three-wheeled vehicle. Got some visual clarity? No? See the picture below.

Where: St. Andrews

4 – Swim With Sharks


Don’t be scared by the title. The basking sharks are friendly creatures who feed on planktons. So you can now relish swimming with them on the west coast of Scotland. You can also enjoy going for snorkelling in the same water body and watch these 10 m long creatures from far. Every summer these sharks can be spotted in the waters, so you know when you need to head to Scotland if you don’t want to miss this. You might even be able to see minke whales, dolphins, seals and more.

Where: Firth of Clyde, off the coast of Oban and around the Isles of Coll, Tiree and Canna

5 – Go On A Microlight Adventure


If you consider yourself an adrenaline-junkie, this is the activity for you. Book a microlight experience and soak up aerial views of Scotland’s rugged landscapes from your open cockpit. You’ll soar above Loch Leven, the Lomond Hills, the Bass Rock and other awe-inspiring natural attractions – and you’ll have a front row view!

Where: Kinross, East Lothian, Cumbernauld and Strathaven

Fun Facts You Didn’t Know About Scotland

We’ve uncovered some unique facts about Scotland we’d love to share with you:

  • Do you know where the tallest waterfall in Britain is? In Scotland. The height of Eas a’ Chual Aluinn is 658 feet and it is thrice the height of Niagara Falls!
  • Scotland is home to over 600 square miles of freshwater lakes – perfect if you like to canoe.
  • Noticed a few redheads on your travels? Scotland is known for having the most redheads in the world!
  • The world’s tallest hedge can be spotted here in Scotland.
  • Also, one of the oldest trees in Europe can be found here – the Fortingall Yew.
  • A flight from Westray to Papa Westray in Orkney takes less than a minute – perfect if you’re in a real hurry!
  • There are over 790 offshore islands in Scotland, so you’ll have a fair share of locations to choose from when you decide to visit.

If you’re filling up your travel tote with all things tartan, you’re in luck as we’ve got some superb flight deals to Scotland for you to book, today. Give us a call to book your UK break. And we’ll help you tailor your itinerary to get the most out of this fantastic location.

Photo Gallery: Visit Mauritius, Maldives and Mexico Virtually

Have you added Mauritius, Mexico or the Maldives destinations to your bucket-list yet?

Let us show you exactly what you’re signing up for when you book a holiday to Mauritius, Mexico or the Maldives; we think you’re going to like what you see….


Mauritius is famous for its stunning beaches, lush verdant greenery and breath-taking backdrops.

Much of the island’s natural beauty can be found across the 150 kilometres of white, sandy beach.

In addition to turquoise waters and white sand, you’ll find rugged mountains, cascading waterfalls and more.


It doesn’t get much more beautiful than the Maldives. This dreamy archipelago is made up of over 1,000 tiny floating islands and 26 natural atolls, which make a haven for those seeking sun, sand and serenity surrounded by azure waters.

Stay in one of the stunning overwater villas and admire panoramic views across the twinkling water. Now that’s a view we wish we could wake up to every day.


History, culture, coastline – and a little more culture.

Mexico is brimming with cultural influences ready and waiting for you to uncover, be it the tasty food, vibrant festivals, ancient Mayan ruins or underwater wonders.

You’ll find a perfect blend of exciting city life and natural scenery, with something for everyone whether you prefer a fast-paced or laid-back holiday. Need any more inspiration? Our spectacular deals on flights mean you could be exploring these destinations much sooner than you think – call us to book your tailor-made holiday today, and we’ll do the rest for you.

The Most Unique Things you can do in Brazil

Brazil is extraordinary to say the least; its flamboyant carnivals, awe-inspiring landmarks, white-sand beaches and verdant rainforests make it one of the most enchanting places to visit on the planet. From its diverse landscapes to its bustling colonial towns, there’s so much to explore in this huge country (the fifth largest in the world, to be precise) – if you’re not sure where to start, you’re in luck, as we’ve rounded up a few of the best things to do while you’re here…

1 – Enjoy A Glass Of Caipirnha

Once you’re in Brazil you have to indulge in a glass or two of the traditional cocktail, Caipirinha. Similar to a mojito, this refreshing, fruity and easy to make drink is made with cachaca, sugar, and lime, and is just as synonymous with Brazil as carnival.

Another must try is Acai, this Brazilian specialty includes Acai palm fruits and berries harvested from the treetops in the Amazon rainforest. This healthy bowl is colourful, full of energy, and makes for a super tasty breakfast or snack.

2 – Getting a Fita Do Bonfim

This Brazilian tradition has been around since 1809 and if you’ve ever visited the country, it’s likely you’ve seen or bought a fita do Bomfim. Also called a WISH RIBBON, they are available in different colours and inscribed with the message “Lembranca do Senhor do Bonfim da Bahia” which translates as “In the memory of saviour of Bahia (Jesus Christ)”. According to the tradition, you tie three knots in the ribbon, symbolising three wishes, which are said to come true with the natural breakage of your ribbon. Pretty special, don’t you think?

3 – Attend Festa Junina

As the name suggests, this lively festival takes place in June and is celebrated throughout the country. Here you get to see the real authenticity of Brazil in terms of food, drinks, culture, costumes, dances and everything on top. Bonfires, local songs and dance numbers will keep locals and tourists entertained for the entire month, making your trip to Brazil this time of year a memorable one!

4 – Experience Carnival

One of the world’s biggest carnivals is, well, Carnival. Hosted in Brazil, the atmospheric Carnival do Rio Janeiro is a four-day event starting on the Friday afternoon before Ash Wednesday (which marks the beginning of Lent). The streets are bursting with vibrant parades, block parties, masquerades, live music and a whole lot of samba dancing. The exotic costumes are otherworldly, but are not only for aesthetic purposes – but form an important part of the story.

5 – Play football on the beach

There is a huge passion for football in Brazil, with it not only being the country’s most popular sport, but a prominent part of its national identity – since the Brazil National Football Team has won the FIFA World Cup Tournament five times, it comes as no surprise! Grab your boots and get involved in the game, whether you play with your kids on the beach or on one of the country’s pitches. Or, if you’re better at watching than playing, go and see a live match while you’re visiting.

6 – Hop On A Beach Buggy

In the Northeast region of Brazil, you can find colourful beach buggy’s to ride or take a tour on. Not only is it super fun, it’s a great way to explore the stunning beaches and coastline without a pile-up of sand in your shoes! Popular with tourists (especially with little racers), these buggies are famous among the locals too!

7 – Take A Cruise To The Amazon

Being one of the most biodiverse destinations on the planet, it’s unlikely you’ll have an experience like this anywhere else in the world. The Amazon is brimming with beautifully rich flora and fauna, which many of us will have only seen on Sir David Attenborough’s documentaries! But if you hop on a cruise, you can go and see this spectacular corner of the world for yourself. If you’re lucky, you’ll meet a few indigenous tribes or you can even take a course on jungle survival! Now that’s sure to impress Bear Grylls!

8 – Go to Oktoberfest

Did you know that Brazil is also famous for its world-class beers? Situated in the city of Blumenau in Santa Catarina, the annual Oktoberfest festival plays host to an abundance of German-inspired brews, traditional dishes, bustling entertainment and costumes – with over 500 thousand visitors over the 17-day period! If you like to party and enjoy a good knees-up, this is the event for you.

9 – Vibrant Nightlife

Brazil is renowned for its high-spirited nightlife, where the party doesn’t confine to a single bar or setting. Instead, we’re talking exotic Samba clubs, lively underground bars, live performances, street parties and more – with a handful of atmospheric neighborhood’s serving up entertainment on tap, including Centro and Lapa.

Feel inspired? We have a variety of fantastic deals to different destinations within Brazil – so you can visit all that this spectacular South American destination has to offer. Book cheap flight tickets to Brazil with Crystal Travel today and let us tailor your holiday for you…