All posts by Darrif William

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

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?

NORTHERN LIGHTS

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

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

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

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.

Maldives

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.

Mexico

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…

Tips for Flying with Your Pets

So you’re planning your next family reunion somewhere exotic and you want to whisk your beloved furry friend with you too, while it’s not often that we see pooches on planes, it is possible. We’ve got the latest on the best way to fly with pets, so you can enjoy a stress-free flight with your four-legged companion… 

The health of your pet

Before we get into how you can take pets along with you on a flight, you need to understand that flights can be a little daunting for them. You should only consider travelling with your pets if it’s unavoidable or a short flight, since there’s a possibility they could fall sick or (most likely) remain agitated during the whole flight.

Generally, it is advised to not put your pets under this type of pressure until and unless you are changing home permanently or leaving for more than a month. Two weeks in the Caribbean? It’s a no go.

Read More: Places in the world for Solo Travel

Paperwork Required

Your pet would need a health certificate on both arrival and departure, which must be valid for the entire trip. If the certificate expires half way through your holiday, you will have to visit a local vet for a fresh health certificate before boarding the return flight.

The expiration limit of the certificate is 30 days.

Some airlines also require a behaviour certificate stating that your pet is well behaved and won’t cause any kind of nuisance – so it’s best to check with your desired airline prior to booking a flight.

Although the airlines don’t ask/force you to submit any certification at the time of booking or upon departure, it’s wise and responsible on your behalf to carry them in case of any emergencies or hindrances.

Read More: Warm Places to Visit in February Around the World

The procedure of flying with a pet

Flying with a pet isn’t all sunshine and rainbows unfortunately; some airlines can be very strict with which species/breed they are happy to allow onboard. So be sure to check the rules and regulations in advance. Additional things to consider include…

  • Visit the Vet

Your pet’s health should be your number one priority when you’re thinking of flying with them. So a pre-boarding trip to the vet is recommended for any tips and advice required for during the flight.

  • Prep your pet

Your pets must be aware of what to expect before they fly – well, in the best way that they can be, since it’s unlikely they’ll understand when you tell them you’ve booked their seat! It’s a little effort, granted, but it’s wise to take them to the airport facility if possible at least once before you travel, so they don’t panic amongst the crowds on the day of your flight. Also, if they’re not already, make sure that your pet is familiar with their carrier box, perhaps you can give them a little training beforehand for easy handling?

  • Registration

Many airlines allow only a handful of pets on their flights, so you’ll have to register them as soon as possible to ensure they get a ticket. This can be done online or by calling them directly to book your spot (please bear in mind that this rule does not apply to emotional or support animals e.g. guide dogs).

  • Cost

The cost of flying with your pet varies from airline to airline. There are certain factors that need to be considered, including the weight of your dog or carrier they’re kept in, and how far your destination is. You can get an estimation of the cost online or by calling your airline.

  • At the airport

When you are travelling with a pet, you’re advised to reach the airport a few hours earlier than usual. If your pet is going to fly with you in the cabin, then you both need to go through the security check, which can take some time.

Or, if your pet is going to fly in the cargo, then you need at least a buffer of 2 hours, since the flight and cargo terminals can be different at the airports you are departing or arriving at. If you can get access to this prior, a mental map of both airports is a good idea to avoid getting lost, or delays.

  • Carriers

The carrier in which your pet is going to be kept should be large enough to ensure their easy movement. They should be able to stand, turn and lie down without any discomfort – and, of course, have access to proper ventilation.

  • Arrival

On arrival at your destination, you should immediately take your pet for a walk to ease any bodily tensions they’ve accumulated on the flight. If you were to leave your pets for a long time at the cargo facility for any reason, please note that they will be sent away to a vets or another facility and considered abandoned.

  • Other preparations

Try to attach a picture of your dog on the carrier box they are kept in, make sure the picture is recent and that same picture is in your phone too. This can come handy when you need to identify your dog and makes the process much easier for the airline staff, too. It’s a nice idea to pack some snacks and give it to a member of the cabin crew for your pet to indulge in during the flight – especially if there’s any delays.

Tips and tricks

  • Aim to book a continuous flight to reduce the lock-in time of your pet.
  • Check beforehand if your pet exceeds the weight limit.
  • Don’t try to take your pet out while in-flight.
  • Always check the rules of the destination beforehand as your pet might have to go through quarantine.
  • Find out if the age of your pet is suitable for travel in cargo/cabin.

Best airlines to fly with your pet

With all being said, we have a list of the most popular pet-friendly airlines around the world to help you choose your flight easily.

  • Delta
  • JetBlue
  • Air India
  • Air Canada
  • Air France
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Japan Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Open Skies (British Airways)

So, if you’re planning to take your pets in the air, you need to be extra careful while choosing the flight and destination. The key thing to remember is to try and keep things as smooth as possible to ensure your pet avoids any mishaps or discomfort. Want to book your holiday in advance? We offer cheap flight tickets for over 150 airlines, providing plenty of choice on destinations. Book your flights with us today or give us a call to plan your next pet-friendly escape.

All the amazing things to do in Costa Rica

You won’t believe the number of exciting attractions available in Costa Rica for you to explore and do. Jet-setters to this exotic country will have bundles to discover, from rugged jungles and rainforests to vast golden beaches lapped by Caribbean waters. Holidays to Costa Rica can be as laid-back or adventurous as you wish, so lets not waste another moment – here are our top recommendations for things to do in Costa Rica.

1 – Trek Up Volcan Poas

One of the most stunning and active volcanoes in Costa Rica is Volcan Poas, which stands at roughly 3000 meters high. Even though it’s an active volcano, you can still reach the top of its peak – if you’re brave enough! However, it is wise to take an expert guide along with you. The rugged hike can be completed even if you’re a total beginner, since the path is not too challenging to climb – making it a great adventure for fun-loving families. Keep your eyes peeled for enchanting bright blue waters en route!

Read More: How Travel is going to look like Post-Lockdown

2 – Head over to Monteverde

Monteverde can be found high in the mountains of Costa Rica and if you like to hike, it’s not to be missed. A highlight for nature lovers, there are some incredible wildlife that take shelter in this area (all of which are protected), including Jaguars – Costa Rica’s only “big cat” – and Ocelots. So be sure to keep your eyes peeled!

Read More: PERFECT DESTINATIONS FOR YOUR 2021 EASTER HOLIDAY

3 – Visit the first capital city

Before San Jose, Cartago was the capital of Costa Rica and if you are nearby, you shouldn’t be missing this small yet wonderful city. You’re in for some amazing sightseeing here, since there are ancient monuments and ruins dotting the city that date back as far as the 16th-century. Or, if gardening is more your thing, you can visit the nearby Lankester Botanical Garden which is full of beautiful orchids among the 3000+ species of plants here.

Read More: Warm Places to Visit in February Around the World

4 – Explore the Manuel Antonio National Park

This place is the perfect synonym of what Costa Rica offers its visitors. Want to know why? Well, you get to experience an eclectic blend of rainforests, coral reefs, beaches, and spectacular flora and fauna. If that’s not impressive enough, you might get lucky enough to spot the country’s famous white-faced monkeys while you’re exploring on one of the hiking trails!

Read More: Popular Tourist Attractions in Rio de Janeiro

5 – A place of adventure

If you consider yourself an adrenaline-seeker, Costa Rica is the destination for you. It’s got everything from hiking trails to scuba diving, snorkeling, boat trips, ziplining, canyoning, aerial tram tours, water rafting and much, much more – if you’re not worn out by the end of the week that is!

Read More: Best Attractions in Bahrain That You Should Not Miss

6 – Enjoy local parties

Are you ready for some bull riding? Costa Rica is famous for its local parties which take place all year round, so you’ll have plenty of games, festivals and crazy traditions to fill up your calendar with. For a small price, you can fully indulge yourself I the traditional bull riding festivities along with the, more experienced, locals. Some of the festivals you can look forward to are Palmares Fiestas, Zapote Fiestas and Puntarenas Carnival, where you’ll find people from all walks of life travelling to visit.

7 – Visit the Jaguar Rescue Center

If you’re an animal lover, you can learn about the wildlife that can be found in beautiful Costa Rica by visiting the Jaguar Rescue Center. It’s a wholesome experience, especially if you love to see how animals are rescued and nurtured, before being released back into the wild again. It’s ideal for a family day out with the little ones.

Costa Rica is getting all the hype it deserves from people all over the world due to its stunning backdrops, preserved wildlife and more. Book your flights to Costa Rica with us and we’ll take care of everything for you, from sourcing great deals on flights to providing you with exciting things to see and do while you’re there. Browse our available flight deals today, or call to book your Costa Rica escape.

The perfect destinations for your 2021 Easter holiday

Spring is a beautiful time to travel thanks to its pleasant weather, sunshine and blooming flowers – with plenty of destinations for Easter Monday Holiday around the world ideal for celebrating. Whether you want to stay close to home or hop on a far-flung flight, we’ve got a list of our favourite places sure to pique your interest for 2021 escapes.

1 – Florida

If you’re after splash-tastic fun, Florida is the best destination for Easter Monday to go with your family at Easter time. Brimming with world-famous theme parks and water parks, there’s an abundance of exciting things to do with the kids – including meeting the Easter bunny at Magic Kingdom, or spotting an Easter Bunny hopping through the crowds at the parade. In addition, the temperatures are mild during April so it’s a great time to visit the beaches or explore the parks without feeling too hot!

Read Also: Unique Things you can do in Brazil

2 – Moscow

What if we told you that you could celebrate Easter twice? If you head to Moscow, you can enjoy Easter activities a week or two later according to the Gregorian calendar, which means you’re in for a double celebration! You can visit one of the most stunning churches with orthodox values allowing you to enjoy the festivities on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter, which continues all night long.

Read Also: Tips for Flying with Your Pets

3 – Copenhagen

If you are in the mood for some family fun then select these destinations for Easter Monday holidays, then you can head to Copenhagen. There are amazing amusement parks with thrilling rides and attractions that are sure to entertain those big and small. The most interesting activity that you can enjoy is participating in an Easter egg hunt or, for adults, sampling the annual Easter beer!

Read Also: Amazing things to do in Costa Rica

4 – Amsterdam

The charm of Amsterdam lives in its canals, cobbles and culture, which runs deep into the roots of the city. A perfect blend of new and old provides you with many things to do on Easter Monday, from a bike tour to a leisurely canal ride or a museum tour, there won’t be a single boring moment while on holidays in Amsterdam. In spring, it’s the perfect time of year to admire the colourful tulips (the city’s national flower), ornate centuries-oldbuildings and manicured garden spaces on your Easter holiday.

5 – Krakow

Krakow is one of the best places to visit for Easter Monday because, just like Christmas, Easter is also celebrated with a lot of merriment and vigour. You’re going to love the deliciousfood and the markets, which are culturally embellished to mark the celebrations. The hustle and bustle of the main square, RynekGlowny,is ideal if you like a lively scene, especially if you want to mingle with the locals, too.

6 – Paris

Spring makes this already enchanting city bloom in full swing, withcolourful flowers popping up in parks and the natural beautyof the city in full glory. There’s plenty of chocolate to go around in this city, Easter Eggs or otherwise, so you can certainly satisfy your sweet tooth on your travels. Tick off the tourist landmarks, dine in an al-fresco restaurant and wander the cobbled streets in the sunshine.

7 – Sicily

Consider yourself a festival fanatic? Sicily has a whole host of fun-loving festivals and events availablethroughout the island during the Easter season, including Gli Incappucciati, I Diavulazzi di Pasqua and more. Sicily also happens to be one of the best locations for sightseeing and getting lost in the ancient ruins, breathtaking landscapes, view from cliffs and more. What’s not to love?

8 – Berlin

Typically, the Easter holidaysare a peak time for tourists visiting to celebrate a week of sun, but luckily for you, not so much in Berlin. The temperature is lovely in April and the city’s landmarks and attractions will have fewer crowds. There are a plenty of fun attractions to enjoy during Easter in Berlin, including Easter Knights festival, a historic market with food stalls, performers and more – so you won’t be missing out!

Still, wondering how to celebrate Easter Monday? Give us a call at Crystal Travel to help you to plan destinations for Easter Monday holiday with family. Our team of experts can tailor your trip to best suit your requirements and also find some fantastic deals on flights to your desired destination. We’ll do the hard work for you, so all that’s left to do is pack!