Category Archives: Travel

How to Fly Safe in a Pandemic

Around the world, the situation is dramatically changing and the government has been taking reforms constantly to keep everyone safe. The government travel advice has been evolving according that how to Fly Safe in pandemic is advancing and affecting people.

Apart from the government, different airline guidelines have also been implemented to ensure the safety of the passengers in this current climate. The airlines have been keeping the safety and hygiene of the travellers as their most prominent target.

Airlines Guidelines

Here are some of the top guidelines, facilities and rules that all major airlines have implemented for long-haul and short-haul flights.

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

  • Cabin crew and staff to wear face mask and gloves at all intervals.
  • Minimal contact between passengers and staff members.
  • Reduction in the number of touchpoints at the airport’s facilities.
  • Plastic shields to be used for checking and verifications where touch is mandatory.
  • Use of packaged food to ensure the staff does not come into contact with passenger food in any way.
  • High-quality filters for constant change of aircraft air.

These are the top things to remember before you fly – if you follow the basic guidelines and line of conduct then your take-off will be as smooth as possible.

The International travel guide from the UK government is constantly updated based on COVID-19 conditions. Presently, the UK has entered into another phase of lockdown where residents from tier 4 areas are prohibited for any leisure travel.

There are different travel corridors and travel bubbles which are in effect, however, this list is not stable.

Travel safety tips

Here are some of the travel safety tips to bear in mind before flying.

  • Try to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between you and others.
  • Don’t touch public surfaces that are in constant use such as elevator buttons, railings, etc.
  • Always keep a sanitizer with you
  • Never take off your mask while you are in the airport, during your flight or while de-boarding.
  • Keep multiple masks handy if you have a long-haul flight.
  • Try to cough and sneeze with your mouth covered.
  • Make sure that your hands are sanitized or washed with soap before you eat, touch your face or after coughing or sneezing.

Always try to fly safe in pandemic so if you are experiencing any symptoms of mild discomfort, then you should avoid travel altogether.

10 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in January around the World

There’s no better time than January to beat the winter chills and start the New Year with a bang, in some of the worlds far-flung destinations. Why wait any longer for blue skies, sandy beaches and pockets full of sunshine? Dive into our list of the most beautiful places to visit in January around the world.

1- Norway

If you don’t mind the cold, why not wrap up and experience a proper winter wonderland in Norway. January is the coldest month in Norway, which is one of the obvious reasons why it attracts fewer tourists, allowing you to explore the place at your own pace (and with plenty of space). Indulge in exciting snow sports or get lost in the dreamy landscape with frosty nights and lazy sunrises.

Top Attractions: Pulpit rock, seven sisters waterfall, Kjosfossen falls, Fonna glacier.

Average Temperature: High -1.8°C (28.8°F)

2- Bali

One of the best places to travel in January if you’re a sun-seeker, is Bali. This exotic Indonesian Island destination boasts fantastic sunshine ideal to warm things up when the winter chills hit the UK. It’s worth bringing your umbrella though since January is the wettest month with unpredictable rain spells – often a welcome cool-down from the heat!

Top Attractions: Mount Batur, Sacred monkey forest sanctuary, Bingin beach, Sanur.

Average Temperature: 26°C (78°F).

3- New Zealand

You can’t visit this amazing destination without soaking up an aerial view of the glaciers – a stunning experience. January is the warmest month in New Zealand with average temperatures of 24°C in the north and 19°C in the south, making it one of the most popular times for visitors to explore this island country.

The place is divided into North and South Island and it all depends on your curiosity where you land, as both the areas have attractive exploration options. From rooftop bars, beaches, erupting geysers and more, New Zealand makes for the perfect place to visit in January.

Top Attractions: Lake Tekapo, Waitomo Glowworm Caves, Fox glacier, Abel Tasman National park.

Average Temperature: 25°C (77°F)

4- South Africa

South Africa blooms the best in January, boasting a mix of moderate temperatures and no rainfall. It’s a great stop to explore everything this beautiful destination has to offer, from exotic wildlife to quirky party locations and dozens of natural attractions. Wander comfortably in the South African sun with a glass of wine in hand, touring the country’s renowned vineyards.

Top Attractions: Maclear’s Beacon, Cape of Good Hope, Boulders Beach, Robben Island.

Average Temperature: 18°C (64.4°F)

5- Dubai

This man-made wonder nestled in the heart of a golden desert attracts tourists from all over the world. Dubai is renowned for its sheer luxury, world-class experiences, grandeur and record-breaking architecture – with exciting attractions sure to make for a memorable trip. The temperature in January is a comfortable 24°C, making it the perfect option if you’re seeking a splash of winter sun. Explore the bustling city or spend time relaxing on Jumeirah beach – Dubai can be as lively or laid-back as you wish.

Top Attractions: Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Mall, Dubai Creek, Jumeirah Beach.

Average Temperature: 24°C (75.2°F)

6- Maldives

No list is complete without a mention of the Maldives. Crowned as one of the best January holiday destinations, these paradise islands are a haven for those who want to lap up the luxury in style, with fun-loving watersports, rejuvenating spa treatments, first-class restaurants and state-of-the-art water villas to match. What better way to unwind after the festivities?

Top Attractions: Ari Atoll, Hukuru Miskiy, Fuvahmulah, Kuda Rah.

Average Temperature: 27°C (80.6°F)

7- Vietnam

Dry and sunny weather awaits you in Vietnam, a country that has natural beauty in abundance. There’s so much to discover here, from the world’s largest caves to beautiful Halong Bay, or take a hike up Cat Ba Island. Catch the enchanting Lantern Festival in Hoi An for the perfect way to see in the New Year. The early months serve up an eclectic blend of lively and serenity in Vietnam, making it one of the best holiday destinations in January.

Top Attractions: Cu Chi tunnel, Temple of Literature, The marble mountains, Ben Thanh market.

Average Temperature: 24°C (75.2°F)

8- Sri Lanka

The best time to visit Sri Lanka is from December to March, perfect if you wish to escape the winter chills. Mix beautiful mountain backdrops and natural attractions with fast-paced urban life, and you’ve got the perfect balance for your Sri Lanka holidays. The landscapes, greenery, tea plantations, blue skies, Buddhist temples and golden beaches will make you fall in love with this corner of South Asia.

Top Attractions: Sigiriya Fortress, Adam’s Peak, Galle Dutch Fort, Elephant orphanage.

Average Temperature: 27°C (80.6°F)

9- Australia

Where better to find the sunshine than by travelling halfway across the world? If you want to see in the New Year before everybody on the planet, then Australia is the place to do it. With an average and super toasty temperature of 28°C, it’s no wonder it’s classed as one of the top January holiday destinations. Celebrate In style and watch the epic fireworks display in Sydney and Melbourne.

Top Attractions: Honeymoon Bay, Cumberland River, Cedar Creek, Coorong Beach.

Average Temperature: 28°C (82 °F)

10- Thailand

Thailand is known to show it all in only one trip, right from amazing cities to rainforests, the place has it all and in full glory. The days in Thailand in January are sunny and dry, making it one of the best places to go in January. Drive the Great Ocean Road, have a BBQ on the beach or wander Darling Harbour.

Top Attractions: The Grand Palace, Railay Beach, Khaosan Road, Ko Samet.

Average Temperature: 27°C (80.6 °F)

So there you have it, our compilation of some of the best places to visit in January – just in time for2021! Did you found your dream winter escape? Call us now to book a tailor-made holiday this January, for less.

It’s time to fly back to the Philippines

The Philippines is a stunning country with thousands of islands, beautiful beaches and bustling city life. This Southeast Asian jewel will take your breath away, with over 7000 islands elegantly floating in the Pacific Ocean.

However, presently any foreign travel is prohibited unless you are a Filipino national, spouse, or children of nationals and residents returning from abroad exempt from the entry ban.

Safety, Quarantine and Travel Guidelines

The government has divided areas into two sections GCQ and MGCQ. The National Capital Region (Metro Manila), Bacolod, Batangas, Iloilo City and Tacloban are subject to General Community Quarantine (GCQ); whereas, the rest of the Philippines is under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).

The restrictions are strict in the Philippines for foreign and domestic travellers alike, however, non-essential travel i.e. tourist travel is now permitted between GCQ and MGCQ areas. The government of Philippine has made it mandatory to wear a face mask, face shield and PPE for all individuals while travelling. Also, checking your temperature is a must upon entry. Social distancing is also strictly followed inside the airport premises.

For security checking everything is subjected to “no-contact”, however the use of x-ray machines and scanners are still to be used but with limited contact. All key surfaces are disinfected regularly without any fail.

Here are some of the rules and regulations that must need to abide by while travelling to the Philippines.

  • Some airports require a mandate download of “Traze Contact Tracing” app before you enter the premises.
  • Passengers with a valid boarding pass and other travel documents shall only be allowed inside the airport.
  • If you are an international traveller, then you are allowed to fly to the Philippines only if you have a long-term visa.
  • You need to complete the electronic Health Declaration and Passenger Locator forms upon arrival or departure.
  • Once you arrive in the Philippines, you will be tested at the airport or another designated facility.
  • Further, you will be quarantined at an approved facility until the test results arrive. However, you will be home quarantined for 14 days even if your test results are negative.
  • Local travel guidelines to be followed for domestic routes as per the local government rules.
  • If you are an Overseas Filipino Worker, then your quarantine accommodation cost is taken care of by the OWWA. And if you are an Overseas Filipino, then you can choose to stay at approved facilities at your own cost.

Why book with Crystal Travel?

If you’re planning to fly to the Philippines, Crystal Travel has a variety of cheap flight deals available across a selection of airlines. We offer the best price in industry prices for take-off’s all over the world, irrespective of the destination. Plus, we don’t scrimp on quality, so travellers will benefit from the same first-class facilities at much lower prices.

Additional benefits when booking a flight ticket to Philippines with Crystal Travel:

  • ABTA and ATOL protection
  • Ever-present travel experts to make the booking process seamless.
  • Value for money with best offers and deals.
  • Fly now, pay later option available, thus prioritizing your needs.

Well, what are you waiting for? Get the family together and visit the Philippines this 2020.

How Travel is going to look like Post-Lockdown

The second phase of lockdown has finally come to an end and with it came the new guidelines for how travel is going to look in the near future.

The Lockdown Tiers

Though the rules are a little more lenient, restrictions across the UK are by no means completely lifted. After the national lockdown was lifted, the government implemented a three-tier system which came into effect on 2 December 2020, placing different areas in the UK in either Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3 ranking from medium risk to high and maximum risk.

Tier 1 – Medium Risk

+ The rule of 6 will apply indoors and outdoors

+ Spectator sports can resume with a crowd of 50% of capacity or 4,000 spectactors (whichever is smaller)

Restaurants and cafes opening after lockdown

Tier 2 – High Risk

+ You cannot mix with anybody you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble indoors

+ The rule of 6 applies in outdoor spaces such as parks, beaches or countryside

+ Pubs and bars can only open if they serve substantial meals – alcohol can be served with that meal

+ Pubs and restaurants must shut at 23:00

+ Shops, gyms and personal care services can re-open

+ Hospitality venues must stay closed, except for delivery and takeaway services

+ Spectacor sports must not resume

+ Non-essential foreign travel allowed, subject to quarantine rules

+ People advised not to travel to and from Tier 3 areas

People resuming going to office

Tier 3 – Maximum Risk

+ You cannot mix with anybody you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble indoors or in private or pub gardens

+ The rule of 6 applies in outdoor spaces such as parks, beaches or countryside

+ Shops, gyms and personal care services can re-open

+ Hospitality venues must stay closed, except for delivery and takeaway services

+ Spectacor sports must not resume

+ People advised not to travel to and from Tier 3 areas

Maintaining social distance for better protection

Places You Can Travel To

After the national lockdown, the all-domestic and international flying ban was lifted allowing non-essential foreign travel to be permitted following quarantine rules.

Small group of people interacting

The government has released a list of destinations that will not require you to self-isolate upon arrival from or return to the UK. However, you do need to have spent a minimum of 14 days in your desired destination or in the UK alone before travel.

If you are planning a last-minute holiday in 2020, this list outlines the destinations that are safe for guests to visit without self-isolation:
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • The Azores
  • Bahrain
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • Bhutan
  • Bonaire/St Eustatius/Saba
  • British Antarctic Territory
  • British Indian Ocean Territory
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Brunei
  • Cambodia
  • the Canary Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • the Channel Islands
  • Chile
  • Cuba
  • Dominica
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • Gibraltar
  • Greek islands: Corfu, Crete, Kos, Rhodes, Zakynthos
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Hong Kong
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • the Isle of Man
  • Israel and Jerusalem
  • Japan
  • Laos
  • Macao (Macau)
  • Madeira
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mauritius
  • Mongolia
  • Montserrat
  • Namibia
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Norway
  • Pacific Islands (Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu)
  • Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands
  • Qatar
  • Rwanda
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • Sri Lanka
  • St Barthélemy
  • St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Pierre and Miquelon
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Uruguay
  • US Virgin Islands
  • Vietnam
People getting back to travelling

If you’re looking to book a winter sun escape to one of these destinations, call our dedicated team of travel experts to receive the latest flight deals available.

10 Best Things to See in Brisbane

Known for its stunning year-round sunshine, Brisbane is nothing short of a paradise. It’s a great place to travel to for many of its own reasons, but also because it makes for a great base point if you wish to explore nearby attractions. The attractive beaches of Brisbane are a big enough draw if you’re a sand lover, with a selection of beautiful beaches to sink your toes into.

Can’t decide where to visit first? We’ve listed 10 of our top tourist attractions in and nearby Brisbane so you can start planning your travel itinerary, today. Getting in touch with us is easier than ever. Call at 0207 612 0500 and connect with our travel experts for a hassle-free booking.

1- Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

LONE PINE KOALA SANCTUARY

If you’re an animal lover, take a trip to see the Koalas at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. You can have a cuddle with a friendly koala alongside taking pictures with (less cuddle-y) snakes and other animals that are well kept in the sanctuary. Other popular attractions include platypus feeding and admiring other local animals such as kangaroos, wallabies, dingoes and more.

2. Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha

BOTANIC GARDENS MOUNT COOT-THA

Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha is considered as one of the most amazing places to visit in Brisbane due to the panoramic views you can get from here. It’s 7 kilometres away from the city and expands over 128 acres, where you can discover cactus and bamboo plants, plus the enchanting Japanese gardens. Walking tracks are available throughout the area with free guided walks and also a minibus tour to make exploration easy. There is also a restaurant on-site explorers can indulge in local and international cuisine.

 3. Museum of Brisbane

MUSEUM OF BRISBANE

Being modelled and reopened in 2013, this museum reveals the rich history of Brisbane and its people.  The collection comprises of more than 5000 pieces of art from local and contemporary artists, displayed proudly for public viewing. It’s located on the top floor of the City Hall, which adds to the experience thanks to its brilliant views over the city.

4. South Bank

SOUTH BANK

South Bank is a lively area that’s loved by locals and tourists alike, peppered with atmospheric plazas, special hosted events and diverse restaurants to indulge in. Swimming in the man-made lagoon is one of the top things to do in Brisbane on a hot sunny day to cool off, but you can also go biking or for a leisurely stroll here. The Wheel of Brisbane is a popular landmark in South Bank, which opened in 2008.

5. Story Bridge

STORY BRIDGE

There are three bridges in the world like the one in Brisbane, also known as Story Bridge, situated in Sydney and Auckland. If you like to explore on foot and soak up spectacular views, this is the experience for you – lasting approximately two hours you’ll be able to roam 80 meters above the level of Brisbane River. The climb is suitable for all fitness levels and ages 10 or above.

6. West End

WEST END

You can’t travel to Brisbane without visiting this vibrant neighbourhood and its Farmers Market. Quirkiness is in abundance in the West End, sprinkled with chic coffee houses and vintage shops, making it a great option for some budget-worthy browsing. Better still, its famous for its West End Fire Festival, where you can witness amazing night shows and circus acts for an evening of entertainment.

7. Kangaroo Point Cliffs

KANGAROO POINT CLIFFS

Walk to the left of the Brisbane River and you’ll discover Kangaroo Point, which consists of a set of cliffs. Live like the locals do, grab your walking boots and visit this landmark to climb the cliffs (with an instructor too, if you wish) – or if you prefer two feet on the ground, why not take a picnic to enjoy amid the beautiful surroundings?

8. River Cruise

RIVER CRUISE

Discover Brisbane in a whole new light when you go on a leisurely river cruise with City Cats or City Ferries. There are different hop-on and hop-off terminals, which can be used for visiting other areas at your own pace. Aside from the beautiful setting, you can also soak up sights of historical landmarks along the way.

9. Eat Street Market

Takumi oz special in eat street market

If you can’t decide where to eat next, head to the world-famous Eat Street Market. Foodies will be in their element, as there are no less than 70 food stalls here, each serving up a variety of delicious international delicacies to sample. You can find every kind of food here, from vegan dishes to meat eateries, so the options are endless!

10. Byron Bay

BYRON BAY

There are many destinations not too far from Brisbane to visit on a day tour, however, Byron Bay is undoubtedly the most famous of all. Be ready for live music, an awesome atmosphere and some spectacular waves – making it nothing less than a paradise. Rent a car and enjoy the outskirts of the city while you’re en route, it’s a great way to discover the area’s natural beauty.

Soak up the fantastic year-round weather and take advantage of both the laid-back and lively vibes available in Brisbane. Crystal Travel provides cheap flights to Brisbane for your next sun-kissed escape, with flights to Brisbane available from all major airports. Call our travel experts today and don’t miss out on our latest deals.

10 European destinations with short flight times from the UK

One of the best ways to travel more whilst working a full-time job is to travel to nearby locations over the weekend. There are some truly beautiful European destinations located just a couple of hours from the UK worth visiting, which require minimal flight, drive or train time – it’s a win, win!

Here are the 10 most beautiful European cities which you can scribble on your next short-haul vacation list.

1 – Paris, France

The French capital, Paris is one of the most popular European destinations near UK renowned for its rich food, culture, fairy-lit cobbled streets, beautiful landmarks and continental atmosphere. There are hundreds of cafes, restaurants, local bakeries, gardens and historically structures sure to keep you busy all day long – whether you want to soak up stunning views from the Sacre Coeur Basilica, wander the Bois de Vincennes park or simply crawl the fabulous fromageries dotted around the city.

Flight Time: 1hour 10mins

Eurostar Time: 2hours 16mins

2 – Brussels, Belgium

This capital of Belgium has all the quirks that you could want from a European city. The city boasts an amalgamation of Dutch and French culture, with bundles of exciting things to see and do, eat, drink and discover. History lovers can visit the Grand Place, which includes a stunning 15th century city hall surrounded by additional guildhalls, while nature enthusiasts can visit Le Botanique and its pretty greenhouse. If you like landmarks, the Atomium in Heysel Park is pretty impressive, or perhaps you simply want to hop on a beer tour?! Whatever you prefer to do, this city is full of wonder.

Flight Time: 1hour 5mins

Eurostar Time: 1hour 48mins

3 – Prague, Czech Republic

As a city break destination, Prague is held in high regard for its brilliance and beauty. You’ll discover centuries-old history dotted across this capital of the Czech Republic, with each quirky cobbled lane and corner of the city telling a different tale. Spend your days exploring the top sights, including wandering the Old Town Square, admiring the astronomical clock, crossing famous Charles Bridge and ticking off the opulent Castles and Cathedrals. After a day of exploration, pitch up at one of the atmospheric bars and watch the world go by.

Flight Time: 1hour 50mins

Eurostar Time: 8hours 30mins

4 – Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is one of the most affordable city destinations on the map, making it a popular spot to fly to for the weekend. There are so many great things to see and do here sure to keep every type of traveller entertained, from unwinding in quirky ruin bars such as popular SzimplaKert, taking a toasty dip in the Szechenyi Spa Baths, walking the Chain Bridge and doing a spot of shopping at the Great Market.

Flight Time: 2hours 25mins

5 – Reykjavik, Iceland

If natural wonders are your thing, this otherworldly destination is a must-visit. It’s one of the smallest European destinations near UK, but Reykjavik certainly packs in a lot of charm thanks to its fascinating sceneryand surroundings. Visit Snæfellsjökull National Park, admire the cascading Dynjandi Waterfall, heat things up in the Blue Lagoon and, if you’re an animal lover, take a trip to Puffin Island or go husky sledding! Crowned as the land of sagas, charm, Vikings and Northern Lights, Reykjavik is the perfect place for a historic city break full of awe-inspiring nature.

Flight Time: 3hours 15mins

6 – Lille, France

This quaint town is full of olde-worlde charm and very pleasantto spend a day wandering idly around the cobbled main square and admiring the Flemish-style architecture. Head to the museums and educate yourself about the city’s unique art, meander Old Lille for a taste of bygone years, or visit the large outdoor market Marche de Wazemmes, bursting with colourful stalls selling everything from exotic spices to clothes. A wonderful part of France ideal to explore on a quiet weekend.

Flight Time: 9hours 45mins (no non-stop flights available)

Eurostar Time:  1hour 22mins

7 – Geneva, Switzerland

If you’re thinking there’s not all that much beyond the snow-clad mountains in Geneva, then you’re in for a pleasant surprise. There are bundles of hidden gems waiting to be discovered in this lakeside city, from bustling flea markets to leafy parks, museums, shopping and plenty of places to wine and dine. With a flight time of approximately 90 minutes from the UK, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a whole new world in under two hours!

Flight Time: 1hour 35mins

8 – Berlin, Germany

Berlin is renowned for being one of the most historical cities in the world, with a treasure trove of culture, diversity, architecture and art to discover. This short-haul city is full of stunning archeological delights, from notable landmarks such as the Reichstag, TV Tower and PotsdamerPlatz – while it’s beautiful Tiergarten offers a greener contrast. Go on day tours, wander local markets, cruise the River Spree, admire the famous Berlin Walland indulge in the diverse food scene in this atmospheric city.

Flight Time: 1hour 50mins

9 – Amsterdam, the Netherlands

One of the most popular cities in Europe and undoubtedly the most picturesque, Amsterdam is bursting with winding canals, bikes, famous museums and incredible architecture. It’s a fantastic place to visit whether you’re a history lover or simply want to wander a pretty city with your partner – with must-sees including the Ann Frank Museum, wandering the artistic neighbourhood of Jordaan and booking a canal cruise. Plus, with a whopping 881,000 (approximately) bikes in the city, you have to explore this corner of the Netherlands on two wheels!

Flight Time: 1hour 5mins

Eurostar Time: 3hours 55mins

10 – Ibiza, Balearic Islands

For a perfect holiday, these European destinations near UK are for couples and families alike, Ibiza serves up a stylish beach escape with the right blend of laid-back and lively. The white-sand beaches and bustling resorts are hugely popular with tourists, while the chic harbour, atmospheric local restaurants and bars and architecture in the Old Town or Dalt Vila are a must if you want a contrast from the neon-lit clubs of San Antonio. However you like to holiday, this short-haul gem has the best of both worlds.

Flight Time: 2hours 15mins Fancy visiting the top destinations in Europe? With us you can, book your cheap flight tickets to Europe with Crystal Travel and spend your weekends discovering some of the most beautiful corners of the world! We have year-round deals from over 150 airlines, soyou won’t be short of places to visit.