✉ Five friends and I will turn 40 next year and would like to spend a long weekend (August 10-13) at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe enjoying some quality comedy shows. We would like to stay in self-catering accommodation with at least four bedrooms, but an initial search of travel sites suggests prices are astronomical at this time of year. We don’t mind having up to a 30 minute walk to the Royal Mile, but ideally we don’t want to go over a budget of £500 pp for three nights. Can you suggest affordable options?
The festival is hugely popular and decent accommodation for larger groups that’s a short walk from the shows and doesn’t cost much is quickly taken care of. So book now and you’ll have a nice bolthole after a glut of stand-ups.
There’s a beautiful, spacious four-bedroom (and four-bathroom) apartment in a great location on swish Heriot Row in Stockbridge, just a 20-minute walk from the Royal Mile. Three nights on your dates would cost £2,858 (airbnb.co.uk).
Performers at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
JAMES GLOSSOP FOR THE TIME
✉ We were due to travel by train with LNER to Inverness during the June rail strikes and paid Railbookers almost £1500 for travel and a hotel. We decided to cancel our trip and requested reimbursement for train tickets at a minimum, but were told by email that we would have to claim through our travel insurance. We don’t have travel insurance but in any case is it reasonable that Railbookers suffer no loss while insurers lose money? No trains have been operated by LNER to Inverness all week and we know that Railbookers will be reimbursed by LNER. Ironically we paid for this trip with a voucher which we accepted in 2020 to help the business survive during the first Covid peak. It didn’t cut the ice.
Judith and Peter Matthews
Railbookers told me that when you contacted the company to discuss the strikes, you were told to wait until there was a clearer picture of the services that would be affected, but decided to cancel on- immediately, which meant that the cancellation was subject to the usual terms and conditions. . He also explained that customers must have travel insurance as a condition of booking. You should not have canceled the trip yourself because by doing so you lost your right to a refund. However, given the impact of the strikes on your journey, Railbookers were happy to review your case and, as it has indeed been refunded by LNER, your money has now been refunded.
✉ I am flying to Malaga Spain with my family at the end of August and would appreciate your advice on whether we need any other documents apart from our Covid passes and passports? Government advice is so confused.
UK citizens traveling to Schengen member states are now subject to entry requirements for ‘third country nationals’, so you may need to prove at border control that you have return tickets and accommodation booked for your stay as well as enough money for the trip: for Spain it’s 100 euros (£85) per person per day, with a minimum of 900 euros or the equivalent in foreign currency. Otherwise, you may be refused entry. But it is very unlikely that you will be asked to prove anything. However, you must check that your passports are less than ten years old on the date of your trip, that they are valid for at least three months after the scheduled day of your departure and that they are stamped on arrival and Departure.
✉ We hope to continue vacationing with our two sons now that they are both over 18, so we need to make sure this is as much of a draw as the boys’ trips they are also considering. Our holy grail is a hotel within walking distance of a town, with amenities such as a bar, restaurant and swimming pool, which can offer apartments with two or three bedrooms and a kitchenette. Any warm and relaxing destination would do – what do you suggest?
I think your boys would have fun in Kalkan, one of the prettiest places on Turkey’s Lycian coast, with narrow winding cobbled streets and whitewashed houses covered in bougainvillea, but also beach clubs , great bars and a wide range of water sports. The Samira Hotel & Apartments is a short walk from the city center and offers a mix of guest rooms, one-bedroom apartments, and villas. Stay in one of its three-bedroom sea-facing villas (with plunge pool and ping-pong table) and you’ll have access to the hotel’s pool, bar and restaurant. A week of self-catering next May would cost £1,449 (theturquoisecollection.com). Tui flies to the nearest airport, Dalaman.
Or stay at Korsan Suites, where all two- and three-bedroom duplex apartments have hot tubs on their terraces. Self-catering is optional as daily breakfast by the main pool is included for guests, as well as a welcome dinner at its restaurant. If you book through Simpson Travel, you also get a free Turkish bath session at the Kalkan Regency Hotel’s spa, as well as a day trip with lunch on the hotel’s traditional schooner. A week’s B&B in May in a two-bedroom apartment starts at £718 pp including flights (simpsontravel.com).
✉ Our daughter was hospitalized just before we left for Corfu in May with EasyJet. I submitted the critical illness form on the airline’s website at the end of May but was told that the £2,472 we had paid for the flights would not be refunded, which at what I expected. I contacted our insurer, Trailfinders, who told me I needed to get a cancellation invoice for them to refund the money. I have emailed, called the customer service center and tweeted EasyJet for six weeks and still have no cancellation invoice to send to Trailfinders. Is there anything else I can do?
Airlines experienced a slump in customer service at the start of the pandemic and more than two years later, it’s ridiculous that it isn’t easier for passengers to get in touch. EasyJet has told me that it will always provide supporting documents to customers who need to make a claim with their insurer, which can be requested online or through its customer services team. “Each claim must be reviewed by our insurance team and processed manually due to the individual nature of the documentation; However, we are investigating why it took longer than usual on this occasion. We have contacted Ms Chivers to provide her with documents and apologize for any inconvenience caused,” a spokeswoman said. I hope your daughter is doing well enough to travel with you on another vacation soon.
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