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    Travel Insurance: your most important holiday purchase

    The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) recently reported that the number of people who travel without buying insurance is rising.
    Much of the increase is believed to be due to young people who think that the cost of insurance is too expensive, or that the UK Government will cover the costs if they fall ill or have an accident while they’re away. (We should point out that exclusions will apply, for example, if you decide to go quad-biking, bungee-jumping or hire a moped). While the Government, via the Foreign Office, will provide consular assistance in an emergency, they will never pay medical bills. And let’s not forget that some countries, such as the USA, charge astoundingly high amounts of money for even the most basic medical care.
    When you buy a car, or a house, what’s one of the first things you do? You buy insurance, of course. Holidays shouldn’t be any different, because you need cancellation cover from the day you book the holiday, but the startling statistic which ABTA quotes is that around one in five people who travel abroad never buy travel insurance.
    Now, we know that travel insurance is not the most exciting purchase you'll ever make, but when it comes to your holiday, it’s definitely the most important one. Apart from covering those expensive medical bills should you get ill or have an accident in a foreign country, and if your baggage goes missing, and a whole host of other unforseen circumstance, it will also mean you're covered should anything happen before you go on holiday. Again, exclusions will apply, so it pays to read the small print on your policy.
    For example, let's say you have an accident or are made redundant, and that the result is that you can't go on your holiday any more. With no insurance, it could be extremely difficult to recoup any of your hard-earned money, and you stand to lose every penny if you have to cancel close to your departure date. With a travel insurance policy, depending on the exact circumstances, you would be covered and can cancel your holiday, safe in the knowledge you’ll get some or all of your money back.
    If you get ill on holiday, travel insurance means that you’ll pay very little or perhaps nothing at all. And don’t think that having a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is your get-out-of-jail card, because it only entitles you to the same benefits as a resident of that country, which could still mean you pay for treatment. It's not an alternative to travel insurance, just an added extra, as it won't cover for things like emergency dental treatment or an air ambulance home to the UK.
    We can’t stress enough that not buying insurance at the time you book your holiday is a false economy. As Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive of ABTA says, "Comprehensive travel insurance is available for relatively small amounts of money, and medical bills can quickly mount up to thousands of pounds, so travelling uninsured can prove to be a very costly mistake."
    As the UK’s leading independent travel group, Barrhead Travel offers insurance at extremely competitive rates, and the cover is excellent too. You’ll be asked by our travel consultants as to whether you would like to buy insurance when you book your trip – please don’t put it off! We have annual insurance policies available too, for frequent travellers. Be sure to book your insurance in store at any of our branches, or give us a call on 0800 804 8666, as soon as you book your holiday – you’ll be covered straight away, leaving you able to concentrate on getting excited about your forthcoming travels!

     

    Barrhead Travel and Plan Bee

    Here at Barrhead Travel, we like to give something back to the environment and make a positive impact on the world we live in. Our new best friends, we’re pleased to say, are the wonderful Plan Bee, who know all there is to know about honeybees.
    We’re guessing that you may have heard that bee numbers are declining – ever so slightly worrying, as they pollinate a third of the UK’s food for a start, and they’re a vital barometer of the environment. Plan Bee and Barrhead Travel hope to help change that – and here’s where you can help too :
    Adopt a bee
    Simply click on the link below (which you’ll also find on the Barrhead Travel website). Adopting a bee costs as little as £1, and you get to name it and also receive a lovely certificate of adoption!
    Worker bee - £1
    Drone - £1.50
    Queen bee - £5
    You’ll be helping to support the honeybee population, as each adoption fee goes towards a real beehive. It’s perfect for sharing on Facebook and Twitter – so spread the word.
    Dedicate a Hive
    What nicer way to celebrate those important life events than dedicating a hive of lovely honeybees? Whether it’s a “Welcome to the World” gift for a newborn baby, a wedding present or christening gift, or indeed to commemorate someone very special, it’s a unique and very special way to mark an event.
    Hire a Hive
    For the ultimate environmental impact, Plan Bee can set up and manage a hive in your garden or allotment. There’s no greener way to go than this! It makes an immediate environmental impact – plus, you’ll receive 24 jars of honey each year from every hive you adopt. Sounds sweet? Simply email warren@planbeeltd.com to find out more.
    Crowd Fund a Hive
    You don’t have to do it all on your own – dust off that address book, get busy on social media, and talk to friends and neighbours about getting together to raise funds for your own beehive. Get the project up and running, and your hive could be making honey pretty soon.
    There’s no better buzz than helping the planet – and it doesn’t get any easier than helping bees. It’s not expensive, either, so why not start things off by adopting a honeybee for your very own Worker, Drone or Queen? Make a bee-line for the link above and start making a difference to the planet today.
    www.planbeeltd.com

     

    Top 10 Stunning Gap Year Destinations

    The Inbetweeners have done it, along with 3 million other young people in the UK. Taking a gap year is an exciting and liberating experience, and something you won't forget nor regret. Barrhead Travel can help plan your perfect gap year itinerary. Just check out our top ten gap year destinations, in no particular order (why not visit them all!) for a great gap year:
    Cape Town
    Cape Town combines culture, beautiful scenery and delicious cuisine. Table Mountain looms over the town and can be reached in just 5 minutes by cable car, or make a day of it hiking. There's plenty of opportunities to see the scenery and wildlife in Cape Town by volunteering. Visit Boulders Beach and you can sunbathe with penguins!
    Buenos Aires
    Looking to do something a bit different on your gap year? Buenos Aires is the perfect place to learn Spanish, with plenty of schools offering courses. What better way to learn during the day and practice at night! Eclectic architecture, friendly locals and world-class football are all on offer in the capital city of Argentina.
    Dunedin
    The name Dunedin comes from the Gaelic name for Edinburgh, and the city has many suburbs named after places in Scotland. The city offers loads of distinctive architecture of which the likes of Dunedin Railway Station is renowned for. Visit Orokonui Ecosanctuary, a specially protected native forest with tuatara (a reptile) and 17 species of native birds.
    Hong Kong
    There's nowhere on earth quite like Hong Kong. Hong Kong evokes pictures of skyscrapers jutting into the night sky, but less than 25% of HK is developed land. The city is home to an abundance of old style architecture. Take a walk down Hollywood Road's ample selection of art galleries and antique shops. For a gap year, why not try a trip from Beijing to Hong Kong, taking in many of the great delights China has to offer along the way.
    Hue, Vietnam
    Hue, in the central region of Vietnam, is a popular place for backpackers to stop on route from Ho Chi Minh up to Hanoi. Take a cycle tour of the beautiful countryside, or get adventurous and get on a motorbike! The Imperial City, a walled fortress and palace, is a must-visit. It was built for the emperor of Vietnam in 1904.
    Phuket, Thailand
    Phuket hosts flocks of students on their gap year, and rightly so. Combining breathtaking nature with hustle and bustle, you've got the best of both worlds here. Get to Karon Beach, lesser known to tourists, so offers some peace and quiet. At night time, hit up Bangla Road to experience the buzzing nightlife in Phuket. A must-see is James Bond Island, located on Phang Nga Bay.
    Miami, USA
    Miami evokes images of the 80s, Miami Vice style (you're probably too young to remember that) and yes, palm trees do line the street (it's situated in a tropical climate, after all) and the city lights gleam at night, seductively inviting you in to party the night away. Miami Beach offers more than its name suggests – shopping, dining, eating and great nightlife.
    Tamil Nadu, India
    here's a plethora of opportunity awaiting you in India. Volunteering and teaching are really popular things to do on your gap year here. Business, medical or journalism internships are also popular. A must-see is the Meenaksi Amman temple in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. Steeped in history and culture, you'll leave India with a new view of the world.
    Whitehaven Beach, Australia
    Whitehaven Beach is located in the Whitsundays, Queensland. It's the most photographed beach in Australia and as soon as you arrive, you're hit with an aura of real relaxation. Feel the hot sand between your toes, take a dip in the crystal clear blue waters and take in nature at its beautiful best.
    Madrid
    If you're keen to get work experience whilst abroad, why not take up an internship in Madrid, gaining you vital experience whilst having fun in one of Europe's stylish cities? Madrid's brimming with culture, so soak it up by visiting the many shops, cafes, restaurants and parks. Catch a game of world class football at the Bernabeu stadium, home of Madrid football club.
    Barrhead Travel can help you plan your perfect gap year trip, with specialists travel consultants available in all of our branches. Call us on 0800 804 8666 to discuss your holiday needs or indeed for any other gap year destinations that may be thinking of.

     

    Go Beyond Nature's Edge in Glacial Canada

    Glacier Skywalk
    From ice-capped mountain peaks to vast glacier-formed valleys, the Glacier Skywalk is your front row seat to nature's grand performance! And Barrhead Travel's Canada Travel Specialists are delighted to offer FREE admission to this amazing experience when booked as part of a Canadian Rockies itinerary.
    Designed as an extension of the surrounding landscape, the Glacier Skywalk is entwined in a rock-solid relationship with the natural environment. Having opened in May 2014, the province of Alberta's newest attraction consists of a 500 meter interpretive cliff edge walkway and a glass-floored observation platform extending 30 meters from the cliff face, over the Sunwapta Valley. Glacier Skywalk offers spectacular scenery and a rare view of nature. Anyone of any age and any activity level can immerse themselves in nature in a way that makes them feel truly overwhelmed by their surroundings and their unique vantage point!
    From its inception, the Glacier Skywalk experience was designed to integrate visitors with the wilderness. The Canadian Tourism Commission commended the project for the opportunity it provides visitors to engage with the dramatic Alberta Landscape in a way that was not previously possible.
    Located in the Canadian Rockies, the Glacier Skywalk is just minutes from the Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre on the world famous Icefields Parkway, which stretches 232km and winds through the heart of the Canadian Rockies. It's difficult to pull your gaze away from the pristine mountain lakes, rushing waterfalls and snow-capped peaks along the way. It's just an hour from Jasper and 2 ½ hours from Banff, and has been recognised as one of the top ten drives in the world, with over one hundred visible glaciers and scenic mountain vistas around every corner. For those visiting Jasper National Park or Banff National Park, the Glacier Discover Centre is a destination in itself.
    Speak to Barrhead Travel's Canadian Specialists about your perfect Canadian itinerary, incorporating the Glacier Skywalk, and they'll use their expertise and knowledge of Canada to put together a trip to remember.
    Whether you'd like to take to the highways and byways of Canada on your own by taking a self-drive trip, or whether an escorted tour that leaves all the hassles of travel organisation to someone else, they'll find something to suit and to make your Canadian travel dreams a reality.
    For more information on visiting the Glacier Skywalk or any other experiences in Canada, please call our Canada specialists on 0141 250 7888.

     

    Take A Short Break To Europe This Winter

    Short Winter Breaks
    All the leaves are brown, and the sky is grey…sounds familiar? Well, the onset of winter doesn’t have to be all about battening down the hatches and hibernating. Some of Europe’s most fascinating cities are simply spectacular at this time of year. Gather round, and let us tickle those travel taste buds.
    MADRID
    Spain’s capital has the lot – culture, history, cuisine and clubs, and it’s compact enough to travel around without much effort. It’s heaven-sent for anyone looking for a short break with enough to do from dawn till dusk, yet it’s unlike many large cities in that it’s got a lovely laidback vibe.
    Must-sees here include the Plaza Mayor, which dates back to 1619 and is the most famous of the city’s enchanting squares. Three sides of the plaza are bordered by three-storey buildings decorated with frescoes, making this a fabulous hang-out for a coffee and a spot of people – watching.
    Don’t miss the Palacio Real (Royal Palace), home to around 2500 rooms and dating from 1764. If the mood takes you, join the tour of 50 of its rooms, or alternatively just marvel at its beauty and take a few pictures like most tourists seem to do.
    Madrid’s chock-a-block with marvellous museums – try the Prado and the Thyssen- Bornemisza for starters – which is ideal if the weather’s cold. But if food and drink is more your bag, check out the Mercado de San Miguel for local delicacies. It’s open till late – 2am at weekends – and is close to a whole range of pubs and restaurants too.
    But the best thing to do in Madrid is stroll the streets, checking out places like the Puerta del Sol in its centre and the Gran Via with its majestic architecture and multitude of shops. Guaranteed, you’ll be chilled – out in Madrid, rather than just chilled in Britain!
    MUNICH
    Escape to this beguiling Bavarian city in the weeks before Christmas to get that fuzzy festive feeling. Christmas markets abound across Munich, but the daddy of them all is in Marienplatz, the central square. Surrounded by log cabins selling Christmas decorations, gingerbread, roasted chestnuts, sausages and Gluhwein, and in the shadow of historic buildings including the Old and New Town Halls, it’s a definite that even the biggest humbug’s heart will melt.
    Even outwith Christmas, Munich offers up much for the short-break traveller. Visit the English Garden, Munich’s largest park which is even bigger than Central Park in New York. Take a trip to the Olympic Stadium, the site of the 1972 Games, or browse the city’s oldest farmers’ market, the Viktualienmarkt, which is a feast for all the senses.
    We couldn’t mention Munich without talking about its ***** halls, of course. This is the way ***** was meant to be served, as you listen to oompah music and taste some local specialities as well as downing huge mugs of excellent Bavarian Bier served by wenches in dirndl skirts. It really is atmosphere overload.
    PARIS
    There’s a lot to be said for skipping a visit to Paris in the Spring or Summer. The crowds of tourists thin out, and the city seems to be able to breathe again. Autumn and Winter can be equally as beautiful in their own way, and the city’s still humming with life as Parisians go about their day to day business – impeccably-dressed, of course.
    Fortunately, you don’t have to have great dress sense to enjoy Paris, because there’s so much to experience. Wander along its boulevards, saunter around its parks, and run across its roads to avoid the impatient drivers. A walk down the Champs Elysees from the Arc de Triomphe is unforgettable, and for a wonderful, stark contrast to the impressive old buildings on this iconic street, be sure to visit the Centre Pompidou as part of your itinerary – showing how the ancient and the new are both essential elements of Paris.
    A journey down the Seine on a bateau mouche passing Notre Dame, a trek up from Montmartre to Sacre Coeur, exploring the Pere Lachaise cemetery – all of these will make your visit one to remember.
    Shopping, of course, is a must here, but also take a trip to the Louvre, even just to wander outside and capture the famous pyramid on camera.
    After dark, Paris has everything on offer from olde-world and expensive restaurants to funky clubs and sophisticated bars. Why not say Bonjour to Paris sometime soon?
    COPENHAGEN
    Eminently walkable, and pretty with it, Copenhagen has something for all ages and tastes.
    If taking the kids away for a short break is a priority, then Denmark’s capital is the destination for you. From the zoo to the Little Mermaid, from the aquarium to Tivoli Gardens, little ones will be captivated from start to finish, and you’ll never hear the word “bored” coming from their lips.
    It’s not just for kids, though – Copenhagen has more than enough to keep adults occupied too. Nyhavn, originally the commercial port, is characterised by exquisite old houses framing the harbour. You’ll find classy restaurants and bars in this area, filled with people enjoying the ambiance.
    Copenhagen’s main shopping street, Stroget, is one of the longest in Europe and caters to all budgets, from designer brands to wallet-friendly stores. It’s popular with street performers too, and you’ll find bars, cafes and restaurants around the area too.
    If rum is your tipple of choice, then make a beeline for the Carlsberg Brewery. This is, not surprisingly, one of the city’s most popular attractions – while you can see the rum-making process, it’s tasting the fruits of the labours at the end at the brewery bar that really makes a visit here worthwhile.
    PALMA
    Think that Majorca’s all about sun and sea? Think again. The gorgeous city of Palma’s got loads to offer the savvy short-breaker.
    For starters, there’s the cathedral, which dominates the harbour skyline. Started in 1230 and not finished till 1601, it features some restoration by Gaudi, and has one of the largest naves in the world.
    If people-watching’s a favourite pastime of yours, then pull up a chair at one of the cafes in Placa Major. Not only will you be able to check out locals and tourists alike, but the street artists will keep you amused too.
    A little retail therapy is a must in Palma. From designer boutiques to shopping malls, you’ll find shopping heaven here. But the best part of a visit to Palma is perhaps to just enjoy a leisurely walk around the streets, down tiny lanes and main streets, discovering quiet corners, lively tapas bars and exquisite architecture.
    For a change of scenery, try a day trip to Soller, on wooden trains which have been running on this track since 1912. Only an hour’s journey through the mountains and you’ll find yourself in this picturesque town, set in lush orange groves. A quick trip on a tram and you can visit Port de Soller, which sits on a horseshoe harbour and has both seaside charm and magnificent mountain views.

     

    Keep dancing! with P&O Cruises.

    Keep Dancing with P&O Cruises
    For any cruise lovers, as well as those avid fans of the BBC hit show ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, PO Cruises are offering a fab-u-lous Strictly themed cruise onboard the outstanding new Britannia ship, sailing in summer 2015.
    As Christopher Edgington, P&O Cruises marketing director, said: “Nothing beats the feeling of stepping on board a new ship for the first time.” and we would completely agree!
    Check out this video for all the news on the glitz to be found onboard next summer!


     

    It's Cruise Week!

    Cruise Week - See whats new
    For all you cruise fanatics out there, you might be aware that this week is the start of National Cruise Week, running from 27th September until 5th October. This is one of the biggest events in the cruising calendar, if not THE biggest, where the world’s cruise lines, travel partners, media and travel agents all come together to celebrate cruising and to excite everyone with the latest new and events in the cruising world!

    This year, Cruise Week has gone well and truly online – with a major focus on the nominated hashtag #LoveCruise. During the week you can share your best cruising destination pictures as well as staying connected on social media to follow all that is trending.

    Throughout the week, we will be featuring a specific destination each day filling you in on what the top spots to visit are, what are the best activities and top tips for your cruise are. Some of these destinations include hot spots in the Far East, the Caribbean and the United Arab Emirates.

    For more information on what will be happening throughout CLIA Cruise week, contact our cruise experts on 0808 168 6211
     

     

    Experiencing Universal Studios, Florida

    Experiencing Universal Studios, Florida
    Hear from one of our staff members about their trip to Universal Studios.
    Hi, my name is Sarah Lemasurier and I was lucky enough to go on a familiarisation trip to Universal Studios Resort in Orlando, Florida. On hearing the news, I was so excited as I literally only had 2 weeks until l I was due to travel, so of course I started packing straight away!
    We flew with Virgin Atlantic and we got upgraded to PREMIUM ECONOMY! Wow, it was amazing. Could this trip get any better, I wondered? Well, the answer to that was a definite Yes.
    Our group stayed at the Cabana Bay, which had just opened this year, and we were met there by our rep from Universal. She told us that, not only would we be going to Universal, there would be a VIP guide to escort us around for the 2 days - amazing!
    Staying on site at Universal Studios was awesome and there were so many plus sides to it - I loved the fact that you could charge everything in resort on your room key. This makes it a lot safer for anyone staying there, because they don't need to carry around a lot of cash. Also, the early admission into Harry Potter was brilliant! We were able to enjoy the rides and walk through Hogsmeade without it being too busy. I'd definitely recommend doing this.
    I loved the Portofino Hotel so much that I am looking at going there for my honeymoon next year. ! It's absolutely stunning - the pictures in the brochure don't do it justice! It's one of the nicest hotels I've ever been in.
    I would definitely say that for me the biggest attraction for families is the child swap facility – this is somewhere that parents can sit with their children whilst one parent is on board the ride or rollercoaster. It’s a huge help to families and I’m sure that lots of my clients will be interested in this. Confession time - I didn’t know this existed, and it's something other theme parks don't offer. I have told all my colleagues about it and they agree it’s a fantastic Universal feature.
    I have to be honest… I didn’t think I would enjoy the Blue Man Group, but happily I was proved wrong. This show was fantastic. It was so new and different to anything I have ever seen before. Loved the interaction with the audience and the technology used was superb. In fact, I loved it so much I actually bought the DVD!
    Universal Studios is much bigger than I ever imagined and the rides are superb. I didn't realise there were so many roller-coasters! I also loved City Walk. I thought this was a great place to stroll around of an evening and there were plenty of things for us to do, from the cinema to eating out to dancing the night away. There is literally something for everyone and for all ages.
    Again I loved the fact that you could charge everything on resort to the room. I also didn't realise how many rooms Universal had! I would definitely recommend anyone travelling to Universal to stay on site.
    I love the idea of a VIP guide round the resort and have already recommended this service to my customers! I also feel a lot more confident in advising about the Universal product now I have lived the experience myself. I loved that William, our tour guide, gave us some really interesting facts about the park and we learned things that not a lot of people would know, which I can now pass on.
    Before the trip, I would have recommended the resort to younger couples and families with children age 6 and above for the rides. After being there, I would say it is a place for everyone. Even if you don't want to take part in the rides etc. there is plenty to see and do. The attention to detail in the parks is extraordinary. Each world is completely different and there is something to suit a wide variety of different tastes. Even parents with younger children are good to go, thanks to the child swap area, so parents can ride the rides and not have to queue up again.
    The trip was extremely well organised and Hannah, the Universal Studios representative, was exceptional at making sure we all had a good time! She kept us on schedule and always went through our daily itinerary so we knew what was happening. We always knew our meeting points and I felt very safe in her company.
    William looked after us very well also and even came on some of the rides with us! He was very informative and could answer any questions we had about the parks. His experience shone through. I would highly recommend his services to any of my customers.
    10 out of 10 for this trip!

     

    Northern Ireland – Westeros brought to life

    Bum-bum, ba-da bum-bum, ba-da bum-bum...that recognisable theme tune plays as you're flown over the snazzily-designed land of Westeros and can only mean one thing...Game of Thrones!
    Are you a Stark supporter? Lannister lackey? Or maybe you're totally Targaryen; either way, the HBO show has taken the world by storm and the world of the Seven Kingdoms can be found outside of the pages of George RR Martin's epic novels – Northern Ireland is home to a number of locations used in the show!
    We take a tour around the country to visit Westeros locations that have been used to bring the world of A Song of Ice and Fire to life.
    WARNING: There may be some spoilers for people who haven't watched Seasons 1-4.
    Titanic Studios, Belfast
    The massive, iconic Throne Room; the Sept of Baelor, where Arya Stark witnessed the beheading of her father, Ned and – don't look down – the Eyrie, home to the House Arryn are all filmed in the Paint Hall of the 8-acre Titanic Studios.
    The Dark Hedges, County Antrim

    The location scouts for the show must have been thanking their lucky stars when they came across this eeriest, atmospheric road, lined by beech trees to give a delightfully creepy arched avenue.
    Tollymore Forest, County Down

    The opening minutes of the TV series happen here; the scouts heading out and stumbling across the dead – or are they? – bodies at the encampment, and then encountering the terrifying White Walkers.
    Castle Ward, County Down

    The mighty Winterfell – home to the Stark family that ultimately meets a fiery end – is found here. Our first foray into the lives of the characters happens here, when King Robert Baratheon arrives with his entourage in tow, including his manipulative wife, Cersei and his son (or so he believes), the sadistic Joffrey.
    Murlough Bay, County Antrim

    Murlough Bay has seen its share of drama – being the setting where Theon Greyjoy returns home to the Iron Islands after spending years as a captive to the Starks, in an attempt to forge an alliance between the two families. Fans will remember the ultimately awkward horse ride he had with his sister on the way to see his father. It is also where Davos Seaworth is rescued from the Fingers by a passing ship after the epic Battle of Blackwater Bay.
    Larrybane, County Antrim

    Storm's End – the ancestral seat of House Baratheon and home to Renly, brother of Robert and Stannis – is set in Larrybane. This is where we meet Brienne of Tarth, who defeated the Knight of Flowers, Loras Tyrell, in a tourney.
    Shillanavogy Valley, County Antrim
    Watched over by Mount Slemish, the supposed home of Saint Patrick, here is where we meet the Dothraki in their camp, and where the future mother of dragons, Daenerys, learns what it means to be Khaleesi – queen of the Dothraki horde.
    So grab your sword and take to the open road; drive through this scenic, mystical country, reliving all your favourite parts of the show, learn from expert tour guides and maybe get some juicy gossip about upcoming episodes! Don't forget to drop in at the Steensons Workshop & Gallery in Glenarm, County Antrim – they have been charged with the enviable task of creating the jewellery worn in the show! They made such masterpieces as Joffrey and Margaery's wedding crowns, Sansa's necklace that she wore to the “Purple Wedding” and various other pins, pendants, and necklaces seen throughout the series.

     

    Our Training Department Heads to the Middle East

    Read all about Paul, from our Barrhead Travel Training Department, and his recent familiarisation trip to Dubai.
    'I was lucky enough to experience all the amazing sights and sounds that Dubai, one of the world's richest countries, has to offer in March.  From the moment I arrived at Glasgow airport I knew I was about to have the time of my life. I was completely spoiled from start to finish.I really kicked off my vacation in style flying business class with Emirates. Upon boarding, I was greeted with a curtsy and a glass of champagne before being escorted to my reclining flatbed and handed an iPad. It had all the latest features from the world of music, film and entertainment.'
    'My flight was a holiday experience in itself and I would HIGHLY recommend paying the slight premium to fly first or business class.Feeling refreshed and revitalised after my flight, I opened my eyes to a world of perfect white sands, tropical blue seas and glorious sunshine. I instantly fell in love with Dubai. My 5 days were action packed and I felt as though I had been transported into another world in just over 6 hours. The rain of Glasgow felt a million miles away as I spent my time sampling all types of cuisine, shopping till I dropped, and living it up in some clubs and pubs that would give Ibiza a run for its money.The international flavours and spices in Dubai made my mouth water and a must for food lovers is a trip to the spice market in Deira.  Here is where you really get to sample the great textures and have your taste buds opened up to flavours which to me were other worldly.
    After a day at the spice market, a great way to unwind and have some fun would be an unmissable trip out to the desert on a jeep safari.  Get the adrenaline pumping as you are whisked through the desert over the sand dunes before arriving at an oasis full of belly dancers and magic carpets for an evening of entertainment and dancing - you even have your own henna tattoo artist. This for me was the highlight of my time in Dubai. Not to be missed.
    There is so much to see and do in Dubai so pack an array of clothing to suit all occasions but do bare in mind it often tends to be glorious sunshine.  You never know where this magical land could take you. One day you could be standing on the top floor of the worlds highest building (The Burj) gasping at the amazing views, the next you could be at the Atlantis water park relaxing in the lazy river.
    Dubai has something for everyone and I have already booked my flights for next year as I feel there is so much I still have to see and do there. My top tip would be to be respectful of the local people and respect their culture and religious views if you do that you will have the time of your life.
    I wish I could take you all with me next year to experience first hand how amazing this place really is.  For me it is a 10 out of 10 Holiday.'  - Paul, from our Barrhead Travel Training Department
    Why not give Dubai a try yourself, Call today to find out more: 0800 484 0312.

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