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Best deal ever? 50% off reward flights with British Airways

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Members of the British Airways Executive Club are currently being treated by the airline. From today, the amount of Avios required to book reward flights have been substantially reduced.

This is easily the best deal seen in quite a long time for frequent flyers at the oneworld carrier. You had better get in quick though as it’s a limited time offer.

Reward Flights Deal

Those wanting to take long-haul flights can now do it for half price. A full 50% has been taken off the usual amount of Avios required for travel. For example, return flights from London Heathrow to New York will set you back just 50,000 Avios in Club World business class.

First class is also half off, so the same trip would require 68,000 Avios. You still need to pay the taxes and fees on top of course and this is not discounted.

When it comes to European and short-haul travel, the discount is 25%. I would really save your Avios to use for long-haul flights as you get more value out of the points.

You need to book by 13 October 2020 for travel anytime up to 30 June 2021. Bookings can be cancelled for a £35 fee, so if you can’t go, or change your plans, you won’t be very much out of pocket.

Overall Thoughts

Reward flights are the best use of your frequent flyer points in my opinion. Being able to fly at the pointy end without paying full price is something everyone finds satisfactory.

This is one of the most competitive promotions British Airways have ever had, so you should take advantage of this. It only applies to BA flights and not flights with partner airlines.

Are you going to be booking reward flights under the promotion? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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All my flight and lounge reviews are indexed here so check them out!

Boeing 787 image by Tony Hisgett via Wikimedia Commons.

By: The Flight Detective
Title: Best deal ever? 50% off reward flights with British Airways
Sourced From: travelupdate.com/reward-flights-deal-british-airways/
Published Date: Tue, 06 Oct 2020 11:30:45 +0000

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A quick look at Aegean Airlines business class food right now

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Aegean Airlines is a member of Star Alliance and is the airline of Greece. They introduced a new livery earlier this year and at the moment have amended business class catering due to the pandemic.

It is always interesting to see what airlines are doing right now with on board service. For example, Swiss offer the full inflight catering experience for business class. Others have adapted a different approach.

egean Airlines Business Class Meal

The airline is up front about its amended catering, with a notice on the web site. It says, “All passengers are offered an individual water bottle and a packaged snack. Soon, there will be a differentiation in service for the Business Class, but for the given period of time, a cold snack is offered on both classes on board. Service on board with hot and cold beverages is reinstated in Business Class. Alcohol drinks are offered only in the international flights.”

A friend of mine flew from Amsterdam to Athens in business class, having taken an upgrade offer during check-in. Since it was so cheap, it made total sense to do this. The on board meal is, as it says on the web site, “a packaged snack”.

I’m not entirely sure what is in the sandwich, but it is a sandwich, juice box, water and a bag of something. It is perfectly adequate, but it is a far cry from the usual business class service.

As the web site says, “Soon, there will be a differentiation in service for the Business Class”, so let’s hope it happens soon. At least it is edible, and I guess that’s the main point.

Overall Thoughts

Aegean Airlines is not alone with changes to catering during Corona. British Airways serve cold meals in a box or paper bag for example, while Aer Lingus have suspended on board meals completely. Each carrier has a different take on things.

Have you flown with Aegean and received this kind of meal in business class? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

To never miss a post, follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

All my flight and lounge reviews are indexed here so check them out!

Featured image by George Kokkinidis via Wikimedia Commons.

By: The Flight Detective
Title: A quick look at Aegean Airlines business class food right now
Sourced From: travelupdate.com/aegean-airlines-business-food/
Published Date: Sat, 17 Oct 2020 16:03:26 +0000

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Going On A Spa Getaway Abroad? Here’s Everything You Need To Know

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Going on a spa getaway is one of the best things that anyone can do for their physical and mental health. As a recent survey has shown that 75 percent of adults experience moderate to high levels of stress in any given month, taking some time to relax and de-stress should be a priority to improve overall wellness. The serene environment of a spa resort, as well as all the relaxing activities that one can do in it, can help to ease tension and improve mood. If you’re planning to go on an overseas spa trip, packing well for your getaway, as well as knowing all the local spa customs, can help you make the most of your experience. Here’s a guide to going on a spa getaway abroad.

How to Plan a Spa Getaway Abroad

Reserve your treatments before you leave

Whether you’re going to Bali or heading to a spa resort in Jamaica, reserving your spa treatments should be a priority before leaving for your trip. Specialists at Viva Day Spa recommend booking treatments in advance to secure your preferred date and time. This way, you can get your massage, moisturizing facial, or any other spa treatment done when you want them so you’ll have time to participate in other activities, such as a yoga class or a group meditation session. You may also want to consider getting in touch with a spa manager if you need recommendations on what treatments to get so they can tailor fit your treatments according to your needs. Make sure to ask if they have any spa packages that are bundled with room rates so you can save some cash on your trip. 

Turn your cellphone off

Being at a spa resort allows you to decompress as it offers you a way to temporarily escape from the stressors of daily life. That being said, you should also consider going on a digital detox while you’re on a spa getaway as spending hours scrolling through your social media feed can also cause a certain amount of stress. Take selfies if you must, but only post them once you get home, and remember to turn off your phone while you’re having spa treatments. 

Speak up

If it’s your first time getting a new type of massage or an unfamiliar treatment, don’t hesitate to ask your therapist or technician to explain more about it. Even if you’re in a foreign country, it’s very likely that the staff can understand and speak English well, and this is often the case if you’re staying in a highly rated spa resort. You should also speak up if you feel any pain during treatments so that the technician can make adjustments to ensure that you’re comfortable while you’re having a massage or a med spa treatment. 

A spa getaway in a beautiful destination can help to heal your mind, body, and soul. Consider these tips if you’re going on a spa trip abroad so you can get the most out of your treatments.

The post Going On A Spa Getaway Abroad? Here’s Everything You Need To Know appeared first on Travel Experta – Family Travel Blog.


By: Marina Villatoro
Title: Going On A Spa Getaway Abroad? Here’s Everything You Need To Know
Sourced From: feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheTravelExperta/~3/9eB1qOlO1gA/going-spa-getaway-abroad-heres-everything-need-know.html
Published Date: Fri, 16 Oct 2020 17:45:39 +0000

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Travel To Tahiti with Kids

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When most people think Tahiti, they think “honeymoons”.  Actually there’s a lot to see and do for kids as well, especially on Tahiti Nui (the main island) and Moorea.  On the less touristy/popular islands, it’s mostly going to be about playing in the pool, on the beach, snorkeling, paddling, etc. and there will be fewer guided tours and activities.  

For the most part, you can get by with just English, although I’d recommend learning “hello” (“Ia Orana”) and “thank you” (“Mauruuru”) – you’ll get a nice positive response from the locals for trying (no matter how badly you butcher the language!).  If you speak French, you’ll find everyone is fluent in French on all of the islands.

Getting There

If you’re coming from the USA, you’ll probably be taking an overnight flight from LAX (Los Angeles).  You’ll keep the kids up a little late getting to the airport, then they’ll be tired and sleep on the plane (hopefully you will too), and you’ll all wake up in Tahiti about 8 hours later.

But the main island of Tahiti Nui, where international flights all land, is unlikely to be your final destination.  The vast majority of travelers will end up on one of the other islands, like Moorea or Bora Bora.  Moorea is cheap to get to via an inexpensive and short ferry ride – the other islands require an additional plane flight.

What Makes it Great for Kids?

If your kids are pretty young, they’ll probably be happy just hanging out and doing activities with you, or splashing around in the pool or at the beach.  If you have teenagers, you already know how easily they get bored, and how much they’d rather be hanging out with other teenagers. 

Many resorts will have babysitting available, so that’s an option if your kids are very young.  The larger the resort, the more likely it is that there will be other kids the same age as yours, which makes it more fun for them.

If your children are old enough to be unsupervised, then any of the islands will offer them fun, safe things to do: hiking, snorkeling, playing on the beach or in the pool, bicycle riding (mostly just on Moorea), boat and jet ski tours, and Polynesian shows (like a Hawaiian luau).

If you want some “us” time, and your kids needs supervision, it’s worth looking at resorts that have a “kids club” with supervised activities, so the two of you can go scuba diving, take a romantic boat ride, or just have quiet time.  Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora has their “Kids For All Seasons” program, with a supervised kids club; the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort has a Kids Creativity Club.

Pro Tip:

Before we dive into the different islands, I’ve got an important piece of advice for you:  use a Tahiti specialist travel agent.  They’ll be booking through a big Tahiti wholesaler like Classic Vacations or Tahiti Legends—if and when something goes wrong, you’ve got big leverage on your side to get it fixed and FAST.  If something is overbooked, or a transfer is reserved for the wrong day, or whatever, the vendor is going to “bump” the travelers whom they’re never going to hear from again.  If they have to make some client unhappy, they’re going to choose the one who booked online, because it’s not going to affect their business in the future.  They’re going to make sure first that the clients from the wholesaler who brings them 30% of their business are taken care of; and the wholesaler is going to make sure they take care of the clients of the agent who books a lot of Tahiti trips through them.

The best news is that, in general, the big wholesalers have deals as good as or better than the online travel agencies, so it’s not going to cost you any more to have that agent on your side.  Some agents will charge a planning fee, but it’s typically minimal, and mostly they’re making their money as a commission from the wholesaler and the hotel.

True story:  on my last trip to Tahiti, we got off the plane with our 3 kids and went to get our transfers for the ferry.  The local inbound operator didn’t have our reservations.  We showed them our printed itinerary from Classic Vacations, and they immediately gave us transfers and told us they’d figure it all out later.  Going through their most important wholesaler meant that although there was a problem, it wasn’t going to be OUR problem.

OK, let’s talk islands now!

Tahiti Nui

You’re going to land there anyways, so might as well get to experience a little more of the non-resort Tahiti culture.  Papeete is the main city there, and the airport in Papeete is called Faa’a. Accommodations are relatively inexpensive, but you’re not going to get that Polynesian experience like on the outer islands.   Still, there are a few things to see and do that make it worthwhile taking a day and a night on the main island before you scoot off to another island for your overwater bungalow fix.

Les Roulottes – these are Papeete’s food carts, and they were popular here before the rest of the world caught on to what an awesome idea they are; night time only, opens at 6PM.Marche de Papeete – That’s just French for “Papeete market”; local fresh fruits, flowers, vanilla, crafts, and pearls.Arahoho Blowhole -it’s about a half hour east of Papeete, and one of the most visited natural wondersPaofai Gardens – maybe a good walk to stretch your legs before getting on a ferry to Moorea, it’s right near downtown, and there’s a playground for young kids.Paul Gaugin museum – this is one of those things that probably SOUNDS like a great idea, but it’s likely over most kids’ heads, and it’s about an hour’s drive from Papeete.

Moorea

Moorea is super easy to get to by ferry (30 to 45 minutes, about $15 USD).  For a family of 4, that’s $60, vs. about $1600 to fly all of you to Bora Bora and back.  You can also fly to Moorea from Faa’a, but why?  The ferry is fun and scenic and after 8 hours from LAX, you’ll be ready for some fresh air and a little more legroom.

Moorea has a really good variety of accommodations, including garden bungalows, beach bungalows, and overwater bungalows.  The overwater bungalows get all the attention, but don’t discount the beach and garden bungalows – they’re generally pretty spectacular and roomy, some with outdoor showers, some with private plunge pools. 

At the Hilton, you have the option of adjoining bungalows, so the parents can have some privacy in one, with the kids next door; and the Sofitel Moorea has a luxurious 2-bedroom villa.  The Manava Beach Resort and Spa has the Family Garden Duplexes, with a king bed upstairs and 2 single beds downstairs; the Garden View Duplex has a king and a double sofa bed.  Les Tipaniers has the Vanilla Api bungalow, with 2 bedrooms and capacity for 6 people. 

Hotel Hibiscus has garden suites and bungalows available for that host up to 5 and 7 people respectively.  Hotel Kaveka has many options suitable for families.

We recently stayed at the Intercontinental Moorea, in two adjacent bungalows—parents in one, and the kids (9, 11, and 11) right next door. This resort is currently closed due to COVID however.

On Moorea, you’ll find tons of activities and adventures.  Just a couple of years ago, a zipline adventure opened up.  The staff, safety equipment, and setup were all first-rate, and we had no qualms about taking our kids on it.  They had so much fun the first time, we did it twice….and the torrential downpour just made it a better adventure.

You can snorkel (safely) with sharks and stingrays – roughly 500 to 1000 yards off the shore near the Intercontinental.  There are a number of tour boats that will take you on an outing that includes a stop here.   The water is about 5’ deep, the reef sharks are about 5’ long, and the rays come up and eat out of your hand.

There are tons of safe, shallow reefs around the entire island, and lots of other snorkel and boat tours.  There’s also a terrific ATV tour up into the mountains, to the famous Belvedere Lookout (spectacular views!), and a pineapple farm along the way.    There’s also jet ski rentals, golf (the only golf courses are on Moorea and on Tahiti Nui), terrific hikes with fantastic views, sea scooter tours, parasailing, intro to scuba classes, and license-free boat rentals.  You might think that’s brave (stupid?) of the rental company, but really the waters are super calm and you can’t really get lost.

There’s also a lot of very “local” restaurants, feet-in-the-sand, etc., as well as dine-in the resort.

Bora Bora

Bora Bora is more expensive to get to (figure on about $400 per person for airfare from Papeete), but with dramatic views of Mount Otemanu that will astound you.  You’ll find this island caters much more to luxury honeymooners than Moorea, although there’s still family-style accommodations and activities available.  This is also the only island where resorts have a Kids Club (Four Seasons and St. Regis).

There’s great (and easy and safe) snorkeling within the surrounding reef – Bora Bora is basically a big volcanic mountain (Otemanu) of an island, surrounded by motus (a little ring of atolls) that creates a protected donut-shaped lagoon around the central island.

Fantastic snorkeling is available via short boat trips from any resort at the Lagoonarium (on the east side motu, between Le Meridien and St. Regis), but there’s also a lesser-known but amazing coral garden at the southeastern end of Bora Bora. It’s an easy swim from your bungalow or the beach if you’re at the Intercontinental Le Moana, or the Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island resort, or Hotel Maitai; if you’re at the Sofitel Marara Beach resort, it’s more like a 1/2 mile away.

If you’re at the Conrad, you’ve got great snorkeling there too, as you’re on a little island off the west side of the main island, but still within the protective outer reef.  At the Bora Bora Pearl, at the northwest end of Bora Bora, there’s snorkeling just south down the beach about 300 yards from the main walkway that goes out to the overwater bungalows. 

Most of the resorts are on the motus, which means that most of the non-aquatic activities require a short boat shuttle ride to Vaitape, the little town on the main island.  You can do 4wd safaris, ATV tours, hikes, and there’s also the Turtle Center at the Le Meridien resort, which is always a kid-pleaser.

Huahine

Not as well known as Bora Bora and Moorea, Huahine is pretty laid-back and has modestly priced accommodations by comparison.  Like Bora Bora, it’s going to require an air transfer to get there, and it’s nearly as far as Bora Bora and Le Taha’a.  Hotel Le Mahana Huahine has Lagoon front bungalows with 1 king bed and 2 single beds; Royal Huahine has overwater bungalows, and their overwater, garden, and beach bungalows are all capable of serving parents plus 2 children.

Le Taha’a

Near Huahine and Bora Bora, Le Taha’a is home to the ultra-luxurious Le Taha’a Island Resort (where I’m told Bill Gates likes to go, and play tennis with the gardener).  But it’s also home to another real gem:  Vahine Private Island resort.

Le Taha’a Island Resort’s rooms mostly are only suitable for parents and one young child, but they do have the Royal Pool Beach Villas which have capacity for up to 5 people.

Vahine’s Beach Suite has capacity for parents plus 1 child on a sleeper sofa, plus the amazing Villa Royale – a large house that sleeps up to 20.

Tuamotu Atolls

The furthest-out islands in French Polynesia, the Tuamotu Atolls are famous for spectacular scuba diving.  If you’re a serious scuba diver, the Tuamotu Atolls are already on your bucket list.  They’re known for hammerhead sharks, barracuda, bottlenose dolphins, eagle rays, manta rays, and the massive Napoleon wrasse.

Expect to pay $400-$500 per person for the air transfer from Papeete.

This is not your typical “family” destination, but if your kids are older, certified divers, this would be quite an adventure for them.  If your kids are younger, make sure the resort is currently able to offer supervision/babysitting.

At Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort, most of the rooms are suitable for parents plus 1 young child, but they do also have the Pool Beach Villa, which can sleep 2 adults plus 3 children.  At Maitai Rangiroa, the Vini and Lagoon bungalows can accommodate parents plus 1 child on a sofa bed.

Hotel Kia Ora Resort & Spa has a range of options suitable for families, including the family suites with private pool and the Beach Duplex bungalow (link: https://www.hotelkiaora.com/room/bungalow-beach-duplex-rangiroa/).

Ninamu Resort is a boutique resort with a total of only 8 bungalows, three of which that sleep up to 4, and the Tamanu bungalow which sleeps up to 6.

Author Bio

By Michael Cottam

BIO:  Michael is an avid traveler, photographer, and scuba diver.  He’s the founder of Visual Itineraries, a travel planning website, and Bright Yonder, a travel agent tools website.  He’s been to Tahiti multiple times, and has taken his son there, as well as to Mexico, Canada, Key West, Jamaica, England, and France.

The post Travel To Tahiti with Kids appeared first on Travel Experta – Family Travel Blog.


By: Marina Villatoro
Title: Travel To Tahiti with Kids
Sourced From: feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheTravelExperta/~3/oS1rpJAGvA8/travel-to-tahiti-with-kids.html
Published Date: Fri, 16 Oct 2020 14:37:09 +0000

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