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Holiday fever?

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UK or not UK? That is the question…

Plans and bookings have been made for 2017 and there are ideas in the melting pot for others in the UK and Europe.

Airlines, holiday companies and hotel chains are already sending me emails regarding their offers for next year whilst Expedia have just awarded me + Silver status on their rankings, something that goes alongside the Genius status awarded by Booking.com earlier this year.

[I will hasten to add at this point that I personally don’t regard myself as a genius in any way, shape or form – I know what my school results were and that my degree from University Of Sunderland is a Desmond (a 2:2).]

But I digress. I suspect that there will be a few more emails over the coming months giving me more details of what their promotions are.

Yes, I’ve unsubscribed from one accommodation provider’s email list as I was getting so many emails alerting me to deals going on in places I’ve already been to over the last twelve months and to deals in places that I’ve already booked for in early 2017.

I already know what Rohan’s sale items are though as a catalogue arrived via snail mail earlier in the week and this has been backed up by an email a few minutes ago.

Items of interest have been identified and that’s to my advantage as I decided not to take up the offer on a 20% off full price stock voucher for use in the Leeds store a couple of Saturdays ago.

Have the prices gone down? Yes, and by more than 20% – one will have a 30% reduction whist the other has a 50% reduction.

They’re both fleeces, but they will come in useful as a couple of existing fleeces have seen better days.

A couple of t-shirts have also caught my eye too as selected colours in the Element T and Merino Union 200 T ranges are also being given the 30% off treatment come Tuesday 27th…

The above will come in useful as Caroline and I head off to either European destinations or those here in the UK.

We haven’t been up to Scotland for a while now and whilst Caroline has been to both Northern Ireland and Isle of Man, I haven’t – yet!

I’ve not been up to the Borders for a while and it’s a few years since we spent time in the Lake District. Our North Norfolk hideaway has changed management recently, so a few days may be spent in one of the hostel’s en-suite rooms or on one of their campsite pitches.

A return visit to Suffolk could be on the cards, as could London or Brighton and Hastings. My last visit to Brighton was way back in the 1960s and whilst Caroline and King Harold have seen Hastings, I haven’t…

Anything else? Have a good holiday season, wherever you are in the world!

And that pic?* Fishguard, Pembrokeshire, Wales

2015, here we come…

Yes, we’re twelve days into 2015 and if the news/opinion/conjecture is anything to go by, it could be a good year for travelling.

Will the exchange rate (pound v euro for example) stay favourable?

Will air fares come down thanks to the price of oil and changes to APD charges?

Will George bite the bullet on Budget Day and drop APD charges as a sweetener in the run-up to the election in May?

Will more people head off to foreign shores as a result?

Or will they stay at home in the UK and take advantage of the current lower fuel prices?

And lower food prices if self catering thanks to supermarket wars?

Will travellers cut down on tech and talk to real people in hostels and destinations rather than immersing themselves in what’s onscreen on their smartphones, tablets or laptops?

Or realise that you can travel on hand luggage only, even if it’s a three-six month trip?

(I suspect that the lady Caroline and I were talking to in Tavira may have cut down on her bag sizes after seeing our Osprey packs. A few Brits staying in the same hotel were similarly gobsmacked when they saw us checking out on our last day there…)

Or realise that by flying hand luggage only, you can cut out hold luggage and bag in the cab boot charges – more money for nights on the town, a better meal or sightseeing…

Or realise that staying in one, two or three places rather than five, six, seven or more can be a more worthwhile experience as you can see more, pay less, relax and linger over breakfast rather than rushing out for a train to get to the next port of call…

(Best example of this is the American guy I met who had arrived in Bergen that morning, had joined the Norway In A Nutshell tour and was heading to Oslo from Myrdal then onwards to Stockholm and then to HelsinkiScandinavia ticked off in 24 hours! D’oh…)

Our trip list for 2015 has been discussed, but there’s a couple of late suggestions going into the melting pot.

One is a visit to Northern Ireland to visit Bushmills, Giant’s Causeway and the Armoy motor cycle road races.

The other is to visit a place that’s been mentioned a few times, but has come to the fore once more thanks to the book I’ve just finished reading, watching Casablanca last week and news stories over the last few days.

I’ve walked in the Jura and in Provence, but we’ve never been to Paris.

Yet…