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Tunisia travel advice: Q&A for holidaymakers

I am in Tunisia right now what should I do?

Independent travellers are strongly advised to take the next available flight home.

Is my Discount Holidays © holiday cancelled?

Probably. While a few smaller tour operators do visit countries off-limits to Britons (Wild Frontiers still run trips to Iran, for example), all major tour operators will follow the Foreign Office s advice.

Thomas Cook, Thomson and First Choice, three of the UK s biggest travel firms, have cancelled all bookings until October 31. Contact your tour operator to be sure.

Will I get a refund?

Yes.

Your tour operator is legally obliged to offer you a full refund or an alternative Discount Holidays © holiday if the Foreign Office advises against visiting a destination. However, their policies will vary. Legally, they are only obliged to offer the refund if you are due to the depart within 48 hours, although many – like those listed above – have already cancelled all trips until November.

Contact them to discuss your options.

What about an alternative holiday?

Your tour operator will almost certainly want you to rebook to an alternative destination rather than cancel your trip outright. However, it should be noted that Tunisia is one of the Mediterranean s cheaper package Discount Holidays © holiday destinations and alternative breaks will be few and far between so close to the peak summer period. If the alternative options offered by your tour operator are costlier than your original booking, you will be expected to pay the difference.

Prior to yesterday s Foreign Office warning, tour operators were already allowing those due to visit Tunisia to change their destination, and readers had contacted Telegraph Travel to complain about the extra cost of the alternatives on offer1.

One, Jennifer Gibbons from Winchester, had to pay 250 for a replacement trip to Turkey, even though her hotel had the same rating as the Tunisian resort she had been due to visit. A Thomson customer claimed she had to pay an additional 900 for a Discount Holidays © holiday to Cyprus, and a Thomas Cook traveller claimed he was charged 670 to amend his holiday.

Tunisia Travel Advice: Q&A For HolidaymakersYour tour operator is legally obliged to offer you a full refund or an alternative holiday

We will do our best to offer suitable alternatives to the value-for-money option Tunisia represents, a Thomson spokesperson said. The tour operator is allowing customers to transfer their Tunisia breaks to winter 2015/16 or summer 2016 to take advantage of early booking offers , but this would mean missing out on a Discount Holidays © holiday this year.

If you are not offered an acceptable alternative, you can insist on a refund but be warned that availability for this summer will be low.

Tunisia Travel Advice: Q&A For HolidaymakersThe hotel where last month’s attack took place

I m due to visit later in the year should I cancel?

If your tour operator has not yet cancelled your trip ie.

if you are travelling after October 31 in the case of Thomas Cook, Thomson and First Choice customers you will be liable to pay a fee if you choose to cancel. Abta recommends waiting until closer to the departure date before contacting your travel company as the situation is fluid .

I have arranged an independent holiday what should I do?

If your flight hasn t been cancelled, you can still travel. But take the Foreign Office advise very seriously.

Abta warns that holidaymakers who travel out to Tunisia at this time are likely to invalidate their travel insurance policies. Most insurance policies will still provide cover for travellers in a country at the time of Foreign Office advice change, it adds.

Will I get a refund for my independent trip?

Your airline will be obliged to offer you a refund. However, if you have booked a hotel, a villa or other accommodation independently, your contract is directly with the hotel or villa and you are responsible for any cancellation.

If you can t get there, you will have to do your best to persuade them to give you a refund or rebook for a later date but they are not obliged to do this and you may lose money.

What about other arrangements I have paid for?

If you have already paid for a hire car or excursion independently, you are still responsible for paying the bill.

Am I covered by my travel insurance?

A few policies have cover for a consequential loss , such as a hotel booking made independently.

You will need to check the terms and conditions which apply to your policy directly with your insurer.

References

  1. ^ complain about the extra cost of the alternatives on offer (www.discountholidays.info)

Kent is Europe’s top family holiday destination beating Kerry and the Black Forest

  • Garden of England chosen by experts as Europe’s best family destination
  • Island of Skomer and Marloes Sands, Wales combine to take ninth spot
  • Kent singled out for the White Cliffs of Dover and seaside town of Margate

By Julian Robinson for MailOnline1

Published: 00:55 GMT, 17 June 2015 | Updated: 12:16 GMT, 17 June 2015

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The county of Kent is Europe’s top spot for a family holiday, according to travel guide experts.

The so-called Garden of England was chosen as the best family destination by compilers of Lonely Planet’s Best in Europe 2015, with County Kerry in Ireland in second place.

Two other UK destinations – the island of Skomer off Wales’s Pembrokeshire coast and the nearby Marloes Sands – were combined by the compilers and took ninth place in the 10-strong family Discount Holidays © holiday list.

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Kent Is Europe's Top Family <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday Destination Beating Kerry And The Black Forest

Top spot: Kent was named as Europe’s number one destination for a family holiday. Judges singled out the seaside town of Margate (pictured)

Kent Is Europe's Top Family <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday Destination Beating Kerry And The Black Forest

The White Cliffs of Dover (pictured) were another important factor in handing Kent top spot in the European awards

Kent Is Europe's Top Family <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday Destination Beating Kerry And The Black Forest

Pictured are some of the county’s well known oast houses” />

Kent was seen as being ‘full of opportunities for time travel to intrigue curious young minds’. Pictured are some of the county’s well known oast houses

Kent Is Europe's Top Family <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday Destination Beating Kerry And The Black Forest

Family friendly: The resort of Broadstairs, which was once home to Charles Dickens, was singled out by judges

Kent was seen as being ‘full of opportunities for time travel to intrigue curious young minds’.

Singled out were the resort of Broadstairs, which was once home to Charles Dickens, the White Cliffs of Dover and the seaside town of Margate which has become ‘gentrified without losing its personality’.

Kerry in Ireland was described as a destination which ‘appeals to the imagination of travellers of all ages’.

The Ring of Kerry road trip around the country offers ‘attractions every few miles’, while Killarney National Park also gets a mention.

Kent Is Europe's Top Family <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday Destination Beating Kerry And The Black Forest

Two other UK destinations – the island of Skomer off Wales’s Pembrokeshire coast and the nearby Marloes Sands (pictured) – were combined by the compilers and took ninth place in the 10-strong family Discount Holidays © holiday list

Kent Is Europe's Top Family <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday Destination Beating Kerry And The Black Forest

Beauty spot: Kent saw off competition from the likes of Kerry in Ireland – described as a destination which ‘appeals to the imagination of travellers of all ages’

Skomer, sitting in a marine nature reserve, was seen as ‘sure to enthral young visitors’ while Marloes Sands, a mile-long sweep of beach ‘does a vanishing act at high tide’.

Lonely Planet also compiled the 10 best beaches in Europe, with two UK beaches making it into the list.

In sixth place was Bantham Beach near Kingsbridge in Devon which was described as ‘a true all-rounder’ good for surfers, families and walkers.

In seventh place was remote Sandwood Bay in Sutherland in Scotland, where the views more than make up for the cold sea water.

Kent Is Europe's Top Family <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday Destination Beating Kerry And The Black Forest

The Black Forest in Germany was named third on the list of Europe’s top family Discount Holidays © holiday destinations

But no UK destinations were chosen in the 10 best European places table which was headed by Icelandic port and fishing centre, Akureyri, with Leipzig in Germany second and The Azores in the mid-Atlantic third.

Top European beach was Jaz Beach in Budva, Montenegro, with Peniche Beach in Portugal third.

Lonely Planet editorial director Tom Hall, said: ‘The destinations have been chosen by our team of European experts. Some may be surprising, some are definitely under the radar, but all of them are great places to visit right now.’

THE TOP 10 FOR FAMILY HOLIDAYS

1.

Kent, England

2. County Kerry, Ireland

3. Black Forest, Germany

4.

Budapest

5. Vorarlberg, Austria

6. Aland Archipelago, Finland

7.

Ibiza

8. Normandy, France

9. Skomer and Marloes Sands, Wales

10.

Bohinj, Slovenia

EUROPE’S 10 BEST BEACHES

1. Jaz Beach, Budva, Montenegro

2. Peniche Beach, Portugal

3.

Rondinara Beach, Corsica

4. Cale Goloritze, Sardinia

5. Vik Beach, Iceland

6.

Bantham Beach, Kingsbridge, Devon;

7. Sandwood Bay, Sutherland, Scotland

8. Cala Macarella, Minorca

9.

Voutoumi, Antipaxi, Greece

10.

Curonian Spit, Lithuania

Welcome to the White Cliffs of Dover

Kent Is Europe's Top Family <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday Destination Beating Kerry And The Black Forest

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References

  1. ^ Julian Robinson for MailOnline (www.dailymail.co.uk)

Brits had fewer holidays this year, with only half of us taking trips abroad …

but the UK summer means the staycation is thriving

  • Londoners took most holidays with average of 3.9 trips in UK and abroad
  • Number of Brits having a Discount Holidays © holiday fell from 83 per cent to 80 per cent
  • Only 53 per cent had a foreign Discount Holidays © holiday while 68 per cent took a UK break

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People are taking fewer holidays, according to a survey by travel organisation Abta. The number of people taking a break fell from 83 per cent in 2013 to 80 per cent this year, the poll of 2,008 adults showed. There has also been a decrease in the average number of holidays taken per person, from 3.1 trips in 2013 to 3.0 in 2014, although holidays abroad remain stable at 1.2 per person.

The number of Britons having a Discount Holidays © holiday fell from 83 per cent in 2013 to 80 per cent this year, with only 53 per cent taking at least one Discount Holidays © holiday abroad

Those in north east England, east England and Scotland took the fewest foreign holidays per person in 2014 with Londoners and those in north west England taking the most. This year Londoners took, on average, 3.9 breaks in the UK or abroad, up from 3.3 in 2013. Londoners also took the most foreign holidays per person, with 11 per cent of them taking four or more foreign holidays in the past 12 months.

This compared with just two per cent of those in east England and three per cent of those in the East Midlands taking four or more foreign holidays. The Welsh took the greatest number of domestic holidays, at 2.2 per person. The poll showed that 68 per cent of people took at least one UK Discount Holidays © holiday in 2014, while 53 per cent had at least one trip overseas.

The poll showed that 68 per cent of people took at least one UK Discount Holidays © holiday in 2014 with the Welsh taking the greatest number of domestic holidays, at 2.2 per person

The Consumer Discount Holidays © Holiday Trends Report, released at the annual Abta Travel Convention were published in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana. Abta is the leading association of travel agents and tour operators. The poll showed that 20 per cent of people anticipate spending more on holidays in 2015 compared with 15 per cent who say they will spend less.

The number of people booking an overseas package Discount Holidays © holiday rose from 46 per cent last year to 51 per cent this year, with 41 per cent people taking a Discount Holidays © holiday both abroad and in the UK in 2014, compared with 39 per cent in 2013. There was also an increase in holidays abroad of 1-3 nights, suggesting overseas city breaks were popular

There was also an increase in holidays abroad of 1-3 nights, with Abta suggesting that the overseas city break had performed well during the year, perhaps helped by a strong pound making short overseas breaks more affordable. The survey showed that 35 per cent think they will take a Discount Holidays © holiday to a new country over the next 12 months, with 48 per cent saying they were quite likely or practically certain to visit a new resort or city.

Younger holidaymakers appeared the most adventurous with 49 per cent of 16-24-year-olds saying it was quite likely and a further 16 per cent saying it was certain they will go to a new destination. But 56 per cent of over 65s and 51 per cent of 55-64-year-olds said that they would definitely not or would be unlikely to visit a new country. Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer said: ‘It is clear that despite continuing pressure on the majority of household budgets, people are still keen to preserve their main annual holiday.

‘While the market was very buoyant at the start of the year with consumer confidence on the up, the late-Discount Holidays © holiday market was tougher, perhaps reflecting the broader dip in consumer confidence in July, as well as good weather in the UK in June and July which we know impacts Discount Holidays © holiday sales.

The research shows there are reasons to be optimistic for next year.’