Fluffy bathrobes and slippers, room service, fancy toiletries, a big comfy bed – really, who doesn’t love staying at a hotel?
But if we have one pet peeve, it’s the fact that when you’re given an electronic swipe card as a key there’s no way of charging devices once you’ve left the room as the card needs to be in the slot by the door in order to keep the electricity on.
It also means that if you go out for the day, the air conditioning goes off and you can enjoy returning to a nice, humid room. Lovely.
However, this hotel room hack will change the way you stay at hotels forever. Yes, really – forever. Because long gone are the days of stuffy rooms and not being able to charge your phone.
The key cards don’t actually need to be in the slot to keep the electricity on. One Twitter user pointed out that any card that fits in there will keep things going. There’s no special chip or sensor that requires the key – as long as there’s something keeping the button at the bottom down, the slot is none the wiser.
‘Travellers’ tips (an occasional series): you see, you can use ANY card to work your hotel-room light switch. In this case my Ely Cathedral shop discount card,’ Jonathan Jones tweeted.
So now you know you can leave the room with your phone on charge
It also means that if one of you decides to pop out while the other has a snooze, they can take the card with them and the napping person doesn’t have to suffer with no air conditioning.
Endless deadlines, cramming yourself onto a packed train during your commute and the unreliable British weather are just a few reasons you might be daydreaming of packing your suitcase and jetting off to a beautiful little island.
But what if you could do just that and get paid for it? Sounds too good to be true, right?
Wrong. If you like the sound of sun, sea and sand on a secluded slice of paradise then the Greek island of Antikythera, located between Crete and mainland Greece, is looking to boost its population. If you decide to make the move they’ll provide you with a plot of land, a house and €6,000 (€500 per month).
Currently there are only twenty residents living on the island, and it’s hoped that the attractive offer will encourage young families to pack their bags and make the move.
However – and yes, there’s always a catch – despite the fact that a ferry runs from Crete to Antikythera if can be a pretty hard place to get to as travel can be disrupted due to the weather.
It may also be a little isolating at first, considering that only a handful of people live there at the moment. One resident, 62-year-old Vassals Aloizos, told the LA Times: ‘We are an island of pensioners, old men.’
Four families have reportedly been approved for the move but it should also be noted that the process for new residents can take up to five years according to Insider.
You’ve found a getaway deal in the British Airways sale and you’re heading off for some sun so that it feels like it’s actually summer. Hurrah! It’s time to forget the office admin, chaotic commute and disappointing British weather.
But have you ever noticed that hotels always use white bedding? And have you ever wondered why?
It turns out there’s actually a pretty good reason for it.
Emma Hooton, in-house interior stylist at Tielle Love Luxury, told Red: ‘Coloured linen not only fades over time, but easily dates and somehow never looks quite as timeless or inviting as fresh white.’
So it’s all about keeping the room looking as neat and tidy as possible whilst also making sure it doesn’t look dated. The sheets are likely to look fresher, too, considering that colours will fade after several washes.
It also helps to create a sense of calm within the room. She continued: ‘White always forms the perfect backdrop to any other hues or textures in the bedroom. Start with a blank, neutral canvas and work up with a statement headboard and fun patterns or colour popping cushions for a bed you want to dive into.’
BA is celebrating their 100th birthday with flash sales and you’re going to want to book quickly. They include bargains on flights, holidays and fly and drive breaks. With destinations including Dalaman, Amsterdam, Florence and Lisbon in the round up of exceptionally cheap flights there’s no reason not to book a summer holiday.
The prices range from £22 each way for a trip to Malaga, to £84 each way for a holiday in Santorini.
Erm, we’re already looking for the best bikinis to stuff into our suitcase.
But the flight sale doesn’t just cover Europe. You can jet off to Los Angeles for £316 return, Antigua for £409 return or Marrakech for £101.
The cheap fares are flying economy from London, and you have until 21st July to secure your outrageously affordable flights. The deals are updated every 24 to 48 hours.
Head to the unspoilt paradise island that will soothe your soul
If you’re looking for an unspoilt and untouched slice of paradise, it’s time to discover the idyllic Caribbean island of Tobago.
Think secluded white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters, stunning sunsets and a welcome warm tropical breeze – and you’re only halfway there. The unparalleled scenery makes that dream barefoot wedding a magical reality, and with endless on-island services offering wedding planning packages, your big day will be utterly unforgettable.
But there’s so much more to the island than striking Instagrammable scenery. When you’re not soaking up the sun, whet your adventure-loving appetite with 101 unforgettable activities and authentic experiences that take you beyond ordinary. From diving and paddle-boarding to exciting eco nature reserves, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding how to spend your lazy – or not so lazy – days.
It’s a wedding wonderland
Forget the stress of wedding planning and take advantage of the on-island services that will help you put together the day of your dreams. Leave the heels at home and let the blue waters lap at your feet as you say your vows enveloped by the warm sea breeze with the sand between your toes.
Let the distant sound of music wash over you as you laze on a beautiful unspoilt beach, soaking up the romantic atmosphere that you can only get in the Caribbean. The azure waters are there for your taking to enjoy everything from diving to paddle-boarding and boat trips. Looking for the most secluded spots? Head to these breath-taking locations…
Little/Big Bay Castara
Mt Irvine Bay
Culture and kindness
Immerse yourself in Tobago’s vibrant culture and learn about the island’s fascinating history in between beach trips. Rustic charm is what makes Tobago stand out from other popular Caribbean islands, and you’ll fall in love with the people – incredibly friendly with family at the heart of everything they do, the locals will make you feel right at home.
Visit the historical colonial forts, attend the famous Buccoo Goat and Crab Races and head to the Tobago Heritage Festival. Also give ‘liming’ a go – a social gathering in the back yard or down by the beach where you can eat, drink and chat about everything from current affairs and politics to sport in a relaxed environment.
Don’t forget to try the local delicacies – crab and dumplings are non-negotiable.
Eco adventures and nature
Tobago’s lush and protected rainforest is where you’ll find the striking natural wildlife. Head to Adventure Eco Farm and Corbin’s Local Wild Life for the chance to see some of Tobago’s native wild animals, from manicous to spectacled caimans. Then make your way to the Main Ridge Forest Reserve for a unique look at the island’s lush greenery.
Diving is also available across the island, so grab a snorkel and enjoy a swim with the turtles.
Take a trip to Scarborough on the south west coast of the island and visit the elevated fort, built in 1781, which features batteries, cannons and a museum.
On the northern tip of Tobago, Flagstaff Hill is one of the island’s highest vantage points with epic views of the ocean.
Head north west to Black Rock and discover the fort which overlooks Grafton Beach, and make your way up the short and winding path for an unforgettable panoramic view of the bay.
From the small town of Roxborough, take a 15 minute stroll into the rainforest to the three-tiered waterfalls complete with three pools to take a refreshing dip in.
Pigeon Point Pavillion & Jetty
Turquoise water, silky soft sand and lilac sunsets like no other – no wonder this is one of the island’s most popular wedding hotspots.
Mt. Irvine Golf Course
Treat yourself to a game of golf once you’re done relaxing at the Mt. Irvine Bay Resort.
Where to stay
Heading to Tobago to tie the knot? Castara Retreats is the perfect place to say ‘I do’. These Caribbean eco lodges overlook sparkling waters and golden sand, and with a range of wedding packages on offer all that’s left for you to do is enjoy your barefoot beach wedding.
An ‘oasis of serenity’, these secluded beachfront villas are ideally located for those who crave tranquillity. Surrounded by lush tropical forests while simultaneously offering unreal ocean views, it encompasses Tobago’s irresistible charm.
The perfect spot for honeymooners, Coco Reef is located amongst ten acres of tropical gardens and is nestled between Store Bay and Pigeon Point. With its own spa, gorgeous sea views and a private white sand beach, it’s the perfect place to kick back with your other half.
Stone Haven Villas
The ultimate in luxury, each villa boasts a private infinity pool and terrace – so there’s no reason not to enjoy a delicious breakfast poolside. Complete with a tennis court, gym and bars and restaurants, you’ll be absolutely spoilt.
For more information about your trip to the ultimate Caribbean island getaway, visit BA.com.
It looks like the sun might finally be making an appearance here in the UK. Hurrah.
And if you’ve decided to stay put this summer rather than booking into this llama alpaca Airbnb treehouse (yes, it’s a thing) then how do you decide where to jet off to? Should you head to a quiet leafy country town and stay in a cute cottage, or do you head straight for a seaside town to soak up the sun?
According to holidaycottages.co.uk there’s one place that many of us like to visit when we’re heading off on a staycation, and that’s the beautiful city of Bath. Their research shows that 21.3 million visits were made there last year, and there were 77,000 posts about the city on social media. Over 27% of Brits also said they have made their way to Bath in the last five years, making it one of the most popular staycation destinations in the UK.
And it’s easy to see why it’s such a hit with us Brits. The whole city is a designated UNSECO World Heritage Site, it’s home to the historic roman baths, famed for its stunning architecture and is surrounded by beautiful countryside.
What more could you want from a city?
Other top spots include Edinburgh, Brighton, Bournemouth, Oxford, Newquay, St Ives, Weymouth, Jurassic Coasts and Cheltenham.
To be fair, we’d be more than happy to kick back in any of the above locations.
However, top travel bloggers have revealed that the destination they’re most excited about jetting off to is a little further afield. While laid-back island life might sound appealing (especially while we’re waiting for the ‘heatwave’ to hit the UK), it turns out that the place to be is somewhere that’s rich in culture, history and offers some very unique cities and traditions.
Oh, and did we mention delicious dishes? It also boasts epic landscapes – beaches, rainforests and places to ski.
According to travel website HolidayGems.co.uk 33 travel know-it-alls voted Japan as the number one place they’re visiting this year. And they’re worth listening to – between them, they have visited 1,218 countries (which is the equivalent of visiting every country in the world six times over).
Suzanne of The Travel Bunny said: ‘It’s so culturally different from anywhere else on earth.’
‘I am fascinated by the culture, food traditions and beautiful landscapes,’ said Katy from Untold Morsels.
In second place was India, followed by Cuba, New Zealand and the Antarctic. Thailand, China, Myanmar, Peru and Iceland also made the top ten.
Nicky Cox, a spokesperson from HolidayGems.co.uk. said: ‘It is interesting to see that even with hundreds of countries widely available certain destinations came up time and time again within the interviews.’
If you’re looking for a city to visit this year, ones to head to according to current trends include Constanta in Romania, Nashville in the US, Perth in Australia and Florence in Italy. They’re gaining in popularity, so it’s a good idea to book your flights now before everyone finds out about these absolute gems.
We’re always on the hunt for the most Instagrammable Airbnbs, but we think we’ve found one that not only boasts the perfect tranquil location, but is also the perfect spot for animal lovers.
This treehouse listing on Airbnb has everything that you could want from your accommodation. It’s unique, surrounded by trees and nature and – most importantly – you can hang out with llamas and alpacas during your stay.
The listing by Kara O’Brien is based in East Atlanta, Georgia, US, and she has turned her backyard farm into a cosy place to stay. She decided to start offering the accommodation out in 2016, and the rest is history. It boasts that it’s ‘the #1 most Wish-Listed Airbnb in Atlanta’ and to be honest, it does sound pretty epic. The unique set-up has already gained fame on two TV shows – Kevin (Probably) Saves The World and Treehouse Masters.
If you’re all about the llamas, you can rent out the ‘llama cottage’, and if you’re more excited by the prospect of chilling with some alpacas then you can opt to stay in the ‘alpaca treehouse’, which has room for up to four people.
Both give you access to the animals, including two llamas and four alpacas, and can be rented separately. The cottage is closer to the street, but whichever one you choose will enable you to hang out with the furry residents.
‘It’s a place where people can come together and celebrate each other and are really happy,’ Kara O’Brien told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
‘That’s something we didn’t really expect when we started.’
But if you want to stay there, you might have to do a bit of saving first. The treehouse costs $375 (£300) a night, but the cottage comes in at just $127 (£102) a night.
And if you’re still not sure about it, just take into consideration that it has a whopping 325 five-star reviews.
Unsurprisingly, it books up pretty quickly – so if you’re interested, get planning.
But before you get settled in your swanky accommodation, you’ll have to get off the plane, hope your bags haven’t disappeared mid-air and get yourself through border control, and the latter can take a while. While the ePassport gates are there to make your entry seamless, sometimes the machines just don’t play ball and you have to make your way to another queue and go through security.
According to the website, there are a few things you can do to make sure your time spent in the airport is minimal once you’ve landed – and when you get home from your holiday.
The research shows that the most common reasons for the ePassport gates not recognising you is if you’re hungover, tired or have facial hair. Apparently, when you’re hungover or tired it alters your face, making it harder for the machine to recognise you and match you up to your passport photo, and facial hair obscures part of your face.
Over the course of a year, this causes 9,000 hours of delays across UK airports.
Kevin Smith, Head of Technology at facial recognition specialist Credas, said: ‘Improvements in technology now mean that around just one per cent of passengers fail ePassport tests. However, this does mount up when you consider the sheer amount of passengers passing through the terminals of the UK’s airports on a daily basis.
‘Facial recognition is no doubt one of the most important developments in airport security in recent years, but it’s important to remember that errors can still be made, particularly if a passenger’s passport photo is particularly old.’
If you’re frantically searching for the perfect getaway to, well, get away from this less than satisfactory British ‘summer’, you’ll probably be tracking flights to find the best deals and dreaming about unpacking in one of the most Instagrammable Airbnbs.
But what about the flight time? It’s tempting to plan a snoozy morning and book an evening flight so that you do any last minute bits before you head off.
However, flight attendant and vlogger Stella Connolly, who hosts Fly With Stella, told NBC News: ‘Early morning flights are the best. They’re almost always on time.
‘As the day goes by, if one flight is late it’s a snowball effect and there’s a higher chance flights will be delayed. I recommend flying early.’
Another reason to peel yourself out of bed at 3am for that early morning flight is that the planes will be cleaner because staff have more time to give it a thorough going over without passengers disembarking and boarding the aircraft in quick succession.
As painful as it is, it sounds like it’s worth setting your alarm and getting to the airport for the early hours.
Plus, you’ll get to your destination with enough time to grab breakfast, head to the beach and snooze in the sun.