Something To Declare: Channel Islands health care; ski Easter; Serbia
Where to go, how to save, what to avoid
Saturday 28 March 2009
Warning of the week: Channel Islands health care
Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney have been looking forward to a surge in tourism this summer, as British travellers opt for an "overseas" trip where they can still spend sterling. The islands have a special geo-political status that classes them as lying outside the EU. Therefore the usual intra-European rules do not apply. British visitors to the Channel Islands needing "immediately necessary" medical treatment have, until now, been covered by a bilateral health-care agreement. But the Department of Health says the treaty will come to an end next Tuesday, 31 March. From Wednesday, "Visitors from the UK are advised to arrange for adequate travel insurance in advance," says the department. Otherwise travellers will need to pay in full for health care.
Channel Islands residents travelling to Britain will also lose their entitlement to free emergency medical treatment on the NHS.
Bargain of the week: ski Easter
With only 13 days to Good Friday, late-booking deals for the school holidays are emerging for Austria – particularly for travel on Easter Saturday (11 April), the final departure date of the season for many packages.
Neilson (0844 879 8155; neilson.co.uk) is offering "two-for-one" lift passes in Austria as standard. If you are happy to have accommodation allocated on arrival, the company has a week departing Gatwick, destination Mayrhofen , staying on a b&b basis in one of the resort's guesthouses, for £321. From Manchester, also departing on 11 April, the company has holidays in St Anton for £395 per person.
Inghams (020-8780 4433; inghams.co.uk) offers a similar deal, based on flights from Gatwick to Innsbruck, with a starting price of £361 – including half-board. You can pay a supplement to guarantee staying in a particular resort, for example £49 per person for St Johann, or £98 for Mayrhofen.
Destination of the week: In tune with Serbia
The world music magazine, Songlines, runs a wide range of specialist tours around the world, through its Music Travel division (020-8505 2582; songlines.co.uk/musictravel). Destinations include Cuba and Cape Verde, but the most intriguing summer journey is to the Serbian village of Guca for the annual Brass Band Festival. The tour runs from 6 to 11 August, when 300,000 people descend on the village.
"For four days, there are 40 brass bands playing the local dances," says Songlines editor, Simon Broughton. "It's an unrivalled opportunity to experience the biggest, brassiest and Balkanist festival in Europe."
The basic price is £495, not including the cost of travel from the UK to Belgrade.
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