Something to declare: Rural France; Isle of Wight; Bali; Australia eVisitor
Friday 23 March 2012
Destination of the week: Rural France
British Airways and CityJet, the two largest operators at London City airport, need somewhere to send their planes during the summer when demand for business travel dwindles. So tomorrow, CityJet is launching twice-weekly services from London City to the Breton city of Brest. Also in Brittany, BA is launching services from the Docklands airport to the Breton port of Quimper on 30 May. The previous day, it launches the first BA services to Angers in the Loire Valley.
Southampton airport also offers some hard-to-reach locations in France: on 17 May, Flybe begins flights to Clermont-Ferrand.
From 25 May, British Airways will fly to Mahon in Menorca, completing a Balearic trio from London City: flights started to Mallorca and Ibiza last summer.
Bargain of the week: Isle of Wight
National Ferry Fortnight is under way. This marketing effort continues until next Saturday 31 March, and offers some excellent deals aimed at filling spare capacity. Discoverferries.com contains a full list of the bargains,
of which the deal on Red Funnel Ferries from Southampton to East Cowes on the Isle of Wight looks particularly valuable, given the high cost of reaching the island. Bookings for stays of two nights or more earn a 20 per cent discount by using the code NFF12 on the website, redfunnel.co.uk. The code reduces the cheapest £45 return for a car plus six people to £36. You must complete travel by 31 August.
Warning of the week: Bali
A week ago, Indonesian police shot dead five suspected militants who were thought to have been planning robberies and attacks on tourist locations in Bali.
Foreign governments warn tourists that significant threats remain. "Reconsider your need to travel to Indonesia, including Bali, due to the very high threat of terrorist attack," says the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs.
The Foreign Office warns of "protests throughout Indonesia against the government's proposed fuel price rise, due to take effect on 1 April. Exercise caution and stay away from demonstrations".
Finally, at most Indonesian ports of entry you need only one blank passport page, but the US State Department warns: "If you are entering Indonesia through Bali, you must have two fully blank passport pages."
Tip of the week: Australia eVisitor
Australia has a quick and easy online application system for British travellers planning holidays or business trips of up to three months. But the first link you see when you Google "eVisitor" is sponsored – by a London-based firm, Visa Bureau, that will charge £20 for something that, through direct channels is free. The official link is immi.gov.au/ visitors/tourist/evisitor, or bit.ly/OzVisa for short.
The eVisitor is valid for a year from the day of issue. Multiple visits are permitted. The only significant exclusion is for people who have been sentenced to a year or more in prison.
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