easyJet: getting the cheapest tickets

We know that many of you fly with easyJet, so this month we thought we’d take a look at what seem to be exciting times for the Luton-based budget airline.

Our top tip with easyJet is that if you want to get the best deals then book early! You don’t get last minute bargains with easyJet – the flights get more expensive the closer to departure date you get – but if you can book a few months in advance you’ll get great savings. Apart from waiting to book in their January sale, there really is no mystery to flying cheaply with easyJet: the earlier you book the cheaper it is.

easyJet have been trialling allocated seats on selected flights, meaning that rather than facing a scrum to get on the plane, or getting speedy boarding to be one of the first onto the plane, you can choose your actual seats as you would with a traditional airline. The airline has said that if trials continue to go well they could begin to offer allocated seats on all their flights. Prices in the trial have ranged from around £3 to £12 depending on which seats you wish to reserve.

[UPDATE: easyJet now offers allocated seats on all their flights, ranging from £1 to around £20 depending on which flight you choose.]

The airline has also teamed up with Airbus and is currently trialling a new kind of weather radar called AVOID which will detect volcanic ash clouds and allow the plane to divert around them. We know that some of you were caught up in the ash clouds last year, so this seems like a very welcome invention!

Get away from the crowds in Trogir, Croatia

For an interesting mix of beaches and culture, many people head to Split in Croatia, a Mediterranean city on the shores of the Adriatic Sea. But if you’re looking for an alternative to crowded Split, consider the smaller but equally historic town of Trogir, just four miles from Split Airport but a world away in terms of its pace of life.

What to see

Trogir was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Centre in 1997. Among its most imposing features is the Kamerlengo Fortress, built by the then-powerful Venetians in the mid-15th century. The view from the top of the walls is outstanding, although it does require a little effort to get up there. It’s worth checking locally for details of the events held in the courtyard throughout the summer.

Even Kamerlengo Fortress, though, is outshone by the truly remarkable Cathedral of St Lawrence, dating back 750 years. A massive, triple-naved structure, the cathedral demonstrates Dalmatian Romanesque and Gothic styles of the medieval period. Although the West Portal by Radovan is its most famous feature, the cathedral’s Venetian upper windows and the slightly later bell tower are also worthy of note.

For such a small place – Trogir’s population is barely 13,000 – the amount of history on display is remarkable. Many visitors enjoy a stroll around the central Old Town area, since almost wherever you go, you will stumble on a gem. One idea is to follow the route of the city walls, mostly still in existence; this has the side benefit of taking you close to the attractive palm-lined promenade to the west.

Where to stay

The four-star Villi Moretti is a comfortable boutique hotel, located in a well-preserved 17th century shipowner’s house and still family run. There are just four double bedrooms and one suite, which enjoy excellent views across the water to the Old Town. The centre is a few minutes’ mostly level walk away. Accommodation is provided on a bed and breakfast basis and costs around £70 per night.

Climate

If you like it hot then you’re in luck: July temperatures in Trogir can be rather high, often nudging 30 degrees C (86F), although the town’s coastal location helps to moderate the heat. By September, things are somewhat more comfortable, with 25 degrees C (77F) closer to the norm. Trogir usually enjoys clear conditions, averaging around 10 hours of sunshine per day in late summer and early autumn.

So if you fancy somewhere a little bit different, this could be just the holiday for you!

Copenhagen: A Walk in the Park

Clean, green Copenhagen is the perfect place for a week or long weekend away, with plenty to see and do. The climate is mild, reaching just over 20 degrees C (69F) in July and August, but the weather can be unpredictable, so pack a raincoat!

The city is divided into districts, each with its own distinctive feel, from the mediaeval, cobbled streets of the Indre By to the waterfront area of Christianshavn. Innovative modern buildings rub shoulders with traditional Danish architecture.

The flat landscape makes for incredible views. Climb the Round Tower, or dare the stairs that wind round the outside of the Church of Our Saviour and look out over the rooftops to Sweden across the water.

From above, you’ll notice what a green city this is. It’s impossible to walk far without coming across a park or garden. The gardens surrounding Rosenborg Castle are a popular destination for picnicking or sunbathing, while the Langelinie includes a stretch of shoreline and the famous Little Mermaid statue.

More adventurous members of the party can enjoy the rides at the Tivoli, one of the oldest amusement parks in the world, while others may prefer to admire the fairground buildings, some of which date back to the nineteenth century.

A tour of the harbour and canals by boat is a great way to see the city. Glide past the opera house, the Little Mermaid and the self-governing Freetown Christiania, passing under ornate bridges and alongside historic buildings.

Copenhagen is amply supplied with restaurants, cafes and bars, whether you want to sit with a coffee and a pastry and watch the world go by, stop off for a quick open sandwich during a shopping trip, or dine at Noma, reputedly the best restaurant in the world. Wherever you choose to eat, though, bear in mind that restaurants in Denmark often close early, and plan to place your order by 9 p.m.

It’s easy to get around Copenhagen on foot, by bicycle or on public transport. The level ground and a superb cycle network make cycling a pleasure. Why not ride out of the city to one of the many nearby beaches for a stroll or a swim?

A system of buses, metro and regional trains connects the districts of Copenhagen and links the city to the wider world. Make a day trip to Roskilde, a picturesque town with a Viking ship museum, or visit Malmö in southern Sweden, just a ferry ride – or a drive across the impressive Øresund bridge – away.

Copenhagen has something for everyone, whether you like your holiday as fast-paced as a roller coaster ride, as laid-back as a walk in the park, or somewhere in between.