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A new regular feature from Charitable Traveller Magazine, our team of experts answer your travel queries. In the hot seat this month is Melissa Tilling, founder of Charitable Travel

I’m totally confused about what is the latest situation regarding passport validity. I’m planning to go to Spain in August and my passport expires next year (March 2025) – will I be okay to travel? And does this vary from country to country? I’m also nervous about renewing my passport as it sounds like it can take a really long time – do you have any advice on how to make that process as quick as possible, please?

Frida Armstrong

Melissa: Since Brexit, UK passport holders are now considered ‘third-country nationals’ by EU and Schengen countries, so entry rules have become more stringent and there are two primary rules that have caught people about. Your passport must be issued less than 10 years before your arrival date (the day you land on holiday) and be valid for three months from the final day of your holiday. UK passports can have more than a 10-year validity if renewed before the last one expires, so be careful of this.

Renewing your passport using the ‘standard’ process for an adult regular-size passport, at the time of publication, should take three weeks and costs £88.50 applying online, £100 if applying on paper by post, and an additional £16 using the Check and Send process at a qualifying Post Office. The wait time varies and you should check online well in advance of your holiday at gov.uk. You can get a passport more quickly but with much higher costs (as much as £217.50) with ‘how to’ details available through the same Gov UK website.

Speak to our travel experts today to plan your perfect holiday!

Remember – every time you book a break with Charitable Travel you can donate 5% of the price to the charity of your choice for free!

This is a feature from Issue 23 of Charitable Traveller.
Click to read more from this issue, or more from Ask the Expert

A new regular feature from Charitable Traveller Magazine, our team of experts answer your travel queries. In the hot seat this month is Melissa Tilling, founder of Charitable Travel

As temperatures continue to rise in the Med, where do you suggest for a summer beach holiday that will likely be cooler than southern Europe? And if I can travel there by train, then even better!

Miranda Newton

Melissa: For a summer beach holiday with cooler temperatures than southern Europe, consider exploring beach destinations in Finland, Estonia, and Germany – but leave your travels until after the first week of August to avoid the local family holiday times which can be busy. These regions offer beautiful coastal and lakeside areas with milder summer weather, making them perfect for a refreshing escape.
Rail travel to Finland and Estonia can take a while but make the journey part of the holiday and stop and stay en route in some great European cities. 

In Finland choose from a break by the sea or a lakeside beach. The Helsinki Archipelago has so many islands, offering tranquil beaches, scenic views, and outdoor activities such as kayaking, biking and hiking. The islands of Suomenlinna and Pihlajasaari are particularly popular for their natural beauty and beach areas. Lake Saimaa, the largest lake in Finland offers beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a serene natural setting. The area is perfect for swimming, boating, and walking. You can travel by train from the UK to Helsinki, then take a train to the Lakeland region, specifically to towns like Savonlinna or Lappeenranta.
Across the Baltic try Estonia. Pärnu, known as Estonia’s summer capital boasts long sandy beaches, a charming old town, and a vibrant cultural scene. It’s an ideal destination for relaxing and exploring. You can reach Pärnu by taking a train from the UK via Berlin and Warsaw (two further great places to explore). Haapsalu is a small, picturesque town on Estonia’s west coast and offers beautiful beaches, a historic castle, and a peaceful atmosphere. Haapsalu is perfect for those looking for a quieter beach holiday.
For a shorter rail journey try Germany. Rügen is Germany’s largest island, known for its stunning chalk cliffs, sandy beaches, and charming seaside resorts like Binz and Sellin. The island’s cooler summer temperatures and serene atmosphere make it a great alternative to the Mediterranean.
You can travel by train from the UK to Hamburg and then take a regional train to Rügen. Another recommendation is Usedom. This island, shared by Germany and Poland, boasts long sandy beaches, elegant seaside resorts, and beautiful natural parks. The towns of Heringsdorf and Zinnowitz are particularly popular.

Speak to our travel experts today to plan your perfect holiday!

Remember – every time you book a break with Charitable Travel you can donate 5% of the price to the charity of your choice for free!

This is a feature from Issue 23 of Charitable Traveller.
Click to read more from this issue, or more from Ask the Expert

If you’re looking for incredible travel deals, plenty of inspiration for your next getaway, and inspiring news from our wonderful charity partners, you’re in the right place! This week we have some fantastic offers for you, from a 7 night break in Corfu, Greece this August from £625pp to a 7 night tour of Northern Italy with multiple departure dates available from £1,045pp!

Or, if you’re looking ahead, how about a 7 night escape in Sarasota, Florida next February from £1,529pp! Whatever you decide, our travel experts are here to help you take a phenomenal break, while supporting the charity of your choice for free!

P.S. Don’t forget to follow us on social media for your daily dose of travel inspiration!

Summer is HERE! Embrace the summer vibes by booking a fun-filled break today. How about jetting off to Malta for 7 nights in charming Gozo this July from just £630pp? Or, an 11 night escape in beautiful Cyprus at the end of this month from £710pp! If you’re all sorted for summer but are missing some winter plans, we’ve got just the thing – a 4 night break in Las Vegas in January 2025 from £699pp!

Book your next escape today, and remember, whenever you book with us, you can choose to donate 5% of your total holiday price to the charity of your choice for free!

P.S. Don’t forget to follow us on social media for your daily dose of travel inspiration!

After this week’s rainy weather, how does relaxing on the beach with a cocktail in hand while you soak up the rays sound? If your answer was ‘great’, then you’re in luck! We’ve got phenomenal deals for you, from a 3 night break in Ibiza, Spain this summer from just £329pp, to a 7 night holiday in gorgeous Gran Canaria, Spain from £429pp, and a 7 night escape at 5* Dreams Natura Resort & Spa in sunny Cancun, Mexico from £1,389pp!

Book now to treat yourself to an unforgettable break, while supporting your choice of charity for free!

P.S. Don’t forget to follow us on social media for your daily dose of travel inspiration!

If you’re still yet to sort your summer plans, we’ve got some fantastic last-minute sunny getaways for you. How does lounging on the beach in gorgeous Tenerife, Spain for 7 nights this June from just £330pp sound? Or, a 7 night escape in jaw-dropping Kefalonia, Greece with a FREE child place next month from just £485pp? Finally, we also have a 7 night escape in beautiful Panama City Beach, Florida this June from £809pp.

So, what are you waiting for? Book now to secure your dream summer holiday and save big while making a difference with Charitable Travel.

P.S. Don’t forget to follow us on social media for your daily dose of travel inspiration!

Is it really almost May already!? As we all mentally prepare to relax on the beach with a cocktail in hand, spend relaxing evenings in pub gardens, and enjoy the Great British Summer – it’s still not too late to sort your holiday plans! This week, check out this 5 night Majorca May half term break from just £279pp! Other options include a 7 night getaway in beautiful Sorrento, Italy in June from £745pp or, for those more adventurous among us, a 20 day Vietnam to Cambodia tour this August and September from £899pp!

If you’re looking for a great new podcast to listen to on your daily commute, look no further than the Travel Insider Podcast! Our newest episodes focus on the sustainable highlights of Germany and West Sweden and are jam-packed with great value to help you plan your next trip.

P.S. Don’t forget to follow us on social media for your daily dose of travel inspiration!

With summer approaching fast if you’ve left it a bit late to sort your summer getaways – we’re here to help! How about a 7 night stay in the beautiful resort town of Marmaris, Turkey at the end of this month from just £185pp! Or a 7 night break in stunning Corfu this May from £355pp? Or, if you’ve got your eye on June, then how about a cultural escape in beautiful Bucharest, Romania from £419pp?

Remember, whenever you book with Charitable Travel you can choose to donate 5% of your total holiday price to the charity of your choice at no extra cost! So what are you waiting for, treat yourself to an amazing break and help support a charity in need today.

P.S. Don’t forget to follow us on social media for your daily dose of travel inspiration!

Happy Easter! If you’re looking for a seasonal treat, why not book yourself a fantastic holiday? Our latest offers include a weeklong stay in Giza, Egypt, a 5 night Helsinki, Finland and Tallinn, Estonia twin centre break, and a 7 night Lanzarote, Spain escape.

Plus, in this bank holiday weekend issue, we’ve also got the inside scoop on sustainable West Sweden, amazing news from our charity partners, and a fantastic voluntourism opportunity in sunny Florida.

P.S. Don’t forget to follow us on social media for your daily dose of travel inspiration!

Is it really almost Spring already? There’s no better time to get your 2024 travel plans underway! Read on for fantastic offers, including an overnight break in London to watch Hamilton, a 7 night spring escape to Fuerteventura, Spain, and even a women’s-only expedition in Morocco! These great deals are sure to inspire you.

Remember, when you book with us, you can choose to donate 5% of the total holiday price to your choice of charity at no extra cost to you!

P.S. Don’t forget to follow us on social media for your daily dose of travel inspiration!

As we start to enjoy lighter and longer days, we’ve got some extra rays of sunshine and hope for you – the newest edition of Charitable Traveller Magazine! This new issue is jam-packed with phenomenal value, from in-depth guides to must-visit destinations around the world, the latest inspiring stories from our charity partners, and all the wanderlust you need to plan an incredible year ahead of travel!

P.S. Don’t forget to follow us on social media for your daily dose of travel inspiration!

A new regular feature from Charitable Traveller Magazine, our team of experts answer your travel queries. In the hot seat this month is Melissa Tilling, founder of Charitable Travel

I’m planning to take my family on holiday to southern Spain this summer during the school holidays, but we’d like to take the train from London over a couple of days and I’m confused about how best to book it. Because it’s the school holidays I’m keen to book as early as possible, but I understand some train tickets aren’t available until a couple of months out. I don’t want to miss out on accommodation by waiting until nearer the time we’re due to go, what can I do?

James Balding

Melissa: Train travel to Spain is a really great idea, in support of both reducing carbon emissions and taking a slower approach to travel with the joy that brings. Booking with Charitable Travel means we can offer options with tour operators who can confirm train tickets much further in advance than a customer booking rail-only direct with the train operators. You can plan knowing that your arrangements are firm for both rail and accommodation. 

The other key advantage is that you have support on hand during your journey should a connection be missed by unplanned operational delays. With this help, you’ll never be alone in a rail station with no onward plans. I took a quick look with one of our favourite travel partners who offers an 11-night rail trip including seven nights in Estepona on the Costa del Sol with four nights in stops en route each way to break up the journey, travelling 18 August 2024, and the price for two rooms for two adults and two children under 12 comes in at around £1,479pp. Eleven nights flying came in just £300pp cheaper but created 83% more CO2 emissions and is way less fun!

Speak to our travel experts today to plan your perfect holiday!

Remember – every time you book a break with Charitable Travel you can donate 5% of the price to the charity of your choice for free!
This is a feature from Issue 21 of Charitable Traveller.
Click to read more from this issue, or more from Ask the Expert