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Live webchat with Debbie Marshall, MD of Silver Travel Advisor

(62 Posts)
GeraldineGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 16-Apr-13 11:47:45

We're delighted that Debbie Marshall, managing director of Silver Travel Advisor, will be joining us for a live webchat on Wednesday 24 April from 1-2pm.

Debbie has nearly 25 years of experience in the travel industry, including at Crystal Holidays and Jetsave (where she was managing director until 2001) and, until 2010, at the helm of the award-winning villa specialist CV Travel, and its sister company Ski Verbier. She's a keen skier, walker and adventurer, and her favourite destinations, in no particular order, include Switzerland, the South of France, Corfu, the Amalfi Coast, the Caribbean and especially the British Virgin Islands, where she dreams of spending a lot more time one day…

Fed up with single supplements? Looking for advice on where to go next? For cheap holidays or once-in-a-lifetime experiences? Add your travel questions here and Debbie will do her best to answer them.

annodomini Tue 16-Apr-13 12:33:01

MARCH, Geraldine?

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 16-Apr-13 13:01:35

blush amended grin

Galen Tue 16-Apr-13 13:10:07

I sail regularly with Cunard. I love them but find their single supplements of 100% horrific. Is there a comparable more reasonably priced company?

sunseeker Tue 16-Apr-13 14:06:25

I also have a problem with single supplements. In UK you are charged extra but usually find yourself in a tiny room which couldn't have taken 2 people anyway, usually at the back of the hotel. I recently looked at a cruise which had single cabins, but the price quoted was for 2 people sharing and when advising only 1 person would be in the single cabin the price more than doubled. There are a couple of companies which claim not to impose single supplements but their basic cost is usually much higher anyway. Is there a company which doesn't impose single supplements where the basic cost is similar to that of tour operators catering for couples?

mrstiggywinkle Tue 16-Apr-13 15:31:26

I normally look rather than post but this is very timely for me. My husband turns 70 in the summer and we would like to splash out on a special trip to celebrate. We have been saving hard as would like to do something fabulous. As well as the two of us there is also DD and SIL and GS aged 5.

We think a hotel would be better than a villa so there are things for DGS to do (not convinced by the whole kids club thing but we are willing to be converted however it would be nice if there are other little ones for him to play with)

We would like hot but not too hot (I think we would struggle with temperatures over about 80 degrees). Quiet beach and nice pool. Food suitable for all of us to enjoy. Somewhere reasonably luxurious (within reason!) but not too smart or formal. We don't mind going long haul but don't want long transfer times.

His birthday is mid August and all the places we have thought of are not great at that time of year. Can you help with ideas for our holiday of a lifetime that will suit the whole family? Thank you

Granny23 Wed 17-Apr-13 11:16:19

Although we have a small budget for holidays, we have been to many wonderful places, simply by picking up late deals off season. However now that DH is over 70 the travel insurance required is proving prohibitive, sometimes almost as much as the holiday itself! Neither of us has any serious health problems and when I fell on our last holiday, the ambulance, treatment and medication were all covered under EU rules and our Travel Insurance was not required. Is it really necessary to have expensive travel insurance in Europe?

MumMum Thu 18-Apr-13 13:32:26

I am going to Hanoi in June to look after my four year old grandson. It will be hot and very humid, any tips please!

FlyingGranny Thu 18-Apr-13 14:31:54

Wherever you decide to go I would warn you not to use Miami airport in transit to pick up a cruise or fly on somewhere unless you have five hours to spare. It is impossible to stay "air-side" for a connecting flight so you have to immigrate into the USA: finger prints, photo, the lot, then you have to reclaim baggage and personally cart it to the next flight's drop off before queuing for passenger security again.
The slowly snaking Immigration queue is hundreds if not thousands long with no system for calling forward transit passengers at all. I showed my boarding card to an official I managed to spot to prove I should be boarding NOW and the help I got was "If you miss it you miss it".
In desperation I finally ducked under five lines of tape "Excuse me, Excuse me and no eye contact!" and accosted a man at the head of one of the mini queues in front of the passport officials' booths and he very kindly let me take his place so I and my luggage just made it: Panting heap and blood pressure through the roof.

TerriS Thu 18-Apr-13 19:54:19

This May our 1st GC is due to be born in New Zealand and we shall be travelling there from Dubai, where we're residents (although British Citizens). Are we covered under the reciprocal arrangements with NZ for British Citizens, or do we need additional insurance? Also does it matter how long we stay there or are there restrictions on this? (I'm staying for 6 weeks, OH for 2)

wireless Fri 19-Apr-13 10:05:28

We would like to spend the winter in Portugal but can't find an airline that will allow our pet Yorkie (2lbs in weight) to travel in the cabin from the UK. Do you know of any airlines that will allow this? (We don't want to drive and we won't put her in the hold)


matson Sat 20-Apr-13 17:31:42

who are the best for cost, safety, and enjoyable singles holidays in the uk? for the over 60,s lady?

marissa Tue 23-Apr-13 22:01:14

Which are the best airlines to fly long haul in economy (ie most space, best facilities). May dream of business class but it's never going to happen

locococo Tue 23-Apr-13 22:03:06

Hope you can help. I always thought you needed to have six months minimum left on your passport to travel out of the UK. Someone told me for the USA it's a year. Is this true?

inky Tue 23-Apr-13 22:05:21

Can you recommend a lovely Alpine resort to visit in summer that doesn't require hours in a bus to get there and doesn't incorporate lots of nausea inducing hairpin bends. In an ideal world it would be a train ride from the airport and you wouldn't need a car once you got there but I appreciate I may be living in cloud cuckoo land

ticktock Wed 24-Apr-13 11:08:48

Hello Debbie. Giving a baby Calpol during a long flight to get them to sleep has always been controversial - just wondering what your views are?

theMulberryTree Wed 24-Apr-13 11:10:43

Can you recommend any hidden gems, which are family friendly and not overly priced? I'm sick of seeing the usual Spain/Portugal holidays when browsing on websites!

CaffeineAddict Wed 24-Apr-13 11:14:59

Hi Debbie! We're going to Antibes at the end of July - do you have any recommendations? Is it worth visiting Monaco? Also, what's the best (and cheapest) way to get from Nice airport to Antibes?

Roarr Wed 24-Apr-13 12:02:23

I'm also to France this year. Do you think it's best to take cash or pay on card? I've got a Nationwide Select credit card, which I've heard is good for using abroad. Will most places accept card?

Brie Wed 24-Apr-13 12:05:35

What's the best website to buy flights? Direct from the airline website or through a third party? They have quite good rates on Sky Scanner, but I've always been worried if I had to cancel, whether it would make things complicated by going through a third party.

annodomini Wed 24-Apr-13 12:15:06

I have a pre-loaded FairFX card which was recommended two years ago on Money Expert, though this seems to have been superceded on that web site since then. I have recently loaded it with Euros, but should I be looking around for a better bet?

TheGingerbreadMan Wed 24-Apr-13 12:33:03

I'm going on holiday to Italy in the summer - I imagine we might need to get a taxi at some point on our trip - should we bring a car seat with us for DGD who is three? What are the laws?

SwishySwoshy Wed 24-Apr-13 12:36:40

Is my drivers licence valid in all European countries? How about outside Europe?

vilebody Wed 24-Apr-13 12:44:45

This is not a particularly personal question, but I am really interested in why a Silver Travel service? Do older travellers differ from younger ones? If so, what do we value in particular?

clippie Wed 24-Apr-13 12:51:22

My husband is very keen to walk around Mont Blanc in the summer. I see you are keen on visiting Switzerland. Do you know anything about this walk? I am pretty fit but I'm worried it's going to be very taxing for me. I think it takes about 10 days - which sounds like a lot of walking!