‘Can you find me affordable accommodation for the Edinburgh Fringe?’ | Travel

✉ Five friends and I will be celebrating our 40th birthdays next year and would like to spend a long weekend (August 10-13) at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe enjoying some quality comedy shows. We’d like to stay in self-catering accommodation with at least four bedrooms, but an initial search of travel sites suggest that prices are astronomical at that time of year. We don’t mind having up to a 30-minute walk to the Royal Mile but ideally we don’t want to exceed a budget of £500pp for three nights. Can you suggest any affordable options?
Victoria McRitchie

The festival is wildly popular and decent accommodation for bigger groups that’s an easy walk from the shows and doesn’t cost the earth is snapped up quickly. So book now and you’ll have a lovely bolt hole after a surfeit of stand-up.

There’s a beautiful, spacious four-bedroom (and four-bathroom) apartment in a great location on swish Heriot Row in Stockbridge that’s just a 20-minute walk to the Royal Mile. Three nights on your dates would cost £2,858 (airbnb.co.uk).

Performers at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe


✉ We were due to travel by train with LNER to Inverness during June’s rail strikes and paid Railbookers nearly £1,500 for travel and a hotel. We decided to cancel our trip and asked for the refund of the train fares as a minimum but were told by email that we should claim through our travel insurance. We don’t have travel insurance but in any case is it reasonable for Railbookers to incur no loss while insurers lose money? No trains were run by LNER to Inverness all week and we know Railbookers will be refunded by LNER. Ironically, we paid for this trip with a voucher we accepted in 2020 to help the company survive during the first Covid peak. This has cut no ice.
Judith and Peter Matthews

Railbookers told me that when you contacted the company to discuss the strikes you were told to wait until there was a clearer picture of which services would be affected but decided to cancel there and then, which meant the cancellation was subject to the usual terms and conditions . It also explained that customers have to have travel insurance cover as a condition of the booking. You should not have canceled the trip yourself because by doing so you lose your right to a refund. Given the impact of the strikes on your trip, however, Railbookers was happy to look at your case again and because it was indeed refunded by LNER you’ve now been offered your money back.

✉ I’m flying to Malaga in Spain with my family at the end of August and would appreciate your advice as to whether we need any other documentation apart from our Covid passes and passports? The government advice is so confusing.
Roger Hosking

British citizens traveling to Schengen member states are now subject to entry requirements for “third country” nationals, so you may have to prove at border control that you have return tickets and accommodation booked for your stay as well as enough money for the trip: for Spain this is 100 euros (£85) per person per day, with a minimum of 900 euros or the equivalent in foreign currency. If not, you could be denied entry. But it’s highly unlikely you’ll be asked to prove any of it. You should definitely, however, check that your passports are less than ten years old on the date you travel, that they’re valid for at least three months after the day you plan to leave, and ensure that they’re stamped upon arrival and departure.

Kalkan, Turkey

✉ We’re hoping to keep holidaying with our two sons now that they are both over 18, so we need to make sure it’s as much of a draw as the lads’ trips they are also contemplating. Our holy grail is a hotel that’s within walking distance of a town, with amenities such as a bar, restaurant and pool, which can offer apartments with two or three bedrooms and a kitchenette. Any relaxing warm destination would do — where do you suggest?
Debbie Westville

I think your boys would have fun in Kalkan, one of the loveliest spots on Turkey’s Lycian coast, with narrow, winding cobbled streets and whitewashed houses covered in bougainvillea, but also beach clubs, great bars and a wide range of watersports. Samira Hotel & Apartments is a short stroll from the town center and has a mix of rooms, one-bedroom apartments and villas. Stay in one of its sea-facing three-bedroom villas (with plunge pool and table tennis) and you’ll have access to the hotel’s pool, bar and restaurant. A week’s self-catering next May would cost £1,449 (theturquoisecollection.com). Tui flies to the nearest airport, Dalaman.

Or stay at Korsan Suites, where all the two and three-bedroom duplex apartments have hot tubs on their terraces. Self-catering is optional because daily breakfast by the main pool is included for guests, along with a welcome dinner in its restaurant. If you book through Simpson Travel you’ll also get a free Turkish bath session at the Kalkan Regency Hotel spa, along with an all-day trip with lunch on the hotel’s traditional gulet. A week’s B&B in May in a two-bedroom apartment starts at £718pp, including flights (simpsontravel.com).

✉ Our daughter was hospitalized just before we were due to travel to Corfu in May with EasyJet. I submitted the serious illness form on the airline’s website at the end of May but was told the £2,472 we paid for flights would not be refunded, which I expected. I contacted our insurer, Trailfinders, which told me I needed to get a cancellation invoice for them to reimburse the money. I have been emailing, calling the customer services center and tweeting EasyJet for six weeks and still have no cancellation invoice to be able to send to Trailfinders. Is there anything else I can do?
Jessica Chivers

Airlines had a customer service meltdown at the start of the pandemic and more than two years later it’s ridiculous that it’s no easier for passengers to make contact. EasyJet told me it will always provide supporting documents for customers who need to make a claim with their insurer, which can be requested online or via its customer service team. “Each request needs to be reviewed by our insurance team and manually processed due to the individual nature of the documentation; however we are looking into why this took longer than usual on this occasion. We have contacted Ms. Chivers to provide her documentation and apologize for any inconvenience caused,” said a spokeswoman. I hope your daughter is well enough to travel with you on another holiday soon.

If you have a gripe, suggestion or question relating to your holidays, please email [email protected]

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