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February 2015


Dear <<First Name>>,

Traveling in 2015 is going to be quite unforgettable. The All Blacks will be defending Webb Ellis trophy in the UK, Rafael Nadal will be defending his title in Paris and the Tour de France begins this year not en France, but the Netherlands. Plus, we've got two gourmet cycling holidays open for bookings in France, a few travel trouble avoidance tips and some new destinations for your wish list.

Do enjoy The Active Gourmet Travel's first e-news for 2015.

Gail, Hubert and the team

World Cup flights are nearly full, get in quick 

Lots of lucky Active Gourmet travellers are headed to the UK for the Rugby World Cup later this year and we're in the thick of finalising travel arrangements.

If you’re thinking of going to Europe during the September/October period, whether you have match tickets or not, don’t delay – flights are near full. Contact us NOW on 021 630 559 or

Please note, Britain has just decided the re-sale of tickets for all Rugby World Cup matches is legal. One auction site is currently advertising a finals ticket for NZ$121,000, so all is not lost if you are yet to buy one!!

Bike and foodie tours scheduled for 2015

Because the Rugby World Cup is keeping us super busy, we have decided to restrict this year’s escorted biking tours to one in the Vaucluse (Northern Provence), starting on 14 May in Avignon. Due to a late cancellation, there are still two places available. Join us for this ever-popular tour.

We do have a wine and food tour in the Bordeaux region available on dates between the semis and finals of the Rugby World Cup. The tour starts Monday 26 October, get in touch for more details. 

We will be back next year with a range of biking tours and the Cooks’ Tour in Sicily and in Tuscany and Provence.  Places are restricted so register your interest now.

Travel troubles and ways to avoid them

Travel is great fun but, every now and then, a few little things go wrong. Here at The Active Gourmet Travel, we do our best to look after you to avoid travel troubles. But occasionally, we do hear some stories about people who've got in spot of bother.

Mystery mistakes on rental car bills

Pay attention to your rental car bill! "Mistakes" are appearing in final invoices from rental car companies. Fuel is being charged for when the customer has already filled up, for another customer the entire rental was charged again. We've also heard of customers being charged for damage to the rental which they hadn't been responsible for.  

Your invoice might have a charge, plus taxes, for hire of a GPS, for one way fee (OWF) if the vehicle is dropped off in a different place, and a huge OWF if it is dropped off in a different country. The invoice could also have a fee for cleaning the car, inside and/or outside, and a penalty for any scratches or dings you have purportedly made.

Early bird rate deadline looming
  • Rental cars and hotel bookings for the UK and European summer holiday period are being sold on an early bird rate until 28 February, so get in fast if you haven't booked already.
  • If you need to change any part of your car rental booked during the early bird period, DO IT NOW. After 28 February, you will pay dearly for changes to early bird car rentals.

The pitfalls of travel insurance from credit card companies

Be very wary of using travel insurance provided by credit card companies for the following reasons:
  • If you have not paid the requisite % of your travel using the card (and thus, in most cases, incurring a fee from your travel provider), you may not be covered.
  • In most cases, you need to activate the cover by informing the credit card company.
  • The period of cover varies according to the type of card, and the level of card. Cover is needed until you return to your home. Many people exceed the length of their cover by a few days, so they have no protection on their homeward journey.

Read the Ts and Cs on airline specials

Airline specials offer good fares, BUT be aware that payment and ticketing has to be done usually within 12 days of the booking. Once ticketed, any changes however small, are expensive. You will pay a fee to the airline for the change (can be up to $600) plus if the special has expired or if no more seats are available at the same rate, you will pay the extra price for the next category of ticket.

That long, long queue for the Tour Eiffel...

Did you know...
  • The Eiffel Tower had seven million visitors last year. That is one very long queue.
  • The Citroen DS has turned 60. The most beautiful of Citroens, the DS celebrated its birthday at the London Motor Show in January because Paris is not staging one this year. If you have ever wondered what the letters DS mean, they are short for the French word for goddess – déesse
  • The great Sunday shutdown is being challenged at last! France is creating several international tourist zones where shops will be open on Sundays and holidays, and until midnight during the week. After 9pm, workers get double wages, free transport home and childcare. Voila, more time for you to peruse the shops en la France, see what we've got on offer for your next trip to the continent.

Places everyone else hasn’t already been to...

  • Corsica (above) is easy to get to, has spectacular scenery, interesting food and great beaches! 
  • Pais Vasco, the Spanish Basque country known for seafood, cider, great beaches, Michelin Star restaurants and the great Guggenheim in Bilbao.
  • The Veneto, an area stretching towards the foothills of the Dolomites, is well worth a few days of your time.  Wine, food, wonderful architecture and artworks.

Fill in and submit our quick and easy travel planner to let us know a bit more about you and what adventure might suit you and your family or friends.

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