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US to charge £9 for Esta compulsory travel entry form

The US government is to start charging UK travellers $14 (£9) to apply for permission to enter the country.

The compulsory Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (Esta) is free at present, but from 9 September visitors to the US will have to pay for it.

It lasts for two years; people who already have a valid form will not have to pay until their current one expires.

The scheme was introduced in January 2009 but was made mandatory from January 2010.

It applies to all 35 countries with US "visa waiver" status.

Promote tourism

The Electronic System for Travel Authorisation form, which takes up to 72 hours to be approved, gives air passengers prior approval for entry to the US.

It replaced the green I-94 card which passengers have previously filled in on their flight into the US.

End Quote Martin Lewis

Most people who fill in the form should receive approval from the US Department of Homeland Security within a few minutes.

But British Airways and American Airlines are advising travellers to apply at least 72 hours in advance.

Both airlines have said people without valid Esta forms or visas will not be allowed to board flights to the US.

The fee has been introduced to fund a programme which aims to promote tourism in the US and attract foreign spending.

Martin Lewis, creator of, has urged people even considering a trip to the US to apply for a form now to beat the charge.

He said: "The security authorisation lasts for two years, so do it now and it'll be free if you travel in that time. Yet leave it for a month and you'll have to pay for it.

So save money now and apply for your ESTA! and dont forget you can also save with Bargain Villas - search here for Cheap USA villas and Cheap Florida villas

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Take care this Summer Holiday and avoid Sun burn

With the hot weather shining down across Europe we are all suddenly rushing to get a bit of that sizzling summer tan on our pasty pale bodies – however bare in mind that its best to take a cautious approach and look after yourself – here are a few Q&A’s about Sun burn, what causes it and how to deal with it; 


The sun produces two main types of light, ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB), and they differ in the way they penetrate the skin. UVB is the one that will cause you to turn red.

The UVB radiation has two main effects. In the short-term, it triggers a reaction in the skin that causes chemicals to be released that result in redness and inflammation. And in the long-term, it damages the DNA in the skin.


You hardly ever see sunburn straight away. If you see redness on the skin immediately, you're probably seeing a burn that's caused by the intense heat of the sun, rather than the ultraviolet, in exactly the same way that standing by a roaring fire turns skin red.

It's an indication that you may be on the way to getting sunburn, but the sunburn itself may not show for eight hours. experts aren't sure why, but the theory is it takes that amount of time for the genes that control the mechanism to trigger the release of the chemicals. 


Yes. If you've just come out of the sun and think you may have overdone it, you can take aspirin or ibuprofen, as these are drugs that block the formation of the chemicals that cause redness and swelling.


Obviously, you should get out of the sun straight away and stay out of it. If a baby or a child is sunburnt, or you've got blisters or a fever, you should seek medical advice from your GP or NHS Direct. Otherwise, from a medical perspective, the most important thing you can do is intensively moisturise your skin using a product that won't irritate the skin further.


Some people swear by a hot shower for taking the sting out of sunburn, but part of the reason why your skin is hot is because you've got increased blood supply to the surface of the skin, and a hot


Calamine lotion will help to cool skin while, when it comes to moisturising, look for products containing ingredients like aloe vera and vitamin e, which quickly deliver a lot of moisture to skin.


No. An antihistamine won't work because the reaction you're seeing on the skin isn't a histamine reaction. It may look similar - red, swelling - but as the cause is not related, an antihistamine won't help.


Sunburn pain can be at its most intense around 12 hours after exposure, but may continue to develop for 24 hours. And the bad news is, once you've actually developed the symptoms of sunburn, painkillers won't work. For a painkiller like ibuprofen to work, it needs to reach the area that is inflamed. If you've damaged the skin's cells, you've damaged the delivery system, so it's doubtful that you'll get anything more than a placebo-effect relief from it. If the pain is so bad that you need to take painkillers, you should probably see a medical professional.


Home remedies are based on cooling the skin down, or moisturising it in some way. The only time you might want to use vinegar is if you've got blisters - a capful of vinegar and cool water can help dry out blisters. Otherwise, using vinegar really isn't recommended as it's mildly acidic and will have a slight astringent effect, drying out skin that is already desperately in need of moisture.


Prickly heat is a condition that affects 14 per cent of the population and is an abnormal immunological response to the UVA type of light. The best way to avoid it is to gradually work up to exposing your skin to the sun rather than suddenly blasting it with sunlight.


No. If the skin is going to peel, it's going to peel because it's been destroyed. Be very careful when you are peeling because the skin underneath will be very tender and will need to be kept well protected from the sun and well moisturised.


People with fair skin or those who haven't had much sun exposure are more likely to burn quickly as they tend to have low levels of melanin, the component of skin that gives us natural protection against burning. Redheads are particularly susceptible as their skin contains a different type of melanin which is much less efficient.


Sunburn can be repaired in a relatively short space of time. However, it is an indicator of invisible, long-term damage. If you have been sunburnt, you have damaged the DNA in the skin, and it is this damage that it is thought goes on to create problems such as skin cancer.

So now you know how to avoid being burnt why not put those skills in to practice with a great Summer Villa Holiday. Search Bargain Villas for a cheap deal! With loads of Summer discounts you're sure to find a bargain!


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5 holiday scams & rip offs to watch out for!

Money switching


US and euro currency notes are particularly at fault here: many of their denominations are the same size or otherwise relatively hard to distinguish. In a car it’s easy for an unscrupulous cabbie to use sleight of hand and switch your note to a lower denomination. Ensure you learn your numbers in the appropriate language and, if in doubt, loudly and slowly count the amount as you pay the potential scammer. Sometimes, as a tourist, you just have to be annoying.

Car Jacking


You didn’t spot the sly criminals eyeing you and your possessions as you filled in the form at the hire-car stand. A few miles down the road, just after you’ve stopped at a red light, your tyre bursts. Generously, the motorcyclists that were alongside your vehicle at the lights offer their aid in changing the slashed tyre – and snatch all your belongings while you’re struggling with the jack. Most common in the touristy parts of Spain, but it also occurs in Thailand.

The Ticket Collector


Particularly prevalent around Paris Metro ticket machines, where a friendly local in the queue offers to help you obtain your seven-day pass. He gets the right option up on the screen, but your card mysteriously won’t work. No matter, he will use his and you can pay him back in cash. So much for unfriendly Parisians - this guy’s a Samaritan! Only after performing the transaction and watching him speed off down an escalator do you realise you have paid him 77 euro for a single-use ticket.

Roman Holiday


Phew, you made it to your Rome hotel safely, you checked in and are just freshening up when a man with a clipboard knocks on the door: he needs to do an inventory of your room and to determine that every appliance is working properly. He will probably ask you for a hand in checking the taps in the bathroom for leaks - but he has deftly left your door off the latch and, while you’re busy in the bathroom, his accomplices will have swarmed in and fled with your belongings.

Shoe Shine Scam


A trick employed in souks and markets everywhere is to thrust apparent samples, or surpluses, of sweets, fabric or tobacco at you and then claim you misunderstood the transaction and you have to pay, over the odds, for the “gift”.

A variant of the same that seems to have wandered beyond the bazaar is that of the “grateful shoe shiner”. You pick up a shoe shiner’s brush that he dropped in the road, and he is so grateful you have saved his livelihood he insists on shining your shoes – for free, of course, you think. Wrongly. When your shoes are gleaming - as you are, at the freebie - he will demand grossly inflated payment. Fellow shoe shiners soon appear to help to reinforce his claim. This routine has reached virtual plague proportions in Istanbul.

If you have any holiday scams you'd like to share drop us a comment!

Now you’re savvy to a few scams here’s a genuine deal with no strings attached…honest guv’nor! Search Bargain Villas for your next cheap holiday villa and you could save a packet.



Compare over 70000 tickets at Compare Attraction Tickets

Ever wondered if there was a website that might help you compare attraction tickets in a single search? Well, we bumped into a website that does exactly that.


Compare Attraction Tickets offer over 70000 tickets right across the world

Compare Attraction Tickets is a meta search engine for attraction tickets that works with some of the UK’s largest ticket suppliers to provide tickets for theme parks, excursions, days out and theatre tickets.

According to Compare Attraction Tickets MD Gavin Boswell they are currently comparing over 70000 tickets. Quite impressive hey! Boswell said, the tickets on sale are by leading suppliers like Buy-A-Gift, Viator, Ticketmaster, Viagogo, ASDA and many more. Tickets are available to suit all budgets. Form a couple of quid for a sightseeing tour in London right up to Disney tickets for Magic Kingdom Orlando. In fact many of the worlds leading resorts such as tickets for Universal Studios, SeaWorld and Busche Gardens can be found on the site.

Here are the current crop of today’s top 10 ticket searches

1) Orlando FlexTicket

2) Disney's Ultimate Ticket 14 Days for the Price of 7

3) Disney's 7-Day Magic Your Way Ticket

4) Chessington World of Adventures & Zoo

5) Universal Studios Orlando Tickets

6) Disney's 10-Day Magic Your Way Ticket

7) Disney's 5-Day Magic Your Way Ticket

8.) Orlando FlexTicket™ Offer Ticket - 6 Parks for the Price of 5!

9) Orlando FlexTicket™ PLUS

10) Alton Towers Resort - 50% Off Special Adult Ticket

The site looks for tickets using all the available supplier and then returns prices so you don’t have to search every supplier individually to find the best rate.

The site uses a simple method to help you find the best tickets. Simply enter Where, What & When you need the tickets and the site will do the rest.

Simply visit to find the best tickets at the best prices.


St Patricks Day Facts

Happy St Patrics Day Everyone!

stpatsAs millions of people all around the world prepare to celebrate Irelands most famous Saint here are a few interesting facts about St Patricks Day;

St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, although he was born in Britain, around 385AD. His parents Calpurnius and Conchessa were Roman citizens living in either Scotland or Wales, according to different versions of his story.

Until the 1970s, St. Patrick's Day in Ireland was a minor religious holiday. A priest would acknowledge the feast day, and families would celebrate with a big meal, but that was about it.

On any given day 5.5 million pints of Guinness, the famous Irish stout, are consumed around the world. On St. Patrick's Day, that number more than doubles to 13 million pints, said Beth Davies Ryan, global corporate relations director of Guinness.

The St. Patrick mythology includes the claim that he banished snakes from Ireland.

Birmingham holds the largest Saint Patrick's Day parade in Britain, which is said to be the third biggest parade in the world after Dublin and New York.

The first St. Patrick's Day parade took place not in Ireland, but in America, when Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City on March 17, 1762.

But Dont be fooled into thinking that St Patricks day is all Irelands is about.  A holiday in Ireland allows one to experience a culture deeply steeped in history. Ireland's history is reflected in the warm hospitality, underrated delicious traditional Irish food and drink, brilliant Irish folk music, and beautiful landscape. Whether enjoying a morning breakfast at a guest house in Dublin, downing a pint or two in a pub in Belfast, experiencing the local artists of Kerry or Cork, or hiking along a seaside cliff on the Dingle Peninsula, it is hard not to feel a part of the dramatic culture of the country's people and the rich history that is Ireland.

Why not search Bargain Villas for your next Ireland Holiday Villa