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UK holidaymakers face extra charge when travelling to Europe next year

The electronic travel authorisation system is for visitors from countries that are not part of the EU

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Lauren Friedman & Pedro Szekely / Flickr

UK holidaymakers will have to pay a fee when they enter Europe on their travels next year, as post-Brexit rules come into force.

From next year, Brits will need to obtain a European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) visa waiver to visit popular holiday destinations, including Spain, France, Italy and Greece.

The system will check the security credentials and charge a fee to travellers visiting EU member countries for business, tourism, medical or transit purposes.

Brits will have to complete an application form and pay a fee of seven euros – which works out at around six pounds. 

Lauren Friedman / Flickr

So far, 30 European countries have been confirmed as requiring ETIAS travel authorisation next year.

Although the EU has not confirmed an exact date for when the ETIAS comes into force, guidance does say it will be ‘operational in 2024’ – pushed back from the original 2020.

The ETIAS travel authorisation is then valid for three years, or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. 

Travellers will be able to travel to and from the countries whenever they wish, providing the overall limit of the authorised stay is complied with.

Peter K Burian / Wikimedia

According to EU guidance, most applications will be processed within minutes, but could take  up to 96 hours. 

However, some applications may take longer if additional documents are required, and travellers are advised to not purchase any tickets or book accommodation until they have the ETIAS.

It’s best to apply for one as soon as you start planning your holiday (although applications aren’t open just yet).

To apply for the ETIAS you’ll need to provide your personal details, as well as travel document information and details of any past criminal convictions.

Pedro Szekely / Flickr

 You will also need to state the first country you intend to visit. However, once you’ve received the ETIAS you’ll be able to visit any of the 30 countries it covers, whenever you like.

The 30 European countries where visa-exempt travellers require an ETIAS travel authorisation are:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

The exact date of when ETIAS will come into force is yet to be announced. Visit the ETIAS website for more information by clicking HERE.


Shrek’s ‘moss-covered’ swamp home is now available to rent on Airbnb

Fans now have the opportunity to stay in his humble abode free of charge

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Alix McIntosh / Airbnb

Shrek fans can now live out their dream and stay in the huge, green ogre’s swamp home – now listed on Airbnb.

The ‘mud-laden, moss-covered’ real-life recreation of Shrek’s Swamp is located within the grounds of Ardverikie Estate, in the Scottish Highlands.

The idea for the cosy forest hideout is inspired by DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek film series, released between 2001 and 2010.

Alix McIntosh / Airbnb

Airbnb released the listing on Tuesday, with Shrek enthusiasts able to book overnight stays from Friday, October 27th to Sunday, October 29th.

The live-in tree stump features a studio layout with two beds and one bathroom, where up to three guests at a time can make a reservation for free.

The short and long-term home stays firm said the offer is ‘a nod to the priceless refuge Shrek’s Swamp has provided fairytale creatures of all kinds’.

Alix McIntosh / Airbnb

The murky den features ‘Danger’, ‘Beware Ogre’ and ‘Stay Out’ signs on the path leading up to the quirky property. But once inside, it is delightfully snug and inviting.

The unusual listing is hosted by Shrek’s animated sidekick, Donkey, who has agreed to ‘swamp-sit’ in his absence.

About the charming mossy refuge, Donkey posted on Airbnb: “Shrek’s Swamp is lovely. Just beautiful. The perfect place to entertain guests.

Alix McIntosh / Airbnb

“You know what I like about it? Everything. The overgrown landscaping, the modest interiors, the nice boulders, all of it.

“I can’t wait for guests to experience this muddy slice of paradise for themselves.”

To coincide with the launch, Airbnb will make a donation to HopScotch Children’s Charity, which provides some of Scotland’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged children with respite breaks through nurturing and dynamic holiday trips

Alix McIntosh / Airbnb

Anyone interested in staying in Shrek’s Swamp can request a reservation from 6pm on Friday, October 13th.

To book a stay, visit the Airbnb website, HERE.

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First look at new Legoland holiday park opening in the UK next year

Young ones can play on climbing frames and rope bridges based on spider’s webs and treehouses

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Legoland in Windsor has revealed a first look into its brand-new holiday park, opening in 2024.

The newly built Woodland Village with over 130 lodges and 20 camping barrels will open to the public next May, with overnight stays on sale now. Prices to stay on the 10-acre site start at £295 or a family of four.

While most lodges sleep up to five guests, with 10 premium lodges able to sleep up to seven people.


Features at the Woodland Village include The Clubhouse Restaurant & Bar, which will serve up campfire-inspired grub in a woodland-themed setting.

Youngsters can explore the several woodland-themed play areas equipped with climbing frames and rope bridges based on spider’s webs and treehouses.

The family attraction will also have brick-building activities, nature trails, an entertainment hub, and colourful new Lego characters.


Helen Bull, Division Director at Legoland Windsor Resort, said: “The LEGOLAND Woodland Village has been a long time coming and we’re incredibly excited to now be taking bookings ahead of the official opening in May 2024.

“This moment marks years of planning and unwavering dedication to providing a magical experience for all our guests.

“The LEGOLAND Woodland Village is part of a significant transformation for the LEGOLAND Windsor Resort and we look forward to welcoming families to this new way to stay next year!”


But this isn’t the only exciting new addition to a Legoland-themed attraction, as an adventure golf attraction will be opening this October.

Also next month, the Legoland Discovery Centres in Birmingham and Manchester will be hosting their own Monster Parties, with a series of spooky attractions for Halloween.

Meanwhile, the Legoland theme park is set to close the Viking River Splash – one of its most popular rides – by the end of the month. The park haven’t given a reason as to why, but the ride will become part of Viking history.

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The best city breaks for under £150 from Manchester Airport this September

Fancy a cheap city break this September?

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Pedro Szekerly & Goldmund100 (Luca Volpi) / Wikimedia

If you’re looking to getaway on a bargain city break next month, flights are going for as little as £150 from Manchester Airport.

It’s almost September and the kids will be going back to school, which means holiday destinations will be a little more peaceful and you can enjoy a nice adults only getaway.

With that in mind, you’d be forgiven for thinking Manchester Airport would suddenly become a lot quieter in September – but actually the month is traditionally one of the busiest of the year for holidays. 

lucidtech / Wikimedia

Millions of passengers are set to pass through the airport, as those without school-age children look to take advantage of cheaper deals on flights and hotels outside the summer peak, while temperatures in many holiday hotspots still remain warm.

Manchester Airport will be busy connecting the people of the North to more of the region’s most popular destinations than any other airport outside London, around 200 in total. 

These include everything from city-break favourites like Paris, Dublin, Amsterdam and more as well as late summer sun spots like Athens, Istanbul and Malaga.


Travellers who are simply looking to navigate the cost-of-living crisis can also bag themselves a bargain deal on flights to some hidden gems.

If you’re looking for a city break at a reasonable price, then check out these 12 destinations you can fly to directly from Manchester for under £150 this September.


(Served directly by Ryanair)

This historic city in central Italy is nestled in the foothills of the Apennine mountains, and its medieval city centre’s Two Towers, both leaning, are taller than their more famous counterpart in Pisa. The surrounding Emilia-Romagna region is the home of culinary delights such as Modena balsamic vinegar, parmesan cheese and Parma ham.



(Served directly by Jet2.com and Ryanair)

This German city’s medieval walls and Old Town are remarkably preserved and its unique architecture has made it one of Germany’s most popular destinations for a short break. Its cathedral, which towers over the city centre, is one of the largest in the world.



(Served directly by easyJet, Norwegian, Ryanair and SAS Scandinavian Airlines)

Denmark’s capital is one of the fastest-growing city break destinations in Europe with over 146,000 visitors from Manchester alone last year.

Its harbour front is tightly packed with multi-coloured townhouses, and its Christianshavn district is inspired by the canals and architecture of Amsterdam.



(Served directly year-round by easyJet and Ethiopian Airlines; seasonally by Jet2.com and TUI Airways)

Geneva is located in south-west Switzerland, bordered by Lake Geneva and the Alps. Its biggest claim to fame is as the UN’s headquarters, but its Musée d’Art et d’Histoire hosts one of Europe’s most extensive collections of fine art and foodies will love sampling a wide range of Swiss cuisines.



(Served directly by easyJet, Ryanair and TAP Air Portugal)

A prime spot to catch the last of the summer sun, Lisbon sits on Portugal’s Atlantic coast and is flanked by miles of sandy beaches, backed by a promenade dotted with bars and cafes. Saint George’s Castle sits on a hilltop overlooking the city.



(Served directly by Ryanair)

Often overlooked in favour of glitzier neighbours like Nice, Cannes and St Tropez, Marseille is France’s second-largest city and offers a bit of everything, from arts and architecture to world-class restaurants and a buzzing nightlife scene.

The nearby Calanques National Park boats idyllic sandy beaches lining cavernous, fjord-like valleys, and makes for a great day trip.



(Served directly by Norwegian and SAS Scandinavian Airlines)

Founded by Vikings over 1,000 years ago, Norway’s capital Oslo is one of Europe’s most northerly major cities but temperatures are still fairly mild in September, often topping 20C.

Edvard Munch’s masterpiece The Scream is housed in Oslo’s National Gallery and Munch Museum.



(Served directly by Ryanair)

Poznan, in western Poland, is an old provincial capital. Lech, one of Poland’s major beer brands, is headquartered here and sponsors the city’s successful football team, but Poznan also has a vibrant craft beer scene with dozens of independent brewers.

It’s also famed for its pastries – visitors should try a St Martin’s Croissant, packed with poppy seeds, nuts and dried fruits.



(Served directly by Ryanair)

This Baltic Sea destination is famous for its budget-friendly nightlife but offers much more besides. Its medieval heart is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is also one of Europe’s greenest cities, with lots of places to escape the crowds.

Temperatures in September may even be warm enough for a visit one of Riga’s sandy beaches.



(Served directly by Ryanair)

Another hotspot for September sunshine, Valencia backs onto the Mediterranean with miles of beaches within walking distance of the city centre.

If you fancy trying something a little more unusual, Valencia is world-famous for its oranges, and has a burgeoning agri-tourism scene. Many local orange orchards offer tours and stays.



(Served directly year-round by Ryanair and TUI Airways; seasonally by Jet2.com)

The setting for not one, but two Shakespeare plays, one of Verona’s most popular sights is Juliet’s Balcony, affixed to a small townhouse overlooking a square. Its enormous Roman-era Arena is well-preserved and today regularly hosts opera performances.



(Served directly year-round by Austrian Airlines and Ryanair; seasonally by Jet2.com)

Vienna is one of Europe’s cultural capitals and you can find out more about one of its most influential figures at the Mozart Haus Vienna, housed in a former apartment building where the composer lived for three years at the height of his success.

Vienna is also renowned for cakes and biscuits and is home to dozens of independent patisseries.

*Prices may be subject to change.

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