Travel essentials

With Tina Price

Budapest, a ruptured knee and British Airways

Bay is delighted to welcome Tina Price as its travel writer and general holiday guru. Tina has oodles of experience in the travel industry and is on hand to answer any questions that you may have regarding any aspect of travel or tourism. In this her debut article, Tina gives some handy hints on travel if you are not as nimble on your feet as you were, as she discovered through personal experience.

What do I write about? What do they want to read about? What advice can I give? These questions race through my mind as I sit in my office on crutches pondering my first travel column for Bay.

It suddenly dawned on me that instead of introducing myself as a Tourism Consultant with over 10 years’ experience in the travel trade, and how I will be giving you all some travel tips and advice over the coming months, I would share a recent personal experience with you of a weekend away in Budapest.

A 5-star luxury weekend to Budapest! Happy Birthday Tina. A dream come true as it’s a city I’ve been longing to visit for years. Filled with intrigue, romance, decadent charm, culture and heritage, Budapest is a beautiful city with reminders of its time as one of the capital cities of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

One day to go, however, and disaster struck, I ruptured my knee. My dreams of going to Budapest shattered! Too late to put alternative plans in place, my partner and I still decided to go. Crutch in one hand and painkillers in the other we arrived at Heathrow Airport. The British Airways greeter took one look at me, smiled sympathetically and immediately asked if we needed special assistance.

I had no idea that this service was available on demand and without pre-booking. My partner and I gratefully accepted the offer of help as the thought of limping through the queues at passport control and airport security was incredibly daunting.

Within 10 minutes, we were checked in and an extremely helpful assistant appeared with a wheel-chair to whisk us through security to the departure lounge. Thank you BA – you were amazing and saved our trip.

I would thoroughly recommend this service to any-one who wants to fly to their destination but feels too unsteady or unsure on their feet to face the sometimes gargantuan and exhausting task of checking in and then battling through the queues at airport security and passport control. Even though BA advise you to pre-book the service 48 hours in advance of your flight, I received assistance there and then. So don’t be daunted – help is at hand if you need it and the service also comes with a smile.

Pushing the boat out, we were met by the hotel chauffeur and his very comfortable Mercedes at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport. 30 minutes later, we pulled up outside the magnificent 5-star Corinthia Hotel Budapest, centrally located and one of the city’s oldest and most luxurious hotels. Originally opened in 1896 as the Grand Royal Hotel, it is now one of the Corinthia Hotel Group’s flagship hotels.

With its cool elegant surroundings, Royal Spa and numerous restaurants, all serving a wide variety of excellent food, what better way to recuperate and relax? The staff were incredibly courteous and helpful, with Guest Services on hand to give advice on sightseeing tours, theatre trips and river cruises. Check out the hotel website as they always have special deals on offer. (www.corinthia.com/Budapest)

Even though I was hindered by a ruptured knee, we still had a fantastic weekend and even managed to explore the city by taking a hop-on, hop-off (literally) city sightseeing tour bus – a perfect way to familiarise yourself with your surroundings and get your bearings. We visited the fascinating Jewish Quarter with all its bars and restaurants and sampled some excellent local cuisine washed down with a Hungarian Dry Furmint Tokaj. We even took a peek at some of the famous ruin pubs – a relatively recent phenomenon of Budapest’s nightlife and unique to this amazing city – bars that are created in the ruins of abandoned buildings.

For more details on Budapest, please visit www.budapest.com and for more information on British Airways Special Assistance Service see www.britishairways.com

Tip of the month: The International Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln is now open and welcoming visitors. www.internationalbcc.co.uk for more info.

NEXT MONTH: An award-winning vineyard on your doorstep, luxury coach travel with a gourmet dining twist and a theatrical walking, talking historic pub tour of Cardiff.


Tina Price is managing director of TP Tourism Consultants, a company that provides a range of services which are tailor-made to the specific needs of businesses and organisations that are actively involved in the tourism sector. For more information or to ask a question please contact Tina by email: tina@tptourism.co.uk or visit www.tptourism.co.uk

 

 

 

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