Welcome to Kanoo Travel UK

Kanoo Travel, a franchise partner of American Express Travel Services, specialise in tailormade luxury holidays for the discerning traveller.

Welcome to our blog pages, here you'll find reports from our staff on their holidays and trips which might give you a great idea for your next trip. We'll also update the pages with our latest offers and deals.

Kanoo Travel can be contacted on 0800 458 3412. Or visit us online at http://www.kanootravel.co.uk/

Monday, 12 September 2011


My recent travels took me over the English Channel to the city of light, home of the best cheese and finest wine, Paris. The perfect destination for sightseeing , indulgence and the ultimate shopping experience, aside from its delightfully fluffy pastries and questionably fashioned men, Paris caters for all and is certain to keep all visitors entertained, from the culture intrigued, to the fashion hungry - there's something for everyone.

What to wear

Sometimes, no matter how much you try and disguise - you will always be recognised as English; do not despaire however, there are always steps to guide you to save you from looking like a typical tourist; if you really pull it off, you might even convince people your middle name is Francois.
Firstly, comfortable footwear is a must. Despite the many methods of transport in Paris you should expect to walk a good few miles during the day and your Christian Louboutins just won't cut it - I suggest wearing your most comfortablest day shoes for exploring; trainers are regarded as the tourist's uniform however I will turn a blind eye if it is what you feel most happy in, other options can be sandals brogues or any other sensible flat shoe to ensure you won't be begging for a piggy back every five minutes.
The rest of you attire can be dependant on the weather and your mood; hot and sunny? Wear light clothes and make sure you smother yourself in sun cream to avoid burning; clouds disguising the sun? Opt for slightly warmer clothing but add a cashmere or cotton scarf with a jacket you can easily shrug off once the weather gets brighter.

How to get around

I found the easiest form of transport to cover as much Parisian ground as possible was the Metro, similar to London's tubes you can find your admiring Notre Dame and then eating a panini near the steps of the eiffel tower 10 minutes later. Like in London, Oyster Cards can be purchased to give you unlimited access over a certain amount of consecutive days; you can also buy a book of 12 tickets which I found used over the space of 5 days was more than enough.
Another great way to get around would be to hop onto one of the many sightseeing tour buses, which you can get access to from recognisable bus stops stationed by some of the main attractions of Paris, (Notre Dame, The Louvre etc). Of course you must indulge in some of the sightseeing by foot; you can't act like a true Parisian and get lost in the streets of Montmatre whilst on a bus so make sure you includet this on your trip.


How much spending money you take along with you is really a judgement call - before you go, breakdown all the things you plan to do whilst there. For example, travelling up the Eiffel Tower will cost you approximately €14 and 3 blisters (if you decide to brave the stairs.)
Ensure you consider the shopping you plan to indulge in whilst you're there - it is the fashion capital after all dahling! But as well as the deliciously expensive boutiques and high end brands of the Chans de lisa, don't forget to explore the vintage and quirky clothing stores of Montmartre just down the street from the Sacre Cour (although it's best to stay in a group when doing such shopping, when braving some of the shops in this area we found some were guarded by Rottweiler's and owned by gents wearing questionably toupees.)

Food in this fabulous city can be surprisingly good value - if you know where to go. You see how prices change as you explore the city, if you're sat in one of the most popular areas of Paris or find yourself in a cafe within touching distance of a major monument, expect to have an extra €10 added to the cost of your croissant, this conundrum is easily rectified however, simply gather your belongings and sidle past the snooty waiter back onto the streets of Paris and walk through the town, down the side streets and just take in your surroundings - you'll be surprised how easy it is to run into a delightfully reasonable bistro with delicious homemade food and a bill which won't leave you choking on your snails.

Staying safe

A final note on this charming city; whilst Paris is a fabulous place to get lost in, just ensure at all times that you keep your valuables safely tucked away out of sight. If you want to take your digital SLR camera to take some stunning city shots, don't wear it around your neck - keep it safe in its camera bag and wear diagonally around your body if possible to ensure you can keep a hand on it at all times, the same goes for your shoulder bag - only take out the cash you need for the day and keep the rest of your currency and valuables in your hotel room safe, not only will this ensure you have money left for a last minute Duty Free raid on the way home but if the worst happens which I hope it doesn't, you won't be left penniless on the streets of Paris.

Lastly, make sure you enjoy Paris. What I've learned from my trip is that not everything the city has to offer is in the guidebook so make sure you take exploring into your own hands and really see the sights of Paris in your own way, what's great about Paris is that no two trips are ever the same so take full advantage in being in one of the world's most exciting cities and really take in everything the city of light has to offer. Bon Voyage!

Saturday, 11 June 2011

The Sunshine State

Florida is renowned for being a holiday haven for groups, families and couples alike; the ultimate holiday destination with just about everything from some of the world's greatest theme parks, to malls capable of keeping the Carrie Bradshaw's of the world happy for days on end.
I had my first experience with Florida at the age of 8 and after almost 13 years since a fix of a Sizzler buffet, a Shamu show and the acceptance of wearing a bum-bag in public - I felt I had waited more than long enough to revisit the sunshine state of Florida and began my preperations for my travels across the Atlantic. With under two months to plan my indulgent break with award-winning sands of Clearwater and all things Disney to cover, my preperations were carried out with military precision which left me care-free for the holiday with my Minnie Mouse ears poised and ready before even touching down at Sanford Airport.

With minimal time for preperation, finding a hotel was as simple as finalising your needs - I specifically looked to find one of the International Drive as this is a prime area for resturants and access to the highway. If you prefer more relaxed surroundings, I would recommend looking for accommodation around Kissimmee, Florida. The International Drive is perfectly situated however for those like me who like to stumble across an IHOP or an all-you-can-eat steak dinner for $7.00 every ten yards.
We eventually chose and booked accommodation at Doubletree by Hilton Orlando at Seaworld. It's good reviews along with competitive prices and in a location perfect for exploring the Parks, it had everything we needed including comfortable rooms and a breakfast buffet to keep us bright eyed for the day ahead.

A nine-hour Thomson plane journey, two Cosmopolitans and a demolished Toblerone later, we found ourselves in Florida. We had hired a car with Alamo a week prior to our holiday; with the amount of ground we planned to cover, having our own wheels and air conditioning we didn't have to share was a blessing. However if you don't have the option of car rental, Kanoo offers a range of airport transfers to your accommodation, hotels in the International Drive area often have complimentary transport to the parks.
As my brother got to grips with driving on the other side of the road, I also found myself gripping the dashboard as we made our way down the I-4 highway. Our first port of call after inspecting the delightfully satisfactory hotel (any accommodation which welcomes you with warm cookies is always high on my list), was Wal-mart to stock up on the necessities for our stay.
After wandering round open-mouthed at the novelty food available -("Matthew look! Look! Oreo ice-cream! There's Oreo's IN the ice-cream!") Were only some of the comments made by myself to my brother who acted as though he didn't know this obvious tourist - we filled the trolley with gronola bars, water, fruit, nuts and potato chips which we would take with us to the theme parks to provide us with the energy that ice-cream and lemonade slushies just wouldn't.

From the supermarket you can also pick up a booklet of coupons which provide vouchers for participating restaurants guaranteeing you 10-20% off meals. The majority of restaurants in Florida are purse friendly with great quality food, from the Sizzler's to Ponderosa - also head to; The Outback restaurant, an Australian style bar and grill with (in my opinion) the best steaks around, great service and prices which won't leave you sharing a main meal.
If you feel like treating yourself after a hard day of feeding dolphins or exploring Hogwarts - I recommend a trip to The Hard Rock Cafe located at Universal's City Walk, an amazing restaurant with a wide selection of food and enough music and dancing to keep you entertained throughout your entire meal.

With so much to do whilst you're in Florida, it's hard to imagine having the time to see and do it all. Focus on the main attractions you want to visit; Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios is a perfect ccombination of rides, shows and simulation coasters to keep both thrill seekers and movie lovers happy each visit. Walt Disney World has so much to see and is magical for all ages with rides to suit all - but make sure you take a few days out of the holiday in between exploring to visit the Gulf Coast where you can relax and unwind on soft powdered beaches all set for the next full day of rollercoaster's and exciting shows.

I've noticed people planning on going to Floridahave had issues with knowing how to manage their money whilst there. From experience my advice would be to set a certain limit of money to spend per day, whether it be on meals, drinks or novelty souvenirs - if you keep within your daily budget, you'll find you're able to manage the entire holiday without finding yourself having to use your credit card which is best left saved in case of emergencies...or to use during the Abercrombie and Fitch spree before you head home.

I've learnt from my holiday that's it's beneficial to plan ahead of your trip - for all of your holiday requirements from airport transfers to hotels and park tickets; Kanoo travel can ensure you a tailor made package at great value to fit all of your needs to guarantee you a perfect holiday. If you have any queries or would just like some more information, don't hesitate to call on 0800 458 3412 which will lead you straight to a skilled team of travel consultants dedicated to helping you get the holiday you've dreamed of. With mouse-ears optional and a state based around extraordinary visions, Florida is a holiday of a lifetime for everyone.