FLIGHT cancellations, lost luggage and a sizzling British heatwave that caused runways to melt has created carnage at UK airports in recent weeks.
And that chaos looks set to continue with easyJet boss Johan Lundgren admitting he “can’t guarantee” passengers won’t suffer more disruption this summer.
That doesn’t mean holidays are out the window though – and with train, coach and ferry packages you are not limited to staying in the UK either.
Sophie Swietochowski rounds up some cracking flight-free holidays in Europe.
FOODIES will be in heaven on this seven-night cruise with a celebrity chef line-up that includes Masterchef’s John Torode, Saturday Kitchen’s Matt Tebbutt and cookery writer Rachel Allen.
Sailing from Southampton, the Princess Cruise voyage will take you on a culinary tour of Scandinavia, stopping in Oslo, Norway and Copenhagen in Denmark.
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On board the Enchanted Princess you’ll have access to a swanky casino, cigar lounge and jazz bar as well as a pool and beauty salon.
GO: The seven-night cruise costs from £569pp, on a room-only basis, departing from Southampton on August 26.
This price is based on two people sharing a twin room with an ensuite. See princesscruises.com.
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TEMPERATURES in the UK exceeded those of even Jamaica this week – and with the sunshine set to continue, you won’t need to venture far to get your sizzling summer holiday fix.
The four-person Breeze cottage is bursting with character and is a three-minute walk from Norfolk’s Cromer beach, famous for its delicious crab meat.
Sample some from any of the seaside restaurants (it’s guaranteed to be good), but not before hitting the waves for a surfing lesson.
After busy beach days, have a soak in the cottage’s free-standing tub or stick on a film in front of the fire – if it’s not too hot!
GO: Seven nights’ self-catering at the two-bedroom Breeze cottage costs from £829 in total. See cottages.com or call 0345 268 0766.
CRUISE: Spain & Portugal
THOSE who aren’t restricted to travelling during the school holidays can save a fortune if they go away later in the year and this two-week P&O Cruises trip around Spain and Portugal is a steal.
Departing from Southampton, you’ll set sail for Vigo, Spain, which is home to an impressive art museum and the perfect spot to sample some traditional paella, before moving on to Malaga, Alicante and Barcelona.
The boat stops in the ancient port city of Cádiz before sailing for Lisbon, the Portuguese capital, where you can indulge in yummy, flaky pastel de natas (custard tarts) and get a snap with a traditional yellow tram.
GO: The 14-night full-board cruise costs from £658pp, leaving Southampton on October 29. See travelzoo.com/ uk.
TAKE THE TRAIN: Amsterdam
THE Eurostar is one of the most faff-free ways to travel, especially if you live close to the capital.
Hop on and within less than four hours, you can be in Amsterdam, a city steeped in culture and boasting bars, cafes and restaurants down every cobbled street.
Stroll along the criss-crossing canals, or better still, book a day cruise where you will be able to tick off all the top sites in a couple of hours.
Book a room at the Ibis Amsterdam Centre Stopera, in the thick of the action, with Anne Frank House, Madame Tussauds and Dam Square all on your doorstep.
GO: The Eurostar runs from St Pancras to Amsterdam from £39 each way. See eurostar.com.
The Ibis Amsterdam Centre Stopera offers doubles from £111 per night. For more details, see all.accor.com.
TRAVEL BY EUROTUNNEL: France
IF you are an adventure seeker and want to see the sites on a budget, then hiring a campervan and heading for the rugged mountains of Grenoble will fit the bill.
Take Eurotunnel’s Le Shuttle train from Folkestone to Calais, in northern France, then pick up Valentine’s Coachbuilt Motorhome, a six-berth vehicle with a shower, toilet, fridge freezer and even a TV.
Pack your bike and explore the winding mountain trails of Grenoble Alpes, where if you are fit enough, you can cycle up the Alpe d’Huez to be rewarded with stunning views of the mountain peaks and cool blue lakes.
GO: The six-person Valentine’s Coachbuilt Motorhome costs from £926 per week including two insured drivers, breakdown cover and 200km (125miles) allowance per day. See yescapa.co.uk.
The Eurotunnel costs from £87 per vehicle (up to nine passengers) each way for a Short Stay Saver ticket, valid for five calendar days. See eurotunnel.com.
FOR sweeping sea views, quality grub and five-star luxury without the five-star price tag, venture to The Old Government House Hotel in the heart of Guernsey, which is the former home of the Governor.
You’ll spend four nights in a King room, which is as regal as it sounds, with chunky patterned curtains and decorative headboards on the beds.
It takes just three hours to reach the island by ferry from Poole.
Bring your cozzie, as Guernsey is a great spot for wild swimming, from secluded coves to natural pools.
Make sure to visit Moulin Huet Bay, with its turquoise waters and craggy cliffs.
GO: Four nights’ B&B at The Old Government House costs from £849pp, including ferry travel with standard car, for selected dates from now until September 30. For details see channelislandsdirect.co.uk.
ROAD TRIP: Galway
GALWAY is one of Britain’s top beauty spots and for those who don’t live in Ireland, it’s an easy ferry ride over from Wales.
Take your car and drive some of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, an unspoilt coastal road that stretches 1,500 miles from Malin Head in County Donegal to Kinsale in County Cork.
You’ll soak up views of deserted beaches, windswept mountains and traditional villages.
Check into the new Dean Galway hotel.
It has 100 boutique bedrooms, all with rainforest showers, and a rooftop bar that has even more cracking views.
GO: The Dean Galway has double rooms from £128 per night. See thedean.ie.
The Stena Line ferry company has one-way crossings from Holyhead to Dublin from £119 per car. See stenaline.co.uk.
BY COACH: Austria & Italy
BACKED by the snow-capped Dolomites mountain range and surrounded by miles of lush lemon groves, Lake Garda in northern Italy is certainly one for the bucket list – and on this ten-day package trip you’ll get to see the best of it.
Holidaymakers are collected by coach from pick-up points across the UK and taken to France by ferry before crossing over to Italy to indulge in quality grub and explore historic towns.
You will then cross into Austria to Innsbruck and Salzburg at the border of the Alps, which some will recognise from The Sound Of Music.
GO: The ten-day trip costs from £724pp, departing on September 9.
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It includes coach travel, ferry crossings, four nights’ half-board accommodation in Lake Garda and three nights’ half-board accommodation in the Austrian Tyrol as well as two B&B stays in France.
Visit justgoholidays.com for further information.
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