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And whilst we want to stay positive and still believe that the 2021 season will open for the summer, booking flights and hotels in the current environment might be a little bit presumptuous and risky. Planning a yacht trip though? This we can do – considering that chartering a yacht is certainly one of the safest ways to enjoy a holiday during a global pandemic.

This month, we introduce you to Roditis Yachting – a full agency offering a wide range of services to yacht owners holidaying in Greece’s stunning Dodecanese Islands. From berth reservations, customs and formalities assistance, fuel and lubricants supply, through to food and provisions, technical support, fiscal services, VAT clearances, imports and customs procedure, as well as arranging the issuance of a Greek Yacht Charter License - Roditis Yachting can take care of it all!

We caught up with the company’s manager Michalis Roditis to hear how they’re preparing for the upcoming season.  

Although yacht holidays are one of the safest ways to travel during a pandemic, it’s undeniable that 2020 was a difficult year for the sector. How did you navigate the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic presented you with last year?

2020 was certainly a difficult year for us. As a response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Greek authorities implemented a number of strict measures, including a ban for certain nationalities, including travellers from the USA, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Russia, who weren’t allowed to enter our borders. This restriction impacted us greatly as this is where our main clientele is from – both for private yachting and charter.

In addition to this, there were also border closures between Greece and Turkey and we saw a dramatic drop in yacht arrivals by almost 80% when compared to 2019. Fewer charter companies were able to fulfil their charters in the region as their contracts where strictly for embarking and disembarking at Turkish Ports only. However, we also witnessed a surprising rise in domestic guests who chose to charter a yacht as opposed to staying at a hotel. Foreign yachts which had a Greek Charter License also took advantage of the border situation.

It was a difficult year indeed and our business was down by 70%, however, the experience taught us a lot and we built the foundations for the challenges to come. This unexpected drop in demand motivated us to work hard to find new ways to make it happen!

How are you preparing for summer 2021?  

My background is in Commercial Shipping – a sector where no event can ever surprise us! In fact, over the years, ship operators have established a Safety Management System which consists of drills and crisis managing tools, including health management and outbreak issues. In line with this, Roditis Yachting will offer a unique service provision in 2021, which will include 100% electronic formalities and procedures, delivery of services based on an Outbreak Management Plan approved by WHO, which ensures that the use of vehicles and equipment, as well as the contact between our staff and the crew and the guests, will happen in the safest way possible. We are well prepared for this summer and are ready to guarantee the full safety of both our staff members and our guests!

Why should yacht owners consider using your services?

Since 1989, Roditis Yachting has proven to be a solution finder and a problem solver in all fields of yachting and maritime services provision. We’ve worked hard to build an amazing reputation and to deliver the highest level of services for everyone who chooses to trust us. Our agency has received many acknowledgements, including ‘Best Superyacht Agent’ at the Aegean Awards based on out first-class customer service, complete support, ample local knowledge, trust and transparency, long-standing contracts, efficiency, proactiveness, professionalism, open communication channels and value for money!

For more information, go to: https://www.roditisyachting.com/

Many people tend to splurge on a vacation, which is why they think that next year’s travelling will incur the same costs; this isn’t true at all. Keep in mind that we live in a cosmopolitan world where everything is available within your budget. In this article, we will guide you through five ways with which you can manage your travel budget, and keep in mind: wise spending will easily suffice for your tour when compared with spending carelessly.

  1. Look for cheap flights

There's no need to travel to expensive airlines and especially on the business class. If you're traveling with your family, you can easily travel in economy. If you are well aware of the holidays in advance, you can book your flights around three to four months before the trip. Refrain from lusting over flight upgrades by giving some extra dollars. Always put a cut on your desires, especially when there's not even a need to fulfill them. Compare different airlines and choose one that easily fits within your budget.

  1. Public transport instead of renting expensive cars

Keep in mind that the ethos behind a vacation or an international trip is to go on a social detox and give yourself a healthy slice of life. Back home you already have everything that you want, so why go the extra mile by splurging on expensive cars? If you’re traveling within the country and find yourself in an accident which was somebody else’s fault, you can get in touch with Scot Accident Claims. Their team will help you in filing a lawsuit. All in all, it is better to travel with local public transport.

  1. Cook your food

Are you a good cook? How long can you keep yourself away from those delicious dishes you usually have at home? Just push yourself a little bit because that will help you in saving a significant amount of money. Instead of eating from restaurants and top-notch hotels, you can easily cook your food. People who often eat in a new place tend to get stomach issues and get short of budget very quickly.

  1. Don’t splurge on cliché shopping items

If you’re visiting a very special location for the first time, why shop for clothes again? Pull yourself back from buying traditional items that are available back home. If you want to, buy souvenirs that can be gifted to friends and family members. Every travel destination has its specialty and often its own small-scale industry. There are many simple things that can be bought from the local markets of nay new location. Refrain from overspending as the idea of an ideal vacation is to enjoy yourself and not get stuck in those busy market places.

  1. Stay at a friends or relatives place

Accommodation is an important element that will consume much of your money. Do you have friends and relatives at the destination you’re heading to? That’s a brilliant idea! Stay at their place and save on accommodation. Conventional hotels and resorts charge a lot of money for tourists. So you better be careful when choosing suitable accommodation. Even if you get a cheap hotel that has the necessities, give it a go since most of your time will be spent outdoor.

Lastly!

Enjoy yourself and make the most of your trip. Not many people get the opportunity to travel. Since you have it, it’s best to make some great memories.

Don’t let a lack of finances get in the way of creating new and memorable experiences! There are lots of ways for you to reduce travelling costs without having to compromise on the quality of your trip.

Here are a few of the best ways you can cut travel costs this season and do more travelling without burning a hole in your wallet:

1. Shop Around for Cheap Flights

One of the most common reasons people say they can’t afford to travel is because the “flights are too expensive”. And yes, sometimes the price of flights are on the verge of extortion, but if you can’t find more affordable flights, it’s likely to be because you’re looking at all the wrong places.

You’ve got to shop around for cheap flights to find the best deals. Going straight to your favourite airline website and booking directly from it without even checking other sources is a rookie mistake. What you should be doing is comparing flight prices, so you can see the best deals on flights including things like recommended times to travel and possible discounts on returns etc.

2. Consider the Destination

If you want to experience as much of the world as possible, but you’re on a tight budget, you might want to avoid the “big spender” destinations such as Las Vegas, Hong Kong, Tokyo and so on. Expensive holiday destinations will make budgeting increasingly tricky, especially when you’re paying £100+ per night.

Instead, think about more affordable holiday destinations that offer just as much sunshine and excitement, but at a lower cost. A few of the most affordable destinations include Costa del Sol in Spain, Budapest in Hungary and Bali in Indonesia to name but a few.

3. Find Alternative Accommodation

Not everyone wants to compromise on quality when it comes to accommodation, and that’s okay. But if you’re looking to cut back on travel costs and don’t mind giving up a little bit of luxury, in exchange for somewhere to rest your head at night, you’ve got to consider cheaper accommodation.

First, you might want to check online for cheap hotels. You might get lucky and find something amazing and within your budget. But if you’re struggling, you can also stay in a hostel. Hostels offer lower prices, and many of them even include free breakfast, which is fantastic if you’re looking for a wallet-friendly alternative. If you’re a little more on the adventurous side, you might be open to camping or renting a caravan.

4. Cook your own Food

Are you a whizz in the kitchen? Save money by skipping the expensive restaurants and cooking your own food. If you’re travelling for a week or two, you might end up spending more than you anticipated on daily meals. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to a nice dinner on holiday, but if you’re determined to cut back, you’ve got to cook for yourself!

You can even bring food with you and shop for groceries at the local supermarket. Cooking for yourself is slightly easier if you’re camping or renting an apartment with a group of friends. The cost of renting an apartment is usually cheaper than hotel prices and most come with their own kitchen, which is ideal if you feel like whipping up a Sunday roast dinner or making a stir-fry.

5. Avoid Taxis

Taxis are so expensive in foreign countries, and most people agree that they feel overcharged by taxi services for merely being a tourist. Always try to avoid using a taxi service when possible and opt for public transport instead. Or, you could get some exercise and walk to your destination or hire a bicycle. However, this will be more difficult if you’ve got a few suitcases to trail about. Buses and trains offer affordable means of transport, so make sure to take note of the schedule and make the most out of public transportation.

You may think cash has come to an end, or maybe you’re on the other side of the fence, where cash is king. However, a balance is to be struck. Below WeSwap CEO Jared Jesner explains why travellers will also need cash, despite a predominantly digital economy.

Trailing closely behind Sweden and Canada, the United Kingdom is the world’s third most cashless society. According to UK Finance, cash will be used for a mere 21% of all payments by 2026. Increasingly, countries around the world are making definite moves towards a futuristic economy based on fully digital transactions for goods and services, with cash often portrayed as obsolete. In Sweden, 80% of all transactions are made by cards via the mobile payment app, Swish.

According to a report in Reuters citing the Bank for International Settlements, the study found that the use of cash is actually rising in both developed and emerging markets. “Some of the breathless commentary gives the impression that cash in the form of traditional notes and coins is going out of fashion fast,” said Hyun Song Shin, BIS economic adviser and head of research “despite all the technological improvements in payments in recent years, the use of good old-fashioned cash is still rising in most, though not all, advanced and emerging market economies.” Furthermore, the Bank for International Settlements found that in recent years, the amount of cash in circulation has increased to 9% of GDP in 2016 from 7% of GDP back in 2000. That said, the same study stated that debit and credit card payments represented 25% of GDP in 2016, up from 13% in 2000.

Cash’s resiliency comes at a time when the odds are seemingly stacked against its historically ubiquitous presence, with the critical mass of consumers owning more credit and debit cards today than ever before, using them for smaller transactions than in years past. Moreover, thanks to new technologies, consumers are able to use contactless payments via their mobile devices to pay for things in record numbers. These now societal norms have led to predictions that cash is dying as the world moves to digital payments. WeSwap asserts this prediction as flawed.

Jared Jesner, CEO of WeSwap, founded his company on the notion that cash remains indispensable across the majority of countries around the world: travelers will inevitably need to access hard currency beyond UK borders, and the method with which to do so, should be fair and transparent. As the key driver of a uniquely positioned digital banking revolution sweeping the nation, Jesner demystifies the notion that cash is moving closer towards extinction, instead recognizing its unwavering importance to society in 2018.

In just three years since launching its core product, WeSwap has rapidly risen to become the world’s largest peer-to-peer currency conversion platform, also enabling users to buy-back excess currency and receive cash delivered straight to their door. Its promise to streamline the travel budgeting process, empowers tourists and business travelers to make the most of their money abroad, with users loading funds onto the WeSwap card and swapping currency directly with each other at the interbank rate with no hidden fees. The service is unique and currently used by over 400,000 UK travelers, all of which appreciate and use the notes in their wallets, coins in their purses and contactless pings of their MasterCards.

CEO of WeSwap Jared Jesner states: “Our nation loves to travel and although we are moving closer towards becoming a cashless society within our own borders, when we go abroad this all changes.”

Jesner is optimistic about the enormous potential to change the landscape of payments, having founded WeSwap to make currency exchange cheap and fair for ordinary people: “I’m incredulous to the fact that we still 'buy' money when we should just be swapping with each other.”

With Futurologists long predicting cash will one day become obsolete, contextualised by the advent of blockchain technology, mobile money and similar innovations, a transition towards a more cashless society is inevitable, but not to the extent where notes are no-more. For all the convenience that digital payments offer, many remain reluctant to fully part with their notes and coins. WeSwap believes that an emotive and security-based connection – similar to our attachment with photographs, films, books and other things of tangible value – secure the role of hard-currency in our lives, inevitably.

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