Since 2012 a variety of “cookie laws” have been introduced by Governments worldwide – these laws even apply to small personal blogs that include Google Ads. These laws require sites to provide details of cookies used; and (in the case of EU visitors to sites) the presentation of a “Cookie Notice” that remains displayed until clicked.
What we have done to comply:
We do not collect or store personal data on our server (we do not even require an email address on our “comments” form!). However like virtually all other sites this site does set cookies.
- reviewed our site using attacat’s cookie auditing tool.
- produced this page.
- added a cookie notice to our page footer with a prominent link to this page.
Unfortunately it is not practical for us to provide a cookie free version of this site; but you can set your browser to block new cookies and delete existing ones (see bottom of this page).
As far as we are aware most of our site works reasonably well without cookies (see bottom of page for known impact); however we may not have identified all affects on content and results; so use of this site without cookies is at your own risk.
What is a cookie?
Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by websites that you visit. They are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site.
Cookies are also set by third parties who provide ads or services to a site (e.g. a blog with Google Ads). Cookies are also set by other sites whose content is embedded in the page you are visiting e.g. if a site includes Youtube Videos, then Youtube may also set or update a cookie on your computer (the price of free). These are referred to as 3rd party cookies.
Cookies used on our site
These cookies are created by our own site and may be named “_utma”, “_utmb”, “_utmc”, or “_utmz”.
Purpose (as described by the UK regulator, which also uses Google Analytics) : These cookies are used to collect information about how visitors use our site. We use the information to help us improve the site.
The cookies collect information in an anonymous form, including the number of visitors to the site, where visitors have come to the site from and the pages they visited. Click here for more from Google on Analytics cookies.
Half the top million websites use Google Analytics (Wikipedia).
Youtube.Com: provide the option of presenting their videos in enhanced-privacy mode, this means that they will only set a cookie if the video is played, and it will not contain personally identifiable information. We will always specify enhanced-privacy mode. See “Enabling privacy-enhanced mode for embedded videos” on this Youtube page.
We serve adverts from Google: Google uses the DART cookie (FAQ). This enables it to serve ads based on your visits to this and other sites on the Internet. As it uses things like what you’ve searched for on Google, to decide what to display; we believe it is the most”personal” cookie served as a result of visiting our site. However, it is likely to reduce the number adverts not relevant to you, and we consider it to be useful. More info/FAQ; Opt Out (ads will still be displayed but no longer based on information of your interests).
Hotel Search Form:
Most of our Hotel Search Forms are written by us and do not set cookies. However we use an HotelsCombined form on our “Embassy Locator” and “Advice by Country pages”. Their cookies identify the page from which you sent the form, currency and language. We tried the form to search Hotels in Rome after deleting cookies – it worked fine but displayed the results in Italian and prices in Euros! HotelsCombined state their cookies do not contain any personally identifiable information.
The audit software does not tell the complete story, for example our site like many others uses Facebook’s Like button, chances are this will set a cookie if you click it.
As a site reviewing and recommending companies in the travel industry we include content, search forms and links from other sites, if you submit a form or click through these sites may set cookies. We provide details and an explanation of our relationship below.
About affiliate partnerships:
Internet partnerships are common for example we found that Comparethemarket.com, GoCompare and TescoCompare all use the SAME company to serve their Travel Insurance Price Comparison (our article on travel insurance).
Companies such as Amazon pay commission for purchases made as a result links from sites that have signed up to its affiliate scheme. Some companies manage their own scheme, others use Affiliate Marketing companies to manage these partnerships on their behalf.
Cookies are used to identify that visits or purchases are due to a referral from an affiliate site. No cookie means no commission.
Some affiliate sites add zero value and just link to companies paying the most commission. Others such as some as genuine price comparison or information
sites provide a real service to their visitors. Without cookies many would cease to exist.
This site and affiliate partnerships
To fund this site we enter into affiliate partnerships (directly or via affiliate marketing companies) with travel industry companies we believe in.
Our editorial content is not influenced by availability of, or amount of, commission e.g. at the time of writing this page, we do not earn commission on our current top
recommendation for UK travel insurance.
Our pages include content (booking forms, banners, and links) served from these sites. Our review using attacat’s auditing tool indicate NONE
of these sites set cookies when you visit our site. However, on click through these sites may set cookies whose purpose is to identify e.g. for commission purposes, from which publisher, website and advertisement a click or transaction originated. Obviously, these sites may also set additional cookies for other purposes.
Amazon.com: more info
Amazon.co.uk: privacy and cookies.
World Nomads: more info
Hotelscombined (via us.com): more info
TradeDoubler: more info
OMG more info
Commission Junction: more info
Skimlinks: more info
Your Control of Cookies.
Your browser Help should explain how to block and delete cookies. Alternatively AboutCookies.org provides instructions for many of the major browsers.
Impact of blocking cookies.
As far as we are aware most of our site works reasonably well without cookies.
A few travel tools may fail to work properly.
We cannot guarantee that there will not be other incorrect or unintended results and use of our site without cookies is at your own risk.
Will vary from site to site. Some sites may be difficult or impossible to use e.g. shopping carts.
Revisions to this notice: