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# Friday, May 29, 2009

This article is worth a look if you are looking to save a bit of money when you travel. It points out a number of fees that you should look out for and tells you ways that you can avoid paying them. For example booking online can often save you booking fees that you would to pay if you booked over the phone. If you are not picky about where you sit on the plane you can often avoid paying a surcharge which can be anything from $6 to $349 whilst packing just one bag can save you money on charges for checked luggage. Other tips include what to look out for when booking a hotel, often those additional charges you are not expecting can really add up. You can check out the rest of the article here.

posted on Friday, May 29, 2009 10:45:48 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, October 3, 2008

According to this article if you are caught driving in France without a reflective jacket and a warning triangle you could face a fine. The equipment which is not a legal requirement in the UK must be carried in the vehicle under French law. People who do not have it will have to pay a fine of between £70 and £110 whilst the cost of purchasing the kit can be as little as £29.99. The French authorities have been accused of specifically targeting UK registered cars because many UK drivers are unaware of the requirement. Under French law vehicles must have at least one reflective jacket for the driver although many French families carry a jecket for each member of the family.

posted on Friday, October 3, 2008 4:56:12 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Tuesday, September 30, 2008

blogoftheweek_thumbThis weeks Travel Blog of the Week is matadortravel. The site aims to give travellers detailed information so they can the most out of a tight schedule. It contains a number of useful destination guides written by local experts who have visited and enjoyed the places they write about. One article entitled How to Enjoy Italy on 30E Per Day looks at how to cut costs when visiting Italy. One suggestion for finding cheap lodging is using a network such as Couchsurfing. As the name suggests the network helps connect people looking for accommodation with a place to sleep and vice versa. Whilst the network is not specific to Italy, Rome currently has around 1,400 registered couch surfers so you certainly have a good chance of finding a place to stay. The article offers a few tips for eating out in Italy that could help save a bit of cash. The first is don't feel obliged to tip as the service charge is usually added to the bill. Eating at the bar rather than sitting down can also save you money as it can cost 5 times the amount of an espresso for the privilege of a seat. Other tips include staying away from restaurants close to major monuments, choosing pasta courses that will fill you up and ordering the house wine which is often cheaper than water. This is just one of many useful articles on this website, you might also want to check out How to Enjoy Paris on $100 a Day, The Best of Ireland on a Budget and 10 Things to do in Europe that will make you Smarter.

posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2008 11:45:45 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Tuesday, July 29, 2008

If you are heading to the Mediterranean this summer you might want to watch out for jellyfish. Some areas are experiencing problems with the mauve stinger jellyfish. There have been reports of tourists being stung in the stretch of coast between Nice and Cannes and the problem is also affecting the Cote d'Azur, the west coast of Italy, Sardinia and parts of Spain. The sting of the mauve stinger jellyfish can cause severe burns and in some cases can cause scarring to the victim. So if you see them, its best to stay out of the water.

posted on Tuesday, July 29, 2008 8:03:49 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, July 18, 2008

The cost of sending a text message back home whilst in Europe could come down by as much as 70%. Currently sending a text message from Spain would cost around 40p but under new rules it could cost as little as 9p. The cuts have been proposed by the EU Telecoms commissioner who has accused mobile operators of failing to offer customers a fair deal. From October she will introduce new legal rules that will put a cap on charges. Her proposals first need to be approved by ministers of the EU member states before they become law.

posted on Friday, July 18, 2008 8:58:45 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, July 17, 2008

Despite the fact that prices of holidays seems to be more expensive at the moment due to fuel surcharges, there are still some good deals to be had if you look around. One option that is worth looking at is a holiday apartment rather than a hotel. This website for example has some good deals on Barcelona apartments. The advantage of booking a holiday apartment is that it can often work out cheaper choosing the self catering option. Holiday apartments in Catalonia start from as little as £350 a week based on a 1 bedroom apartment near the city centre and according to this article August is a good time to visit Barcelona as many Spaniards choose to go on vacation so the city is quieter and Spanish apartments are often cheaper at this time of year.

Barcelona like Paris has a discount card that you might want to purchase to save a bit more cash. Not surprisingly it is called the Barcelona Card. It offers free travel on public transport, free offers at museums, leisure facilities, nightclubs, shops and restaurants. You can purchase the card for 2,3,4 or 5 days depending on the length of your stay and it also comes with a handy information guide.

posted on Thursday, July 17, 2008 10:32:29 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, July 2, 2008

It has been announced that injured war veterans will get free travel on London transport. Boris Johnson made the announcement last week on Veterans Day. The scheme will come into effect on the 2nd of November and will benefit an estimated 2,600 war veterans living in London.

posted on Wednesday, July 2, 2008 12:04:41 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Tuesday, July 1, 2008

If you don't fancy dragging heavy bags around when you travel then you might be interested in this new suitcase. It has an "anti gravity" system that distributes the weight over the wheels making the case feel lighter. The system can make pulling 30kg of baggage seem like just 3kg. The case does have a flaw, however. It weighs when empty which is quite a lot more than the average suitcase. With strict baggage restrictions at airports this could be a disadvantage and mean you have to pack a lot less luggage. At £700 its also quite expensive.

posted on Tuesday, July 1, 2008 4:01:34 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Saturday, June 14, 2008

This is interesting and if it works could help a holiday makers. Its a patch impregnated with toxins which could stop you suffering from stomach upsets. It has been found to be 75% effective against diarrhoea attacks caused by E.coli and people that wear the patch also recover more quickly. It has been estimated that over 27 million travellers suffer from E.coli related bugs every year so this could soon become an essential item to pack in your suitcase.

posted on Saturday, June 14, 2008 1:48:58 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Sunday, June 8, 2008

blogoftheweek_thumbThis weeks travel blog of the week is Less than a Shoestring: Budget Travel Tips for People with no Budget. The blog as the title suggests has a wealth of ideas for people travelling with very little money. One post looks at how to cut costs in London. The author managed to spend five days in London and spent under £100 including flights which is quite impressive. Some tips for keeping costs down include eating only groceries rather than eating out and taking public transport. Other ways to cut costs include visiting things that are free like such as the Tate Modern and the London museums. Another useful post has some tips on how to save for plane tickets, often the biggest expense to consider when you are planning a trip. Tips include selling unwanted items to raise some extra cash and putting aside all your loose change into a flight fund. After a while all those coins can soon can add up.

posted on Sunday, June 8, 2008 3:44:44 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Saturday, May 31, 2008

Jet lag can really eat into your vacation time especially if you can only get away for a short break. This article suggests that simply by not eating during the flight you should be able to rapidly adjust to a new time zone. Studies carried out on mice found that the brain has two internal clocks, one activated by light and the other activated by meal times. Apparently the daylight clock usually takes precedence so we are more sleepy at night but travelling across time zones sends this out of synch and causes jet lag. With mice, fasting means that they will forage for food outside of daylight hours. Similarly the problem of jet lag can be overcome by fasting for the plane journey, up to around 16 hours and eating when you land, helping your body adjust more quickly. Having not tried it I'm skeptical but its worth a try, plane food is usually awful anyway.

posted on Saturday, May 31, 2008 9:09:02 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, May 23, 2008

Last summers storm has meant that bathing water at beaches across the UK is more polluted. As a result the number of beaches with excellent water quality has fallen by 10% on last year. 779 beaches were tested, with 443 getting a good rating compared with 495 last year. The tests were carried out between May and September last year coinciding with the wettest British summer on record. The society has said that heavy rain would have washed sewage and animal waste into the rivers and the sea making the waters more polluted than normal. The tests also found that the number of beaches failing to meet the minimum standard has tripled from 17 to 53. If you want to find out how a beach scored before swimming you can see the results here.

posted on Friday, May 23, 2008 4:43:37 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, May 22, 2008

American Airlines will bring in a charge for checked bags from the 15th of June. They will charge $15 for the first checked bag and already have a $25 charge for the second checked bag. It will also raise other fees for service such as reservation help and fees for oversized bags. The changes come because the airlines fuel costs have increased by nearly $3 billion since the start of the year. Other airlines such as United Airlines are also looking at whether to impose a fee on checked luggage. It seems checking in baggage free of charge might soon become a thing of the past.

posted on Thursday, May 22, 2008 5:49:44 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, May 21, 2008

If you are planning on using your credit or debit card when you go on holiday abroad then you might want to check how much your bank charges. That's the message from some financial experts who warn that many holidaymaker's are charged much more than they expect for using their card abroad. Many banks have increased their fees for using cards abroad in the past year. These increases mean that if you withdraw £100 from a cash machine abroad you could be charged as much as £4.95 whereas spending £100 on a credit card will incur a charge of up to £3. Whilst the charges may seem relativity small if you unaware of them it can soon add up so the message is to check how much your bank charges before you go away.

posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2008 8:11:52 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, January 25, 2008
Ryanair have increased the cost of checking in luggage at the airport from £10 to £12 per item. They have also increased the online fee for placing luggage in the planes hold from £5 to £6 and passengers who check in online will now have to pay £3 rather than £2. Ryanair are trying to encourage their passengers to travel with carry on luggage only, to try and cut airport and handling costs.

posted on Friday, January 25, 2008 5:19:38 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, January 24, 2008
Britain’s worst performing train company, First Great Western has announced it will double the amount of compensation it gives to passengers affected by delays and disruption. The company carries around 60,000 people a day on its routes which link London, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and the West Country. The increased amount of compensation comes because FGW have recognised their customers are not receiving the service they deserve. Under the move season ticket holders will effectively receive their compensation when they renew their season ticket, as they will only pay last years prices. Up to 10 to 20% of the season ticket value will be refunded meaning a customer with a standard class season ticket from Bristol to Paddington will get £867 in compensation. Weekly season ticket holders and day ticket holders will also be able to claim compensation if there are significant delays to their journeys.

posted on Thursday, January 24, 2008 4:05:55 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, January 9, 2008
British Airways passengers are likely to see fuel charges on longhaul flights top the £100 mark for the first time. The rises come as the airline struggles with rising oil costs. The rise follows an increase in November which saw the fuel surcharge on a longhaul ticket rise from £76 to £96. A family of four would now have to pay £464 in fuel charges on a return trip to Hong Kong.

posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2008 12:27:11 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Air passengers could face chaos because of confusion over plans to relax baggage security rules. As of yesterday ministers are allowing airlines at some airports to allow passengers to carry two pieces of hand luggage. However, other airports have not been given permission to relax the security rule. This article has a useful guide listing the main airlines and their current baggage allowances as well as airports that do allow two bags. It all seems a little complicated at the moment but its worth checking out the list before you fly.

posted on Tuesday, January 8, 2008 7:02:40 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Monday, January 7, 2008
With the rising cost of rail fares you might be better off calling a taxi and sharing the cost with some of your fellow passengers that’s according to this report. The report says that a standard single from Euston to Birmingham New Street now costs £61.50 whereas Rosebery minicabs will take four passengers at a cost of £140, a saving of £26.50 per person.

posted on Monday, January 7, 2008 7:12:45 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Sunday, November 18, 2007
Baggage rules are likely to be eased from January 2008 as the one bag rule for hand luggage is likely to be relaxed. Airports will need to show that their security procedures meet government standards. Once they have done this, passengers will then be able to take more than one bag into the cabin. Restrictions on carrying liquids are likely to stay in place. There will also be limits on the size of hand luggage. The dimensions of hand luggage must not exceed 56cm x 45cm x 25cm (22in x 17.7in x 9.8in approx), including wheels, handles and side pockets.

posted on Sunday, November 18, 2007 12:21:40 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Thursday, November 1, 2007
I came across this website that offers a directory of lodging accommodation within the US and Europe. They are an independent online booking agency so offer a number of alternative hotels that you won’t find on some of the more mainstream holiday engines. They cover a variety of destinations mainly in the US including Vermont Lodging ideal for visiting the USA’s third largest ski resort. Vermont is on the Catamount Trail and holds the record for being the longest cross country ski trail in America.

If you fancy taking in the sights of Virginia they also cover Virginia Lodging. This area is great for beach lovers and you can enjoy fishing, swimming and boating. It is also well placed for the mountains and has over 540 miles of hiking trails. If you fancy something a bit different you might want to look a Connecticut Lodging. Connecticut is home to a variety of craft and antique shops. There is also a wine trail that includes fifteen vineyards and takes two days to complete.

They don’t just offer a directory of accommodation in the US. There are also lodgings available in Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom as well as many other destinations. The prices are not bad either with a room in London staring at a little over $92.

posted on Thursday, November 1, 2007 1:59:32 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Trackback
# Friday, October 12, 2007
If you are looking around for a last minute getaway you might want to go to Madrid. HotelClub currently have a number of good deals on Madrid accommodation, some of which start at only 59 Euros a night. All the rates shown on the website are also inclusive of all taxes, so there are no hidden costs.

The same website also has a useful guide to Madrid hotels which recommends which hotels you should stay at to be close to some of the main attractions like the Debod Temple and the main museums. If you are looking for some hotel news you might also want to have a look at their blog which has a number of useful articles including taking your pet on holiday and the top five spring destinations. It also has interesting articles about the best and worst European food, it is certainly worth a read.

posted on Friday, October 12, 2007 9:42:45 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback
# Wednesday, September 19, 2007
I found this interesting method of folding clothes, which is supposed to mean they don't get creased in the suitcase. It is called bundle wrapping and you can see the diagram here. Not having tried it yet, I don't know if it actually works but it’s certainly interesting.

posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2007 5:13:09 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Trackback