# Monday, September 15, 2008

blogoftheweek_thumb This weeks Travel Blog of the Week is Nomadic Matt's Travel Site written by a twenty something traveller called Matt. The blog charts Matt's travels around the world starting in Thailand in 2005 to the present day. One fairly recent post deals with the issue of how to avoid looking like a tourist, an important consideration when travelling. Some obvious tips include losing the Bermuda shorts and giant camera, things that are sure to make you an instant target for any unscrupulous locals. Other tips are steering clear of "the wrong way backpack" because it marks you out as a paranoid tourist and shows you don't belong, the advice here is to simply wear it where it belongs on your back, why else is it called a backpack? Likewise "The Fanny Pack" marks you our as an easy tourist as well as putting all of your valuables in one place making them easy pickings for a thief. Other tips include leaving the giant map at home and making an effort to blend in.

Another post looks at how to make the most from your travel photos. The tips here include planning ahead so that you can shoot when the light is good, usually between 11am and 2pm, looking for an interesting perspective and getting close to your subject. The advice here is not to put yourself in imminent danger but to take advantage of the zoom feature on your camera. It also includes tips on how to use selective focus tips for the best effect. Lots of useful information which is sure to make sure you don't come home with lots of poor out of focus snaps.

posted on Monday, September 15, 2008 10:25:48 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

The collapse of XL Leisure has left around 85,000 passengers stranded abroad. The company called in the administrators after the failure of last minute talks with investment group Straumur. XL's fleet of planes have been grounded leaving 85,000 customers stranded and a further 200,000 who have made advance bookings without their holiday. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is working with other airlines and tour operators to organise flights for stranded travellers. Anyone who booked an inclusive holiday with XL or a charter flight through The Really Great Holiday Company, Kosmar Villa Holidays, Freedom Flights and Aspire Holidays will be covered by the ATOL financial protection scheme. However, customers who booked direct with XL Airways will have to pay for a flight on the CAA's organised flights or make their own way home. The CAA has recommended that anyone expecting to travel with XL should not travel to the airport.

posted on Monday, September 15, 2008 9:54:26 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

The Cheshire based holiday firm Seguro Holidays has gone into administration. The firm runs budget package holidays to Spain, the Canaries and Portugal. People who have booked a holiday with the firm are likely to be protected by the Air Travel Organisers' Licensing System which can be used to bring stranded customers home and compensate those who have made future bookings. Around 2,400 people are currently abroad with Seguro Travel and there are 17,253 with forward bookings up until the end of summer 2009.

posted on Monday, September 15, 2008 9:52:52 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, September 13, 2008

A new rail ticketing system has been introduced which should make knowing what ticket to buy much simpler. It has two types of ticket "anytime" which as the name suggests can be used at any time, on any train and "off peak" which has restrictions on the time and date it can be used. Under the scheme tickets previously called Saver and Cheap Day returns will now be renamed as off peak.

posted on Saturday, September 13, 2008 11:48:18 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, September 12, 2008

The Mayor Boris Johnson has announced that bus and underground fares in London will increase by 6% in the new year. Some fares will be cut, with the introduction of a new off peak rate which is aimed at encouraging people to travel after 09.30. There will also be a new half price travel scheme for people on income support, the elderly and war veterans. The rise in fares will go towards helping to fund projects such as Crossrail and the improvements needed for the London Olympics.

posted on Friday, September 12, 2008 9:46:59 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A train company has some up with an idea to shut off the trains engines on downhill sections of the route to save money. First Transpennine Express has said the move will save around 7% of its fuel consumption without compromising customer comfort. It works because its trains have multiple engines. They can operate on one, two or three engines but one engine can be shut down on downhill stretches allowing the train to run on just two and so save energy.

posted on Wednesday, September 10, 2008 10:50:18 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, September 9, 2008

blogoftheweek_thumb This weeks Travel Blog of the Week is Gadling. The blog covers a wide variety of travel related issues. One article deals with using the Internet on your phone whilst you are abroad. The author points out that you need to remember to turn off the international data roaming on your phone when abroad because it can be hugely expensive. It cites a few examples where people have managed to run up large charges without realising how much they will be paying. Using a 3G phone like the iPhone can easily run up charges of around $60 a minute according to the article, a very costly mistake just to access a few emails.

Another post looks at travelling with your pets. The article starts with looking at what trips are possible when travelling with pets. The key, it seems is research before you go. The article suggests calling the hotel rather than booking online, that way you can make sure you can organise a pet friendly room. You should ask for a list of restrictions and policies regarding pets and inquire about any perks that may be offered such as dog beds, treats and water bowls. The article also deals with taking your pet abroad and includes tips of what to pack so that it has a comfortable journey. It also suggests booking your pets flight early and calling to confirm that your pet is actually coming a few days before the flight. It also recommends arriving at the airport early in case of any problems. Its all useful stuff and certainly worth a read before taking your pet on vacation.

posted on Tuesday, September 9, 2008 9:50:08 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

A confused Swedish woman checked herself in at Stockholm's Arlanda airport after misinterpreting instructions. The 78 year old lady checked in her suitcase and then climbed on the belt after it. She arrived in the baggage handling bay where she was rescued by surprised airport staff. The woman suffered no injuries and managed to get her flight on time. Perhaps this conveyor belt system could be a way of speeding up the check in process.

posted on Tuesday, September 9, 2008 11:41:29 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, September 6, 2008

XL Airways have become the latest carrier to announce cut backs due to rising fuel costs. The airline has announced that it will cancel all flights to the Caribbean from November. It blames rising costs and the falling popularity of those routes and will affect flights to Antigua, St Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago, St Lucia, Barbados and Grenada. Travel operators will now have to find replacement flights for hundreds of customers who have already booked. Customers who have a flight booked from November are advised to contact their tour operator.

posted on Saturday, September 6, 2008 11:10:51 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, September 5, 2008

A solar powered spy plane has set an unofficial record for the longest continuous unmanned flight. The British built planes called the Zephyr stayed in the air for 82 hours and 37 minutes. It is powered by solar panels and a rechargeable battery for flying at night. The aircraft's designers believe that in the future the aircraft will be able to fly for weeks or months at a time.

posted on Friday, September 5, 2008 12:11:17 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, September 4, 2008

Automatic number plate recognition scanners are being installed at Manchester Airport as part of increased security measures. Five of the cameras will be installed at the airport. They will be able to read around 500,000 number plates a day providing an extra level of security and allowing police to check whether there is any reason to investigate vehicles at the airport.

posted on Thursday, September 4, 2008 10:04:27 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback