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Travel Tips & Travelling Advice

passportTravel Musts: Do not ignore!

1Always ensure that you have at least 6 months left on your passport and give yourself enough time to obtain all the necessary visa's before you travel.

*Always ensure that you have adequate travel insurance - You can guarantee that the one time you decide to travel without insurance is the time you need it. It could cost you hundreds of thousands of £/€/$. If you travel regularly an annual travel insurance policy is the best value. If you are planning to partake in irregular activities whilst on holiday such as scuba diving check with your insurer that you are adequately covered.

3Always ensure that you have checked which travel vaccinations are needed for your destination. Usually your NHS surgery will provide free vaccinations for Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Meningitis C, Tetanus and Diphtheria and Polio and will provide a list of preventative requirements. Get advice at least eight weeks before you are due to travel as some jabs need to be given well in advance.

For an alternative Malaria treatment which professes to have fewer side effects investigate Malorone malaria tablets although this is one of the most expensive treatments.

Travel Tips: World Clock and Time Zones

1Find which time zones you are in around the world here world clock. This also provides a short five day weather forecast and an iPhone app to add clocks for where you are travelling.

Travel Tips: Buying Foreign currency

1Purchases on your credit cards normally provide a reasonable rate however our advice would be to avoid using your credit cards for cash transactions whilst abroad as it is treated as a cash advance with fees of between 2 to 4 percent.

2You can save by booking currency in advance and a lot of High Street Banks offer commission free currency exchange. The Post Office also offers competitive rates.

3Avoid exchanging currency at the airport- you are then captive and the exchange rates given are likely to be less competitive.

4When travelling it is now easy to keep track of how much you are spending by using one of the many Iphone or Smart phone currency converter applications.

air travelTravel Tips: Air Travel

1Always try to ensure that you book your advance seat assignments where possible to ensure that you are seated with your travel companions. Make sure to ask your travel agent to do this for you or alternatively most airlines provide you with the ability to chose your seat online once you have a booking reference.

2Great websites are www.seatplans.com and www.seatguru.com to find the best seat for your journey and independent reviews of airlines.

3Save time and try and complete online check-ins where possible and then all you have to do at the airport is a bag drop!

4Airport parking - It is always worth shopping around for the best deals and there are a great many parking price comparison sites around. With cheap flights available to many cities for good value city breaks it seems a waste to pay more for your parking than for you airfare!

5Buy bottled water to take on the plane once you have got through customs as airlines invariably never provide enough and it can get really annoying waiting to be served those small glasses of water or tiny bottles.

6For those long haul flights avoid any health complications such as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) by ensuring that:

  • You move around on your flight as much as possible
  • You try the seated exercises. Most airlines will provide you with exercises you can do whilst seated in their in-flight entertainment system or magazines
  • You avoid sitting with your legs crossed
  • You avoid alcohol and drink plenty of water
  • You wear compression stockings to improve circulation should you feel you at greater risk
  • Note: Some GP’s recommend that taking an aspirin before you fly may reduce the risk but please check with your GP before you do so

Travel Tips: Train Travel

1A useful site is www.seat61.com for best rail fares, most comfortable seats and how to travel from the UK to and within countries worldwide.

2Rail Europe offers an extensive range of train tickets throughout Europe. See www.raileurope.co.uk.

PackingTravel Tips: Packing

1Ensure that you have not packed anything that may be illegal in your chosen destination for example some over the counter remedies that are perfectly legal in the UK/US that contain codeine are illegal in the UAE.

2Never pack those sentimental items or anything that cannot be replaced in your "hold" luggage as you may lose these if your luggage goes missing.

3Always pack a change of clothes in your hand luggage or at least some clean "smalls", and your bikini/costume/swimming trunks so that if your luggage goes missing you do not have to spend the first few days of your holiday searching for those essential items.

4If there are more than one of you travelling, split your packing between suitcases so that if a suitcase goes missing you still have some of your clothing with you and it will not completely spoil your holiday.

5Check your airline carriers website for hand luggage rules as particularly for short haul the rules vary and can be complicated.

6Pack some ear plugs. These are great for trying to get some sleep whilst flying and for those noises you would never expect such as the tree frogs in the Caribbean. (For tiny creatures they sure make a racket!)

7Visit www.travelwardrobecare.com for a range of packing products that fit inside your suitcase to keep your clothes organized and crease free.

8Take a wet bag with you for swimsuits on your return journey.

9Take a sanitizing hand gel/wipes with you for your excursions.

Travel Tips: Car Hire

1Use comparison sites for the best deals available.

2Car excess insurance paid locally or each time you travel can increase your car hire costs greatly so if you travel abroad and hire cars regularly use an annual insurance policy that covers just the insurance for car excess such as from the websites www.carhireexcess.com, www.insurance4carhire.com, www.dailyexcess.com and www.insuremycarhire.com.

phoning whilst travellingTravel Tips: Phoning whilst travelling

1Avoid using your hotel telephone to phone home or abroad. This is normally one of the most expensive options.

2Check your mobile telephone roaming rates and only switch on your data roaming when needed and of course find a free hotspot where possible.

  • There are various Apple applications that you can download on your iPhone/iPod to track free Wi-fi access
  • www.jiwire.com has a registry of free and pay Wi-fi locations in 145 countries
  • Purchase an International SIM card that can provide great savings on roaming charges
  • Purchase an International Phone Card

If you would like to contribute your own travel tips please click here to contact us.