Yearly Archives: 2015

Travelling in the tropics?

Posted on December 23, 2015 at 10:56 pm

If you’re planning to travel to tropical or sub-tropical regions, you may need to take precautions against contracting Malaria. The first step is to take a course of anti-malarial drugs. These will typically be taken a few weeks prior to travel, throughout the duration of your trip and for several weeks after you return home. You can get some brands over the counter but others require prescription. Consult your GP well in advance of travelling to ensure you have the correct anti-malarials for you, as well as any other vaccinations you may need.

Mosquitoes are most active in the evenings, so cover up as much as possible and wear insect repellent as the anti-malaria drugs are not 100% effective. If you are sleeping in an unscreened area, use an insecticide impregnated mosquito net at all times. Certain times of year see higher mosquito activity than others, depending on the region.


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Enigmatic Japan

Posted on November 30, 2015 at 1:26 pm

On arriving in Japan for the first time, visitors to this enigmatic land can feel like they have landed in another world. There’s a crazy mix of the modern and the traditional and the culture and traditions of Japan can seem quite mystifying to new comers. Whether you’re after culture, sightseeing or amazing food, a two week minimum trip is a must to get a flavour of Japan.

The amazing capital city of Tokyo is a must, with loads to see and do and stunning views of the iconic mount Fujiyama. The old capital Kyoto has some beautiful shrines and temples juxtaposed with stylish modern architecture. Make sure to research what you want to see before you go so you don’t miss anything. Top attractions include Sumo matches, Kabuki theatre, a wealth of shrines and incredible gardens, delicious cuisine like sushi and sashimi, beautifully preserved Edo era towns…the list is endless. A stay at a Ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn, is also not to be missed. It’s worth noting that most establishments are cash only and cash machines are not always readily available. Make sure to research local customs and manners before your trip.

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London underground

Posted on October 31, 2015 at 11:07 am

When staying in London you will quickly realise that travel is very expensive, especially if you chose to use black cab taxis all the time. Traffic can be horrendous and the complex box junctions and one way systems, let alone the impatient drivers can be enough to put even the most confident drivers off using a car there.

The underground is a more cost effective way of travelling round although parts of it close earlier on. The underground uses a system called the Oyster card which allows you to add credit to it and pay for your journeys by swiping your card on entrance and exit points.

They have recently installed WiFi on the underground making it easier for passengers to work whilst on route.

Much of the underground is unused with stations closed off years ago but they are slowly trying to reopen many parts of it to make it easier for commuters.



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Spending time with the locals

Posted on September 29, 2015 at 8:06 pm

For some people a holiday is a time to get away from it all and relax. It may be that you would love to go somewhere secluded where you will be left alone to enjoy the surroundings and your company.

If you like to mix with people and have an interest in learning from different cultures then why not spend some times with the locals when you are away. In Many countries the local people like to interact with tourists and are more than happy to show you how something is made or advise you of great places to visits. Making friends with the local people will also mean that should you need advice or directions for example, you have someone that you can talk too.

Many people make friends on family with people that they then stay in contact with for a number of years and even go back for visits.

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Keeping your home secure when going on vacation

Posted on August 30, 2015 at 7:53 pm

When you go away on holiday, the last thing you want to be worrying about is that your home will be safe and secure. Unfortunately many break-ins do occur when people are away but there are steps you can take to try and avoid this from happening to you.

  • Get a relative, friend or neighbour that you trust to pop in to the property a few times to check everything is ok. If there are people coming and going from the house from time to time burglars are less likely to target it.
  • Fit a security alarm and / or CCTV. Even having one visible is sometimes enough to deter people from breaking in to your property whilst you are on holiday.
  • Make sure that when you go on vacation all the windows and doors to the property are securely locked and that no valuables are on view.
  • You can get a system that will turn certain lights on and off in the home to give the effect that someone is in the house.

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Converting your money before you travel

Posted on July 31, 2015 at 8:32 am

When travelling abroad you will need to find out what currency they use there and decide how you are going to take your money across. Many people take a certain amount in cash and then convert the rest in to traveller’s cheques that can then be exchanged at many places in the country you wish to visit.

Traveller’s cheques are by far the safest method as you cannot exchange them unless you have the relevant Id meaning that if they are lost they are basically useless to anyone that finds them. When converting traveller’s cheques there is a fee that will need to be paid so it is worth shopping around to find the best deal.

Currently in Greece they are not able to exchange traveller’s cheques so they have advised all tourists who are travelling to the country to take enough cash with them to last their entire stay and some extra for emergencies.

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Staying safe in the sun travel advice

Posted on June 17, 2015 at 7:33 pm

On a hot day on the beach most of us are now aware that it’s important that we protect ourselves from the harmful rays of the sun, however where most of the damage is now getting done is on those partially overcast days with a cooler breeze where many people don’t even realise that their skin is getting damaged.

When you are traveling around you can be exposed to the sun for long period without necessarily even realising it, so it’s important to ensure that you take precautions such as wearing a hat to protect your head face and neck and wearing sunglasses with suitable UV protection built in.

Sun cream should be applied to any exposed areas of skin as even on a cooler day if the sun is out you can get sun burn and skin damage in under half an hour.

It’s easy to get dehydrated when traveling around and this is worsened by too much sun exposure so ensure you carry water around with you and drink little and often to stay cool and hydrated.

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Choosing the right holiday accommodation to suit your needs

Posted on May 26, 2015 at 8:46 pm

Whether you are going on a weekend stay or off on a two week vacation, having the correct accommodation can really make the world of difference to your trip. To make sure that you get something that’s suitable to your needs it’s worth considering what specifically you require from the accommodation and starting your search with these factors in mind.

If you are going for a night out with friends and are stopping in a hotel for the night then the location will be very important to you as you may want to be within walking distance of the bars or clubs that you will be going to. For an overnight stay you may be willing to compromise on the quality of the hotel and just opt for a budget room at a chain hotel for somewhere to just come back to go to sleep at the end of the night.

If you are a planning a romantic getaway they you’re more likely to want to have a room that’s a bit more luxurious in a hotel with facilities such as a pool and a spa where you could perhaps have some treatments done.

Either way it’s always a good idea to shop around to get the best deal.

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Before you travel always check out the foreign travel advice

Posted on April 28, 2015 at 9:38 am

Before any trip abroad it really is worth checking the government website regarding foreign travel advice. Here you can get a summary of the current travel advice and then a breakdown of local laws and customs as well as safety information regarding terrorism and details of any health issues in the country.

The laws and customs page is particularly useful as there are some things that as a tourist you really need to know. For instant in Turkey it is illegal not to call some form of photographic ID with you, so you’ll need to carry round a copy of your passport at all times. In Cuba the import of meat or fruit is prohibited therefore any found on you at the time of travel will be confiscated and destroyed.

The page also offers advice for same sex couples traveling abroad about the tolerance regarding public displays of affection and in some countries warning of it being against the law. In Oman. For example, homosexuality is illegal as is drinking or being drunk in public.

So always check your travel advice before you visit a new country to avoid any problems during your stay.

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What does the accommodation star rating actually mean?

Posted on March 20, 2015 at 8:47 pm

In the UK most accommodation will display their star rating, this is a category rating from one to five stars that are awarded based on the standard of the accommodation, the services provided and the overall cleanliness of the accommodation.

These ratings allow you to make a more informed decision before booking a place to stay depending on the level of accommodation that you are looking for. Generally budget hotels will not rank higher than a three star, however if you literally just need a bed for the night the lower rated cheaper hotels could be adequate.

The basic guide to what the ratings mean can be found below-

1 Star – this is the lowest rated accommodation and can mean that some rooms have shared facilities such as bathrooms. The rooms tend to be very basic and quite small with limited services being provided by the hotel. However a basic level of cleanliness should still be expected.

2 star – again fairly small rooms however the décor should be well maintained and a private bathroom or en suite should be available.

3 star – these hotels tend to have a more formal style and the rooms should be adequately sized as well as smartly furnished. The services offered by the hotel should suit business needs easily.

4 star – this is a much higher standard of accommodation with large well furnished rooms, 24 hour service available and a real attention to quality and detail can be expected.

5 star – this is luxury accommodation, normally large suites with lots of facilities and the highest level of cleanliness and attention to fine detail, the service should be exemplary as well as the food and general feel of the hotel.

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