Tips & Safety

This category contains 11 posts

Win Child ID Safety Bands with Candidtraveller and the ID Band Company

Competition: Win a set of two Child ID Safety bands in a colour of your choice. 

Our fabulous friends over at the ID Band Co have agreed to send three lucky winners a couple of fabulous child ID safety bands. These super cool bands are one of our favourite travel products here at Candidtraveller. We use them on our kids, take them travelling with us, and even wear them around the office so we know who we are! They come in a variety of bright colours and have a handy little insert for keeping essential safety info nice and secure. Write down your name and mobile number and strap it to your child’s wrist next time you’re out in busy public places. We all try to keep our kids safe – especially when we’re travelling abroad – but if the unthinkable happens and your child does get lost, the authorities can use your contact information to reunite you quickly.

Win child safety ID bands

Not only are these Child ID Safety Bands a brilliant safety idea, but they look great too. With fussy kids of our own, even getting them to wear a hat can be a chore – but we had no problem with these! You can find our review right here.

For details about entering the competition, as well as terms and conditions, read on. Everything you need to know is below. In the meantime, why not head over to the ID Band Co website to check out their other great products.

Win child safety ID bands


Win Child ID Safety Bands with Candidtraveller and the ID Band Company

How to enter:

To enter the competition, simply click on these links to visit Candidtraveller and the ID Band Company FaceBook pages and ‘like’ them both.

One winner will be drawn at random on 31st July, 31st August and 30th September from entrants who have ‘liked’ BOTH pages.

For extra chances to win:

  • Share the competition post on the Candidtraveller Facebook page with your friends
  • Tell us where you’ll use the bands if you win.

Closing Date:

30th September 2013 at 12:00hrs GMT

Terms and Conditions:

1. The Child ID Safety Band competition (the “Competition”) is open to worldwide applicants. 2. The Competition is not open to employees or agencies of either Candidtraveller or the ID Band Company, its group companies, their family members or anyone else connected to the Competition. 3. Entry into the Competition is acceptance of these Terms and Conditions. 4. To enter the Competition, ‘like’ the Candidtraveller and ID Band Company Facebook pages.   5. Entries on behalf of another person will not be accepted and joint submissions are not allowed. 6. No responsibility is taken for entries that are lost, delayed, misdirected or incomplete or cannot be delivered or entered for any technical or other reason. Proof of delivery of the entry is not proof of receipt. 7. The Competition closes at 12.00pm on 30th September 2013, with preceding draws taking place 12.00pm 31st July and 12.00pm 31st August. Entries received after the closing date will not be processed. 8. The winner will be chosen at random from the entries submitted correctly.  The judges’ decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into. 9. The winner from each draw will receive two Child Safety ID bands as shown in the picture above. They will be allowed to choose the colours from the selection on the ID Band Company website. No alternatives will be offered. 10. Winners will receive their prize by normal post, not by courier. The ID Band Company cannot accept liability for items in the hands of the delivery service. 11. Entrants under the age of 18 must have parental consent to enter. 12. Winners will be notified by Facebook message. Winners will be required to provide their details within 15 working days of confirmation of their win. Failure to provide accurate contact details within that time may result in their win being voided.
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Best Credit Cards to Take on Holiday

A credit card is a must have when you go away on your next vacation. It’s the perfect safety net if you’re met with any unexpected holiday expenses and find that you haven’t purchased enough currency in advance, as well as being essential when it comes to charging luxury hotel rooms or hiring a car abroad. But before you go, make sure that the credit card you have is suitable for foreign use. Many credit card companies will charge you huge fees for taking cash out of foreign ATM’s and most also charge you a transaction fee for every purchase you make using it. It’s near-impossible to find a card which doesn’t charge you at all for using it abroad, but still, there are some which are much more foreign-friendly than others.  

If you do find one that doesn’t charge for foreign transactions, make sure you check the exchange rate before you go away; they can be subject to change meaning they might actually work out more expensive. In the run up to our holidays this year, we’ve checked out some of the best UK credit card deals available, helping you narrow down the most expensive options. Happy holidaying….

Credit cards


This card offers the benefit of not charging any fees on cash withdrawals of foreign currency from ATMs whilst abroad, but there is a rate of at least 12.9% interest charged even if the amount is repaid in full straight away. But this still works out to be quite a good deal, at roughly £1 per month per £100 withdrawn it is actually significantly cheaper than many foreign bureaus de change. And the best thing about this rate is that it applies worldwide, so you are not restricted to the countries in which you can actually make use of it. It’s a brilliant card to have if you are a regular traveller and visit many different places.

As an added bonus, if you already have a Halifax Reward current account and you apply for their clarity credit card, you will receive £5 every month that you spend over £300 on your credit card, either in the UK or overseas. But make sure that you repay in full each month otherwise the £5 will not go very far in paying off the interest you accumulate.


This is a great card and offers many of the same benefits as the Halifax Clarity. It is, however, only available to people aged over 50. Its offers of no transaction fees on payments and cash withdrawals are also only available in Europe. But it’s a great card to have if you fit the brief. The card also offers you discounts within the SAGA group and only charges you 11.9% APR as opposed to Halifax’s 12.9%. SAGA’s card is a visa and so should be accepted by all major retailers, even overseas.


This card offers you no transaction fees at all when used in Europe, and just 1% anywhere else in the world. It does charge a somewhat hefty 19.9% APR on repayments though. A much larger amount than the SAGA or the Halifax Clarity. But, instead of the standard month you get a full 3 months interest-free before this 19.9% rate starts to apply. The post office has the added benefit of not charging any commission on currency when exchanged. So the rates offered when paying abroad should be much better than those available on either of the other two cards. There is no age restriction on this credit card, it can be used all over the world and is, again, a MasterCard so you should have no problems with it being accepted wherever you go.

Whichever credit card you prefer, don’t let money worries get you down on your next luxury holiday abroad.

Vacation Essentials

5 Things You NEED to Have in Your Bags, No Matter Where You’re Going

Vacations: we look forward to them for months, saving money and daydreaming about our fun to come. When the day arrives, it’s easy to get excited, and it sometimes seems inevitable that you’ll forget things. Everyone has left behind their toothbrush, extra socks, or a hairbrush at some point, but here are five vacation essentials you’ll want to make sure are always in your bag:

A first aid kit – Bumps, lumps, and scrapes are part of life, even on vacation. Protect yourself from headaches and clean up wounds quickly by bringing your own first aid supplies like bandages, pain medicines, and antibacterial gels. This is especially recommended if you’re going abroad so you won’t have to try to decipher foreign medications.

Extra prescription medicines – As a precaution, take extra doses of your prescriptions with you, and carry them in separate bags if possible. If some get lost or destroyed, you’ll have enough to get you through the rest of the vacation. Some pharmacies may not want to give you medicines in advance, so you may have to let your doctor know you’re going on vacation and ask for a special prescription.

A copy of your driver’s license or passport – If you should happen to lose your identification, having a copy can help you speed up the replacement process. Leave a copy with a family member or friend as well so they can help if necessary.

A valid medical insurance card – If you’re leaving the country, check to make sure your insurance company covers injuries abroad. An injury or illness is bad enough without having to come home and find a fat medical bill waiting for you.

Hand sanitizer – Traveling means exposure to more germs than most people are accustomed to, and the last thing you want is to get sick on vacation. A little bottle of sanitizer can make a big difference in your experience. Take a second to clean your hands every now and then, especially after being on a plane and before eating.

Hopefully you won’t need the first four of these vacation essentials, but no vacation is guaranteed to be speed-bump free. Keep these five essentials by your side, and you can help protect yourself against some of the more common headaches and put yourself on the path to a stress-free vacation

Karolina Shenton works with The Cruise Web. Whether you are looking to book a cruise out of New York or a more exotic location, the experienced consultants at The Cruise Web can help you find the perfect vacation.

How To Pack for A Tropical Holiday

Whether you are taking a jaunt down to south Florida for a weekend in the sun or jetting off to the Maldive Islands for a week or two of forgetfulness, don’t mar your next tropical vacation by forgetting toiletries and essential articles of clothing. Before you start packing, which should be at least a couple of days before your departure date, make a detailed list of items to bring and don’t put it away until you’ve checked each one off. You will thank yourself when you’re sitting on the beach without a care in the world.

Bathroom Essentials

Even if you’re on a small island somewhere, you’ll probably be staying in a fairly modern hotel. What you can’t be sure about is what types of toiletries the stores in nearby towns might carry–if there even are stores at all. With that in mind, don’t forget the following:

Toothbrushes and toothpaste

Shaving cream and razors

Deodorant and shower products

Hair products and moisturizing lotion, depending on the local climate

2. Potent Potables

Excluding destinations within the U.S., most tropical tourist hotspots are on tiny islands without much in the way of natural fresh water, or else in developing nations notorious for water quality issues. Bringing large quantities of bottled water in your checked baggage isn’t feasible, so be sure to buy a supply as soon as you land.

3. Electronics

Vacation used to be a time to disconnect from the relentless stimulation of the modern world, but no longer. Stop fighting the future and remember to pack your cellphone, laptop or tablet, chargers, and, if necessary, country-specific power adapters and SIM cards. Perhaps most importantly, remember to pack a camera if you require better picture quality than what your cellphone can muster, and consider purchasing an underwater camera if snorkeling or scuba adventures are on the agenda.

4. Clothing

In case you have forgotten or else have never experienced this region of the world, the tropics are steamy. Sweat seems to come sooner and linger longer than it does even in humid mid-latitude locales, probably because the sun is stronger closer to the equator. Pack two changes of under-clothing per day, if possible, and bring plenty of hats and breathable long-sleeved outfits to ward off the sun. Also remember to bring a swimsuit, flip flops, multiple towels, and any other beach-related items you can shove into a bag.

5. Important Documents

You will need a passport, credit cards, a decent but not excessive amount of locally-accepted cash, a printed itinerary with hotel and rental car confirmation numbers, and maps and travel guides for anywhere that you are even considering visiting. Keeping a list of emergency contacts both in-country and back home can’t hurt either. It is also a good idea to take photocopies of your passport and credit card information. Just remember to keep them separate from the originals; they won’t do you any good if you lose the bag containing both copies.

As you ready yourself for your upcoming tropical vacation, keep your packing list close at hand. Even if you’re going to be away for weeks, every hour spent running around trying to find something you have lost is an hour of quality time on the beach that you will never get back.

Herbert Cormier blogs about exotic destinations, including information about taking holidays in the Maldives. If you are getting ready to vacation in the Maldives, Herbert suggests that you learn some Dhivehi phrases before you go.

Top Tips for Travelling Solo

The world is such an extraordinary place that it’s no wonder that we’re frequently travelling, experiencing new cultures and meeting new people.  While most of us choose to travel in a group, solo travel is actually one of the best ways to really experience a different way of life.  Not to mention the fact that it’s actually rather nice to have some time on your own.

But travelling alone can be a truly daunting prospect.  Facing problems on your own, becoming lost in unfamiliar territory, and experiencing problems posed by language barriers can put most people off travelling unaccompanied.  The reality is that taking a few simple steps when you plan your trip can alleviate most of those worries and allow you to have last minute solo holidays wherever you want to go.

Staying Safe

It goes without saying that it’s not a great idea to wander into dangerous areas on your own, whether the threat is a gang-fight in the Bronx, or a few unexploded mines in rural Cambodia.  Always consider your surroundings and your intended destination, and evaluate how safe it is for you to travel there.  If you’re not quite sure, you can always hire a guide, or re-route your plans a little.  Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Going Social

Just because you’re on your own, doesn’t mean you have to live like a hermit for the duration of your trip.  In fact, getting to know the locals can often be the difference between experiencing local culture, and just looking in from the outside.  In the Western world, try hooking up on social networking sites, looking for clubs and groups that have interests similar to yours.  If you’re travelling through somewhere a little more remote, like the Masai Mara, make an effort to meet the locals when you pass through their villages.  Getting to know the natives is the ideal way to immerse yourself into the local culture, not to mention that you might get a free meal or bed for the night.

Checking In

Part of staying safe is about letting people know where you are and when, but it’s hard to manage this without feeling as if your nomadic tendencies are being a little stifled.  The best way to keep in touch without acting as if you’re on an itinerary is through the use of Social Media outlets like Facebook.  Checking in to places lets people see when you’ve arrived, and tagging yourself in photo’s gives people a great reference point, as well as letting them see what a great time you’re having.  It’s nice for a solo traveller to know that if they get lost halfway through walking holidays in the Australian outback, their friends know where to start looking thanks to that last picture of a weathered signpost left on FB!

Money, Money, Money

Let’s face it, money is always an issue when you travel, and it can be particularly hard to budget when you’re wandering without set plans.  Actually, travelling solo can be a great way to save some cash, because you can spend or save without worrying about someone else’s opinion.  Solo travellers on a really tight budget can find it easier to get a part time job on the road, whether it’s fruit picking or dish washing in a local restaurant, but remember that when you are carrying cash, you’ll need to take extra care of it because you’re the only one looking out for your safety.

Where to Get Prescriptions Filled When Overseas

Many Americans rely on prescription medications to stay healthy and pain-free. If you’re traveling overseas, however, you need to think about how your prescription will affect your trip.

Here’s what you need to know if you use prescription medications and you are traveling outside of the United States.

Stock up on your pharmaceuticals before you travel.

Getting your prescription filled overseas can be a hassle, so try to bring a sufficient amount of your medications with you for your entire trip. Talk to your doctor and explain the circumstances. Ask for an extended prescription. While you’re at your doctor’s office, get a signed description of your medical condition. Consider getting a medical alert bracelet if you have serious medical conditions that might cause an emergency overseas.

After you get your prescription, contact your airline and let them know that you’ll be traveling with a large amount of medicine. This is particularly important if you need to take a liquid due to airline security restrictions.

If you run out of prescription drugs overseas, you’ll need to visit a pharmacy.

Check online to find a nearby pharmacy with a good reputation and call ahead to make sure that they have your prescription in stock.

Foreign pharmacies cannot check your prescription as easily as your local pharmacy, so bring contact information for your physician. The pharmacist can then call or email your doctor to verify your prescription while you wait.

Make sure to keep track of time zones when you visit a pharmacy. If your doctor’s asleep, he or she obviously won’t be able to verify your prescription. Bring the description of your medical condition.

Remember that some prescription drugs are illegal in certain countries.

Before you travel with prescription drugs or visit foreign pharmacies, contact the U.S. Embassy in your destination country. Ask about local laws and tell them about your medication needs. They will provide accurate information that will help you stay legal when traveling with prescription drugs.

If you get a prescription filled overseas, try to get the smallest possible dosage. In some countries, a large prescription might seem suspicious, particularly if you use a medication that is associated with drug trafficking.

Finally, take care when traveling from country to country. What’s legal in one country might be completely legal in a neighboring country, so always check with the U.S. embassy when traveling with prescription medications. If you use some common sense and keep appropriate paperwork on you at all times, you should have a hassle-free, safe trip.


Written by: Daryn Nguyen of UDPharmacy

Use Caution: 5 of the UK’s Most Dangerous Roads

Britain’s generally hilly topography and patchwork quilt of field, forest and downs often makes for treacherous, low-visibility driving. According to a new study by the Road Safety Foundation, Britain’s most dangerous roads tend to be single roads used heavily by motorcycles. Using some objective measures, the foundation has determined that northern England and Scotland are home to the UK’s most unsafe driving conditions, while the West Midlands region is comparatively safe. Read on to learn about five of the Kingdom’s most dangerous roads and what you can do to protect yourself behind the wheel.

A537 Between Macclesfield and Buxton

All of the thoroughfares on this list are narrow A-class roads, and none are more dangerous than the 12-km stretch of A537 between Macclesfield and Buxton. Between 2005 and 2007, the study period for all of the roads examined herein, this byway had the dubious honor of boasting the greatest number of fatal accidents per kilometer and was tied with the next most-dangerous road for the greatest number of total crashes per kilometer.

A255 Between Margate and Ramsgate

At just 8 kilometers, this spur of the A255 had one of the greatest concentrations of accidents in the entire country: 2.25 per kilometer during the 2005-2007 study period. What makes this road so dangerous is the interplay between motorists, cyclists and pedestrians: The towns that bookend the stretch are quite congested, and the roadway itself is heavily populated and home to many people who use cycles as their primary mode of transportation. According to the Road Safety Foundation, there were 61 total accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists during the study period.

A62 Between the M62 J-27 Interchange and the A6110

This stretch of road is even shorter than the problematic A255 corridor, but it’s seen its share of horrific accidents during the past decade. The problem with the A62 is its congested nature and the frequency of its junctions with other lanes and roadways: The road averages nearly 10 junctions per kilometer. According to Road Safety Foundation statistics, junctions are a major culprit in automobile crashes, with fully one-third of all UK accidents occurring at or near intersections and roundabouts.

 A621 Between A619 and Totley

Junctions play a similarly destructive role on this 9-km stretch of the A621. There are 44 in total on this otherwise unassuming roadway, leading to an accidents-per-kilometer rating of 1.33 during the study period.

A675 Between the M65 J3 Interchange and Bolton

The A675 has fewer junctions than most of the other roads on this list, which leads to a different sort of problem: high rates of speed. Although the A675 doesn’t appear difficult to navigate at first glance, it saw 17 serious crashes between 2005 and 2007. Its single-lane A-class roads are by far the most dangerous thoroughfares in the United Kingdom. Junctions and roadways shared with pedestrians and cyclists are especially dangerous. Remember, you’re in control: If you slow down and use caution, you’re far less likely to become a statistic.

Carrie Tinock lives and writes in London.  She writes for http://www.carinsurance.org.uk where you can find more information on car insurance, trips, and tips for saving money when you drive.

Cash Passports: Do they work?

With the birth of the Cash Passport, travellers no longer have to struggle to understand complicated exchange rates every time they need more cash, or worry about which businesses abroad accept travellers cheques as payment.  The lure of a handy plastic card complete with the widely accepted Mastercard sign has propelled the Cash Passport into the public eye.  But how do they work, and are they as good as they claim to be?

How do Cash Passports Work?

Cash Passports work by loading cash onto them, either in person at a designated travel outlet, online or over the phone.  Once loaded, they can be used as a debit card wherever you see the Mastercard or Visa sign (depending upon which card you have) which is, well, just about everywhere.

Like a debit card, you can only use the money you have available, so there’s no risk of overspending, and companies like Travelex provide a handy online service which allows you to check your current balance, meaning that as long as you can get Internet access you’ll be able to see how much you have left to splash out with.

Different Currency Types

Cash passports are currently only available in Euros, Dollars (American, New Zealand, Canada and Australia) and British Pounds, and you can only load one currency onto a single card.

Are they Any Good?

The main attraction of these cards is the ability to wave goodbye to wads of cash and inconvenient travellers cheques and say hello to a modern, easy-to-use method of paying for things abroad.  Travelling with one little card in your pocket has got to be a bonus, and with companies offering you a couriered service to replace your card in the event you lose it, you can relax with peace of mind and enjoy your trip.

Problems and Pitfalls

There aren’t really too many problems with using a Cash Passport, but here are some things you really should be aware of:

Don’t use your passport to pay for any hire goods.  You’ll often find that these companies will ‘freeze’ an amout of money on your card as a guarantee, even if you’ve arranged to pay by an alternative method.  Sometimes, even if you’re paying with your cash passport, they will ‘freeze’ a deposit amount as well, so you may suddenly find that you’re not quite as well off with your holiday spending money as you originally thought.

If you do run into problems, or if you need to top up from abroad, the best way to do both is by telephoning their customer help centre.  Depending upon where you are in the world, and what time you’re phoning at, you could end up speaking to someone from another country.  Watch your telephone charges…too many calls won’t be cheap.

Take a spare card with you.  When you open a new account for yourself, most companies will offer you a free second card.  It’s great if you’re travelling with a partner, but equally as good as a back up card in case you lose one.  Just remember that the balance will be the same for both cards.

Be aware of what type of card you are given.  Some have raised numbers and some do not.  Those which are not raised won’t be any use to you if you’re trying to pay for goods or services in business that use the old embossing method with a signature, which can be many places, sadly.

These cards don’t come with your names on them in many cases, so some businesses, especially those which look for a signature (these don’t require them) can become suspicious of their validity and refuse them.  Carrying your passport sometimes helps, but since they’re not linked to the card, not always.

And the Verdict Is?

So, what do we think about Cash Passports?  They certainly do sound like a great idea, but searching the Internet for information on them currently brings up a significant number of websites with negative reviews for the service (as of 10/0/2011).  Perhaps this is a system that has a few gremlins to get rid of before it has any real chance of worldwide success, but nevertheless, we like the idea of it.  Here’s hoping that positives outweight the pitfalls before long.


Spa Etiquette – What you can and can’t do

Whether you’re an aromatherapy apprentice or an Endemologie expert, stepping foot into a spa can be a bit of an etiquette nightmare.  Clothes off or on, shower first or last, speak or don’t speak?  Since a spa experience is meant to be one of relaxation, you don’t want to ruin it by spending your time wondering whether you’re in breach of an unwritten set of rules.  Here is a handy guide to help you enjoy your spa visit.

Time Management

You don’t want to be late for your spa appointment.  If you are then you may find that there won’t be enough time for your therapist to carry out your treatment and you may lose out.  Quite apart from that, you’re there to relax, so rushing in last minute, dishevelled and stressed won’t help you switch off.

Most good spas have a relaxtion room to spend time in before and after your treatment.  They usually offer the use of loungers, drinks of water or herbal tea, magazines to read or music to listen to.  Try taking advantage of this extra bit of chill out time by turning up early and getting in the mood.

Mobile Telephones

No matter how busy or important you are, having a mobile phone switched on in a Spa is a definite no-no.  You’re there to relax, and to get the most out of your day you need to switch off – that goes for your phone too.  Besides, nobody else wants to have their chill out session spoiled by your dodgy ringtone and harrassed business conversations.

Keep Hydrated

It may sound strange, but using lots of pools and steam rooms can actually dehydrate your body.  You’ll need to drink plenty of water to keep yourself topped up.  Water also has the added benefit of helping you detoxify, which is a great way to compliment any kind of body treatment.


The rule of clothing depends entirely upon which country you’re in, so it’s best to ask if you’re unsure.  In general, it’s only acceptable to go naked in treatments or saunas when the sessions are private or single sex, although in the UK most people will wear a swimming costume during every session.

When it comes to spa treatments, your therapist will advise you.  Generally, you’ll be asked to remove whichever bit of restrictive clothing your treatment requires, and asked to get onto the bed and cover up with a towel.  Your therapist will only remove the towel in stages, keeping the majority of you covered at all times.  On some occasions you will be asked if you’d prefer to wear paper knickers.  These are great for keeping your clothes wax or cream free, and they do manage to protect your modesty every bit as well as normal underwear.


It’s not normally necessary to shower before you have a treatment, but obviously if you just went for a ten mile trail run before coming in you might want to take a route to the Spa that goes via your bathroom.

If you’re using steam rooms, saunas and Jacuzzi’s, then it’s good practice to shower in between each session.  Not only does it help wash off any excess sweat, but using a series of hot and cold temperatures can help to stimulate the skin and remove the toxins which will let you get even more out of your spa treatment.

To Chat or Not to Chat

Like mobile telephones, talking can seem intrusive when it’s loud and ‘in your face’.  Keep volume levels to a minimum in public areas and respect the quiet of others around you.  In the spa treatment room you can talk to your therapist or not, as you like, and they will take their lead from you.  If you’re getting a massage it’s perfectly acceptable to doze off so don’t feel embarassed if you have to be woken at the end.

Click here to view some of our favourite day spas and spa retreats.

Flying Budget? How to Turn Cheap Flights into First Class

For travellers looking to get away, the best airfares available are generally found by booking direct with a budget airline online.  But although cheap tickets may get you to your destination without burning a hole in your pocket, airplane flights are much more enjoyable when you travel in luxury.  Check out our tips to help you make the most of your time in the sky, and enjoy fabulous cheap air travel without the first class price tag.

Priority Boarding

Most budget airlines offer the option to purchase priority boarding upgrades, so you can strutt to the head of the queue and avoid the crush with the rest of the travellers.  These priority boarding passes generally won’t cost the same as a business class or first class ticket, but they certainly add value to your trip.  And because most cheap airlines don’t allocate seat numbers, you’ll have the chance to choose where you sit before the hoards of remaining travellers clamber on board.

Seat Choice

Choosing your seat on a budget flight doesn’t have to mean that you’ll be as cramped as the next passenger.  If you manage to get on board first, choose the seats at the front of the plane or the ones at the emergency exits in the middle.  These seats always have extra legroom.

Service Lounge

Before departure, book a stop in the airport service lounge. These area’s are only for paying customers and they offer a fantastic opportunity to get some peace and quiet before take off.  Most lounges provide free soft, and occasionally, alcoholic drinks as part of the package, and for people flying with children, there is usually a toy corner to keep your little ones occupied.

In Flight Comfort

Don’t expect to get pampered on a budget short haul trip.  You’ll even be lucky to get a meal with some airlines, but getting comfortable is easy to achieve and can make your trip much more enjoyable.  Buy a lightweight fleec style blanket (available at any good outdoor shop) which will keep you warm but can pack away easily as well, and invest in a good neck pillow to give you support.  Before you know it you’ll be lying back and catching some serious nap time, leaving you feeling refreshed by the time you touch down.


Make arrangements to get picked up when you land, either by a pre-booked taxi or chauffeur service, if you don’t fancy hanging around to hire a car.  After a long flight you really don’t want to be wasting time trying to work out public transport or find your way to a hire desk.  The best way to start a holiday in style is to step out of the airport and settle back into an air-conditioned car, ready to be whisked off to your choice of hotel.  Nothing says celebrity like a personal driver does.


To Chat or Not to Chat

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Airport Rules: What you need to know


Heading off on holiday abroad invariably means at least one visit to an airport on the way out, and another on the way back.  Being in transit is never very much fun and airport lounges are not the most exciting places to be either, so making your journey through the airport ‘minefield’ can make your journey much more enjoyable, and a whole lot less stressful.  Banish those airport blues by following a few of our handy tips:

Luggage Tips

If you’re going for a short break then try to fit all your luggage into a small case that conforms to your airlines ‘carry-on’ guidelines.  Not only will that make it less expensive depending upon who you are flying with, but it also means that you won’t have to hang around the luggage carousel like a bad smell at the other end.  Cue first in line at the car rental pickup or taxi rank…

The One Bag Rule

Recently, some airlines, especially the budget companies like Ryanair and Easyjet, have become stringent about carry-on luggage.  Ladies in particular should be aware that the ‘one bag rule’ now also applies to handbags (a blind eye used to be turned to these, but with current fashion trends meaning that some ladies carry handbags that under normal circumstances would qualify as check-in luggage, it’s no surprise rules have tightened!).

So be warned, and leave enough room in your luggage to put your handbag as well.  If you don’t, and you can’t squeeze it in in a hurry at security, you’ll be asked to check it into the hold, and suddenly those cheap flights won’t be cheap anymore!


Most people are now aware about the liquids regulation, and it’s fair to say that the Airports haven’t relaxed their rules at all on this subject.  For those of you who aren’t aware, you can only take liquids on board a plane in carry-on luggage if each liquid is in a self-contained container that can only hold a maximum amount of 100mls.  It’s no good trying to take a bottle of perfume on board that is a 150mls size even if it is half empty.  The problem here is that airport security has no way of knowing exactly how much is in the bottle, and with the possibility of it being more than 100mls they’ll simply take it off you.

Containers must be sealed in a clear plastic bag of no more than 1l capacity (the type of sandwich ziploc bag) and should be made visible to security staff.  For full details check the boarding conditions of your airline booking form.

Where’s My Luggage?

Collecting your luggage from the airport carousel at the termination of your flight can extend your time in transit by quite a long time, especially if you’ve travelled transatlantic on an Airbus A380 with 439 other people!  With that many people all crowding around the same conveyor belt looking for their suitcases, you certainly won’t be the only one checking every black, material suitcase as it passes to see if it’s yours.  A great way to simplify the process and identify your own case from far off, is by making it stand out.  Consider buying brightly coloured straps to place round it (which also provide the additional benefit of helping it stay closed), attaching an easily identifiable tag to the handle, or using paint or marker pens to highlight the case itself.  Of course, you could always buy a new suitcase that looks totally unique!

Prepare for Security

Going through airport security is one of those toils that you simply can’t avoid.  If you prepare in advance then you can avoid having queues of people behind you, all hmmming and muttering as you fumble to get your belongings ready for scanning.

  • Take off your jacket – it will need to go through the scanner
  • If you’re wearing high heels, be prepared to take these off as well.  And large boots will also need to be scanned, so if they have a serious number of lace loops to work through, you may want to loosen them in advance.  Remember – don’t wear socks with holes in them!
  • Mobile phones and laptops need to be scanned separately, so make sure they aren’t buried at the bottom of your case.
  • Have you liquids to hand so they can be placed on the top, or in a separate tray, if required.
  • Remove all jewellery before you reach security and place it in a safe pocket in your luggage.  That way you won’t have to spend ages removing it all when you arrive.
  • Ditch any drinks bottles or cans before you get to security.  It doesn’t matter whether they are open or closed, or whether you bought them in the airport or not.  You simply can’t take them through.

Travelling with Kids

Kids love the idea of being in an airport, but lengthy waiting times can get them bored easily, which won’t help your stress levels.  Think about taking a carry-on bag for your kids too – if they’ve booked a seat then they are entitled to one.  Fill it with games, books and their favourite toys to keep them occupied.

Try and get a seat by the window when you’re waiting at the departure lounge or boarding gate.  Watching the planes taking off can keep even the most restless child amused for a while.

Move Around

You’re likely to be sitting for a long while, especially if you’re going long haul.  Take the opportunity to move around before you get on board.  Your legs will actually appreciate sitting down if you’ve worn them out a bit first.

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