Top Tips for UK Travel on a Budget

Travelling is a wonderful way to see the world, explore new places and immerse yourself in a different culture. However, it can be expensive, particularly if you are a frequent traveller or you’re with the whole family.  Luckily, there are many ways in which you can cut costs and stick to your budget without compromising your travel adventures.

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I DO! 6 Honeymoon destinations newlyweds WANT to travel to

I DO! 6 Honeymoon destinations newlyweds WANT to travel to

Many brides to be will tell you that choosing their honeymoon destination is almost as difficult as the wedding venue!  Whether it’s a far flung beach in a stunning, tropical location, a city that’s full of culture and bright lights or maybe something that’s a little more budget friendly.

If you’re struggling for inspiration then don’t worry.  Check out these 6 top honeymoon destinations that newlyweds want to visit!

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Short Breaks With Kids in and around the UK

We are coming up to our next UK Trip and we are getting super excited about our visit.

As the boys are getting older we feel like we can adventure more and more and visit new places.  We have already booked a short trip to France where we will be doing Disneyland and then heading down South for my Sister in law’s wedding.

Booking that has definitely made me realise that there is so much in and around the UK that is accessible to us when we visit that we really need to take advantage of during our visits.  So I thought Id write down a few different things as a mini travel bucket list of short breaks with kids on our next few visits to the UK.

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Staying Safe as a Solo Traveller

Going away with family and friends can be fun, but there’s nothing like the freedom of solo travel. Exploring a new city on your own time, with no demands to alter the route or having to sit down for a break when you are ready to go.  Read on for more about staying safe as a solo traveller.

The idea of travelling solo can scare some people, but it isn’t necessarily dangerous.  It’s all about being prepared and knowing what to do if you get yourself in a difficult situation. Knowing the better destinations to visit and how to hold yourself when you are walking around. But be realistic, there will always be risks, even staying in your own country is no guarantee of safety.  Knowing and preparing for these risks is the best action to take.

 

Plan Ahead

Your journey begins before you board the plane. From the moment you start planning your solo travel, you want to be prepared. Start with your travel insurance, providing as much information on destinations and activities as you can.

Learn about the areas you are going to visit.  Read up on other travellers who have gone either solo or as a group. Find out areas to avoid or if there are certain times of day, or even year, that are considered unsafe.

Plan your initial route to your accommodation.  Then consider planning routes between your intended destinations.  This will save you some hassle on your trip and give you more time to explore.

Learn about the local customs and cultures, for instance, common clothing found in the area. When travelling, you want to be able to blend in, rather than accidently declare yourself a naïve tourist.  Or worse, culturally offend someone!  Learning some basics in the native language will also benefit you greatly. Being able to speak a few words will almost certainly help locals warm up to you more should you need help.  Being able to read a few words will really help you too.

Familiarise yourself with the types of scams you may find in the area, this will allow you to avoid them and walk away when you suspect something isn’t right. Although you should always be aware of your surroundings, rather than expecting to be picked for a con.

Check out this Foreign Travel Checklist for some more guidance from Gov.UK

staying safe as a solo traveller

Accommodation

When choosing your accommodation, try to choose somewhere that someone you know has used and had good experiences with. If this option is not available, find somewhere with good quality reviews across a number of trusted sites.

Consider quality and safety as well as budget. Hostels can be great fun, not to mention nice and cheap, but come with increased safety risks. There are plenty of hotels, boutique and chain offering cheaper rooms for solo travellers without compromising on safety and comfort.

For example, the Crash Pad rooms in a Nottingham city centre hotel – these rooms are designed to be stylish and comfortable, but for use of solo travellers only.

Time of arrival at your accommodation is important.  Arrive as early as you can in the day.  Not only will this help you find your location easier, but you’ll get a better feel for the surrounding area. If you come to find your accommodation isn’t going to be suitable, you’ve also left yourself some time to find alternative arrangements.

Never give away your accommodation while you’re travelling, close friends and family being the exception. Your base of operation is your area of safety and given this information away could cause you trouble in the future.

While You’re Travelling

Be a smart traveller and make sure you’re prepared for when you are travelling around. Keep the number of personal items to a minimum so you have less to worry about (and check!) and make sure they are kept hidden securely on your person at all times.

Keep spare cash or an alternative credit/debit card hidden away from your main purse or pocket. If you are caught out by a pickpocket, at least you won’t be stranded with no means to pay your way.

Always be alert and aware of your surroundings.  You don’t need to be suspicious of everyone but certainly be more reserved than you would be at home. You’ll want to keep a clear head, steering away from drink and drugs – this could impair your judgement and make you an easy victim. Never give away personal information and make sure that you stay in populated areas.

Make sure you are polite while travelling but know when to make a fuss. Should you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation you shouldn’t be afraid to alert those around you.

Anywhere you travel, make sure you do so with confidence, you don’t want to make yourself look like a nervous traveller or an easy target for scams.

Before heading away, you can also register your journey with your government and/or leave your journey details with friends and family. This way if there is any unrest in a destination country you will be advised and it’s easier to track where you might be.

When you’re sufficiently prepared, travelling alone can be an enjoyable experience where you can learn a lot about yourself.

Where will your next journey take you?

staying safe as a solo traveller

When to Fly to Avoid Flight Delays and Cancellations

Starting off your adventure with a canceled or delayed flight can throw a major wrench into your travel plans. During the lead up to a trip, you might find yourself worrying about the possibility that you could end up spending longer in the airport than you had originally intended.
The good news is there may be a way that you can stack the odds in your favor.  Travel sites and airlines are frequently known for keeping track of important flight data.  By using this information, you can learn a little more about the best times to schedule your flights.

Read on for tips to avoid flight delays and cancellations!

When to Fly to Avoid Flight Delays and Cancellations

The Best Times of Day for a Flight

When scheduling your next journey, one of the first things to think about is when in the day you’re going to take to fly.  In most cases, the early bird will get the worm with flight choices.  Flights that leave between 6 am and 7 am are generally the most likely to be on time.  This is because they haven’t had chance to be affected by other issues that might have appeared throughout the day.
The later in the day your flight is, the more likely it is that you’ll face a problematic “stacking effect”. One slight delay quickly becomes a huge issue, or even a cancellation. The trend for increasing flight delays continues up to 6 pm in most cases, at which point it starts to taper off again.
According to experts, even the smallest delay can cause a ripple effect causing even more delays in the future.

First thing in the morning, you’re starting with a fresh set of planes, fewer passengers, and shorter lines.  That means that you don’t have to worry as much about unexpected issues. What’s more, air traffic is lighter the earlier you fly.

 

The Best Days for a Flight

You might be surprised to learn that Saturday is one of the best days to fly according to some statistics. That may be because people prefer to start their vacation earlier in the week.  Or maybe people assume that  weekends are going to be busy, so they ensure to book throughout the week instead.
Whatever the reason, research shows us that Friday is generally the worst day to travel. Up to 30% of flights being delayed that day on average. Additionally, Friday is also the day when more flights are scheduled.  This means that there are more chances for problems with air traffic and cancellations.
Here’s your insight into which days you should choose for your next trip or vacation:
the best days to fly.png

The Best Seasons for a Flight

Importantly, the details given above can differ depending on which airline you choose to fly with.  Also, which airport you’re traveling from, and where you’re going to.  Another point to consider is the season. Although the question of which season to pick is a little harder to pin down, here are some general rules to follow:

Avoid Fridays during Summer: You already know that Fridays are the busiest day of the week for airports, but the problem becomes even worse during summer when the children are out of school and more people decide to take vacations.

Be flexible around the holidays: If you’re flying around the holiday season, remember that a lot of other people will be hoping to get home to their families too, this means that peak activity levels and prices can both begin to spike.

Travel during the low season: Finally, make sure that you always look for the low season around your destination – which is when it’s less likely to get the most visitors. This will help you to choose a more delay-free time to fly.

Looking at all the above, it seems as though the best thing you can do is travel as early as possible on a non-holiday Saturday sometime during the year. Of course, even with statistics, you can never know exactly what’s going to happen with any given airline.

Ultimately, you should always be prepared to handle the stress of a cancellation or delay, no matter how hard you try to avoid them.  Building extra time into your plans to account for delays will help too!

 

I hope these tips have helped, let me know what you think and if you have any more to share!Don’t forget to check out my tips on staying healthy while traveling with the family!

Moving Overseas? Make packing easier!

When you’re moving long distance, especially if you’re moving to another country completely, packing can be a complete headache. What do you take? What can you leave behind? How are you going to get it all done? These are just some of the questions that plague your existence as you plan the packing stage of a life-changing move. But you know what? Packing for an overseas move doesn’t have to be all that difficult.

make packing easier for moving abroad

Here are some simple tips to help you make your move easier:

 

Enlist Help

If you don’t want to go into total meltdown, then you’ll want to ask a few good friends or family members to help you out. Not only will they be able to assist you with the physical aspects of packing, but they’ll be there to help keep the kids occupied and encourage you to get rid of the unnecessary when you really don’t want to, which brings us to…

 

Declutter

If you’re living in a house that’s brimming with stuff, it’s going to be really, and I mean REALLY expensive to ship it overseas. In most cases, it just isn’t practical to take everything you own. This is why you need to get serious about your stuff.

 

Go through your house making an inventory of what you have.  Sit down and hash out what you NEED to take with you, what you would like to take, what can be left behind and what might be difficult to transport. Making Sell, Donate, Trash lists are super helpful.  Feeling organised is so empowering when you’re moving abroad.. If you plan to move back sometime, keeping your stuff in storage is also an option. Just bear in mind it might be tough convincing the kids to give up their much-loved toys!

 

Hire an Experienced Moving Company

make packing for moving abroad easier

Hiring a long-standing moving company who has experience with moving long-distance, like the ones at https://www.mybekins.com/locations/oakland-ca-movers/ , is essential if you want your stuff to reach its new destination, and in one piece. Of course, you’ll have to do your part by very carefully packing it up with lots of bubble wrap and the like to minimize the chances of it getting broken on its long journey.

 

Use Vacuum Bags

For all your clothes bedding and even soft toys, use vacuum sealed bags. They hugely reduce the amount of space these things take up. There’s some great ones at Bed Bath and Beyond.  It’s often volume as opposed to weight that you run out of first, so this really helps!  

 

Embrace Being Unburdened

make packing for moving overseas easy

 

If there’s one thing that will help make packing for an overseas move easier for you, it is embracing minimalism. There’s a certain feeling that comes with unburdening yourself of possessions you thought you’d always have that is so liberating. This makes it much easier to leave stuff behind. So, put the focus on your new life and remind yourself and the kids that you can always replace stuff if you really need to and packing should become very easy to you very quickly.

 

Good luck with your move!