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Travel Toiletries 2 Go

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Don’t miss out on some great savings in our new ‘Special Offers’ section – many branded toiletries at discounted prices as we make room for new lines. When it’s gone, it’s gone………..
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Flyer Warning: The Hand Luggage Insurance Loophole

Have you ever been about to get onto a flight, only to be told that there’s no space in the cabin for your bag, and it will need to go into the hold?

When that happens, there’s not a lot you can do; if it’s a choice between getting on the plane and staying where you are, most of us will just agree to have our bag put in the hold, and get onto the plane without it.

The problem is that often when this happens - your bags have not been checked in properly, but they’re put into the hold any way - your belongings are not actually insured. If your bag or its contents are lost or damaged, your insurance provider may not pay out because the bag was not officially checked into the hold.

A recent survey by Which? found that as many as 1 in 10 air travellers has been affected by this and five of the largest travel insurance companies told Which? that valuables that went missing like this would not be covered by their insurance policies.

Since we expect to have our cabin bags with us at all times, we don’t usually padlock our hand luggage. Many people have reported that valuables have gone missing from their hand luggage after it was put in the hold. While an airline can ask passengers to have their hand luggage put in the hold, they do often forget to remind passengers to remove valuables before doing so.

The problem is that plane cabins are not designed to hold a lot of small suitcases. Many airlines will include in their small print that they can ask you to part with your bag at any time. According to Which? the cabin of a plane is not large enough to hold a full size cabin bag for every passenger if the plane is full. For example, a Boeing 737 has 189 seats, but its overhead lockers can only store 90 full-sized cabin cases.

Of course, the fact the airline can ask us to put our hand luggage in the hold, and that we should remove valuables from our bag before doing so, is all in the terms and conditions, which we sign when purchasing our tickets. This means the airline is perfectly within its rights to do this, and cannot be held responsible. But how many of us actually stop and read the fine print when purchasing airline tickets?

GATE8 cabin bags are designed and used by people who have experienced this problem with air travel, and plenty more besides. Our aim is always to make travel easier, and with our unique modular cabin bag there is a separate compartment for valuables that can easily be zipped off. This means that if you were asked to put your GATE8 in the hold at the last minute, you could remove the small compartment of valuables and hand over your bag with peace of mind that nothing essential would get lost.
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Home exchange – free holiday accommodation and all the comforts of home

Imagine completely cutting out expensive hotel costs whilst also enjoying the space and convenience of a home while on your holiday. You can do exactly that by arranging a home swap. Home exchanging is not a new concept (it started in the 1950s) but over recent years has become increasingly popular as more people discover the benefits and savings on offer.

Lois Sealey of Home Base Holidays, a London based home exchange agency, says: "Home exchanging appeals to everyone - families with children who may choose to swap with other young families for homes geared up to their needs; empty nesters and the retired who enjoy the chance to travel without the high cost of hotel or rental accommodation; independent travellers of all ages who like exploring local, less touristy areas."

Home Base Holidays

"The best thing about house swapping is it gives you the opportunity of experiences you would NEVER get in a hotel!” - Judith S. (Judith’s holiday home is an ex-farm worker's cottage in the tiny, friendly hamlet of Magnac Laval, Limousin, France). View offer:

Key benefits of a home exchange:
•Free holiday accommodation
•Live like a local – experience different cultures and places first hand
•Home comforts – your home away from home
•Make new connections – meet new friends around the world
•Save more money – exchange cars, look after pets, etc.
•Your own home cared for – homes that are occupied are safer than homes left empty

Ten tips for a successful home exchange
1.Give yourself time - allow time to find the perfect home swap for you.
2.Be flexible - if possible be flexible with your exchange dates and be open to interesting destinations.
3.Provide detailed information - enter details about your home and surrounding area. People often like to swap with others in similar situations to themselves so it's also good to provide brief details about you and your family.
4.Be proactive - contact several members with 'feeler' messages regarding a potential exchange.
5.Ask questions - make sure you and your potential exchange partner know exactly what has been agreed, e.g. agree who will pay utility bills, repairs, breakages, use of food, cleaning materials, bed linen and towels (Home Base Holidays provides a draft agreement form to adapt).
6.Prepare a Welcome Pack - create a simple folder of information for your home swap partners. This can contain information on your home and appliances, useful telephone numbers, tourist leaflets, maps, guide books, train and bus timetables.
7.Friends & neighbours - it's useful to provide the phone number of a friend or neighbour who can be contacted in emergencies. It's a good idea to also provide them with a spare key.
8.Clean, clean, clean - make sure your home is clean and tidy before your guests’ arrival, with space for their belongings, freshly made beds plus extra bed linen and towels.
9.Keep in touch - stay in contact with your exchange partners, from your initial agreement to completion of your exchange, as this builds mutual trust.
10.Enjoy your exchange holiday! Do remember to leave the home exactly as you found it and leave a little gift and thank you note.

Home Base Holidays was established in 1985 and has thousands of attractive home swap offers available worldwide:

Travel Toiletries 2 Go ✈ blog visitors and customers are offered a 20% discount on membership to Home Base Holidays Enter TT2G in the promotional code box when joining (six months and one year options), note that this offer expires 1st June 2017.
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How To Get Cheap Airport Parking 

Driving to the airport is more often than not the most convenient way of getting there. It's much less stressful than struggling on public transport with your suitcases, or joining a long queue at the taxi rank on your return when you're tired from a long flight. However, booking Airport Parking isn’t as simple as it sounds & if you’re not careful you could end up paying way over the odds for it! So to help you avoid this holiday faux-pas we have asked the experts at SkyParkSecure how to get cheap airport parking for your next trip away.

Shopping Around Made Easy.......
Since each airport may have car parks run by different operators, it can be time-consuming to check each one to work out which is the most economical. That's where SkyParkSecure comes in. The site will help you find the cheapest rates at the airport you want to travel from - and there's plenty of information on each car park to help you choose the right one for your requirements.

Book Before You Travel......
If you want to save money on airport parking, the answer is to book in advance. You might think that's just one more thing you don't need to deal with. But if you don't bother to make a booking, you could be paying far more for your parking than you need to. Reserving parking ahead of time could save you up to 60%, which is a great saving. What's more, by pre-booking you'll also be guaranteed a parking space; who wants to turn up at the airport and find that the car parks are full? Think of the stress! Save yourself the worry and get your name on that space.

Join Email Lists.......
As well as the substantial discounts you'll get by booking ahead, you can take advantage of further savings by joining email lists. Once you sign up, you'll receive details of special offers and 'sales' that will only be available to people on those email lists. This will bring down the price of your parking even further, so is definitely worth signing up for.

Choose The Right Parking Service.......
There's a bewildering range of different parking options, and if you make a mistake or take too long to book (or don't book at all), you may end up having to pay for a more expensive option simply because that's all that's available, or you're in a rush. The people who know how to get cheap airport parking are organised and choose the right option for their needs, rather than having to accept what is available on the day or not being able to park at all!

Meet & Greet.......
If you're burdened with heavy baggage, have young children (and all the clutter that goes with them), or are not very mobile, a Meet & Greet service could be best for you. This ensures you will be met at the terminal, given assistance with your bags, and your car will then be taken to a secure car park. You'll be met at the terminal with your car on your return. Meet & Greet services are not the cheapest option, but booking ahead will help bring down costs.

Park & Ride.....
If budget is an issue, then Park & Ride will suit you. You will be taken from the car park to the terminal in a shuttle bus. Allow plenty of time, as the car park could be around 10-15 minutes away from the airport. Onsite car parks This can be the best choice if you want to be closest to the airport, although in most cases it will be the most expensive option. Hotel + Parking This is often the best choice if you have a very early flight, as it saves getting up in the middle of the night and worrying about having enough time to make your flight.

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Hotel vs Apartment: Where to stay when travelling - or something else entirely?

There is lots to think about when planning a trip. We've covered packing, flying, so it's time to think about accommodation.

It’s difficult to know what to choose. In fact with modern options like airbnb and glamping there is more choice than ever before. Hotel or apartment: where to stay when traveling is an exciting question!

These are things you should think about when looking for a comfy place to stay whilst you’re away from home:
Why am I travelling?

Is this trip for business, pleasure, or visiting friends/family?

If it’s a business trip, then the convenience of a hotel or a bed & breakfast would probably be vastly preferable to having to source food and cook for yourself, especially if you’re working long hours.

Am I travelling alone or with a partner or friends?

If you’re travelling alone, then you probably don’t need to rent a house that sleeps 10, but a large hotel can seem very impersonal and lonely. Why not try a bed and breakfast? If you’re travelling in a large group, and game for an adventure, consider glamping - you don’t have to put up the tent or carry all the equipment, and it’s got to be more interesting than your average travel lodge.

How long am I staying?

If you’re only staying one night, you probably don’t need additional space offered by rental accommodation, as you’re not going to be there long. If you’re planning on staying at least three days, then sometimes it’s nice to have somewhere to call home, whether it be an apartment in the heart of the city or a cottage in the countryside.

Do I want to be able to cook my own food?

If the answer to this is yes, then you need to be looking at something other than b & b’s or hotels, as they invariably don’t have any cooking facilities. Don’t want to rent a whole apartment? Well try renting a room via airbnb, owners are often happy to share their kitchens, as long as you follow their house rules.

Do I need to be able to come and go at unsociable hours?

If you’re planning on going out late at night or very early in the morning, then you might be more comfortable in a slightly larger hotel perhaps, not a b&b; or an apartment where you have a sole occupancy, rather than a shared space, where you’d have to consider the owners.

Do I want to experience the place like a local?

If you really want to get a feel for a city or country, then there is no better way than living like a local - not something you can do in a hotel or b & b; you won’t get the same sense of life as you do when shopping for food in a local market

Do I want an adventure?

Hotel’s are easily accessible, and you have a good idea what you’re getting, and unless you’ve got a huge budget, they’re not usually very memorable. If you want a chance a the holiday of a lifetime, then choose something different, with a bit of research, the possibilities are endless.

Wherever you go, we've got your travel-size toiletries sorted.
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Struggling for gift ideas ?

It's that time of year when we all begin hunting for the perfect gifts for friends, colleagues and family. Why not give something unusual and really useful this year? We've got Secret Santa sorted with great travel size gifts and stocking fillers

Under £5.................

Cosmopolitan Compact Manicure Set - Perfect for someone who really likes to take care of their appearance.

7th Heaven Montagne Jeunesse Facial Treats - 3 Pack - A lovely treat for anyone.

Under £7...................
Perfume Pod - They're brilliant, for men and women. they come in a great range of colours, and really can be taken anywhere. One of these would be my top choice for a secret Santa gift - fun, small, great price and the recipient probably doesn't have one. Even suitable to keep in their desk drawer!

7th Heaven Pamper Pack for Face, Body and Feet - Everyone deserves to be pampered, and this contains everything you need for a very indulgent hour or two.

Got a bit more to spend..........

Travalo and Dove Gift Set for Men - Luxury products in a great value pack. A great gift, or the perfect way to give a trip as a present - add a 'voucher' to the gift bag.

Womens Pamper treats Gift Set - Do you know a lady who deserves pampering? Then this is for her. 

Feeling Creative..............

We also sell a selection of organza bags so you can create the perfect gift.

Take a look........
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Top 10 Tips for Taking Better Travel Snaps With Your Smart Phone

Did you know that more than 70% of people in the UK now own a smartphone? That’s why Instagram is full of dodgy selfies & photos of people’s dinner… But you can use the camera on your phone for SO much more. And really, when you want to travel light, why would you use up valuable packing space on a camera? Here are our Top 10 Tips for Taking Better Travel Snaps With Your Smart Phone

1.First things first - CLEAN YOUR LENS!
You will be amazed what a difference a clean lens will make to how blurry and out of focus your photos are.

2.DON’T use the zoom function - Crop your photo instead.
It’s tempting to zoom in on what you want to photograph, but when you’re using your phone’s camera, that means a digital zoom, which will mean you lose clarity and gain a lot of blur. Take your photo and then edit it, to see more of what you want.

3.Forget Filters (even Instagram ones).
They change the exposure and the light, and mean you can lose a lot of definition, and your photo won’t look half as good if you decide to print it. Take your snap then use an editing app to add quirky or cool filters afterwards. Have you tried Prisma yet? Now that is a cool app - you can make your photos look like paintings, and you can get it for iOS or Android.

4.FLASH! Na-ah - it’ll overexpose us! (Sorry, I couldn’t help it.)
The flashes on phones are usually right next to the lens, and whilst they’re kinda useful sometimes, you’d be much better off using natural light or another light external light source. It should be behind the camera, or to the side of your subject, not directly behind the thing/person you’re trying to take a picture of - unless you’re going for a cool silhouette shot or something.

5.The Rule of Thirds - this one is the techie one, but it’ll make a WORLD of difference.
According to the theory: You split your photos into 9 equal parts (3 across and 3 down). If you place objects of interest (People, buildings, a pretty shell) on the points where those lines cross, or along the lines, your snap will be more balanced & level, generally making it a lot more pleasing to the eye. Happily, you can turn gridlines on in the camera settings of your phone, which will make that task a LOT more simple. Go on, experiment.

Really flipping useful. Get a more steady and therefore sharper photograph. I have very shaky hands, especially if I am trying to hold something still, so I find tripods - little ones that fit in a pocket, like the gorillapod - are brilliant for helping me take photos with less wobble. They’re also really good for taking shots I want to be in - I am not a huge fan of the selfie & everyone knows the camera on the back is better than the one on the screen.

7.Perspective - look at things from another angle.
Want a more interesting shot? Look at it from another angle. Get down low to the ground, try shooting from the hip (toddler eye view) or maybe aim straight up. Play with angles, get creative.

8.Use Reflections.
We’re drawn to the beauty of reflections, use them wherever you find them. Lakes, puddles, windows - even a pair of mirrored sunglasses (don’t forget your suncream!) offer wonderful reflective surfaces. Add a touch of creativity and photograph the reflection of your subject, rather than the subject itself.

9.Use a frame.
No, not a picture frame, though you could I suppose. Look around for things that you can take a picture through - doorways, windows, arches, holes… having an object in the foreground to frame your subject really highlights the important part of the image.

10.Get arty - have a go at colour blocking
Make your photo black and white, then select an area of the subject and add the colour back Don’t worry, there’s an app for that. Try Color Effects for iOS or Splash Colour Effects for android.

We’d love to see your smartphone shots from your travels. Get in touch with us & we’ll share the best ones!
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10 Brilliant Packing Hacks

I am a packing nerd. I quite enjoy the challenge of getting everything I want to take away into the smallest bag possible. My husband always tells me that it won't all fit, and I take great pride in proving him wrong (don't tell his mates, but hubby and I share toiletries when we're travelling, uses less space!). These are my top 10 brilliant packing hacks to ensure that all my stuff fits in my bag, survives the journey and still looks great when I arrive (check out our guide to hand luggage regulations if you're flying).

10 Brilliant Packing Hacks - Roll, don't fold your clothesI have long been a roller, not a folder. My husband is a folder (and not a very good one!) So I do all the packing when we’re going away, else we’d only ever have room for 2 pairs of pants and one t-shirt each.

2.Pack a tumble dryer sheet (or 2) in with your clothing to keep it smelling fresh. I read this on-line somewhere, and I’ve gotta tell you, it’s GENIUS! Especially if you’re going on longer trips or have multiple destinations. Your clothes will never smell like the inside of your shoes again.

3.Pack shoes in a draw-string bag or stretch a shower-hat over the soles so they don’t mark your clothes

4.Roll socks & underwear and pack them inside your shoes. If you’re only packing a carry-on case, then you need to use every single inch of space, don’t go wasting a whole shoes’ worth!

5.Pack the heaviest items at the bottom (closest to the wheels). Sounds obvious doesn’t it, but I can honestly say it had never occurred to me until someone told me to pack this way, I’d always been a ‘shoes first, clothes on top’ kinda girl, but your suitcase spends almost no time lying flat, it’s either on it’s side or you’re pulling it along behind you.

6.Fold items that wrinkle or crease easily with an old (plastic) carrier bag. This helps stop creases from setting in your garment, but do hang it up when you reach your destination.
- Get an old plastic carrier bag and slice down the sides, then open it out flat.
- Place the item you want to fold on top, ensuring it’s totally flat
- FOLD using the plastic bag (you might want more than one for larger items).

7.Use a bulldog clip to protect your razor blade (and your fingers!). Ever found that the silly little plastic covers that come with your razor detach themselves in transit? Yeah me too. What do you get? Blunt razor and a wash-bag of potential death. You try shaking a bulldog clip loose though!

8.Use another bulldog clip to store your headphones and prevent tangles. Actually use this hack all the time, not just when traveling. I HATE tangled headphones.

9.Pack cords and chargers in a small wash bag, or a pencil case. You’ll never have to empty your whole bag to find your phone charger again! The origins of this actually suggest an old sunglasses case, but I didn’t have one, and UK plugs are too bulky to fit into any I’ve seen anyway. I just took a plug with me to a stationary shop & tried it in the pencil case I liked, to make sure it fit.

10.Invest in a great multi-way adapter with USB sockets, so one plug will charge MANY things - do check the power ratings on your phone/camera/tablet though, and make sure you get one that is compatible. They can be a bit pricey, but these things are BRILLIANT, especially when accessible plug sockets are often a premium.
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Our Top 3 Websites For Finding Great Travel Deals.

We love travelling, and we know you, our customers do too, so we thought we’d share our top 3 websites for finding great travel deals. These are all ones we have used and had great experiences with. We’d love to know if you’ve used them too, or if you have any other hot tips for finding a travel bargain!

In at number 3: Voyage Prive

Our Top 3 Websites For Finding Great Travel Deals - #3

If you’re looking for luxury package travel, then the ‘members only’ website Voyage-Prive is great . A one-stop shop for great deals on four-star (and up) holiday venues. From gorgeous self-catering apartments to all-inclusive resorts, there is something to suit everyone. Our top tip to get the best for your money is be flexible on location, if you can’t be flexible on dates. Research a few possible destinations, and you will be sure to get a great deal somewhere fantastic.

At number 2 we have: Airbnb

Our Top 3 Websites For Finding Great Travel Deals - #2 AirbnbIf you want to really experience living like a local, then Airbnb is definitely the way to go. Be careful to choose places with good reviews and if you have any queries at all, contact the owner. Obviously you pay a premium for the best reviewed places, so spend some time and do some research, but there are some fantastic bargains to be had and staying in someone’s home DEFINITELY makes the experience more than just a holiday.

And finally the number 1 spot goes to Travelzoo

Our Top 3 Websites For Finding Great Travel Deals - #1 Travelzoo

Whether you want one night in an English Manor house, with optional afternoon tea, or two weeks all inclusive at a luxury spa resort in the Maldives, with Travelzoo you are certain to find a deal that’s right up your alley. Even if you’re just idly wondering where you might go for your next trip, then turn to Travel Zoo for inspiration. Their weekly Top 20 deals are enough to whet the appetite of everyone with even a little wanderlust and are sure to encourage plenty of day-dreams - don’t read whilst you’re at work!

And just because we can, here’s a little Brucey Bonus, try Bownty

Our Top 3 Websites For Finding Great Travel Deals - Bonus: Bownty

Bownty isn’t a ‘travel’ website, although they do have plenty of travel bargains available. This is your one-stop shop for all the daily deals from members websites including Groupon, Wowcher, living social and more. They will send you a daily email, but if that’s too often then you have the option to dial it back to once or twice per week.

TOP TIP: When you’ve booked your trip, sign up to receive daily deals from Bownty for your destination and grab yourself some great-value days out, or perhaps a slap-up dinner at half the price!

Happy Travelling.
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