Airport Money Saving

Airport Money Saving


Hello Lovelies,

My husband and I both travel extensively by plane. Whether it is for business or pleasure, we clock up quite a few flights per year, mix of national, short haul and long haul. 

We have a carefully honed routine now and try to stick to it to avoid hassle. Money saving isn’t so importing when you are claiming everything on expenses but when everything you spend comes out of your own pocket, you’re a lot more careful, I assure you!

It is reported that 88% of people who pass through London’s Gatwick airport spend more than they intended to in the terminal! Ouch!

With that in mind, and with the start of the winter holiday season kicking off, I thought I’d share with you my favourite money saving tips for air travel. 

Before you get to the airport.
Be sure to join mailing lists for the airport, your chosen parking provider and the duty free shops. You can get some really great money off coupons ready for your holiday.
If you require foreign currency, ordering via Travelex and collecting in the airport has always given us really great rates. If you have plenty of time, you can keep an eye out for Travelex’s frequent sales and promotions to really maximise your pennies. If you don’t have time to buy in advance, never buy from the airport as the walk up rates are never usually that good, hunt on the high street. I sometimes use M&S money.
 
 
Book your car parking in advance, you can use sites like Purple Parking. I always park in one of the shuttle services within the grounds of the airport. I can usually pick up a week’s safe + secure parking for between £30-£50 depending on location and time.
 
When deciding on which parking area to choose, I always strike a balance of one with a short connection time to the terminal (by bus and walking) but just far enough away for easy access from main routes because there is nothing worse than being stuck in a busy circular route to navigate the airport to get parked or landing back at 4am and having to wait 45 minutes for a shuttle bus for the 10 minute circular route when in fact you could walk in 2 minutes.
 
Newcastle’s almost tiny airport
 
Sometimes, the onsite parking attached to the terminal is considerably more than others, yes it is handy to be in such close proximity if you have heavy luggage or small children but I once found out the hard way after paying £70 for parking that the route to terminal from the multi storey was so confusing and convoluted I probably could have been on a bus from the car park and in the queue to check in by the time I figured it out. Reading reviews of the airport and parking on Tripadvisor or parking websites is always handy if you haven’t visited it before.
If you are travelling from further afield to the airport, why not check out the local hotels. Most major airports have an onsite hotel, either joined to the terminal or in the grounds. Many of these offer stay + parking deals. For example, you need to be at the airport for 4am, you live 4hrs drive away and will be on a 12hr flight. Parking will cost £50 for the week. The onsite hotel may charge £90 for a room for the night before your flight, breakfast, parking AND a shuttle to the terminal. Yes it is £40 extra but you don’t have such a long trashy day to start your holidays and you can save money on the expensive terminal food by stocking up on a good hearty breakfast.
A good breakfast could help you avoid airplane food!
Check the airport website and make a list of all the vendors you may want to visit, whether it is a pub, café or stand alone retail store. Often you can find money off vouchers on the airport website or on the company’s own site that will make airport time a little more purse friendly. You can find free coffee vouchers, 2 for 1 meal vouchers and money off spend coupons for duty free. All you will need is either a printer or a smart phone.
If you decide you want to shop in the airport always check the RRP on the high street with the sales price in the airport or plane (via the website or a phone call) and then work out how much it may cost in your destination. For example a lipstick costs £15 in Boots, £11 in the airport but £9 in the country you are going to. It always pays to do a little homework and you can potentially save a fair whack of cash for buying those delightful tacky souvenirs!!
At the Airport
I am one of those fanatical people that get to the airport for the minute check-in opens. For me, my holiday starts the minute I go through the magical revolving doors and step foot in to the brightly lit marble mecca. It sets me up for holiday relaxing. Because I get there so early, I always make sure I check out the shops I want to visit first before I start to make purchases because something even quite as small as a bottle of water can vary by up to £2 in price between the newsagent, duty free, the coffee shop and the Boots concession. It sounds penny pinching but we mainly fly long haul and like to take water with us, for 2 people for 12hrs, those extra £s can make a difference.
Killing time, plane spotting!
To avoid having to buy water, we always take a folding water bottle each with us (invaluable when going to hot or developing countries where bottles aren’t as readily available). You can pop it in to your hand luggage and fill it up from drinking fountains once you are through security. It always comes in handy on the airplane if you want to stock up on water to save going back and forth to the galley, especially on night flights.
Filling up our bottles with water, not a bad view eh? North East coast of America
If you get sick of water, I pop a little squirty bottle of water flavouring such as Go Splash concentrated cordial from Tesco in my plastic liquids baggy. A couple of squirts makes up a pretty tasty squash and it is a saviour to quench thirst and to continue to use throughout the holiday. Again, a squirt of this in your refilled water bottle saves you money from buying drinks in the bar.
Airport lounges. We discovered these a few year ago and haven’t looked back since. Priced at around £20 per person, these can be an incredibly cost effective way to start your holiday. With alcoholic drinks, soft drinks, hot drinks and a myriad of snacks and hot food, it can sometimes work out cheaper to spend the money in a lounge and use their facilities to the fullest, than try to find a meal and few drinks and a comfy seat to sit in. Many lounges have zones for entertaining children so you won’t be pressured in to buying toys from the shops.
Back to shopping! Keep an eye out for brands special travel only offers. You can google your airlines online shopping brochures and Biza duty free to see if you can get a special edition or extra value pack. On a flight (to Cuba of all places!) I spotted a giant bumper jar of Elizabeth Arden 8hr cream in their inflight shopping. Never one to miss out a bargain, I bought it. The size vs cost was better than I could buy on the high street.
He thinks he is funny!
If you have time to kill on connections, make sure you hunt out the wifi and charging points. Some planes now offer (paid) wi-fi onboard so if you plan to use it for working etc, make sure you are charged up and ready to go as the charging points aren’t always working. Sitting close to a starbucks or bar can grab you some free wi-fi and sometimes you can get 2/3hrs of wifi for the cost of a Coke in order to get the code.
If you are boarding an un-catered flight but don’t want to pay the extortionate charges for snacks on board, make sure you head to the Boots concession that most airports now have. You can pick up a Boots meal deal which is more than enough for a short haul flight. £3 versus up to £10 is a great saving, especially if you are a couple or family… and the choices are usually healthier and a little more exciting! If you have a layover but going on a catered flight, I sometimes grab a meal deal and keep it for the connection to save me having to hunt out food.

What are your favourite money saving tips for travel? 

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Childhood holiday memories with Travelsupermarket

Childhood holiday memories with Travelsupermarket

Hello Lovelies,

Recently, I was invited to take part in a blogger campaign, reliving some of our favourite childhood holiday memories for the chance to win £1000 in conjunction with Travelsupermarket. (you can follow them via Twitter at @travelsupermkt)

The deadline was August 20th but as my regular readers will know, its around this time that the 1st anniversary of my Dads passing happened so I actually missed posting before the deadline.

With that in mind, I had actually wrote the post and decided to post it any way as I enjoyed writing it and it features Dad so I thought I’d share a more personal post with you all, my extended interweb family.

For many years, my parents and I went on holiday to a small, quaint fishing village in Majorca called Cala Bona. The Hotel Cala Bona was right on the harbour side and very picturesque. For over 20 years, we returned every summer (as well as exploring other countries!) and were greeted with the same friendly service.  For several of the years, the same staff worked each high season and we got friendly with the staff and watched their families grow.

We watched the sparse resort of Cala Bona grow, with more and more hotels, bars and shops appearing, alongside old favourites. For anyone that has been – Julies Sandwich shop – Best butties EVER!!!

Dancing to the Tony Peppon disco, discovering Macarena for the first time and then the legendary Mediterraneo entertainment show. I even still have some of the garlands he used to hand out!




My family circa 1988, when smoking in the airport was allowed!
 
 As I am an only child, I have lots of memories of my Mam jumping in to the pool with a rubber ring on her bum to make wobbly waves for us to bob along on and playing mini golf in the baking heat with my Dad, except for the day I missed and hit him on the head with my golf club! Watching the street performers in the harbour, people watching from a pavement bar, riding the “wally trolley” to Cala Millor for ice cream sundaes. My Mam possibly being on German You’ve Been Framed after being filmed having a top half swimsuit malfunction at a water park that was renamed Aqua Titty. Hiring ‘Chuckle Brothers’ bikes to cycle along to the desolate residential area of Los Pinos, which is now a bustling resort. It was here that my parent’s found out I smoked at 16 and I remember begging Mam not to tell Dad… but she did!

 

Short bob + long hair wrap = 90s child

Later on, when I wanted to take my husband away for his first ever summer holiday way back before we were married in 2006, there was only one place I could think of to take him. Hotel Cala Bona. It’s the perfect mix of modern facilities, Spanish lifestyle, scenery, party and peace. The hotel isn’t a 5* huge resort but it is clean, tidy and very, VERY nice.

 

With Paul, we have funny memories of being on a vineyard day trip with the OAP gang and them getting him DRUNK on the wine tasting while I drank Coke and ended up the only sober person on the coach, having to help all the old drunk grannies on and off! Shy, painfully shy, Paul helping out with the street performers when they dragged volunteers up out of the crowd, it was a proud moment! Paul sitting in a childs rubber dingy, pasty white, clutching his pint of lager, bobbing around the pool, a true brit abroad!

Classy eh?

After a week on his first summer holiday he was now a holiday convert, which is pretty lucky as I’m a holiday-addict!

 
White for tans right?
 

Fast forward 6yr to 2012 and the chat of my impending 30th and my Mothers 60thbirthday celebrations started. I had always promised to take Mam back to Cala Bona, just me and her for a girls holiday and leaving Dad and Paul at home. May 2013 was going to be our big girls adventure to Cala Bona.

 

Unfortunately, before we could book, my Dad died in August 2012. This put a halt to any holiday plays with Mam.

 
If I could pick a dream holiday, or an ideal holiday…. It previously would have been China or Japan…. Now it is Cala Bona with my Mam and Paul. I think it would be a touching trip to take with our new, smaller family unit to a place we ALL have good memories of. It might be a bit sad at first but with the 1yr anniversary of Dad’s passing coming soon, it would be a great reminder of the good times and a break after a very stressful year. A chance to make our own new good memories.

 

So there we have it, a belated competition entry and some shameful holiday photos from when I was a kid!

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Beach Cover Ups with New Look

Beach Cover Ups with New Look

 Hello Lovelies, 

When summer comes round, I usually aim to have at least one beach holiday where I can lie by the pool and forget all my stress back at home.

For the trip down to the pool or when the day turns chilly into early evening, I like to have a selection of cover ups. I know there is a huge selection to suit everyones taste, style and budget but I prefer kaftans. They are floaty and keep you cool as well as suitably taking you from day to night after the beach.
I like to wear shorter length kaftans with denim or linen shorts for sightseeing and day trips as you don’t get too hot if you have to cover your shoulders and be more modest for cultural visits and if you get the chance to cool off in the sea or pool, a kaftan can act as a beach mat, towel and top as they dry so quickly!

Drawstring kaftans can look sexy at a beach bar undone to show off a bit of cleavage as you’re sampling the local cocktails to cool down. Long gone are the dowdy frumpy styled kaftans, they are big news baby!

I keep the same staple pieces year in year out but this year New Look are stocking some fantabulous pieces that you should check out if you are on the hunt for a cover up.

Pink & yellow open kaftan   
£24.99 New Look
My absolute favourite – White Lil kaftan | £39.99 New Look

 

Zebra Print kaftan | £25.99 New Look

What do you like to wear as a beach cover up?

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A Spook-tacular night with Red Herring Games & Radisson Blu

A Spook-tacular night with Red Herring Games & Radisson Blu

Happy Halloween my not-so-gruesome ghouls ,

Last Friday, Mother Tramp and I took ourselves along to our local Radisson Blu hotel for their Halloween themed Murder Mystery night. When I first saw this advertised I was gutted I couldn’t go as I would be in New York but through a cruel twist of fate, I found myself at a free end as a result of a cancelled holiday. What better way to cheer me and Mam up eh?
I have been to a few of these events before but as it was my Mams first time, it was super exciting all over again. It also helped that the excelled Red Herring Games were running the event (@redherringgames).

We were greeted by witches and ghosts and of course, trick or treat sweet goodies, props and of course, a dead body – Poor Seymour! The cast of actors thoroughly immersed themselves in to their characters and I must say, Inspector Dirk N Stormy was rather handsome – He can arrest me any day! Ooo-er!
As the evening progressed around the 3 course meal, we were given 5 scenes to watch to base our suspicions on and then given the chance to interact with the actors to grill them for their motives. Now I must admit, I’ve never got a murderer right yet, I think I have too much of an overactive imagination but this time, BOOM! Mam and I sniffed out the culprit and won! Couldn’t believe it! Super Sleuths, although I think we are more like Monk than Sherlock Holmes!
As a proud winner, we were given a great big huge certificate and a bottle of wine! If I had known this before, I’d have put more effort in to trying to win previous ones!
The function room was set up with 13 large tables seating around 10 people each so it’s a great fun night out if you are looking for something to do with colleagues or a birthday. The organisational skills of the Radisson staff do leave a LOT to be desired but needless to say we managed to rescue our evening and of course… we went on to win! Huzzah! Don’t worry about not being able to hear the action, this is the first event I have been to that I have seen microphones and mic packs used by the actors, a very professional touch and it really helped everyone be involved without missing a single word!



The obligatory Monster Mash end to the evening!
This isn’t the first time I have been to a Red Herring Games night and it certainly wont be the last. The effort and thought that goes in to each of these ‘plays’ is just outstanding and well worth the cost of the evening.
At the Radisson, I paid £29 per person which included a 3 course meal and the entertainment, as well as a disco afterwards. My only slight criticism (other than the lack lustre organisation) was the lack of dialogue with the waiting staff. They didn’t tell us what food they were giving us, whether it was vegetarian or not etc. Now the pea and ham soup was some of the most delicious I have ever had, but the beef, well I think it was beef was just.. blah. The accompaniments were a bit blah too. I would have liked to have been told of a vegetarian offering. Probably just small niggles after working as a chef and expecting high standards from the Radisson.
Of course, the venue was nothing to do with the quality of the event provided by Jo and her players.
If you ever get the chance to go to a Red Herring evening (check their website for events) or any other murder mystery, I whole heartedly recommend you book up. They are a fantastic night of fun!
My only advice is… do your research. Find out who is performing and have a quick squizz for some reviews on them!

Enjoy the rest of your Halloween!

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I’m leaving….. on a jet plane

I’m leaving….. on a jet plane

Hello Lovelies, 

If you follow me on Twitter you’ll know how excited I’ve been of late to go on holiday, well it’s today! Huzzah!


Mr Tramp and I are jetting off to Italy, quite literally as I speak (joys of scheduled posts eh!) and then as soon as I am back, I am away for work so I have tried to get as many posts lined up as I can to keep you all entertained!

Luckily the apartment has wifi so I should be able to check in on Twitter so feel free to follow me for hideously cheesey holiday snaps of hubs and I gurning away round Italy!

We are flying out form from Heathrow T5 so I have been ‘allowed’ to shop at the Mulberry shop as long as Mr T can spend some of his birthday pennies in Mappin & Webb, World of Whiskey and the Cigar shop. Boys *rolls eyes*

Anyways, I shall leave you all while I go stuff as much pizza in to my face as I possibly can 😉

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