Top Travel Hacks That'll Save You Time, Space, And Money

Published in Travel Tips & Tricks

Our Top Travel Hacks that'll Save You Time, Space, and Money
We have travelled in over 200 planes, 30 countries and 6 continents and we cold not count how many travel disasters we have had, but learning from our mistakes, we can give our top Travel hacks that’ll save you not only time and space but also money.

1. Carry a handy bag to increase hand luggage.

One of the simplest yet most effective hacks that we use almost every week on our travels is carrying a string bag or airport duty free bag with you when travelling as airplane fares are going down but airlines such as Easyjet are now limiting only one bag for hand luggage causing excessive charges for a passenger travelling with say a handbag and a hand luggage suitcase, but if you carry an airport duty free bag and put your handbag or other stuff in that they can’t refuse it on the plane.


2. Carry a multi-travel adapter.

When travelling to a country that uses a different plug type, bring one adapter and an extension lead or carry a handy 4 USB one international plug adapter to keep your devices charged. *check out our review of this handy affordable option*

3. Use any old card you have in your hotel room.
Many hotels now use a card system to keep the lights and plugs on to make sure you are in the room, but you don’t have to use the room key. You can use any card in it to keep your devices charging when your dipping down to the pool or have more than one guest staying. Our business cards work a treat ;)

4. Use your Hotels amenities to keep your clothes clean.
If you have been exploring a bit off the beaten track or have been at a music festival and your shoes have got dirty, use the hotel's shower cap to keep your shoes from dirtying up your clothes.

5. Use Netflix’s Download & Go feature.
 We spend a lot of time on planes and in airports and it can sometimes get a bit boring. If you have a tablet or phone and use Netflix, you can now use their download & go feature to download your favourite movies and shows to keep you or your kid occupied on that 4-hour flight.


6. Use those shades to hold your phone up.
Okay, it's no Imax cinema experience, but you can use your sunglasses you’ve already packed to hold your device up when you're watching a film in the airport or on a plane.

7. Use currency cards or non-international fee cards.
Cards like The free Revolut Card or credit cards like the Halifax Clarity card offers you no fees when using your card abroad for transactions or with cash withdrawals and you also get the MasterCard exchange rate which is normally a lot cheaper than a travel currency exchange service.

Explore our section on Best Travel Money options

8. Book the window and the aisle seat.
One of the ways to maximise your space on that cramped Boeing 747 is by booking the Window and the aisle seat if your travelling in a pair. Normally then you will get the middle seat to yourselves, But worst comes to worst and somebody sits there you just ask politely if they could swap seats with your or your travel buddy to sit beside each other.

9. Go Ninja style when booking flights and Hotels
Unfortunately, in this day and age flight and hotel companies save all of our details so the more you look at that flight the price will go up. Use A browser such as Google Chrome or Safari to go in Incognito mode to look like your a new customer.

10. Don’t be that person holding up the Security line.
When we travel we buy sealable transparent food bags that not only are a lot cheaper than some airports bag fee, but it means we can pack our liquids before we even get to the airport saving time and stress when going through security.

11. Bring your own healthy food and empty bottle on the plane.
When travelling you're limited to how much liquids you can bring but not snacks. Save money by bringing your own snacks on the plane. Not only will they be cheaper but also healthy than the plane food reducing tiredness and jet-lag.
*Also when travelling most airports have water dispensers in the airport so bring and empty plastic bottle and fill your bottle up on the other side of security.

12. Make your hotel or apartment your own.
There's nothing worse than travelling to a foreign country and not having one channel in your own language. Most hotels now will have a HDMI cable slot that you can plug your laptop or device into to watch your favourite shows. Also, most TVs now have a USB slot that you can charge your device off as well.

 

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Hand Luggage Travel Ban

Published in Essentials

Laptop and tablet ban: How will this affect your travel plans?
On March 22nd 2017, the UK and the US announced a ban on laptops and tablets in all hand luggage on board direct flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia, and the change in hand luggage restrictions has now come into force.
So how will this affect your travel plans?
The US flight ban affects the following airports:
• Cairo (Egypt)
• Istanbul (Turkey)
• Dubai (United Arab Emirates)
• Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)
• Kuwait (Kuwait)
• Doha (Qatar)
• Casablanca (Morocco)
• Amman (Jordan)
• Riyadh (Saudi Arabia)
• Jeddah (Saudi Arabia)

The UK flight ban affects all flights coming from:
• Turkey
• Lebanon
• Jordan
• Egypt
• Tunisia
• Saudi Arabia
Which airlines are affected?
The ban will affect six UK airlines:
• British Airways
• easyJet
• Jet2.com
• Monarch
• Thomas Cook
• Thomson
And these eight overseas carriers:
• Turkish Airlines
• Pegasus Airways
• Atlas-Global Airlines
• Middle East Airlines
• Egyptair
• Royal Jordanian
• Tunis Air
• Saudia


Which are electronic items are banned from cabin baggage?
UK flight ban:
Prohibits any electronic device bigger than 16cm x 9.3cm x 1.5cm in hand luggage. This means mobiles and smartphones, like the larger iPhone 7/Samsung Galaxy S8, can still be carried in hand luggage.
US flight ban:
Prohibits the following items, as detailed by The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) - but they have said that this list is not exhaustive:
• Laptops
• Tablets
• E-readers
• Cameras
• Portable DVD players
• Game consoles larger than a smartphone
• Travel printers and scanners

What can I pack in my hand luggage?

If you're like us and travel with a ton of electronics you're probably left a little confused as to what items you can and can't bring on board, but from the UK, it only seems to affect laptops and tablets bigger than an iPhone 7 plus for now. But we will keep you up to date.

What about electronics on connecting flights?
Some of the airports affected by this latest hand luggage ban are big airline hubs, with lots of UK travellers passing through on business or holiday. The ban is to be enforced from your last point of departure, so if the last airport you departed from is on the list, then the ban will apply. Therefore, catching any connecting flight from one of the airports affected to the UK will mean that your laptop or tablet will not be allowed in the cabin. The safest thing to do if you're transferring through one of these airports is to put any electronic devices into your hold luggage at the first airport you're originating from.

Will travel insurance cover electronics in hold luggage?

Policies can vary, but as a general rule, most travel insurance will not cover theft of and unattended items which you can't see or aren't close to you. So if it goes in the hold, there's a chance your policy won't pay, should your laptop or tablet get damaged or go walkabout. Some insurance providers might be flexible in this situation, having been effectively forced to place such items in the hold, but if in doubt and when possible, leave valuable devices at home and save yourself the stress.

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Travalo The World- The Refillable Perfume Spray

Published in travel accessories

 Travalo Refillable Perfume Atomizer Spray
When travelling you want to look and smell the best but there's always one major issue with that; you're limited to what you can bring on a plane. This is where Travalo comes in, they have invented a 5ml easy fill perfume spray that even Ryanair wouldn't have an issue with size wise. 

The Travalo perfume atomizer comes in 4 different models; Classic HD, Milano, Pearl and the Devine. All models come in various colours to match that perfect bag or purse. Made from Aircraft grade aluminum and totally free of glass this little friend is aircraft approved carry-on baggage.

We tested both the Classic HD and the Milano and true to Travalo's claims they really do refill in seconds. On the bottom of each Travalo Perfume atomizer, you will find a fillable hole which fits perfectly on nearly all perfume and aftershave bottles. 

The Innovative Genie-S 'pump to fill' works a charm with just a number of pumps it transfers the fragrance from your unfriendly sized perfume bottle to a handy pocket-sized travel accessory.  


We used the Travalo Milano for a recent trip and it lasted the whole 4 days of the trip and that's even with a generous respraying each morning, noon and night.


The only issue we were worried about was leakage and issues refilling which we've seen with other products like this. But overall we haven't had one leak. We actually found when playing about with the Travalo that not only can you refill again with a different perfume after cleaning but that Travalo has integrated a U-change removable inner vial to change in an instant. 

Verdict
Both the Classic HD and the Milano are not only brilliant for travel but for everyday use in your purse, make-up bag, pocket or in your car. We love the idea of it and think it really is the future, the only issue that comes into question is the price but when you consider how much it costs for a large and smaller travel sized bottle of your favourite spray over time you really can see a massive saving not only in money but in space.

Rating: 
Where to buy
Buy now for £12.99 and free delivery from Debenhams or Travalo
Understanding our rating class.
We rate our Travel Accessories ranging from, First class being the best and Last class being the worst.

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How To Claim Flight Compensation

Published in Essentials

How to claim flight compensation yourself
If you're delayed by more than three hours or your flight's cancelled, under EU rule 261/2004 you are often entitled to between £110 and £510 in compensation and it's possible to claim this for free.

The flight delay regulations below come from the EU and so it's likely they'll stop when the UK leaves the union. Nothing is confirmed yet though and we won't be exiting for at least two years, probably more, so in the meantime everything here still stands.

The doors for mass compensation for long flight delays were flung open in October 2012 following a landmark ruling by the European Court of Justice. It clarified that passengers were entitled to compensation for long delays (as long as they met the set criteria) following a challenge by some airlines.

Flight delay compensation Need to knows
-Compensation for delays is only due on flights arriving over three hours or more late. How long the delay is determines how much you could be entitled to.
-It's only for EU-regulated flights (A flight that departed fro an EU airport, regardless of the airlines or where it landed. EU airports also include those in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and U.K for the meantime)
-Not everyone has won compensation. Some airlines have been trying to block people from claiming for flights that were over two years old, and for unforeseeable technical faults, although courts have ruled against this at the end of 2014 and in September 2015.
- You can claim flights back to 2010.
-You are only entitled to the compensation if the delay was something within the airline's control. Staffing problems and underbooking all count. Yet political unrest in a country or strikes make claiming a no-go. Check out the European Commission’s website for scenarios where they believe passengers can claim compensation.
-Compensation is also per person, so for a family of four, quadruple it (although where a passenger travels free of charge – a child, for example – you cannot claim).
-Compensation is based in euros, meaning the amount you'll get in sterling will fluctuate, depending on the exchange rate at the time the payment is made.
-Just because the airline's rejected or put your case on hold, doesn't mean it's correct. If you feel you've a legitimate claim but have been fobbed off, you can take your case to the relevant regulator or ombudsman to look into. Again, this is something you can do yourself – you don't need a claims handler to do this.

How to Claim


If you fit the criteria above you can make a claim by using our simple step by step guide.
Step 1: Prepare your information

Go through your emails or locate your flight tickets to find your booking reference, flight number, dates and times. Check out Flightstats to find out exactly how long your flight was delayed (you may need to free register for flights over a certain period of time).

Step 2: Deciding your route to compensation
Once you have all your flight information the next step is to figure out how your going to pursue your claim. You have two options;
The Resolver flight delay complaints tool powered by moneysavingexpert.com
For anyone whose flight departed from the UK.
For anyone who arrived in the UK on a UK/EU airline, from outside the EU.
Email/mail letter templates (download here)
Those who flew on an EU airline from outside the EU to somewhere in the EU other than the UK (e.g, KLM from New York to Amsterdam) (you can still use Resolver to go to the airline, but if your claim is rejected, Resolver does not escalate to a regulator.
Anyone who flew with Easyjet as the orange-loving airline is not accepting claims via the Complaints tool at this time.)

Step 3: The waiting game
Whether you’re using the resolver flight delay complaints tool or the template the next step is to wait. Resolver will send you updates regularly when its time to escalate the complaint or when the Airline responds so keep checking your email or mail box (template letter)

Step 4: yea or nay
Due to compensation for flight delays set at specific levels depending on the flight delay and length, there's really only two outcomes here – you've received the correct amount and your claim is now over, or your claim has been rejected.
If you’re successful well done and go and treat your self to something nice (maybe even another flight)

Step 5: Claim rejected or put on hold by the airline
Just because your case has been rejected or put on hold by the airline, it doesn't mean that's the end of the line for your complaint. If you think you have a legitimate claim, you can take your case either to the relevant regulator or one of several new adjudicators many airlines have signed up with.
Escalating your complaint is normally free, but watch out - one of the new adjudicators now charges a £25 fee if your appeal's unsuccessful.

If you're flying to or from the UK and your airline's with an adjudicator you must use the Alternative Dispute Resolution [ADR] scheme
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the UK's airline regulator, has been approving various Alternative Dispute Resolution [ADR] schemes to take on cases. If your airline has signed up to one it has to tell you when it rejects your claim - if the ADR scheme covers the flight you flew on you MUST go to it if you want to appeal. The advantage of going to an ADR scheme is its decision is generally binding on the airline.
The CAA has so far approved six ADR schemes to take on complaints, National Board for Consumer Disputes (ARN), the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR), the Czech Trade Inspection Authority, NetNeutrals, the Retail Ombudsman and German body Söp:
ARN – Scandanavian Airline SAS. You can submit your complaint here. There's no fee if your claim's unsuccessful. This scheme's decisions are not legally binding on the airline, but it says 80% of businesses follow its rulings.

CEDR – British Airways, Easyjet, Thomas Cook and Thomson. You can submit your complaint here. If your claim's unsuccessful you'll have to pay a £25 fee, but if you're awarded any compensation this fee will be waived.

Czech Trade Inspection Authority – Czech Airlines. You can submit your complaint here. There's no fee if your claim's unsuccessful, but this scheme's decisions are not legally binding on the airline

The Retail Ombudsman – Air Astana, Asiana Airlines, Air Canada (and Air Canada Rouge), Egypt Air, Flybe, Ryanair, Skyworks Airlines AG, South African Airways, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines and Wizz Air. You can submit your complaint here- there's no fee if your claim's unsuccessful.

Söp – Austrian Airlines, Eurowings, Germania, Germanwings, Lufthansa and Swiss. You can submit your complaint here – there's no fee if your claim's unsuccessful. This scheme's decisions are not legally binding on the airline, but it says 90% of businesses follow its rulings.

Step 6: The last straw
If the airline still says no, Some airlines are playing hardball with claims and many are rejecting people even when the Civil Aviation authority (CAA) or other regulators say you have a claim.

The problem is that regulators do not have the same powers as ombudsman schemes – they can't force airlines to pay out.
If the airline rejects your claim even after you've gone to the regulator... Unfortunately the next step is really to take it to the small claims court. Don't think going to court is about judges and wigs though – you can actually claim online here Northern Ireland and Scotland.

 

 

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Why Relying On Your EHIC Could Land You In Trouble Abroad

Published in Essentials

There are a few important things you should always make sure you have with you before you travel - a passport, foreign currency and, if you're travelling in the EU, your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

But do we really understand what carrying the EHIC card gets us? The issue is that many people from the UK are only carrying the little blue card believing that they will be covered for health abroad, just like that of travel insurance.
The EHIC on the government website states: "An EHIC lets you get state healthcare in other EEA countries and Switzerland at a reduced cost or sometimes for free."
The site also clarifies that there has been 'no change to the rights and status of EU nationals in the UK, and UK nationals in the EU' as a result of Brexit.

While this means you are entitled to health care while travelling within the EU should you need it, you are only entitled to healthcare on the same level as locals in the country. (apply for free now)
What the EHIC won't do however is cover the costs of expensive procedures such as repatriation, when you need to be taken back to your home country.
If you don't have travel insurance you will have to foot the cost of this bill yourself, and it won't be cheap.
When it comes to taking out travel insurance you need to ensure you are as transparent as possible with your insurance provider.
Failing to disclose a medical condition, any medication you take or any previous injuries could leave you with problems if you have to claim against them later.
Another thing to consider is whether or not you're planning on getting involved in any extreme sports while you're away.
Many travel insurance providers will have special sections to fill out for activities such as skydiving, white water rafting and other popular sports.

We would always recommend travelling with your EHIC as its free to apply and could come in handy. Although we would advise getting travel insurance as well, whether for the duration of your stay, through a current account or a yearly policy if you're going to be travelling 4+ times a year.

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Pokemon Everywhere You GO: Best Travel Photos

Published in Essentials

Pokémon Go the Smart phone App that encourages players to get off their couch and explore the physical world around them was launched in the UK, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Germany in the last days and has invaded the world by storm.
Many tourism departments have begun creating marketing programs centred on the mobile game, restaurants, landmarks and shops have also jumped on the band wagon and this has lead to some pretty brilliant Photos. Here is the best ones we have found.


Magikarp spotted at National September 11 Memorial & Museum, New York.

Pikachu climbing the Preah Vihear Temple, Cambodia.

Squirtle on the wing of a 747, thanks to Wifi now on many flights.

Disney vs Pokemon- Pidgeotto and Magikarp stealing the show at Disney World Orlando, Florida.

A controversial Pokemon catch of Koffing at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Poland.

Magmar on the pitch of a MLS Football game just wanting the ball, but it seems he got the poke ball instead.

A Drowzee waiting for the New Prime Minister Theresa May at 10 Downing Street, London.

The Pokemon Krabby escaping the water in front of the Sydney Opera House, Australia.

A Jigglypuff trying to get a home run at Dodgers Stadium, Los Angeles.

A Poliwag trying to swirl the Leaning Tower of Pisa straight again.

A very warm Charmander Heating up the Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt.

Squirtle stealing Idras Elba's thunder at the Star Trek Beyond in London this week.

Ekans spotted in Texas hanging around beware of snakes sign.

Sandshrew spotted digging around the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Eevee soaking up the radiation at Stonehenge, England.

Drowzee Distracting us from doing work in the office at BeatTheTravelAgent today.
If you have want to join in on the action or have any great pictures be sure to send them into us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or use the hashtag #pokemongobtta.
Download for Iphone or Android now.

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