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Tricks & Tips

Travel Tips – taking toiletries abroad

You probably all know that frustrating scenario at the airport, when you are asked to take your liquids out of your bag and put them in the tray – yes there is always that person who has a suitcase, not a bag, and they slow down the queue by laying their case down, look for the key then rummage around for the liquids? Yes, or there is that person who forgets that 100ml is the maximum and then they fight with the member of staff about why they should be able to hang on to their new bottle of sunscreen.  I have actually been one of the annoying people in that scenario where I wanted to take my Lacto-free milk sachets but as it took up the whole of the room in one clear plastic bag, they wouldn’t allow me to take my make-up. Guess who won? The make-up or the milk?

Full-size products are almost always more economical than travel-sized ones. Petite versions of your usual products always come at a premium but few people take the time to figure out just how much more they’re paying for mini versions of their toiletries. The retailers know you want an easy fix, so they often make these items much more expensive than they need to be. For example, a travelsupermarket.com study found that in Boots a 75ml travel size Sanctuary body lotion was £2.50 but a full-sized version was only £2.20 per 100ml. That’s a massive third cheaper for 25ml MORE product. So look at the little bottles before you buy as you might find yourself unnecessarily out of pocket – a sure way to take the shine off your cheap holiday.

Even worse is the price of minis at the airport. The same travelsupermarket.com study found that full-sized products sold in high street stores where far cheaper than their mini matches sold at Manchester and London airports. For example, a 150ml spray can of Dove antiperspirant was only £1 on the high street but the tiny version in the airport doubled in price to £1.99 for 35ml! 500ml of Listerine was £3 in the supermarkets compared with £1.05 for 35ml at the airport. A 500ml bottle of Johnsons Top to Toe Bath for babies was £2.67 on the high street but a 50ml bottle was £1.99 – an 845% increase per ml – proving that it’s imperative to be aware of these mark-ups to save yourself from unnecessary spending.

The answer is decant!!  Primark sells a pack of mini bottles and tubs for £1 and you can just decant your regular products in your bathroom into these bottles. Do not buy the minis from the airport!!




UAE United Arab Emirates

Dubai is one of seven emirates that make up the UAE, United Arab Emirates, a country that only came into existence forty one years ago.


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The discovery of vast oil reserves soon after rapidly created a millionaires’ paradise. Twenty five years ago Dubai was a small desert town famed for pearl diving, but with the help of oil revenue the city many love to loathe erupted from the desert. Gleaming skyscrapers, obscene luxury and extravagant mod cons, Dubai presents itself as one of the financial and tourism capitals of the world, and with over 80% of the population expatriates (the majority from India, Pakistan and the Philippines), the city certainly has a global feel… but there a dark side if you choose to look.


According to www.tripadvisor.co.uk there are over 600 hotels in Dubai – this may not sound like many for such a major tourist hub, however this equates to over 100,000 rooms.  The Atlantis itself has over 1500 rooms! Not our idea of fun, but we were lucky as we had a 12 day trip to Dubai with no hotel costs as Judiths daughter and son in law had just moved to a Villa in the desert.  The cost of a hotel in Dubai varies greatly, from a basic right up to the worlds only 6 star hotel the Burj Al Arab where rooms can be £6000 a night!

The downside of staying in the desert was that the only transport is by taxi – we used Uber but at £15-£20 a time, each way, it severely limited our days out.  Here are the places we visited:

Dubai Marina Dhow Cruise


We booked and paid for this through Trip Advisor which meant we had a record of the booking and didn’t have to worry about printing off a ticket as it as on our phone. Another good place to look for deals is www.groupon.ae.

It was an extremely hot evening and very busy on the boat, but we got a top deck seat and the views were absolutely amazing. We paid for a really nice photo of the two of us which was around £5 but worth it!! The entertainment is a man dressed up in lights who spins so make sure you don’t have epilepsy as it might be a trigger!!  However it is a great way to see the Marina, all the amazing yachts and you go out to sea just for a bit so you have the view of the skyline as you come back into the Marina.

Burj Khalifa

Again this was a trip booked through www.groupon.ae – you don’t necessarily get a great discount but you get a good seat in the restaurant aptly called Atmosphere – the best time to go is just before sunset so you get to see all the lights of the City come on and you can see over to the Burj Al Arab and onto the Marina.  There is a minimum spend of 200 UAE dhs (£45) but that is easy to do and in fact we spent less, but they didn’t say anything!!

The three main malls in Dubai that we visited was The Mall of the Emirates, The Dubai Mall and the IBN Butatta Mall.

[view from the top]

Al Qudra


Al Qudra

The Al Qudra lake, located in the middle of the Seih Al Salam desert and Bab Al Shams, was created and managed by the civic body as part of a project to green and enrich that part of the desert of Dubai

Access is via a sandy, stony road with no clear signage so it is best to have a good look at a map or read some reviews before you go.  The temperature here in May was over 50 centigrade and you could actually hear your skin crackle with the heat!



JBR Beach


In May the average daily temperature was between 42-46 degrees centigrade (although in the desert it pushed 52!) We aren’t sure what the temperature of the sea was but it was rather like a warm bath.  The sand is really hot and is impossible to walk on so remember your flip flops! To rent a sunbed and umbrella it is around £20 so the best thing to do is take your towel. Along the area known as JBR (Jumeriah Beach Resort) there are many cafes and shops so you will never be short of things to do!!


Spending a little time planning your trip will pay dividends in the long run. In this section, you’ll find everything from budgeting, estimates to advice for travelling around the world.

1 .TripAdvisor

Said to be the world’s biggest travel site, TripAdvisor contains more than 125 million audits covering more than 3.7 million worldwide housing, eateries and attractions.

While that may appear like a great deal to mine through, it is TripAdvisor’s client experience and social coordination (both on the web and by means of an application) that makes the stage easy to use and important.

Similar to tuning in to your very much voyaged companion on whether you should journey the Mediterranean on a yacht, TripAdvisor contains peer audits that are impartial and fair.

For instance, TripAdvisor will demonstrate you if a lodging you’re thinking about has the pleasantries you require or if past benefactors have grumbled of cockroaches or flawed taps. Furthermore, the stage totals client surveys to furnish you with a rating out of five and a rank among comparative inns in the territory.


Skyscanner’s customisability and scope of alternatives makes it a champ among the flight seek stages. Skyscanner checks for charges on full-benefit bearers, as well as on spending aircrafts including Jetstar; making it an awesome alternative for spending voyagers.

Utilising geo-area information, the portable experience finds your closest airplane terminal and in case need some motivation, Skyscanner serves you a choice of economy flights, household and universal.

Also, in the event that you have an adaptable calendar, Skyscanner gives data on estimating every month, day or goal. Along these lines, you can tweak your trek as indicated by the best cost accessible.


Not at all like TripAdvisor, Booking.com concentrates simply on settlement, containing data and access to more than 420,000 lodgings of all levels from over the globe. What’s comparative between the two stages is the estimation of social confirmation: client surveys and appraisals that assistance us choose where we would want to remain.

The stage isn’t as well known as TripAdvisor, implying that there aren’t the same number of choices or sentiments accessible. However, as a booking instrument, it’s a one-stop shop, empowering the client to book everything inside the site or from its portable application.


TripIt is a definitive sorting out and filing an application, enabling you to move your travel affirmations, tickets, appointments, reservations, agendas and spending plans from the chasm of an email inbox to one focal centre point.

What’s more, instead of entering the points of interest by hand, you can forward affirmation messages from for all intents and purposes any travel site to plans@tripit.com. The stage will then deal with the information, producing your agenda through special substance sorts, for example, pictures or date-books.


Travel on a budget

Creative Ways to Afford Travel

1. Define Your Priorities

Before you start leafing through brochures or browsing online, you first have to define your travel priorities. If you’re not willing to accept anything but a top-shelf experience, you’re probably going to have to save up before you splurge. On the other hand, if your main priorities are to experience a different culture, learn more about history, or even just take a few days to relax, you can likely accomplish such goals on the cheap.

Start out by defining your vacation priorities. Common ones include:

  • Experiencing a different culture
  • Relaxing
  • Trying new foods
  • Visiting a specific location, such as a beach or a historic site
  • Learning something new

Once you define exactly what you want out of your travels, you can focus on how to best achieve it. If you’re looking for an amazing cultural experience, staying in hostels and shopping at markets might not only be cheaper but could be a better way to immerse yourself in a culture. Defining what you want out of the experience can align your expectations.

2. Set a Travel Budget

Booking travel without any set budget in mind can be dangerous. It’s hard to avoid getting tempted by cheap fares, online hotel reviews, and various attractions – but you could end up overspending without realizing it. By looking over your current personal budgett and taking your savings, fixed expenses, and variable costs into consideration, you can see where you have a little wiggle room (if any) for a vacation.

The average American family spends $1,200 on travel, but that doesn’t mean you have to. Many travel sites now allow you to set your budget and restrict costly search results from appearing. A tool such as the KAYAK Explore module asks you to input your location and what you’d like to pay, and then shows you destinations that fit the bill.

3. Travel During the Off-Season

If you’ve got a flexible schedule, you can save a ton simply by traveling during the off-season. And, as an added bonus, you can benefit from less crowded attractions and have a less stressful overall experience. Tourist seasons vary by destination, but generally speaking, traveling during the summer months or during holiday breaks means paying more for airfare, gas, and accommodations.

In general, some of the best times to travel are early in the year and early autumn. Tropical destinations, on the other hand, can be more crowded during January and February, when vacationers are looking for respite from the cold. Kid-friendly places are usually busier when school’s out. And while winter may seem like an ideal time to travel, watch out for holiday-related price spikes around Thanksgiving and Christmas.