Carry On Baggage 101 – What you need to know before you pack

Budget airlines all over the country are known to offer fabulous, jaw-droppingly cheap rates to fly around Europe, North Africa and beyond – but those prices can quickly start to rack up when you add a piece of checked baggage. For those that can handle travelling light, flying with only a carry-on bag will save you money and help keep your ticket closer to the affordable advertised fare. Here are some handy tips about carry-on bags when travelling on budget airlines.

1. Maximum dimensions – Each airline has their own maximum dimensions that they permit for bags stored in the plane cabin, with budget airlines such as Viz, Easyjet and Ryanair being the most restrictive. These size rules can change; make sure you check with the airline before packing – here is a brilliant carry on size chart that should make things easier!

2. Personal items – Some budget airlines allow a ‘personal item’ – i.e. a briefcase, handbag or child’s backpack – in addition to your carry-on bag. Make sure you utilise this space and pack it full of toiletries, books and other items that may not fit in your suitcase. (Note – Easyjet no longer allows a personal item, but Ryanair now does!)

3. Shopping bags – Most airlines allow you to bring an additional shopping bag on board so that you can buy duty-free items at the airport. Purchasing a few small candy bars from the newsagents can allow you to schlep some of your clothing along in that shopping bag!

4. Layer it on – You may feel a little hot on the flight, but layering a few outfits on top of each other will really help you to avoid a checked bag. Another top idea is to wear your heaviest, bulkiest shoes on the plane, thus freeing up even more room.

5. Watch out for liquids – As always, when travelling with only carry-on bags, remember that you can only bring along a set amount of containers, each no larger than 100 mL.

Travelling with only a carry-on bag is not just economical when it comes to booking your ticket, but it can also save you money on your taxi to and from the airport – less baggage means that your family may not need a larger people carrier. Book your taxi online in advance to save, and remember – travelling light is fun, cost effective and surprisingly freeing!

Posted in Online taxi booking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments yet, your thoughts?

5 Strange London Museums you shouldn’t miss

With the summer rapidly drawing an end and the fall approaching rapidly, it is time to start thinking about indoor pursuits and rain-safe leisure activities. A trip to the capital’s big name museums – think the Tate (both Modern and Britain), the National Gallery, and the British Museum – has long been a standard for visitors and locals alike, but what about the lesser known gems that London has to offer? Here is a list of our top five strange and wonderful collections.

The Geffrye MuseumThe Geffrye is a long-standing favourite with local Hackney residents, but the secret is out! This 1714 almshouse was converted into a museum of the home over a century ago, and houses a fabulous collection of home furnishings that spans five centuries. Bonus points are awarded for their delightful period gardens.

The Old Operating Theatre – Sure, the past seems romantic… until you put yourself in the shoes of a 19th century surgery patient! The Old Operating Theatre was once a functioning wing of St Thomas and Guys Hospital, and in addition to its macabre surgery table it also boasts a fascinating collection of surgical tools, medicinal herbs and medical texts.

Dennis Severs’ House – A museum that traces three centuries of a fictional families history, all curated by a dead man? Step into this bizarre museum – housed in a seventeen century Huguenot townhouse – and remember that nothing is as it seems.

Viktor Wynd’s Museum of Curiosities – We can’t leave dear old Viktor Wynd out of this list – his magical and eccentric collection features everything from taxidermy, celebrity pubic hair and outsider art galore. This one is a little off the beaten track – pre book your taxi to get there with ease.

The Horniman – Perched atop a hill in South London and offering a stunning view of central London, the Horniman is a wonderful place for kids of all ages. Set amidst expansive gardens (home to farm animals, giant chess sets and a unique ‘sound garden’) the museum’s most famous resident is a bloated walrus, stuffed by a 19th century taxidermist who clearly had never seen a live specimen – or even a photo! Well worth the trip, and filled with amazing natural history.

Posted in Online taxi booking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments yet, your thoughts?

A Wee Glasgow City Break

Known for its rainy skies, its unique art nouveau architecture and a thriving arts & culture scene, Scotland’s second city is worth a holiday in its own right. Here is a list of the top five must-see sites in Glasgow, guaranteed to make your next city break a smashing success.

1. Walk through the ‘Glasgow Style’ – Students from the Glasgow School of Art operate fascinating walking tours that take you on a journey through the city centre in search of the distinctive art nouveau architecture of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, his wife Mary Mackintosh Macdonald and their contemporaries.

2. Have a cream tea at the Willow Tea Rooms – Get inside the Willow Tea Rooms on Sauchiehall Street, one of Mackintosh’s most famous designs and take a lovely cream tea surrounded by stunning art nouveau furnishings.

3. Go West! – Near the formidable Kelvingrove Museum and its sprawling gardens and parks lies the trendiest neighbourhood in Glasgow – Finnieston and the West End enclave. Home to ultra trendy cafes, bars, pubs and boutiques, this is the place to head if you want to experience up and coming Glasgow style.

4. Visit the Necropolis – Often considered one of the most important nineteenth-century cemeteries in Europe, the Glasgow Necropolis will take your breath away. Built atop a hill, the cemetery offers stunning vistas of the Clyde valley and the nearby Gothic St. Mungo’s Cathedral. This is a little bit out of the centre, so pre-book a taxi with Cabmania to save money on your ride.

5. Wander through the Hunterian – One of the most interesting of the many fascinating museums in Glasgow, the Hunterian Museum is well worth a visit. A stunningly presented collection of botany, taxidermy and medical curiosities, kids of all ages will appreciate a visit to this cabinet of curiosities.

Posted in Online taxi booking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments yet, your thoughts?

It’s raining, it’s pouring – what to do when it rains on your holiday!

You’ve spent months planning, hundreds (or even thousands!) of pounds on holiday arrangements and booked valuable days off from work – and now that you have arrived at your destination it is pouring with rain. Oh no!

But don’t worry – just because your dream vacation is a bit soggy doesn’t mean that it is irreparably ruined. Here is a list of suggestions of things that you can do in case it rains while you are on holiday.

Hit the museums – The obvious choice when the skies open up is to head to the museums and soak in local history, art and culture. No matter what city you are stationed in, there will undoubtedly be an array of museums that focus on intriguing topics. Travelling with children? Look out for museums that have special activities and exhibits aimed at kids.

Go to the market – Most cities around the world will have a big central food market that can be the culinary highlight of any trip. Most markets are either indoors, enclosed or covered and can be the perfect place to wander, taste and soak up local culture.

Shop til you drop – Now that your belly is full of local meats, cheeses and sweets, if the rain is still falling you can head to the shops to buy souvenirs, local handicrafts and other tokens of retail therapy.

Take a bus or taxi tour – Want to see the sights, but stay warm and dry at the same time? Hop in a warm, dry vehicle to tour the sights in comfort. Bus tours are available in nearly all cities in the world, or if you prefer a private vehicle consider booking a taxi for a personalised tour.

Enjoy your holiday – rain or shine!

Posted in Online taxi booking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments yet, your thoughts?

When to start planning your winter holidays

The weather is warm, the days are long and the kids are underfoot – could it really be the best time to start booking a winter holiday? The answer is yes. By researching and booking now, you can take advantage of amazing savings for your family break.

While the allure of a “last minute deal” is always enticing, these cheap packages are often only available during low season, and you will be hard pressed to find something desirable in the sun when England is freezing. If you are booking for 3 people or more, it is always best to book high season – i.e. winter – sun holidays as early as possible.

Take advantage of early booking bonuses – A lot of vacation experts, like Thomas Cook and Club Med, offer attractive early booking bonuses for your winter vacation if you book and place a deposit now.

Have your pick of the litter – If you have a destination or a hotel in mind, you will have access to the best rooms, rates and flight times if you book now.

Book your taxi to the airport early and save – Apps like Cabmania help you to get the very best rates on taxis to the airport by booking as early as possible – you can snag up to 60% off by booking now for the winter.

Finally take the kids to Disneyland Paris – Disneyland Paris is just one destination that offers a healthy early booking bonus for winter holidays booked now, with up to 2 days and 2 nights free.

Of course, there will always be some bottom of the barrel availability for your family holiday if you elect to wait until the last minute, but do you want to risk missing out on sun, sand, heat and fun this winter when you need it most? Start planning now to avoid disappointment and have the trip of a lifetime.

Posted in Online taxi booking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments yet, your thoughts?

Where can you beat the heat in the UK this summer?

The United Kingdom has been experiencing a record heat wave over the past few weeks, with temperatures soaring over 35 degrees Celsius across the country. These long hot days have inspired many Britons to seek out new ways to escape the sweltering weather – here are our best tips for economical places you can head to beat the heat.

The local Lido – Spending your afternoon lazily floating around in your local lido is a lovely way to cool off. Kids absolutely love a swim, and so do many adults – this is an economical and fun way to spend your summer days.

Go see a movie – Ok, maybe this one is a bit of a cop out – but if you head into a cool, dark and air-conditioned movie theatre you can not only escape the pounding sun and your sweaty flat, you can also see a new release and catch up on some pop culture.

Take to the skies – Fancy a short mini break away from this boiling island? Weekend getaways to cool destinations like Iceland are very affordable right now, and with temperatures dropping into the single digits overnight you can finally cool off while you watch the Northern Lights. Grab an affordable last minute package online, pre-book your taxi to the airport and pack your bags!

Experience history and culture – The country’s many museums are free, often air conditioned and practically empty during the long days of summer. Now is your chance to cool down and learn about the past!

A jaunt to the coast – No matter where you live in the UK, you are usually within a few hours train ride or drive from a beach. When you play in the waves, relax under an umbrella on the sand and get covered in sea spray your inner temperature is guaranteed to drop.

Follow these tips and you are sure to cool down this summer!

Posted in Online taxi booking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments yet, your thoughts?

5 Incredibly Simple Money Saving Travel Tips

We all love to travel – as the famous writer Caskie Stinnett quote goes, “I travel a lot – I hate having my life disrupted by routine.” But the price of all of those trips, holidays and mini-breaks can add up and quickly become prohibitive in cost unless you are a savvy, budget conscious traveller.

There are countless blogs and lists out there that detail quirky tips about the best time to book flights and the cheapest year round destinations, but those articles often leave out the ‘oh so simple’ tips that are sometimes so simple we forget to follow them!

Here are our top five utterly simple tips that will save you money and get you travelling more often.

Pack your own meals – Budget friendly airlines like RyanAir and EasyJet may be incredibly affordable, but if you find yourself with a rumbling stomach while in mid flight you will get gouged. Multiply the insane cost of a meal on board by a family of five and you might be out nearly 50 pounds! Pack nutritious, yummy snacks and meals for your flight.

Pack light – Your flight may be affordable, but once you add a checked bag in both directions you could be doubling or even trebling your fare. Roll your clothes, buy toiletries at your destination and wear as many layers as you can – even wearable luggage!

Pre-book your taxi – Calling for a minicab or hailing a black cab can cost a fortune if you do it on the day of your flight – pre book in advance using Cab Mania.

Eat lavishly at lunch – What is the point of travelling abroad if you don’t eat the local cuisine? Dinners out at posh restaurants can set you back hundreds, but the same establishments often offer the same fare for a third the price during lunch and late at night.

Walk like a local – Hiring private tour guides or paying for a family of five to hop aboard sight seeing bus will cost you a bundle, but free walking tours allow you to set the budget that are comfortable paying. A good tip for your guide is still a lot more budget friendly than the alternatives!

Posted in Online taxi booking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments yet, your thoughts?

Taking the hassle out of getting to and from Heathrow Airport

Heathrow airport is the largest in the United Kingdom, and one of the largest in Europe, with over 70 million passengers passing through its doors each year. This staggering statistic makes it the third busiest airport in the world, after Atlanta, USA and Beijing, China. With that many people heading on trains, cars, buses and the underground toward this destination, a trip to Heathrow is bound to be a bit stressful for anyone. Here are the top ways to get to and from the capital to its most trafficked airport this summer.

Heathrow Express – While this ultra-fast train link between Heathrow and Paddington station may be convenient for those staying in West London, for anyone venturing to the North or East the onward travel from Paddington station can be a nightmare – particularly in rush hour. It’s hefty 20 pound+ price tag can also be a deterrent – this is only recommended for those staying in and around the Paddington area.

Piccadilly Line, London Underground – As the most economical option, the good ol’ Piccadilly Line will only cost you a fiver, but it does take absolutely ages to pull into King’s Cross – around an hour, and even longer if you are traveling further North. Do you have the stamina to brave the tube for hours in the middle of the summer?

Taxi – Taking a taxi to and from Heathrow used to be an option only for the richest people in London, but there are loads of more affordable options available for those who want a hassle free, direct transfer back home or to their hotel. In order to get a great price, booking your taxi ahead of time on Cabmania allows you to bid on the lowest rates up to months in advance. This is our bet for the most pleasant Heathrow experience!

Shuttle Bus –No Booking a shuttle bus that will take you to (or near) your hotel or home may seem like an economical option, but when 2 or more passengers are travelling together the cost often works out to the same as a private car hire or taxi.

Whether you live in London and are escaping on a lovely summer holiday or arriving here as a visitor, getting to and from the airport doesn’t need to be a stressful experience. Book a cab in advance, sit back and relax!

Posted in Online taxi booking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments yet, your thoughts?

The importance of a travel checklist

Whether you are planning a epic trip abroad, a short UK holiday or a city break to a European capital, you’ll still need to find time to pack the perfect suitcase of clothing and toiletries, exchange your currency and remember your travel documents and tickets. An organised travel checklist will help you save time and save you money as you get ready for your exciting vacation.

Six months in advance:

Begin assessing and comparing the rates and availability of flights, hotels and tours.

Look into any necessary permits and visas you may need (i.e. trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu requires a permit obtained at least 4 months in advance).

Consult with your doctor about any jabs you may need for foreign countries and begin scheduling appointments.

Three Months in Advance:

Seek a house sitter (if necessary) to feed pets, water plants and take in the post.

Ensure that your walking/hiking shoes are purchased, and begin to wear them so that they are broken in and comfortable when needed most!

One Month in Advance:

Ensure all bags and suitcases fit within the airlines requirements.

Purchase any necessary travel insurance policies for health coverage while away.

Double check the expiry dates on passports – there is still time to easily renew!

Book your taxi to and from the airport with Cabmania, an app and website that will find you the absolute lowest price on your transport. Booking in advance will save you money.

Two Weeks in Advance:

Fill any prescriptions that you need to take with you.

If only taking a carry-on bag, make sure toiletries are under the 100 mL size allowed by the airlines.

One Week in Advance:

Print all tickets, vouchers and maps and keep them in a plastic envelope.

Send scans of all passports and visas to your email account, and if travelling to a developing country, carry a paper copy of these scans in case of theft.

Assess the activities you plan to engage in and make sure you have all of the necessary gear.

Three Days in Advance:

Pack suitcase and relax – you deserve your vacation!

Posted in Online taxi booking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments yet, your thoughts?

How to avoid headaches at the airport

As holiday season approaches, so too do dreaded visits to the airport to catch flights to foreign destinations.  Whether you are flying business class on a regularly scheduled airline like BA, or have purchased cattle class on one of the ultra no frills budget carriers, a visit to the airport is often stressful enough to make even the most zen traveller regret leaving the house! Here are a few great tips that can help make your trip to the airport smooth and (relatively) peaceful.

Have your documents ready. While this may seem like a no- brainer, many massive delays at the airports are caused by a chain of travellers who simply do not have their passports, visas and tickets easily accessible when they reach the front of the queue. Purchase a special passport wallet or plastic ticket envelope to make sure you have all of your family’s documents in one place.

Pre-book your seat. Budget carriers like RyanAir, Wiz and EasyJet allow passengers to pre-book their seats for a small fee. While the desire to get a rock bottom price might tempt you to forgo this extra cost, purchasing a seat will prevent you from having to queue in a long line in the gate, and buy you a few extra minutes at the bar or coffee shop.

Book your cab in advance. Getting to and from the airport is often one of the most stressful portions of a departure and arrival, but it really doesn’t have to be. Booking a cab on Cabmania, and online taxi booking website, in advance means that you not only have your transportation sorted, but you get the best price possible, saving you money on your vacation.

While these tips won’t remove the headache completely, they should certainly help you to avoid the largest stresses of your trip to the airport.

Posted in Online taxi booking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments yet, your thoughts?