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!

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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!

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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.

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Things to do on a Rainy Day

Welcome to British Summer!

Last week we had our sunglasses and tanning lotion out and now, we’re debating turning the heating on! The weather has been decidedly wet and chilly this week but don’t let that stop your fun! We have put our heads together to come up with some “rainy-day” activities for you to enjoy either alone, with friends or with the kids.

1. Visit a museum. Yes everyone probably has the same idea! If your favourite museum is packed out the door, try one of these alternative museums instead. You might discover something new!

2. Have a good old pampering session at home to prepare for that heat wave we’re dreaming of. Pinterest has lots of ideas for lotions and potions you can make at home using everyday household items. Try these pampering treats.

3. Take refuge in a pub. Sometimes you want to be out and about, especially if you are new to a city. Explore while the sun shines and pop into a pub during the showers. Take your pick of the best 100 pubs in London.

4. Cosy up on the couch and have a cheesy 80’s or 90’s movie day. Transport yourself back to your childhood with a dose of Chevy Chase and John Candy. Here are some movie ideas to get you started!

5. Bake brownies! Who doesn’t love brownies?  When it’s grey outside whip up a batch of delicious treats. Get the kids involved too! Here are 11 brownie recipes for you to try out.

6. Get away from it all. If you have the time off grab a last minute break away. You can snap up a great deal if you have no fixed location in mind.

Whatever you decide to do, Cabmania will be on hand to take you to your destination. Our reverse auction system ensures you get the best deal. Pre-book your reliable airport transfer using our online booking or mobile app. Advance booking can save you money off your fare.

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Surviving a Holiday with Kids – A Handy Checklist

The dilemma of the modern mum – you need a holiday desperately, but you dread the thought of organising a trip with the kids. Just to get everyone out the door with all the things you need requires superhuman powers. Short of leaving them behind – what can you do? We have you covered!

Plan Ahead

Start your planning as early as possible. Make a list of everything you need to do. It’s the only way you can capture all the things you need to get done AND track what you’ve done.

This is the list from our last family holiday…

1. Check passports and renew those out of date (or close to the renewal date!)

2. Organise travel insurance – a must when you are travelling with family. Copy all travel documents and take at least two copies with you, one copy kept with you at all times and one in another case.

3. Get EHIC cards in case of a medical emergency. They’ll save you money on things like ambulance charges if there is an accident. Carry them with you everywhere.

4. Check your mobile phone tariffs to ensure that you are registered for roaming. This isn’t always automatic. You could also try a money saving travel sim.

4. Baggage and packing – make a list of the things that you need to pack and decide which baggage to bring. You can check the size and weight restrictions for carry-on luggage with your airline.

5. Holiday Money – make sure you get the best exchange rates before you go. Sometimes it pays to exchange in advance.

6. Entertainment for the journey – a mother’s saviour when travelling with kids!

7. Book your taxi to the airport. Cabmania offer the best deals when booking in advance. Book your taxi online here or download the handy app.

8. Take care of the housekeeping – ensure that bills are paid, clothes are washed in advance, the fridge is empty and the house is clean. This will give you peace of mind when you are away and save you hassle when you get back.

Finally, relax and enjoy your holiday! You deserve a break. If you have any other great tips to add please share in the comment box below!

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How to taste your way through a city on the cheap!

If you are anything like me, you live to eat (and not eat to live). When I travel, the highlight is always eating and drinking the local food, wine, beer and sweets. However, when you are trying to save money on your holiday, an extensive tasting tour through the city’s Michelin starred restaurants is not always possible.

That said, don’t worry – the most delicious food in any city doesn’t have to cost the world. Pre-plan your trip in order to save money on food and drink and you will be able to tantalize your taste buds on the cheap. Here are three tips that I know will help you to stuff your face without breaking the bank!

Go Ethnic – Chinese steam buns from a Hong Kong bakery in London’s Chinatown. A samosa from a Little India sweet shop. A Jamaican patty from a Caribbean street stall. A tasty spinach and cheese gozleme from a Turkish restaurant. What do all of these culinary delights have in common? They are available for less than two pounds – and often even less than that. Eat like a king or queen for pennies.

Let an expert show you around – On a free food or craft beer tour, like the ones offered by Free Tours By Foot in London, an experienced culinary guide will show you around the tastiest and most affordable food in any city. The tour is free (although a tip is appreciated) and the guide will lead you to the tastiest morsels at the lowest prices.

Take advantage of the pre-theatre menus – Some of the best restaurants in London’s West End and in the city centres around the UK offer early bird diners a two or three course meal for less than 20 pounds. Walk around on foot during the day to find out who is offering the best deal that evening, and you can often make a reservation for later on the spot.

Remember – the best way to watch your money while you are traveling is to save money by pre-booking your cab on Cabmania. Those extra pound coins can be spent on delicious food and drink!

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How to save money on holiday – before you even leave the house

Traveling can be expensive. Whether you are on a short mini break with your partner or on a summer holiday with the family in tow, all of the bottles of water, museum entrance fees and taxi fares can add up at the end of the day to a whopping bill that breaks your budget.

If you are just starting to plan your summer holiday, here are four money saving family holiday tips that you can implement before you even step foot out of the door.

Check with your phone provider about overseas data and minutes –Traipsing from door to door looking for free Wifi can be a pain, and increasingly businesses and restaurants are requiring you to pay for those minutes. Avoid the hassle by finding out from your provider how much a European or overseas bundle will cost – some even offer this for free if you arrange in advance!

Buy a reusable water bottle for everyone in the family – you can save by refilling your own bottles or buying a larger, more economical bottle of soda or juice and filling up on the go. Kids can choose their own fun design and get in on the savings!

Pre-book your cab to the airport – a new wave of taxi apps is taking the UK by storm, but the best bet for the cheapest price is Cabmania. The earlier you book, the better price you will get- saving you huge amounts of money.

Sign up for Groupon and deal sites – You may already subscribe to sites like these at home, but try signing up for deal sites for the city that you are traveling to for huge discounts of spas, restaurants and attractions.

Do you have any other surefire tips to save money before your holiday even starts? We’d love to hear them! Share them in the comments below.

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Money Saving Tips for a Holiday in York

Money Saving Tips for a holiday in York

There is no denying that York is a magical city for a short holiday. Perfect for romantic couples, a friends getaway or families on a mini-break, York is stunningly pretty, oozing with history and packed with great pubs and tearooms. So while York is a great option for those whose pockets are bulging with cash – can it be affordable? It can! Having just spent a wonderful bank holiday weekend on the cheap in the stunning UNESCO Heritage Designated city, I can happily share four money saving tips for your stay in gorgeous York. The National Railway Museum – Attracting train spotters from around the globe, the NRM is packed with a creatively curated array of historical trains and memorabilia. Perfect for kids (or kids at heart) – and it is free! It’s outside the city centre, so consider saving money by pre-booking your cab on Cabmania. Have a cream tea on the cheap – Betty’s Tea Rooms is a Yorkshire tradition, but it comes with a hefty price tag of over ten pounds per person. A true Northern cream tea can be had for a fraction of the price in an atmospheric setting at one of the myriad tearooms around the Shambles. Try the Little Shamble Tea Rooms, located in a Tudor house and serving a wonderful cream tea for less than 4 pounds. Take a free tour – White Rose of York Tours offers the top rated walking tour in the city on a pay what you wish basis, and it was one of the best I have ever been on. Expert historian guide Alan politely asks for whatever you think is fair – even if that is just a pint or a hug! Picnic on the Minster – The lawns of the jaw-dropping Yorkminster Cathedral are perfect for a delightful self-catered picnic purchased from the myriad shops nearby. Stroll through the Museum Gardens – The botanical gardens surrounding the Yorkshire Museums are absolutely lovely, a true gem in the city – and they will not cost you a penny to enjoy! A vacation in York does not have to cost the earth – remember to save money by pre-booking cabs and other services and plan ahead to make sure you get the best for less.

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Visiting London This Bank Holiday Weekend? Things to Try Completely Free!

We all know that London is an expensive city – but that shouldn’t stop you from experiencing some of the city’s most exciting and interesting attractions. Here are our top five things to do in London that are absolutely, positively free – helping you to save money on your spring time holiday.

 

  1. Summit Primrose Hill – Mere steps away from the grungy punk paradise of Camden Town lays the stunning, posh enclave of Primrose Hill. The crowning glory of this residential area is the highest point in central London – the hill itself. Known for picnics, dog walkers and a fantastic free view of London, an afternoon on Primrose Hill is well worth any traveler’s time.
  2. Sky Gardens – Joining the ranks of London’s viewpoint options is Sky Gardens, the gorgeous 3 story rooftop park and gardens on top of the forty story 20 Fenchurch Street (also known as the Walkie Talkie building). This is a completely free attraction – but you do need to book in advance.
  3. Take a walk – Free walking tours are an ideal way to see the best of the best of London with energetic young guides. No matter what your interest, there is a tour for you. Jack the Ripper? East London’s Finest Food? The Beatles? Just make sure to slip your guide a nice tip – they deserve it!
  4. Museums Galore – London is home to some of the world’s finest museums and galleries – and a vast majority of them are free! There is nowhere else in the world where you can experience a plethora of arts and culture completely gratis – definitely take advantage of this opportunity.
  5. Explore the Royal Parks and Gardens – London is a city of parks and gardens, and the spring and summer is the ideal time to explore their natural beauty and fascinating history. Grab some sun, explore the gardens and take time to smell the roses.

No matter what you plan while you are visiting London this spring, make sure you plan ahead to save money – book your cab or taxi from the airport in advance on Cabmania.

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Fun Free Activities with Kids in London during May Half Term

May half term is upon us, and you may be dreading the thought of entertaining your little ones on a budget for the entire week, but don’t worry – we here at Cabmania have got you covered when it comes to keeping the kiddies entertained while you save money on your holiday.

Play time – at a museum! Many museums around the country have free children’s activities available during the half term breaks, and a lot of thought, effort and preparation has gone into these educational and fun programmes. Check out the Geffrye Museum, the Science Museum and the Museum of London for exciting free activities – do note, you may need to book in advance.

Free Walking Tours  Across the UK, dynamic and exciting guides give daily free walking tours (although a tip is appreciated). This is a great way to educate your kids about the city in which you live or help you to save money while on holiday, all while keeping them interested and active. In London? Try Free Tours By Foot’s amazing free East End Food Tour! You and the kids can munch your way through 1000 years of history – you’ll love the stories, they’ll love the samosas and choccies. Booking in advance is essential.

Scramble about at Kew Gardens (or any lovely park) London is home to the UNESCO world heritage designated Kew Gardens, a spectacular 300 acre garden complete with lush flowers, playgrounds galore and plenty of space to run around. Children absolutely love the Xstrata Treetop Walkway – and kids under 17 are always free.

No matter what you plan to do with your little ones this May half term, ensure that you arrive in comfort, style and under budget by booking your cab in advance with Cabmania, the app that will save you money on your holiday. Enjoy the sunshine, fresh air and the quality time with your children!

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