Where to spend a romantic weekend in the UK

Escape with your loved one for a weekend of romance to one of these great locations.  City breaks, a weekend of culture, or a lakeside retreat with pampering, we have you covered!

The Lake District

Voted the 2nd most romantic destination in Britain by Telegraph readers, The Lake District provides a magnificent backdrop to an intimate getaway for two. Make it a stay to remember by booking into one of the luxury spa hotels. In Leathes Head County House Hotel you’ll find the Superior Spa with a double ended whirlpool and mood-lit spa bath which overlooks Derwent Water.

London

You’ll never be short of romantic things to do in London. Spend the night in one of London’s romantic hotels, take a boat ride down the Thames to take in the view, go for a candle lit dinner. The choices are endless. Here are 101 romantic things to do in London to give you some more inspiration.

Stratford-Upon-Avon

Visit the birthplace of Shakespeare in this romantic and culturally rich location with beautiful Tudor architecture. Stratford-upon-Avon has many boutique hotels to spend the weekend with your loved one. Enjoy a romantic boat trip on the River Avon together and you can even take in a play at the Royal Shakespeare Company.

York

A city filled with winding passageways and leaning Tudor houses, York lends itself well to romance. The city centre is almost traffic-free, so you can stroll hand in hand with your loved one through the cobbled streets. Visit the magnificent medieval churches, ‘snickleways’ and ginnels that run in between traditional pubs and quaint tea rooms. York has a bustling city centre with all the big brand names in retail that you would expect as well as excellent dining options. Where to stay.

Next time you fly, book your airport cab with cabmania.com for the best prices guaranteed. Check out our blog on the advantages of booking your cab online to discover why it’s the best option!

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The advantages of booking your taxi online in advance

Booking your taxi in advance online has many benefits and it’s now a much easier process thanks to our handy mobile app and easy to use website. It’s a much simpler process than phoning around cab companies for quotes.

Why book your taxi online in advance?

  1. You’ll Save Money

With cabmania, advance booking usually secures the best rates. Cabbies bid for your fare so booking in advance when they may not be fully booked up will get you the best deals.

2.   Less Stress

Knowing that your taxi is booked before hand saves you the worry and stress of the last minute rush before you travel.

3.   Save Time

Online booking with cabmania.com gives you access to quotes from several cab companies at once, so it saves you time phoning different companies to compare prices.

4.   Written Record

You’ll get an email confirmation with the information of the cab company that you are booked with. This makes it easier to keep track of everything. If you’d like further confirmation of your booking before you travel, you can get in touch with your chosen cab company using the contact details provided with the booking confirmation.

5.   User Ratings

With online bookings, cab companies are usually rated and reviewed so you can base your decision on reliability as well as price. 

6.   Book Any Time

You can book online any time that’s convenient for you. With cabmania.com you’ll receive quotes from different companies and you choose who you’d like to book with based on price and user ratings.

7.   Fixed Price

When you book online, all of the details about your journey are recorded and the quote is based on all of the information provided. There are no surprises with the fare at the end of the journey. The price that you are quoted is the price that you’ll pay.

The next time you travel, book your cab online with cabmania.com. Download the free app for iPhone or Android, or use the website for a quick and easy quote.

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How to claim compensation for lost, damaged or delayed luggage

You are entitled to compensation if your luggage is delayed, damaged or lost on a flight. The Montreal Convention makes airlines responsible for your bags once they are checked in. Liability is limited to around £874 at the time of writing (1,131 SDR).

What should you do if you lose your luggage?

Act Immediately

As soon as you are aware of the issue, report it to the airline. They are more likely to accept responsibility if you report the problem straight away, before leaving the luggage reclaim hall, go straight to the airline desk.

Fill out the paperwork

Ensure that you complete a copy of the Property Irregularity Report (PIR) that airline staff use to record events and details. Although not a legal requirement, failure to complete it can lead to more problems with your claim down the line.

Lost Bags

Give an accurate description of the bag detailing any distinguishing features it may have. If you are highly organised, it’s always good to have a photo of your luggage saved on your phone in case something like this ever happens. Write to the airline within seven days of the flight, enclosing the PIR.

Damaged bags

You’ll need to write to the airline within seven days of receiving the damaged luggage if you’d like to claim compensation. Enclose a copy of the PIR. Having a photo of the case in its original state before the damage would be a helpful backup to your claim.

Track Progress

If your luggage doesn’t show up after a couple of days, you can monitor it through the tracking procedure by contacting baggage services at the airport or using the online baggage tracing page. You can find out more about this from the airline.

Covering Essential Items

If your luggage goes missing while on holiday and you are stuck without any essential items, make sure you check the rules before making any purchases. Different airlines have varying rules about what is covered under essential items. Some will cover only basic toiletries and laundry, whilst others will cover the cost of replacing the missing items. Keep receipts for everything you buy to back up your claim.

Compensation

The compensation will usually come in the form of a lump sum payment, once you have sent in your claim with the correct form and all of your receipts. If your luggage is missing, you may also get a daily allowance for essentials, depending on the airline. It can often take a couple of months to process claims.

Next time you travel, book your airport taxi with cabmania.com for the lowest prices guaranteed. Cabbies bid for your fare so you get the best deal!

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How to beat travel sickness on your next trip

Are you plagued by motion sickness? It can put you off travelling on long car journeys, planes, trains and most of all, ships. Cruises are usually a no-go for those who suffer from motion sickness.

The symptoms are caused by a mismatch of information between your brain and your inner ear system. It can range from mild to debilitating. Don’t let these annoying symptoms ruin your next trip.

There are many techniques that you can try to help beat motion sickness. As a member of our team is a sufferer, the list below is tried and tested!

If it’s not too bad, you can try listening to music and try focusing on the horizon. Whatever you do, don’t read a book or look at your phone as it will only make things worse!

Other things to try:

  • Sea Bands – a drug-free way to treat motion sickness. The band’s work by applying pressure to particular points inside the wrist to provide natural relief from nausea.
  • Keep your head as still as possible and choose a seat in the middle of the craft or vehicle, where you’ll experience the least movement.
  • Drinking sugary fizzy drinks or chewing ginger sweets can help some people. This works for our team member who doesn’t regularly have fizzy drinks. It’s not so good for others so you’ll have to experiment with what works for you.
  • Stress will make motion sickness worse. If you start to feel sick, try to relax. Worrying about it will just exacerbate your symptoms.
  • Listen to some relaxing music and try closing your eyes, deep breathing and focusing on a mental activity. Downloading some Audible books or medications in advance is a good way to prepare for these moments.
  • Stay cool and pack a travel fan. Motion sickness will get worse if you are overheated. A mini fan can make a huge difference or even better, open a window and get some fresh air.
  • Keep well hydrated and avoid alcohol before travelling. It’s also best to avoid any heavy meals.
  • Finally, ask your pharmacist about treating your motion sickness with over the counter medication such as hyoscine or antihistamines.

Next time you travel, book your airport transfer at cabmania.com. Our reverse auction system will help you to get the best deal on your airport taxi. Download the free app or go to the website.

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Top tips for getting the most out of your next trip

Even if you are not a seasoned traveller, you can learn to follow your intuition rather than the guidebook to get the most out of your next trip.

Eat Locally

Rather than looking at TripAdvisor, ask the locals where they like to eat. You might not only save money but discover something delicious that you’d never have tried.

Learn the Local Language

If you’re going to approach people, it’s best to have a few basic sentences in the local language. Even if they speak English, the locals will appreciate the effort.

Learn the Public Transport System

Familiarise yourself with the local public transport system and the method of payment. It’s usually the best way to get around and often see the sights. Take London for example. A bus is a cheap way to get a tour of the city.

Explore!

Go off the beaten track and explore new neighbourhoods. Stray away from the tourist hotspots and discover new places. Watch how the local people live. You’ll really get a feel for the culture and people in a way that you can’t in a town or city filled with tourists.

Be Safe

Tourists are a target for crime. Have your wits about you at all times whilst travelling and never leave your belongings unattended. Read our blog on How to Protect Yourself from Pickpockets and Thieves when Travelling Abroad.

When Souvenir Shopping…

Forget the tacky souvenir shops. By from local artisans in the markets or small shops. You’ll get quality, authentic souvenirs instead of overpriced tat that’s probably made cheaply abroad.

Visit the Local Markets

Visit the local markets, full of fresh produce, cheeses and artisan-produced foods. Often, you’ll spot things that we pay a fortune for back home selling for a fraction of the price.

Dress up and Hit the Town

Wherever you go, always make time to dress up and head out in the evening. You may find a place that’s quiet by day is buzzing with life at night. Nighttime brings a new ambience.

Next time you travel, book your airport transfer with cabmania.com. Our reverse auction system allows cabbies to bid for your fare so you get the best deal.

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Top Foodie Destinations in the UK

Do you have a foodie hotspot near you? The UK has come a long way over the past few years in the food stakes. We’ve listed some of the best foodie destinations of the moment.

Cornwall

Renowned TV chef Rick Stein runs several places in Padstow, including his most famous venture, the Seafood Restaurant. A must-visit destination for any serious foodie. Relax, take in the scenery and enjoy some seafood.

Bray, Berkshire

In this pretty Thames-side town you’ll find two of the four British restaurants to hold three Michelin stars, the Waterside Inn and the Fat Duck.

Edinburgh

The Scottish capital is full of treats for foodie fans with many eateries awarded Michelin stars. Timberyard is one to watch, focusing on local produce and foraged ingredients.

Richmond, North Yorkshire

Shoppers seeking fresh produce from local farmers are spoilt for choice. There is a market held indoors each day, a Saturday market held outside in the main market square and a farmers market once a month.

Borough Market London

A foodie’s paradise. Probably London’s most renowned food market and the reputation is well deserved. You’ll find everything from fresh produce, cheeses to international cuisine. Also check out Monmouth coffee on your way out. It’s worth it wait!

Brighton

Everyone loves a trip to the seaside – now you can pair that with an indie foodie tour! Brighton has come a long way over the past few years and now boasts a wide range of independent restaurants and food stalls offering international and traditional British cuisine.

Cartmel, Lake District

Famous for Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume, named the UK’s ‘best restaurant” in the 2014 Good Food Guide. Rogan also runs The Pig and Whistle, located nearby, which is very well rated for “pub grub”.

Next time you travel, book your airport taxi with cabmania.com for the lowest prices guaranteed. Cabbies bid for your fare, you choose the winner based on price and user reviews. 

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The prettiest places to visit in the UK this spring

This Easter, why not take a last minute trip to one of our very own beautiful spots. At this time of year, the country is coming to life with the colour of magnificent purple and yellow spring flowers. At last, the weather is getting milder with the promise of warmer days yet to come.

Bodnant Gardens, Wales

This Easter there is a new area of Bodnant Gardens to explore, Furnace Wood and Meadow. A never before open to the public area, gardeners have been working extra hard to get it in tip top shape. It’s rich in magnificent wildlife and has a diversity of both native and exotic trees.

Yorkshire Dales

With beautiful rolling meadows, in green and yellow, Yorkshire Dales is picture perfect. If you have a spare day over the Easter break, take some time out to enjoy the Yockenthwaite to Cray wildlife walk. It stretches over six miles, taking a stroll over limestone pavement where you’ll get to explore the glaciated valleys and the beautiful flower-rich meadows of the Dales.

Brownsea Island, Dorset

Located in Poole Harbour, this Easter there’s a special treat in store for those who visit Brownsea Island. They are hosting a Cadbury Easter trail with lots of chocolate prizes! The island itself is like something from another world and is definitely with adding to your travel list this year. You’ll discover plenty of wildlife, walks as well as adventure sports and camping.

Wallington Estate, Northumberland

Wallington Estate is the much-loved home to generations of the unconventional Trevelyan. In spring you’ll be taken back to your childhood days of spotting frog spawn in ponds and discovering secret gardens. This time of year is also lambing season. Visit now and you’ll be in for a treat!

Next time you travel, book your airport taxi with cabmania.com for the lowest prices guaranteed. Our reverse auction system allows cabbies to bid for your fare and you choose the winner based on user ratings.

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Love Italy? How to save money on your next vist

It may be a little more expensive to travel to Europe this year but we’ll show you how to live it up in style and still stay within your budget.

Your Hotel

Italian’s love a bargain. Whilst most Brit’s probably assume a hotel price is fixed, Italians love to haggle over the price of their accommodation. They’ll haggle over everything! Next time you are in Italy try asking for a discounted rate or see if they can include any extras for free. Check out this blog on the fine art of haggling in Italy.

Food and Drink

Italians generally have one big meal a day, usually at lunch. Breakfast is a modest affair, probably just coffee and a pastry or biscuit. If you head out in the evening for dinner you might find that most of the restaurants are packed with foreigners. Where are all the Italians? It’s tradition for Italians to meet friends for drinks after work for Aperitivo hour which includes free snacks.

If you want to save money, do like the Italians and eat your main meal at lunch and go out in the evening for Aperitivo hour. This usually includes classic Italian drinks such as Aperol spritz, cocktails and delicious plates of snacks like mini-pizzas, cheeses, olives and bruchetta. Learn more about Italian food culture here.

Beaches and Leisure

Italians usually avoid spending money if they can and will favour free beaches over the overpriced, hot-spots. Renting umbrellas during the high season can be very expensive. Before you travel, research national parks in the area which can often be an excellent place to go hiking and often have beach areas with lower cost entry fees rather than rent-per-day umbrellas. Four stunning national parks in Italy.

Next time you travel, book your airport taxi with cabmania.com for the lowest prices guaranteed. With our reverse auction system, you can choose the winning cab company based on price and user ratings. They bid, you choose.

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How to keep yourself entertained on a long flight

It can be difficult to keep boredom at bay whilst travelling. Knowing that you are stuck on a plane with no escape for hours on end doesn’t help. If you are lucky, you can snooze the hours away. Some of us may need a little more advance preparation to keep ourselves entertained. We have some ideas to keep you busy the next time you fly.

1. Read a Book

Sounds obvious. Have you ever packed your books in your suitcase and forgotten all about the flight? I have. If you have a Kindle, make sure to download your books in advance and ensure it’s well charged.

2. Watch a Box Set

If there’s something you’ve been planning to watch for ages but haven’t gotten around to it, now is the time. You’ll need a bit of forward planning for this. Download the episodes onto your iPad or laptop for offline viewing using Netflix, iTunes or Amazon. Sit back and let the hours roll by!

3. Clean up your Phone

This is the one task everyone puts off. Having a few hours with no Wi-Fi is a great opportunity to clean up your phone by deleting old contacts, images and apps you don’t use. You can even sort your apps into folders if you are feeling very organised. Maybe you’ll even become motivated to clean up your Facebook friend list while you are away? 🙂

4. Read Articles

With some advance planning, you can save some articles to access off-line while you are in the air. Catch up on the latest news or your favourite blogs while you relax. Here’s how to do it.

5. Inflight Entertainment

The obvious choice! Chances are, there will be at least one movie that you will watch. That’s if you are lucky to get your own TV screen. They also have music and games to help you while away the hours.

Next time you fly, book your airport taxi in advance with cabmania.com. Advance booking secures the best rates. With our reverse aucton system, cabbies bid for your fare and you choose the winner, based on price and user ratings.

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How to travel the world for free. Or find a free pet sitter!

By pet sitting, you are not only getting a free place to stay, you are fulfilling a real need. Often the lack of a pet sitter can hold people back from travelling. The homeowner can go on holidays safe in the knowledge that their beloved pet is well cared for. As an added bonus, they are avoiding the associated costs of kennels or professional sitters. It’s the perfect solution for pet lovers who love to travel.

How House Sitting Works

As your blog author, I use trustedhousesiters.com, which is a paid subscription site set up to match house sits and sitters. Being a cat owner, I’ve used the site many times to find sitters for our cat when I travel with my partner. There’s an option to register with a dual membership so you can find house sits abroad and have someone take care of your pet.

You can find house sits anywhere around the world, varying in duration from a weekend to a few months. Technically you could live rent-free for by offering to care for people’s pets and home. One sitter I met in London, saved for his wedding by going from one house sit to another, cutting down on his rent costs.

Owners will list the dates they need a sitter, their pets, any special requirements they have, the type of home they have and other details you’ll need. You get to stay in a “home from home” with the comfort of a pet.

Is it safe to leave your home with a stranger?

Our friends ask us if we are nervous leaving our home with someone we don’t know. Firstly, you have to pay a yearly fee to join the site so it deters anybody who isn’t serious about committing to the sit. There is also a three-step identity verification process for anyone signing up as a sitter with cross checks into possible criminal background. All users are reviewed on the site and they can also add references from previous external sits. We have had nothing but positive experiences so far.

Whether you are a pet owner or would like to travel by sitting, we hope this helps!

The next time you travel, book your airport taxi in advance with cabmania.com. Advance booking with our reverse auction system secures the best prices. Enter your destination and cabbies bid for your fare. You choose the winning cab company based on user ratings.

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