What is Data Roaming and How is it Changing?

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Most of us love to do a bit of Facebook bragging when we are on holiday, especially the famous hotdog leg shot! However, we’ve seen it all too often in the news, holidaymakers returning home from there well deserved break to huge phone bills.

This can happen because smartphones automatically update when they connect to networks abroad, so before you know it, you are already racking up a huge bill before you step foot out of the airport.

What is Data Roaming?

Data roaming is a term used for using the internet when you are abroad. This is because your mobile will roam to find another network, so that you are still able to connect and use the internet when you are out of the country.

Who has decided to scrap these charges?

Members of the European Parliament have voted to scrap roaming charges. This will come into effect on the 15th June 2017.

This means that from 15th June 2017, whenever you visit Europe, you will pay the same price to use data, make calls, and text messages just the same as you do at home in the UK.

How Do I Prevent High Bills in the Mean Time?

Make sure you switch off your data roaming when you are visiting another country, unless of course you absolutely need it. If you are not sure how to do this, have a look at our easy step by step guide.  You can take advantage of free Wi-Fi were possible, this can often be found in hotels, cafes, bars and restaurants.

If you do need to use your phone whilst abroad, some network providers can offer you an “add on” package, this could help to reduce costly bills, however you would still need to be careful that you don’t go over your added on allowance. It’s important to remember that these new changes will only apply if you are travelling to countries in Europe, so of you are planning to travel further afield, check with your network provider for current up to date charges.



An industry guide to avoiding mosquito bites


Mosquito bites can ruin your holiday so if you’re someone who frequently gets bitten while you’re away its worth doing everything you can to avoid these little blighters. According to scientists one in five of us appeal to mosquitoes due to the chemical compounds on our skin, carbon dioxide we breathe out, the movements we make and the heat we generate. Are you one of them? If you are, it is worth noting mosquitoes can smell you from 50 yards, so make sure you protect yourself at all times. This will not only prevent itching and skin reactions, but it will also decrease your chances of contracting any mosquito-borne illnesses.

Those who work in travel have plenty of tricks to keep those pesky little biting bugs at bay – and they don’t involve standing perfectly still, wearing white or abstaining from drinking alcohol. So, take a look at what you need to do if you want to avoid those mosquito bites while on holiday. And if all your efforts fail you can always try a natural remedy as this will take the sting out of any bite.

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How to avoid getting bitten

  • Brewer’s Yeast is high in vitamin B1 (thiamine) and gives off an odour through our pores. Although humans can’t smell it, mosquitoes don’t like it and will usually leave you alone if they get a whiff of it. As a guide start taking the tablets one week before you travel, then after a week’s course carry on taking the tablets for the duration of your stay.
  • Avon Skin So Soft dry oil body spray gives off an aroma that only mosquitoes can smell. When we contacted Avon, the department stated that this could be due to the citronellol ingredient that is used in this product. Citronellol is not used in any other Skin So Soft products, so make sure you look for the oil body spray. The dry oil spray isn’t advertised as a mosquito repellent but so many of us have found it a winner that we had to mention it.
  • When you arrive at your resort go to the local supermarket and buy a bag of citronella tea lights. Place them around your room and balcony to repel mosquitoes as they loathe the smell.
  • Boots Repel Tropical strength insect repellent spray contains 50% deet and is extremely effective in protecting against mosquitoes and midges – especially in tropical areas that have a higher risk of malaria.
  • One of the best ways to avoid getting bitten is to wear loose fitting clothes, not only are they more comfortable in hot and humid climates but mosquitoes will bite through clothing that is tight on the skin, especially if it’s a thin fabric.
  • Mosquitoes are attracted to standing water, so you can expect to see them near lakes, swamps, stagnant creeks and small puddles. Many species stay close to where they breed and hatch so try and give these wet areas a wide berth.
  • Mosquitoes are attracted to dark coloured fabrics as they absorb heat from the sun, so it is advisable to wear light coloured clothes that will help you keep cool while avoiding any bites.
  • If you are going to be sleeping under the stars use a mosquito net. But make sure that it touches the floor so they can’t get under it.


How to deal with bites

  • Apply a cold compress to the tender area as this will help reduce any swelling.
  • Do not scratch the area as it can become infected. (This is real tough one to ask but trust us – don’t scratch bites!)
  • Antihistamines can also reduce the swelling from bites.
  • Tea tree and lavender oils have properties that alleviate the swelling, pain and itching from bites. Tea tree oil is also an antibacterial agent that can prevent infection.
  • The menthol in toothpastes creates a cooling sensation on the skin with its intrinsic astringency, this too helps reduce swelling.
  • Tea bags can help draw the fluid out of bites and reduce itching and swelling.
  • Ice cubes can constrict blood vessels and decrease the body’s natural histamine release, this can also ease itching and swelling.

We have all heard the old wives tale about avoiding alcohol that has a strong smell, avoiding dark spirits such as whiskey and not wearing perfume but we have never found any of these effective. Have we missed any? How do you avoid getting bitten abroad?

The only money travel guide you need

Currency Exchange

The majority of us can only afford, or have the time to go away once a year. This makes it even more important to get the best price available when you’re changing your money into foreign currency.

Getting the best deal means you often spend less on charges and commission and more on holiday treats. Whether you decide to take a prepaid currency card, cash, credit card or traveller’s cheques, here’s how to bag the best deal for your hard earned money.

Keep an eye on the exchange rate

Get into the habit of looking at exchange rates as they can fluctuate daily. This will give you a greater idea of what a good value exchange rate is.

Traveller’s cheques

An alternative way to carrying money is to purchase traveller’s cheques. Not only are they secured, but if you make a note of the cheque numbers you’re guaranteed a full refund if they’re stolen or lost.

The exchange rates for travellers’ cheques are often poor and come with high fees, especially when cashing the cheques abroad as you are likely to be charged an additional fee.The fee’s are not a sliding scale either – it will cost you the same to cash £100 as it will to cash £10.

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Prepaid cards

Prepaid cards are very easy to use, you can simply top them up with a fixed amount to last the duration of your holiday. These aren’t linked to any of your debit or credit cards, so if it’s lost or stolen nothing else is at risk, making it one of the safest ways to carry money on holiday.

Most providers do not charge an exchange fee while others charge an initial set-up fee so it’s worth shopping around to find the best prepaid cards. Also, some cards will allow you to top up using your phone or internet while others will only allow you to top up face-to-face.

The biggest benefit to using these cards is that they can be used in the same way you use debit and credit cards in the UK. This way you can top them up via the internet or over the phone should your holiday funds run low while you’re away.

Ordering currency online

Ordering currency online is a great option as you can pick your money up before you board and it often works out cheaper than it would if you exchanged it at the bureau de change at the airport. It is also important that you’re aware that ‘commission free’ doesn’t always mean you’re getting the best deal as they are often fees added onto the rate. And watch out for handling fees as they could cost you £3 or more.

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Bank or building society rates

Some banks and building societies provide special rates for existing customers, so next time you’re jetting off go into your bank and check to see if they charge for using your debit card to pay for foreign currency. If they do, it may be better to withdraw the cash and pay for your currency with cash.

Debit and credit cards

It is generally best to avoid using debit or credit cards to withdraw cash abroad as many charge an exchange rate of up to 3%. Some credit cards offer 0% on purchases for up to 12 months, but you should check with your credit card provider to make sure there are no fees or restrictions on purchases overseas.

You may also be charged an additional fee of around £1 per purchase made on holiday, or a £2 fee each time you withdraw money from an ATM. The exchange rate from your bank is often high – make sure you shop around for currency while you’re still in the UK.

The Ultimate Summer tech guide for travel junkies

When it comes to going on holiday these days more of us than ever before are struggling to be apart from our beloved gadgets. Now you no longer have to haul the contents of Currys & PC World around in order to fill the void – our ultimate summer tech guide includes devices which are compact, easy to travel with and of course are mind-boggling amazing!

1.Selfiepod gold limited edition

The selfie stick has become as infamous as marmite in it in short time, some people love them, and some people hate them. However you can’t denied impressive celebrity following they have – including P Diddy no less. They are great for getting some impressive holidays snaps, allowing you to capture a wider frames and angles that could be challenging for those of us with the longest of arms. We recommend the Selfiepod limited edition gold, it comes with fancy features like inbuilt bluetooth camera button for convenient snapping and it can converted into a tripod – great for entertaining yourself on long flights.


2.The Kensington power Cord

Every gadget lover will know the anguish of their favourite gizmo running out of battery abroad. Enter the Kensington power cord – you can charge all gadgets at once with this bad boy. It’s perfect for travelling – it comes with a UK and European plug options and all the adapters you could ever want. The most essential and probably most sensible gadget you can take on holiday, but you won’t regret it one bit.


3. Olloclip

The coolest gadget to take away with you has to be from Olloclip. They have fulfilled every ‘Mobile photographer’ dreams by creating their innovative lenses for smartphones. No longer will you have to drag around a giant SLR camera to get that perfect shot, Olloclip offers lens for both iPhones 6 and Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphones. Olloclips 4-in-1 lens include a fisheye, wide angle, 10x marco lens and x15 macro lens. One lens to suit all of your photography needs in one compact gadget, it help take your phone snaps to the next level.


The genius aspect of Olloclips lens is that they have multi uses – if you want to change lens you simply flip over your Olloclip and clip it on your smartphone, the large lenses twist off to reveal the maco lenses underneath – saving you the trouble of having to change over fiddly tiny lenses every time you go to take a killer snap. Plus better photos = more Instagram likes and will make all your friends back home just that little bit more envious of your amazing travels.


4. Eyefi SD card

This will become a travel essential, but don’t underestimate the Eyefi SD by its small size this is a truly impressive bit of tech. Eyefi can send images to your smartphone or favourite device after you have just pressed the shutter – saving you the time of having to wait till you get home to trawl through endless holiday photos. Instead your photos will be sent automatically to Eyefi app ready for you to upload from your device – it’s as straight forward as that. Even if there is no wifi available, Eyefi creates its own wifi network that connects to your wherever you are, that’s pretty impressive.  Eyefi is compatible with most DLSRs and the app is available on both Apple and Android, and store up to 8,000 photos and 6 hours of video.


5. Sleep Phones

Sleepphones are ideal for those of you who enjoy a peaceful relaxing flight when in reality you’re surrounded by screaming children and loud talkers. It’s as if they were designed for flights in mind as they double up as an eye mask if worn other your face. Sleepphones design allows you to rest comfortably whist listening to music, with none of that annoying wriggling, trying to stop your headphone stabbing you in the ear as you rest. Available in both wireless and non-wireless forms and 3 different colours to match with your flight #ootd, you can even get one with a microphone for hands-free chatting.


Well now you need a holiday to go on the test out all your new travel gadgets – Check out our amazing deals on our website.

Your guide to choose the right holiday insurance

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You have booked your next holiday and now it is time to start thinking about getting some travel insurance. By having the right level of cover when you travel means that you can relax and enjoy your time away, without those niggling ‘what ifs’.

But choosing the right cover can be tough, especially with so many different policies available. Are you going with family or friends? Are you going to Europe or travelling further afield? Will you be taking part in any sporting activities? These are the type of questions you need to ask yourself before deciding on an insurance policy. All insurance policies differ in terms of cover and cost depending on what you’ll be doing and where you’re going. So before you buy your travel insurance read our guide for help finding the best cover for you.

Why do I need travel insurance?

Travel insurance is intended to protect you in case something goes wrong. It can cover you for a range of problems such as medical costs if you are taken ill or injured abroad and holiday horrors such as lost luggage or stolen possessions.

Some policies can even provide cover for unexpected issues such as redundancy and extra costs for pet care in cases of longer delays.

A survey by Sainsbury finance (http://sainsburysbankmedia.co.uk/holiday-health-average-medical-claim-while-abroad-is-over-1000/) has shown that the average cost if you fall ill on holiday and need hospital treatment is approximately £1,088. Without travel insurance many travellers would have to borrow from family and friends if things didn’t go to plan, a stress most of us could do without. For those intending to travel to the USA, the cost of medical care can more than double compared with other destinations. The average cost of treatment in the USA is £2,815 but holiday hotspots such as Thailand and Turkey have above average costs for tourists needing medical treatment.


The different types of holiday insurance

Single trip – If you are planning one holiday a year a single trip policy may be suitable.

Annual insurance – If you are a frequent traveller then an annual multi trip policy may be suitable, this can be cheaper than buying multiple single trip policies. This can also cover you for short UK breaks but you would need to check your policy.

European or worldwide cover – European cover is often cheaper than worldwide insurance. Many of the popular holiday destinations such as Egypt, Morocco, Turkey and Tunisia are not always covered by a European policy. You will need to check that your intended holiday destination is covered under the correct cover.

Single, couple or family policy – If you travel with a partner or your family look into getting a joint policy as this can bring costs down. The definition of ‘family’ can differ from various insurers so check the small print and find out who is covered before you buy.

Active – If you will be taking part in any sporting activities or going on excursions let your insurance companies know so that you can check that you have the appropriate level of cover. Some insurance companies include certain activities but charge extras for others. If you plan to be active whilst on your holiday it is essential you check that the activities you want to do is included in the policy you have bought. If it is not included you may have the option to pay extra to have this included but this depends on the insurance policy. It is important to always book trips abroad with a reputable supplier, and, if in doubt, check with the insurance company.

Older travellers – Policies that cover older travellers can prove costly. You may want to try a specialist insurance firm to compare costs and what is covered as these policies often include a number of common pre-existing medical conditions.

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The level of cover you need

You need to ensure you choose the right type of cover for your individual needs. The cheapest policy might not always be best for you. Travel insurance can vary a great deal and extras can be added on to them, but it is important that your policy should have the following basic level of cover:

Personal liability – In case you need to pay for any damage or accidents you cause.

Cancellation or curtailment – In case you need to cut short or cancel your holiday or your hotel or flights are cancelled. This could be used if you lose your job, a close relative falls ill while you are away or need to come home earlier than planned.

Medical emergency – To cover the cost of treatment due to sudden illness or through an accident you have whilst on holiday. Your cover should also include repatriation in case you need to be flown back to the UK.

Pre-existing medical conditions – You need to declare any health issues you have when applying for travel insurance, failure to do this may make your policy invalid or may mean you are not protected by your policy in the event of a claim.

Delays – This coverage is designed to cover you for long delays.  You may need to get the airline to confirm this in writing and also keep any receipts for items you’ve bought due to the delays.

Loss or theft – This can cover the cost of replacing money, personal items or replacing luggage should anything be lost stolen or damaged.

Emergency assistance – Most insurance companies offer a 24 hours emergency helpline. This can be a real life saver when you are in a different time zone.

Every year we see in the newspapers cases where holiday makers have been refused hospital treatment or been given huge medical bills due to travelling uninsured or not disclosing pre-existing medical conditions. Can you really afford not to take out travel insurance?


All policies differ greatly and what is covered by one policy, isn’t guaranteed to be covered by others. It is vital that you are thorough when reading documentation and if in doubt, ask. This guide is intended to help you chose the right policy for you but it important to do your research when choosing a policy and ensure you understand exactly the level of cover you are buying.