Category: Travel Tips

5 Top Tips to Get You Upgraded on Flights

First Class CabinFor many travellers, paying up to £5000 for a business class ticket in order to fly in greater comfort simply isn’t an option. However, what very few people realise is that most airlines will upgrade passengers from economy class for free – if they meet certain guidelines. In this article, I will pass on some of the things that the check in staff look for and require so that you can take advantage of the loopholes and get your upgrade for free. These five top tips come direct from the check in staff of some of the best-known airlines, and are considered by many regular travellers to be the holy grail of getting something for nothing.

Tip Number 1:

Look the part. Make sure that you are dressed smartly when you travel. There is almost no chance of getting a free upgrade if you are wearing shorts and a scruffy t-shirt, so at the very least, check in wearing a shirt and pants. there is no need to go overboard and wear a suit – unless you really want to. The key is to look smart, but not like you’re trying too hard.

Tip Number 2:

Turn up early. The check-in staff know exactly how many passengers are travelling on a particular flight well in advance, so if there are seats to spare in business class, they will know straight away.

Tip Number 3:

Be Polite. Put yourself in the place of the check in staff. Would you reward a person who gives you attitude and starts shouting the odds, or someone who is pleasant and gives them the time of day. There may be 250 people in the queue behind you, so make them remember you. Flirt, smile, use their name, be nice, and you may well get a pleasant surprise.

Tip Number 4:

Be a Frequent Flier. If you join an airline’s frequent flier programme, you are far more likely to be at the front of the queue for an upgrade, as the airline will want to reward you for your loyalty. Even if you do not fly regularly, go to the airline’s website and join their programme online. It will only take a minute or two, and is well worth the time.

Tip Number 5:

Ask. They say that if you don’t ask for something, you won’t get it, so make sure you do – but do it at the right time. If the check in staff look stressed, and no amount of charm has elicited a smile, don’t bother to ask them, wait until you get to the gate. If the counter staff have responded well, when they ask you if you have any specific seat request, be cheeky and say “First Class” to them. It might just work.

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Travel Tips for Europeans Traveling to the World Cup

Rio de JaneiroWhich nation harnesses the greatest footballers in the world? The answer varies greatly by who you ask, and where you ask. It’s truly great when the FIFA World Cup rolls around because fans can finally take the conversation from the local pub to the global football arena. Europeans are used to competitive sports greatness by having four of the most prolific football leagues in the world right with Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, and BundesLiga. However, this years World Cup is hosted by another football frenzy nation hailing from South America. In just a few short weeks the eyes of the world will be upon Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as the home team tries to take down defending champions Spain, and many other adversaries. Travelers and tourists from all around the world are packing their bags in anticipation to make the journey to the iconic city to witness the games first hand. So for those fortunate enough to make the trip, here are some essential tips to ensure you have the time of your life.
Getting Around

Games will be played all throughout the Brazilian coast, and while it might seem like short distances on a map, it is quite the opposite. For those planning on moving around the country and not just in Rio, book flights NOW. In fact prices for domestic flights in Brazil are expected to get so high that a quick thirty-minute flight from Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo is expected to cost around 300% of standard retail. For the more patient and adventurous traveler Brazilian bus transportation is proven to be an effective way to travel. Most chances you’ll make friends (or enemies) with the other thousands of football fans making their way throughout Brazil on the bus system, just remember not be too rambunctious while on the long-distance bus rides for previous travelers noted that the bus driver will kick you off, even if you’re in the middle of no-where.

What To Do Between Games

If you’ve spent the better part of your savings buying a round trip to Brazil for the World Cup, you’d be doing yourself a disservice by not enjoying all it has to offer. Take some time between games to explore the many wonders Brazilian culture has to offer. Looking for a quiet place to escape from the football madness? Relaxing with a cold beverage in the historic mansions of cobblestoned Santa Teresa can be great ways to recover from a brutal loss, or celebrate a last minute home-team win. For those seeing beautiful views look no further than the 710 meter hike up Corcovado mountain for a breathtaking view of Rio de Janeiro along with the iconic Christ Redeemer Statue standing with outstretched arms. No visit to Brazil would be complete without a visit to one of its famous beaches. Copacabana will most likely extremely crowded, but definitely still worth your time. Half naked beach goers, perfect sand, and ocean waters at the perfect temperature, you’ll completely tune out the sound of those obnoxious football horns.

Most international travelers carry the stigma of being a naïve target for locals to take advantage of, but that won’t be you! If you follow the news then its no secret that Brazil is going through some political turmoil at the moment. Visitors coming from abroad should be aware of this and consult with locals before traveling off the grid. Furthermore, it is expected that many tourists trying to beat the surge of high prices on accommodations will turn to Brazils infamous Favelas or “slums.” This is highly dangerous, and should not be a real consideration. Brazilian government has taken great measures to clean up the Favelas, but crime still persists, and we’d put money on the fact that the locals will take advantage of the absurd hotel prices. Aside from the standard travel safety precautions of concealed money, and only use of public transportation (hitchhiking in Brazil is not recommended), a safe cautious trip should be easy to accomplish.

Remember not to forget your friends left behind watching the World Cup from their homes and pick them up a nice gift. This is possible with an easy to use online Duty Free shopping platform A football souvenir, gift card, or a nice bottle of liquor would definitely help ease the animosity towards you for being able to attend the World Cup. So follow our tips, enjoy your trip and don’t forget to cheer on!

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Top 10 Fear of Flying Statements

Fear Of FlyingA fearful flyer who is about to board a plane doesn’t usually remember a single fact or figure about the safety of air travel. That fearful flyer is more concerned about whether they can get on the plane without having a nervous breakdown and desperately wanting to know they’ll make it safely to their destination so they can get back OFF the plane.

Is this what happens to you when your boarding a plane.  You are wild-eyed, desperate, panicky and not listening to any reasonable thing your flying companion is telling you. When you are boarding a plane you need a cheat sheet, a quick reference guide of simple statements that you know to be true but am unable to think of on your own. Here are some that may help:
1. There are millions of people on thousands of flights EVERY DAY that are very routine and never make the news.
2. The plane was designed to be in the air, that’s where it performs best.
3. Air is a thick fluid, a lot like jello. The plane is being supported by big columns of “jello air”. It has substance even though I can’t see it.
4. Turbulence in a plane is like being in a car going over a bump in the road. It doesn’t hurt the plane. The wings will not fall off.
5. The plane is designed to handle more stress than any normal flying situation will deliver.
6. The pilots and flight crew do this every day, the sky is their office, they are professionals.
7. The pilots go through extensive repetitive training for every possible situation, even ones I haven’t thought of.
8. The plane has many backup systems and is capable of flying safely with several systems not functions perfectly.
9. The sounds I hear are normal and mean the plane is functioning correctly.
10. This flight will not last forever, I will get through it one minute at a time and then I will enjoy my destination.

Sometimes one statement has more meaning than another, it depends on which fear is bothering you the most. It can help to repeat the important points over and over. Focus on them. Make them real. I imagine yourself as the pilot just going to his job; a job that he worked hard for, he dearly loves and cares deeply about. He loves to fly, and he’s going to deliver me to my destination and then turn around and take more people to their destination. I am just one of millions of people that will fly today.

Repeating these statements over and over helps you to come back to reality and out of my fog of fear. Your top 10 statements may be different. Some of them may be the same. As a fellow fearful flyer I know how hard it is to remember the facts that gave you comfort while in your living room. That’s why you should always take a cheat sheet of power statements with you on every flight.

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Some Of The Best Travel Apps

Mobile-PhoneNow I’m sure you won’t remember either, but there was a time; so rumor has it; when mobile phones only made phone calls! Hardly seems possible now when there’s an app for our mobile phones so they can pretty much do anything and everything for us, bar mopping up the kitchen floor!

And our small plastic lifelong friends are essential when it comes to going on holiday too. With downloadable apps making our holidays even easier, here are the top travel apps on the market today:

‘Lonely Planet Phrase Book’ App

There’s nothing worse than travelling overseas and making an embarrassing fopa because you’ve used the wrong word for something, or you just want to say please and thank you in the native lingo. So get yourself Lonely Planet’s app which is full of useful phrases and quick references, over 600 in fact, in over 10 languages. And the best thing about this app is that the phrases you ask for are sent to you via text and come in phonics, which means you can pronounce them correctly too! You can also ask for audio recordings to make it even easier!

‘FlightTrack Pro’ App

A useful app if you fly a lot, this app will give you information prior to your flight which includes your boarding gate status and any delays it might be experiencing. It also includes information on your flight’s departure time and its estimated arrival time, based, when flying, the plane’s current speed, altitude and location! The app will also allow you to share your flight information via Facebook and Twitter, as well as email, which is useful if someone is picking you up from the airport.

‘StayHip’ App

Looking to stay in a beautiful hotel? Well if Boutique style is your thing and city hopping is your travel ideal, then get yourself StayHip which will provide you with instant listings of over 400 Boutique hotels worldwide! Select a city or location and you’ll get information on room rates, availability and the route on how to get there!

‘Know What To Tip’ App

It’s customary to tip in almost every country nowadays. But the amount you tip is very different from country to region and waiter to the concierge. So don’t risk offending anyone whilst you’re away, and certainly don’t risk getting dreadful service the follow day as you didn’t tip properly – get yourself the Know What To Tip App. This useful app will tell you what is the appropriate tip in over 100 countries from the bell boy to the tour guide to the waiter to the ski instructor!

‘Zagot To Go’ Restaurant Guide App

Fancy eating somewhere really special? Need a restaurant that’s child friendly, or in a particular location? Well, for over 30 years Zagot To Go restaurant guide is considered the best! And now it’s available in an invaluable app. It rates over 40,000 restaurants worldwide and advises on menu, value for money, directions, even the decor of the restaurant!

‘HopStop’ Route Guide App

If you’re on a city break and reliant on public transport it’s worth taking at look at HopStop – this handy app will map out the route from your location to the nearest underground/subway, railway station, bus stops and taxi ranks. Currently the app is available for over 15 major cities in Europe and America.

‘The Weather Channel’ App

Whether you want to check the weather a few days before you fly out or want to check the weather whilst you’re away the Weather Channel App, will provide you with a breakdown of the weather each day both locally and globally.

‘About Trip Journal’ App

Keep your holiday alive forever with this great app that allows you to capture your holiday whilst you’re enjoying it and keep it forever. Download images as you take them and video footage, load up blog entries and real-time updates. It’s linked to Google Earth so when your friends log in to see what you’re up to they can see where you are on your travels. It also links up to social networking sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

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Cut Your Wifi Costs Whilst Travelling Within Europe

TravelWifi LogoTravel Wifi is an Irish company setup in July 2013 with the aim of removing expensive data roaming charges for people travelling abroad. Our Wifi unit has 99% population coverage in Ireland, UK, Italy, Austria, Denmark and Sweden. We are also planning to expand to the U.S. in the next 3 weeks, followed also by Australia and New Zealand.
Their business started with a simple idea: avoid data roaming charges when travelling abroad. The service comes in to help the traveller avoid data roaming charges completely while staying connected anywhere and at any time. They provide Wifi solutions to anyone travelling abroad, whether it is a family holiday, a business trip or just a city getaway with your special one or your friends, Travel Wifi offers mobile internet solution on a short-term rental basis targeting anyone on the road.
How the service works
The process to avail the service is straightforward, the only equipment needed is a laptop / PC / smartphone or any WiFi enabled device. The first step is to visit the website , choose the package plan that best fits your needs, provide the necessary payment details and sit back while the product is delivered to your doorstep or why not to your hotel’s reception desk.  The service as already mentioned is based on a rental set up, so part of the process is to send the device back once the service term has expired. When they deliver the product to the customer  a return envelope is provided with the stamp included so the only thing left to do is to place the product in the envelope provided then drop it in the post box.

Range of packages and prices
The package plans on offer are flexible, and designed to suit the needs of everyone who travels, whether you are a businessman, a family group or a couple. There are  four distinguished packages on offer:

The White Package ranges from 3 to 5 days, it provides 3GB and it costs €39.00. To give you a rough idea, according to AT&T on average, with 3GB you can send/receive up to 4200 emails with attachments, 36 hours of streaming music, 600 web pages visited, 570 social media posts with photos, 5 hours of streaming video and up to 42 apps/songs downloaded. I think 3GB is more than enough to keep you busy during your 3 days trip.

The next package plan is the Green Package ranging up to one week rental, it comes with 10GB and it costs €59.00.
The Emerald Package plan runs up to two weeks and comprises of 20GB and the price is €69.00. The Gold Package provides 4 weeks rental service with up to 45 GB and it costs €89.00.

As you can see they offer tremendous data bundles, so far none of their customers have exceeded their limits on on their packages from the very start the company always wanted their customers to enjoy surfing on the internet and share their experience with others during their journey without being worried about their phone bills.
Product features
The wifi device is lightweight, it fits the size of your palm and it is easy to carry anywhere. You can drop it in your handbag or in your pocket and stay connected to your own Wifi anywhere you go. It connects up to 5 devices (smart phones, tablets or laptops) simultaneously and it provides high internet speed of 21 Mbps. It also comes with T3i technology which offers up to 20% more upload/ download speed compared to non-T3i devices. Even in the worst signal conditions or congested networks. Its battery life lasts up to 5 hours and if you happen to be on the road driving to your next destination and the battery is almost gone don’t worry, we have thought of that, the wifi device comes with both car and wall charger and also a USB cable.
Advantages of using the service
When roaming in Ireland or other European countries, a visitor from within the EU will typically be charged €0.45 per MB of data used, so that’s €450.00 per GB. A visitor from outside the EU can be charged €0.99 per MB, that’s €999.00 per GB. Our smallest package for €39.00 comes with 3GB !!!
Future Plans
They have a few big projects that the company are hoping to accomplish in the next few months, one of them is to sign distribution deals with an airline. They also get involved in many exhibiting events, last one was at the ITOA (Incoming Travel Agents Association of Ireland) conference in March as we plan to align their selves with a number of tour operators within Ireland and abroad.

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