I missed this last week, but the government has published what duty free we will be allowed when travelling after the 1st January. It is being branded as ‘extending duty free to the EU’, but that’s only partially true. We will indeed be able to bring duty-free alcohol and tobacco back into the UK, subject… Continue reading Duty Free After Brexit
Whilst socially distancing and not travelling all that much, one thing I’ve been doing after a day of staring at computer screens is … staring at more computer screens with a bit of Train Sim World, American Truck Simulator, and Euro Truck Simulator 2. I haven’t played much in the way of computer games for… Continue reading Virtual Wanderlust via Trains, Trucks, and Maybe Flying a Cessna Around Borneo
Unsurprisingly, it has been a little quiet on here of late. Like most of you, I’ve not been travelling all that much since the COVID-19 pandemic began. In fact, I’d hazard that as I don’t have a car and I am able to work from home, I’ve travelled far less than most, the furthest afield… Continue reading Pandemic Hotel Review: Holiday Inn Express, Swansea East
irrop = irregular operations. It’s when things don’t go as scheduled due to maintenance or weather issues bitburgr on Flyertalk At the tail end of Storm Chiara, I was due to fly to Rome for a meeting. A lot of the work for the meeting had already been done beforehand via videoconferences and email, but nothing… Continue reading An IRROPS Experience with KLM
As I hinted at in my previous post, flying from Manchester where many destinations are one change away whoever you fly with, it’s often as easy to fly with KLM and change in Amsterdam as it is to fly with British Airways and change in Heathrow. My 2020 travel kicked off with a meeting in… Continue reading A few short flights with KLM
A lot of the air travel I write about has used British Airways so far, but looking at my flights over the next eight weeks, I’m starting to realise that the flag carrier doesn’t provide the best connections from the regions. The flights MAN-LHR-ZAG will take me to exactly 600 tier points (I’m currently at… Continue reading British Airways or London Airways?
Early in 2019 (I appear to have booked the tickets on 24th January) British Airways celebrated its 100th birthday by offering some long-haul tickets for £100 each way, including taxes. You had to be online at mid-day to grab them, and there were only a few destinations available each day. Instead of trying and failing… Continue reading BA100 Anniversary Flights
As part of a weekend trip to Philadelphia in September, using flights booked during the #BA100 sale, Lucy and I stayed in The Independent Hotel. Whilst we were planning the trip, it had reasonable reviews and wasn’t badly priced. We had taken the train from the airport, and walked down to the hotel from City… Continue reading The Independent Hotel, Philadelphia
December 15th saw the twice-yearly reshuffle of the rail timetables. Among the changes, Northern Railway promised more frequent and longer trains. This was welcome, as most of the trains on the Hope Valley line through Reddish North are two or four carriage long Pacers from the 1980s, some of which are still complete with the… Continue reading The New Northern Railway Timetable
I have just checked my IHG status. To get to “Gold Elite” (the first non-basic level, despite how fancy it might sound) requires 10,000 points. This year I have 9,940. If I was a serious traveller I’d be trying to find a way to get that final 60, but to be honest, even though I’m… Continue reading You can tell I’m not a serious traveller
I wasn’t going to review the ibis Budget Whitechapel as I was only there for a night, but the check-out experience tipped my hand, and here we are. My brief stay here followed a night in the rather more upmarket Park Plaza London Riverbank, but I was prepared for what it was supposed to be… Continue reading ibis Budget Whitechapel
Twenty years ago today, on 6th November 1999, I stepped on a plane for the very first time to leave the UK for the very first time. Was this a long-awaited family holiday? Nope, they never really stretched further than Swansea or — once — Tenby. It was for IETF 46 in Washington D.C.. The… Continue reading Twenty years of travel.
Whilst we were still living in South-West London I booked a return for my wife and myself to Philadelphia as part of BA’s 100th anniversary sale. These were tickets that cost £100 each way in economy, including taxes. Since then we’ve moved to Manchester, and so to avoid problems with missed connections for the 12:40pm… Continue reading Hilton Garden Inn, London Heathrow Terminal 2
This is a little review of the Hampton by Hilton Belfast City Centre, where I stayed for a couple of nights for work at the start of September 2019. I’d flown into Belfast City airport (BHD) and caught bus 600 into the city centre, which dropped me off at the Europa Bus Centre, a journey… Continue reading Hampton by Hilton, Belfast City Centre
There are two main routes between Manchester and South Wales. There is the “Heart of Wales” line, which is the very scenic route, and the Welsh Marches line, merely quite scenic. A few (ahem) times over the last couple of months my wife and I have taken the train from Manchester towards South Wales, and… Continue reading Manchester to South Wales (via the Welsh Marches Route)
According to the hotel’s own website, the Dragon Hotel is “…this fully airconditioned lesisure [sic] hotel was featured as South West Wales’ premier 4-star hotel.” As someone that was brought up with frequent trips to Swansea to visit family, the Dragon Hotel has always been around, though I’ve never had need to stay there, as… Continue reading Dragon Hotel, Swansea
This will be a brief review, as I was only there for one night and didn’t take any photographs. Hotel Indigo is part of the IHG chain (Holiday Inn etc), but as I type this, the Cardiff hotel is currently rated the #1 hotel in Cardiff on TripAdvisor. [Hotel’s website here.] From Cardiff Central train… Continue reading Hotel Indigo, Cardiff
I was lucky enough to go to the Wales v England warm-up match at the Principality Stadium last weekend. It wasn’t a pretty match, but the end result of that and the other matches on the weekend is that for the first time ever, heading into the Rugby World Cup starting next month in Japan,… Continue reading A day at the rugby
The Alhambra. Just the name conjures up a mental image of the medieval clash between Europe and the Middle East, between Christianity and Islam, a time of religious quests and bloody battles. These days, the tales of battles are limited to the legendary queues to obtain tickets to visit it, so after a particularly busy… Continue reading Spain gets a little bit Moorish.
I’ve called this post a ‘Middle-Class Whinge’ for reasons that will become obvious as you read it. It isn’t about a matter of great importance, just a couple of disappointing instances of customer service at the end of a long week. I’m not asking for pity, I am just venting. It was the end of… Continue reading A Middle-Class Whinge