Saturday, 24 November 2012

Great deals on random items including a 9" android tablet for under £100

I had been looking to buy an android tablet and found this amazing deal amongst others on Mighty Deals.  Haven't managed to find a catch yet.

This should be very handy for travelling and with the USB port we can watch movies and things off an external hard drive that I carry.  It also has wi-fi so handy for picking up and sending messages on the move.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Our views on a FRED OLSEN cruise on the Boudicca to Iceland and Norway

We recently returned from a 12 night cruise out of Newcastle.  It was booked 3 weeks before departure through Planet Cruise (cheaper than Fred Olsen direct) and we paid £852 each for an outside guaranteed cabin.

Parking at Newcastle is expensive, £9 day) ,so we parked outside a Couchsurfing hosts house and took an £8 taxi to the port.  Not sure whether it is Fred Olsen or Newcastle port regulations but they were strict on not opening the check in desks until noon and boarding strictly on deck order so nothing to be gained by arriving early.

The cabins were a decent size but looked dated, our mattresses had a roll (and that was before we set sail).  When made up as a king size you still only get 2 single duvets.  It was nice to find a kettle and tea and coffee facilities in the room.

As it is only an 800 passenger ship the facilities were limited.  There are 3 formal dining rooms (which become part self service for breakfast and lunch) and another which is only self service.  The food was OK but not outstanding and if you didn't want to dress for the formal nights you had to eat in the self service but with a different menu.

The ship has many repeat passengers from the elderly who no doubt felt very at home with the traditional flowery carpets and decor.  As a younger passenger we like a slightly more glamorous ships with "wow" factors and a wider choice of entertainment but we booked this cruise for the ports of call and no fly boarding.

Overall I would recommend Fred Olsen for the over 70's passengers who just want a nice homely ship and limited entertainment.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Support for Penny Brohn Cancer Centre in Bristol

We were really touched when our daughters friend asked if she could dedicate her next run to us and to what charity we would like.

Having recently benefited from our visit to The Penny Brohn Cancer centre and written a blog post about it we thought it appropriate to suggest their charity.

This is the link should any of you like to sponsor Catherine when she runs the marathon in Chester.

Many thanks.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Travel insurance for people with pre-existing conditions and/or those over 80 years old.

A whole new world opened up to us when we looked for travel insurance to cover Steve whilst he is having treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.

Most insurance companies wouldn't entertain us as soon as we started answering the medical screening questions.

Luckily we came across All Clear Travel who offer travel insurance for all medical conditions, for all ages and to all countries.  We bought 12 nights for a cruise to Iceland, Faeroe Islands and Norway at a cost of £160 to cover Steve for medical and cancellation. For another £10 we could have included baggage but have very little of value and this would be covered under my own annual policy.

All Clear Travel cover most conditions including diabetes, cancer, stroke, high blood pressure, heart attack - in fact most things I could think of were listed on their website.

You can take a single trip policy or an annual one for multiple trips up to 45 days duration and can tailor make both to cover the countries you intend visiting.  Once you have keyed in your details they produce a list of the different companies that will offer you cover with prices and values for cancellation etc.

There also appears to be no age limit and you can use the online chat service if you have any problems whilst completing the forms but I found them quite straightforward.

If you don't use the internet you can get a quote by calling 0845 250 5350

Also on offer is a special cruise policy that also covers you for missed trips if you are ill and also compensates if you have to stay in your cabin for any reason or if the cruise ship fails to dock at a particular port and you miss a visit.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

CANCER - Additional help for those receiving mainstream treatment for cancer

Call it fate or whatever but at the point where Steve was seriously ill with side effects from chemo we met a reflexologist and chatted about holistic medicine.  She mentioned The Penny Brohn Cancer Centre at Bristol (previously know as the Bristol Cancer Centre).

What is unique about this place is that they offer information about other therapies that should be used in conjunction with mainstream treatments such as chemo and radiology.

Initially you are invited on a Taste of Bristol Approach 1 day course with an option to stay over the night before.  This is to tell you the basics in order for you to decide what angles interest you most.  Meals are based on their proven anti cancer diet and accommodation is provided as 2 adjoining double en suite rooms per couple.

After doing this course you can return for day courses or residential ones to explore certain aspects further.

The main thing they do is to give you a chance to take control of your body rather than feeling like you have donated your body to medical science.

At the beginning there was a charge for each course but because they have had such good support they are now able to offer all facilities at no charge but appreciate donations.

Unfortunately this is the only centre of its type in Great Britain and probably Europe so it can involve quite a journey to get there but we felt it was worth while and would recommend it to others to help in the battle against cancer.  

Monday, 30 April 2012

Head up to lovely LEEDS

All too often we go to cities to shop and basically walk around with our heads down focused on store fronts.  It can be a completely different experience to go to the same city and walk around with your head up admiring the building facades.

Today I had an appointment in Leeds but opted to extend the visit with a bit of sightseeing and was pleasantly surprised.  Using the Rough Guide to Yorkshire I began by following their walking suggestion and discovered wonderful hidden gems including a petanque/boules court with free boules to borrow from a nearby cafe.

So why not re visit the cities near where you live and "play tourist", you may well be pleasantly surprised.

Nymphs in City Square

The boules court

Instructions for playing petanque

Wonderful Moorish style building

Modern sculpture in Millennium Square

Quirky architecture in Millen
nium Square

Inside the market

So why dragons in the market decoration ?

The market entrance, inside the building has been extended many times with different designs

Wall mural by the Corn Exchange

Inside the Corn Exchange

The amazing Corn Exchange building, well worth a look inside

A hidden gem down a side street

Friday, 20 April 2012

Save even more money shopping on line

Previously I promoted Quidco for giving you an extra discount when shopping on line.

I have now found that TOP CASH BACK has even higher discounts.

Same principal in that you sign up and then each time you want to buy on line you begin by going through the top cash back site. If they have a discount with the company you are buying from it will be put onto your account and paid into your bank each month.

Simple as that, one extra click and you could be saving loads, why wouldn't you ?

Making the best of whatever situation you find yourselves in

Whenever you find yourselves in a difficult situation there are many things you can do about it.  Most recently instead of being able to travel all over the world we have been limited to places within 1-hour of Bradford Royal Infirmary where Steve is being treated for ALL.

So what are we going to do about that?  Firstly I sent off for a Rough Guide to Yorkshire and another for England.  I've already learnt a lot about nearby local cities and found many attractions with free admission so you don't even have to spend much money to have a good time.

Steve can't go to things like football matches with large crowds but we can and do go to the cinema and will be visiting the theatre soon.

I've signed up to Priceline where you can put in a bid on a hotel room in a particular location after stating what star rating you want.  The company will then put your price to various hotels and if you are lucky one of them will accept and you will get a real bargain break.  This way we can stay overnight whilst exploring the attractions of the city.

There are many sites that offer vouchers or coupon codes,  through Groupon you can save up to 70% on restaurants, beauty treatments and other local attractions.

Deal checker leads us to hotel deals, often packages including meals, bottle of wine and spa treatments.   In this instance instead of us deciding where we want to go we just go where the deals are.

So we may not be able to go abroad and travel the way we prefer but by the time Steve is better we will be experts on the area around Bradford!

Whatever life throws at your make the seize the moment and make the best of it, every day counts.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Eat and drink at a reasonable price all over the UK

Many people abroad are under the impression that eating and drinking in the UK is an expensive business, either that or you get poor quality food.

One of our best tips is to seek out a Wetherspoon Pub.  You will find them in small and big towns and the main cities including London and prices are the same across the country.

Each day there are meal and drink special deals.  Many meals are on sale at 2 for £6.49 offering even greater savings.  Real ale enthusiasts are well catered for with many varieties on offer and kids have their own special menu.

If you are going to the Olympic games pop into any Wetherspoons and pick up a free copy of their magazine listing the pubs near to Olympic venues and also the nearest tube station.

For cheap wi-fi you could just visit and buy a 99p coffee or tea (higher prices for drinks in London) and make use of the free Internet connection?

Sunday, 29 January 2012

How to get from Rome to Rio and hundreds of other places ?

Ever wondered how can I get from here to Timbuktu?  OK so maybe not Timbuktu but often it is hard to know where to start when you want to plan a journey from point A to B or find out if it is even possible

Rome2rio may be just the web site you have dreamt off.  You key in your start and end destinations and using google map it will show you the route including flights, buses, trains, boats etc .  You can even add a fixed date if you wish.

As if that is not enough the left side of the page lists all the components of the trip, telling you which type of transport to use to get to all the in between points, time taken and frequency of that mode of transport.

From there you can go to individual websites to fine tune everything.

Now where do we want to go next?

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Travelling light with the worlds lightest carry on trolley bag

As we are getting older we are leaning towards using trolley bags in preference to back packs.

I recently did a lot of research to find not only the lightest trolley bag but also one that would comply with the dimensions of all the budget airlines.

The bag I opted for was the Sub-O-G Second Generation Super lightweight two wheel 47cm trolley case in too embarrassing to be nicked bright pink.  (Also available in plain black or black and white patterned). It comes with a 10 year guarantee and has enough outside pockets for your passports and documents making life easier when using budget airlines like Ryanair who allow absolutely no further carry on bags. By having the wide handles you don't loose so much packing space within the bag and it is much more stable. A 4 wheel, but slightly heavier version, is also available.

I ordered it through Direct Luggage who had it at a discount price of £35.96 (for further savings sign up for their newsletter and they will send you a discount code making the price £32.36.)

The website is well designed and even narrows down luggage to the extent you can ask for Ryanair or Easyjet approved bags to be shown.

The company are extremely efficient and I ordered the goods on Sunday and they were delivered on Wednesday

Monday, 2 January 2012

Calling home from abroad

It's always a bit of a minefield trying to figure out the best way to call home from abroad.

There a numerous cards on offer, some have a connection charge, others a daily or monthly charge and the list of extras goes on making it difficult to compare.

I've stumbled on the Nobel Phonecards website and this pretty much sums up your choices in a very simple way.

You key in the country you are going to be calling from and your destination country and type of phone (landline or cell).  You will then see all the cards available with prices per call and extras.

Having decided which card you want you order it through them and the get your PIN and other info by E-mail so it is in fact a virtual card.

Just be aware that the quoted rates are by using a local access number, if you use a free phone number there is an average of 4c minute surcharge.  Scroll down the page for exact figures.  Also expect to pay a premium if you use a pay phone to initiate the call.