Duty Free – How to Save Money at the Airport

We have all seen the Duty Free shops at airports. They try their best to entice us to buy something and most of us do as we try to kill time before our flight departs.

But are Duty Free shops at airports cheaper or more expensive than the high street ? I set out to try and find out whether it is possible to make savings at Duty Free shops and here is what I found out.

I was at Manchester airport recently on my way to a holiday on Fuerteventura and my daughter had asked me to buy her an ipod. I had done my research and discovered that on the high street an ipod would cost about £115. I had checked the website of Dixonstaxfree.co.uk before travelling and was given a price of £100, which was a saving of £15 so I bought the ipod at Manchester airport and was very pleased with myself.

The Dixons website is worthwhile knowing about so that you can check prices at the airport before you go.If you are travelling out of Gatwick, Heathrow or Manchester the range of goods available is incredible so it’s worthwhile checking for tax free bargains.

I have done some re-search for you so here are my top tips for saving money at the airport.

Fragrances and cosmetics

There are some great bargains to be had at airports on fragrances and cosmetics but you need to be aware of your prices before you fly as some prices may not be as good as they seem. I saved 50% on a mens aftershave but many perfumes and aftershaves don’t have significant savings.

The new Marc Jacobs fragrance, Lola, is available Duty Free for £36.00 as opposed to £60 itsells for in Boots. Also, the Marc Jacobs limited edition silver Daisy fragrance costs £48 airside instead of £60.Manchester’s Biza store is selling Calvin Klein’s “Secret Obsession” for women for £49.00, saving £12 on the high street price.

Birmingham’s Alpha store is selling Prada Man for £27.40 instead of £35 on the high street and Armani’s Acqua di Gio is £41 instead of £49.

Electrical Items

We all love a bargain when it comes to buying electrical items like digital cameras and mp3 players. There are savings to be had at the airport but some items can be bought on the internet at similar prices. The thing to remember is that you can actually speak to a real person and handle the product before buying it whereas on the internet you can’t do that.I looked at the Panasonic FS7 digital camera as an example. (This camera has great reviews!)

 The Dixons price at the airport is £107.98. Amazons price is £109.99 and several online camera shops were selling it at just less than £105. Dixons claim that the high street price is £124.I also checked out the Samsung F30 video camera. At the airport this camera will cost you £134. Amazon were selling this video camera at £149.97. The cheapest online price I could find for the Samsung F30 camera was £129.99 and the high street price is £149.99. Again a reasonable saving can be made. If you don’t like using the internet then shopping at the airport could well be  a good idea !

Alcohol and Tobaco Products

Excise duty only applies to alcohol and tobacco products and whether or not you pay depends on where you are flying to.Passengers travelling to a destination outside the EU can buy goods free of excise duty and VAT but this is not the case within the EU.These passengers pay a price that includes excise duty and VAT. That is why two prices are normally displayed and why a sales assistant will ask to see your boarding card.Tax-free refers to products which are VAT exclusive. But either way, there are savings to be made.

Discounted Jewellery

Some of the biggest savings to be made can be on expensive jewellery from designer watches to engagement rings.In fact, some of the jewellery is so heavily discounted that you can buy a one carat diamond ring for the equivalent price of half a carat.Gatwick airport’s biggest saving is around £600 with a one carat diamond, 18 carat gold engagement ring going for £4,218 instead of £4,850 on the high street.Or, on the cheaper end of the scale, a princess cut, one carat diamond set in 18 carat white gold sells for £1,738.33 instead of £1,999 – a saving of £260.67.Bigger items are also good value if you can buy them tax free.

New flatscreen TV’s are worth considering with savings of over £100 in some models.You wil, of course, have to pay for home delivery when you order it at the airport.Big name shops like Sony and HMV also have savings but these shops are normally only at the bigger airports like Heathrow.There is a saving of £30 on the X-Box Elite at HMV.

My advice, like anything else, is to shop around before buying goods at airports. You might find a bargain but on the other hand even if you don’t it has passed some time away.

Global Holidays is the online travel agent for cheap holidays.

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Accommodation rental – the downside of booking yourself.

I have just returned from a really good holiday in Fuerteventura. As a travel agent I know the benefits of booking through a good travel agency. You get financial protection, professional advice, good quality products and low prices. I have been preaching these benefits for a while as well as telling customers that there are risks in booking your own separate flights and accommodation on the internet because if a single part of the holiday is changed or cancelled or the airline goes bust or the accommodation owner sells you a dodgy villa or apartment then because you probably won’t have ATOL protection you could find yourself with a financial loss.However, when my wife found a nice looking house on the internet I agreed that she could book it despite the fact that I had reservations about it.

The house we booked was in a great location and I can’t fault that. The photograghs on the website were accurate. However, after we arrived and had admired the view we discovered that we had no cold water. A phone call to the owner solved the problem as he came out to sort the problem for us. The next day we woke up and decided to go into the local town, Corralejo. There was a problem, however as we couldn’t open the gate as the locked was jammed !

This gate had a high wall on each side so there was no alternative but for me to climb over the wall and try to unlock the gate from the other side. After jumping from a great height I managed to unlock the gate. It was only a minor problem but nevertheless I don’t want hassle when I’m on holiday.

A couple of days later my wife decided to use the washing machine but she couldn’t get it working. It turned out the power to the washing machine was off because of a fault. By this time as well my back was aching because the mattress on the bed was old and very uncomfortable. Half way through the holiday we decided to stay in and use the kitchen to cook a meal and have a bottle of wine whilst watching a DVD. The house owners website advertised the fact that the house had a DVD player. The good news is – the house did have a DVD player, but the bad news is, it didn’t work ! Oh well, no a major problem as I still had my bottle of wine and the lovely view from the terrace outside !

The saga of problems however didn’t end there. The house next door, and with the same owner as ours, had a burst pipe which brought the ceilings down. Some unlucky holidaymakers were due to arrive at the house in a few days so they were going to be in for a nasty shock. Luckily our house wasn’t affected though ….. or so we thought because from that time on we had problems with our hot water. Most mornings and evenings we didn’t have any hot water for having a shower although it did come back on sometimes. We mentioned it to the house owner but he never got round to sorting it out. Two days before the end of our two week holiday the lights in the kitchen went out and there were no replacement bulbs.

The point of this story is that if things go wrong and you haven’t booked through a tour operator then you could find yourself in a situation where you can’t get problems resolved. A tour operator would have resolved this situation and possiby paid compensation.

Want to book an ATOL protected holiday through a good quality tour operator so that you get financial protection?

Call FREE on 0800 433 2300

Why You Pay More For Your Holiday During School Holidays.

Happy children on a beach whilst on holidaySchool holiday travel supplements imposed by airlines and holiday companies have again been hitting the headlines. The Daily Mail has a news story today about what they call a “£500 supplement just to take a family away during the school holidays”. They say that they have conducted a survey of holiday prices and they say that families are being “punished” !

Higher prices for holidays and flights have always been a contentious issue but this is because many people fail to understand how the pricing model of airlines and holiday companies actually work. The travel industry is a classic supply and demand pricing model. With high demand you can increase the price and with low demand you reduce the price.  In other words, if you have flight going to Spain say that is only half full then the airline will do all it can to sell the remaining seats and fill the aircraft. One way it may do this is to reduce prices as an incentive for people to book.It’s not the whole story though. If a holiday company or airline owns a fleet of aircraft it has to use those aircraft at all times on different routes.

The cost of running that aircraft over the course of a year can be calculated and then divided into 12 months. If the airline tried to fix prices at high levels even at off peak travel times when demand is lower then they would not be able to fill the aircraft. At peak times during school holidays there are more people travelling so they can sell the seats at a price where they may actually make a profit.

If the airline industry did not operate this pricing method then we would possibly not have an industry at all or flights would only operate for a few months of the year to certain destinations.The airline and holiday industry is not the only industry where this happens. A restaurant  may reduce its prices or offer 2 for 1 meal deals on certain days of the week or they may have an “early bird”  reduced cost menu. Pubs and bars have “happy hours”. Even shops and department stores have “sales” where goods are reduced in price. You could argue that if shops can sell things cheaper during a sale then we are all paying far too much for these goods when there is no sale happening. These sales normally happen during periods of low demand, like just after Christmas.

So, whilst we all love to buy things at the lowest possible price it is a fact of commercial life that prices fluctuate and change during a typical year. This happens no matter whether you are buying a holiday or a new shirt.

Until somebody comes up with a better way of pricing a holiday we are stuck with higher prices during school holidays.

Speaking to a good travel agent will often get you a bargain, even during the school holidays.  Good independent travel agents have access to millions of holidays, special offers, late deals and last minute cheap holidays. It’s quicker than trawling the internet and you will get expert advice and recommendations.

Call Global Holidays FREE on 0800 433 2300 and they will do their best to find you that holiday bargain that you have been looking for !

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Holiday Prices Plunge. Pick Up A Bargain Now !

Pick up a bargain beach holiday in the credit crunchThe ongoing credit crunch, the see-sawing cost of fuel, the pound’s fall against both the dollar and the euro, and continued poor consumer confidence are all making things very difficult for travel companies at the moment. This is the reason why you can pick up some fantastic holiday deals, cheap holidays and cheap flights.Here is this weeks picks of the best holiday and flight deals -Mautitius, is a fantastic luxury holiday destination.

The standard of hotels, the service, and the food, is exceptional and in our opinion makes Mauritius one of the best luxury holiday destinations in the world.Why not Kick off your shoes and unwind at the family-friendly Veranda Pointe aux Biche Hotel.

 Escape with the kids for as little as £1265 per person or why not save a massive £1528 per couple at the famous Le Touessrok hotel with prices starting from £1499 per person.If you don’t want a 12 hour flight to Mauritius then how about 4 nights at the amazing new Atlantis The Palm in Dubai.

If you travel between 1 June and 15 July then we have a deal at the moment for only £699 per person.We also have some last minute ski holidays to Italy available.

A week departing on 5 April at the Hotel Jumeaux in Cervinia, Italy costs just £379 per person.How about these flight price deals ! Dubai for £255 , Hong Kong £345, Jo’Burg £409, Cape Town £409, Bangkok £429, Kuala Lumpar £399. All these flights are from Heathrow for departures between 18 April and 26 June for bookings made by 18 April. All flights are with Qatar Airways.We also have some great holiday offers to Thailand.

Click this link to see the details thailand holiday offers

If you are looking for a week in the sun then we have a week on the Greek island of Lesbos for only £159 departing on 16 April or a week in Lanzarote departing 23 April for £239.Here is an interesting fact for you.

The Global Holidays search database has an amazing 20 million holidays in it ! You can search between dates and it will bring up the cheapest holiday

Call FREE on 0800 433 2300

Redundancy – Maybe not the end of life as you know it!

With news everyday of shops and businesses closing and a prediction that unemployment may rise to 3 million I thought that I would share my experience of redundancy with you.

For many, redundancy can be unexpected but I suppose that I was lucky in that I knew several months before that my office was going to close. I worked for a large insurance company and as often happens someone decided to amalgamate two offices into one. I had the choice of moving to Birmingham or London or taking redundancy. After 23 years working for the same company since leaving school I took the brave decision to take redundancy and take a chance working for myself. I’m not quite sure why but I decided that I would do something completly different so I started a travel agency. I knew a bit about travel (I had been to Spain a few times !) and before long I found myself sitting in front of a computer taking phone calls from people wanting cheap holidays and flights. It was a very fast learning curve, but the one thing I knew was that I needed to give the very best customer service. That’s what I had learnt in my previous job and I figured that if my travel knowledge was lacking I could make it up with excellent customer service.

In most jobs you pick up skills that can be used in other businesses so you don’t have to stay in the same line of business as you were in before. Although it is difficult, you have to stay positive and regard the situation as an opportunity to do something different. For most people the loss of income is the main problem when losing their job. The mortgage has to be paid, so the first priority is to get some income coming in. My advice would be to take whatever comes your way as you can always leave, but during that time start to think about what it is that you really want to do.

It’s amazing what can be done just working from home with a computer. I was only reading today that a woman started writing horoscopes for magazines after her husband lost his job. She had always been interested in horoscopes so she started writing and also she knocked on some magazine doors and to her suprise several magazines were interested. She now earns a living writing horoscopes. There is an endless number of opportunities for home workers and if you have an interest in computers and the internet it is relatively easy to set yourself up with a small online business.

It’s always a good idea to think ahead. If you think that there may be a chance of redundancy why not put your toe in the water and start that online business that you always wanted to do and run it in your spare time. If you do that you can guage what the chances of success are and also it gives you a head start in the game.

I didn’t know what to expect running a business, but I was confident that it would work. I booked family and friends and did some advertising and the phone started ringing. After 9 months of working from home, we opened a high street travel agency and then we moved into large spacious offices and employed at its peak about 12 people. Our business grew without really trying but then we hit a brick wall in that the market changed and sales started reducing. Like everything, travel is a very competitive industry and the market has been swamped with start up’s. The big players also sell sometimes below our net price.

Despite the problems I regard it as all part of learning about business and life and I am glad I did it.  There are ups and downs and as the saying goes – Crises happen to everyone, but it’s how you handle them that counts!

Running a business is certainly not boring. You have to live and breath the business and the first few years can mean long hours and family sacrifices. There is no guarantee of success but you won’t know unless you try.

For me redundancy worked out ok, although, of course, that can all change, but it can in any job. Sometimes I wish I had a ‘proper job’ where I didn’t have to worry about doing VAT returns and so on and I sometimes wish I was part of a bigger team, but I am glad I set up on my own and I would do the same if I had to relive that part of my life again.