Sunday, 8 February 2015

Travelling 101

Salam and good day!

Because a few of the people that I've came across had trouble in this area, I felt compelled to share some of what I know. This is a guide for travelling in general and in the UK specifically. May it benefit you as it has benefit me.

1) Finding the right flight

This doesn't necessary means the cheapest one. Can also mean a comfy one. Depends on your definition on value for money. All flights have promotions every year. You just have to look for it.

2) Finding accommodation

Before travelling to a place, be sure you find a place to stay. For this part, if you are a strickler like me, it needs to be both cheap and comfy, especially the toilets. So browse around the net or ask someone that has been there if you know any. There are many blogs that share their travelogs. Learn from others. Be sure the place is nearby a public transport. Such as this

3) Packing your bags

I find using a medium sized luggage is much better than using a large luggage. This is because with a medium luggage, you can fit all you want until the bag is fully bloated and still won't exceed the weight limit. Plus this way, you can have two items checked in instead of one especially if you're a shopaholic type and will still be below the limit. 

With a large luggage, you'll intend to put more, thus having a chance of exceeding the weight limit. Even if you have a luggage scale. Another thing, have a luggage scale to weigh your bags.

When departing, be sure to pack less to leave some space for souvenirs and other stuff that you might want to buy.

4) Travelling (in London)

Buy an Oyster card at the tube station when you arrived. All rates are cheaper with oyster either on tube or London busses plus the bus now don't accept cash anymore. You can also add travelcards (day or week or month) on your oyster so you can travel around London (via bus or tube) all you want without worrying about your oyster balance.

Plus the oyster can be redeemed at the tube station before you return to wherever and you can get your £5 back. This will only be credited to your bank card. No cash.

Be sure to take one of the tube maps available at any stations. The tube can get pretty confusing if you're not used to it. I find using google map is just as useful as using any apps. 

They can tell which line/bus to take, which available or not and the ETA. 

5) VAT claims

For those travelling to UK, all items will include VAT. However, some items, you can claim your VAT at the airport. Be sure to arrive at the airport more than 3 hours before your flight. The queue can be time consuming. Items such as food and items bought online can't be reclaimed.

How to claim VAT:

  • When purchasing at a store, ask for a VAT receipt at the register when you pay. Certain store have policies that you need to purchase a certain amount to be eligible for VAT claim. Certain VAT claim requires you to fill in a form. Ask for more information from the store. 
  •  Bring along the VAT receipt/forms to the VAT refunds counter (follow the signage). 
  • The claims can either be in cash or credited to your bank card. Cash sometimes can take longer. 

6) Securing you luggage

Although nowadays most luggages already have locks, extra precaution can never hurt. Wrap your bags (after ensuring the weight) at the stores available in the departure halls. At KLIA, it costs RM10/item and £10.50/item at London Heathrow. Be sure to ask for a sticker to write you particulars and stick 'em on you luggage.

Last but not least, have fun! Enjoy your trip.

Or if you're on a budget, buy a cling film from a pound store and wrap it yourself. Be sure to wrap tightly and securely.

أَفَلَمْ يَسِيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ فَتَكُونَ لَهُمْ قُلُوبٌ يَعْقِلُونَ بِهَا أَوْ آذَانٌ يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا فَإِنَّهَا لَا تَعْمَى الْأَبْصَارُ وَلَٰكِن تَعْمَى الْقُلُوبُ الَّتِي فِي الصُّدُورِ
"Oleh itu, bukankah ada baiknya mereka mengembara di atas muka bumi, supaya dengan melihat kesan-kesan yang tersebut mereka menjadi orang-orang yang ada hati yang dengannya mereka dapat memahami, atau ada telinga yang dengannya mereka dapat mendengar? Kerana keadaan yang sebenarnya bukanlah mata mereka yang buta, tetapi yang buta itu ialah mata hati yang ada di dalam dada." (QS Al-Hajj : 46)

Don't make your travelling be in vein (just for fun). Make them worthwhile and meaningful.

Until next time..

Disclaimer: Pictures from google. I can barely open my eyes when writing this, so apologies for any mistakes or shortcomings.

No comments: