Boswells Blog

14th October 2018

Winter City Breaks: What to Pack for Your Long Weekend Away

Winter City Breaks: What to Pack for Your Long Weekend Away

Image: Pixabay

With the cold and dark nights of Winter right around the corner, there’s no better time to book that weekend getaway. But whether you’re a greenhorn globetrotter or a veteran voyager, when it comes to deciding what clothes to pack, we’re all just as hopeless as each other. Luckily, today we’ll be offering our best tips for packing a suitcase that ensures you remain versatile, comfortable and stylish no matter where you’re jetting off to.

Outfits

The key for packing for your weekend away is versatility. As such, consider a day outfit and a night outfit to ensure you have something to wear for any occasion. A classic day dress, for example, assures comfort and style throughout the day. Whether you’re navigating your way around the streets of an exciting new city or exploring fascinating museums and attractions, a day dress typically lends itself to a number of different styles and climates to make sure you’re looking your best whatever the weather. 

Once night falls, it’s always nice to be able to glam it up. A classy evening dress for that fancy restaurant on the harbour or that scenic rooftop bar ensures you’re looking and feeling your best during those unforgettable holiday moments.

Layers

Lightweight layers are ideal for weekend getaways as they can be packed tightly into suitcases with limited space (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t have limited space in their suitcase). Thin cashmeres and silks can be easily taken on and off without the burden of lugging heavy layers around, meaning they’re the perfect versatile addition to any outfit. Furthermore, layers often lend themselves perfectly to mixing and matching, so you can get multiple outfits from fewer items. 

If you're visiting a country that favours modest dress, or if you simply love a modest style, consider packing a couple of stylish hijabs to ensure you can mix up your style daily. Abayas also offer the same great benefit of supplying that extra layer whenever needed, and offer you the opportunity to choose a light style that matches your headwear.


Accessories

Accessories are often overlooked during the hectic packing stage, as many people feel they’re not a travel necessity. However, accessories are the golden secret to looking stylish on holiday. Why? They can add that extra little oomph to any outfit, without taking up too much space in your suitcase. Throw in a couple of pairs of your favourite earrings, necklaces and bracelets to have the option of adding that extra ‘wow’ factor to your outfits, both day and night.

The Little Things

Occasionally overlooked at the last minute; remembering the little things will make all the difference to your weekend away.

Whether it’s making sure you have the correct travel adaptor to ensure your phone stays charged for those holiday snaps, or packing particular travel essentials for a seamless and stress-free flight, remembering the little things is vital to making your weekend away the very best it can be.


Footwear

We saved the most important for last - a pair of comfy shoes are an absolute must on any holiday. Likelihood is, you’ll be doing a lot of walking whilst exploring the ins and outs of your destination, so prioritise comfort over style to save yourself that trip to the pharmacy for plasters on day two. But this doesn’t mean you’ll be getting a call from the fashion police. A simple pair of Converse will provide a suitable walking pump that still looks cute with any daytime outfit. 

For nights, pack a pair of multi-purpose heels that will look just as at home in the theatre as they will in a trendy bar or restaurant. Opt for a neutral colour with a smaller heel - both your suitcase and your feet will thank you! 

     Passport Image

Image Credit: Pixabay

The key to packing for any weekend getaway is to make outfit choices that are versatile and comfortable, whilst remaining fashionable. Following these tips will ensure you have something for every occasion, without filling an extra suitcase - just don’t leave your packing to the last minute!

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26th July 2018

Make the Most of Long Distance Flying with These 10 Tips

Make the Most of Long Distance Flying with These 10 Tips

It’s that time of year again, when thousands of us stuff our suitcases, stock up on sunscreen and jet off for another amazing holiday. We don’t doubt that fantastic adventures, lazy days on the beach and some of the best food the world has to offer await you, but first there’s the flight to deal with. Few people enjoy long flights, so here are a few tips to help make your flight as easy and enjoyable as possible.

 

Window Seat Image

10. Find Your Perfect Seat

Before you even get to the airport, you have an important decision to make…where to sit? No pressure, but the seat you choose could make or break how much you enjoy your journey. There are different opinions about where the perfect place to sit on a plane is, the trick is to find the seat that’s right for you. Here are a few things to consider...

The Window Seat

The window seat is an old favourite for many. It provides a view of the world below, a nice wall to rest your head against, and you are entirely free from having to get up to let other passengers get out of their seat. On the other hand, in these seats, you will find it much more difficult to get out of your own seat. This makes it much harder to make trips to the toilet or to simply stretch your legs.

 

The Aisle Seat

The aisle seat, on the other hand, will allow you ample opportunity to get up and wander about pretty much any time you like (turbulence permitting). You will, however, have to contend with frequent disturbances from other passengers wanting to climb out over your seat, and airline staff moving up and down the aisles throughout the flight. If you’re planning to sleep through the entire flight, this may not be the seat for you.

9. Eat Well…But Not Too Well!

Airline Food Image

Apparently eating foods rich in carbohydrates can help your body to adjust to a new time zone. Pack a few snacks for the journey, so that if you feel hungry between meals you have something to nibble, but be careful not to overdo it. Your body digests food slower when you fly, so lots of bulky food isn’t necessarily the best idea.

If you’ve never been on a long-haul flight before, you may be surprised to discover that your meals will probably come based on which time zone you’re currently in, which means you may get lunch, followed a few hours later by breakfast. The best we can say is, just go with it…

 

Image Credit

8. Don’t Forget to Pack These Essentials…

There are 2 kinds of things you need to remember to pack when going abroad. The first is everything you will need when you reach your destination. The second, and easier to forget things, are all the bits and pieces you might need for the journey. Here are some easily forgotten essentials:

  • A Pen: Make sure you have a pen to hand to fill in any necessary immigration documents on the plane (and bring a spare for your neighbour, who will inevitably have forgotten to pack one!)
  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste: Brushing your teeth will add a touch of normality to your day, not to mention keep your teeth nice and healthy.
  • Packing ImageHeadphone Adaptor: Some airlines have special headphone sockets, so it’s worth checking this in advance, and if you’d prefer to use your own headphones, we suggest getting an adaptor to give you this option.
  • Prescription Medication: If you take any prescription medication, make sure you have this with you in case you need it (and in case your checked luggage goes astray). Keep the prescription to hand in case customs need to check this later.
  • Hand Sanitiser: We highly recommend taking a small bottle of hand sanitiser with you…you probably don’t want to know just how dirty planes can get, but trust us, you’ll need this!

The trick to packing the right amount of carry on luggage—everything you need, but not too much—is finding the right cabin case or bag for the job. Pop in and speak to the very knowledgeable staff in our Luggage Department, or have a browse for yourself on our website, here.

7. Keep Yourself Entertained

Entertainment on Plane Image

Most long-haul flights come stocked with a vast selection of films, TV series, music and games to keep you occupied. You can usually look this up in advance to see whether there is likely to be anything that you’re going to want to settle down to for several hours of flying. If not, or if in any doubt, filling your tablet, e-book reader or mp3 player with things you know you love can be a smart move.

If you’re not travelling solo, a pack of cards can be fun, and make keeping yourselves occupied a more sociable experience than simply watching the inflight movies.

6. Soothe your Flying-Nerves

If you’re a nervous flyer, you’re not alone. It’s quite common to have a little apprehension about flying, but we hope that doesn’t stop you from getting out there and seeing what the rest of the world has to offer!

Statistically, you will reach your destination safely, and although at times during the flight you may not feel completely safe, you really are in expert hands.

Plane Image

It may be helpful to inform a member of the crew that you’re a nervous flyer, as they will be able to talk you through any concerns you have and check on you throughout the flight.

The middle of the plane, near the wings, is said to be the most stable place to sit, so should there be any turbulence, you’ll feel it that little bit less if you sit here. Distractions are also a great way to soothe your mind…indulge in films you like, a good book, or the company of a level-headed friend to take your mind off your worst imaginings. It’s important to acknowledge and address your anxieties, but try, also, to counter them with the excitement of your destination, and the holiday ahead.

5. Battle the In-Flight Insomnia

Some people can sleep pretty much anywhere, but for others it might not be that easy. Bear this in mind before flying long distance, and make sure that, at the very least, you’re well rested before you get on the plane…it may be a while before you get some proper sleep.

Travel Pillow ImageTo help you get your 40 winks, we recommend getting your hands on a travel pillow, an eye mask and some noise cancelling earplugs to block out the hum of the engines (although it’s always comforting to know that those are still working away while you doze). Some swear by sleeping pills to help them with sleeping on long flights, however, we would recommend popping in and speaking to one of our friendly Pharmacists for some advice before going down this route.

If you’re one of the unlucky souls that simply will not be able to sleep sat upright in economy class, no matter what you try, there are a few things you can do to help make this more bearable. Find yourself some good films, music or a book to help while away the hours in the air, but remember that if it’s a night flight you may be sitting awake in the dark for several hours. You could also try taking occasional breaks from the in-flight entertainment, curling up with your pillow, and closing your eyes for half an hour or so to allow your brain a little respite.

And finally, if (and when, eventually) you do sleep, try to sleep according to the time zone you’re headed towards, rather than the one you’ve just left. This will help you to combat jet lag and adjust to the new time zone a little more smoothly!

4. Stay Hydrated

Stay Hydrated ImageStaying hydrated when flying is extremely important, as the airconditioned air you breathe on a plane can be especially dry. Being dehydrated can cause your blood to thicken and increase your risk of deep vein thrombosis when flying. The trick is to drink plenty of water, little and often, and avoid drinks like tea, coffee and alcohol, which can contribute to dehydration. We recommend buying a bottle or 2 of water in duty free before you board, so that you have water to hand throughout the flight—although you can always ask the flight crew for a drink later. We would strongly advise against drinking water from the taps on the plane.

Bear in mind that some countries do have restrictions in place when buying water before a flight, such as requiring you to keep the bottle sealed in a bag until you board. If you’re flying out of Malaysia, for example, all water in duty free is served in disposable cups, rather than a resealable bottle. It's always a good idea to check what the restrictions are in advance. 

You may also find that your skin, lips, eyes and nose feel very dry from flying, but a little moisturiser, chap stick, nasal spray or some eye drops may help with this. Drop in and speak to our Cosmetics and Pharmacy staff for a little advice on which of these to choose.

3. Dress Comfortably

Wardrobe ImageUnsurprisingly, sitting in the same small space for hours on end as you hurtle across the globe isn’t always the most comfortable of experiences. So, when you’re preparing for your flight, give some serious thought to clothing that is loose fitting, and has some give in it. Whatever you’re wearing needs to be suitable for checking in for your flight, sleeping, eating and lots and lots of sitting. We also heartily recommend turning to a trusty pair of fluffy bed socks to add to your comfort.

Some people prefer to take a change of clothes with them, or even get into their pyjamas after take-off, it really all is a matter of preference. We also suggest bringing some layers, as the aircon can sometimes mean the temperature can fluctuate. Layers will mean you can cool down or warm up as needed.

2. Look After Yourself

Moving Around Plane ImageIt’s important to take good care of yourself when you’re flying, as being inactive for long periods of time and dehydration can put you at risk of deep vein thrombosis (a blood clot that can cause serious complications). To keep yourself in tip top condition, try to get up and move around the cabin every couple of hours. If this isn’t possible, there are exercises that you can do in your seat that will help with your circulation. Flexing your feet back towards yourself, and then pointing them towards the toe repeatedly can help, as can rotating each foot in small circles in your seat. Loose fitting clothing will also help the flow of blood around the body.

You may want to consider flight socks, however it’s important that these are properly fitted for you, so we recommend speaking to a pharmacist if you think this might be a good option for you. If you are concerned that you may be at risk of deep vein thrombosis, it’s wise to visit your GP well before you travel, so that they can prescribe any necessary medication, or fit you for the correct flight socks. Visit www.nhs.uk for more information and advice on deep vein thrombosis.

1. Plan Ahead!


Travelling with Children ImageFinally, planning makes all the difference. If you’re travelling a long distance with the family, for example, a little extra planning can make the journey much easier and more enjoyable for everyone. This handy Sainsbury’s Bank guide to travelling with children is a great place to start your planning for a journey with the kids.

Putting a little thought into where you’d like to sit, what to pack, what to wear and how to take care of yourself well in advance of your trip means that you have fewer things to worry about on the day. Simply sit back, enjoy the ride, and make the most of the adventure that lies ahead! 

Check out our other travel blogs here!

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15th February 2018

How to Make a Travel Itinerary

How to Make a Travel Itinerary

A travel itinerary is like a small database which outlines all of the elements of your trip, from hotel stops to destinations. Even though it can feel overwhelming and time consuming, it's quite easy to make one.

The advantages of having a travel itinerary for you trip are that it actually saves you money and time, as well as avoiding a lot of stress. Just imagine not finding any connecting flights to your dream destination, or no available accommodation once you get there… An itinerary can help prevent problems like these from spoiling your trip.

 Hiking Image

Plan

It’s important for you to decide how you’d like to spend your time from the outset. Are you an outdoor person? Will you want to visit museums and other cultural attractions? What will you want to do for nights out, and for food?

Take all of these factors into account and then create a list of everything you want to see and do on your trip. The internet will be your best friend when making a travel itinerary, so start using it now to research your destination. Check out things such as tourist attractions and activities, local holidays, events and markets. Don’t forget to also look for hidden gems, which don’t always make it into the tourist guides!

Based on how much money and time you have, now you can figure out where you’ll be staying and how to get there. You can either choose to stay in a 5-star hotel, or, if you’re feeling more adventurous and frugal, go couch surfing and backpacking! Setting a budget from the start will help you to figure out where you want to stay.

When planning out your holiday, it’s also a good idea to remember to check what to expect from the weather in advance. Will you need gloves, umbrellas, or swimming shorts? If it's likely to be very hot you may want to read up on the best ways to cope with the heat first. Keep your budget in mind at all times too, as you don’t want to plan activities for a whole week just to find out you’re out of money by day 3 once you’re there!

 Travelling Image

Organise

Once you have all these ideas written into a list, a great next step is to put them in order of location and priority. It’s much easier, and faster, to visit places in the same area then move on to the next one, rather than going back and forth randomly.

Make sure you allocate enough time for each activity. For example, it might take a whole day to explore a big museum. Consulting online forums and reviews from other travellers is also a good idea when deciding what to see and do.

If you want to get really organised and be prepared, spend time researching your options and always have a plan B. In terms of transport, keep in mind that planes save you the most time, however they can be expensive. To stay within your budget, you can look into trains, boats and rental cars. These can be more time consuming, but also way more adventurous, and a great way to see more of where you’re visiting.

A travel insurance policy can cover you against things such as bad weather, trip delays, lost or stolen luggage, emergency transportation, evacuation and medical problems, so it’s always a good idea to travel with an insurance plan in place. The level of cover needed for your trip will depend entirely on your needs, where you’re going and what activities you’ll be doing while you’re away.

 Notebook Planning Image

Store Your Itinerary

There’s a variety of mobile apps you can download to help you with your travel itinerary and stay organised. It’s very important that you have a hard copy of your itinerary first, rather than relying only on your phone. For this reason we would recommend drafting your itinerary on paper before adding it to an app.

These websites and apps make it much easier to store, sort and share your lists. Some of them even go the extra mile by automatically including weather and flight updates, maps, directions, activity suggestions and many more useful features. Some of the top apps of this kind are Tripit.com, TripCase.com, TripHobo.com and Google’s My Maps app. Again, make sure you have a plan B – your hard copy itinerary written in a notebook or journal!

Finally, what you need to do is add essential travel information to your itinerary: hotel reservations, rental car confirmations, important information for tours, trains and buses, and last but not least: information that you don’t want to have to use. This includes your home address, emergency contact details, addresses and phone numbers of your home country’s embassies, consulates etc. Read our blog on travel security for a bit more information on how to plan for a safe trip.

 Train Image

Relax!

All in all, flexible itineraries tend to be the best ones. Don’t try to micromanage every hour of your holiday, and it’s often good to leave an extra day for the unexpected. It’s very likely that you’ll discover some hidden attraction on the way, plus your trip will be very rewarding if you’re more laid back about it!

Some would argue that creating a travel itinerary is the most important step of a journey. Even though it’s not the easiest thing to do, planning doesn’t have to be a painstaking process either. You can learn to have fun while you plan, and now that you’ve learned how to make an itinerary, you can use the same template for all your future adventures. Happy packing!

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19th December 2017

7 Tips for Travelling With Children

7 Tips for Travelling With Children

With Christmas creeping ever closer, for many of us, our minds are turning towards winding down for the festive period and getting excited about all that the holiday season has to offer. For parents and guardians of small children, Christmas can be a truly magical time of year - but this busy period is not without its challenges.

From sourcing must-have Christmas gifts to stocking up on ingredients for the most important meal of the year, it’s not unlikely you’ll have a seemingly never-ending to-do list. Today, we’re helping you tick one of the most important items off your list, as we offer some top tips on travelling with children in winter.

Involve Them In Travel Plans

Whether you’re spending Christmas abroad or just away from the family home, you can get your children excited about the holidays by informing them of your travel plans. From trains and aeroplanes to road trips by car, your young ones will love the prospect of trying something new and will be keen to get involved. Dig out old maps or use images on your smartphone to show them where they’ll be going - and, depending on their age and whether you’re visiting a different country, you could even try teaching them some local lingo.

Pack Travel Distractions

Travel ScrabbleFollowing on from getting your children involved in your plans, if they’re old enough, try giving them small tasks to ‘help’ with the journey. For example, if you’re travelling by car, have them look out for fuel and service stations. This will give them something to focus on and help them feel as though they’re contributing to the journey. On top of this, you can pack their favourite toys and comfort items. From travel sticker books to travel sized games and activity sets, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of entertainment options to cover the journey - as you don’t need us to tell you that little ones become restless very easily!

Keep Essentials On Hand

In the furor of travel, the last thing you want is to misplace your passport, car keys or any other essential items. With this in mind, you’ll want to keep a travel wallet or bag handy and make sure you know where everything is and that you’re able to access any crucial documents or travel information with ease. This will save you from rummaging around and getting distracted in busy airports and train stations, which is when you’ll want to keep your focus on your children. It’s also a great idea to keep wet wipes to hand, as well as a change of clothes for any children you’re travelling with.

Maintain Routine

One of the best ways to stay organised as a parent or guardian is to stick to a routine where possible - and while this might seem unnecessary when holidaying around Christmas, you’ll be thankful you saw it through. From eating habits to bedtime routines, it’s likely that your children are used to their days operating in a specific way, and any disruption to this routine can cause upset and unease for children of varying ages. Where possible, stick as closely as you can to your usual schedule. This way, whether you're staying in a villa in Lanzarote or a cottage in the countryside, you can help your young ones feel as at home as possible.

Alarm Clock - Maintain Routine

Stock Up On Snacks & Drinks

For children - and adults, for that matter - nothing works as a distraction technique quite like food. To keep hunger at bay and meltdowns at a minimum, stock up on your child’s favourite snacks and get these out at intervals throughout your journey. You might want to avoid foods like chocolate, which can melt, and anything too smelly - as this has the potential to make for an unpleasant trip. Keeping children and again adults hydrated, despite the need for loo breaks is also a good idea as de-hydration can lead to tiredness, headaches and irritability. Not good for anyone driving or for siblings prone to argue in the back of a car.

Have An ‘In Case Of Emergency’ Plan 

In the lead up to Christmas, the country gets steadily busier - and this can make travel particularly stressful. Whether you’re travelling alone with children or as part of a group, it’s a great idea to have backup plans should anything go wrong. From pre-agreed meeting points to making sure your young ones know their contact details or are at least carrying them, it’s a great idea to have measures in place to resolve any unforeseen situations that could occur at this manic time of year.

Plan In Pit Stops

Baby Sleeping

As a parent or guardian, you know that hours upon hours of time spent cooped up in a vehicle with irritable children is guaranteed to get your holiday off to a rocky start. If you’re travelling by car, it’s easy to schedule in regular pit stops to allow everyone to stretch their legs and get some much-needed fresh air. However, for those who are flying, you’ll be at the mercy of the flight length. Try walking to the bathroom or down the aisle with your young ones to keep them from sitting still for too long. The excitement will hopefully tire them out and they’ll sleep for at least a portion of the flight.

As a parent or guardian, you know that hours upon hours of time spent cooped up in a vehicle with irritable children is guaranteed to get your holiday off to a rocky start. If you’re travelling by car, it’s easy to schedule in regular pit stops to allow everyone to stretch their legs and get some much-needed fresh air. However, for those who are flying, you’ll be at the mercy of the flight length. Try walking to the bathroom or down the aisle with your young ones to keep them from sitting still for too long. The excitement will hopefully tire them out and they’ll sleep for at least a portion of the flight.

With the most magical time of year fast approaching, we hope these tips help you take some of the stress out of Christmas - allowing you to spend quality time with your friends and family this festive period. Merry Christmas from everyone at Boswells.

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11th May 2017

Get Inspired to Travel with These 10 Most Visited Cities

Get Inspired to Travel with These 10 Most Visited Cities

Our Luggage Department’s Mid-May Madness discount promotion has got us thinking about all the amazing places to visit out there! If you’re looking for exciting travel ideas or if you’ve ever wondered what the most popular travel destinations are, with a little help from the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index report, these are the top 10 cities visited last year! They’re certainly a great start if you’re looking for a little inspiration for this year’s holiday…

10. Seoul

Seoul Gyeonbok Palace Image

With its impressive palaces, large museums and vibrant shopping areas, it’s not surprising that 10.2 million of us flocked to Seoul last year. This lively South Korean city has the perfect mixture of amazing food, traditional culture and its own quirky way of doing things.

Visitors to Seoul will discover that its world-class subway comes with a range of catchy jingles, that kimchi (cabbage fermented in chilli) is much nicer than it sounds and that, on an average day, you can quite easily witness “six impossible things before breakfast.” Boasting a very low crime rate, and a very welcoming approach to visitors, it’s really very hard not to love Seoul.

You can fly direct to Seoul's Incheon Airport from London, with a journey time of around 10-11 hours. If you've got the energy when you land, Incheon Airport has both an ice rink and a cinema...

 

9. Tokyo

Imperial Palace Tokyo Image

Image Courtesy of E. A. Woolley

Famous for its bustling atmosphere and neon lit skyscrapers, Tokyo is the 9th most popular travel destination in the world, with 11.7 million visitors. This sprawling city is in fact the largest in the world, and for those who want more than just towering buildings to make their holiday memorable, Tokyo won’t disappoint.

If you fancy a taste of the local culture, there’s the Imperial Palace, not to mention plenty of temples and shrines to visit. If you long to see some real, Japanese cherry blossom, a trip to Ueno Park in the spring is a must. Or, if you fancy a taste of Tokyo’s history, why not take a look at the old buildings in Kawagoe? We’ve no doubt you’ll find more than enough to keep you occupied in Tokyo!

A direct flight from London to Tokyo will take around 12 hours of your time, which should be just enough time to watch a few films, have a good snooze and excitedly flip through your travel guide. 

8. Istanbul

Istanbul Image

This amazing city is the perfect meeting point between East and West, which is probably why Istanbul drew 11.95 million visitors last year. As a European city, also heavily influenced by Asian culture and history, this city is a bit of a gem.

Istanbul’s famous skyline of domes and minarets in the Old Quarter is really stunning, towering over the old cobbled streets below. If you enjoy a bit of haggling, take a trip to a Turkish bazaar and see if you can snag yourself a bargain, or maybe just soak up some of the city’s incredible history, it has oodles of it to share. Sounds pretty great to us!

Istanbul is a mere 4 hour flight from Gatwick and Stanstead. You'll be enjoying the sights in no time at all!

7. Kuala Lumpur

Petronas Towers Kuala Lumpur Image

If you love the tropics, then Kuala Lumpur may be just the city for you. Last year KL attracted 12.02 million visitors, who all no doubt discovered the charms of Malaysia’s sweltering heat and roaming monkeys. This modern, high-rise city is surrounded by leafy palm plantations, and is full of wondrous things to see. If you aren't a fan of the heat you don't have to miss out, why not have a read of our blog on ways to keep cool?

The city is chock full of temples and wildlife, as well as the ultra-modern shopping delights of KL City Centre. Kuala Lumpur is diverse and multi-cultural, modern and traditional, and wherever you are, air conditioning is always mercifully close by. A must see for anyone not daunted by the heat (or the monkeys)!

You can fly to Kuala Lumpur direct in 13-14 hours from Heathrow. If that sounds like a very long time, there are plenty of options for taking a layover enroute, which could be a fantastic way to see another great city. 

 

6. Singapore

Gardens By The Bay Singapore Image

With 12.11 million visitors in 2016, Singapore has proven to be a very popular holiday destination. This ultra-modern city has sprung up over the last century or so, and just oozes cool.

With its boutique shopping districts, must-try restaurants and impressive theme parks, Singapore makes a fantastic city break for couples, groups and families. It’s also a wonderfully green city with its Botanical Gardens and award-winning Gardens by the Bay. And, if all of that isn’t tempting enough, well, Singapore also has its very own Night Safari. Yes, we did say Night Safari…it doesn’t get much better than that!

Singapore is roughly 13 hours flying time from London's major airports, and not too far from Kuala Lumpur, if you have your heart set on seeing both.

 

5. New York City

New York Taxi Image

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that New York is one of the most visited cities in the world. In fact, NYC is the most visited city in North America, with 12.75 million visitors last year alone. This sleepless city has so much to do that its popularity is pretty hard to argue with.

Visitors to New York are spoilt with a selection of arts and culture, amazing sight-seeing and sooo much food! To get the most out of your time in New York, New York, we suggest a walk through Central Park, a trip down the Hudson River and perhaps a little bargain shopping on Canal Street. Be sure, also, to try a gigantic pretzel from a street vendor before you leave!

You'll find yourself in New York about 7-8 hours after taking off from one of London's airports, which should give you a little extra time to get excited about all the things you're going to see! 

4. Dubai

Dubai Image

 Dubai has become very a very popular holiday spot in recent years, last year attracting 15.27 million of us to its sandy shores. As home to the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, and some of the world’s finest shopping, it doesn’t come as a huge surprise to see Dubai so high up on this list.

To make the most of your time in the United Arab Emirates, a little desert safari (complete with barbeque and belly dancing performance) is a real treat. You can also swim with dolphins at Dolphin Bay or even give shark diving a go at the Aquarium! There’s lots of exciting things to sink your teeth into in this desert city by the sea.

Dubai is about the same length flight from London as New York is, around 7-8 hours away, although ideally flying in the opposite direction, or you're probably terribly lost. 

3. Paris

The Louvre Paris Image

Ah, the city of light! Last year 18.03 million of us wandered along the banks of the Seine, strolled down the Champs Elysees and climbed the steps of the Eiffel Tower. Paris has been a favourite with travellers for hundreds of years, and its seems its old appeal has never faded.

This is probably because the city oozes romance and culture, and boasts a history that attracts visitors from all over the world. It also can’t hurt that Paris is only an hour’s train Journey away from Disneyland… For those who love long leisurely meals, art, architecture and…um, Mickey Mouse, you really can’t get much better than a trip to Paris.

Paris is blissfully close, with a flight time from London of about 1 hour. If you prefer the Eurostar, you can be there in roughly an 2 and a half hours. Parfait!

 

2. London

London from Waterloo Bridge Image

Yup. Our very own capital city is the second most popular travel destination in the world, with an impressive 19.88 million overnight visitors last year. We’re hardly going to argue, after all, London really does have a little bit of everything to offer.

Samuel Pepys once wrote that “when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life,” and we think this must be London’s secret to success. It really is very hard to get tired of such an energetic, cosmopolitan city, after all. With tourist favourites such as Tower Bridge, Big Ben and Buckingham palace, not to mention free museums and the buzz of the West End, London has something for everyone!

So close to Oxford, there's no reason to miss out on a little time in London. England's capital city is roughly 60 miles away, which is only about 1 hour 45 minutes driving time (if the traffic is friendly), or an hour by train!


1. Bangkok

Bangkok Image

Ta-daaa! The top spot for most visited city in the world is currently held by Bangkok. Last year Bangkok had a jaw dropping 21.47 million visitors, we must say we’re pretty impressed.

As a diverse city with something different around every corner, and packed full of amazing things to see, it’s not surprising that Bangkok has become such a popular place to visit. With stunning sights such as The Grand Palace, Taling Chan floating market and The Temple of the Emerald Buddah, Bangkok is the sort of city that’s bound to keep your camera very very busy!

To get a real taste of Thailand, trying Bangkok’s famous street food is a must. If you’re feeling especially daring, you can even give fried worms or grass hoppers a try! And, if the South East Asian humidity starts to get too much, a trip on the Skytrain will give you a chance to see some of the city in the cool. As a city with so much to offer its visitors, what’s not to love?!

A direct flight from London to Bangkok takes around 11-12 hours. We reckon half a day in the air is probably more than worth it for a little time in this amazing city.

Get Travelling!

Jim and Madge Angkor Wat

This selection of amazing cities really shows that the global tourist trade is booming, and that we’re off exploring new and far flung destinations in ever increasing numbers. While travel to (and within) Europe still accounts for about 51% of all international travel, we’re far from missing out on all the other amazing places out there! 

In fact, the UN World Tourism Organization reported that in 2015 about 50 million more people were travelling than the year before, accounting for around $1.5 trillion in global exports! That’s a lot of amazing adventures and memories that we’ve all been out there making. Even Jim and Madge, our Playmobil couple, have been off having some incredible holiday adventures!

Samsonite Lite-Shock Suitcase Image

If you’re planning a special trip this year, you might want to take a look at some of the fantastic discounts currently on offer in our Luggage Department, which include Samsonite suitcases and all sorts of travel goodies by Eastpak and Go Travel. If you need a little extra help on which suitcase to pick, read our handy guide, or pop into our Luggage Department for an extra helping hand. 

For some more fantastic ideas for places to visit, why not check out Trip Advisor’s Traveller’s Choice Top 25 Destinations, which includes Bali, Siem Reap, Crete and Prague?

If these top travel destinations have whet your appetite for the holiday of a lifetime, what are you waiting for? Grab your suitcase and go explore!

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27th March 2017

Boswells' Guide to Travelling Safely and Securely

Boswells' Guide to Travelling Safely and Securely

Visiting new places can make for some truly amazing memories, but it can also be a really good idea to give a little thought to keeping yourself and your belongings as safe as possible while you’re off seeing new things. With that in mind, we’ve put together a few tips to help you to be as prepared as possible.

Keep reading, or click on one of the below links to skip to a specific section.

     Staying Safe                                                                            Packing Securely

     Staying Healthy                                                                       Thwarting the Thieves

     Looking After Your Belongings                                                Avoiding Contactless Identity Theft

Staying Safe

Tonle Sap ImageWherever you’re planning on visiting, it really pays to do your homework before you even book. We suggest having a look before you go to see what the current security issues in the area might be so that you can plan ahead accordingly. These might be minor, but at least you’ll know what to expect when you arrive, leaving you with one fewer thing to worry about! Things to think about can include acquainting yourself with the political situation in the area, or simply familiarising yourself with any common tourist traps that might crop up while you’re away. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office website is a good place to start doing a little research: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice


Image Credit: Elena Woolley

It’s also useful to look up some of the the local laws, customs and expectations too, so that you don’t unwittingly offend anyone or unexpectedly end up in trouble with the local law enforcement while you’re away. 

Tokyo Image

While there’s no need to make yourself an expert on the culture you’re visiting, a little prior knowledge does go a long way and frees you up to concentrate on enjoying yourself.

Find out where the embassy or consulate is in any countries that you’re visiting, and make sure that you have a copy of these details in case they’re needed. If you do find yourself in trouble, or even just without your passport, the embassy details might just come in handy.

Passport ImageAnd, of course, before you go, make copies of all of your important documents (travel insurance, card numbers, visas, your itinerary, hotel and flight details etc.), so that you have these to hand should any problems arise. Make a photocopy/scan of your passport as well, and keep this separate from the passport itself. It’s always wise to make sure someone back home has a copy of these details and documents too, that way someone knows how to get in touch if you do run into any problems during your trip.

Staying Healthy

Angkot Thom Bayon ImageWhether you’re travelling somewhere especially exotic or not, it’s important to ensure that you’re going to stay as healthy as possible on your travels!

To do this, we recommend making a travel clinic appointment with your GP or popping into our pharmacy for a Travel Requirements Consultation about 8-12 weeks before you travel. A doctor, nurse or pharmacist can help advise you on any necessary (and recommended) vaccinations, anti-malarials and any other health-precautions you ought to be taking while you’re away, based on where you’re headed.  

Image Credit: Elena Woolley

Jungle Formula ImageYou may also want to get your hands on a travel first-aid kit. If you’re going somewhere with lots of mosquitos, we suggest investing in some good insect repellent to keep you as bite free as possible, as well as something to soothe the bites if you do get chomped! Read our blog on ways to protect yourself against contracting malaria here

The climate can make a big impact on your general health and well-being while you're away too. If you're off somewhere hot, we suggest taking a peek at our guide to looking after yourself in the heat, here.

Looking After Your Belongings

Photographer Image

Travelling to new and exciting places can be one of life’s real treats, but still, from time to time your belongings can unfortunately go for a wander, never to be seen again. This is true, of course, whether you’re halfway round the globe, or just strolling around Oxford city centre, and so it generally pays to be a little cautious regardless of where you are.

Nevertheless, there are a few extra things to think about when you’re travelling, since you’re often carrying more about than usual, staying in unfamiliar surroundings, and are more likely to be distracted by all the amazing sights you're off seeing.

Packing Securely

TSA LockIn many respects, the key to looking after your things while you’re away comes down to how you go about your packing. The more expensive bits and pieces you take with you, the more things there are to lose along the way, so it usually isn’t a good idea to take more valuable items than are necessary to your trip.

Of course you’ll probably still want to take a few valuable bits and pieces—your phone, camera or tablet, for example—so when you’re flying try to pack anything that really matters to you in your carry on luggage. 

At least if all of your valuables are close to hand, you’ll have a little extra peace of mind, knowing that everything is safe and still with you!

Cleveland Image

If you’re travelling to the USA a TSA lock will secure your hold luggage, and still allow customs officials to check inside your suitcase, if necessary, without damaging your lock. This means that once customs have completed their security check on your suitcase it can be safely secured again, so you hopefully won’t find your belongings strewn across the baggage claim area, or that anything is altogether missing on arrival. Some other countries (such as Canada, Japan, Israel, Finland, Austria and South Korea) do support TSA locks. If you’re still trying to decide on the best suitcase for your trip have a read of our luggage guide here or pop into our Luggage Department, on the ground floor of the store, for some extra help from our staff.

Image Credit: Elena Woolley 

Thwarting the Thieves

RFID Passport Pouch ImageIt’s always handy to have some of the local currency on you when you’re out and about, but try to carry it in different pockets and pouches (and to not carry too much money in cash) so that if you are unlucky enough to fall foul of a pickpocket, chances are they won’t be able to take everything. If you can also keep cards and traveller’s cheques in different places, with any luck you’ll be able to keep those safe also.

To help you with this, you might want to consider getting hold of a money belt or pouch to fit securely and inconspicuously under your clothing, and you can even get ones to accommodate your passport too. There are also bags available on the market that offer various security and anti-theft features, designed specifically with travellers in mind, which can mean one fewer thing to worry about while you’re off exploring new places.

We spoke to Peter in our Luggage department about some of our newest travel safety bags. Here's what he told us: 

"We have introduced Pacsafe, a range of bags to thwart potential thieves. These products come with puncture resistant zips, so no worrying about someone placing items in or removing items from your bags without your knowledge, as well as RFID blocking capabilities and Dyneema® webbing and straps, which are lightweight and hard to cut through. They also come with Carrysafe slash guards and eXomesh® slash guards, which feature a stainless steel wire, integrated into the fabric panels of the bag and straps, and is very effective at stopping bag slashers."

Pacsafe Travelsafe Image

Opinions tend to be fairly split as to whether it’s better to carry your passport with you at all times, or to leave it in the hotel safe. This may depend on where you’re visiting, as some countries require you to keep identification on you at all times, in which case finding a secure way to keep your passport to hand is definitely advisable. You also never know exactly how secure the hotel safe may or may not be, and who might be able to access it, so you might want to invest in your own portable safe, such as the Pacsafe Travelsafe. This is effectively a portable safe-bag with a slash-proof wire mesh frame, which can be secured to a fixture in your hotel room, safely storing any valuables such as your tablet, keys and passport. Sounds like a pretty ingenious solution to us!

Avoiding Contactless Identity Theft

Pacsafe RFID Wallet ImageRadio-Frequency Identification (or RFID) has become increasingly common in recent years, and is the technology behind contactless cards and the biometric chip in your passport. While these features can be really handy, it can also leave you vulnerable to contactless identity theft. Unfortunately, it's possible for data stored using RFID to be scanned and copied by identity thieves from as far away as 10 feet, and so a few extra precautions to protect your information and your money can be very useful indeed. Luckily, there are a wide range of RFID blocking wallets, money belts, and even bags available on the market, which can help keep your data safe and put your mind at ease. 

Fisherman's Bastion Image

These products block scanners, meaning that your information is much more secure and that anyone trying to scan your data will come up empty handed.

And finally, while its important to plan ahead to make sure that both you and your belongings are as secure as possible during your trip, it’s also important that you make the most of your travels and thoroughly enjoy yourself! Giving some thought to the things that could go wrong should hopefully mean that you’ve got everything covered well in advance, freeing you up to just make the most of the time you have while you’re away! So from all of us at Boswells, bon voyage!

Image Credit: Elena Woolley 

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28th July 2016

Top Tips to Beat the Holiday Heat

Top Tips to Beat the Holiday Heat

Summer is here, and many of us will be off to exciting and wide-spread destinations in the coming weeks. Chances are, those destinations will be mostly very hot. Because looking after yourself in the heat is so important, and an essential part of having a great holiday, we’ve put together a few tips to help you make the most of your time in the sunshine.

Stay Hydrated!

Water ImageThis is really the most important thing to remember in any hot climate, whether you’re visiting a beach, a city, a desert, or simply making the most of the sun at home. In the hot weather you lose fluids at a much faster rate than at other times, and you can become dangerously dehydrated very quickly if you don’t replace them as you go along.

It’s important to recognise the early signs of dehydration, and respond accordingly, as heat exhaustion and heat stroke can be very serious. Make sure you drink plenty of water, and regularly, even if you don’t feel thirsty! 

Keeping a bottle of water with you at all times is a very good way to keep on top of your hydration. There are also various apps that you can download to help you monitor your water intake, which is a helpful way of staying safe, and makes it easier for you to concentrate on enjoying yourself. Find out more on heat exhaustion and heat stroke at http://www.nhs.uk.

Malta Image                         Gondola ImageDubai Image

Pace Yourself

If you’re off on a sightseeing or an adventuring holiday it’s only natural to want to see and do as much as you possibly can in the limited time that you have away. But if you’re going somewhere sizzling hot, you might want to plan a more laidback approach. 

Hammock Image

We expect that the reason that siestas are so popular in Spain is because running around in the baking heat is much less enjoyable than taking a leisurely lunch and basking in the air conditioning during the hottest parts of the day. If you really don’t want to waste a moment when you could be off exploring, though, take things slowly, rest often in cool places and keep drinking that all important water! 

Remember that you might not be able to cover as much ground as you’re used to in a day, so visit the must-see places first, and then see if you’re still feeling up to trapesing around the rest. 

Blue Mansion

Pack light for the day too, as you’ll use extra energy lugging around more than you need. If you’re visiting somewhere humid bear in mind that it’s much harder to cool down than in dry heat, as sweat can’t evaporate into the already moist air.

Alternating between hot outdoor locations and cool air conditioned museums and restaurants can be a great way of keeping your energy going, and so can taking a taxi…or a gondola, a tangah, a tuk-tuk or a rickshaw, depending on where you are…

Image Credit: Elena Woolley

Air Conditioning is Your Friend

Camel ImageIt sounds silly, but the importance of air conditioning really can’t be understated, and many hot countries even recommend seeking out public places with air conditioning to wile away the baking hot days in safety. If you start to feel the heat while you’re out and about, try to find somewhere nearby with beautifully cool air-con to take a little R&R (even if it’s just the local supermarket).

If possible, make sure that wherever you’re staying has air-con fitted too, especially if you aren’t used to the heat. The trick is not to get too carried away with the colder settings, however, as you'll feel the heat more when you head outside. It can take a couple of weeks for the body to acclimatise to the heat, so if you're staying long enough to adapt then try not to get too over-dependent on air conditioning, perhaps try it in shorter bursts or not having it quite so cold, but of course never force acclimatisation at the expense of your health. If you feel at all unwell due to the heat, always find somewhere cool for refuge, and as soon as possible.  

There are plenty of other little tricks you can try to cool down throughout the day, though. 

Athens Image

Running your wrists under a cold tap for a few seconds is a great way to get immediate relief, and a cold, wet towel is frankly amazing if you’re too hot. Some recommend soaking a hat or a bandanna in cold water too to keep your head nice and cool. Keep a fan, or something with good wafting capabilities, close to hand and never underestimate the power of good old fashioned ice cream at cooling you down! That said, its important to eat fairly healthily in hot weather, as eating too much (especially proteins) causes the metabolism to release excess heat, making it harder to keep cool.

Dressing for the Climate

Sunglasses ImageKnowing what to wear in a hot country can be tricky. Natural fibres are always best—they’re much, much cooler than polyester clothing, and won’t cling so uncomfortably when you sweat (loose fitting clothes are a great choice in this respect). They also dry quicker, which is always appreciated when it’s hot and sticky.

Penang Image
Image Credit: Elena Woolley

The instinct is often to go for shorter sleeves, shorts etc., but this does leave you more exposed to the sun, and many who live in hot countries actually recommend long sleeves. This is especially good advice if you're going anywhere that has mosquitos—from Venice to Vietnam—as these flying pests will assume that any exposed flesh is fair game for dinner! Read our blog on protecting against malaria here.

Be mindful, also, of what is considered appropriate dress at your holiday destination—do a little research beforehand to see what is and isn’t acceptable wear. This is worth doing even if you’re visiting somewhere fairly close to home, such as the Mediterranean, and also if you’re planning on visiting any religious buildings and temples.

Sunscreen Image

And finally, sunscreen, we can’t stress the importance of this enough! Remember to stay well protected against both UVA and UVB with a high factor sunscreen (at least spf30-50 is wise), and re-apply throughout the day. Applying sunscreen about an hour before heading out into the heat is a nice trick so that you don’t just sweat it all off the minute you step outside! Some sunglasses and a hat will also help protect you from the harsh sun, so make sure you remember to pack these.

 

Planning Ahead

Mini Fan ImageBefore you set off on your adventures, be sure to do plenty of planning and research. Have a look at what kind of temperature you can expect for the time of year (also what time of day it will be at its hottest), and whether it’ll be dry or humid heat.

We also suggest popping in to speak to our friendly pharmacist if you have any questions about staying healthy and safe in the heat, or about what vaccinations you might need for where you’re headed. If you’re short on general travel supplies, our Luggage Department is well stocked with goodies. For advice on picking the right suitcase for your needs, click here to read our blog, or pop in and speak to our Luggage staff.

Accessories Department Hats ImageWe also have plenty of other travel essentials in stock, such as sunscreen, hats and sunglasses, and you may want to consider investing in a trusty refillable drinks bottle, a mini fan, or good supply of mosquito repellent.

And if you're simply enjoying the best that the British Summer has to offer this year, we have plenty of fans to choose from, both in store and online, although hurry, they do sell fast! Take a look at our blog on ways to keep your home nice and cool here. 

But wherever you’re off to and whatever you've got planned for the Summer ahead, be sure to take care out in the sun and the heat. Once you've got the weather sorted, though, go have fun, and remember to make the most of every wonderful moment of it!

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20th April 2016

Finding the Right Luggage for You

Finding the Right Luggage for You

When Francis Boswell began his small business in 1738 he probably didn’t envision that 278 years later not only would the store still be here, but that it would have grown to include so many departments. But the store began its long and fruitful life by selling travel goods to the people of Oxford. 

Naturally the travel industry has rather changed over the centuries, and if you’ve had a look at what’s on offer in the luggage world recently you may have noticed that there's enough variety out there to make your head spin. Worry not, Charlie from our Luggage Department has offered up his superb advice to help demystify finding the right luggage for your needs. Here's what he had to say...

Keep scrolling to read the whole blog, or to read a specific section, simply click the links below:

Size                                      Style                             Other Things to Consider

Weight                                  Warranties

Choosing the Right Size Case

Members Suitcases ImageCharlie: If you're trying to avoid having to check in luggage altogether, or simply want to make the most out of your carry on, allowance size can be everything. Whilst the vast majority of airlines adhere to very similar restrictions on hold luggage, cabin luggage allowances can (and do) vary wildly. What may be permissible for one airline may very well be considered to be oversized for another. 

Sky cabin Case


The maximum size allowed on an airline is restricted to 56cm tall by 45cm wide by 25cm deep by the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) and, at the time of posting, this size is used by British Airways and EasyJet. However as mentioned above many airlines will come in well below these restrictions, with some airlines allowing only cases shorter in height, narrower in width, shallower in depth or any combination thereof. Click here for a brief summary of some of the major airlines' carry on restrictions. 

S'Cure Interior Image


An important thing to note is that when an airline is measuring the size of any bag you're taking with them, it's the extreme of each dimension that is measured. This means that the bulge of the front pocket to the rear of the case, and the very top down to the base of the wheel is what will be taken into account. This can have a noted impact with 4 wheel cases, with the wheels located externally under the base of the case, raising the height up by as much as 4 or 5 cm.


Plane Image

Beyond the issue of size, weight limits are set by different airlines once again to varying levels of restriction. Whilst some airlines don’t mind what you take as carry on, as long as you can manage it yourself, others restrict you to weights little more than that of an average handbag.

We can’t stress enough the importance of checking the restrictions on your tickets prior to travelling. The knowledge that you are travelling safely within whatever limits are placed on you will make the journey not only easier and calmer, but also potentially a considerable amount cheaper.


Weight & Construction

Charlie: With the temptation to over pack for an upcoming trip and the looming prospect of potential overweight fees, making sure your luggage comes in under the weight limit has never been so important.

Travel Scales

Whilst the weight of a suitcase may only be a small portion of the overall value when the case is full, the benefits of selecting a lighter model to start with can be the difference between having to pay additional baggage costs and slipping in under the wire. Many ranges can be considered to be “lightweight,” and are labelled as such, but it’s important to compare what different ranges are offering in order to find one that suits your needs. A lighter case may very well have slightly smaller dimensions, for example, or have fewer internal pockets and dividers, which may be something you find useful when travelling. 


Samsonite ImageIt may also come as a surprise, but some of the very lightest cases are now hard sided options, which traditionally have been the heavier, more durable choice compared to their fabric counterparts. The decision between opting for a hard sided or soft sided case now sits as a choice between the specific features available within those ranges, rather than a material principle. For the vast majority of hard sided options an expander and external pockets aren't available as features, and if these are something that you live and die by using then the choice may well already be made for you. If you can live without these features then the choice opens up much more. The material a case is made from also has an image of defining its durability, but in reality each type has its own vulnerabilities and in the end it comes down, far more, to the quality and level of investment in a piece, which will better predict its life expectancy.


Selecting a Style

Marvel Suitcase Image

Charlie: If we can pass one piece of advice onto our customers when it comes to the style of luggage to look at purchasing its “try to say no to black.” Now we will be the first to admit that as a colour black has always been considered a classic and the only consistently stylish colour, season after season, but this has left the vast majority of cases on any trip to be almost identical. If you can avoid having a plain black suitcase and go for something a little more standout it will repay you many times over in saved minutes waiting at the luggage carousel after a long flight.

Uplite Case Image


Soft sided fabric suitcases may not have the most adventurous colour pallet on the whole but you can still find some light options in teals, pinks, reds and greens, for example. When it comes to hard side cases you’ll find even more options, ranging from simple bold bright colours to graphic designs and repeated patterns, the sky is the limit.


Having said our piece against black suitcases, we must counter it by saying that all is not lost if you do already have a plain, dark case that you travel with. There are of course ways around the monotony of monochrome with brightly coloured luggage labels, straps and padlocks to add a little individuality, and to make recognition and collection that little bit easier.


Advice on Warranties

Beach ImageCharlie: Many luggage manufacturers have a well-deserved reputation for standing behind their products’ quality and durability through their manufacturer’s guarantees. These warranties are, by and large, limited to defects in either the materials used or the standard of workmanship. Whilst there are a couple of exceptions to this, the vast majority of brands will exclude damage caused by mishandling or natural wear and tear from their responsibility. This is not to say that these guarantees are token gestures, rather that they divide the responsibility for care between the maker and carrier fairly.


For peace of mind we would always advise our customers to inspect their luggage on receipt from a carrier, be it an airline, coach company or cruise liner, and note any signs of damage. If you are unfortunate enough to find signs of mishandling then be sure to document it and raise a query with a member of their staff at the point of collection. This will make the claim much easier to process and much more likely to go through with minimal difficulty.

Airport Image


For processing guarantee claims manufacturers may operate on either a repair or replacement service, with companies such as Samsonite carrying spare parts for cases for many years after they last sold them. This can be a valuable service where only a minor fault renders a case unusable but could be easily fixed, such as a sticking trolley handle or a broken wheel.

(Image Credit)

Other Things to Consider

Manoeuverability

Spinner WheelAs well as size and weight, it can be helpful to consider what other factors are important to you when choosing a case. Manoeuvreability can have a big impact on how smoothly your journey goes, and if you’ve ever had to make a quick dash between gates or terminals with luggage when changing flights you’ll agree some good wheels and a sturdy handle can make all the difference.

If you’re likely to be doing most of your travelling around airport terminals, you may find a 4 wheel spinner case glides alongside you most easily, but remember these will also add to the height of the case, and the wheels are more exposed to damage than on a 2-wheeler. A 2-wheeled standing case is well suited to rough terrain, such as pavements and curbs, and so may be just the thing for train journeys and UK excursions. Remember though that this type of recessed wheel, along with telescopic handles, will use some of the case’s internal space up too. Upright Wheel Image

It’s important, also, that you’re comfortable with the size of the case that you choose, and that the length of the handle suits your needs. Something that is either too big or too small for you to easily manoeuvre is probably not your ideal suitcase! If you're likely to be travelling home with more than you left with, having been on a serious souvenir binge, remember that you will need a case that can accommodate those extra items, and don’t forget to take this additional weight into consideration when you initially pack.


Security

If you’re travelling to the USA then its strongly advised that you invest in a TSA lock, which allows customs officials to open your case if necessary without having to damage your lock. These can be used if you're travelling to other destinations too, although customs may still need to cut the lock to check your case. An increasing number of cases are now available with the TSA lock built in, which is especially useful if you are a frequent visitor to the USA, or other TSA supported destinations.

Come Visit us In Store

Luggage Department Image

Getting the right luggage to suit your needs is an important part of any trip, and so picking a suitcase that's going to be a loyal and convenient travelling companion is key. To make the best possible choice of case we highly recommend popping in to store to speak to one of our fantastic in-house luggage experts, and to get a thorough look at what's on offer. Our Luggage Department can be found on the ground floor, by the Broad Street entrance of the store, and we have a growing range of luggage available on our website also. And finally, wherever you're going, whether its within the UK or abroad, for business or for pleasure, be sure to have a memorable, enjoyable and safe trip! Bon Voyage!

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8th June 2015

When the journey gets rough this technology is tough

When the journey gets rough this technology is tough

Boswells humble beginnings back in 1738 were selling luggage to Oxfordians. Mainly academics, but some of our luggage is rumoured to have been included on voyages with Captain Cook in the 18th century. We have always continued that tradition and we pride ourselves not just on good ranges of luggage, but great advice too.

So Peter from our luggage team being a long term admirer of Samsonite is happy to pass on some of his experience here.

"If it the going gets rough, no problem this technology is tough. In fact I liked it so much I bought 13 cases!"

firelight in racing greenThese were for myself and other family and so far those cases have been to Japan 3 times, Germany twice, Centre Parcs and the less exotic, Malmaison Oxford. They have all returned unscathed and the 4 wheels make them dream to drive even over Oxford cobblestones.

Samsonite Curv technology is used on a variety of their cases including the Firelite, and the brand new Lite-Shock ranges that we keep in stock. The smart Racing Green Firelite is shown here.

The technological bit consists of the way the Polypropylene granules are melted together & then literally weaved like fabric to produce a lightweight case that can withstand even the roughest baggage handling at the airport or being dragged around the world's great sites and cities. This also makes them the lightest hardshell you can buy.

Samsonite have produced this 2 minute video which shows both the creation and testing processes which is as they say "quite interesting".

And if you fancy seing just how much punishment a Curv technology case can take then here you go:

Last but defnitely not least especially for those who travel to the USA is the fact that they all come with a T.S A (travel Sentry Approved) lock. This means you can travel with a locked case and all the security that provides whilst smoothly negotiating customs. The US customs staff have special keys that allow them to open T.S.A approved locks whilst leaving your number code alone. Without an approved lock they have been known to cut cases open or cut locks off!

OK, now the hard bit. These cases do cost that little bit extra and that may be over the top for a single weekend away to Brighton, but if you travel annually or more or for long distances then a 10 year warrenty and the peace of mind that these superb cases provide is well worth it.

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31st July 2014

What to put in your beach holiday suitcase

What to put in your beach holiday suitcase

Planning to go on holiday for a few days, two weeks or even more this year? We know how stressful packing can be, especially when you’re in a hurry afraid of forgetting something! Here’s a handy checklist to help you pack your suitcase with all the essentials for a sunny beach holiday.

1. Clothes

The first mistake many people make when going on holiday is taking too many clothes. Try to make a selection of 7 outfits for a one-week holiday, choosing only clothes you’re sure you will wear. Here’s the list of clothes you will certainly need:

  • Underwear
  • One Party dress or one smart shirt (for going out)
  • 3 or 4 skirts or pairs of shorts and 5 t-shirts
  • One casual dress (for the ladies)
  • 2 Pairs of shoes: for ladies one flat and comfortable and one classier, for men one pair of sandals or flip-flops and one pair of proper shoes

2. For the beachOctoTowel

If you’re just planning to relax during your holidays, the most important thing to bring will be beach clothes and accessories so don’t forget:

  • 2 Swimsuits/Swim shorts
  • 1 light top to use as a cover-up
  • Beach towel
  • Beach bag
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • A book
  • Sandals or flip-flops


3. Cosmetics and toiletriesKent_Toothbrush

If your hotel doesn’t provide toiletries don’t forget to bring your own :

  • Travel size shampoo, body lotion, shower gel and shaving cream
  • Essential make-up: try to think “multi-purpose make-up” and take items that will work in a warmer climate, like foundation with SPF and waterproof make-up.
  • Make-up remover
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste

4. Electronics

Think about your electronics if you want to take pictures, listen to music or anything else that requires power. Most important don’t forget the charger!

  • Camera
  • Phone Charger
  • Power convertor (If you’re travelling abroad)
  • Batteries
  • Hairdryer (optional. most hotels will have one, but it’s always good to pack a travel size one just in case or if your hair needssome TLC and there isn't one provided)

Now, you’re ready to go on holiday confident that you have packed all of the essentials that you will need! Some of our suitcases in-store make it even easier to pack and will save you a lot of time. The Samsonite Firelite for example has a zipped divider pad in the top compartment, for easy and organised packing.

before-packing-your holiday-suitcase

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