What laptop ban?

LAPTOP BAN SOLUTION: DOOR-TO-DOOR WITH FIRST LUGGAGE

First Luggage are inundated with bookings following speculative extension of cabin ban on laptops to US, Europe and Britain

Following US officials stating that the laptop cabin ban is being extended to Europe and Britain, First Luggage has been inundated with bookings from business travellers, families, and international students.  We offer a door-to-door delivery service, with collection from one address and delivery to the destination address. With a license to ship ‘dangerous goods’, First Luggage are therefore able to ship electronic devices, such as laptops and tablets, which will soon be banned on flights between America and Europe.

Gideon Kasfiner, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of First Luggage stated, “The idea came to me following the September 11th attacks on America. Suddenly, airports and flying had become a nightmare. International security is again at an all-time high, and we are able to offer the solution”

Clients booking their laptops with First Luggage have realised that also sending the rest of their luggage door-to-door will allow them to travel hands-free, cutting out the stress of travel and eliminating the risk of the airlines losing their bags.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/11/airline-laptop-ban-europe-eu-trump

https://www.ft.com/content/c0835406-366a-11e7-bce4-9023f8c0fd2e

http://www.wired.co.uk/article/uk-laptop-ban-flights-explained

MY TRAVELS Travel: Liberty London Girl

“It worked like clockwork… I cannot recommend the service highly enough. It saves time, money and faff, and works seamlessly”

When Rachel and I started planning our trip to Thailand and to Hong Kong over Christmas and the New Year, we immediately realised that we would have an issue with our luggage. Because of late booking-related flight availability, we were flying Economy on Virgin Atlantic from London to Hong Kong, then transferring directly to Air Asia flights to Phuket.

We would then spend nearly three weeks travelling on land and sea between various Thai islands in the Andaman Sea, before flying back to Hong Kong to spend three nights in the city.

As we soon realised, Hong Kong was going to be fifteen degrees cooler, and rain was forecast. Rachel and I would both be taking work meetings in smart places. That meant an entirely different wardrobe of heavy things: coats, jeans, heels, shirts, and sweaters.

But we certainly didn’t want to lug all this stuff around the islands for three weeks, getting progressively more musty and crumpled, and taking up valuable bikini space in our cases.

And, not only did we not want to lug around huge amounts of clothing, but we were bound by the 23kg Economy allowance, and we needed lots of lovely summer stuff for three weeks on the islands.

Whilst I no longer carry around twenty books on my trips, thanks to the glorious Kindle, it’s amazing how much your bags can weigh. Spending the first ten days in smart resorts, (check out Sri Panwa on Phuket here), meant we didn’t just want to pack bikinis and sarongs, but Christmas and New Year party frocks, and pretty sundresses.

Then there’s the weighty bottles of skin and suncare for three weeks: of course you can buy that stuff out there, but when you already have it, and you have specific skin needs, you don’t particularly want to resort to a bottle from the local stop and shop. And don’t even get me started on my heavy tech requirements, from cables to AirPort, speakers to laptop.

So I looked into paying for an extra case for both of us on Virgin, and leaving it filled with our Hong Kong clothes at left luggage in Hong Kong’s Chep Lap Kok airport.

Hmm: at $140/£12 a day, we would be looking at somewhere around £220 by the time we picked it up, plus £50 for the extra case. And £50 to take it back again. Plus the pain of getting two giant cases to and from the airport in London, and having to seek out Left Luggage on both arrivals in Hong Kong.

Then I remembered First Luggage, who had been in touch with me earlier in the year. They kindly agreed to let us trial the service for the trip. It worked like clockwork: I left the extra case in London and it was picked up from my office three days before we were due to arrive at The Island Shangi-La Hotel on Hong Kong Island.

It arrived the next day at the hotel – we had forewarned them, and they kept it in storage, delivering it to our room in advance of our check-in.

First Luggage service

This is the case – neatly protected with plastic and packing tape, waiting to be unpacked in our beautiful room.

FIRST LUGGAGE

First Luggage attached cable ties to all the zips, for extra security. The day we left Hong Kong, we re-packed, affixed the necessary airway bill and left the case with the concierge at The Langham Hotel (we stayed there for our final night). It was picked up after we left and arrived back at my London office twenty-four hours later.

I cannot recommend the service highly enough. Even if we weren’t trialling the service, we would have booked it anyway for all the reasons listed above. It saves time, money and faff, and works seamlessly.

I was talking to blogger BryanBoy on Twitter about First Luggage when we were in Hong Kong. He loves it for fashion week season, meaning he can send on his extensive wardrobe of looks ahead to the different cities on the circuit. It also makes sense for bulky sports equipment for trips, like skis and golf bags. And, if you are a business traveller, you need never use a check-in desk again, arriving at the airport at the last possible moment because your luggage will have been picked up in advance from your home or office.

How it works: The service is door to door, picking up from your chosen address (home, place of work or hotel). You book your luggage delivery online or call a First Luggage customer advisor, who will then send by post or email your outbound and inbound luggage travel documents (airwaybills), which you affix to each piece of luggage ready for collection. The First Luggage team then monitor your shipment every step of the way with their state of the art tracking system, and delivering to the address of your choice, and guaranteeing to deliver on time  – or give you your money back.

First Luggage also run a same day delivery service London – Paris, Paris – London.

7 of the Most Unique Beaches in the World

Whether it is a family holiday, a romantic trip for two or travelling to find yourself, beaches serve as universal gathering points for all walks of life. We have compiled a list of 7 of the most unusual beaches across the globe to transform the conventional beach experience into an unforgettable one.

1. Glass Beach, California

What was once a dumping ground for discarded bottles has now been turned into an eclectic selection of shiny glass pebbles and now a highly popular tourist attraction

2. Vaadhoo Island Beach, the Maldives

From blue skies in the day to blue light after dusk – the phytoplankton on this beach in the Maldives pave an ethereal trail for a late night rendevouz

3. Papakolea Beach, Hawaii

This earthy beach is one of only four green sand beaches in the world. Olivine, known to locals as ‘Hawaiian Diamond’, is a component that was deposited by the volcanic eruption around 50,000 years ago

4. Pig Beach, The Bahamas

Sun, sea, sand and… Swimming pigs? On the uninhabited island of Big Major Cay, tourists can swim with the famous feral pigs that frolic in the Bahamas’ clear waters – it still remains a mystery how the pigs first came to populate the island

5. Punaluu, Hawaii

A sanctuary for endangered Green Sea Turtles, the stunning tropical black shore of Punaluu seems almost otherworldly. Day trip to Mars, anyone?

6. Shell Beach, Australia

Shell Beach spans over 50 miles of Shark Bay, and its sands are made entirely of cockle shells. For those who can’t visit the seaside without expanding their shell collection, this pearly beach is not to be missed

7. Maho Beach, St Maarten

Whilst this may initially appear like a conventional beach for holidaymakers, it does not take long for visitors to realise exactly what makes this Caribbean beach so unique. A haven for plane spotters, but definitely not for the faint-hearted

Flying with Children Made Easy

Source: https://www.sainsburysbank.co.uk/money-matters/flying-with-children

Airlines mishandle over 23 million bags per year

You’ve landed. Finally. You groggily follow the signs for Baggage Reclaim and eventually after what seems like a lifetime of revolving doors, you reach your carousel. Fantastic! – You’re one of the first there. You’ll be out of here in no time. You were at the front of the queue at check-in and you’re sure that means your luggage will be among the first to be released – that’s how it works, right? But with each unfamiliar bag that makes its way round the conveyer, you grow more and more anxious. People begin to leave, suitcases stacked high on their trolleys; meanwhile you are sheepishly replacing yet another bag that you have mistaken for your own. Just two bags left on the conveyer now. They pass you three, four, five more times. Still no sign of yours. You walk over to the dispenser tunnel and peer in optimistically, praying for a glimpse of that red-and-white-polka-dot ribbon you had smugly tied to the handle.  Still no sign of yours.

Baggage handling, or rather mis-handling, continues to be one of the single largest hindrances to an efficient airline passenger process. In SITA’s Baggage Report of 2016, a colossal 23.1 million bags were reported to have been lost, delayed or damaged. Andrew Price, head of Airport Operations Management of the International Air Transport Association admits that airports are crippled by capacity issues in their baggage halls. Given that the baggage handling systems are already operating above design peak, this is clearly an issue which is only going to get worse with passenger numbers estimated to be around 7 billion by 2034.

Whilst airlines and airports propagate the top tips to avoid issues with luggage, SITA has analysed the reasons behind mishandling and it is evident that, in reality, passengers have absolutely no control over the ultimate destiny of their belongings. As can be seen in the below image, virtually none of these reasons are remotely within a passenger’s circle of influence –

One commonly cited tip is to ensure bags are checked-in well in advance, and all major airports echo that passengers should arrive 2-3 hours before a flight’s departure. However, Don Harris, senior director of ground operations for Southwest Airlines advises that “if bags are coming in for a flight that departs in three hours… it could become a case of out of sight, out of mind”. This also speaks volumes for the lack of care and respect that mars the baggage handling system  – Lucian Ilie, a former baggage supervisor at JFK admits “the lost bags don’t really get much attention…they just get kicked around”. In the outrageous footage below, baggage handlers were caught hurling suitcases from an easyJet plane “like rubbish bags onto a waiting truck”.

Once bags are handed over at the check-in desk, most passengers fail to appreciate the myriad of stages that occur before the bag reaches them at the other side (or fails to, as the case may be.. ‘scuse the pun). Since “a modern baggage operation is a mashup of high-tech innovation and old-fashioned grunt work”, a single mistake from an employee working in remarkably trying conditions can all but ruin your eagerly awaited and meticulously planned trip.

We can’t cram everything into our hand-luggage, and even if we could, passengers flying with airlines such as RyanAir and Easyjet have a less than 50% chance of their hand-luggage flying in the same plane as them. The solution? Door-to-door delivery. Cut out the airlines completely. Apart from making the entire process of travelling a lot easier, you will not have to take a gamble on your personal possessions every time you fly.

How to front up at film festivals in faultless fashion

Whether it is a once a year trip to Cannes, or an ambitious attendance at all the world’s high-profile film festivals, there is no doubt that packing for the event will require a great deal of care and attention. A red-carpet premiere requires an eye-catching and awesome outfit that will capture the attention of the press. During the day, screenings, interviews, meetings and networking demand impeccable style and possibly a few changes. These are not occasions to be travelling lightly. It is better to err on the side of caution and take more clothes than is strictly necessary, so as to be able to adapt to the climate and any spontaneous opportunities which may crop up on the circuit.

Different festivals call for different approaches. Sundance in Utah in January is famously cold. It will be imperative to take a warm outer coat that can easily be slipped off as you go in and out of the various venues. Many festival-goers like to combine their trip with a spot of skiing. As ski equipment and attire tends to be bulky and cumbersome, you really don’t want to be lugging that with you en route to the hotel. Far better to arrange to get it sent on ahead with a luxury travel delivery service.

Gowns, jewellery, tuxedoes and high heels are de rigueur for these glamorous international events but you will also need an array of smart casuals, and in cities like New York, Venice, Berlin or Toronto, there is an elite of the well-dressed and urban chic. The film business is all about appearances and if you are representing a movie in any capacity, you need to present yourself as an ambassador for the brand. Whether you are a film star or not, you can travel like one with a large stack of luggage, and be prepared for the paparazzi on any corner. Getting these bags pre-delivered also allows for assistants or hotel staff to hang garments, or press them, meaning you can hit the ground running on your arrival.

One item you will want to keep on your person is a watch. With a hectic schedule and many different timings to adhere to, it is much easier to glance at your wrist in a darkened cinema than to check your phone.

What’s the best luggage set?

If you travel a lot, it is perhaps more worthwhile to invest in a matching luggage set. These sets contain bags of different sizes, so that you always have a suitable piece of luggage, no matter where you are going or how long for. Below you’ll find some of the best luggage sets that cater to a range of budgets and purposes.

Best hold and hand luggage combo
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Traveler-Piece-Expandable-Carry-Luggage/dp/B003SMJCE2
The US Traveler Rio 2 piece set is made of a durable polyester, making for a hard-wearing purchase including self locking handles. With a large case combined with a hand eld bag which fits perfectly into the over-head lockers in most airlines, both pieces are expandable, allowing you to increase or reduce the space used as necessary. It also comes with a handsome price tag, so you won’t have to break the bank.

Best value luggage set
http://www.americantourister.co.uk/ocean-grove-3-piece-set-a-black-graphite/product-en.htm
American Tourister offer a budget, three-piece set containing three differently sized cases; the smallest of which is suitable for use as hand luggage. At incredible value for money, these simple cases include expandable compartments and several pockets for organised packing. They are also incredibly easy to handle, with four multi-directional spinners.

Best luxury luggage set
http://shop.samsonite.com/luggage/samsonite-winfield-2-fashion-20%22-spinner/56844XXXX.html
For a truly sophisticated purchase, try a renowned brand such as Samsonite. Their Winfield Fashion line comes with three cases crafted with a stylish metallic-look design. Made with the latest lightweight technology yet very durable, this set will provide you with high quality luggage with promising longevity. The largest case is also excellent for long-haul or extended trips due to its extensive size.

After investing in a luggage set you’ll want to make sure it gets to your destination safely and securely every time.  So why not head over to our How It Works page to find out how easy it is to send your baggage with First Luggage.

The best way to get your ski equipment to the slopes

You’ve been counting down to your ski holiday for months and you’re dreaming of powdered slopes and warm Jacuzzis. Finally, the time has come for you to put this trip in motion and start to pack, but how are you going to get all of your bulky equipment and clothing into just a handful of bags?

A ski trip is not a holiday for which you can pack lightly. You’ll need warm clothes, a ski jacket, ski trousers, thick socks, thermals, gloves, a helmet, goggles, ski boots, and a pair of skis! Airlines have different procedures for transporting ski equipment, some charge extra for transporting such items, which can quickly add an unwanted cost to an already pricey trip.

The problems with transporting your ski equipment via an airline doesn’t only come down to cost. A pair of skis can cost over £300, so you’ll want to ensure that they reach you in one piece and don’t get damaged from being carelessly tossed on to the plane. Transporting ski equipment can be heavy and uncomfortable to carry through a busy airport, especially if you’ve chosen to wear your bulky ski jacket in a bid to save space and weight with your luggage.

Of course, to avoid this stress you can always rent your equipment when you get to the ski resort, but this then poses another set of problems. Rented equipment is not always of the best quality and can be damaged by previous users. Lengthy queues at the rental hut take up valuable time on the slopes and rental payments can be pricey without the ownership of any equipment at the end of it.

A great way to avoid baggage charges and the stresses of transporting your own ski equipment is to use a premium luggage delivery service. The company will pick up your ski equipment from your house or office and will ensure a safe delivery before you land on the other side. There won’t be any stress at the airport and there certainly won’t be any worries around damage or non-delivery!

For more information on our ski equipment delivery service take a look at how it works here.

Luxury Excursions in Barbados

If you’re heading to Barbados for a luxury trip, the Sandy Lane Resort is the ideal place to stay in absolute comfort, enjoying all the relaxation the Caribbean climate has to offer. While you’re on the island, why not make the most of your stay and explore some of these luxurious locations?

Beautiful Barbados
Limegrove Lifestyle Centre

For luxury shopping in Barbados, it has to be the Limegrove Lifestyle Centre. The centre offers a fantastic shopping experience, complete with high-end designer names in clothing and jewellery. Based on the fashionable West Coast of the island, Limegrove has a wonderful selection of brands to keep you shopping all day, plus an art gallery and a cinema for when you feel like a change of pace.

The Cliff Restaurant

Luxury travel is nothing without luxury food, and The Cliff is the perfect place to sample the very finest dining in Barbados. Popular with celebrities, the restaurant serves up beautifully-presented, mouthwatering food in a stunning setting, overlooking a cove populated by stingrays and other fish. A torchlit meal at The Cliff is sure to be a memorable experience.

The Mews Bar

The ideal way to spend the end of your night, at the Mews Bar, you can sip your favourite drink in a stylish setting, with classy live jazz and other music providing entertainment. The bar stocks a range of fine whiskies and champagnes plus a menu of delicious cocktails, catering to every taste.

Bajan Helicopters Sightseeing Tours

What better way to see the beautiful island of Barbados than by getting a unique bird’s-eye view? Touring the skies in an air-conditioned helicopter lets you sit back in comfort and enjoy incredible views that few people get to see.

If you’re heading to Barbados this year, why not let us carry your luggage for you? First Luggage will get your luggage from your home to your hotel so you can travel through the airport hassle free. For more information on how we can help, head to our website www.firstluggage.com.

 

The Perfect Luggage for your Cruise

 

Of all forms of luxury travel, cruise packages are the most logistically complex in terms of luggage. You’ll be packing for different cultures and climates, with everything from casual wear to a tux, in order to cover all eventualities.

cruise ship first luggage beach vacation
Life on the ocean wave!

Usually, you’ll arrive at the departing port a day or two before boarding, meaning that you’d benefit from travelling light and exploring before taking the bulk of your luggage into your cabin. This is where the first advantage of suitcase transportation can come in handy – pack a light carry-on bag for the essentials you only need a day before your cruise, then take delivery of your bulky suitcases just before hopping on to the ship for that first glass of champagne.

 

Many of the best cruises start and end in different ports. For example, you may board in Venice but after an extensive cruise of the Mediterranean, your final port destination may be Istanbul. With most cruises running between seven and 14 days, it’s obvious that you need a full set of luggage and several changes of outfit for the journey. Why not have your luggage sent to meet you as you board, and have a premium luggage delivery service take it from you – washing and all – as soon as you’ve stepped off the boat? An added advantage of this is if you inevitably end up with more luggage than you boarded with – one of the highlights of any cruise is to shop!

 

The final advantage is that you’re then “luggage free” (read: hassle free!) as you go from ship to plane to home, with none of the stress and aggravation of getting to the airport, checking in heavy bags when you get there, and then dragging the whole lot home. Suitcase transportation means that your bags will be waiting for you when you get home, and your precious souvenirs and duty-free port bargains safe and intact.

 

Whether you’re a seasoned cruiser or it’s a honeymoon or holiday of a lifetime, having your luggage picked up and delivered makes an already luxurious experience the epitome of a true luxury travel service.