Top Tips for Festival Travel

Top Tips for Festival Travel

You’ve managed (often by some miracle) to get yourself a ticket to one or more of the big music festivals of the year. But how are you going to get there? Here are some travel tips for whichever method of transport you choose, or if you haven’t decided, might help you make your decision.

Coach/bus

Pros – Direct to the festival entrance, can sleep on the journey, no stress of driving
Cons – Can be a long journey, limited to what you can carry

Image Source: boardmasters.co.uk

  1. Package deals – Coach/bus tickets are often sold in a package deal with your festival ticket, and in some cases, coach + festival tickets are released to the public before standard tickets. Even if the coach might not be your first choice of transport, you may prefer to tactically get a coach+festival ticket as this gives you two chances to get those must-have tickets. Remember though, if you do buy a coach+festival ticket package, you do actually have to travel this way as they often do not give you your festival ticket until you’re on the bus.
  2. Research – If you decide to take a coach/bus later in the day, you will need to find companies yourself. Big companies like National Express or Big Green Coach offer festival-specific services, but others may only go to the nearest town. Make sure you do your research to have a realistic idea.
  3. Hand luggage – You’ll often be on the road for a long time, so make sure you’ve got a smaller bag for journey essentials like your phone, snacks, earphones and anything else you think you’ll need easy access to.
  4. Travel as light as possible – Easier said than done, but if you can minimise your luggage you’ll make your journey a lot easier. If you’ve still got too much, try asking friends in advance that are travelling by car if they can take some of your items, but be prepared, as this may involve multiple treks to the car park!

Train

Pros – Speed, can sleep on the journey, no driving
Cons – Often expensive, rarely gets you the whole way

Image Source: mirror.co.uk

  1. Think about timings – A lot of people will be travelling to the festival this way and your train ticket does not guarantee you a seat. You may want to delay leaving until the crowds have died down. Book the train as early as you can to avoid disappointment and price hikes. Look out for cheaper off-peak times which could save you a nice amount of money.
  2. There will often be more parts to your journey – The nearest train station could be right near the festival, or an unwalkable distance away. There will often be shuttle buses running between the station and the festival entrance, but if not, you may need to fork out for a taxi ride or a local bus. Make sure you know what to expect and if it involves a lot of walking, make sure you pack as lightly as you can.

Car

Pros – Often cheaper, not governed by timetables
Cons – Driving can be stressful, long queues

Image source: express.co.uk

  1. Choose your parking location strategically – If your friends have a camping area in mind, try and drive to the closest car park. This might not always be feasible, but the closest you can get to where you’re actually camping, the lower the stress levels will be when dragging all your stuff back and forth to the car.
  2. Use apps to pinpoint your car’s location – If you’ve got your smartphone with you, pin your car’s location on Google maps. This will help you find it again, whether it’s on the way home, or whether you need to make multiple trips to the car throughout the weekend. This tip is also useful for your tent location and could save you a lot of time wandering around a field of similar looking tents in the early hours of the morning.
  3. Don’t forget parking tickets/prices – Car park tickets/stickers are often sold separately, so make sure you’ve got yours stuck on the windscreen before you arrive. It also acts as a cool souvenir that you can keep in your car until the next festival
  4. Try not to overfill – It’s easy to get carried away by packing everything you *might* need over the weekend. Be realistic about what you and your passengers can carry before stuffing the car full of gazebos, camping chairsand the kitchen sink.
  5. Have a campervan? – Campervans are the ultimate festival swiss army knife as they are your transport, tent, and canteen, all rolled into one. Festivals will likely have a separate campervan ticket price, so make sure you buy the correct one. The only other thing you need to worry about is brushing away the envy from the other festival-goers!


Image source: loveglamping.co.uk

In summary, thinking about your transport options in advance can save you a real headache (and often a lot of money) than arranging it nearer the time.

Happy camping!

Top 5 Ugly Cars on the Road

If you watched the latest episode of Top Gear (Series 24 Episode 7), you will have seen the yacht-inspired SsangYong Rodius, a car that has been subjected to insults about its appearance since it’s launch in 2004, and described by BOAT magazine as the ‘World’s Ugliest Car’.

This inspired us at Shiply to write a list of what we think are the 5 ugliest cars on the road today:

5. In fifth place is the Suzuki Wagon R+. Not only does it look disappointing, reviewers also report its performance outside urban environments as a little ugly too…

Image Source: parkers.co.uk

4. In fourth place is the aggressive-looking Nissan Juke. A small SUV made to rival conventional hatchbacks. We’ll stick to the conventional ones thanks…

Image Source: nissan.co.za

3. In third place is the Smart Roadster. We’d only just got used to the quirky, standard Smart Car, then this came along. It looks more like something out of the Legoland driving school than fit for a real road!

Image Source: parkers.co.uk

2. Our runner up is the first generation Ford KA, which despite its ugliness, sold extremely well following its release in 1996. Thankfully the newer versions are easier on the eye.

 Image Source: johntopley.com

1. In well-deserved first place has got to be the Fiat Multipla. That crease below the windscreen looks like a pimply furrowed brow. The sooner it’s off our roads, the better!

Image Source: cars-data.com

 

Do you agree with our list? Let us know!

 

Should Diesel Vehicles Be Banned In London?

Have you been keeping up to date with the news surrounding London’s air pollution? After just 5 days into 2017, one road in London (Brixton Road in Lambeth) reached its maximum annual allowance for levels of nitrogen dioxide. Yikes! 

This has now sparked major discussions on how we can work towards reducing air pollution in the capital.

One possible solution is to ban all diesel vehicles from the roads in London. This campaign is greatly backed by medical professionals (surgeons, doctors and nurses alike) along with the mayor of London, Sadiq khan.

“Doctors Against Diesel claim 9,400 Londoners per year die prematurely from breathing in toxic fumes from diesel engines.”

Did you know that pollutants such as diesel contribute to health problems such as asthma, heart and lung diseases?

In the news, this week the mayor of London has come out and said: “motorists should be given up to £3,500 for them to scrap their old diesel cars and vans and replace them with cleaner vehicles”.

As it is from October onwards, diesel vehicles that enter the congestion charge zone in central London will pay an additional T-charge of £10 on top of the £11.50 congestion charge.

Image Source: The Jakarta Post

Other cities who are working towards a ban on diesel vehicles include Paris, Madrid, Mexico City and Athens

Is banning diesel vehicles completely the answer to the problem? Or will it create new problems?

Let’s wait and see whether the government acts and puts into place a national diesel scrappage scheme.

Source: BBC 

Shiply’s Favourite Driving Films

There is nothing better to do on a cold evening than to chill out with a good film turned on and the world turned off. Are you a lover of all things car related? Then you need to check out our top 6 driving related films.

The Fast and the Furious

This is a classic movie and has something in it for everyone. A great (looking) cast, fantastic fast cars and loads of high-speed racing. There are 7 movies in total and we definitely recommend watching them all. When you’ve watched all 7, don’t worry, the 8th movie “The Fate of the Furious” is set to be released in 2017. We hear a movie marathon coming on. 

Drive

This is not only great for driving fans but also Ryan Gosling fans. This is an action packed movie and a great example of when a book to film adaptation works. The classic cars in this movie won’t disappoint any car lover and, without giving too much away, the chase scene is enthralling and will leave you on the edge of your seat. 

The Transporter

Jason Statham is simply fantastic in these movies. Just like The Fast and the Furious, Transporter has been made into a series of movies and there are now 4 in total, all equally as good as each other! He is an expert driver who gets paid to transport cargo, but of course the road is far from smooth.

Cars

This cute little movie is perfect for the whole family. This is basically The Fast and the Furious, but in animation style and Pixar have got it spot on if you ask us. It is a charming colourful movie.  There is also a sequel for those that loved the first as much as we did!

The Italian Job

A car classic. This flashy film won’t fail to impress it is packed with action, drama, romance and classic cars. There is also a recent remake of it but we definitely recommend the original.  “PUT YOUR FOOT DOWN!” and get this movie on. 

Dude, where’s my car?

Ok, this one is just for fun. If you just want some lighthearted teenage humour, then this is the one to watch. It’s silly from start to finish and Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott are comedy gold. 

How To Save Money On Courier Services

Let’s face it, price matters. Who doesn’t love saving a few quid? Whether you frequently send a tonne of parcels or just the odd one here and there, we’ve put together a great guide to ensure you never overpay again.

courier

Buy Packaging In Bulk 

This is especially important to those of you who send parcels regularly. Buy everything in bulk and you’ll save a small fortune. You can buy boxes of all shapes and sizes that are of a high-quality and suitable for posting online on websites like eBay and Amazon. Or alternatively, pop into your local Poundland.

Use A Comparison Site 

This makes a lot of sense. When booking flights, almost everyone uses a comparison site to get the best deal. Well, the same should be done when choosing a courier. You can do this on Shiply. You get free comparative quotes straight to your inbox and, just like eBay, you can read the couriers feedback left by previous customers.

Know The Dimensions

This may sound simple but it’s often something people forget to do. The more accurate you are, with the dimensions and weight of your parcel, the more accurate the quotes you receive will be.

VAT

Did you know that if you are an online business sending parcels frequently you can claim VAT back? Well, now you do, so make sure you keep all receipts and paperwork in order to do this.

7 Weird But Useful Items To Keep You Warm

The cold weather has been nonstop this month with a lot of temperatures going below zero. But to cheer everyone up we have put together this short but wonderful list of wacky and practical items that will keep you warm.

Glovers 

Yes. These are an actual thing! They are gloves specially designed for couples to hold hands and wear the same glove keeping the heat in.

glovers

Image source: Radius Design

Toe Socks

These have been around for a while and work similarly to a glove only they are for your feet. Not the most attractive socks (and a little strange to walk in).

rainbow_toe_socks_by_mini_u

Image Source: DeviantArt

Warming Pouch For Your PJ’s

This fantastic creation heats your pj’s for you. No more getting into freezing cold pj’s and you can also use it for other items like towels. Basically, whatever you can fit into it, you can heat.

pjwarmer1

Image Source: CoolThings.com

The Nose Warmer

We still can’t quite get our heads around this one. Do you hate having a cold nose? Then, this may be the answer to your nosy situation. It is basically a woolly hat for your nose.

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Image Source: Nosewarmer.com

USB Heated Shawl

This is one for the office workers. These come in just about every colour and are sort of cute. You simply just plug it into your computer and let the fun commence.

usb-heated-shawl-500x500

Image Source: HelloTrade

A Hooded Scarf

This ingenious product will keep both your neck and ears warm. This all in one will save you the need of splashing out on a matching set. We call that win-win.

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Heated Body Pillows

Yep, now we have seen it all. You could even use this as your Halloween costume. (Although if you are single this may scare off potential partners). 

heated-body-pillows-lightmate-to-replace-life-mates

Image Source: Trend Hunter

 

 

First Ever Train From China to Britain Arrived Full Of Socks

Last Wednesday (January 18th) saw the arrival of the first ever freight train from China to the UK. This fantastic train was filled to the brim with socks and suitcases!

After travelling 7,500 miles it came to its final destination in Barking, London. It took 18 days to arrive and passed through seven countries on its way here. Those countries included Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France.

This 18-day trip by rail is faster and cheaper than both sea and air transport and weekly trains could be on the horizon between China and the UK.

Great things are afoot, I can feel it in my sole!

china-uk-train

 

Image source: Channel News Asia

The Ultimate Moving House Checklist

Moving house is a time-consuming process that requires a lot of prepping and planning, and for some of us getting organised doesn’t come naturally! It can also be an expensive task that leaves your finances drained. Worry no more as we have put together the ultimate go to checklist for your house move. It is easy to follow and broken down into 3 stages.

moving-house

Before Your Moving Day

– Lists, lists, lists! Who doesn’t love making lists? This is a good place to start. In the run up to your moving day, create a checklist of everything you need to do in the run up to your moving day and tick them off as you go.

– Give people plenty of notice that you are moving home. Inform all the relevant people of your change of address such as utility providers, friends, family etc.

– You will also need to redirect your mail which you can do this by visiting the Royal Mail website.

– Give yourself plenty of time to arrange a professional removal service. Compare free quotes on Shiply and book a removal firm at least 2 -3 weeks in advance.

– Before you start to pack, have a massive clear out! This is the perfect time to get rid of any unwanted or unused junk you may have lying around the house. You can sell them online on websites like eBay or donate them to local charity shops.

– Source strong packing materials. You will need bubble wrap, sturdy boxes and tape to keep your items safe in transit. You can buy packing boxes in bulk from websites like eBay.

– Don’t forget to defrost your fridge and freezer at least 2 days before you move. Also, remember to buy fewer groceries the week before you are moving. You won’t be able to transport most of this stuff and it will only be a massive build-up of waste.

– When it comes to packing electrics, take pictures of your devices, such as the back of your television, so you can easily remember what cord goes where when it comes to putting it back together.

– Label everything for easier unpacking.

– As you pack each room away clean as you go. So, when the day of the big move comes you won’t have much left to clean.

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On Your Moving Day

– Pack an essentials bag or box for the day of your move and fill it with items like snacks, a change of clothes, towel, pyjamas and any toiletries you will need for your first night in your new home.

– Keep the kettle and tea bags somewhere they can be easily located as moving house is thirsty work.

– Be present when the movers arrive to load and unload your belongings. This will allow you to supervise where everything goes which will speed up the process of unpacking.

– After the movers, have loaded all your belongings into their van, make sure you check every room before locking up. Don’t leave anything behind!

– The same goes when the removal company has unloaded your items. Ensure the van has been completely unloaded and nothing is left behind.

unpacking

After You Have Moved In

– Moving house can be the perfect time to look for new deals on your bills such as electricity and the internet etc.

– After the movers have left, do a quick clean of the new place before you start settling in.

– Don’t forget to leave your moving company feedback on the service they provided.

– Unpack your everyday items first.

– Have fun with decorating and organising and make it your own!

Preparation is key! The earlier you start preparing, the smoother the whole process will be.

 

Driving Resolutions For 2017

Have you made a ton of new year’s resolutions, that you know you will never keep! Instead of cutting out sugar and spending less money etc. Why not make more practical resolutions? 

How about stepping your driving up a gear and being safer on the road with these practical driving Resolutions for 2017.

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Walk More

Yes, you heard us right get out and walk more. For example, if you are only going to the shop that is two blocks away or if you are going to a friends house then leave your car at home and put your trainers on. This will help you keep some of your other resolutions such as getting fit and saving money. Killing two birds with one stone. 

Drive More Economically

This is not only good on your pocket but good for the environment also. One simple way to do this is by avoiding rush hour traffic (if you can). Try to always stick to the speed limits and turn the air conditioning off when possible. 

Keep Up To Date With Maintenance

This will help you to keep the above resolution of driving economically. You will save yourself a lot of hassle and money by keeping your car properly maintained. You should aim to get it checked twice a year.

Always, make sure your tyres have at least 3mm of thread for winter driving. Don’t forget to check the age of your tyres and spares. The physical integrity of tyres can reduce over time, making them more susceptible to failure.

Stay Calm

All road rage will do is raise your blood pressure. This is a golden resolution to make. Just remember you have to share the road with everyone even the stupid and dangerous drivers. Don’t let the idiot drivers ruin your good mood and karma. 

We hope you will consider these resolutions and stay safe on the road. 

9 EBay Selling Tips To Guarantee You That Sale

January can be a tough month on our pockets. However, there are always creative ways to make back some of the money spent in December. One of these ways is to declutter your house and get selling on eBay.

We get a ton of new Christmas presents every year and often have no space for them. So, why not start your spring clean early and make a bit of extra cash while you’re at it.

There are no excuses to not sell your old items on eBay, it is free to sign up and is as easy as pie to use whether you are a first-time user or a regular buyer. Follow our top 9 selling tips below and you will soon find extra cash in your pocket.

ebay

Tip 1. Build up feedback

Much like Shiply eBay is dependent on feedback.  If you are a first-time user with no feedback this could potentially put buyers off. So, it is a worthwhile idea to start as a buyer first and build up some positive feedback. You don’t have to go buying loads of items but buy at least 5 to get you started. There are loads of cheap items such as books, socks or CD’s etc. you can find on eBay that won’t break the bank.

Tip 2. Know the costs

Like everything in life, there will be some costs involved. If you are planning to sell on eBay, you should be aware of these. For example: if you are using PayPal as a payment method they charge you 20 pence on every payment you receive and 3.4% per month.

Don’t forget to include the cost of postage to your listing price so it doesn’t take away from your profit.

Tip 3. keywords

Keywords are key! Describe in detail what you are selling and make use of as many keywords as you can. For example: “Reebok size 8 women’s sports shoes” will probably sell much better than “women’s sports shoes”.

keywords

Tip 4. Understand eBay slang/jargon

EBay has its own slang language used on some listings and it is a good idea to know what some of these mean.

For example:

  • NIB = New in Box

  • NIP = New in Plastic

  • HTF = Hard to find

  • WYB = When you buy

Tip 5. Keep your starting price low

Don’t turn off potential buyers off pricing your items too high. Do a bit of research first and see what similar items are selling for, also consider what you bought it for and what condition the item is in. EBay usually suggest a price when you list an item try to stick close to this price.

Tip 6. Think about the timing

Timing is everything. Auctions that end on Sunday usually do the best as this is when the most people are online.  The same goes for the time of day, make sure your listing doesn’t end at times like 3.00 am in the morning or evening times when people are commuting. It is a good idea to list your item on a Thursday evening for 10 days as this will result in your listing ending on Sunday evening.

Tip 7. Pictures

Take high-quality pictures in good lighting. You can have up to 11 pictures on a listing (make the most of this). Make sure to photograph the item from a couple of different angles (back, front, side etc.).

Tip 8. Delivery

If you are selling heavier items such as push bikes, kitchen appliances or furniture you may need to help your buyer arrange a delivery or you can list the item as “collection only”. We can help you out here as Shiply is eBay compatible and you can get free delivery quotes with no obligation to use. If you are selling lighter items such as clothing etc. make sure to get padded envelopes (to avoid any damage and negative feedback). You can buy these in bulk from most pound stores or online from eBay itself. 

Tip 9. Proof of postage

Protect yourself from dodgy buyers and always keep receipts and proof that you posted the item. Just in case it gets lost in the post!

EBay isn’t the only method you can use to declutter your life and sell your unwanted belongings. You can also try selling on Facebook, Gumtree or use free websites like freecycle.