6 Car Hire Rip-offs to Look Out For When Hiring a Car?

Your holiday package includes a hire car to use whilst you are on your holiday and “the car only cost me an extra $50 for the entire 7 days hire”. And, then the unexpected happens such as a scratch on the bonnet, windscreen damage caused by flying debris or the worst case is that the car is hit by another motorists. “We are covered says Jamie because the insurance will take care of it”.

You bring the car back to the garage and the hirer hands you an unexpected repair bill of $600. You are shocked with bewilderment and the car hire people point you to the finer points of the hire contract which you duly signed when you collected the car. Below is a list of tricks car hire companies use to siphon money from you:-

1)Hidden costs.

Hire companies advertise hire charges that are inclusive of insurance but they fail to disclose the high excess charges before you sign the hire contract. If you own a car you may choose to have a small access of say $200 added to the policy to lower your premium but the access on a hire car can be as high as a $1,000. In case of a small damage say a scratch, the rental company can, if it chooses to, send you a bill for the entire access amount ($1,000.00) even if the repair costs are mush less.

2)The repairs con.

Customers are billed huge amount as much as a $1,000 for superficial repairs and hire companies don’t actually carry out the repairs. It is reported that cars are actually handed to other unsuspecting hirers before repairs are done on them. Therefore, these large access charges in respect of the repairs are income extra income that the company earns from unsuspecting customers. Ask them for a copy of the repairs bill? Well, you will have to wait a long time. If repairs are not carried out then the bills can never be produced. Can they?

3)Hire vehicles not properly maintained.

Imagine having a package holiday with a hire car thrown in as a bonus. You did not really want a car but it is there so you decide to use it. You take is for drive, it breaks down because it is not really road worthy and when you finally get it back to the garage you are landed with a repair bill. Being in a foreign country and not knowing the law you are more likely to hand over the money but you’ve just been conned.

4)Can we inspect the vehicle sir/madam?

You return a car after your holiday. The hire company staff inspect the car and find something wrong. You have no idea what is under the bonnet or even on the under floor of the car. The hire staff produce a list of three mechanical problems and then hand you a bill. Those three mechanical problems could have been paid a 1000 times a year. It is just another revenue generating scam.

5)Hire company fuel will cost you an earth

A tank full of fuel can cost you double what you will pay at the pumps. If you bring a car back to the hire company then expect a big fuel bill. This situation can be avoided by filling up the tank before you arrive at the hire depot to return your hire car.

6)Filled up tank with the wrong fuel? Big mistake

Putting wrong fuel in your car tank is a mistake easily made. Particularly, if your normal car at home runs on diesel fuel and your hire car uses petrol. If you were unfortunate enough to make such an error you will incur exorbitant costs running into $500 to $1500 to have your error put right.

Which car hire companies are operating their businesses in this unscrupulous manner?

From the sound of things, you will conclude that these are cowboy outfits out there to rip off unsuspecting customers. They cannot be large well established brands names that we recognise. Here is the shocking news, these car hire companies are national and international chains:-

Bad hire Company 1: Avis car hire charged 87% more for fuel and argued that they were right.

Bad hire Company 2: Hertz car hire charged a customer nearly $1,500 for filling the tank with the wrong fuel.

Bad hire company 3: Alamo car hire conceded that they charge customers for repairs which are never carried out.

Bad car hire company 4: Europcar; according to their representative, cars are returned back to the manufacturers having had all the repairs carried out first. It would appear that Eruopcar is no different than the other suppliers in the market place.

Finally, if you need to hire a car ask the hire company about the hidden costs; matters relating to insurance and excess charges before hiring your rental car. If you come across unethical practices/conduct please report your hire company to the authorities as a matter of course.

Car Rental – A convenient mode of transport in Bangalore

Bangalore, a place which probably is considered one of the best places in India as far as infrastructure is considered and reasons are many for that, one is because of the IT hub that it is and also because it is one of very good places if you are considering holidays and because of this very good facility provided for the people visiting Bangalore is that you have many options in case if you are thinking of hiring a car because of the large inflow of people visiting there every year either for business or vacation; Whatever your reason of visit may be hiring a vehicle for yourself will be a easy task and also you will be spellbound with the kind of options available to you for hiring a car at Bangalore.

First things first, whatever may be the reason for which you need a car , you’ll have a variety of options for that, weather you need a car for the most basic purpose of moving comfortably or you want a luxurious ride and you need to move in style or in case you are moving in a big group and you don’t want to part away with the fun of moving together, every need of yours would be taken care of by the Bangalore car rental companies. Also you can hire a car which suits your budget, so you can hire an economical car which will serve the purpose of moving around the place comfortably, obviously the luxuries will be missing but all the bucks that you would save on your travel would be all worth it. And if you are one of those who like to move out in style and want to make a statement everywhere you go, than you can hire a luxury car which would cost you a little more but then luxury has to come with a price otherwise it’s not a luxury and if you are moving with a large gang and don’t want to compromise on the fun of being together, then you can hire a coach for yourself which also depend on the no. of people, the capacity of coach varies from 12 seater to 50.

Now if you want to have the fun of riding the vehicle by yourself, than you can opt for driving for yourself provided you have a valid driving license and in case if you’re not very confident upon your driving skills than you can opt for a driver which will take you places. So if you are planning your next trip to Bangalore then make sure that you hire a car for yourself from one of the car rental companies in Bangalore because it not only saves you time that you will spend unnecessarily locating the public transport or finding place and also the comfort of moving at your own pace and in your own vehicle is priceless which you cannot get at any price and moreover exploring Bangalore with your own hired vehicle will be a fun that you would never forget your trip to Bangalore. So go on and hire a car for yourself for an easy and comfortable trip. Also the service provided by the Bangalore car rental companies also makes it easy to hire a car because you can make them work according to your comfort and they will be more than happy to serve you in the best possible way.

Car Rental Availability: How to Budget a Vacation with Style

Car rentals are aplenty in most tourist crazed countries such as Europe and the United States. Most tourists who visit various countries prefer to take their own private means of transportation and thus become the great season for most car rental owners to grab the opportunity for the valued visitors. The notion for most tourists is that car rentals will cost a fortune, considering that the stay of most people is not that short, hence the need to do some pencils pushing when it comes to budgeting their expenses for these trips.

There are a lot of car rentals in most countries and perhaps the distinguishing factor are the available vehicles they have to offer for most visitors of their country. Among them, Alamo Car Rentals and Avis Car Rentals stand out as the most well known and reliable car rental organizations that are practically present in most countries. In most instances, they are packaged altogether with the cheap hotel accommodations for their stay to avail of discounts given to them usually by travel agencies as well as cheap flights, which prepare the itinerary for the whole trip. A budget alone is not enough. Most people would prefer a packaged tour deal so that they would not have the problems of needing to identify the places, the mode of transportation they have to consider and the length of their stay.

The key significance and benefits that a car rental service provides to tourists is that they have the luxury of time and getting away from the usual crowded places at times, where their time is limited especially when group tours are on hand. Some get hold of discount car rental coupons savings to help ease the load of car rental expenses. In tourist spots such as Greece, Greece car rentals are in demand since there are places to go and lands to explore. Various car rentals such as National Car Rental and Thrifty Car Rentals are available together with Avis and Alamo to widen the array of possible car rental groups to which their specific car needs can be satisfied.

The ideal car that most people would go for are the exotic cars for rent. While the price may be stiff to the pockets, the point of it all is making the most out of a tourist’s vacation in such great places like Greece and parts of Europe. As stated earlier, most people would want car rental preferences such as a 4 x 4, a sedan or maybe even a van, largely depending on how many people are present to be accommodated on. Ideally, people can do preliminary scouting as to the available cars that car rental groups have through the web. Usually, the available cars, if not immediately reserved, may not be available at times, and this is not surprising considering that tours are open to practically anyone in the world for people who want to visit and unwind at times from their stressful lives. Also, advanced bookings and reservations will make the trip a whole lot less to be worried about, especially for people who give due preference as far as accommodation and car rental services are concerned.

Getting Around in Guildford

If you are planning a trip to Guildford, you might also be wondering how to get around once you reach your destination. Fortunately, you have to leave your worries aside as you can receive numerous facilities in Guildford. Guildford is similarly a beautiful place to visit with all the landmarks that commemorates its magnificent history. Thus, anyone who has come to Guildford for the first time may definitely want to see what it has to offer.

You may get around in Guildford by foot. Not all areas in Guildford are walkable. The central area in Guildford may be the most suitable one but it is a bit hilly. You may have to cross the River Wey from the railway station to reach the bus station and town centre. Another means of visiting Guildford is by bus. The local bus service may provide an easy way to discover Guildford. It is equally suitable for most Guildford inhabitants. There is as well a free bus which rounds the town around three times per hour. But the bus can sometimes be stuck in the traffic. So, if you can, walking may become a faster means to see some of Guildford’s countryside.

Moreover, there is also a taxi service in Guildford. Nevertheless, it may be considered as one of the most expensive ways to get around Guildford. Should you want to travel by taxi, you may find taxi ranks at the front of the Railway Station. On the other hand, visiting Guildford by car can be extremely pleasant. However, you may sometimes get trapped in traffic jams on the roads of Guildford. This may normally happen during the peak periods. Getting around by car can basically be said to be one of the most practical ways to see the best that Guildford has to offer. Cycling around Guildford can also be an appropriate thing to do.

Furthermore, if you plan an in depth visit of Guildford, it may be wise to keep a map of the area handy. But you have to make sure that the map contains the national grid reference lines. These can be important especially to indicate you certain out of town places. Some of the maps you could buy may be the Ordnance Survey Landranger 186 or the Ordnance Survey Explorer 145. Both of these maps cover the regions of Guildford for specific purposes. For example, Ordnance Survey Landranger 186 may be best used for exploring Guildford by cycle or by car. Alternately, the Ordnance Survey Explorer 145 may be used by people who prefer to discover Guildford by walking. Such maps may be bought in any well known bookshop in Guildford.

As seen, there are numerous ways of getting around Guildford. The place can be worthwhile to go with so much its lands promises to let you discover. In other words, Guildford can be a place to visit at least once in a lifetime. So, if you have the money and want a trip to an exceptional place, Guildford could probably be your answer.

Cheap Travel – Airport Parking Tips

When it comes to budget travel, a big expense can be car-parking costs at airports. In this article, we look at what to look out for when booking parking and money saving tips on airport parking.

Firstly, do you know the company you are booking your parking through? Take a minute to check out the ‘about us’ page. Reputable companies will tell you about themselves so you know who you are dealing with. There are literally hundreds of companies reselling airport parking so it is worth finding out who is actually providing the service. You don’t want to get back from holiday to find your car has been accidentally lost!

Booking you car parking at a certain time during the day can save you money as prices fluctuate daily. If you spot a bargain, reserve your parking space right away

If you know your holiday or travel date well in advance, book your parking in because you can save up to 25% on early bookings. Many car parks offer advance purchase prices and the earlier you book the more likely you are to find them. If you do find one, book straight away because these prices are withdrawn as you get closer to the departure date and are subject to availability.

Transfer times and frequency of transfers are very important as you want to be able to catch your flight with minimum hassle.

One choice worth considering is looking at staying the night before you travel at a nearby hotel and leaving your car in their car park for the duration of your holiday/travel. Check the cost of a hotel with a parking package compared to airport parking. You may well be surprised to find out that it is cheaper to stay in a 4 star hotel with breakfast including 14 days car parking than airport parking alone. Compare the price of airport parking with the price of a hotel packaged with parking. At certain times of the year, especially August and September, parking packaged with a hotel can be up to £20 cheaper than parking on its own. If you have an early check in, staying overnight takes all the stress out of getting to the airport on time. Compare the prices on the parking results page. You can click straight through from parking to hotels.

It’s recommended that you never turn up to an airport without pre-booking your parking. Airport car parks charge a premium for turning up on that day which can be up to 60% more than our internet prices, even if you have left your booking until the last minute! You can still save even if you only book your parking on the day of travel. If you see someone putting money into a parking machine at the airport, tell them to pre-book online next time!

There are 3 main choices of airport parking and your choice depends on budget and whether you need to park your car for two weeks or just a couple of days

On-Airport Parking
This refers to parking within the airport boundary. Airports, however, are generally big places so always check the transfer times and distance to the terminal. In general the closer you are to the terminal the more you pay for the convenience.

Off-Airport Parking
This means it is located outside the airport boundary. Ironically, the transfer times for off-airport car parks can sometimes be less than the on-airport times, due to their location, so make sure you check.

Valet or Meet and Greet Parking
Arguably the most convenient option for parking at the airport; this service means you are met at the terminal by a driver who will collect your car and take it to one of the on or off-airport car parks leaving you free to check-in. When you return, your car will be delivered back to the terminal for you. This is great for large families with loads of luggage. There are some variants on this service so be sure to read the details.

12 Questions to ask to save you money on airport parking

Airport parking can be expensive but asking the following five tips could save you money:

1. Use discounts offered by online airport parking websites. Keep an eye out for offers as many airport parking sites offer seasonal discounts.

2. Ask if the airport parking lots have different rates for long-term/short-term parking. Many airport parking lots charge more for lots closer to departure gates than for parking lots a considerable distance away.

3. Determine whether your membership with the AAA or other organizations offers you any advantages as far as airport parking lots are concerned.

4. Consider parking at an off-site airport lot. You will save a lot of money and be able to use a shuttle service run by the parking lot to the airport. You will also save considerable time and effort by not having to lug heavy bags across parking lots.

5. Use a comparison website of different on and off-site airport parking sites and their costs as well as pros and cons such as distance, transportation, safety, time saving and so on.

6. Collect parking coupons from operations near the airport. Look for discount rates offered say mid-week and offers of one extra day’s free parking if you book x number days. Some sites even have what is termed as a “free day” of parking.

7. If you are a frequent traveller, consider staying at a hotel near the airport overnight and use their car parking facilities. Most hotels allow guests staying at the hotel to park their cars for a limited period free of cost.

8. Plan to travel during the week and not at weekend when prices are higher.

9. When booking your flight or holiday, ask the travel agent or airline whether they offer pick and drop services.

11. Consider taking a taxi to the airport it may be cheaper than parking. This would of course depend on the distance you will be travelling.

12. Find out if you can buy parking coupons at a bulk rate. This will be a saving if you are a frequent flier.

Airports In Andalucia Spain

Six aiports exist in Andalucia, Spain. Regular flights are available for holidaymakers and business travellers. Making travelling by air a much easier and enjoyable option.


Called Aeropuerto de Almeria in Spanish, the Almeria airport is the nearest airport to several popular towns and resorts including Roquetas de Mar, Garrucha, Almerimar, Mojacar, Aguadulce, Vera and the City of Almeria. The airport also serves as a gateway to other holiday hotspots including Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Melilla and Madrid. For travellers between Almeria and the UK there are regular scheduled flights between Aeropuerto de Almeria and Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle, Gatwick and Luton. This three-storied airport building has an outstanding rooftop cafe that bonafide travellers can avail of after having gone through their security checks.


Located on the north bank of the River Guadalquivir, 6 kilometres west of the city, Cordoba airport is in effect an aerodrome that handles all national traffic and only international traffic that arrives and departs from Schengen signatory countries. In the absence of any Customs and Passport clearance facilities, the airport is unable to offer passport clearance for passengers arriving from non-Schengen countries. Most of the traffic at Cordoba airport comprises of charter passenger flights, military flights, aerial photography and parachuting schools besides other assorted aerial works. The airport is also used for crop spraying by agricultural treatment companies as well as for transfers of organs to and from the transplant centre at the Riena Sofia hospital in the city.

Granada Airport

The Federico Garcia Lorca Granada-Jaen Airport is situated in the district of La Vega del Genil, 17 kilometres from the city of Granada. Besides the Alhambra Palace and the City of Granada, this interesting airport is the gateway to Europe’s southernmost ski resort in the Sierra Nevada Mountains as well as the Costa Tropical towns including Salobrena, Motril, La Herradura and Almunecar. The Granada airport mainly handles scheduled flights to and from Madrid and Barcelona, thus having a vital role in the socio-economic development of Granada.

Jerez Airport

Modern, compact and smart, the Jerez airport, known as Aeroporto de Jerez in Spanish, is one of the key axes for tourism development in the Cadiz region. The airport handles international flights from the UK and Germany as well as domestic flights from Madrid Airport, Barcelona Airport and Palma Airport. Jerez airport also serves as a primary gateway to Costa de La Luz and travellers can easily get transfers to popular hotspots including Marbella, Cadiz, Gibraltar, Algeciras, Chiclana, Tarifa and Sevilla. Though small, it has tremendous tourism value and has grown at tremendous speed with passenger traffic going from 300,000 in 1992 to almost 1,381,560 in 2006.


Located 8 kilometres southwest of Malaga City, Aeropuerto de Malaga is the main airport in Southern Spain. Regular flights are available from most airports including Brussels, Madrid, Barcelona, Melila to name but a few. Also flights from the UK and Ireland are numerous and have a short flying time of about 2.5 – 3 hours. Malaga airport is the fourth busiest airport in Spain with passenger numbers increasing every year. The airport is 6 kilometres from the main city and less than an hour’s drive away from the city of Costa del Sol as well as all Malaga golf courses. There are several direct flights for internal travel to Sevilla Airport, Almeria Airport and Jerez Airport. Current building work on the airport includes a new passenger terminal, a new car park and eventually a second runway.

Sevilla Airport

Designed by architect Rafael Moneo, the Sevilla airport building incorporates three traditional components of Sevillian culture including orange trees, the palace and the mosque, offering arriving passengers a delightfully unique welcome. Presently most of the traffic passing through this airport is domestic traffic. Five main car hire companies that operate out of Sevilla airport will drive passengers down to Marbella on the Costa del Sol in about 3 hours. Driving down to Jerez takes under one hour and driving down to Faro in Portugal takes around 2.5 hours.

Holidays With Children in Barcelona – Arriving in Barcelona, Getting Around Barcelona, Barcelona Family Attractions and Parks, Play Areas and Beaches

In recent years, Barcelona has established itself as one of Europe´s most popular tourist destinations, and it is not difficult to understand why. With its balmy all-year climate, its avant-garde architecture, its burgeoning gastronomy, its fabulous beaches, proximity to the Costa Brava & ski-slopes as well as its eclectic mix of shops, Catalunya´s capital can be justly proud of what it has to offer visitors. Transformed by the 1992 Olympics, the city has attracted millions of curious independent travellers and, in the last few years, it has become increasingly popular as a family destination. The website mumabroad.com, a local site written by parents living in Barcelona with recommendations from local mums, shows you why the city has so much to offer kids, from its child-friendly accommodation and restaurants to its numerous outdoor activities and day-trips.

Arriving in Barcelona with the kids

Nowadays there are many airlines who operate in and out of Barcelona and not surprisingly most visitors arrive by air. Below we have listed a few options on how to reach the city centre. The most popular option is the Airport Bus due to its frequency and ease of access from the airport. Taxis can be expensive and most won´t have car seats although Spanish law requires that all children under three years of age must use a child seat. Failure to do so will result in a fine of 90 euros.

Barcelona Taxis

Just outside the arrivals hall you will find the Barcelona Airport taxi rank. Fares to Barcelona cost approximately 25 Euros and the journey time is around 30 minutes.

Barcelona Airport Bus

The Barcelona Airport Bus stops in front of Terminals A, B (Arrivals) and C and takes passengers to the centre of Barcelona (Plaza Catalunya). Departures from Mondays to Saturdays from the airport are from 6am to 1am; and from Plaza de Catalunya from 5:30am to 12:15am. Buses run every 7 to 15 minutes. Single Fare: 3.90 euros

Barcelona Airport Train

The Barcelona Airport train station is located opposite the arrivals and departure halls. The Line C10 goes to Barcelona Sants and takes around 30 minutes and costs 2.50 euros. The first train from the airport is at 6am and the trains run at 30 minute intervals until 11.44pm. From Barcelona Sants it is likely you will need to take the metro or a taxi as it is not in the centre of town.

Getting Around Barcelona with the kids

Barcelona By Metro

The Barcelona Metro is not such a popular choice for young families visiting the city, due to the fact that there are a limited amount of lifts for buggies, which means accessing the trains can be a real chore. Travel is cheap however and you can purchase a book of 10 tickets for around 7 euros. The ticket is valid for any journey on the metro although if you need a new ticket for journeys on the same day. For many, taxis are the transport of choice (see below). However if you are visiting Barcelona with older kids or if you decide to brave the system anyway, the timetable is below:

Mondays -Thursdays, Sundays & Holidays: 5am to 12am.

Fridays: 5am to 2am

Saturdays: Non-stop service

Barcelona By Taxi

For many families, taxis are the transport of choice as they are relatively cheap and even ones without car seats will accept young babies and toddlers for short journeys. You can flag them down (green light means they are empty) or many hotels will also call a taxi on your behalf. Be warned though English is not widely spoken amongst taxi drivers in Barcelona so it is a good idea to write down your destination on a piece of paper.

Barcelona By Tourist Bus

The open top double-decker Barcelona Bus Turístic is a fantastic way to get around Barcelona with little ones (children under 4 travel for free). You can hop off or hop on at any of the 44 stops. You will receive an information guide about each of the enroute attractions as well as a discount voucher booklet. The buses go between every 5-25 minutes and the timetable is at each of the 44 stops. First buses call at most stops between 9am and 9.30am A one day ticket for adults costs 20 euros and for children (4-12) 12 euros. You can buy tickets on the bus or at any of the tourist offices in Barcleona. The service operates daily apart from 25th December and 1st January.

Family Attractions in Barcelona

Nou Camp Tour

An absolute must for all football-mad kids. The guided tour of the third biggest football stadium in the world includes visiting the stadium,tunnel & pitch area. Admission: 11,50 euros adults 9,20 euros for children under 13 years.

Av. Aristides Maillo 12-18 Metro Collblanc, Les Corts, Badal or Maria Christina

Barcelona Zoo

Zoos aren´t everyone´s cup of tea, but Barcelona Zoo has a lot to offer children. As well as big cats, penguins, gorillas, hippos, bears etc there is a twice daily dolphin show at and a children´s farm with pigs, horses, rabbits & guinea pigs.The play area in the centre of the zoo is excellent, including a mini absail area and climbing frames. On the downside drinks & snacks are quite expensive and it gets very crowded at weekends. Open from 10am until 7pm in summer and until 6pm in the winter.

Parc Zoologic de Barcelona S.A, Parc de la Ciutadela s/n, 08003 Barcelona Metro Arc de Trionfo or Barceloneta (+34) 932256780 www.zoobarcelona.com

Barcelona Aquarium

This is the largest aquarium in Europe and includes an interactive space called Explora. Admission: Adults 13 euros. Children 4-12 years 9 euros. Under 4s free. Worth it just for walking in the vast transparent shark tunnel! There is a really good interactive children´s area. You are also among the shops and restaurants of the Maremagnum – a good place for lunch. Open 9.30am – 9pm.

Moll d’Espanya, Port Vell. Metro Drassanes (+34) 932217474

Tours of Barcelona

If you come to Barcelona with your children, fear not! Organised tours take place in the old town which can be enjoyed by parents and children alike. The idea is to include visits, games and stories to keep the attention of the younger ones (and the odd easily-distracted adults). These might include an artisanal sweet shop where they can see how the candies are made, an original toy workshop, an old-fashioned milk bar where they can indulge in a creamy traditional milkshake, guessing games in the food market, and more.With the little ones occupied, there is time to explain to the grown-ups of the group the anecdotes on the history, culture, cuisine and associated tales of the city.

Poble Espanyol

This is a mini-disneyland with every Spanish region in cameo and it provides great day out for children. Entry is 8 euros for adults and 5 euros for kids. Family ticket 16 euros (with children between 7 and 12 years). Opening times Monday 9am – 8pm Tuesday to Thursday 9am – 2am Friday 9am – 4am Saturday 9am – 5am Sunday 9am -midnight

Metro Espanya. Buses 55, 13. Tourist Bus Stop:Poble Espanyol (+34) 935086300 www.poble-espanyol.com

Tibidabo Amusement Park

Mix of fun rides and state-of-the-art attractions including a multimedia experience which allows children become part of a cartoon. There is also a mechanical Puppet museum dating back to 1899. Entrance fee: adults 15 euros, children under 110cm height 4 euros. Unlimited use of rides and attractions. Open every day from 11am apart from Christmas Day and Boxing Day

3-4 Plaza del Tibidabo By Train: Get FGC from Plaza Catalunya to Avenida Tibidabo then follow signposts to the Tramvia Blau at the end of Balmes in Placa John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Take the Tramvia to the Mirablau and then the Funicular to the top of the Mountain. By Bus: Take the Tibibus from Plaza Catalunya

Port Aventura Theme Park

Hugely popular theme park around an hour outside Barcelona. You can be flung around eight inverted loops on Dragon Khan (supposedly the largest roller-coaster in Europe) or get soaked on Tutuki Splash. There are also shows with bubbles, birds of paradise, Mexican and Chinese themes.

Located near Salou/La Pineda, off A7. Buses go from from Passeig de Sant Joan and for trains from Passeig de Gracia. Look for trains on the Salou line and you need to get off at Port Aventura. The park also has areas designated for small children such as play areas, small rides, children´s swimming pools and the hotels offer special services for children such as menus, entertainment and monitor led activities. There are many baby changing facilities at the park and you are also able to rent prams.

Chocolate Museum

Located in an ancient convent in Calle Comerc (number 36) in el Borne, children can learn everything about chocolate including its medicinal, nutritional and aphrodisiac qualities. There are also some fantastic chocolate sculputures and workshops to teach you how to make chocolate. Best of all you can sample the goods! Admission 3,6 euros

Las Golondrinas

Double decker pleasureboats take you from the harbour to the breakwater. Good fun, good value with some great views of the city. Every half hour leaving from the bottom of Las Ramblas until 7pm. Adults 5 euros children up to 12 years 2,50 euros


Half the fun is getting there. The cog railway up the mountain is a must for children and railway enthusiasts alike .Once there, children will be awestruck by the wacky shaped rocks and for the more active there are numerous walking tracks, caves. Montserrat is of course famous for being the home of Our Lady of Montserrat and a Benedictine monastery.

Trains (R5) go from Placa d’Espanya metro.You can either get a train and cable car ride or just the train (and rack railway). Journey is approx one hour and they leave at a quarter to the hour. Get out at Montserrat Aeri Station if you have chosen the cable car or in Monistrol de Montserrat station to change to the Rack railway.

Magic Fountains of Montjuic (Font Magica)

This is a great stop for some evening entertainment for the children. The Font Magica is a colourful water and classical music extravaganza held each night. Thurs-Sun 9pm, 9.30pm, 10pm, 10.30pm, 11pm. From October to April just Fridays and Saturdays 7pm, 7.30pm, 8pm and 8.30pm

La plaza de Carles Buïgas, just above the Avenida de Maria Cristina. Metro Espanya .Walk towards the MNAC between the two large towers at Placa Espanya

Beaches, Parks and Play Areas for Kids in Barcelona

Park Güell

Probably the world´s most enchanting public park created by Barcelona´s most famous son, Antón Gaudí. Loosely based on Hampstead Heath in London, the park boasts sparkling mosaic stairways, multicoloured buildings and fairytale fountains. It is pure fantasty and kids will love it.

How to get there: Bus 24 from Plaza Catalunya stops right outside the main entrance. Metro Vallcarca (walk out the metro down Avenida Militar for 4 blocks, turn left at Baixada de La Gloria and take the outdoor escalators to the Park entrance. It is signposted).

Ciutadella Park & Play area

The Ciutudella Park is Barcelona´s most centrally located green space, sandwiched between the districts of Poble Nou, Barceloneta and San Pere. For families, there are a huge amount of facilities and activities including the Zoo, the Geology Museum, the Hivernacle (currenlty being renovated) and the boating lake. You can also rent out bikes at the main entrance (www.bicing.com). Located at the top end of the lake, twice daily toddlers can enjoy free toys and games in addition to the permanent swings and slides.There is even a sprinkler in the summer which the kids love! 11am-2pm every day and 4.30pm-6.30/7pm from mid september to mid June. 5.30pm-8.30pm from mid June to mid September

Mar Bella & Base Nautica

Mar Bella beach is about a 20 minute walk north of the Port Olimpic (left facing the water) and probably the most child-friendly of all of Barcelona´s beaches. It is clean and quiet and you can find a children´s play-area, lifeguards, sunbed hire, showers and a beach restaurant (chiringuito). The Base Nautica is can also based here, where you can hire small sailing boats, canoes and kayaks.

Parc de Collserola

Often overlooked but this Natural Park is literally a breath of fresh air and so close to the centre of town. The park is huge (22 times the size of New York´s Central Park) – the largest city park in the world. The information centre provides numerous walking guides and hikes to Tibidabo, the Torre de Collserola or the town of Vallvidrera.

Take train to Baixador de Vallvidrera from Plaza Catalunya and you arrive right in it.


Barceloneta beach is popular with families due to its proximity with a huge choice of restaurants and the pedestrian walkway along Passeig Maritim, where you can also cycle. The beach gets very crowded in summer but is regularly cleaned. Likewise the water – for a city beach – is suprisingly clean. We suggest you don´t plonk yourself on the nearest available space but walk a little further on towards the Olympic Port where it gets much less crowded.

Metro Barceloneta or any Passeig Maritim bus route. For daily information on the city´s beaches call (+34) 934810053

Parc del Laberint d’Horta

This 17 acre park really warrants a short trip from town. It is a fairytale park with its pretty walkways, canal, romantic gardens, cascade and of course, the maze which kids will love. Entrance fee 1,90 euros

Pg Castanyers 1. Directly behind the Velodrome. Metro Mundet.

My Effective Guide to Cheap Car Rental

In today’s world of competitive marketing and cutthroat competition, a customer can’t really predict whether the deal he/she is closing will benefit her or not, most of the time most, consumers, just go on with the deal just to avoid all the hassle of inquiring for more economic alternatives, or discounts.

This also applies to car rentals, nowadays, it’s hard to call anything a cheap car rental, with the inflation rate of products, continuing gas price increase it’s hard to keep product prices down, so here are a few tips to keep your car rentals cheap, even if every other factor is making it expensive.

1. Reserve your cheap car rental internet sites instead of over the counter ones. Internet sites, offer internet only discounts which could very beneficial for you, cheap car rentals can be achieved by being witty, put discounts like these to your advantage and you’re sure to save a lot.

2. One way to get cheap car rentals is to try to get the most out of your rental. Most car rentals require you to fill the tank when you return it, so on your way to returning the rented car, fill it up with the cheapest type of gas you could find, you’ll save more than when they make you pay for the gas at an inflated rate.

3. If you can, always rent at only one Car Company, companies give you cheap car rentals for frequently renting their cars, discounts, coupons and sometimes even miles.

4. Ask the car rentals if you can exchange your flyers miles for car rental miles. This is especially useful when your flyer’s miles is about to expire, instead of just letting it go to waste, get a cheap car rental for it.

5. For a cheap car rental, try to make reservations as early as possible, car rental; companies give discounts for customers who reserve early.

6. To get your rental cheaper, pick up your car early in the morning, just as the shop is opening, so that there will be a shortage on the cheap car rentals, at this point, the renters may give you a free or a marked down upgrade.

7. Look for packages like hotels and rental packages or if you want a cheaper car rental find a package that includes air fare, car rental and hotel stay, these packages give you great discounts on all three, so if you’re planning to do all, I suggest you get a package deal to get the most out of your money.

8. To get a cheap car rental at your own, price, find rent-at-your-own-price internet sites that look for the best possible deal with the budget that you’ve given them, but be careful with this, review the company’s history first before you get into it, or make sure that there are no other cheaper means before you close the deal, remember, once you make a reservation, you can’t cancel it.

9. If you’re going to use the car for more than five days try to find weekly rates from car rentals, with weekly rates, the sixth and seventh day are almost always discounted, so look for this when you’re out for a cheap car rental.

10. Instead of picking up your rental at the airport, save money by picking it up at the shop, this’ll reduce airport surcharges.

Luton Airport parking explained – Top advice on how to save time and money from a seasoned traveller

London Luton Airport, located 35 miles North of London in Bedfordshire, houses 15 scheduled carriers offering flights to over 60 domestic and international destinations. London Luton Airport handles over 7.5 million passengers per year, so it’s hardly surprising that finding the right Luton Airport parking to suit your needs can be such a nightmare – time consuming and expensive. However, the key to finding the right parking for your needs, at the right price, is now divulged for your reading pleasure…

There are various Luton Airport parking options available to passengers travelling through the Airport depending on budget, length of stay and level of service required. Determining which Luton Airport parking option will best suit your needs is the first step.

All short term, mid term, and long term on-airport parking is operated by NCP. Visitors that have booked by credit or debit card need to take the card used, to be able to enter and exit the parking. Visitors that made a booking within 72 hours will need to take a ticket and pay at the NCP desk within the airport terminal.

* Standard Luton Airport Parking
Luton short term parking is situated a short walk from the terminal and suitable for stays of up to 5 hours – perfect for collecting or dropping off passengers, or for short trips. When you arrive at Luton Airport, follow the yellow P signs to find the car park. Any cars left unattended in the set down or pick up areas, will be towed away by the police and a release fee will be incurred. Therefore, if you need to leave your car unattended, motorists must park in the Luton short stay car parks available at the Terminal. Visitors to the Airport should note that trailers are not permitted in the Luton short term car park.

* Luton Mid Term Parking
For passengers travelling on short breaks and business trips, this secure mid term car park is the ideal choice. The car park is perfect for passengers staying up to 5 days. To find the car park, follow the green P signs. The car park is approximately 0.5 miles away with bus transfers running to the terminal every 10 minutes.

* Luton Long Term Parking
The on-airport Luton long term car park has a minimum charge of 5 days, so this parking option is advised for passengers travelling away for at least more than 5 days. To find the car park on arrival at the Airport, follow the pink P signs. The long stay car park has CCTV cover and security patrols, and is serviced by a regular shuttle bus every 10 minutes to the terminal building. Passengers using this option should leave enough time to reach the terminal. Keep reading for tips on how to make your Luton Airport parking decision and get the best price.

* Luton Off-Airport Parking
Luton Airparks Services operate a secure off-airport long term parking facility at Luton Airport, with 24 hour patrols and CCTV. The car park operates a minimum stay of one day and a regular shuttle bus runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Passengers should allow 50 minutes to park and the transfer to the terminal. The Airparks car park does not permit motor homes, lorries or trailers.

* Disabled Parking at Luton Airport
Luton Airport has dedicated disabled parking bays in the short term, mid term and long term car parks, and the mid term and long term car parks are serviced by a fully accessible shuttle bus. Help Points are also available in each car park enabling passengers to call for free assistance. Passengers travelling with a motorised wheelchair should call NCP in advance on 01582 395484 for car parking advice. A pre-booking discount is available for passengers booking online.

Now we’ve looked at all the options, ‘how do I make sure I get the best quote to save me money?’ I hear you ask…

* Choose the best option for your needs: Whether this be short term Luton Airport parking, mid term Luton parking, Luton long term parking, off-airport or disabled parking
* Pre-book: Booking Luton Airport parking in advance will secure your parking space
* Discounts: Online bookings will normally reward you with a further discount
* Save time, find the right price and compare your options: Use an online Luton airport parking price checker to make sure you are not paying over the odds. A price checker enables you to compare parking prices online.

The best Luton airport parking price checker that I have found to compare Luton airport car parking is available on the Luton Airport information site.

* Truly Independent – so they get the best deals on parking prices and pass them on to you
* Better Rates – the Company goes direct to the Luton Airport parking operators so they can negotiate better rates
* Monitor Competitors – to ensure they offer you the best prices
* Information in one screen shot – so you can instantly see the best option and price for your needs
* Book online – traipsing around for the best Luton Airport parking is a thing of the past!

So next time you travel away, just follow the Luton Airport parking tips in this simple guide, and you’re away – more relaxed and with a few extra pennies in your pocket.

This article is free for republishing with links intact

Taxi Cabs Versus Chauffeur Car Hire

Anybody that has ever used chauffeur car hire will know only too well it is an entirely different experience to that of grabbing a taxi. Use chauffeur car hire and you will get a polite, courteous, fragrant driver who is smartly dressed. Try a taxi and you’ll be often be greeted by a pungent smelling sweaty individual who will extinguish his cigarette reluctantly. He will bark at you, apparently this is an enquiry as to where you want to go.

You will then depart on a white knuckle ride through the streets, sinking lower in your seat while the ‘driver’ hurls abuse at any other motorist that might get in the way. He will cut people up on roundabouts, narrowly missing collisions and you will arrive at your destination ashen faced and wet trousered.

This is the point where you are subjected to daylight robbery. The driver will issue a barked demand for a sum of money that would probably buy you a small property in outer Mongolia. Until he receives this money, you are locked into the car. Not that you are too concerned about handing over the cash – you’d willingly double it just to get out alive.

I once visited Hong Kong and not knowing the area, had planned on using chauffeur car hire to get around. Deciding that a cab would probably be cheaper, my family and I approached a waiting driver. In a scene that resembled something from a James Bond movie, the driver activated a switch and all the doors flipped open with no external force.

We nervously boarded the vehicle, eventually making it clear where our destination was. In the blink of an eye, the driver had taken off, almost literally, and we were speeding down the road. I’ve seen more contained journeys on bank robbery films than the one we experienced that day!

This must be the type of journey the Pope regularly experiences because when we stopped I wanted to get out and kiss the ground! At least it wasn’t an expensive trip this time.

Users of chauffeur car hire do not have any of these problems. Routes are planned in advance, a price is set and a leisurely drive can be enjoyed. You can take the scenic route if you so wish. You can even raise the privacy panel between driver and passenger so even if he does smell like a rose, you do not feel obliged to try and make conversation.

With chauffeur car hire you will never be exposed to the driver’s road rage. In fact, you can rest assured that if you pick a reputable company, the driver will be professional at all times. He will be courteous at all times, well versed in chauffeur/passenger etiquette and security conscious at all times.

This is one of the main reasons that celebrities and royalty use chauffeur car hire. Not simply for the thrill of riding in a fancy car but for the security it offers. Armour plated vehicles that look the business will protect and transport in a style to make any taxi cab passenger green with envy.

You will glide through traffic with the sensation of floating, knowing that your driver is in full control of not only his vehicle but also his emotions. After experiencing chauffeur car hire once, you will never want to revert to taxis.