My preferred airlines are:-
Emirates – the best business and first class I have experienced
Air France and KLM – I have over a million frequent flyer miles with this airline group. KLM have shown a long term commitment to my regional airport in the UK whereas other big name airlines have not.
Marriott – my first choice for hotel stays. They always provide consistent, high quality hotels and some of the comfiest beds I’ve ever known.
Hilton – I’ve often used the Hampton Inn brand whilst in the US. Hampton Inn are a good quality mid-range brand. The full range of the Hilton hotels including Hilton Garden and Hilton are also brands that I’ve found very comfortable to use.
IHG – you may recognise this brand more if I said “Holiday Inn”. With a range of hotel brands they can offer affordable accommodation for most budgets. Admittedly I don’t stay with IHG as much as Marriott or Hilton but I have often obtained Gold status in the IHG Rewards Club.
Flight and accommodation resources and search tools:-
When planning trips it is often cost effective to use aggregate search tools. It is even better to use a tool which performs multiple platform searches in one go. Some of the tools I have used over the years for flight searches are:-
Insure and Go – when it comes to personal travel insurance this is the company which I find tends to offer me the best deals for my circumstances. Thankfully I’ve never had to make a claim with their insurance but I’ve always found the small print agreeable to my needs.
Like motor insurance, when it comes to travel insurance all our circumstances are unique. As a result it is worthwhile to shop around. As a result here are some other travel insurers I recommend you use for travel insurance quotes:-
Sometimes buying luggage can be an emergency purchase, yes I’ve made that sudden purchase in an airport because my case is falling apart!
Thankfully I know from that experience it is better to invest in high quality luggage. I personally prefer to use Samsonite luggage since I think the value matches the cost.
For great prices on Samsonite and other brands I recommend that you take a look at:-
IRV Luggage – which offer fantastic deals and discounts on shipping.
It is also wise to think of security. If my luggage does not have a TSA approved lock then I make sure that I buy one. In my early days of travel I was increasingly frustrated with the number of items stolen from my luggage. Now I never travel without a lock on my checked luggage. I even apply one to my carry on too.
I must admit to being very fortunate to have visited so many wonderful airline lounges around the world. No doubt you’ve read some of my airport lounge reviews on this site? If you are not a frequent flyer or you just don’t fly in Business or First Class then these lounges can still be accessed. The best way to do this is to buy a Priority Pass. If you quickly visit their website I’m sure that you’ll be impressed with the global range of airport lounges you can use it in.
My sites currently run on WordPress which is a free to install application from a wide range of web hosts.
All my sites are hosted on Hostgator. For one price I have a package which allows me pay one price to host a wide range of websites. I find that I have excellent up time and they provide 24 hour online chat support.
If you are a beginner and are scared off by WordPress and the thought of coding, updates, web design etc then I can recommend the following:-
Site Build It – I used this product a number of years ago and it is a fantastic premium product. The support is fantastic and no question is too daft. They offer a series of videos which guide you through all aspects of your site. From choosing a name for your site, design, keyword research, monetisation and so on. Whilst this is a higher price than other options you will never be blogging alone here. The price includes hosting, domain name, research tools and much more.
They also have a WordPress version called bizXpress.
For my monthly e-mail newsletter I use MadMimi.
I use a range of sites to search and shop for domain names. I have bought domains from all of the following:-
The theme is how a page looks, it is the design templates. There are a number of free themes available with WordPress which I used to use. However I found that they soon “broke”. They stopped working and conflicted with updates, plugins and so on. Since they were free themes there was no or very little support. As a result of this I researched themes and decided that the best one for me was Genesis by Studio Press. They provide automatic updates, quick e-mail support and also provide compatible themes with mobile devices such as tablets and mobile phones.
When it comes to make the first page of Google search there is little doubt that this tool has been worth every penny for me.
I recently moved to using a MacBook Air and am delighted with the results. Whilst I’m still getting used to moving from a Windows to an OS computer I’m delighted with how fast and reliable it is. Plus the tools available are excellent. I might be converted for life.
Unsurprisingly running a website costs not just an immense level of time but also money too. To help cover these costs I have signed up with the following affiliate/advertising websites:-
Commission Junction now known as CJ Affiliate
(Please note that many of the links above are affiliate links. Affiliate links help fund this site by generating a small commission for me from any goods or services you purchase through the links. However, all links are to the best listed price available from these sites. Any commission generated does not alter the price you pay.)