How to Avoid the Stansted Strike (If It Happens)

15 August 2013

Avoid Baggage Strikes

As you may know, there is talk of strike action by baggage scanners at Stansted Airport scheduled for the August Bank Holiday weekend. GMB union members plan to down their scanning tools from 03:30 to 06:00 BST and from 15:30 to 18:00 starting on Friday 23 August and lasting for four days.

Now this is going to cause a spot of bother at a very busy time – not just for Stansted but also for passengers. If you happen to be leaving or arriving at Stansted during the August Bank Holiday weekend, avoid the delays and disruption by speaking to Seven Seas Worldwide. Wherever you are in the world, we’ll collect your baggage and send it to your chosen destination with no fuss, leaving you to jump the queues and breeze through Stansted airport. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

Fortunately, Seven Seas Worldwide is a leader in excess baggage and shipping. We’ve been in the business for nearly twenty years and know a thing or two about shipping baggage abroad. We have a global network of depots to ensure a smooth, safe and secure delivery, door-to-door, virtually anywhere in the world.

The authorities at Stansted have promised they will do their best to avoid serious disruption during the proposed strike but if you want to guarantee that you will be unaffected by the situation, grab a free shipping quote and see what we can do for you today!

Posted in: Travel, Holidays

Fill the Gap - Your Guide to a Trouble-Free Gap Year

29 July 2013

Gap Year Travel Tips

So it's time for your gap year; that exciting sabbatical of travelling overseas for fun, adventure, education and many varied life experiences.  But as any knowledgeable backpacker will tell you, there's a lot of preparation to do before you even hand in your final paper.  So how do you ensure a smooth journey?  Well, you can't.  You're a gap year student - something always goes wrong.  And very often, these moments will be your funniest anecdotes.  But here at Seven Seas Worldwide, we'll do our best to offer as much advice and guidance as we can to keep your anecdote-level low.

Gap Year Luggage

If a backpack is your chosen gap year luggage (and let's face it, a wheeled suitcase is going to be a nightmare to drag through the jungles of Peru), make sure you don't pack too much. Remember, you'll be carrying this thing everywhere and no matter how young and fit you may be, a heavy backpack is going to cause strain on your back and elsewhere.  Oh and make sure you buy a reliable and sturdy yet comfortable backpack, one with a belt for the waist as well as straps for the arms to lend that extra support when trekking about.  And don't slouch.  Plus if your gap year travel involves 'roughing it', make sure your rucksack is big enough to accommodate a sleeping bag as well as all other essentials.

With the rucksack as your main piece of gap year luggage, you're going to need to be more ruthless than you would be for a regular holiday.  Very often, when packing a suitcase, we'll stuff down the side an extra pair of shorts or a T-shirt or toiletries or a makeup item 'just in case I need it'.  With gap year travel, this sort of thinking should be avoided.  If you're not sure you're going to use it, leave it at home.  A lot of items such as toiletries, clothes and makeup can be purchased while abroad.  These aren't essentials.

However these are...

Gap Year Travel Essentials

Here's a list of items you should certainly have in your rucksack.  You may want to make a note of these and tick them off as you pack.  Peace of mind at the airport and all that.

  • Passport
  • Bank cards
  • Mobile phone
  • Chargers
  • Adapters
  • Flight tickets
  • Accommodation details
  • Sun lotion
  • Insect repellent
  • Wallet/purse
  • Notepad and pen
  • Nondescript clothes allowing you to mix-and-match
  • Painkillers, aspirin, etc.

Once you have these items ready, be sure to evenly distribute them around the rucksack so it doesn't feel lopsided.  Rucksacks also have this habit of pushing the most hard-edged item into your back so make sure items are placed carefully or wrapped in something soft like your sleeping bag or some clothes.

Packing for a Gap Year

Gap Year Baggage

Right. You're good to go.

As you weave your way through your chosen destinations, absorbing the local cultures and customs, you may find yourself accumulating more stuff than when you first packed, such as souvenirs, gifts and extra food/toiletry/clothing items. What do you when the sheer volume of your gap year luggage exceeds your expectations? Well, without wishing to sound too biased, speak to us. Okay, it sounds a bit biased but hear us out.

Seven Seas Worldwide is fast becoming the first choice for students all over the globe because we're safe, efficient, affordable and very nice on the phone. If you find yourself in a pickle with your gap year luggage while overseas, Seven Seas Worldwide can collect, ship and deliver your items back home, door-to-door, with very little fuss. In fact, we can be there for every eventuality; maybe you want to send your items ahead of you at the start of your gap year or perhaps send a gift package back home? Talk to us today about our excess baggage service, and take a look at our range of amazing student shipping services (including collect and store student storage which is perfect for all the other stuff you might accumulate). Oh and check out our instant online shipping quote engine to see just how affordable we are.

Posted in: Students, Packing, Travel

21 Interesting Facts About Australia

14 July 2013

Facts About Australia

Are you Australian? Relocating overseas and moving to Australia? Shipping to Australia? Holidaying in Australia? Are we asking too many questions about Australia? Sorry. Here are some interesting facts about Oz that we've left open for you to add to. If you think you have some fascinating but little known nuggets yourself, leave a comment or talk to us via Twitter or Facebook.

Okay here we go. Prepare to be dazzled:

  1. ‘Spreading out’ is not the done thing in Oz. Vegetation covers 91 % of Australia.
  2. The roof of the Sydney Opera House weighs more than 160,000 tons. You have to hand it to that roofer.
  3. Between 2010-2011, beer-drinking dropped to a 65-year low. Only 4.23 litres were consumed per person. There must have been a synchronised realisation that beer is horrible and other drinks are nicer.
  4. The Snowy Mountains receive more snow than Switzerland. The Snowy Mountains are in New South Wales and are more commonly known as…wait for it…The Snowies.
  5. Australia was the second country in the world to give women the right to vote in 1902. New Zealand was the first. Maybe that was why.
  6. Masterchef Australia is really great. Sorry, that’s not so much a fact, as a personal opinion but still, it’s my list.
  7. Melbourne has been voted most liveable city for the last two years. And if you follow Shane Warne’s Twitter feed, his annoyingly beautiful pictures of Melbourne will testify to this.
  8. Australia has the highest rate of gambling in the world with $3 billion being collected by the poker machine alone between 2007-2008. Why did people keep using it?
  9. Kangaroo meat is a healthier alternative to beef or lamb. They’re just harder to catch.
  10. Tasmania has the cleanest air in the world.
  11. Australia has the world's largest cattle ranch measuring around the same size as Belgium. Although, interestingly, only six cows. Only part of this is made up.
  12. Canberra became capital of Australia as a neutral option to end intense debate (and bickering) between Melbourne and Sydney.
  13. There are 150 million sheep in Australia and only 20 million people, so there’s a lot of catching up to do.
  14. Sharks are immune to all known diseases. Now this is an amazing fact. We should ask them what their secret is. And when I say ‘we’, I mean ‘anyone but me’.
  15. The average Australian swallows three spiders a year. Presumably more, if they actually like the taste of spiders.
  16. The kangaroo and the emu feature on the Australian Coat of Arms because both are incapable of walking backwards. They were chosen to symbolise a nation moving forward. (Although these animals can turn around and walk in the other direction but let’s not be petty.)
  17. Designer of the Sydney Opera House Jørn Utzon said his design was inspired by the simple act of peeling an orange. He wanted the 14 shells of the building to be able to make a perfect sphere. It didn't quite work out like that but we still love it.
  18. On the 17th December 1967, Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt vanished after going for a swim at Cheviot Beach Victoria and was presumed dead two days later.
  19. Australia's Naughtiest Home Videos is a Nine Network show that has gained notoriety for being taken off the air part-way through the broadcast of its first and only episode.
  20. Australia is home to six of the top ten most deadly snakes in the world. Six. That number again. Six.
  21. The first settlers from Europe consumed more alcohol per person than any other community in the history of mankind. Allegedly.

So, do you want to add this list? What have I left out that people must know about life Down Under?

Posted in: Moving Abroad, Travel, Holidays

Don't Buy This Stuff (5)

10 June 2013

Excess Baggage Ideas

Think of this fifth edition of the ‘Don’t Buy This’ blog as a ‘Fancy Special’.  Our pick of non-essential travel items comes direct solely from The Fancy; an enticing collection of um…’stuff’ for sale designed by occasionally ingenious but largely baffling arty types who think the world needs to be filled with overpriced and innovative solutions to problems no one has. We at Seven Seas Worldwide, experts in travel and shipping abroad, have discovered five travel items from The Fancy you absolutely shouldn’t need. 

First up, is the Bell & Ross Flight Compass. There’s no denying this is a snazzy-looking watch with its anti-glare, matt black carbon finish: simple in design but multifaceted in application. Oh and expensive. Stupidly expensive. The dial is made up of three concentric discs, graduated for the hours and minutes with a plane and yellow index marks engraved under the glass. It’s five grand. That’s right. Five thousand dollars. We’re not sure why.

Next, it’s the relatively harmless but still outrageously expensive Cork Board Map, ideal for the well-travelled exhibitionist.  The Cork Board Map (despite the cryptic name) is a map of the world in cork board. It invites you to pin postcards, photos and assorted pictures to the relevant locations on the map. There’s no denying the Cork Board Map would look great on a bare wall in the kitchen, rich with memories of past holidays but there is an element of self-importance about such a concept, plus at $120, your globetrotting adventures would need to be noteworthy to justify forking out for it.

Now this I would actually consider buying. Ladies and Gentlemen, Flamingo Towel Clips. Having just returned from a holiday on the Algarve and still unable to comb my hair down successfully, I know a thing or two about windy holidays, and a pair of Flamingo Towel Clips at $15 would certainly have been thrown into my excess baggage before departure. 

This could also be the perfect answer to the ‘weekend getaway bag’ (sorry, these things are actually looking quite purchasable in the cold light of day – well, apart from the watch, that’s ridiculous):  The Large Duffle Bag by Herschel Supply Company. Priced at $120, the Large Duffle Bag (I can’t stand these fancy names they have), is a must-have for those who love compartments – and then get annoyed with compartments because they can’t find anything due to there being too many compartments. The most attractive compartment must be the one at the bottom to keep your shoes in – nifty!

And finally, for those wishing to take to the natural hot springs of Iceland and also want to look a bit like a human Sennheiser microphone, we recommend this floating cap.  Only $117. That’s like two weeks’ of groceries. But hey, it’s your money. This floating cap apparently adds a ‘new dimension to the water experience, one of relaxation and total bliss. How, exactly, this isn’t clear, but who are you to question a modernistic, online novelty item-selling website based in Reykjavik?

Regardless of whether you're stuffing your single suitcase or bringing everything and the kitchen sink on holiday with you, you might want to get a free shipping quote from us to see how much we can save you on your excess baggage, just in case.

Posted in: Travel, Packing

Summer Holiday Deals Under a Monkey!

30 May 2013

Summer Holiday Deals

Apologies for the cockney reference (‘Monkey’ = £500) but we’re excited. None of these deals are literally under a real monkey. That would be ridiculous.

As summer approaches (perhaps in name only), the time has come to plan an excursion to a country that perhaps knows a little more about what summer entails (hot weather, no low cloud, fewer sheets of unforgiving cold rain, etc.). Luckily, the thoughtful souls at a certain leading international shipping company for those moving things around the world have found a number of deals priced under £500 for those looking for an affordable trip this summer.

Airholidays are offering a sensational deal to Crete for 7 nights at the Aquis Silva Beach Resort including flights and free transfers from £325 pp. Not to be sniffed at. This offer is valid in June, September and October.

For a more relaxed city break, we recommend Travelwasp’s offer to stay 3 nights in Amsterdam at a 4 star hotel between June and September. Expect to fork out a mere £159 pp for the privilege.

Southall Travel are currently providing flights to Dubai for £353 return including taxes, allowing you soak up the sun, do a little shopping and revel in the uneasy affluence of this billionaires’ playground.

Fancy an all-inclusive trip to Turkey this summer, staying in the Halici Semera Holiday Village in Marmaris? Broadway Travel will charge you an unbeatable £249 pp. 

Another matchless city break offer comes from Packageholidays4less who are offering 3 nights in Barcelona at the 4 star Salles Pere IV Hotel for only £189 pp. This offer includes flights plus a free Montjuic cable car ride!  Plus if you eat out in the city, you may also find your table being waited on by a man who looks like Peter Sellers. That’s what happened to me. If you see him, say hi.

If you need a little help with excess baggage for your summer holiday, don't forget to get a free online shipping quote from us. We're shameless, but we're also great at what we do.

Posted in: Holidays, Travel