ARE YOU GOING ON HOLIDAY THIS SUMMER?
Management and I have been fortunate to travel extensively over the past 35 years. We are now seriously curtailed by recent medical events but I thought it would be good to share a little advice to help you make a success of your holiday. Obviously, if you are well travelled and experienced yourself, please forgive this intrusion and skip to the jokes. The following ideas are based on our experience and may seem obvious. Conditions may vary from place to place so the comments are general and you must make your own decisions.
Before you go: You will need to pay lots of bills while you are away but you will not wish to carry wads of cash. Travellers’ cheques do not seem to work any more and using your usual credit card could work out expensive in exchange rate transaction charges. We have discovered The Post Office Travel Moneycard which is easy to obtain at a Post Office. You load the card with the currency of your holiday, eg Euros, at a favourable rate. You then use the card while away and the amount is deducted from the money you uploaded. As you go along, you may need to top up the card and this is easy to do online. For me, the beauty of this card is that you can access your account online at any time to see your remaining balance and, if you get in a muddle, like forgetting your pin, you can telephone the helpline from abroad and they are invariably most helpful. You can withdraw cash using the card and no fee is payable The following applies to all cards: IF A VENDOR ASKS YOU WHETHER YOU WOULD LIKE TO PAY ON YOUR CARD IN THE LOCAL CURRENCY OR IN STERLING, always choose the local currency as this will save a lot of money in exchange fees.
Security: On arrival, find a safe, either in your room or at reception or anywhere, and, if there is one, put the following into it. Passports, return flight tickets, Ipad, mobile if not required wallet containing all your other credit cards and Sterling money, jewellery, spare spectacles, details of holiday insurance and how to claim, lipstick and perfume and anything expensive which could be of interest to room maids, etc. Never venture out wearing expensive jewellery or watch. Carry only enough cash for the day and, of course, your Travel Moneycard. Do not put anything valuable in a rucksack worn on the back. Be very careful with taxis who love to massage the fares – check the prices independently before taking the taxi and agree the price before travel.
Head Office and I were in Kuta, Bali and took a taxi back to the hotel. The area was rough, rats running between your legs as you walked along, and so on. Taxi drivers had been holding holidaymakers hostage. The hotel was straight along the road from the restaurant; suddenly, the driver swung left into a dark, deserted market place. Alarm bells rang and I whispered to Deannie “When he stops, we’ll get out and leg it”. He stopped, we jumped out and ran off. Next day, I discovered that there was a one way system on the journey to the hotel, straight through – You’ve guessed it – the market square. OOPS!
Enough of that for now.
An arrogant man joined a new company as a trainee. The first day at work, he telephoned the pantry and demanded “Get me a coffee NOW”. The voice on the other end said “Do you know to whom you are talking, idiot. I am the Chief Executive Officer of the company, you fool!” The trainee, taken aback, thought quickly and replied “Do you know to whom you are talking?” The indignant response was NO! “Good” said the trainee as he put the ‘phone down.
Three police recruits were being assessed for their ability to recognise a suspect. They were shown a photograph and asked how they would recognise the man again. “He only has one eye” said the first man. “Don’t be stupid – it’s a side-on picture so you can only see one eye. The second man announced that the man only had one ear and received a similar sharp retort. “Well” said the third man “He is wearing contact lenses”.The assessor was really impressed and went to check the file. “That’s brilliant. How on earth did you know?” he asked the recruit. “Well, it’s obvious he can’t wear spectacles as he only has one and eye one ear” came the reply.
Best wishes to you all Ian Nisbet.