Category: Reviews

Unbeatable prices with SendMyBag.com

Sending your luggage upfront of a trip or moving to a new country is an attractive alternative instead of taking your belongings with you. In the end you don’t need to carry it around, run on time to the airport or stand hours in the queue to check in your suitcase so you can just give it into the trustworthy hands of one of the shipping companies.

When I made my decision to move back to Europe from the furthest country on planet Earth, New Zealand, I realized that within a couple of months I’ve collected a good amount of items. It would be complicated to pack it all in one suitcase, furthermore to get rid of it was not an option. This is when I discovered SendMyBag.com, a worldwide shipping company with the cheapest rates and even student discounts.

It’s very easy to navigate the website, first of all you can get an exact quote on how much would it cost to send your bag from A to B. I needed to send my personal treasures from New Zealand to Belgium, which cost me £310 for a magnanimous 30kg. Therefore the prices depending on the country and weight of the luggage you send. They also accept golf, ski bags and bicycles. Step one, enter your measurement units.

Before you create your account , check SendMyBag.com rules for every country. There you can find information for the place where you need to send your items. Sometimes there are hidden costs, that you need to pay separately, so read carefully. That happened to me, the local custom authorities wanted to inspect the shipment to confirm the contents and I needed to transfer €42 extra.

After you’ve decided where your luggage is going, you need to complete four steps such as to write your collection and destination address and measurements of the item that you want to send. The great option is you can choose the exact date when it should be picked up!

Last but not least, you will be asked if you want to print your labels or get them delivered for an extra charge. I don’t see any reason why to pay extra money for something that can be easily done at home. You don’t have to be a genius to make sure that the labels are attached to your suitcase. I attached my documents by using a see through file and tape, so the list of the items that are in my suitcase is on one side and the barcode for the DHL courier on the other.

Furthermore you can have free cover for a value of up to £125, if you prefer to increase your insurance automatically it would cost you more as well.

 

If you want to track your bag every step of the way you can download Send My Bag App and you will receive free tracking push notifications to your smartphone. So it will help you to stay up to date!

Last but not least you need to pay for your order. You will get notifications via email and within 24 hours your order will be accepted so you can complete the customs form information. I needed to upload a picture of my passport and write down a brief packing list.

Unfortunately I was disappointed when I got word that I’m not allowed to send any liquids, cremes or gels. Being a girl and having all kind of cremes is essential.  I’ve sent my suitcase with another company that was more expensive but I was allowed to send all these products. The only rule was they were not allowed to contain alcohol because of the flammability. That’s why I couldn’t justify the statement from the Send My Bag – support team “All liquids, pastes and gels are prohibited on international services”

The collection of the luggage happens between 9am and 6pm, there is no specific time. Nevertheless you can take your bag to work or ask your friend or neighbor to hand over the bag to the courier. Directly after the pick up you will get a notification with the tracking number, so you can follow every step of your precious belongings.

My bag arrived at it’s final destination within 6 days due to a little delay because of the customs inspection. Everything arrived there safe and in one piece. So in my personal opinion SendMyBag.com is a very trustworthy company. It might give you a bit of a hassle with the unexpected packing restrictions and extra costs, but in the end it still offers the lowest price.

 

 

 

 

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand is the national airline of (what a surprise) New Zealand with their base in Auckland. It operates on a global network that provides services from as well as within New Zealand to various locations like Australia, the South West Pacific, Asia, North America, South America and the United Kingdom. In 2016 Air New Zealand was crowned best airline in the world for the fourth time in a row. And it has good reasons to be so great! It’s not the cheapest air company but occasuanaly they have great and affordable deals.

Cabin

Cabin at Air New Zealand

I flew with Air New Zealand within NZ several times and every single time it was a pleasure. The planes offer plenty of space and comfortable, modern seating. Nevertheless it makes sense to offer a magnanimous area for kiwis, they are famous for being more voluptuous.  On the domestic flight we were not provided with screens on every chair but instead there were visual aides that showed a little quiz. I’m sure on the longer flights there are plenty of entertaining features for every guest.

Customer service

I’ve never been disappointed with the customer service while flying with Air New Zealand. The staff is always friendly and helpful. Te efficiency of the flight attendants and the rest of the crew make sure that everything happens promptly.

Food

Snack at the domestic flight

I was positively surprised that Air New Zealand still provides with complimentary drinks and snacks even on short flights. I’m very happy that they still uphold standards from the past and serve great coffee and delicious cookies. Additionally they provide you with delicious candies shortly before landing to relieve the pressure in your ears.

Shipping Suitcase Worldwide with Luggage Forward

Moving abroad with all your favorite, sentimental things might seem to be very stressful and expensive. Carrying all your belongings from A to B is not the best way to enjoy the holidays. Furthermore most of the airlines are starting to charge for checking your luggage in and sometimes prices can be ridiculous. Shipping suitcases can avoid the head and muscle aches.

This is what happened to me, after living for a while in New Zealand and realizing that it’s not my favourite place to stay I decided to relocate my home back to Europe. Nevertheless I planned to make a stop in the Maldives to gather some vitamin D and Sea after the cold weather in Hobbit land. As I already mentioned taking all your clothes to a paradise destination can cause a burdensome experience and empty your bank account in one click.

So I decided to ship my beloved 20+ kgs of stuff back to Germany first. I found Luggage Forward on the internet and felt comfortable and secure with sending my suitcase with them. The website is very easy to navigate: Already on the first page you can see the costs of your door to door delivery. Prices depend on the size and type of the luggage, you can even send your bicycle case! The distance and the speed of service that you select also plays significant role. I chose the standard bag 23kg for $679 and will be delivered within 5 days.

You need to create your account, it takes just 10 minutes. This will also help you to track your suitcase and follow every step. I’m the one who asks a lot of questions so I contacted support@luggageforward.com and a very friendly consultant helped me with all my questions within 12 hours! Important to mention that you definitely need to have a valid passport and detailed list of items packed in the suitcase.

I would suggest to plan sending your luggage at least 2 weeks in advance and not just one week like me. The company still needs time to send you tags for the bag, which will come separately one week after you confirmed your pick up. I almost missed my tags because the courier thought that no one was at home and left a note that he will bring it on the next day but my bag needed to be picked up on the same day. So in the end both, the delivery and pick up men, arrived seconds apart from each other. The pick up is by the way between 1-3pm. Nevertheless it’s amazing when your bag is collected from your home, so you don’t need to worry about tiring shlepping, overweight or waiting lines at the check in at the airport! Moreover you know that it will arrive safe within the next 5-7 days at your other home without getting lost or damaged.

I sent my luggage to Germany to my mum’s address and unfortunately Germans are famous for controlling everything. Important to mention Germany is one of the few countries that requires passport and baggage content specifics, most of the destinations allow allow simple pickup & delivery with very little documentation. My mum received a letter in a written in a terrifying way that they have my luggage and they need more information about me like the exact reason of sending it, if I’m moving back to Germany, the reason why and proof for it plus exact details what’s inside. If they won’t get information within the few days they will send the suitcase back and I will need to carry the costs. The curious fact is the info was already included. Germans are just famous for their bureaucracy that always makes myself and I know the whole country panic. I contacted Luggage Forward and they replied within a few hours despite the time difference that there is no reason to worry, they will take care of everything. And they did! So thanks to the Luggage Forward – Team for their support!

All in one I can say that Luggage Forward is an attractive alternative to travel light. It might seem pricy but what you gain in convenience and reliability is definitely worth paying a few extra dollars. And isn’t it great to travel light knowing that all your precious belongings are safely waiting for you at your next destination?

Air Berlin

Air Berlin is Germany’s second largest airline which also owns Austrian NIKI and Switzerland’s Belair. It offers relatively low cost prices and they often do good sales. I flew with Air Berlin pretty often when I used to live in Vienna because the company offered cheap prices with an amazing service. Nowadays prices got higher and the service got lower, but it’s still good. Furthermore they make it possible to reach your destination not only within Europe but also beyond such as America or Thailand.

Cabin

Welcome to Air Berlin

Air Berlin provides it’s customers with economy and business class, in both cases you will have comfortable seats and enough space for your legs. I flew with Air Berlin on short and long distances and it was always pretty comfortable.

Customer service

Air Berlin is famous for having not the most youngest and elegant flight attendants. But Germans are famous for focusing on efficiency and not appearance. I’ve never had any bad experiences with their customer service, I read many complaints on the internet though. I suppose many travelers don’t feel comfortable with the German working mentality: they can be very focused on the job and forget about politeness.

I once had incident with Air Berlin on my way to Thailand. I flew from Berlin but unfortunately our flight was delayed because of technical problems. After a long wait in the airport during the night, the Air Berlin staff organized a shuttle bus to the closest hotel. On the next day our flight was in the late evening so we spent the whole day in Berlin, which was not an issue at all, because I had friends there. After I arrived back from my holiday, I decided to write a complaint letter to get a refund for our 1 day delay (After living for a long time in Germany this is what you learn, to complain about everything utilizing the rights of the law). After two weeks I received a 300€ voucher. Of course I could demand cash money but I thought it’s better than nothing. Additionally it took only two weeks without any further complications to receive the voucher.

Air Berlin used to give chocolate in the shape of a heart to every passenger when they left the airplane. Nowadays they don’t do it anymore, probably to save costs.

Entertainment

Air Berlin doesn’t provide passengers with entertainment on the short time distances. Nevertheless on long flights you will find screens on every seat with plenty of various time killing activities like the latest movies, songs and interesting games.

Food

Snack and coffee

Food at Air Berlin also depends on the length of the flight. The short flights used to be better: you could get a delicious pretzel with butter or a muffin, momentarily they serve crackers. On the long flight though you will be served like a king: you can drink whatever you want from non alcoholic until alcoholic drinks. Furthermore the quality of the food is good and there will be plenty of it.

Jetstar

Jetstar is a low-cost Australian airline which is based in Melbourne. It’s a part of Qantas Airways allowing you to have various flights within Australasia. It means the airline provides domestic and international services.

There are different experiences with Jetstar, I had a good one though. I had a domestic flight from Auckland to Wellington in New Zealand and was satisfied with the service and comfort in economy class. My advice, be sure to include your luggage when you book a ticket. Additionally you will get a selection of meals or snacks even on the short distance flights.

Cabin

Seats of Jetstar

Seats in one of the Jetstar’s plane

The inner area of the plane is spacious and the seats were comfortable and very wide in comparison to Asian and even European airlines. The dark colours of the interior were not very appealing but I could handle it on my 1 hour flight. You can also book extra legroom seats, which in my opinion is ridiculous. Everyone should get a sufficient amount of leg space and be treated with dignity.

Customer service

Jetstar staff

Jetstar staff

We were welcomed onboard by the friendly smiles of the flight attendants. Inflight service was offering various drinks and snacks for an acceptable expense, considering the usual airline prices. Nevertheless I have heard some negative experiences with the Australian branch of Jetstar.

Entertainment

There are no entertainment options facilitated on the short distance flights. If you are planing to have a longer flight you are able to pre-purchase some inflight time-killers, which includes movies, TV, games and music. That should be done directly while booking a ticket, so no spontaneous decisions.

Food

Bacon and cheese toasty

Bacon and cheese toasty

On our flight we had a decent-sized bacon and cheese toasty and a beef pie. On top of that we could choose a drink. The taste of the food was alright, we couldn’t complain. So all in one everything was fine.

Beef pie

Beef pie

Sri Lankan Airlines

I experienced Sri Lankan Airlines on my way to Colombo, Sri Lanka from Frankfurt Airport, Germany. I’ve never flown with this low cost airline company before, that’s why I was suspicious. My doubts started to fade a bit when I saw the stewardesses pass me by towards the gate in their beautiful Sri Lankan dresses in bright peacock colours as their uniform. Check-in and boarding all went very smoothly and before I knew it I was on the airplane.

Cabin

I was flying in the 2-4-2 seated airplane mainly decorated with eye-catching turquoise colours. Every seat had a screen with different forms of entertainment. The legroom was manageable but could be more spacious, especially when you are flying long distance. Nevertheless everything was tidy and everyone was provided with blankets, headsets and pillows.

Customer service

The staff was amazing: very friendly and helpful. Me and my partner landed in the middle section, but we hoped that there would be space in the 2-seated aisle next to the window. We asked one of the attendants if there were seats available for us. Unfortunately there were no spare seats, so she asked a lonely traveler to switch places with us. He didn’t mind and we were happy to spend the following 10 hours with just the 2 of us.

Entertainment

As I already mentioned there was a screen for every passenger, on which you could choose from numerous entertaining programs, satisfying anyone’s taste. There were various movies old and new, fun little games and puzzles, music, documentaries and you can even see through the pilots eyes and the airplane’s belly with the help of installed cameras.

Food

There was plenty of food and drinks available during the entire flight. You were able to take your pick from a wide spectrum of non-alcoholic and alcoholic liquids. We were served with 2 main courses of Sri Lankan cuisine, which were surprisingly fulfilling and very delicious.

Sri Lankan Airlines

Air Asia

Air Asia is the cheapest flight company that you can use within the Asia Pacific. It’s great to use for  short distances around 5 hours but for longer flights it’s not worth saving money over. As I already mentioned Air Asia offers low price flights, that’s why you shouldn’t expect too much comfort or amazing service.

Cabin

The inside of the plane has a grey and red colour scheme which is not the most appealing colour combination. It’s equipped with the most basic of airline comfort, there are no measures of entertainment provided. The seats are pretty soft but when they are in the upright position it feels unnatural, as if you’re being pushed by a plank of wood. Still you have enough space for your feet.

Air Asia, cabin

The cleanliness of the airplane will be a surprise every time you fly with Air Asia. The seats are old and dirty, tray tables can still contain stains.

Customer service

If you travel with the larger luggage don’t forget to add the weight to your ticket, otherwise it can be very pricy. Very important to know the exact weight that you are allowed to take, if you have more than you’re supposed to take you will have two options left: To take some clothes out of your suitcase and carry it as a hand luggage or pay a crazy amount of money. The Air Asia personal is afraid to do anything wrong because otherwise they need to pay a fine.

Air Asia, flight attendants

The flight attendants are very friendly and polite, nevertheless the service is not professional and very chaotic. You need to pay for everything on the plane, at least you prebook extra weight for you luggage, that also includes a meal with water. The company even tries to prohibit you from bringing your own food on board.

Food

Air Asia, food

Air Asia offers various snacks and drinks for an affordable price on the plane. The coffee is actually better then most I’ve drunk during any other flights. The main courses are edible but it’s not deluxe kitchen. Let’s say it will calm down your hunger for the next couple of hours.

Comparison of Europe’s bus-lines

Traveling nowadays has reached a revolution, people are changing their destinations more than ever before. The reason for that is the flexible timetables, various ways to travel and surprisingly low costs. The easiest way to reach multiple destinations in Europe is doubtlessly by train, but unfortunately train companies are not travel friendly because most of the time they ask for ridiculously high prices. So if you are willing to explore Europe by road but you are on a tight budget or you just prefer to spend your money smart, then traveling by bus will be a great option for you. For spontaneous travelers here is a list of the main bus-lines with their good and bad sides.

Eurolines

Eurolines is one of the biggest and cheapest bus line networks in Europe. It provides it’s customers with an extensive network across Europe, 29 different countries to all major European cities. Unfortunately there is no big variety in departure times.

It’s possible to book a ride just a couple of hours before but you definitely need to print out your ticket, which are are by the way not refundable. If you travel to another country within Europe, you should always be prepared to show your passport or ID. You are free to take two medium sized suitcases, which will be stored in the cargo hold. The friendly drivers will help you, but it’s not always the case that they can speak the local language or English.

As I already mentioned Eurolines is the cheapest bus company, so automatically you should know that it attracts specific clientele. On the tickets it always says you should be at the bus station 1h before, this is not true. You can just come 10 minutes before, furthermore Eurolines are often late. That’s why if you planned to have a 5h ride, anticipate to arrive minimum 1h later. Sometimes it can happen that the bus tour was canceled or there is no seat available, regardless of you buying a ticket already, and you won’t be informed concerning said changes.

The inside of the bus is fine, the seats are pretty hard but it’s ok for a journey of max. 5-6 h. It has toilet facilities that can sometimes give of an odor to the whole bus. On the website it says that the company provides it’s customers with Wi-Fi. Unfortunately I’ve experienced it only once out of a couple of times. Moreover it didn’t work properly.

Flixbus

Flixbus is a affordable and reliable bus line from Germany. As we all know Germans are famous for their affinity for punctuality, so this transport will pick you up and bring to your chosen destination mostly on time. At the moment the company is overtaking all other bus networks, smartly building a monopoly. But it’s fine because they offer a good service for expectable costs. The question is only for how long.

If you are traveling with Flixbus, you can be extremely spontaneous, because you can quickly buy tickets online or even from the driver. If you’ve decided to cancel your trip, you can use the spent money for your next journey. Departure times and routes have a wide range. But this is not the only one benefit of traveling with this company, they also offer clean, comfortable and spacious seats, plug sockets, which is very useful to charge your phone or laptop and Wi-Fi, which is not so bad but it works only in Germany. I had the situation a couple of times that we didn’t have any internet on the bus, so people needed to talk to each other instead of staring on the screen.

Flixbus is very popular in Europe, especially in Germany, it means it can be full with travelers. It’s better to come 15 minutes before departure, so you will have enough time to put your luggage into the hold and find the perfect seat for you. The quality and the duration of the ride depends on the driver. Some of them don’t care about punctuality, take breaks longer than they are allowed and can even smoke in the bus.

MegabusPostbus

Megabus used to be an English low price competitor of Flixbus. So the German bus company decided to acquire it. The same has happened to German colleague Postbus, now they are also part of the Flixbus corporation. This means that they have equal quality and prices.

Conclusion

Before you decide to travel by bus you should think what is more important for you: time, costs or comfort. If you need around 5 hours to get to your destination, then you can really go low in price. This period of traveling is convenient to spend your time in a low budget bus.

In my opinion for longer journeys it is better to spend a bit more money and have a comfortable and relaxing trip. Just think about it, when you arrive you want to enjoy the city and if the journey was horrendous  you will be exhausted and moody.

The best way to search for the cheap bus tickets is to use busliniensuche website. Unfortunately it’s in only in German, again it’s the German mentality to keep everything in their own language, but it’s easy to operate. Another alternative to find the best way to get to your dream destination is GoEuro. It’s similar to the first searching tool but it translated in 12 different languages. Additionally it displays Europe’s excellent rail, bus and air travel.

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