30 December 2013

Fine Equipment Supplies For Fishermen

Photo credit: yahoo images

People who make their living as commercial fishermen need to shop the very best selection of supplies in order to improve their business. It stands to reason that a fisherman who wants his business to succeed buys his equipment from a reputable store. One of the things he looks for in a store is a large selection of items. Whether he wants an extra shrimp basket or a new anchor for his boat, he needs to know that a store has all of the items he needs and then some. Here are some other favorable qualities in a store that sells commercial fishing equipment.

Trustworthy Manufacturers

A fisherman who makes his living on the sea wants to use equipment that has a reputation for quality. He needs all of the equipment on his boat, whether it is a small or a large item, to work as it should at all times. Using substandard equipment can slow down production and result in a loss of money. A store with a selection of equipment made by trusted manufacturers gives a fisherman peace of mind regarding the quality of the items he buys. In many cases, a fisherman will try a brand and if it works as expected, he will stay loyal to that brand with whatever he purchases for his boat. Alario Bros. is one example of a place where a commercial fisherman can find equipment and other items for his business.

Reasonable Prices

A fisherman needs to purchase equipment at the best possible price so he can maintain a balanced budget for his business. Not surprisingly, most fishermen look for a selection of items with fair prices so they can get the most out of their dollar. A store with reasonable prices as well as quality products is likely to garner a large group of loyal customers!

A Selection of Sizes

Most fishermen want to shop at a store where they will find a variety of sizes when it comes to boat equipment. For instance, one fisherman may need one type of anchor for a small fishing boat while a fisherman with a much larger boat needs a larger anchor. In short, most commercial fishing equipment isn't one-size-fits-all proposition. A successful commercial fishing equipment store caters to the various needs of fishermen who are shopping for supplies that will suit the unique needs of their boat.

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Review - Shinjuku Washington Hotel, Tokyo, Japan

Shinjuku Washington Hotel is a  3-star property managed by Fujita Kanko Inc. This massive hotel has 1296 rooms to offer both in the main and Annex buildings. For more info on the amenities, facilities, room accommodations and restaurants in the hotel, please visit their official website.

This is our first time to stay in Shinjuku Washington Hotel. I received a good deal via Hotels.com.  The reason I booked this hotel is the proximity to the main Shinjuku Train station. It was connected in the basement to the subway and that was a major factor I took note of, taking into consideration that we are first timers in Tokyo. We stayed here from December 3-6, 2013.

I have a lot of things to say about this property; mostly good but I have to give an average rating for this hotel because of the comfort level of our sleep. More on that in my findings below.

What I like:

The triple bedroom is a bit spacious so we didn't have to bump the other beds while walking around the room. It is large by Japanese standards.

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The beds are comfortable except for the pillows.

Clean bathroom and the supplies were regularly stocked and the towels changed.

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Location - it is connected to the large Shinjuku train station through a passage in the basement

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We were given a room in the 22nd floor so we had a good view of the nearby buildings and park.

The hotel has a Family Mart convenience store and souvenir shop in the first floor and several eateries in the basement.

There are plenty of restaurants at the higher floors with a good view of Shinjuku.

There's a deodorizer spray inside the room.

Hassle-free electronic check out system in the lobby. It took us barely 10 seconds to complete the checkout, granted there was no other bill to pay.

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The staff were all courteous and have a good command of the English language.

The hotel is right in front of the airport limousine bus stop.

They have left-luggage facility.

It is walking distance to malls like Odakyu, Lumine and Takashimaya.

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What I don't like:

The pillows are filled with pellets. I am certain they were not down nor synthetic fibers nor memory foams (except for 1 pillow which was a memory foam). They made funny "striking beads" sound and we had to touch the *pellets inside. Who fills a pillow used on your head when you sleep with chunky pellets anyway? We thought it was a new form of head massage but I kid you not. It hurts when you rest your head on those pillows. I didn't know they were filled with chunky pellets the first time we entered the room so I instantly lied down and I hurt my head. They are awfully painful on the head and the least convenient to sleep on.

The pillows were heavy. It sounded like there were small pebbles inside.

Our room was reeking with cigarette scent. NO one was smoking nearby but the whole room just smelled like that. That was the reason there was a deodorizer spray there.

The hotel switched the cool aircondition unit off and switched to the heater mode. There was a note as we checked in. However, I didn't expect that at that high floor, it would be a bit stifling due to lack of air circulation. My point here, not all people will have the same biological system. I don't feel cold quite easy compared to others and after a long day of walking, the last thing you want to have is a hot room. It was uncomfortably hot! I had to sleep without any blankets even if it was winter already. The cold outside did not do any good. It was hot and the a/c was even off!

US$ 157 per triple bedroom per night without taxes booked via Hotels.com

Room type:
Triple Bedroom

Meal plan:
No meal plan is included in the room rate

Nearby attractions:
Shinjuku Gyoen Park
Shinjuku Chuo Park
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office (there's an observatory on the 45th floor to get a good view of Mt. Fuji if it's not very cloudy or foggy)
Shinjuku Robot Restaurant
Mosaic Street
Shinjuku Train Station
Shinjuku West Exit Camera Town
Hanazono Jinja Shrine
Shin Okubo Korean Town
Tokyo Toy Museum
Shinjuku Mitsui Building

My recommendation:
I have two recommendations for this hotel based on when you intend to stay and the season.

Based on our experience in the comfort factor - NO during winter. I will chose another hotel simply because I prefer a cooler room or at least a window I can slightly open to let the air circulate and cool the room.

However, I will give my thumbs up on this hotel during the other seasons where the A/C is fully functional.

Comfort and quality of sleep are two very important aspects that I take into consideration when I recommend a hotel. Like I mentioned earlier, I prefer a cool (not cold) room where I can have a decent sleep and please, I don't even want to lay my head on those pellets-filled pillows. However, I can let go of the pellets-filled pillows because I can always use the blanket as my pillow or ask from the concierge but when you're all poofed, energy drained from walking the whole day, I don't think you'll still have the energy left to make a fuss over pillows. All you want is to recharge and have a good sleep which in our case did not happen as we all tossed and turn due to the hot room for the whole duration of our stay.

it is unfortunate that I missed to take pictures of the pillows or took a video of it to prove I wasn't exaggerating when I say that the pillows are filled with pellets.  I highlighted that and the hot room temperature on the feedback form which I handed to the concierge upon check-out.

*I refer to the contents of the pillows as pellets. I am not sure of what they are. They sounded like beads and when I tried to squeeze some, it seemed like plastic. It can be something else.

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27 December 2013

Sperry Top-Siders - The Casual Shoes For Traveling

Having traveled to many different countries, I have seen all sorts of fashion statements. From children to overly-pimped up teens to casual adult wear. But even after being exposed to such fashion, one might begin to wonder if that's all there is to "style".

Surely, there may be a trend for others to follow, but sometimes you need to know what you want and how you want it to look and what will be comfortable to wear during your travels. And that's where I have come across Zalora; an online shopping site in the Philippines.  The site carries comfortable Sperry top-siders for the discerning travelers out there.

Sperry top-siders is a good choice for travel wear because it is comfortable and has a rubberized sole that has a wet/dry traction to prevent slipping. It also has a nice cushion in the heels to support your long day of walking.

Gone are the common black, brown, white and navy-blue colored top-siders. They now come in various colors of the rainbow!

Don't worry about it's appearance because they can be worn with socks during the winter season and plain during the hotter months.

So, if you plan on traveling anytime soon and on the look out for comfortable shoes, consider Sperry top-siders as your travel shoes.

(Photo credit: all taken from sperrytopsider.com)

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Review - Hard Rock Hotel in Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore

This is the first time we booked a room in Hard Rock chain of hotels. I am very pleased with my choice because I got a very good deal through Booking.com. I got the rate for half the price during summer season.  We booked stayed here for 2 nights and 3 days last July 4-6, 2012.

Here are my findings which I have broken down in several categories:



It was nighttime when we arrived at the hotel. It was a bit dark like a club style and there was a band performing so shouting was the method of communicating with the staff at the reception desk. I could barely hear her. I had to ask her to repeat twice or thrice what she just said. The band's audio was so loud, really loud!

The interior is fit for a rock and roll themed hotel - dark, with plenty of memorabilia display, crystal chandeliers (even inside the elevator's wall!) and urban and modern furniture.

Lighting is okay and you can feel like you are in a club or disco bar.

Concierge/Reception area

We checked in around 2145 hrs. My daughter and I were the only ones checking in so the attention was on us. Not bad when you're super tired, drowsy and disoriented from a long, bumpy flight. There is a nearby Memorabilia store for souvenirs.


We were greeted by the busboys with courtesy the moment we alighted the taxi. Our bags were taken by the busboy inside the hotel and that was appreciated. The lady who checked us in was very cordial, same with the gentleman who took our bags for us.

Floor hallway

Ample lighting but not as bright as I would prefer on hotels. Bearing in mind that the theme is rock/glam-rock kind of feel so it suits the motif.

Carpeted flooring all throughout the hallway



This is the best bedding I have ever slept on. It was better than the luxurious Marriott Hotel in Singapore! The foam is just perfect. The pillows are down so I had a good night sleep. It was clean and well kept. The headboard was the wood paneling on the wall, which was okay. I love the pull out bed though. It is a safety buffer for me because my daughter punches and kicks when she is asleep so I can bunk on the pull out bed if she starts getting "violent" while asleep.


There is a long table, which also act as a study and vanity table. The only problem I had was the lack of chair to use when I had to use the laptop or do my make-up. There is a yellow odd-shaped stool inside the bathroom that I used as a stool. There is a long window bedding or seating area that can double as another bed for younger folks or guest.

There is a pressing table, flat iron, dual opening closet (which also opens from the bathroom) and a mini-safe

Mini bar

It is well stocked with 5 complimentary water from RWS and the rest of other juices and soda for a fee. There is also a complimentary coffee, sugar, tea and creamer for the guest. There are enough drinking glasses (2 from the mini-bar and 2 from the bathroom) to use and 2 drinking cups, a percolator and an ice bucket. The hotel does give free ice cubes in the ice room. There is one in our floor. I am not sure if there is ice room on every floor though.


I find the washing area with the vanity a bit tight. I had to bump my daughter when she was standing next to me while I brush my teeth and she, while brushing her hair. The mirror was a bit small.

I love the separate shower and toilet though. My only complaint is the lack of proper hanging place for our clothes inside the shower area where we are taking the bath. I had to leave the towel just outside. Also, both the separate enclosures have glass doors. But the water is trickling outside too and the bathroom floor closer to the shower area gets wet a lot.

Entry hallway in the room

This is a huge entry hallway for a bedroom. I like that we can leave our bags there without tripping because there are actually enough space around.

Outside the hotel:


The façade is nice with the big logo of Hard Rock. You cannot miss it and it’s a nice photo op as well as there is a big guitar in the middle just few meters away from the drop-off point for guests that leads to the hotel.

Back of the hotel

The gigantic pool with a simulated beach shore is located at the back of the hotel. You’re lucky if your room is facing the pool side. Ours was facing the front so we didn’t have a good view. The pool has a nice sunken bar and there is enough space for everyone to swim around as it is a huge pool and also, there are enough lounging area to wait for your kids or family members while they enjoy a good dip in the pool.

What I like:
The location is probably one of the selling point of this property.  It is very near the Universal Studios which was why I booked this hotel in the first place.  It is tucked inside the Resorts World Sentosa compound so it is very quiet. 

The personalized greeting on the TV screen in the room. I find that very cute and appealing.

The price was a good deal during the time of my booking. Normally, this hotel will fetch for US$290 ++ for a night. I got the hotel rate per night for only US$95++ per night. Now, that is a very good deal!

The staff were all friendly and accommodating. 

The room is big and very clean.

The bed is comfortable.

There is a good wide selection in their breakfast buffet. I paid for SGD 39++ (approx US$30++) per person.

What I don't like:
The very noisy lobby when the band played at night. It was loud. They don't seem to have any audio control to lower the volume of their amplifiers and speakers. I find it really distracting.

The bathroom vanity area is a tight quarter. 

Checking out can be chaotic. The concierge is rather small and manned by 2 staff at the time I checked out considering it is a big property with 364 rooms to boast.

SGD 432 (US$340) for 2 nights via Booking.com

Room Type:
Double Deluxe

Nearby attractions:
Resorts World Sentosa
Universal Studios Singapore
Sentosa Resort
ViVoCity Shopping Mall
Adventure Cove Waterpark
Maritime Experiential Museum

My recommendation:
Yes. I recommend this fairly new hotel to families with older kids rather than those with younger kids simply because its ambience is not so kid-friendly. I think the band playing in the lobby is distracting and kids won't enjoy that. They will find the large pool inviting though!

This hotel is great for couples and families with older kids. Business travelers who are seeking a short break from the hustle and bustle of the city life will find this hotel a bit noisy for their taste.

You can find more information about this hotel, location and other facilities and amenities, please check the official website. Hard Rock Hotel in Singapore is located at 8 Sentosa Gateway, Sentosa Island, Singapore.

If you wish to book this hotel, please check Booking.com for low rates and really competitive prices (subject to availability and rates subject to change without prior notice).


This hotel review is my personal review. I have paid for this stay and in no way sponsored by the property nor Booking.com. I just love to book via Booking.com because I always find a very competitive rate or great deals when compared to other booking sites.

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23 December 2013

Happy Holidays from the Travel Bugs!

Wishing you and your loved ones all the wonder and magic of Christmas! 

A wonderful Christmas to all and a happy 2014!

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(Artwork is done by my super duper talented daughter, pls. do not claim as yours. © Arice215)

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17 December 2013

My Travel Goals For 2014

It has been a wonderful year for my family in terms of traveling. We managed to visit Niagara and Tokyo this year which made me tick several items off my bucket list.

It's been really great so I am looking forward to 2014 with more destinations in mind, more attractions to see, more great stuff to discover, more food to taste and more culture to immerse ourselves to.

2014 will be a busy year for us as my daughter starts college back home. That means, our travels will become tricky as we are miles apart. Unlike this year, we are all coming from Dubai so it is easier to plan our travels and getaways. Once she is back home, we will have to plan our leave dates according to her new schedule.

The changes to come in our schedules and living arrangement will not dampen our desire to see the world. For 2014, I plan to go to Canada and Australia, covering both the northern and southern part of the globe. It won't happen one after the other as the terrible jet lag will be too hard to miss. I also want to include another Japan trip next year, perhaps in a different prefecture like Kyoto or Okinawa where we will see more of nature and pagodas. I also want to visit more US states next year aside from our favorite NYC! I like to visit Washington D.C., Massachusetts, San Francisco, Seattle, Texas, Florida and Georgia.

Those are a lot of places to see, countries to visit and definitely more money to spend. But there's no harm in dreaming and when I dream, I want to dream big!

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10 December 2013

Five of the Top Holiday Locations in the Galapagos

Photo credit: cazloyd.com

Balmy and beautiful, the Galapagos Islands are one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. But which areas are the absolute must-sees?

Here are five of the top holiday locations in the Galapagos.

1: León Dormido

Dive into the waters of León Dormido and snorkel with the sea turtles and white-tipped reef sharks. If you really want to be amazed, swim on over to Isla Lobos to glimpse the sea lions.

2: Punta Cormorán

The beaches of Punta Cormorán are covered in powdery white sand and pink flamingos, making them the picture-perfect spot for a tropical island holiday. Don't forget your umbrella drink!

3: Santa Cruz

Laze away your days with the giant tortoises of Santa Cruz. Surrounded by wildflowers, green mosses and pleasantly shady cliffs, they definitely have the right idea in just lying around and enjoying the scenery.

4: Darwin Island

Known for its amazing cruises, visitors to Darwin Island can whale- and dolphin-watch from the deck or put on a wetsuit and explore the water themselves, swimming with hammerheads, whale sharks and hundreds of brightly-colored fish.

5: Punta Suárez

Punta Suárez is a biologically diverse region filled with everything from rock-clinging iguanas to bright nesting boobies. This is the place to go if you want to take incredible pictures for your scrapbook back home!

If you're traveling to the wonderful world of the Galapagos Islands, you won't want to miss these five spots. Click here for more on Galapagos tours and vacation packages.

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Review - Hotel MyStays Maihama, Tokyo, Japan

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This is our first time to visit Tokyo, Japan. Our first stop in the itinerary is Tokyo Disneyland so I found this hotel in Booking.com and compared with other hotels in the vicinity of Tokyo Disney Resort. So far, this is the one that is most affordable and within walking distance.

I am not sure of the star rating of the hotel as I didn't notice any signage indicating that on the facade.

I booked the triple bedroom from Dec. 2 - 3, 2013.

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What I like: 
Proximity to Tokyo Disney Resort Near JR Maihama Train Station

It is very near Ikspiari, a small shopping complex attached to the JR Maihama Station.

You can take the Shuttle bus from Haneda Airport to the nearest Disney hotel which is Disney Ambassador Hotel and walk from there, around 15 minutes walk to reach the hotel. The bus limousine fare from Haneda (Tokyo International Airport) costs ¥810 per adult, one way.

Very friendly, polite and accommodating staff. They spoke very good English and are very helpful especially when we were asking directions about how to go to Shinjuku. 

Free hotel shuttle that will take you to JR Maihama Station and Disney Resort and back to the hotel

Free ice and coffee near the concierge for hotel guests 

Free wi-fi in the lobby 

Clean room and not very tight, just the right size for three adults considering Japanese hotels’ room quarters are small by standard

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There is a Leg/Feet massager machine in the room.  This machine really helped relieved our sore and tired feet and legs after all the walking around Disney from morning until evening.

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They allowed us to do early check in from 3 PM to 1 PM.

Left luggage facility is available. 

The beds are ultra-comfortable.

The memory pillows are really nice. We all had a very nice and quality sleep.

The beds are very comfortable too.

Our room had a good view of the Disney area.

There are vending machines in the lobby if you need to buy beer, juices and water.

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What I don’t like: 
Nothing. This quaint hotel is perfect for travellers whether you are a solo traveller, a couple, family, or group. The location is ideal! 

Hair dryer 
Small ref 
Leg/feet massager 
Free tea and condiments 
Big parking space for a fee
Clothes iron / trousers press available for rent
Ice Maker
Hair dryer
Leg/feet massager

Total price of ¥19200 per triple bedroom per night (inclusive of 5% VAT) 

Meal Plan: 
No meal option included in the room rate 

Nearby attractions:
Tokyo Disney Resort (Disney Sea and Disneyland)
Ikspiari (small shopping and dining complex)
Bon Voyage (Disney souvenir shop)
Kasai Rinkai Park
Urayasu City Sports Park and Gymnasium
Takasu Central and Seaside Park

My recommendation: 
A big yes! This is a hotel I will be happy to recommend to everyone. It is not a very posh one but it’s a good hotel that can meet all your needs. Also, this is the first time we have stayed in a hotel where they know how to value comfort. Imagine having a massager waiting for you in the comfort of your room and for free? It is like the management knew that the guests will be very tired from all that walking around Disney Resort. That massager really sealed the deal! 

I will definitely consider staying here again when we visit Tokyo Disney Resort in the future. It is a simple property that has all the comfort that you need.

Hotel MyStays Maihama is located at 279-0025, Urayasu, Tekko-dori 3-5-1, Tokyo. It is owned by Flexstay Hotel Management Co., Ltd.

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09 December 2013

Everything Is Kawaii In Japan!

The great Tokyo vacation ended soon. We wished it was longer but reality has to bite. We have made beautiful, fun and wonderful memories in this vacation in the Land of the Rising Sun and what truly captivates me is that, everything in Japan is kawaii (translated to cute in English) and may I add, also odd in a cute way.

Why did I say that? Well, these pictures will speak for themselves. No need for explanation, just pure weirdness and cuteness at the same time, especially those people who were in the airport wearing cute pineapple cap. I just couldn't resist snapping them. What's so beautiful about that was no one was conscious about their appearance. And that's my kind of place!

Enjoy these pictures of cute stuff in Japan that I have snapped.

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Pineapple caps! Taken at Tokyo International Airport by Ria C © riatravelbug.com

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Taken at Tokyo Disney by Ria C © riatravelbug.com

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Taken at Takeshita-dori in Harajuku © riatravelbug.com

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Taken at Studio Ghibli Museum at Mitaka @ riatravelbug.com

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06 December 2013

Ideas for a Fun Gatwick Layover

Photo credit: yahoo.com

Gatwick Airport is a popular transport hub and if you are flying through, why not schedule a layover? Stopping over at Gatwick will give you a chance to add another destination to your trip and get a taste of what the surrounding attractions have to offer.

A layover at Gatwick will be very convenient, as there are many transit options. You can take an airport taxi Gatwick to get quickly to the city centre, so that you can make the most of your time. If you are from the UK and flying out of Gatwick, you can drive up to the airport early to enjoy one of these attractions.

What are some of the activities that you could enjoy on a visit to Gatwick:

Tour of London 
There are a number of tour companies that offer full layover tours from Gatwick Airport. These tours are designed to cram in as many of the top attractions in London into the shortest amount of time. They will take you to the classic tourist sites such as the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace.

If you are new to London and you have never seen the sights before, this could be a great option for you. It would allow you to see the most famous attractions in London in a very convenient way. However, if you have already visited London you will have likely seen all of these attractions before – so you will be looking for another option for a layover trip idea.

Covent Garden 
If your idea of a fun day involves shopping, eating and entertainment – why not head to Covent Garden. There are a number of cute street cafes where you can stop and have a coffee and watch the street performers. There is also a very interesting market that sells almost everything you could wish for.

Covent Garden also has the London Transport Museum, The Benjamin Franklin House and the Georgian home of the famous architect and collector Sir John Soanes.

Head to Brighton, which is a short drive away and see a lovely and exciting seaside city. Brighton is a very popular tourist attraction and it offers the fun of Brighton Pier as well as the lovely pebble beach and more. All along the Palace Pier you will find the usual seafront arcade attractions – great for kids!

Brighton has an excellent Museum as well as many funky boutiques, friendly cafes and great bars. Check out The Lanes, which is an area of fun and interesting shops jumbled together, including some vintage record stores and great jewellery shops. Also, don’t forget to check out the walkthrough underwater tunnel at the Sea Life Centre aquarium.

Sussex Gardens
If you only have a few hours on your layover, you still have time for the short drive to Nymans where you will find some beautiful gardens. These elegant and beautifully landscaped 20th century gardens offer gorgeous views of the Sussex countryside and they even include a lovely Gothic mansion.

You could also visit the High Beeches Gardens, which include 27 acres of beautiful woodland and water gardens, filled with unusual and rare plants and trees. Also nearby are the gardens that surround the Elizabethan mansion at Wakehurst Place, which are home to the Millennium Seed Bank Collection as well as many other beautiful plants.

Bocketts Farm 
If you are travelling with little ones, a great idea for a Gatwick layover is to visit Bocketts Farm. This family friendly attraction is a great day out for the entire family and there are a number of friendly farm animals to feed and pet. There are pony rides, goat milking, tractor rides and even pig racing – giving your children a taste of life on a real working farm. Also, if you want to stop for lunch or afternoon tea, the Old Barn tearoom serves a selection of delicious homemade food every day in the lovely 18th century barn.

These are just a few fun ideas of what to do while you are on a layover at Gatwick airport. Of course, while you are on a layover in Gatwick you should always make sure to get back to the airport in time for your connecting flight. You can book an airport taxi Gatwick to get you there on time in the most convenient way.

About the author: 
Max Wheeler is a freelance writer and blogger. He frequently takes flights that stopover at Gatwick and has taken a number of short day trips in the area.

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On Our Way Back To Dubai

This blog has been very, very quiet lately because I am still on leave. My family and I will be flying back to Dubai a day early as we need to be back to work on time on Monday, Sunday for my hubby.

So, I hope to be able to post regularly thereafter as I sort all our pictures taken here in Tokyo and write some articles about the adventures here, interesting finds and the wonderful place we visited.

Tuh-tah for now! I'll chat with all of you later.

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