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Weekly shop is cut back so we can still buy luxuries: Families spend nearly 6% less in supermarkets over the past year but continue to splash out on…

  • Barclaycard report found households have cut back on their weekly shop
  • But consumers are still spending money on holidays and fancy meals
  • Spending on clothes fell 3.5 per cent, restaurant spending up 11.3 per cent

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Nervous households are cutting back on their weekly food shop so they can continue to splash out on holidays and fancy meals at restaurants. Despite reining in their spending, consumers do not appear to be prepared to sacrifice the finer things in life, a report by Barclaycard has found. Spending in supermarkets fell 6.1 per cent in the year to April – the biggest drop since Barclaycard started collating these figures in 2011.

Nervous households are cutting back on their weekly food shop so they can continue to splash out on holidays and fancy meals at restaurants (file photo)

Clothing saw a similarly sharp fall as the poor weather deterred shoppers from updating their spring and summer wardrobes. Spending on clothing fell 3.5 per cent the worst performance in three years. But it seems the money saved on food and clothes is being spent on treats and trips abroad.

Spending on air travel jumped 6.5 per cent as households booked their summer holidays. And spending in restaurants continued to grow at a rapid 11.3 per cent as consumers prioritised quality time with family and friends. Total spending grew just 1.9 per cent in the year to April amid concerns about slowing wage growth and uncertainty about the EU referendum.

This is a slight increase on the 1.6 per cent registered in the year to March, but well below the 12 month rolling average of 3.7 per cent. Paul Lockstone, managing director at Barclaycard said: April proved to be another challenging month for retail as consumers held back in the face of economic headwinds.

‘The feel good factor they enjoyed in 2015, encouraged by rising employment and increasing household incomes, has been hit by a combination of uncertainty on everything from oil prices to the EU referendum. He added: Spending on leisure, travel and entertainment proved to be more robust as consumers protected spending on experiences by cutting back on essentials, which is a pattern we ve seen for a few months now.

Money saved on food and clothes is being spent on treats and trips abroad, as spending on air travel jumped 6.5 per cent as households booked their summer holidays

The findings were backed up by a separate report on online spending published by Visa Europe. This also found that growth in spending in the year to April has been fuelled by the experience economy . Recreation and culture including trips to the theatre and the cinema jumped 7.9 per cent, while spending in hotels, restaurants and bars grew 6.6 per cent.

But spending on food and drink grew 1.7 per cent a five month low. Figures published last week revealed high street shops have endured their biggest slump in sales since the financial crisis,

A combination of poor weather and fears about the health of the economy has caused households to delay updating their wardrobe. Sales in April dropped 6.1 per cent compared to the same month last year, according to consultancy firm BDO s closely watched high street sales tracker .

This is the worst monthly fall since November 2008.

20 million road trips expected in UK over bank holiday weekend

Heavy traffic is expected on the roads over the coming bank Discount Holidays © holiday weekend

Motorists have been warned to expect heavy traffic over the bank Discount Holidays © holiday weekend w ith an estimated 20 million leisure trips being made on Britain’s roads between Friday to Monday. The RAC claimed a “far greater” number of cars will be on the highway this May Day weekend compared to 2015 because a number of people are making up for not going away at Easter as it was earlier than normal. Research commissioned by the motoring organisation found that Saturday is expected to see 8.4 million leisure trips by car, with noon the most likely time for congestion.

This is compared to 5.4 million on Friday, 6.9 million on Sunday and 4.8 million on Monday. The figures were based on a survey of 1,562 people who were asked on which dates they would use a car to travel on a major A road or motorway for a leisure trip. The most likely locations where hold-ups could occur include the M5 from Bristol to Taunton, the A30 and A38 from Exeter to Cornwall, the A14 between the Midlands and Suffolk, and the M53 between Liverpool and Chester.

Simon Williams of the RAC said: ” The number of people who plan to use their cars for leisure trips, whether that’s visiting family and friends or enjoying a day out or some time away, is far greater this year than last.

“This level of recreational car journeys is the highest we have seen in recent times. We think it can only be a hangover effect from Easter falling in late March when perhaps people didn’t drive as much as they would have had it been April when the weather would have been a little warmer.”

He added that despite recent rises in the cost of fuel, the average price of petrol and diesel is still around 7p a litre cheaper than at the same time last year. Meanwhile, those hoping to avoid the queues on the road by taking the train will find that a number of lines are disrupted due to engineering work.

Virgin Trains, Great Western Railway and TransPennine Express are among the operators affected. Network Rail (NR), which manages Britain’s rail track and major stations, claimed it will be “one of the least disruptive bank holidays for railway travel for many years”. It said 33 million of improvement work will be carried out over the weekend, when fewer than half the usual number of passengers are expected to travel.

Buses will replace trains between Glasgow Central and various parts of north-west England between Saturday and Monday due to work on the West Coast Main Line. Signalling improvements on the northern part of the Midland Main Line mean major alterations to services, including replacement buses running between Manchester Piccadilly and Sheffield on Sunday. London Paddington will see reduced services over the weekend as Crossrail and electrification work continues.

No Gatwick Express services between the West Sussex airport and London Victoria will operate during the weekend. Fast, direct services will run to and from London Bridge instead. More than 96% of the rail network will be unaffected by the engineering work, NR said.

The company’s chief executive, Mark Carne, claimed this was “good news for passengers”. He said: “We’re continuing with our huge investment programme and we have a lot of work to do this weekend, but we’ve planned it as far as possible to minimise disruption.”

National Express said it is adding 8,000 extra seats to its services between Friday and Monday to cope with demand, which has been boosted by the engineering work on the railways. The operator predicted that Friday will be its busiest day, with London being its most popular destination followed by Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds and Manchester.

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Travel Eastern Turkey – kyliestravel

Travel Eastern Turkey – Kyliestravelmap of trip

Western Turkey is overrun with tourists, you can see girls in shorts, signs in English, prices even set in GBP or USD however, heading East, you get to experience the real Turkey and its little-known gems. Here is an overview of my travels which include: Trabzon, Sumela Monastery, Uzung l, Black Sea, Van, Tatvan, Lake Van, Nemrut Crater, Diyarbakir, Mardin, Malatya, Nemrut Nagi National Park, Uchisar, Cappadocia. You can see the video of the trip on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWLmy5m9JDM

Trabzon Sumela Uzung l Black Sea

Travel Eastern Turkey – Kyliestravel Black Sea, Trabzon

Trabzon and the Turkish coast that lines the Black sea, is mountainous with luscious green forests. It is beautiful, even with the not so sunny weather, it has to be a stop when visiting Turkey.

Trabzon as a city, isn t the prettiest when it comes to its architecture, it does have some beautiful mosques and museums to visit. However, the best time is evening, once the sun sets and the lights and people embark outside.

Trabzon is a great spot not just to visit the Black Sea for a dip and its access to Georgia, but also for some major tourist sights. On my trip I managed only Sumela Monastery and Uzungol, however, it also has access to other areas nearby that can either be accessed by a public dolmus (bus) or with tour groups. Easily Trabzon and the Black Sea can be done within one day.

The closest beaches can be reached from the city via Dolmus within 10-15 minutes. Depending on its location, it may cost 5TL to enter and use the beach, which also gives you use of the showers afterwards. When we arrived, it was 6:30pm and the beach was empty, which was good considering I was in a bikini and it was Ramadan!

Uzungol is a day trip accessible from Trabzon, located 100 km organised day trips cost approximately 40 TRY. On my trip, I was invited by a friend I made through my couchsurfing host. He was on Discount Holidays © holiday from work and was going with his family to have a BBQ in Uzungol. It was a really great experience, especially considering the weather was not the best (as you can see by the pictures), you couldn t see the mountains or the famous view of Uzungol. But we still had fun, eating, hiking, getting bicycles and going for a ride.

Van Tatvan Lake Van Nemrut Crater

Travel Eastern Turkey – Kyliestravelat the waterfall with my new Iranian friends, near Van

Lake Van is the largest lake in Turkey and has some incredible sites surrounding it. It s location can somewhat make you nervous (i.e. it is very close to Iran and Iraq), but to be honest this is a must to visit for anybody in Eastern Turkey.

First stop Van, buses and flights can get you here cheaply, as this is the major city located in this region.

A bus from Erzurum one way is 50 TL.
I was lucky to arrive and my host had friends visiting from Iran who were up for travelling around; which was great. We visited by car the waterfalls and Van castle, which has some incredible views.

Travel Eastern Turkey – Kyliestravel Inside Nemrut Crater

My plan was then to try and cross over Lake Van to Tatvan with a transport ferry I read about; however, going to the port, nobody could tell me if it would run or what time or what cost. So rather than standing around Van with my entire life; I took the bus which was 20TL. It was a really great trip, as I met a girl who was extremely excited to speak English. And as she knew the bus drivers, we had a free evening meal (after only 20 minutes on the road but once you can eat from Ramadan end of day, u stop!)

Tatvan was a really cute little city, my host was really nice and picked me up and we went to the boardwalk for tea, which was packed to the rafters with people. The next day was a mission to go up to Nemrut crater. Buses, nope. It was hitchiking. My host dropped me at the crossroad to head p to the crater, which saved me about an hour walk in the scorching heat (here was a bit conservative so covering my arms and legs was necessary.)

I started walking and after 10 minutes a tractor offered to drive me.

He wasn t going all the way, so after about 20 minutes, he dropped me off then another 10 minutes of walking I got a lift in a car all the way. It took a little convincing to them (as they wanted to stay with me all day, things got a little bit clingy), but said I was going to go explore. Which is what I did. I walked around the crater for a few hours and decided to head up. I got to a little house (only one) which had a guy living there and offered me tea. He was quite nice, but again things got a little creepy when we went to see the hot springs. He insisted I take off my shoes to feel how hot it was, as it was good for my feet. He then started rubbing my feet. So I was outta there eek!

I walked up and had a few cars pass me but none going up, wasn t until I was almost at the top of the crater did a car pick me up and take me down (having to sit on a guys lap).

Travel Eastern Turkey – Kyliestravel Swimming Lake Van, Tatvan

The next day was a bit more chilled, my host and his friend asked if I wanted to swim in lake Van hell yes!

Only problem, ultra conservative, no women would swim there. So we had to find a secluded spot .especially considering I only had a bikini! Success, we found a spot and had some fun but whatever you do, DO NOT PUT ANY WATER IN YOUR MOUTH! There is something that turns all the young boys hair blonde, and basically you end up with lovely diarrhoea for about 2 days afterwards and the taste is absolutely foul!

It is a really cool site and definitely recommended, you just have to be a bit forceful with the Turkish men! Then it was off to Diyarbarkir, the bus was 50TL one way.

Diyarbakir Mardin

This was definitely the biggest cultural point of my trip. My host was a great young girl who lived with her family. It was really interesting to see the family dynamic between them all. For example; when the father came home for dinner, I had to cover my legs to at least my knees for some reason this part is very seductive!?

Travel Eastern Turkey – Kyliestravel View to Syria, Mardin

The heat in Diyarbakir was ridiculous, it was about 40-50 degrees centigrade each day. And being a very religious city, was necessary to cover.

We tended to be indoors until it was cool enough to go out in the evening. During the day the streets were empty because it was so hot and Ramadan, but in the evening the city came alive. The UNESCO surrounding walls were an incredible site to see over Diyarbakir.

We also did a day trip to Mardin, the bus was cheap about 10TL one way. We wondered the streets and explored the city. It was an interesting stop as it is only 30 minutes from Syria and a lot of Syrian refugees had entered the city, trying to survive. It was an incredible site.

Then came the time of Ramadan finishing. Which means, eating lots of food and visiting family and friends. Bayram (end of Ramadan) people buy gifts for each other, and heading to the mall, my host bought me a tshirt as a gift. The stores were crazy packed, imagine boxing day sales!

Then the children go door to door and get given candy and sweets; like halloween without being dressed up. But the children all wear their new clothes they get as gifts. The amount of Baklava eaten, is on an epic scale; you cannot move! It was really great seeing a Kurdish family and their lifestyle (as it was so hot, sleeping on the balcony floor together all 6 of them, was to keep cool).

Travel Eastern Turkey – Kyliestravel View from Nemrut Dagi National Park

It was a great experience and then onto Malatya. The bus was about 50TL one way.

Malatya Nemrut dagi National Park

The absolute change from Eastern Turkey to Central turkey and out of Kurdistan was evident. Malatya looked like a European city, with its clean and new streets, high buildings, beautiful parks and sidewalks, interesting art. I was surprised people wouldn t want to visit here. It is also the Apricot capital of Turkey who knew!

Travel Eastern Turkey – Kyliestravel The famous heads at Nemrut Dagi National Park

My host was really cool, he offered to take me up to Nemrut dagi national park, which was the whole reason stopping here! The drive is pretty hairy and very quiet (much busier from the other side and more recommended route).

The entrance was about 15TL but totally worth it. We got up there for almost sunset, we took some pictures and went to watch the sunset. It was incredible! Then it was off to Cappadocia on the second longest bus trip of 9 hours! It was still only 50TL one way.

Travel Eastern Turkey – Kyliestravel Uchisar Castle

Uchisar Cappadocia

Waking up from the long tiring bus ride to Goreme, the change from East to West Turkey was evident. All of a sudden, girls in shorts were walking around, signs in English were prominent. I realised I was back in tourist land!

However, I got to my host at Garden of Cappadocia highly recommended! It is up in Uchisar, which is highest part of the region and allows for spectacular views. Plus Kamil (the owner) has really built a beautiful and friendly place.

He is so helpful with any information you may possibly ever need; plus he will take you around on his moped if he has time, which was great!

Travel Eastern Turkey – KyliestravelView from Hot Air Balloon Cappadocia

I also got to do my first hot air balloon ride, was 100 ‘ and totally worth it. The fairy-tale-like rock formations make Cappadocia unique in the world.

Practical Things to Know before coming to Turkey

  1. Sunscreen It s expensive, about 35TL for a small bottle. You think, its a hot sunny place, it will be cheaper it may not be the case depending where you are coming from. So just a thought for all the people, like me, who apply 50+ several times a day
  2. Alcohol it s expensive for spirits. In the super market a beer is lowest 4TL, bottle of wine is lowest 12TL and 700ml vodka is lowest 70TL. So depending on your country and your currency, you may find this cheap or expensive. For me, its expensive, especiallTravel Eastern Turkey – Kyliestravely for spirits. So bring in duty free alcohol at the airport before you arrive.
  3. Cigarettes Cheap, well not to Turkish people, but lowest as of July 2015 6TL per packet
  4. What to Wear in the West parts of Turkey, honestly anything goes. They have gotten so used to Brits walking around shirtless, it doesn t phase the Turks, but if you re like me, it is rude.

    In the East, you must wear trousers/skirt at least to your knees or longer.

    It didn t seem to matter too much about straps on a shirt, but the legs, its a big deal.

    So even when its 45 degrees, you are wearing long jeans, wondering if you will actually melt into a puddle

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