Festival Fever

So its that time of year again...

...the festival season is upon us! Many of you over the coming months will no doubt be packing your tents and keeping your fingers crossed that the sun shines as you watch your favourite bands do their thing. However, as we all know, it sometimes does rain on the parade! So although many of you may revel in the idea of rolling around in the mud, for those of you who would like to keep things a little more civilised we have some brilliant bits of kit:

Pits and Bits: if you don't want to brave the queue for the shower then Pits and Bits can keep you smelling fresh without the need for water. Comes as both a body wash and a shampoo. Simply apply, lather it up and rub off with a towel- simple and effective! Kept me smelling great at Glastonbury! Check out the range here

Make-a-pillow: hauling your kit from the car to the campsite can test even the best logisticians! For those of you who need a soft place to lay your head the Eagle Creek Make-a-pillow is a great option as it folds up into a small little bag. When you need it simply take it out and  stuff it with clothes to create a comfy travel pillow. 

Earplugs: need I say more...?

Eagle Creek Shoe Sac: great for keeping your muddy flip-flops separate to your clothes

Switch 8 solar recharging kit: I was amazed by the queues for the mobile recharging and power bar exchange. With this handy bit of kit you can keep the power bar charged up using the portable solar panel so your phone never runs out of juice. 

Of course there are loads of other bits and pieces here at ILS Travel Stores that can come in handy: hand gel, duct tape, money belts/bra stash, karabiners, head torches, water bottles and even glow sticks! If you have got a top item of festival kit we'd love to hear from you!

Enjoy the summer!

Cheers S Maudling for the picture!

Read more →

Fire, Fire...Part 2: Smoke is your enemy!

So in part 1 of this blog post we looked at practical measures that you can take when travelling to reduce your risk of becoming victim to a hotel or hostel fire. Smoke detectors, fire alarms and sprinkler systems may not be present, or may not work, however there are some steps that you can take to significantly lower your risk.

But what if a fire does break out? What should you do to maximise your chance of escaping? 

The key thing to remember is that "Smoke is your enemy!" - avoid it if you can. Generally it is the smoke that kills. Remember, smoke and heat rise, so stay close to the ground and if moving along the corridor towards the exit keep close to the wall so you can count the number of doors (if you don't know why this is important read part 1!). Keeping close to the wall also helps to avoid people who may be panicking.

Another top tip is that if you leave your room you should leave any possessions behind- you need to be able to move unencumbered and getting out alive is the most important thing. However, there is an exception to this- room key. If you go into the corridor and find it filled with smoke or fire, you need to be able to get back into your room. It is therefore always a good idea to know where your key is and keep it easily accessible! 

In our previous post we also mentioned the FlareSafe (click to find out more). This portable smoke detector, as well as its alarm function, also has an inbuilt flashlight which will automatically turn on. This allows you to locate the FlareSafe and use it to find your way to safety. It also has a strobe function which can be used to signal distress. We think it is a great piece of travel safety gear and an easy way of minimising your risk when travelling. 

Check out the document below from Flarebrands Ltd, the manufacturers of FlareSafe, which gives some other great tips for maximising your chance of getting out alive in the unfortunate case you are caught up in a fire!




Read more →

Fire, Fire... Part 1: Protect yourself!

Fire safety may not be the most exciting of subjects, but the recent fire at the famous Itegue Taitu Hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is yet another reminder that travellers need to take the subject seriously.

Fire safety standards are not always as stringent as they are here in the UK; in some parts of the world functioning smoke detectors and fire alarms are not as common as we would like them to be, and sprinkler systems can be a rarity. This makes a fire in the middle of the night a really dangerous proposition.

There are plenty of practical steps that travellers can take.

For example, what floor do you want to stay on? From a fire safety point of view we would recommend avoiding anything above the third floor. If you are forced to jump (and we stress that this should always be a last resort), the chances of surviving from above this height are unlikely and in some parts of the world fire ladders may not reach above the fourth floor.

It is also worth working out 2 escape routes from your room (in case one of them is blocked). Once you have identified the fire exit, walk the route from your room, counting the number of doors you pass. In the event of a fire and limited visibility due to smoke this will enable you to find your way easily by counting the doors. This is especially important given that smoke rises and exit signs are nearly always placed at ceiling level and therefore may not be visible.

We would also recommend carrying a portable smoke detector with you when you travel. The FlareSafe is a small, portable device that fits easily in your bag- it may just save your life!

Check it out here: FlareSafe Portable Smoke Detector 

For more top fire safety tips check out the 7 key steps from Flarebrands Ltd, manufacturers of the FlareSafe, below.

In part 2 will look at key steps to take in the event of a fire.

Safe travels!



Read more →

Christmas is coming....

We can no longer hide from it! Christmas is well and truly on its way and if you are anything like us here at the Travel Stores you will be thinking about plans for the coming year and your next adventure or journey. So, in order to say a big Christmas thank you to all our lovely ILS customers we are running a rather special Christmas promotion...

The ILS Travel Stores advent calendar!

Every day in the run up to Christmas we will reveal one of our great items of travel kit which will have 40% off for that day only! Each day it will be a different item, so check the home page of our website daily and see what useful, interesting and unusual travel equipment you could get for your next overseas adventure! You could also pick up some Secret Santa or stocking gists for your travelling friends whilst you are there!

Promotion will run from 1st December to 18th December (last day for posting). We will endeavour to get all items to you in time for Christmas, however if an item is on backorder then this cannot be guaranteed. The number of promotional items purchasable per customer may be restricted
Read more →

Bugs and Bowels

So we hear a lot these days about "friendly bacteria". However, most of us who travel have had plenty of experience of the unfriendly sort! You know, the ones that cause that deep, rumbling sense of urgency, have you leaping out of bed in the middle of the night, rapidly exiting meetings, even finding a tree to hide behind in extreme circumstance (!) as last night's local delicacy comes hurtling through your system, ready to make a rapid exit.

Having a safe source of drinking water is essential when travelling; not only to decrease the incidents of upset stomachs, but also to keep hydrated if you are suffering from the dreaded diarrhoea! Water should be boiled, bottled, disinfected, or filtered. Boiling water on the go is not always a very practical option. Bottled water is more often than not easy to come by, however you should always check the seal- if it is not intact don't take any chances! Drinking bottled water also has the unfortunate consequence of generating large amounts of plastic waste.

Here at ILS Travel Stores we do offer a number of alternatives: We have chlorine dioxide tablets, which allow you to disinfect your water, or we stock personal, portable water filters. The advantage of these water filters is that no matter what water source you have available to you, from hotel taps, to streams and rivers or even muddy puddles, you will always have access to safe, tasty, drinking water. No more spending money on bottled water, and even better, no more generating large amounts of plastic waste when you are chugging through litres a day keeping hydrated in the hot sun!

All in all we reckon they are a pretty good option!

Read more →

So what's in your bag?

Here at ILS Travel Stores we particularly enjoyed a recent feature in The Guardian which invited humanitarians to share what they packed when heading off on a work assignment.

See it here: 

Guardian Witness: Humanitarian workers- show us what you are packing

It was a fascinating insight into what different people prioritise when travelling to often challenging places. The variety was stark; from those with a very minimalist approach, to those who managed to cram a remarkable amount of luggage into their bags. However, it was really interesting to see that in addition to the travel essentials, there were also travel accessories included that brought a sense of comfort. Here at ILS we have always recognised the need to take care of psychological wellbeing as well as physical wellbeing when working under difficult circumstances and this was very much reflected!

We hope that the range of travel accessories and equipment we are offering through ILS Travel Stores helps not only make your travels safer, but also more comfortable. However, if you know of a great piece of travel kit that we currently don't stock we'd love to hear from you!

Safe travels!

The ILS Travel Stores Team

Read more →

And so it begins...

Welcome to ILS Travel Stores!

We are very excited that we are finally open for business! Its been great fun (and quite a lot of hard work!) searching around to source what we think are some really interesting and unusual pieces of travel kit and equipment. We hope that you enjoy browsing the shop and would love to hear your thoughts, especially if you think that there is a "must-have" that we currently don't have!

We look forward to hearing from you...

Read more →