Wednesday, 18 September 2019
Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas - The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times. Born in the UK he has been living and working in Dubrovnik since 1998, yes he is one of the rare “old hands.” A unique insight into both British and Croatian life and culture, Mark is often known as just “Englez” or Englishman. He is a traveller, a current affairs freak and a huge AFC Wimbledon fan.


There are a lot of ways that you could be saving money when you shop online or in a brick-and-mortar store. While brick-and-mortar stores usually have retail sales or rely on the art of negotiation to grab a discount, you could be saving a lot of money online.

Today, we take a look at the ways customers could be saving a lot of money and increasing their buying power by scoring discounts. These hacks are great for those who are on a budget.

Go to Coupon Sites

For upfront discounts on the goods and services that you purchase online, consider getting a coupon from a coupon website. These places offer a variety of curated and collated coupons from major vendors, and you can save anywhere between 10 and 70 percent on your next purchase. Try the online coupon site - if you’re looking for a quick discount.

These coupon sites are beneficial for people who are just browsing for deals or are looking for coupons that they could have missed out on from companies who don’t have them available on their sites as well.

Purposely Abandon Your Shopping Cart

In over a year, the ecommerce industry loses more than $4 trillion in abandoned shopping carts, and as a result, marketers have responded by remarketing to customers who do so. They frequently give out incentives for people to purchase what was in their carts by offering discounts, deals, and offers.

There is a possibility to grab a discount from an online store by purposely abandoning a shopping cart because ecommerce stores would rather lose some potential revenue than the entire potential revenue altogether.

Allow Annoying Newsletters into Your Inbox

Newsletters from retail outlets are usually just filled with marketing material for their existing customers to purchase from them again. However, a lot of discounts also come from these newsletters.

It helps to subscribe to a newsletter from a brand that you love to make sure that your are always first in line to get a discount that is still not available to regular shoppers.

These newsletters are designed to provide incentives for people who are already part of the customer base. This rides on the fact that it’s cheaper for a company to market to a previous customer base than to look for new customers.

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Buy From Wednesday to Friday

There are a lot of offers available from Wednesday to Friday. Instead of logging in during regular shopping times on a lazy Saturday afternoon, shoppers looking for great deals on their purchase should try the midweek.

There seems to be a more significant possibility of scoring a discount at these times probably because they might be off-peak times for e-commerce outlets. Merely adjusting the times when people shop can result in a lot of savings.

Wait for the Sales

The most apparent sale that everyone looks forward to is the Black Friday sale, which is the bane of all who work in customer service. However, if Black Friday sales also work in e-commerce sites, don’t miss out on those deals, too.

Would-be customers who have the patience to sit back can simply wait for a sale. There are seasons where some sales occur, but it also helps to ask the retailer directly when you can expect a sale from their end.

Threaten to Cancel (Only for Subscriptions)

A lot of services that offer subscriptions have a dedicated department that is around to make sure that they do not lose any customers. If by any chance a customer is fed up with a subscription or is annoyed with the current service, threatening to cancel might be useful.

The department is armed with several discounts and incentives that can make your subscription worthwhile for the stress that you endured because of their service.

Know Price Codes

When you shop at major places such as Target or Costco, the price tags will have codes that seem to be random numbers along with the tag. However, these are price codes that tell you if something is discounted or not. By knowing what to look for, you know if you’re getting the best value for it.

For example, an asterisk in Costco’s product tag means its either on clearance, or it’s being discontinued.

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of ways for you to save money while shopping, and the average consumer shouldn’t settle for not being able to make savings. Given the cost of inflation amongst other issues, being able to save a few dollars here and there is excellent for any budget!


Dubravka Suica could well be nominated for a leading position inside the European Commission. Reports suggest that the Dubrovnik born MEP could find herself as the new Enlargement Commissioner in the new European Commission lead by Ursula Von Der Leyen.

Suica was nominated by the Croatian Government as one of the 27 Commissioners in August. Ursula von der Leyen is expected to unveil the list of her Commission’s portfolios on Tuesday.

“Although she supports the accession of Western Balkan countries to the EU, Bosnia and Herzegovina in particular, Šuica has stated several times that it is unrealistic for Serbia to become a member of the EU by 2025,” reports the website European Western Balkans.

In the period from January to July 2019, 57 foreign cruise ships sailed to Croatian seaports, completing 368 cruise trips. There were 565,000 passengers on these ships, who stayed in Croatia for 749 days, according to new information from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).

Of the total of 368 round trips, the highest number of trips was made in Dubrovnik-Neretva County (59.0 percent) and Split-Dalmatia County (25.5 percent). The remaining 15.5 percent of trips were made in the following counties: Zadar (6.5 percent), Istria (4.3 percent), Primorje-Gorski kotar (3.3 percent) and Šibenik-Knin (1.4 percent).

In the period from January to July 2019, the number of trips of foreign cruise ships increased by 7.0 percent and the total number of days spent by ships increased by 6.4 percent, as compared to the same period of 2018. The number of passengers on these ships in the mentioned over 2019, up 8.9 percent from 2018.

The largest number of visits by foreign cruise ships was to the port of Dubrovnik (267 visits), followed by the ports of Split (140 visits) and Zadar (62 visits).


Famous British pop singer Ellie Goulding with her new husband, art dealer Caspar Jopling, visited Dubrovnik and partied on Friday night at the Culture Club Revelin nightclub.

The musician celebrated for the hit 'Love Me Like You Do' from the movie '50 Shades of Gray' got married last week in York and decided to spend her honeymoon in Croatia.


The glamourous wedding saw many celebrities attending, including Princess Beatrice and Eugenie, singer James Blunt, actor Orlando Bloom and Katy Perry, actress Sienna Miller and many other celebrities.

The newlyweds hired the same wedding planning agency to take care of the ceremonies as Prince William and Kate Middleton, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and Pippa Middleton and James Matthews.

And the newlyweds clearly had a ball in Dubrovnik.

Another day, and another Russian billionaire arrives in a mega yacht in Dubrovnik, but this time it is a rather eye-catching one. “Is that a yacht or a battleship,” commented one member of the public as the yacht “A” sailed in between the island of Lokrum and made its way closer to the historic Old City.

Roman Abramovich, with his mega yacht Eclipse arrived first, quickly followed by Sergey Galitskiy and his $250 million yacht, Quantum Blue, and today was the turn of Russian billionaire industrialist and philanthropist Andrey Melnichenko, on his yacht “A.”


It’s a mixture of modern technology, with hybrid powered propellers, and a nod to times gone by with three massive sails. In fact, it is the It is the largest private sail-assisted motor yacht in the world and it cost Melnichenko a whopping $500 million.

However, as Melnichenko, who is the eighth richest man in Russia, is reported to be worth an impressive $13.5 billion he didn’t have to dig too deep in his pockets.




“But how hard can that be, I mean you’re are basically floating and throwing a ball around, anyone could play that.” Experience counts for a lot in life. We all know somebody who knows everything in theory but nothing in reality. Every family has its philosopher. Of course the truth of actually putting yourself in the real world and actually trying to do something gives you a rather different perspective on things.

There were one or two sports that I had never really seen before coming to live here, handball was one, and the other was water polo. I say never seen but I do remember catching a very brief highlights once as it was played at the Olympics. But there are so many strange and exotic sports at the Olympics that I never gave it a second thought.

So I basically started from a city that generally hasn’t heard of water polo to one that has one of the best teams in the world.

Yes, that first sentence was my first reaction on seeing water polo for the first time. It looked like children fighting in the bath. Water flying everywhere, splashing and aggressive shouting and somewhere a ball bouncing around. Of course not knowing the rules didn’t exactly help. I later found out that the English actually invented the game, an ex-Jug player told me, although it didn’t really look anything like what it does today.



And we have had a celebration of the game recently. The explosion of colour and emotion that is the wild league. And the passing of the 95th birthday of the most successful club ever and the pride of the city Jug. The wild league is truly a tradition that needs to be cherished and nurtured. Hats off to all involved, the players, the organisers and the supporters for yet another amazing event. In fact, one of my nephews was actually playing in the final, the same nephew that kind of taught me to play.

Now, when I saw play I really mean try and fail. Along with his brother they both played the sport from an early age. And years and years ago they attempted to show me some of the basics. This was when theory met reality. Of course my first reaction was to catch the ball with two hands, which was difficult enough anyway, whilst at the same time treading water. Catching it with one hand seemed overly difficult. Try as I might the ball, nine times out of ten, just bounced off my hand or went sailing over me and I sunk down in the water. I had been trying this for a few minutes and was already gasping for air. I need to add at this point that I hadn’t actually swum anywhere!

“OK, now we’ll try some attack versus defence,” one nephew shouted. I had already pretty much concluded that this wasn’t a sport for me, but never the less I had a go. Defence in water polo is pretty much attempted murder! The defender is trying his best to pull someone underwater and drown them, or at least that was my understanding. And of course this time we were actually swimming up and down. There is a LOT of swimming in water polo. At least in football you can kind of have a break and stand a little. I ever volunteered to go in goal thinking I’d have a break, bad idea. In water polo my body was in constant motion. I had all the elegance of Bambi on an icy lake. I am really not sure whether I lasted five minutes. But in that time I actually managed to pass to one of my players once. And the only shot I had (I use the word “shot” in the loosest of terms) didn’t even make it to the goal. The ball was plopped in front of the goal keeper and bobbed up and down like a fisherman’s buoy.

Before drowning, or having a heart attack, I threw in the towel and floated off, out of the game. I had a new respect for water polo players. You need to be seriously fit to play this sport. At least in normal polo the horse does all the running for you. So once again a huge congratulation to everyone involved in the wild league, you are absolutely a credit to your sport. And long may this brilliant festival of water polo continue.

Someone once wrote that "a perfect water polo athlete can be best described as having the over-arm accuracy of a baseball pitcher, the vertical of a volleyball player, the toughness of a rugby and ice hockey player, the endurance of a cross-country skier and the strategy of a chess player." Clearly I have none of these skills.             

The City of Dubrovnik will introduce a range of new measures for 2020 in order to better control the flow of traffic around the city, especially the Old City. The City of Dubrovnik, as part of the Respect the City project, which covers proposed short, medium and long-term projects, activities, measures and solutions, has sent to all travel agencies a notice of the rules that will be in force in 2020.

The City hereby informs that from the 1st of April 2020 until the 1st of November it is prohibited to park buses on either the Pile and Ploce entrance into the Old City on Thursdays and Saturdays for buses on organized one-day excursions.

In 2020 it will also be forbidden to transport passengers on the line from the port of Gruz to Pile and vice versa for all buses except Libertas public buses. The city public bus company will be equipped with new and quality vehicles that meet the standard of passengers for the next year.

We’ve had wild camping in the public parks of Dubrovnik, sleeping on the beach and even napping in inflatable boats but sleeping on the roof of a car, well that’s a new one.

This German tourist was spotted on the beach of Kupari this morning tucked away in his sleeping bag and clearly enjoying his al fresco accommodation.

He certainly had a nice view when he woke up and he didn’t have far to go to the beach, although the night-time mosquitoes might have been a problem as well as the actual comfiness of his bed.



The Voice of Dubrovnik


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