Stress-Beating and Boredom-Busting Travel Tips for Business Trips

It’s a fact – business trips abroad don’t bring nearly as much pleasure as other people think you’ll have. Far from “going on a jolly” overseas business trips are often loaded with stress and boredom. Here are our top tips that will hopefully bring a bit more balance to your next trip overseas for work.

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1. Book an Airbnb – even if you’re paying for a higher rate hotel, there is only so much comfort you can get from being in one-room, or even a suite with a travel kettle, coffee machine and room service. Booking yourself an apartment where you can sleep in one room, relax in another, and even whip up some simple dishes in a kitchen will bring a more homely feel to your trip, even if it’s just for a few days of your stay.

2. Organise A Capsule Travel Kit – packing is a pain, so get yourself a capsule travel kit which is always ready to go. In it have:• a fully stocked designated toiletries bag• a set of crease-free travel clothes• spares of (or list of) chargers and cables you need for all your devices• earplugs and an eye mask – essential for flights and noisy hotels!

Top Tip for a short trip: Pack hand luggage only for a speedier exit from the airport and to reduce the risk of lost luggage.

3. Download your content – music, films, podcasts, ebooks… what ever floats your boat download it before you go to while away the hours spent in an airport, waiting for a transfer, or even unwinding after working. It’ll save on battery, data, and of course help you take a break from work work work.

Top Tip for a long trip: Dress smart casual, that way if your luggage gets lost you’ll still look presentable if needed when you arrive.

4. Get Social – if you have family or friends nearby then book in some time to catch up, and if you don’t get, on something like City Socializer or Meetup. This is an excellent app for likeminded people to hook up with emphasis being on just meeting up to be social. Showaround is also good for a guided tour by a local who can show you where to go and what to do as well as get to know your destination.

5. Get Business Travel Insurance – nothing ups the stress levels like a missed or cancelled flight; lost, stolen or damaged laptop or equipment; or even something happening that means you can no longer travel to your destination. Get travel insurance and you buy peace of mind!

6. Schedule in Time Off – give yourself a day (or two) extra time to explore the place that you are in, re-charge your batteries and actually enjoy yourself a little before you head back home. It might be a one-day spa break at the end of your trip, sight-seeing mid-way, or even heading out to a gig, game, or show to allow yourself time off in the evening to relax and unwind.

Don’t forget your business travel insurance! We can tailor a single-trip or annual multi-trip travel insurance policy to give you the cover you need for work equipment as well as personal belongings.

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Holiday Hot Spots for Film Fans

Looking for a trip with a cultural twist? How about you base your next holiday in a favourite film location? Here are a few blockbuster movie locations to inspire your next travel adventure!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Rub’ al Khali, Abu Dhabi, UEA – Al Wathba Fossil Dunes

If you travel to the most western region of Al Dhafra you’ll come to the worlds largest uninterrupted sand mass, commonly called The Empty Quarter. This is where you’ll spot the fossilised sand dunes that appear in some of the scenes. There is an eerie and surreal feel to this place that might well have you feeling you really are in the far-flung regions of the galaxy! Discover more about this amazing region in our Abu Dhabi Destination Guide.

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Lord of the Rings
Milford Sound, New Zealand – Fiordland National Park

Milford Sound is one of those destinations that definitely lives up to the hype (link to 8 destinations….) and once you set eyes on the spectacular scenery it is little wonder that it was chosen as one of the 150 locations for one of the most jaw-droppingly spectacular fantasy films of all time. It is even reported to be one of director Peter Jackson’s favourite places to set a scene! The Great River Anduin, Fanghorn Forest and the Dead Marshes are just some of the LOTR locations that you’ll find here in real life.

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Lost in Translation
Tokyo, Japan – Park Hayatt Tokyo Hotel

Tokyo is a vibrant futuristic metropolis and served as a wonderful setting for this block buster film. The film was set entirely in Japan, but if your romantic heart is looking for an additional hit of wanderlust, head to the Park Hayatt Tokyo, the first western luxury hotel to open in Japan offering guests staggering views of the city, wonderful cocktails and delicious cuisine. Take a peek at our Brief Guide To Japan for more amazing things to do in Tokyo.

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12 Monkeys
Philadelphia, USA – Eastern State Penitentiary

There is more to this location than the iconic psychiatric hospital scenes from 12 Monkeys, it was also the place where Al Capone served time, and the audio tour is actually narrated by Steve Buscemi. It is currently described as being in a “beautiful state of decay” and as there are no more plans to make this place a filming location again, it is definitely a must-see to go on a film fan itinerary. There’s also the chance to soak up Philly with some other great films in mind such as Rocky (Sylvester Stallone), and Philadelphia (Tom Hanks).

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The Beach
Koh Phi Phi Ley, Thailand – Maya Bay

The idyllic scenes shot at Maya Bay have sadly ended up highlighting the darker side of tourism. After the film was released the uninhabited island of Koh Phi Phi Lay became inundated with tourists. As well as (ironically) transforming the deserted paradise everyone was searching for into a heaving tourist hot-spot, this also had a devastating impact on the delicate ecosystems here. After being closed to visitors for three years the ecosystems are recovering, and limited numbers of tourists are allowed to visit once more. There is a cap of 375 people at a time, no swimming is allowed, and boats must moor in designated places to avoid damaging the recovering coral reefs.

Check out the best places to go for Ethical Adventure Holidays.

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Don’t forget your travel insurance! Whether you are hiking mountains, swimming in the sea, or immersing yourself in a city break, having the right travel insurance can give you peace of mind in the event of accident, injury, theft, loss or cancellation. Longstay, single-trip and multi-trip travel insurance policies available.

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Spectacular Cities and Serene Seas:  A Brief Destination Guide To Japan

Japan has a wealth of natural wonders and cultural gems to explore – here we take a brief look at three Japanese dream destinations that are on every serious traveller’s itinerary, and share some top tips to make your trip more enjoyable.

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Where To Go: Tokyo vs Kyoto

Kyoto was once the capital of the country, and it remains a historical gem, a time capsule of Japanese culture. Here you’ll find Geishas, teashops, temples, and shrines set amongst delightful scenery. The magic of Kyoto is kept in place by strict development regulations, so no tall buildings or new metro lines allowed! Kyoto is the place to be at this time of year too as the Cherry blossoms are in full bloom. Top tip is to take the bullet train from Kyoto to Tokyo, the new Capital to catch some stunning views of Mount Fuji.

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Tokyo is the polar opposite of Kyoto. It is a futuristic metropolis bathed in glorious neon, and brimming with forward thinking tech. The pace of life here is fast and full on and consumerism is a way of life – but don’t be fooled into thinking that is all Tokyo has to offer. It may be a vast and highly populated city, but there are plenty of beautiful open spaces, and many temples and shrines survived the onslaught of WW2, be sure to visit the Imperial Palace in Kokyo Gaien National Gardens.

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Take Some Time Out on a Tropical Beach

Japan has a wealth of gorgeous beaches that boast white sands and emerald seas but arguably none are more wonderful than those in Okinawa. Okinawa’s tropical climate, coral reefs, and extended good weather season make it the place to head for some rest and recuperation, as well as watersports activities. Many of the beaches are remote, there are over 100 in total, but at the most popular you’ll find diving, snorkelling, boat trips and kayaking all available, Manza is probably the best known.

Don’t forget your travel insurance – especially if you are thinking of heading to the beach for some watersports fun! Our Wintersport & Ski Travel Insurance also offers  specialist cover for watersports such as diving, snorkelling, kayaking, boating and so much more.

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What to Eat

Japan is a foodies delight! Sushi and Sashimi are probably the most famed types of food. As a brief overview sushi refers to the rice which either comes  topped with or  encasing fish or vegetables, and sometimes wrapped in seaweed (aka maki); sashimi on the other hand is usually just thinly  sliced raw fish sometimes with a leaf but never with rice. Ramen noodles are a popular hot dish, and no trip would be complete without sampling some tempura – a fried dish made with a delicate batter covering either seafood or vegetables.

What to Drink

Saki is considered the national drink of Japan, a fermented rice wine that is often drunk warm and considered quite potent.Amazake translates as “sweet sake” and is a low alcohol, or zero-alcohol version.Green tea is the most consumed beverage in Japan, and at the heart of the Japanese Tea Ceremony. There are loads of different types of Green Tea in Japan: Ryokucha, Matcha, Konacha, Hojicha, Genmaicha, so take time to go on a Japanese Tea Tasting Tour during your stay.

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Good to Know

  • Don’t tip in Japan. Be it taxi driver, waiter, waitress, bartender… you are more likely to cause offence if you try and pay extra.
  • Best time to go to Japan is in spring for the cherry blossom or autumn for the spectacular sight of leaves turning red.
  • You may want to avoid Golden Week usually end of April/start of May as it’s the biggest national holiday in Japan and VERY busy. Silver Week in the latter half of September is also best avoided for the same reasons.
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Ten of The Best Tech Travel Hacks

They say don’t work harder, work smarter. We think that applies to holidays too – here are some of our favourite hacks that will save a heap of stress on your next holiday.

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1. Charge your phone on aeroplane mode – it charges faster!

2. Save battery by sharing photos using AirDrop.

3. Keep a scan of all your important docsuments in the cloud so you can access them even if your tech has been lost or stolen.

4. Download your maps when you are connected to WiFi to use offline later. It’ll save battery and data.

5. Get the Google Translate app. This clever thing not only allows you to speak into the app  for it to generate a translation, it also converts text as you scan it – great for translating menus of course, but can even be a lifesaver if you’ve been prescribed medication in a language you don’t understand.

6. Keep your phone on  aeroplane mode until you need it. You can still take pics while you preserve your battery – and let’s face it, it’s a great excuse not to be bothered by calls while you are on holiday!

7. Offload apps you don’t need while you are away – not only will that extend your battery life but also free up more room for offline storage.

8. Download music playlists, podcasts and films before you go.

9. Make the most of Google’s live flight tracking info to see if your ‘plane is on time.

10. Always carry a charger so you can top up juice as you go – most flatscreen TVs have a USB port so no need for the adaptor!

Don’t forget your travel insurance! If your mobile phone, laptop, tablet, or other tech and gadgets are lost or stolen while you are abroad, travel insurance can help recover costs and keep your holiday flowing smoothly. Find out more at

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A Chocoholics Dream: Holidays In Pursuit of the Cacao Bean

Forget tucking into cheap Easter eggs, take a look at these amazing destinations where you can indulge in some of the best chocolatey delights in the world whilst enjoying a dream holiday!


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This destination may be just as famous for the chocolate peaks of a Toblerone bar as it is for its jaw-droppingly beautiful mountain vistas, but maybe it is the cows that make Switzerland a must-visit destination for chocolate lovers. The reason Swiss chocolate is up there as the best in the world is thanks to a Swiss confectioner who worked out how to make solid chocolate using milk – and now Swiss chocolate is known as the creamiest chocolate in the world. One of the top chocolate days out is Maison Cailler in Broc, which offers tours, tastings, workshops and boutique gift shop.

Fun Fact: The mountain on the Toblerone pack is the Matterhorn.

St Lucia

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Cacao beans have been harvested on the Caribbean island of St Lucia since the 1700s, that is over 400 years of chocolatier experience guests can tap into on a luxury break. The Chocolate Laboratory located on the Jade Mountain estate offers guests an indulgent array of chocolate-themed activities including sensory tastings, truffle making classes, and cocoa bean spa treatments; and let’s not forget that the tropical climate that allows cacao trees to thrive is just the ticket for sun-seekers who like a little luxury.

Best time to go: August because it has been declared Chocolate Heritage Month!


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Ecuador has a reputation worldwide for producing some of the best and highest quality cacao beans in the world. As a result, the chocolate produced here is known for delivering raw, organic cocoa goodness – making it the go-to for premium dark chocolate indulgence. The geological diversity that makes Ecuador such an interesting place to visit in its own right – note national parks and the Galapagos Islands – is also responsible for the popularity of its chocolate, each region bringing a unique flavour to its bean. Kallari Chocolate in Quito is a perfect pit-stop for indulging in hot chocolate as well as local chocolate bars, with a chance to learn about making artisan chocolates too.

Top Tip: Sign up to a trek to the Amazon to visit local cacao plantations.


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Belgian chocolate is known for melt-in the mouth perfection, fine structure and high cocoa content. Being ahead of the game in cacao bean imports back in the 1800s meant that Belgian chocolatiers had a head start in perfecting the chocolate-making process. A visit to ChocoStory, a chocolate museum in Bruges will give you a real feel for the history of the Aztecs and Mayas and how the discovery played a vital role in what is arguably Belgium’s best-known export today.

Did you know: Bruges is known as one of the romantic cities in the world – what better place to indulge in some fancy chocolates!


Don’t forget your travel insurance! Whether it is missed flights, lost luggage, accident or illness, or personal belongings being stolen – travel insurance could ease the burden of the unexpected on your holiday.

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Destination Guide: The Himalayas – Adventure Sports Holidays

If you like your holiday to be packed with adrenaline highs then the Himalayas are a veritable playground, and must-do destination. Here’s where to go and what to do to make the most of an adventure sports holiday.

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Mountain Biking

The Manali-Leh Highway offers mountain bike enthusiasts an incredible opportunity to soak up scenery. It takes at least eight days to travel the entire highway, you may want to allow more time to spend a bit longer at each rest stop on the way to Leh. When to book: July to September.

Pony Trekking

These sure-footed creatures make light work for anyone looking to trek the world’s highest mountain range. A trek to the Lost  Kingdom of Mustang takes around 11 to 16 days, and will offer an off-the-beaten-track cultural adventure of a lifetime. Best time for pony trekking: spring and autumn when slopes are free of mud and snow.


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Nepal is considered one of the best places in the world for white water rafting. Not only are the rivers long, the water is clean and the scenery jaw-droppingly beautiful be it mountain or jungle. Pokhara is a great place to base yourself for a single-day white water rafting trip on the Seti River. For a longer experience, say 10 days, get yourself to one of the remotest parts of Western Nepal and on to the Karnali River and paddle it all the way to Bardia National Park. When NOT to go: June to August is Monsoon season making some rivers too dangerous to raft, and others only for the most experienced of white water rafters.

Top Tip: Get adventure sports travel insurance! Our Wintersport and Ski Travel Insurance offers specialist cover for a huge range of sports and activities. An accident or injury no matter how small on an adventure sports break can be financially and emotionally devastating. We can offer policies that offer peace of mind when you need it most, but hopefully you won’t need it at all!

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Heli Skiing

Head to Himachal Pradesh in India to really connect with the Himalayan peaks with a spot of Heli Skiing. Here you’ll find drops up to 5,000 metres, surrounded by 7000m peaks, and terminating in cedar forest after an adrenaline-boosting glide down the ridge lines. The nature of the terrain means these trips are only suited to intermediate to expert skiers. Best time to go: January to March.


Trekking to Everest Base Camp is on just about everyone’s adventure bucket list. It’s generally a 14 day adventure trekking around five hours a day in difficult terrain and takes place in the Khumbu Region in Nepal, which will require getting a flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, weather permitting of course! For those who fancy something a little less challenging, the Annapurna trailhead in the Annapurna Region is a great place to start a trekking adventure on foot. Best time to trek: March-May or October-December.

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Rock Climbing

If you are heading to the highest mountain range in the world, rock climbing might be on your agenda! Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Hattiban are the places to head for vertical adventures. Best time to go: March to May and September to December.


Bir-Billing in Himachel Pradesh, India is one of the most popular spots for paragliding in the Himalayas thanks to the topography creating steady thermals – don’t let that fool you into any sense of security though! Take it past the ridgeline, accidentally or otherwise and you’ll be contending with a very different beast. Best time to go: March through June – but it can get very busy, maybe not what you want in the sky! It is worth noting that Bir Billing is open all year except July and August when monsoons stop play.


Don’t forget your adventure sports travel insurance! Our Wintersport and Ski Travel Insurance offers specialist cover for a huge range of sports and activities.



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Handy Hacks For Packing Light – Hand Luggage Only 

Whether you are heading off on a short city break or you are just looking to avoid baggage queues and fees, learning how to pack light and take hand luggage only is a useful life skill! Here are some handy hacks for packing light.

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  1. Wear your bulkiest items. Particularly useful if you want to take hiking boots or shoes, and big warm jumpers.
  2. Ditch your usual towels for hammam towels or a sarong.These are thin and quick to dry – a sarong also doubles up as so many other items!
  3. Opt for an e-book – much more space saving even if you were only planning to pack one book.
  4. Get your toiletries at your destination. Pharmacies and supermarkets are abundant and you may well find your hotel or apartment has complementary products including a toothbrush.
  5. Consider compression packing cubes to be able to fit more into your hand luggage. Top tip: save compressing for on the way back so you can fit any purchases you made while you were away into your bag!
  6. Going for more than three days? Still only take 3 of each thing with the idea of wear one, wash one, dry one to keep your packing stack down.
  7. Check airline restrictions as you may be allowed a second handbag or laptop bag as well as your carry on – if so, use this opportunity wisely and get a bag with lots of useful compartments for chargers, kindle, passport, wallet etc.
  8. Decant creams and makeup into travel pots to save space in your cosmetic bag.
  9. Plan your wardrobe! Either set your outfit choices out before you go, or plan a capsule wardrobe to cut down on the amount of clothes to pack – this includes accessories and jewellery too.
  10. Roll and fold to work with the space and the bag you have. It doesn’t have to be one or the other, just maximise the packing potential of your carry-on.


Don’t forget your travel insurance! You may have cut the risk of loss buy cutting out hold luggage, but flight delays, cancellations, theft, accidental damage, accident and injury are all very real risks when travelling. You can buy peace of mind, and have help there should you need it with single trip or annual travel insurance.

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Mother’s Day European City Break Ideas


A late spring European city break is the ultimate Mother’s Day treat. We’ve uncovered three of the best destinations for a mini break and shared the best things to see, eat and buy while you are there.

Barcelona, Spain

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City break with a an option to hit the beach? Barcelona has it! Even though the weather at the end of March isn’t exactly scorchio it is definitely warm enough to enjoy al fresco dining and taking in the vistas. If you haven’t been before then a short break is best spent in a decent pair of trainers exploring the sights of the city.

What to see

Park Güell is a fantastical place comprised of the most surreal architecture and glorious gardens dreamed up by the Catalonian architect Gaudi at the start of the 1900s – a truly unique experience!

Las Ramblas is a 1.3km promenade that starts in the centre of Barcelona and stretches almost all the way to the sea. Along it you will find some of the best street performers in the world; the freshest local produce to enjoy either at the market or one of the many tapas bars nearby; and you’ll also find plenty of amazing boutiques to indulge in some retail therapy as well as museums a-plenty to explore.

La Sagrada Familia is the pinnacle of Gaudi’s expressive style, a Basilica that is so ambitious in its architecture that almost 100 years later it is still not completely finished. This incredible building is a reminder to look up wherever you go in Barcelona to truly appreciate the wonderful architecture.

Where to shop

  • For leather bags, belts and other accessories head to Beatriz Furest – the colourful collections are designed and produced in Barcelona.
  • Spanish jewellery designer Helena Rhoner has a boutique in Barcelona – the organic designs combine silver, ceramics, wood and glass.
  • For internationally renowned brands head to Passeig de Gracia, here you’ll find affordable fashion from the likes of Mango and Zara as well as high end Chanel, Hermes and Spanish luxury fashion house LOEWE.

What to eat

Tapas, tapas and more tapas! Be sure to indulge in Patatas Bravas, twice-fried potatoes with a spicy garlicy lemony dipping sauce. Paella – the seafood option is a firm favourite thanks to fresh local ingredients;  and Gazpacho, a cooling soup-like  appetiser made with extra-ripe tomatoes. La Boqueria Market is an absolute must – this is where everyone in Barcelona goes to buy the freshest local produce, and there are plenty of places to eat while you are there!

Love a mini break? Get yourself Annual Multi-Trip Travel Insurance, the perfect policy for the frequent traveller, especially if you like to book last-minute holidays and trips overseas.


Budapest, Hungary

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Spa breaks don’t come much better than Budapest – after all it is the spa capital of the world! It is also a beautiful city rich in culture and varied in architectural style. At the end of March the weather is picking up, making the outdoor spas even more enticing.

What to see

Szécheny thermal baths in Budapest is a vast complex of indoor and outdoor thermal pools, 16 in total – no wonder it is the most famous of all the spas here! The neo-Baroque and neo-Renaissance backdrop give an opulent feel, and it’s known for “sparties” when pop-up bars appear around the pools at night!

Parliament Building is an other must-do, both day and night, inside and out. It is located on the banks of the beautiful Danube River, and is set in gorgeous surroundings. The neo-Gothic architecture, frescoes, stained glass, sculptures and statues are nothing short of spectacular.

The subterranean world of Budapest offers a chance to explore a whole new world. There are many caves to choose from, our top tips are Pálvölgyi caves, well known for stalactites and Szemlőhegyi Cave which is lined with dazzling crystals.

Where to shop

  • Paloma Design Emporium  is a beautiful arcaded courtyard which houses a range of local designer boutiques selling clothes and accessories.
  • Váci Utca is the main shopping street in Budapest. Here you’ll find High Street favourites Zara, H&M, Mango and the like. It’s also home to plenty of cafes and eateries, and becuas eit is pedestrianised a lovely place to stop to refuel.
  • Ecseri Market at Naszód Utca is the place to be for superb flea-market finds and vintage treasure hunting. Allow a good couple of hours to visit as it is huge!

What to eat

Lángos is a classic Hungarian snack – a deep fried flatbread served warm with garlic butter and sour cream, and sometimes grated cheese and sausage too. No trip to Budapest would be complete without trying Goulash, a hearty stew flavoured with paprika and served with fresh bread, dumplings or pasta. When the weather warms up a popular dish is cold fruit soup – often eaten as a starter or appetiser. They are refreshing and light, the most popular is sour cherries with sour cream.


Florence, Italy

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If renaissance art and architecture is your thing then Florence is THE place to be for a Mother’s Day City Break, and March is a lovely time to visit. It may be a bit drizzly, but there are far fewer crowds than summer and who minds a spot of rain when in a gallery anyway!

What to see

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Piazza Duomo – a jaw-droppingly impressive complex of buildings that are home to masterpieces by the greatest Renaissance artists including Michelangelo, Donatello and Giotto. A visual delight inside and out.

Academy Gallery has the original David by Michaelangelo, along with numerous other works by the great man himself. The gallery is also the place to go to view works by 13th to 16th century Florentine artists, Botticelli’s Madonna is one amazing highlight here!

Palazzo Vecchio offers free tours showcasing the multiple eras of archaeology, architecture, and art that Florence is known for as well as an abundance of secret passages tied into the long history of the building.  Your free tour ticket also gets you a second entry for a rooftop sunset experience you won’t want to miss.

Where to shop

  • Via de Tornabuoni is regarded as the place to be for luxury shopping in Florence, home to top designer fashion houses. Famous Italian designers Bulgari and Bergamo can be found here along with the likes of Gucci. If big spending is not your thing, it is still well worth a visit to window-shop and soak up the elegance of the architecture.
  • Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella is as grand a place to shop as its name implies! This herbal pharmacy and perfumery is housed in a stunning frescoed chapel that has been it’s home since 1221. An olfactory and visual feast for the senses is guaranteed!
  • If bagging a bargain at a local market is more your vibe, head to Mercato delle Cascine, essentially an open-air department store. You won’t find any designer clobber, but plenty of high quality clothes, accessories and household goods you’ll want to take home.

What to eat

Tagliatelle funghi porcini e tartufo is a simple yet delicious dish found throughout  the city. Long flat pasta tossed in truffle and porcini mushrooms, both of which are found locally. A popular cold dish is Tagliere, a meat and cheese platter that goes down a treat with Tuscan bread and honey! Handmade Gelato from Florence is likely the best you’ll ever taste – and when hitting up the pistachio flavour, you know you have the real deal if it is closer to brown in colour – avoid bright green!


Love a mini break? Get yourself Annual Multi-Trip Travel Insurance, the perfect policy for the frequent traveller, especially if you like to book last-minute holidays and trips overseas.

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Destination Guide – Abu Dhabi, UAE

Dubai used to be the place to be on a trip to the United Arab Emirates, but all the cool cats are heading to a city with a little more slick, the capital city, Abu Dhabi. It’s less touristy, more authentic, and at the same time has some of the best visitor attractions in the Emirates. Oh, and it is named as one of the safest cities in the world!

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Best Time To Go

February is the best time to visit this incredible city. Why? Because the weather is “just right”, go any other time and you are at risk of it being too hot or too cold to enjoy everything there is to offer – comfortably at least! It’s a comfortable 25 °C during the day with lows of 16°C during the night. This means that you can visit the beach, go shopping and tour the local attractions in comfort in the day and it is also still warm enough to enjoy an overnight desert safari, complete with star-gazing.

Things to do in Abu Dhabi

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

A true wonder of the modern world, a stunning marble marvel, studded with gemstones that will fill you with awe. This is considered the most beautiful mosque in the whole of the United Arab Emirates, and visitors of any faith are welcome on the cultural tours so long as they come appropriately dressed and behave respectfully.

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Emirates Palace

It’s actually a hotel, the most opulent, extravagant, luxurious hotel in the world, fitting of it’s name. If you aren’t staying here, don’t fear, tourists are welcome to come see, experience and take snaps of this sublime setting.

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Fossil Dunes

Other worldly petrified stone formations which have had a starring role in blockbuster movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The surreal and fascinating structures at Al Wathba are a wonderful photo opportunity and should be on the list of anyone who likes to wield a camera. Sunset is said to be the best time to go purely to witness the spectacular colours.

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Camel Racing

If you head to Abu Dhabi in February you will catch the tail end of camel racing season, and the track at Al Wathba is one of the main courses out of fifteen across the UAE. It’s a spectacular and seemingly surprising highlight of a trip to this part of the world, and a fitting way to soak up the Emirati heritage.

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 Ferrari World Theme Park

Ride the fastest roller coaster in the world, if you can stomach it! Formula Rosa accelerates to 149mph in less than 5 seconds, a real-life F1 experience. Sound a bit much? Why not try the Ferrari simulator and discover what it’s like to take to normal roads in a supercar instead!

Travel Safety in Abu Dhabi

As we mentioned, Abu Dhabi is considered one of the safest cities in the world, but there are still things you should be aware of.

The risk of an accident happening while you are on the road is classed as medium – tips include to pack plenty of water, avoid going “off road” and make sure your vehicle is well equipped. You may want to consider purchasing Car Hire Excess Insurance, an alternative to having to pay for a costly Collision Damage Waiver policy from the car hire rental firm. Our policy replaces the CDW at a much lower price AND covers the damage to any part of the vehicle – often CDWs won’t cover windscreens, tyres and underbody.

Petty crime risks are low, as are scams and any danger from a natural disaster. Criminals are highly unlikely to target tourists, but terrorists do continue to make threats, making risk from their actions a medium threat level. Make sure you are aware of your surroundings at all times, and purchase annual multi trip travel insurance or single trip travel insurance which can cover you in a crisis.


Posted in Annual Multi-trip Insurance, Car Hire Excess Insurance, Destination Guide, Longstay Travel Insurance, Single Trip Travel Insurance, Travel Advice | Comments Off on Destination Guide – Abu Dhabi, UAE

How To Plan A Longstay Trip: 8 Top Tips

The way we travel may be changing. Rather than hop on a flight for a quick EU city break, or even a two week holiday somewhere more remote, some travellers are looking to a longstay adventure. Whether the opportunity comes from taking a Gap Year, being on Sabbatical, or come from the perks of being a digital nomad who can work from ANY home – here’s what you should consider when planning a Longstay Trip.

Longstay Travel Insurance Image

Image by Skitterphoto CC0

1. Set Your Budget

Yep, sorry to squash your romantic hopes and dreams of worldwide travel, but if you’re going to travel for an extended period of time you want to know what you can afford and where you want to prioritise your spending. How much do you have to spend and how much are you willing to spend? Get this down on paper first!

2. Make a “bucket list”

Make a list of places you want to go and things you want to see and do, and then prioritise them. Are any a non-negotiable? Are some a “that would be nice”, but there are other places I’d rather go… Are any of the things A) Only feasible at a certain time of year B) Close to another destination which you could tag on as part of that leg of the trip.

3. Do your research!

Trawl every corner of the internet to find out how much it costs to stay in each place on your list and what it costs to do the activities in those places on your list. Include costs of transfers, visas and permits – it’s not just about cheap flights – and consider alternative forms of transport and accommodation such as sleeper trains, car share, and couch surfing. You’ll soon see that some countries are waaaaay cheaper than others to visit. The results of your research will either have you revisiting your list to re-prioritise where you want to go and what you want to do, or revisit it to change the type of place you’ll stay and how long you might stay there.

4. Check the visa requirements for each country

You may need to show that you have booked an outbound ticket, or that you have had certain vaccinations to get in. Some countries require special permits for long term travellers and there are restrictions on length of stay in places that could affect your itinerary.

Top tip – consider renewing your passport so you have plenty of time left, making it unlikely that you’ll be refused entry, and consider getting one with more pages so there is somewhere for all those visas and permits to go.

5. Get Longstay Travel insurance – and get add-ons for activities

At we:

  • Understand that longstay travel carries different risks to shorter holidays, often involving a number of flights and less pre-booked accommodation. Inadequate cover can ruin your plans and force you to return home early.
  • Offer greater flexibility for extending insurance during your trip and adding cover for activities as you go.
  • Include 24hr multi-lingual emergency helpline and high levels of cover for medical treatment.
  • Provide cover that protects from theft or loss of personal baggage; a delayed departure; a missed flight – or having to cancel your trip altogether.
  • Offer cover for a wide range of sports and activities.

 6. Get to a doctor

Vaccinations may be needed, maybe you require a prescription for medication to last a few months, such as the contraceptive pill. You may also want to have a quick MOT to make sure that no medical surprises are lurking.

7. Pack wisely

Pack three of each thing, so you have one to wear, one in the wash and one drying. A sarong is a great multipurpose accessory, pack three of these too. A sarong can be used as a curtain, a towel, a blanket, a scarf, a skirt, a bag and even a pair of shorts or a shirt. It can also be used as a sling and a bandage, and… well, we have already shared a blog on this: 30 Ways to Use a Sarong. Take a look!

8. Stick to your budget

The final piece of advice is working out a way to stick to the budget you have set yourself for your extended adventure. Many people make a daily and weekly tally of what has been spent on accommodation, food, drink, travel, and activities and adjust the next week if they have gone over budget. You may also find that you are spending on something you can do without such as that extra cup of coffee or ice cream. It all mounts up!

All information regarding longstay travel insurance was correct at time of publishing – this information may change – please see for up-to-date policy information.

Posted in Longstay Travel Insurance, Travel Advice, Travel Tips | Comments Off on How To Plan A Longstay Trip: 8 Top Tips