How To Cut The Cost Of A Holiday

Thrifty travel without slumming it is totally possible. Check out this list of hints and tips – add them all up and you’ll probably have enough cash left over for another holiday!

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Find cheap flights first using tools like Skyscanner and Flights Direct.

Book flights early – last minute flights can be more expensive.

Book a flight through a partner airline. This is known as the codeshare trick where airlines sell each other’s flights, often at a reduced price.

Use Trivago or Trip Advisor to see who is offering the cheapest price on your chosen hotel room – then call the hotel to see if they’ll beat it.

Book a last minute package holiday – these get discounted to make sure they are sold.

If there is a group of you consider booking a luxury apartment or villa, when the costs are divided it can beat the price of a hotel of a similar standard.

Don’t get a travel insurance package with your holiday provider, airline or bank – this is usually more costly (and not tailored to your specific travel requirements) than getting insurance through an independent provider.

Book car hire early – the daily rate increases dramatically if booking the day before, and even more if you book when you arrive.

Get car hire excess insurance from an independent insurer, not the car hire firm. Not only should it be cheaper, it will likely offer more protection too.

Get a travel credit card for the best exchange rates. Bear in mind that you must pay off the balance if full at the end of the month or the interest negates the bargain exchange rates.

We offer Single trip cover for 1 to 94 days; Annual multi-trip cover for 31, 45 or 62 days per trip; Longstay cover for 4 to 18 months. Options available to tailor your policy to your requirements, plus you can extend it to cover winter sports and golf, or upgrade to cover more adventurous activities! Call us on 01892 833338 or get a quote online.


5 Tips To Make Business Travel A Bit Less Boring

Jet-setting, high flying professionals – living the life right? As you’ll well know, it’s not all silver linings when you have to travel the skies for work. Here are a few tips that will alleviate the boredom and maybe make that next business trip a bit more like a holiday!

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1. Book an apartment

No matter how luxurious, hotels have a hint of loneliness about them if you are enjoying them solo. Booking an apartment instead will inject some homeliness into your travel schedule, and help you avoid sleeping in the “same old” space over and over again.

2. Take public transport

Ditch the taxi (and the hire car) in favour for travelling by bus or train. This is an amazing opportunity to go on a sightseeing adventure and soak up the culture of the country you are in. While you might not have a tour guide, it is a great way to discover the streets and suburbs of your temporary home.

3. Book in some “me time”

Rather than yearning for home time, indulge in something that you can enjoy without having to book in some time off. Maybe you like to sit in a spa, watch live sport, go to a gig, take in an opera – whatever it is, make your trip a chance to enjoy any free time you have without having to ask for permission.

4. Meet new people

The likes of City Socializer make it easy to meet new people when you find yourself in unfamiliar territory. Not only is it a great way for people travelling on business to network without the hard work, it can fast-track you to the real heart of a city and all it has to offer without needing to spend a whole week exploring.

5. Make it a Bleisure trip

Yes, a trip that is a mix of business and pleasure. Although it may require some element of luck, planning a business trip around a social engagement, or looking up an old friend when you find yourself in their neighbourhood for work has been proven to reduce the stress of business travel. The other option is to tag on a few days holiday to your trip and take your family with you too.

Don’t forget your Business Travel Insurance! We offer annual multi-trip cover for frequent travel with a choice of 31, 45 or 62 days per trip. Call us on 01892 833338 or get a quote online.

Please note, policies, terms and conditions may change – all information published in this blog pertaining to travel insurance from is only deemed valid at the time of publication.

12 Month Wellness Holiday Guide 2018

Detox retreats aren’t just for overcoming the indulgence of Christmas – check out these fab sun-kissed wellness breaks that are happening throughout 2018!

Image courtesy of healthandfitnesstravel

January – New Year Cleanse in Thailand

Average January Temperature: 30C

The Barai Vital Body Cleanse – a full body detox in a luxurious hideaway surrounded by the exotic flora and palm-fringed beaches of Hua Hin, Thailand. The body cleanse incudes abdominal massages, moor mud wraps, and a healthy detox menu, plus wellness activities and energising fitness classes.

Image courtesy of healthandfitnesstravel

February – Holistic Weight Loss in Sri Lanka

Average February Temperature: 20C

Set amongst the lush greenery of Sri Lanka you can work up a sweat with energetic group fitness classes and outdoor activities, and decrease your stress-levels with daily meditation and yoga sessions. The programme includes a personalised diet plan and lifestyle classes to encourage you to make long-term changes that will benefit you beyond your holiday.

March – Digital Detox in Portugal

Average March Temperature: 21C

Set in the sunny Algarve you can learn to switch off more than your phone. Expect to enjoy meditative breathing classes, relaxation massages, and ‘energy breaks’ under the retreat’s signature pine trees. Ditching the digital stuff will leave you plenty of time to indulge in personal training on the beach and paddle board sessions in the sea – leaving your mind cleared and body re-energised.

April – Spring Surf & Yoga in Morocco

Average April Temperature: 25C

Enjoy an early Summer in Morocco with the perfect balance of surfing and yoga. This healthy holiday also promises active adventures such as mountain hikes and cultural excursions to leave you rejuvenated, not wiped out from your adventures!

Image courtesy of healthandfitnesstravel

May – Mindfulness in Marbella

Average May Temperature: 23C

Enjoy a complete mind and body makeover in the Med combining favourite fitness activities with mindful and balancing practices. Expect beach circuits and personal training, yoga, guided meditations and Tibetan bowl vibrational massages on a holiday with an emphasis on learning how to live a mindful life.  

June – Summer Shape Up in Ibiza

Average June Temperature: 26C

On this luxury boot camp style fitness holiday you can enjoy a daily fitness schedule of circuits, aerobics, Swiss ball, boxing, running, swimming, deep stretching, body sculpting and rebounding. There are also mindfulness sessions to soothe the mind, cookery workshops to feed it, and creative workshops to let it loose. To top it off, you’ll get a full body massage and manicure to ensure you leave feeling great inside and out.

  July – Fusion Fitness in Sardinia

Average July Temperature: 29C

Get fit by the beach while you enjoy magnificent sea views and the excellent wellness facilities at Forte Village. On this holiday you can expect a bespoke Fusion Fitness programme offering a personalised workout plan, and a range of energising activities and treatments with a series of six thalassic pools.

August – Soothing Summer Spa in Italy

Average August Temperature: 28C

Nestled in the alpine mountains surrounding Lake Garda, you can indulge in Lefay’s signature spa, which features a private saline pool with a suspended moon above it to create a truly calming atmosphere to relax and unwind. The resort is also known for offering a wide range of holistic spa treatments from around the world.

Image courtesy of healthandfitnesstravel

September – Mental Makeover in Portugal

Average Temperature September: 29C

Set in the picturesque Algarve, The Mind Coaching Retreat at Macdonald Monchique will take you through a psychological programme using state-of-the-art techniques to build mental strength. Expect lifestyle tips and group sessions that promise to leave you rejuvenated, more in touch with your inner-self, and focussed on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

October – Autumn Ayurveda in India

Average Temperature October: 33C

A holistic break in North India that boasts ultimate relaxation and self-discovery. Nestled between the Sahyadri mountains and Mulshi Lake, this spiritual hideaway provides a platform for total rejuvenation in soothing tranquillity. Expect Ayurvedic spa treatments, reflexology, and a variety of yoga practices that will purify and heal your body so you return home feeling rebalanced and cleansed.

November – Farm to Spa Wellness in Costa Rica

Average Temperature November: 31C

Costa Rica is a tropical paradise, the perfect location for a retreat that provides a luxurious yet secluded wellness experience, with unparalleled ocean views. Expect organic spa treatments such as a mint-chocolate treatment for glowing skin, plus activities like cooking and gardening on a back-to-nature wellness holiday that will give you a renewed sense of well-being.

December – Pre-Christmas Restorative Break in St. Lucia

Average December temperature: 30C

Break the mould and have a healthy start to the holiday season. On this break you can prepare your body and mind with a special pre-Christmas wellness programme, designed by leading health and well-being experts. Hosted by Olympic legends, Colin Jackson and Leon Taylor, this wellness experience isn’t just for Christmas, it will benefit you for the rest of your life!

To find out more about these breaks visit healthandfitnesstravel – and don’t forget your travel insurance! Wellbeing holidays and detox breaks are a lot less enjoyable if you lose your passport or your luggage goes missing – travel insurance can help recover the costs and restore balance so you can carry on enjoying your getaway!

Booking – Travel App of the Month December 2017

Looking for an app that could get you a tasty discount on your next hotel stay? is billed as “Planet Earth’s #1 Accommodation App” let’s find out why, and whether users think that’s true too! 

What is

It is an online portal for holidays, helping travellers find places to stay, such as apartments, holiday homes, family-run B&Bs, 5-star luxury resorts, tree houses and even igloos!

What does the app do?

It gives users access to 1,534,024 properties, covering 123,234 destinations in 229 countries and territories worldwide. The app is available in over 40 languages.

– Search by city, landmark, hotel name or properties close by
– Filter by WiFi, price, review score and other things important to you
– Browse verified guest reviews to help you pick your perfect stay
– View maps to make sure your hotel is where you want to be
– Save your favourite properties to a list and share with friends and family
– Find great deals at all kinds of amazing properties (not just cheap hotels!)

– Get paperless confirmation and offline maps with the app! No printer, data or wifi needed

Who is the app for?

Globetrotters on the go! This app on your phone means you can access your account easily, get all the latest deals easily, and of course compile your destination wish-list while you are waiting for your delayed flight to depart! You can make bookings and pay via the app and get confirmation and local maps even if you don’t have any data.

What do the reviews say?

While we didn’t find a review that stated it is “Planet Earth’s #1 Accommodation App”, the stats do look pretty good. Very booking good they might say!

Get it on Google Play

Get it on iTunes

7 Ways To Get A FREE Hotel Room Upgrade

Fancy a bigger, better room than you can afford on your next trip? Why not try some of these awesome tips to be in with a chance of getting a free room upgrade!

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1. Choose a rebooking agent for automatic upgrades

There are booking sites that will automatically upgrade you if a better room becomes available for the same price you booked your original room. Basically they re-book you, and cancel the previous booking.

2. Be a loyal customer

Loyalty goes a long way, and chain hotels use schemes to ensure their customers keep coming back. Some have schemes where you can upgrade 4 times a year, others ensure that they do their best to assist if an enquiry is made when booking etc. So, if you are happy to choose a Marriott hotel every time you go on a trip, get on the loyalty scheme and it won’t be long until you get that elusive free upgrade!

3. Ask at the desk – nicely and quietly

Asking for an upgrade and getting one as you check in requires some decorum. Firstly, make sure you are well presented and polite. Ask without expectation, and always make sure to ask when no other guests are likely to overhear – your request is more likely to be acquiesced if it isn’t followed by a stampede of customers wanting the same treatment!

4. Ask the concierge not the desk agent

It’s the job of the concierge to ensure that guests have a personalised and perfect stay, as such they are more likely than a desk agent to be able to pull a few strings and get you into a better room at no extra cost if one is available.

5. Book over the phone

Online booking is convenient, but lacks the personal touch needed when it comes to getting a free upgrade. If you book by phone, you can strike up a conversation, make a connection, and enquire what perks might be available to you. Wink wink.

6. Let them know it is a special occasion

If it’s your birthday or anniversary, let them know as you book in – if there is an upgrade available they may well let you have it. Do not lie to get an upgrade though, that is bad manners and you’ll have to live a lie during your stay and will feel terribly ashamed if you are found out.

7. Only stay for one night

If you are only staying for one night, especially during a less busy time of the week, your chance of a free upgrade goes up. This is because bumping you up to an available room for just one night won’t impact on a potential booking made for that room the next day.

Don’t forget your travel insurance! Give our sales team a call on UK(+44) 01892 833338, or get an online quote.

The Best Places To Go For A Hot Holiday At Christmas

If you are feeling the chill setting in, it’s not too late to ditch the Christmas turkey and go on a hot sunny break instead. Here are the top destinations to travel to this December!


Cape Town Image by Ganossi CC0

Cape Town

Temperatures average a daily maximum of 19.8 °C with just 15 mm of rain, and an average of 11 hours of sunshine each day. The climate is very much like the Med, so you’ll be in for a treat if you like a good wine, as the place is home to some fantastic vineyards!


Expect temperatures to reach 21.9 °C during the day with around 6 hours of sunshine. Due to its flat landscape, Lanzarote has lower rainfall rates than the other Canary Islands, so you’ll probably stay nice and dry. The island is well known for lunar-like volcanic landscapes, so if you like holidays that have a touch of surreal, this is the place for you!


This is a popular place for sun seekers during the Christmas period, with temperatures reaching a very pleasant 22.2 °C, during a 6 hour sunshiny day. Note that during winter it is wetter on the north side of the island. While the beaches draw crowds, it is the night sky that is truly impressive here. Teide National Park has been recognised as one of the best star gazing sites on the planet due to its close proximity to the equator and low levels of light pollution!


Melbourne Image by DroneUAVWorld CC0


The beginning of the summer sees temperatures reaching a toasty 25.5 °C with 8 hours of sunshine each day. It’s one of the driest cities in Oz, but during December the weather can be unpredictable, so at least pack a waterproof poncho. Melbourne is a cultural hub of wonder, so if you like a hipster vibe, damn good coffee and a destination teeming with art and design –this is the hot holiday for you

Cape Verde

Temperatures are dropping here at this time of year, to a much more acceptable average of 26.4 °C! Humidity is high, but the coastal breezes make it more than bearable. The main reason to head to Cape Verde at this time of year is for the beaches. Miles upon miles of golden sands and turquoise seas bordered by lush tropical landscapes.

Hot Hot Hottest!

Barbados Image by PublicDomainPictures CC0


It’s hot all year round in Barbados, but in December you can enjoy the searing average temperature of 29.6 °C without the humidity, plus this season brings with it a nice breeze from the north-east trade winds. It does rain quite a bit – 112mm – but showers are short. Barbados is the birthplace of Rum, which goes really well with sun, and fun. If you like your sun, fun, and rum best on a white sandy beach or luxury yacht, then this is definitely the break for you!


Could there be such a thing as too hot? Cancun can get very very hot, (reaching an incredible 37.5 °C in May), so December is an ideal time to visit with temperatures at a hot but bearable, 30.4 °C and rainfall at an average of 38 mm. The place is practically paradise with ivory beaches and sun-kissed seas, enticing divers, surfers, swimmers, and snorkelers as well as sun-worshippers.

Don’t forget your travel insurance! Give our sales team a call on UK(+44) 01892 833338, or go online to get a quote.


Wanderlust Christmas Wish List 2018

Looking for a gift to give a frequent traveller? Look no further than this compilation of great gifts for all budgets!

Something indulgent – Dry Eye Concealer

A vegan friendly concealer pen to conceal and brighten dry skin around your eyes – perfect for tired eyes during or after a plane journey. Contains a natural vine extract for calming down dry and irritated skin. Costs £11.95 (4.5ml). Available from or call: 01794 527433.

Something practical – TrackR

Every traveller dreads the sinking feeling that comes when their bag fails to appear on the conveyer belt.  Avoid it by attaching a TrackR to your luggage. It tracks the location of your belongings using the TrackR app on your smartphone, and if your bags went to a different place on the planet – don’t worry…TrackR’s Crowd Locate network will show you its last location on a map. Over 2 million items a day are found with Crowd Locate! They retail for £24.99 from Argos.

Something unusual – Mecolife Tote

Engineered from silicone, this is a real ‘bag for life’ perfect for travelling. Why? Well, it is waterproof so it is perfect on the beach and by the pool and it can be folded up easily into a suitcase but won’t look crumpled when you unpack. The bags are £64 including shipping in the UK and they can be purchased via

Something sensational – Shark Snorkeling

Blue planet II has spurred an interest in bucket-list style underwater Christmas gift experiences. SEA LIFE Blackpool is offering just the thing for adventurers in between adventures… snorkeling with sharks! Special shark experiences at SEA LIFE Blackpool can be booked online at from £50 per person.

Something useful – Perstel DR701C DAB+ Travel Radio

The DR-701C is a future-proof portable travel radio because it has DAB +, used throughout Europe and now in the UK by new radio stations. This means it will pick up local stations broadcasting wherever you go on holiday in Europe. £14.95 from

Give the gift of peace of mind! If you know someone who is a frequent traveller, get them travel insurance they can trust from Give our sales team a call on UK(+44) 01892 833338, or go online to get a quote.

Monzo Review – Travel App of The Month November 2017

A pre-paid card with real-time app to keep track of spending is just one reason travellers are turning to Monzo as their currency card of choice. The other is their fair pricing for use abroad.



What is the Monzo App?

Monzo is a new type of bank that has an app to promote mindful budgeting. The app is able to update the minute you have made a purchase, so you always have a real-time balance to work with. It also breaks down your spending into:

  • Groceries
  • Transport
  • Eating out
  • Cash
  • Bills
  • Entertainment
  • Holidays
  • Shopping
  • Expenses


What else does the Monzo app do?

  • Instant payment notifications
  • Built-in monthly spending analysis
  • Freeze your Monzo Card instantly if you lose it, defrost it when you find it
  • Intelligent insights into your spending habits
  • Send money instantly to friends and family
  • Easy top up with Apple Pay or another debit card
  • Use your card abroad as you would at home. There are no fees and you get the wholesale MasterCard® exchange rate – until changes on 18th December

Why is the Monzo app good for travellers?

Firstly it is great for keeping track of spending, or keeping to a budget, secondly, it has favourable fees that have been ethically decided. Oh, and you can use it as your main spending card in the UK too.

As of mid December, card payments abroad will be free, and cash withdrawals will be free for the first £200 drawn per month in one hit. After that there will be a 3% charge for ATM withdrawals. This figure has been collectively decided by Monzo users, and is based on offering cardholders a good deal wherever they are in the world.

What do other banks charge for using an ATM?

As with all things to do with money, it isn’t easy to say! Monzo shared their results here, but it seems other banks charges were ranging between 3.05% and 5.26% on a €100 withdrawal in Berlin and $100 in San Francisco.

What do the app reviews say?

People are loving it, especially those who travel. However, some users are less than happy about the new fees being introduced for ATM withdrawals abroad as Monzo was initially promoted by some as a fee-free pre-paid currency card.

Get it on iTunes

Get it on Google Play


Ingenious Cash-Hiding Hacks For Holidaymakers

Image by Gellinger CC0

Having your travel money stolen can ruin your holiday. Here are some amazing ways you can keep your cash safe on holiday…

1. Stash your cash in a lipstick, or chapstick if you prefer.

We’re talking the wind-up kind of cosmetic case. Simply scoop out the contents and clean it up with a cotton bud, then roll up your paper cash and pop it in the tube. To get your money out, just wind it up!

2. Keep your cash in your shoes beneath sheepskin shoe liners.

The bulkiness of the sheepskin will make it more confortable on your feet, and less noticeable if you take your shoes off in a public place. No good for a hot holiday where you’ll be in flip-flops though!

3. Pop the contents of your purse into a padded bra.

No one is going to pick pocket your bra without you noticing it. The reason for choosing a padded bra is so that it’s less obvious to see it’s hiding some cash. If you are handy with a needle and thread, you could always sew a small pouch on the inside for extra security.

4. Hide your holiday money in a hair roller.

Not for everyone, but some travellers think that popping a curler in is a viable way to get the glam look back after a long haul flight. While you are at it, you can keep a bit of cash rolled up in there too.

There are heaps of money belts, and underwear and accessories with hidden pockets – however, opportunistic thieves are well versed with such advances in technology, and ready to pick hidden pockets too. Make sure that you have travel insurance before you leave, as this will help cover the costs of having money stolen abroad. Give our sales team a call on UK(+44) 01892 833338, or get an online quote.

9 Ways To Get A Free Airline Upgrade

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If you aspire to live like an A-lister (or just want to enjoy a long-haul flight rather than dread it) here are a few tips that might get you an upgrade next time you travel.

  1. Be A Loyal Customer – Frequent flyers and those who are members of an airline loyalty scheme are likely to be offered an upgrade if one becomes available.
  2. Choose A Busy Flight – These flights are more likely to have oversold economy class tickets, which means those extra passengers have to be put somewhere – usually business class.
  3. Don’t Buy Discount Tickets – In the interests of fairness, some airlines only offer upgrades to passengers who have paid more for their ticket.

What’s so good about an upgrade?

  • Bigger, fully reclining seats
  • Better quality food and drink
  • No extra charge for food and drink
  • More flight attendants with more experience = better customer service
  • Privacy, and exclusive perks such as a separate airport lounge
  1. Be An (Almost) Important Person – Most flights have an upgrade list for important flyers – VIPs, Journalists and the like, but if you are not one, you could still get on it if you know someone who works at that airline. Ask them if they can put your name forward, if management agrees it, you could be offered an upgrade if one comes up!
  2. Ask in Advance – Most free upgrades are approved at least 24 hours before the flight, leaving requests made at check in or while boarding mostly futile.
  3. Give A Last Minute Request A Go – Despite the above information, some (well, very few) last-minute hopefuls do get lucky so there is no harm in asking! Just make sure you…
  • Ask politely
  • Have a valid reason
  • Are smartly dressed

First Class Vs Business Class

First class has the biggest seats, and these are usually in a well-equipped pod and offer complete privacy. Pods are complete with workstations, TV, entertainment, and privacy dividers. First Class flight attendants are also the best, a bit like having your own butler, plus the quality of the food served will be even higher than the meals served in Business Class. First Class comes with a premium price tag – expect to pay AT LEAST twice the price of business class.

First class travel to New York right now could cost between £3,584 and £5,400 with BA. You could bag a business class seat for around £1,800.

While some airlines keep business class and first class separate, other airlines have merged these two classes into one cabin that has different seats and service quality. Whether they are separate or merged, they are never in the same area as economy class.

  1. Trade In Air Miles – It will take quite a few, but a big bunch of air miles might just help you bag an elusive free upgrade.
  2. Travel Solo – Those travelling alone are definitely at an advantage when it comes to free upgrades, especially if just one or two premium seats become available.
  3. Have A Valid Reason – Things that will go in your favour: being very tall, being heavily pregnant, celebrating a birthday or anniversary, going on a honeymoon. Also, if you have a faulty seat or entertainment system but there are no more spaces in Economy Class you could ask for that elusive upgrade.

Don’t forget your travel insurance! If your flight is cancelled it could help cover the costs of getting to your destination (and home again!) Give our sales team a call on UK(+44) 01892 833338, or get an online quote.