Category Archives: Travel Advice

Social Media Adventure Travel Tips For Students

If you want to be an adventure travel influencer that shares the love through insta, snap chat and the like, there is a way to do it and a way to totally not. Don’t let the pressure tocapture the most unique content land you in hot water – (and possibly prison!) – follow these top tips on how to be a responsible and respectful social media traveller instead.

taking a break machu pichu adobe stock courtesy of studentuniverse.co.uk

Image courtesy of studentuniverse.co.uk

  1. Keep your clothes ON

This should go without saying: don’t pose naked at tourist attractions anywhere in the world. What might seem funny and harmless to you is disrespectful, and in many countries public nudity is illegal and can come with heavy penalties and punishment.

It’s also worth researching whether countries have a preferred dress code for those religious and cultural temples. Some countries will require visitors to cover up, so even though it may be 30˚+, a swimsuit or shorts won’t be appropriate when visiting a sacred place of worship.

  1. Don’t climb on ancient sites

While a selfie in front of some of the world’s most famous and recognisable landmarks is a must for many travellers, unfortunately the perfect shot can sometimes only be achieved by climbing to a spot where you shouldn’t.

Although ‘getting off the beaten track’ is encouraged when travelling, it’s important that visitors to ancient sites and attractions stick to the designated path. These guidelines aren’t in place to restrict freedom, but for the safety of those who visit and the site itself.

Image courtesy of StudentUniverse.co.uk - Credit: Unsplash

Image courtesy of StudentUniverse.co.uk – Credit: Unsplash

  1. Check the rules for filming and using drones

Video content is increasingly popular on social media platforms, and with easy access to GoPros and drones, more and more people are able to capture epic footage from all corners of the globe.

However, there are strict rules for filming and flying drones in most public places. Whether they’re landmarks, national parks, or even entire cities, drones are off limits. It’s important that extensive research is carried out before launching a drone, in some countries a permit or formal permission may need to be pre-arranged or granted. Most importantly, never, ever fly a drone near an airport.

  1. Treat wildlife with respect

Photos posed with animals are extremely common on social media channels, but the lengths some people will go to get these pictures can cause a lot of problems. Most revolve around food, as people use snacks to lure animals close enough for the perfect image. Firstly, the choice of food might be harmful to the creature. Secondly, it risks making them too used to humans, and seeing them as a ready source of tasty treats. This can lead to them turning aggressive and causing disturbances amongst travel groups. Remember, the best animal experience is observing them in the wild at a safe distance, and in their natural habitat.

  1. Stay safe!

Status-destroying backlash and imprisonment are very real responses to irresponsible, illegal and disrespectful social media content from photos taken in dangerous locations – but so is DEATH. There has been a steep rise in accidental deaths caused by travellers risking their safety to take a selfie, which has led to many destinations and tourist attractions implementing ‘no-selfie zones’.

It may be obvious, but the numbers of accidental deaths show that it’s common enough for it to be taken seriously. According to Student Universe, the latest figures revealed that between October 2011 and November 2017, there were 259 selfie deaths, with the highest occurrences in India, followed by Russia, United States, and Pakistan.

No matter how good you believe a photo or video shot might look on your channels, it’s never worth endangering your safety.

Get longstay backpackers travel insurance!

If you are off on a round-the-world trip, either for fun or for a gap year, get travel insurance that covers you for every adventure worth posting on instagram! Find out more at worldwideinsure.com.

App in the Air – Travel App of the Month December 2019

app in the air app reviewAnything that takes the stress out of travel is a winner, especially at airports! Check out this app, which is more like a pocket PA, for passing through airports with ease.

What is App in the Air?

It’s a personal flying assistant for managing every aspect of your aeroplane travel, combing a host of features that will make sure you are on time, at the right gate, and in the know about facilities at the airport.

What does the App in the Air app do?

Loads! Including the power to turn what could be tedious travel into a game.

  • Luggage scanning feature to make sure all personal, cabin and drop-off luggage bags are within the size requirements
  • Real-time updates on security wait times
  • SMS updates for use offline, and to avoid data roaming
  • Information on where to get the best free Wi-Fi
  • Where to find the fastest check-in counters
  • Find phone charging points and plug sockets
  • Track your itinerary
  • File boarding passes
  • Connect with frequent flier programmes
  • Weather information at your destination
  • Record expenses
  • AR globe for visualising previous trips
  • Profile setup that logs your globetrotting and even places you on a worldwide leaderboard

app in the air app review screenshot 1

app in the air app review screenshot 2

Who is App in the Air for?

Frequent travellers are going to get the most value from this app. Basically anyone who lives out of a suitcase, whether it is for business or pleasure.

What do the App in the Air reviews say?

It’s getting great average reviews, even though there are reports of a few glitches here and there. The support team are ultra-responsive so it looks like this app is going to get better and better as time goes on.

app in the air app review

app in the air app review

Get it on iTunes

Get it on Google Play

 

Eco-Friendly Travel Tips

Eco Friendly Travel Insurance

Image courtesy of Health and Fitness Travel © Chris Allan Photography

Seeing this beautiful planet we live on doesn’t have to be bad for the environment, or the local communities you are visiting. In fact, tourism can play a big part in helping make this world a better place, as well as benefiting the lives of those who rely on tourism. Here are some top tips for being an even more eco-minded traveller on your next trip and ways to support the community you are visiting.

  • Consider travelling by train rather than by plane where possible.
  • Choose non-stop flights to minimise CO2 emissions.
  • Use public transport for transfers and travelling at your destination.
  • Take a reusable water bottle – more and more places are installing water coolers for people to refill from as an alternative to buying bottled water.
  • Say “no” to straws and plastic cups at bars, restaurants, hotels, trains and planes.
  • Eat local cuisine with low food miles.
  • Choose vegetarian dishes over meat dishes.
  • Ask if the food you’re choosing is sustainably caught or grown.
  • Keep showers short.
  • Switch off the electrics in your hotel, apartment or hostel.
  • Ask housekeeping not to change sheets and towels daily.
  • Open windows instead of using air con.
  • Choose resorts and hotels that are eco-minded.
  • Choose packages that give back to the local community.
  • Book excursions with local tour operators rather than the package provider.
  • Join a local litter pick.
  • Choose to do activities with minimal impact on the local environment such as hiking and biking.
  • Share images of plastic pollution on social media to raise awareness and prompt change.

 

Don’t forget your travel insurance! Loads of activities are covered as standard with Worldwideinsure.com, and every policy can be tailored to meet your unique adventure needs.

 

Wi-Fi Map App Review – Travel App of the Month November 2019

Wi-Fi Map App reviewFed up of buying a coffee just for a Wi-Fi code every time you are trying to avoid a data roaming charge? Fret no more; this app could save you a small fortune!

What is the Wi-Fi Map App?

It is exactly that – a map of all the Wi-Fi hotspots near you with the passwords needed to gain access. It uses crowd-sourced information, so gets better as more people use the app.

What does the Wi-Fi Map App do?

It shows you where the hotspots are – download the offline maps while you have Wi-Fi to ensure you don’t incur roaming charges – and allows you to add any new ones that you find for other travellers to make use of. The app also has the following features:

  • Unlimited secure VPN
  • Social media sharing

Wi-Fi Map travel App review

Who is the Wi-Fi Map App For?

Anyone, anywhere who is trying to keep his or her data costs down! This is especially useful if you are on holiday and trying to avoid roaming charges.

What do theWi-Fi Map App reviews say?

There are some usability issues, especially when trying to use the free version. Some users are saying that they can’t access it without signing up to the ad-free subscription. The developers have come back with the following fix: “You can use the Free version of Wi-Fi Map. When you run the application, tap “CLOSE” on the welcome screen of the app.” Having said that, the feedback for the app is significantly better on iTunes than it is on GooglePlay.

Top tip – refresh your app often for the most up-to-date crowd-sourced results!

Wi-Fi Map Google Play App reviews

Wi-Fi Map iTunes App review

Get it on iTunes

Get it on GooglePlay

10 Steps to Beat the Holiday Blues

holiday blues

Image by Comfreak CC0

Post-adventure blues can hit like a brick after a trip. If you feel down in the dumps after a holiday, why not give these things a try

1. Re-create your favourite dishes.

There is bound to be a dish that won your heart on holiday. Cooking it up back home will bring back great memories and help that feel-good factor linger for longer.

2. Enjoy a tipple of your favourite drink.

Every part of the world has its own unique beverage. Whether it is a freshly made herb tea or a drop of something stronger. Take time to sit and savour whatever it was you enjoyed while you were away and you are sure to feel the relaxation wash over you!

3. Listen to the music.

Whether it was the music playing in bars and cafes, local performers, or the favoured local station of taxi drivers, you are bound to have heard a few tunes that sum up the vibe of your time away. Playing some choice tracks when you are back will lift your mood in no time.

4. Get together with friends.

Seeing all your friends will make you realise that you are actually pleased to be back, and you’ll get to share all your favourite stories, adventures and experiences. Why not give them a themed treat and cook up your favourite dishes, serve the local drinks, and put on the tunes for added ambience.

5. Create a photobook.

Don’t leave your best pictures to get lost on a laptop or somewhere on social media. Create an album and get it printed. It’ll make for a wonderful coffee table book that you can flick through with friends and family.

6. Journal the best bits of your break.

Make note of what your trip felt like, what stood out, what amazed you, what surprised you, and how you changed during your time there. It can be good to reflect on how the experience of a different culture can change our own perspectives on the way we live our lives back home. You can even add your thoughts, notes, and experiences to your photobook!

7. Meditate.

A great mood enhancer and a wonderful opportunity to recognise what you are grateful for in your life at home, and for your experiences while travelling. Meditation also brings “me time” into our daily routine – a treat that we don’t just have to save for when we are on holiday.

8. Exercise.

This is the number one way to lift your spirits. A short walk, swim, or time in the gym can make all the difference to how you feel. While it might not be an exercise that relates to your recent adventure, it’ll help you banish the blues fast.

9. Explore your local area.

You don’t have to travel far to have an adventure. Try exploring your local area with fresh eyes, make time to see and do the things that attract visitors from out of town. See a local band, eat somewhere that serves traditional fresh food, and take in the sights on a touristy day off.

10. Plan your next overseas adventure.

There’s nothing quite like having a new adventure planned to rekindle the feeling of wanderlust. Make a long list, make a short list, make a bucket list and decide where you’ll be heading next!

beat the post holiday blues

Image by stokpic CC0

Don’t forget your travel insurance! Worldwideinsure.com can tailor your policy to include as many or as little activities and adventures as you’d like, insure you while you are already travelling, and provide car hire excess insurance too.

Sri Lanka – The Ultimate Packing Guide

What to take and why to take it, whether you are staying on the coast, in the city, or heading to hill country in Sri Lanka! 

MONEY

  • Bank Card– The best way to get currency is from an ATM as you go, expect to pay a small charge for each withdrawal. Go to the ATM at Colombo airport on your arrival to get cash for your tuk tuk or taxi.
  • Calculator– Advertised prices are rarely what you will pay, taxes are added to the cost of the bill, and usually a service charge too – so you’ll need to brush up on your maths. 

HEALTH

  • Mosquito Spray– The mozzies out here are persistent, and not phased for long by natural repellents such as citronella. If you prefer a sensitive solution that really does work try Trek Sensitive by Pyramid Travel. It is (it really really is) as effective as 50% DEET but gentle enough to use on children and whilst pregnant. It smells good too!
  • Bite Cream– Even fully sprayed up, it is likely the blighters will get you, so take something to sooth the itch.
  • Antihistamines– Just in case the Sri Lankan insect bites make you swell.
  • Sun Cream– Can be quite pricey in Sri Lanka, and you will need it, even if it is cloudy.
  • Hand Sanitiser– In the more rural areas you may not have a choice but to eat like the locals (with your right hand, no cutlery). Cleansing gel will be welcome, even if there is somewhere to wash your hands.
  • Tampons– They are hard to find, and very expensive even if you do.

BAGS

  • Suitcase with wheels– It is hot and humid, so lugging a holdall will soon get tiring.
  • Dry Bag– Whether your clothes get wet from the sea, your sweat, or the rain, you’ll want to keep them away from your clean dry stuff!
  • Daysack– Make it a lightweight one that won’t make your back sweat, ideal for beach trips or trekking.
  • Waterproof phone case – Lagoon tours, kayaking, white water rafting, and wildlife boat trips are all popular here. Having a waterproof case for one of your most valuable possessions is a good idea.

ACCESSORIES

  • Trainers for hiking– Leeches are abundant in the jungle, which is more or less everywhere, so you’ll have a nicer trek if your feet are fully covered.
  • Raincoat– It doesn’t need to be monsoon season for it to chuck it down in Sri Lanka. A raincoat is a must if you are hiking.
  • Umbrella– Double useful because it’s great for keeping dry during a downpour, and then ideal for keeping the sun off once the rain has passed!
  • Sarongs– Lots of them. These are great as beach towels, beach cover ups and sarongs are useful for a whole heap of things besides – plus they dry quicker than a regular towel – which, given the humidity here, can take a very long time. Plus, they don’t take up much space in a suitcase.

WELLBEING

  • Ear Plugs– The critters are NOISY! Whether it is monkeys, dogs, geckos or cicada, something is bound to be making a racket when you want to sleep.
  • Eye Mask– Basic accommodation in Sri Lanka is likely to let the light flood in along with the much-needed fresh air. Get a better night’s kip with an eye mask.
  • Water Bottle– While it is wise to only drink bottled water in Sri Lanka, many places have water coolers so you can fill up your own canteen. Plastic pollution is a big issue here, so doing anything to reduce your impact is welcomed.
  • Neck Pillow– It makes the plane journey so much more enjoyable, and it will make lengthy transfers and trips across the country bearable. One thing about travel in Sri Lanka is that you can double the time you expect to get from A to B and add another hour or two on top! It is common for a 2-hour journey to turn into a 5-hour one; a neck pillow will offer some welcome comfort (and rest) en-route.

Don’t forget your travel insurance! Pack your policy documents, and save a digital version. Worldwideinsure.com can tailor your policy to suit your travel plans and many activities are covered as standard.

Dark Sky App Review – Travel App of the Month October 2019

dark sky app reviewIf you’re the kind of person who wants to pinpoint the best weather wherever you go, get a load of Dark Sky!

What is the Dark Sky App?

Dark Sky is a hyper-local weather genie with minute-by-minute meteorological updates! It’s also potentially the most accurate weather app going.

What does the Dark Sky App do?

 It gives minute-by-minute weather updates in your EXACT area, and hour-by-hour forecasts for the rest of the day and over the week. The technology used for this magical weather prediction is also used to power super-smooth radar animations so users can see how the weather fronts are moving.

The app also has the following features:

  • Push notifications for severe warnings.
  • A widget so you can see forecasts at-a-glance from your homescreen.
  • Time machine function to explore past weather and upcoming predictions.

dark sky app screenshot

dark sky app review

Why is the Dark Sky App good for travelling?

We think this technology makes it the ideal app abroad, especially if you are planning any extreme adventures. Knowing that a torrential downpour is going to strike halfway through a canyon hike could potentially allow you to make a life-saving decision about when to head off. Likewise, if you simply want to find a secluded, sunny cove to relax for the afternoon, knowing which side of the headland to pick could make a big difference to your day.

What do the Dark Sky App reviews say?

 You don’t have to just save it for holidays. This app is just as useful at home – deciding when to go for that bike ride, for example – as it is when you’re away. Also, well worth the £3.99 asking price.

dark sky app review google play

dark sky app review itunes

Get Dark Sky on iTunes

Get Dark Sky on GooglePlay

How To Travel With Friends and Not Fall Out – 10 Top Tips

Travelling with friends Image

Image by StockSnap CC0

Simple tips to ensure you and your mates make beautiful memories instead of becoming enemies on a group break abroad.

  1. Agree on the type of holiday you’re having – Active? Retreat? Nocturnal?
  2. Decide on a destination together.
  3. Choose a “package level”: Are you going shoestring, or do you want to splurge on eating out every night?
  4. Schedule free time so you have a chance for independent adventures, or just some time to recoup.
  5. Each write a list of things to see and do and schedule an itinerary based on something from each person’s list.
  6. Nominate a group organiser for each individual adventure so the burden isn’t always on the “most organised” person in the group.

    Travel Advice for Groups Image

    Image bu Ri_Ya CC0

  7. Make sure daily plans fit with each other’s personal routine – early-risers and up-all-nighters may not want to do the same things at the same time!
  8. Give people permission to say “no”, and be willing to accept they may want to change plans or do something different.
  9. Embrace the power of the unreasonable request – maybe you have a bucket-list must-do and it requires your buddies to miss a night’s sleep so you can see it! (Don’t forget number 8!).
  10. Remember your manners. Being in close confines – even with those you like the most – can be exhausting, especially if you are on a longstay adventure. Remember your pleases, don’t forget to say thank you, and keep it in mind that a hug can go a long way.

Did you know we do longstay travel insurance? Excellent for backpacking adventures, gap year experiences – and you can even get covered if you are already travelling!

How to stay friends while travelling Image

Image by minanfotos CC0

Cape Verde – The UK’s Ultimate Winter Getaway?

Travel insurance for Cape Verde Boa Vista Beach

Boa Vista Beach Image by Matthias_Lemm CC0

Fed up of the cold winter days already? Why not book a sun-drenched winter break in Cape Verde? It’s got all the sun, sea, sand and relaxation you could wish for and is the perfect antidote to the hectic pre- and post-Christmas mayhem!

Why Cape Verde?

There are direct flights from the UK to four of the islands in Cape Verde. Travel time is less than 6 hours, and the “wintertime” will be wonderfully warm, without being too hot. Expect average temperatures of 28°C in the day in November and December (about 22°C at night), dropping to daytime temperatures of around 25°C in January/February.

Also, it is really safe – probably the safest place in Africa. There are no large or dangerous animals, and no snakes or poisonous spiders. Rarely, there are reports of scorpions having been spotted.

cape verde travel insurance

Image by morisonandsmith CC0

Where to stay in Cape Verde 

The island of Sal is the most popular, followed by Boa Vista. There are in fact 10 islands that make up the Cape Verde archipelago, but only three of them are home to the glorious white sands that attract travellers. The others are famous for their black volcanic beaches – much like Tenerife.

  • Sal – is only 30km by 11 km, is relatively flat, and is described as a beach-lovers’ paradise thanks to white powder sands and turquoise seas.
  • Boa Vista – home to the most remote, expansive and dazzling beaches in the archipelago; quieter than Sal and ideal for the ultimate relaxing break.
  • Santiago – the largest of the islands, rich in culture, diverse in landscapes and perfect for soaking up some creole culture.
Cape Verde Fishing Image

Image by Schland CC0

What To Do in Cape Verde 

Many people come to Cape Verde to do, well, not much at all. Take a leisurely walk into the local town, stroll on the beach, hop in the pool, and soak up the sun. If you do feel inclined to try out some activities, here are the top things to do during your trip.

Kitesurfing 
These islands can get windy! The dependably gusty Atlantic brings with it the chance to enjoy some watersports, particularly windsurfing and kite surfing.

Snorkelling
There are some great opportunities to get up close to the marine life in the shallow waters off Cape Verde – do be warned that seas here can be rough, with strong undercurrents – keep a keen eye out for flags that indicate if it is safe to swim.

Island Hopping
Head to Fogo for dramatic volcanic landscapes with a dash of Portuguese culture and fantastic trekking. Maio is another must: almost untouched by tourists, this island is a mix of mature forests, beaches, and again wonderful walking opportunities.

Fogo Cape Verde Travel Insurance Image

Image by Alexa_Nbg CC0

Turtle Walk
The Hatchery on Sal offers turtle releasing experiences, where visitors can watch nesting turtles and even see hatchlings being released to the sea.

Shark Experiences
Head to Shark Bay on Sal to see the relatively gentle lemon sharks. Tiger sharks and bull sharks are found in deeper waters; special excursions are available.

Whale Watching
Catamaran cruises are just one way to head out into the ocean where you could be rewarded with the wonderful sight of a humpback whale.

Don’t forget your travel insurance! Worldwideinsure.com can tailor your policy to include as many or as little activities and adventures as you’d like. Many activities are covered as standard.

cape verde travel image

Image by hnijssen CC0

what3words App Review – Travel App of the Month September 2019

what3words app travel app reviewIf you like to travel off the beaten track, it can be easy to a) get lost and b) difficult to meet up with people. In fact, in an unfamiliar destination you probably don’t have to go far off the beaten track to get lost or lose friends! Thankfully there is a novel way to pinpoint your EXACT location and share it, anywhere in the world!

What is the what3words App?

This app is essentially a map of the world, dividing the planet into a series of 3mx3m squares (that’s 57 trillion squares!) and each with a unique three-word address! For example: the entrance to the Taj Mahal is at straddled.sprayer.sponsors; the best place to take a photo at Gulfoss waterfall in Iceland is decode.delirious.abdomens; and the Queen’s residence is fence.gross.bats.

What does thewhat3words App do?

The app gives what the developers describe as a “simple and accurate way to talk about location”. Not only are the unique addresses easier to remember than any other location identifying technique, but they are also more accurate, more reliable, and can also be used in 35+ languages. The addresses can also be easily shared, saved, and navigated to.

what3words app travel app review

what3words app travel app review

What makes the what3words App a great travel app?

Many places in the world don’t have an address, or have an inaccurate address, and even in modern cities the traditional address system can just get it wrong. What3words makes it easier to meet up with friends, discover and tell others about amazing places, and explore the world without getting lost.” This makes it as easy to hook up with friends, tour guides etc in a specific yet remote patch of the Sahara Desert (Erg Chebbi Dunes anyone? Meet you at regroup.warranting.costume!) as it is at the Louvre (seasons.sharper.scan), and you can even find your tent in a field at the Burning Man festival using this app. Lonely Planet is also using the system to pinpoint points of interest in remote locations such as Mongolia.

The icing on the cake for us though is that it can be used offline, and its technology has been saving lives. If you’re lost abroad – on a hike, in an unfamiliar town, up a mountain, anywhere at all – you can tell friends, family, your guides, emergency services your what3words location.

What do the what3words App reviews say?

People are loving it, not just for travel either. This is one app you could download for your next adventure and not want to delete once you are back.

what3words app google play travel app review

what3words app iTunes travel app review

Get it on iTunes

Get it on Google Play