Category Archives: Travel Advice

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.

LuckyTrip Travel App Review – App of the Month October 2017

Do you have a tough time deciding where to go and what to do on holiday? Imagine that all of that is decided for you in just one click. You’ve just imagined LuckyTrip, the most simple and perfect holiday planner on the planet!

What is the LuckyTrip app?

It is an app that finds awesome holidays on your behalf, including somewhere to stay, how to get there, and things to do while you are there. The clever bit is, it has a Lucky mode, so, you can just put in your budget, press the Lucky button, et voila! The app will show you a complete trip to one of 300 amazing destinations!

If this all sounds waaaaaay too much like total freedom, you don’t have to let the button decide everything, you can use filters to select dates, type of holiday, number of people and also airport.

What does the LuckyTrip app do?

  • It finds you Somewhere to Go – using the cheapest flights from Skyscanner.
  • It finds you Somewhere to Stay – locating the best rooms from Booking.com.
  • It finds Something to make you Happy – such as unique things to do, handpicked by the LuckyTrip team.

It also saves trips, and allows you to share your adventures with friends and of course, book a holiday. As we mentioned before, you can filter your results to personalise the perfect trip.

Who is the LuckyTrip app for?

In Lucky mode, it is for the adventurous, the frivolous, the spontaneous, those who believe in destiny, and of course, the indecisive! Even if you don’t use Lucky mode, we think it is a fun and simple way to discover a new destination, and go where luck takes you.

What do the LuckyTrip Reviews say?

LuckyTrip is only available on iPhone, it won best app of 2015, and it has had lots of positive publicity. As far as user reviews go – it gets 5 stars.

  • TechCrunch: ‘Incredibly simple’
  • USA Today: ‘10 Best Travel Apps’
  • The Scotsman: ‘Simple, but revolutionary’
  • Evening Std: ‘Brothers cook up travel app’
  • The Express: ‘Best Apps 2015’
  • Daily Star: ‘Top 10 Apps’
  • CityAM: ‘Quicker than any travel agent’
  • ProductHun: ‘Brilliant’
  • KYM: ‘Best iPhone Apps of 2015’

GET LUCKYTRIP!

20 Tips To Break The Boredom On A Long Haul Flight

At this time of year, holidaymakers are resigned to taking a long haul flight in search of sun. We share some top tips on how to survive the monotony of a long haul flight.

Image by ty_yang CC0

  1. Listen to an audio book.
  2. Read a magazine.
  3. Watch a movie (or two or three, or four).
  4. Chat to your fellow passengers.
  5. Talk with the cabin crew.
  6. Listen to a new album.
  7. Read a newspaper
  8. Go to sleep.
  9. Listen to a podcast.
  10. Draw a picture.
  11. Start a new book.
  12. Do a crossword.
  13. Play some Sudoku.
  14. Eat your food slowly.
  15. Treat yourself to regular snacks.
  16. Start a new game on your smartphone or hand held console.
  17. Practice speaking the local lingo.
  18. Play a solo card game.
  19. Get up and stretch your legs in between every activity.
  20. Take up knitting – do check luggage restrictions before hand.

Bonus Mega Tip: Divide your flight into chunks of time, and have an activity for each slot. It’s easier to find 15 activities to fill 15 segments of travel time than decide what to do for 20 hours!

 

bSafe Review – Travel App of the Month September 2017

Following on from our theme earlier this month of travel safety, we thought it would be timely to feature a personal safety app. Introducing bSafe, a FREE app designed to keep you safe when you might feel at your most vulnerable.

What is the bSafe app?

It is a personal tracker packed with special features that makes it easy to let key people know if you are in a potentially dangerous situation or emergency situation.

What does the bSafe app do?

• Allows you to set up your own social personal safety network of friends, family and co-workers
• Option to share locations between your personal network members
• Follow Me is a live GPS option to enable your personal safety network to follow your route in real time, a virtual walk home
• Timer Mode gives users an option to program an automatic alarm that will trigger if you have not arrived at your destination when expected
• The I’m Here feature allows users to notify selected people of exact location
• Use Fake Call to make the phone ring when you want it to – you can even define who the call should be from
• The Guardian Alert button is an emergency button that will immediately notify your friends and family members that you need help, let them know where you are (GPS) and what’s happening (video) so that they can contact the emergency services on your behalf. It even has the option to set off a siren.

What makes bSafe the app of choice for travellers?

This app is ideal if friends and family back home are going to be worried about you if you haven’t been in touch for more than a few hours. Instead of having to go online, message, email, call, or update a status – knowing that you’ve got a button to press in the event of an emergency, or the very least at the slightest hint of danger will ease their worry. Also, it is a very good idea to ensure you can let people know where you are or where you are meant to be, just in case something does go wrong – vital if you are travelling solo.

What do the bSafe reviews say?

Both Android and iOS users have offered a very mixed bag of reviews, but overall, the app scores highly. The website states that the app is under new ownership and currently undergoing improvements, which will hopefully iron out the latest issues and bring it back to its former glory!

10 Safety Tips For First Time Travellers

Stay safe abroad with these easy to remember tips for first time travellers.

image by PublicCo CC0

1. Walk tall

A confident stride, with head held high will give off a “don’t mess with me“ signal, and it will also mean you are more alert and aware of what is going on in your surroundings. Never walk with your head buried in a map, or staring at your phone!

2. Ditch the designer labels

Designer clobber and premium brand accessories will give the impression you have something worth stealing. It’s not just a matter of pick pockets hoping to take a wallet, phone or watch, in some places people will demand you hand over your shoes, trainers or coat as well.

3. Leave expensive electronics at home

It might get broken, it might get lost, or it could attract the attention of an opportunistic thief. Cut the risk of losing your expensive electronics entirely and only take what you need. Thankfully these days, smartphones can take amazing pictures, and keep us in touch via email, so no need to take a camera and laptop on holiday too.

4. Avoid going off the beaten track alone

If you know a certain part of town has a reputation for being on the wilder side, stay clear – at least until you have become more travel savvy. If you can’t resist the urge to explore, book on an official organised tour, with a recognised excursion company. Avoid going off with a local guide unless your travel provider can vouch for them.

5. Be cautious of whose company you keep

While there is safety in numbers, it depends on who’s in the group! Stay alert, stay sober, and always tell someone where you are going – whether it is the hotel or hostel staff, or family and friends back home.

6. Watch your wallet, purse, passport, phone….

Keep what you can in a safe, only take the money you need for the day, and keep your belongings well hidden from others. Always make sure that your essentials are with you, within view, not left on or under a table, and carry your bag in front of you – some pick pockets simply slice open the bottom of the bag to get at stuff – and you won’t even know it is going on if it’s tucked behind your arm, or on your back!

7. Get Travel Insurance

If anything does go wrong… lost or stolen passport, lost or stolen wallet, or if you have been injured in an altercation, travel insurance is the one thing that can help you get back home. It will cover costs such as travel to your local embassy and passport replacement, and of course getting you back even if you’ve lost your tickets.

8. Note down important numbers

To make sure that you can get help if you need it, you need to know who to call. Having the local embassy phone number, your passport number, and travel insurance number on your phone is great, but make sure you have a hardcopy of these details back at your accommodation in case your phone is lost, damaged, or stolen. You should also make a note of family numbers in case of an emergency.

9. Think first aid

Infections and illness abroad is no laughing matter – make sure you keep an eye on bites and stings, and at the hint of a tummy bug, make sure that you avoid dehydration, it can be deadly! At the very least, pack a simple first aid kit with antiseptic cream and rehydration sachets in – ideally take a first aid kit that covers the risks specific to your destination – this could include sterile IV kits, antibiotics, and malaria treatment

10. Do all you can to avoid food poisoning

Food poisoning can make you very ill indeed. At best it’ll ruin your holiday, at worst, you’ll find yourself in hospital in a life-threatening situation. Make sure you follow the guidelines for avoiding food poisoning abroad. The risk varies between destinations, but generally speaking, as long as food is piping hot and thoroughly cooked, it should be safe to eat. Particular foods to be aware of include cheese, ice cream, seafood, salads, and unpeeled fruit and vegetables. Tapwater and ice are a no-no too.

Be a savvy traveller! Get comprehensive travel insurance tailored to your needs and your getaway. Call us on 01892 833338 or get an online quote.

AccuWeather App Review – Travel App of the Month August 2017

This award-winning weather app uses crowd-sourcing data and delivers minute by minute updates, making it the most accurate weather forecast app out there.

 

 

What is the AccuWeather App?

It’s a FREE app that tells you what the weather is going to be like at home or on holiday in huge detail and way in advance.

What does the AccuWeather App do?

It uses a range of sophisticated features to give you all the meteorological data you could ever want to know for anywhere in the world. Users should note that currently the minute-by-minute forecast is limited to the [contiguous] United States, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, United Kingdom, Ireland, Japan, France, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Netherlands, and Luxembourg, but it is being continuously rolled out at a growing list of global locations.

  • AccuWeather MinuteCast® – minute-by-minute precipitation forecasts hyper-localized to an exact street address or GPS location.
  • AccUcast™ – View the real-time crowdsourced map with weather conditions submitted by users all over the world in a global animation display.
  • Descriptive weather animations illustrating the weather forecast for right now, each of the next 72 hours, and each of the next 15 days.
  • Pushed severe weather alerts.
  • Customisable current weather conditions detail – so you only see what is useful to you.
  • Forecasts update every 15 minutes… in 33 languages and dialects!

Why is AccuWeather good as a travel app?

A 15 day forecast is all that you need to make sure that your suitcase contains all of the right clothes for your adventure! This great forecast range also means you can also pick and choose activities that suit the weather well ahead of time.

What do the AccuWeather App reviews say?

The app is available for iOS, Androind and Windows devices. Users from each rate the app highly

Get it on itunes

Get it on play.google

Get it on microsoft

Top 5 Private Jet Holiday Hotspots In Europe

Luxury travel has never been in such high demand, especially private flights to European hotspots that can be reached in just a couple of hours from the UK. After all, who would want to spend more time waiting to board a flight than the flight actually takes? If splashing your cash on a super-luxury getaway is your idea of fun – these are the most popular places to head this summer!

PrivateFly Citation XLS courtesy of Cessna’

1. Mykonos – Flight time approx. 4 hours

There has been an increase in interest of more than 50% in private flights to Mykonos – but even if you have the money, it doesn’t mean that you can just get in a jet and land there. This destination has become so popular that the island’s airport is forced to turn away private jets at peak times, and holidaymakers are having to make the last leg of their journey by helicopter from Athens!

Mykonos CC0 Courtesy of PrivateFly

2. Ibiza – Flight time approx. 2.5 hours

This summer-centric destination has been a party hot-spot since the sixties, and its popularity appears to grow year on year. It has gone from being host to secret beach parties, discotheques, nightclubs, and after-parties, to hosting big names in pop music every summer. Maybe that accounts for the 38% rise in interest in private flights since last year?

3. Palma de Mallorca – Flight time approx. 2.5 hours

Palma is a cosmopolitan city blessed with beautiful beaches. Who wouldn’t want to be whisked away to spend a few sun-drenched days here? Spectacular shopping, amazing restaurants, vibrant bars, and of course lazy days by the sea. No wonder it has had nearly 30% more interest from the luxury travel sector this year!

4. Santorini – Flight time approx. 3 hours 50 mins

Interest in private flights to this volcanic Greek island paradise has risen by 28%, but it is proving as tricky to get to by private flight as Mykonos during peak times. The advice? Book your private flight well in advance. Now until September is the best time to go for nightlife, swimming and sunbathing – if sightseeing without the heat is your priority, book a trip during October or November.

5. Naples – Flight time approx. 2.5 hours

The rise in popularity of flights to Naples (up 27% on last year) could be down to its authentic feel. It is less fashionable than Milan, less touristy than Rome, but it is where real Italians choose to live. As well as serving up what is arguably the best pizza in Italy, Naples is also perfectly positioned to reach some stunning island destinations such as Capri and Ischia – maybe this is what’s drawing the private jet-setting crew!

Is a private flight possible on your holiday budget?

PrivateFly Citation XLS courtesy of Cessna

As a guide, current charter prices for an 8-seater Citation XLS, from London Luton to Mykonos (one-way) with PrivateFly is £22,600.

 

TrackR App – Travel App of the Month July 2017

Do you like the idea of being able to easily locate misplaced or stolen items on holiday? This handy app means that you’ll never have to worry about losing your bag, wallet, laptop, keys, bike or even your pet next time you go abroad!

What is the TrackR app?

The TrackR app is used in collaboration with Bluetooth and TrackR devices such as Bravo and Pixel, to help locate missing items. These devices are like little memory butlers for all of your stuff. While you’re busy living life, your TrackR gadgets are busy remembering where all of your valuables are so you don’t have to.

How does TrackR work?

The devices use Bluetooth-low energy that connects to the app and operates on a replaceable battery that lasts for up to a year. If the item you are looking for is out of Bluetooth range, TrackR will use the power of its Crowd Locate network and growing community of TrackR users (there are around 4.5 million) to find it. For example, if you have lost your luggage, as soon as a TrackR user is within range of it, that user’s phone would anonymously ping the TrackR server to update you with new GPS coordinates of when and where it was last. ​Every month, the app receives on average 360,000,000 individual item updates.

Who is the TrackR app for?

TrackR is an incredibly useful app for all travellers. One example is lost luggage – with TrackR, you no longer need to wait for hours for the airline to recover lost luggage to find out if it is there. And, since the TrackR bravo or pixel can be attached to practically anything, it is a great way of keeping track of all your valuables, such as laptops, wallets, bags or camera while on holiday.

What do the TrackR app reviews say?

It is a bit of a mixed bunch, and overall seems like Apple users are happier than Android users with this product, and TrackR are getting plenty of great customer feedback.

Customer stories:

 “Dropped my keys in the parking lot and they were covered with 5 inches of snow before I realized where they were. TrackR found them. Thanks for the beep beep beep.”
–           Michael Roux

“My wife just messaged me to say she used the TrackR bravo I got for her to find her phone that was on silent. #mademyday”
–           Joshua Teixeira

 

Find out more about the app at thetrackr.com

Gap Year Travel Insurance – What You Need To Know

Going on a gap year adventure after sitting your final exams is the epitome of freedom – but you must make sure you get your travel insurance in order before you go. This is what you need to know…

Image by rawpixel CC0

Travel Insurance is the most important purchase you will make.

Paying for medical help overseas can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds – money that you (or your parents) will have to find if you don’t have travel insurance – or if you have inadequate travel insurance. Remember, you may be refused medical treatment if you can’t prove how you will cover those costs!

Don’t rely on EHIC cards.

The European Health insurance Card has limited use. The validity of the card varies from country to country, and only entitles the holder to access the same level of care as a resident of that country. Unlike the UK, most EU countries require insurance to cover the excess costs of medical treatment – which you will be liable to pay too even if you have an EHIC. Travel insurance is designed to help recover those costs.

Losing your passport is more expensive (and time consuming) than you might think.

Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) cost £100, they can take several days to obtain, and you will need to find the money to get to and from your nearest British consulate or embassy. On top of this you may need to arrange for a police report and get passport photos done. Don’t forget that you may also have to pay to replace any visas too AND you will need to get your passport replaced – which can cost in the region of £200 from overseas! As if that wasn’t enough to ruin a perfectly good adventure expenses can spiral if you need to rearrange holiday plans. This is why the gov.uk website recommends that travellers take out comprehensive travel insurance. Travel insurance is there to help recoup the costs involved in replacing lost or stolen belongings, including passports

Look for a policy that allows you to extend cover while you are already travelling.

You are about to go on the biggest adventure of your life, and who knows where it might take you! The last thing you’d want is to have to come home because your travel insurance says you have to. Many travel insurance policies require that you get back home within a year, or return to the UK to extend it. We offer longstay backpacker insurance that can be extended even while you are still travelling so you can go where your wanderlust takes you!

These are the sorts of things that travel insurance can help with:

  • Cancelled flights.
  • Lost or stolen luggage.
  • Medical help.
  • Emergency medical care and repatriation.
  • Lost or stolen passport.
  • Lost or stolen bank cards and holiday money.
  • If your operator goes bankrupt.
  • If you need to cancel your trip due to illness.
  • If your trip is disrupted due to natural disasters or terrorism.

Travel Insurance can also cover you if you are the one to cause damage or injury!

If you are involved in an incident that causes injury to another person, or damage to property you run the risk of being sued. Comprehensive travel insurance can minimise the cost to you, including the cost of legal proceedings.

To arrange Gap Year Travel Insurance, for yourself or your child, get in touch with us on 01892 833338.