Category Archives: Travel Insurance

Planning A Ski Holiday – A Guide For Beginners

If you want to know how to do something well, you need to find out from those in the know! We asked some leading experts on the ski scene about what to pack, how to get fit, where to head, what to do to avoid injury, and a bit about etiquette so you can hit the slopes with confidence this ski season!

Ten Things You Need To Know Before Learning to Ski

© Merci L’Agence / OT Les Arcs

© Merci L’Agence / OT Les Arcs

Paul Deadman, ski expert at Neilson Holidays, shares ten things you need to know before skiing abroad for the first time.

  1. The fitter you are the more fun you’ll have. There’s no need to go into any extreme fitness training before a ski holiday, but doing a small amount of exercise in preparation will make a big difference to your fun factor.
  2. You need the right shoes. As well as packing ski boots you’ll need shoes for off the slopes too. Resorts are still snowy and can be icy, so take practical shoes – a sturdy pair of trainers or walking boots work well. Bars and restaurants won’t turn you away if you’re not in fancy heels or polished brogues – slope style is much more relaxed, think more along the lines of ‘practi-cool’.
  3. You still need sunscreen. Even if you don’t think it’s sunny, the sun reflects off the bright white snow and increases the chances of sun damage to your skin. Take lip balm with UVA and UVB protection as well as sun cream for your face and apply regularly over the course of the day.
  4. Helmets are a must. Hire or buy your own, but either way don’t hit the slopes without one.
  5. Accept that you will fall over. A lot. The people who get to grips with skiing the fastest are those who aren’t afraid of falling over. Don’t be discouraged by falling down, it would be really weird if you learnt to ski without falling over at least eight times a day!
  6. Après ski is the post-ski social scene. The ski lifts usually close between 4 and 5pm. This is when everyone comes off the mountain, back to the town and enjoys some après ski. Bars and restaurants will have live bands or DJs, some more lively than others, and you’ll find somewhere to relax to suit you whether you want a chocolat chaud, a vin rouge or a round of Chartreuse.
  7. Ski boots feel a bit odd at first. In my experience, at best ski boots are mildly uncomfortable and at worst can prevent you from enjoying skiing completely. Putting ski boots on will feel strange the first time, and for your first trip it’s worth getting someone with experience to help you with your boot clips to make sure they’re tight enough each morning. The correct boot should feel tight, but not unbearable, you should be able to wiggle your toes…just. Tip: make sure you wear thick socks when you pick them up – you don’t want to get a pair fitted in thin socks to realise that they’re too tight when you put on your ski socks.
  8. Pistes are colour coded. For most European resorts the ski runs (pistes) are marked to show what ability they’re suitable for. Nursery or green slopes will be where you’ll start your ski education, and you could progress to slightly steeper blue runs by the end of the week. Red slopes suit intermediate skiers and black runs are for advanced skiers. ‘Off piste’ refers to any territory that isn’t on marked out ski runs and isn’t something you’d need to worry about as a beginner. North America and Canada mark their pistes slightly differently so make sure you know what the colours are for the resort you’re travelling to.
  9. Lessons start early! Lessons typically start first thing in the mornings (approx. 9.30am) each day and finish at lunch.
  10. You might get hooked. Skiing is one of the best feelings in the world! It might feel like hard work, but the mountain views, endorphins, delicious food and après ski will make you want to return year after year. It’s that feeling you get when you nail that tricky run you’ve been struggling with all week that really gets you hooked though!

How To Get Fit For The Ski Season

© andyparant.com / OT Val d’Isere

© andyparant.com / OT Val d’Isere

Luke Thornton, Fitness Advisor to Discount Supplements takes us through the best moves to boost physical fitness for maximum on-piste performance.

Balance is one of the most important aspects of fitness for snow sports. Twists, turns and high speeds mean you need to have a strong core and an incredible sense of balance. These exercises focus on full body movements and stabilising exercises to really tax your midsection, and lock in that core strength.

Squats – a fantastic movement for working your entire body. This move not only uses your glutes, hamstrings, calves and quads, but also your core for stabilising your body whilst in motion. Keep your abs tight, place your feet shoulder width apart with your head up and descend down into a sitting position, then using your legs, drive upwards until standing. Repeat for 8-12 reps. These can be done with just body weight, or you can add a barbell to increase resistance.

Press Ups – the king of all upper body moves. The press up works your triceps, biceps, chest and shoulders. Add an advanced variation with an exercise ball to increase your core stability and improve balance. Lie face down and place your hands on the floor either side of your shoulders. One by one put your feet onto an exercise ball and assume the push up position.

Long Distance Cycling – not only is this fantastic for your overall cardiovascular health, it also increases endurance and strength in your legs, which is essential for snow sports. If you don’t have a road bike or access to one, use a stationary bike at your gym. Start short at 2km, then move to 5, 10 and 20. Mix it up and try to beat your time on each distance.

Lunges – another brilliant move for leg development, core strength and balance. Try adding walking lunges at the end of every workout to increase endurance in the quads and glutes, and to mix up your cardio. Try 10 stationary lunges for each leg, then 20, then move onto walking lunges. You can also mix it up further by walking with dumbbells.

Packing For A Ski Holiday

Image by tookapic CC0

Image by tookapic CC0

While toothbrush, passport and boarding passes may be obvious items to pack, there are a few essentials that might not be obvious to a first-time skier. Claire Flynn at Powder Beds shares some insider tips.

Skis, boots and helmet: For novices or people relatively new to skiing, it’s worthwhile renting skis, boots and a helmet, rather than buying them AND paying for ski carriage on a flight. Skiset work in resorts across Europe offering different ski hire packages depending on what you want. It’s also worth booking in advance to make sure you get the best deal and what you want.

Taking your own ski equipment? Airport Parking and Hotels (APH) have created a nifty Baggage Allowance Finder. The tool helps you find the baggage allowances for major airlines across the UK, perfect for finding out how much it will cost to get your skis across the skies!

Clothes for the slopes: Bring thermals, fleeces, warm jacket, salopettes, thick socks, goggles and don’t forget proper waterproof gloves. Also, neck scarves (Buffs) are useful for keeping your face warm on the slopes.

Sun protection: Make sure to bring suncream (or buy it in the resort), and apply it even when it’s cloudy. It’s also a good idea to bring a decent pair of sunglasses, so you can change out of your goggles if you stop for lunch on the slopes.

Clothes for off-piste activities: Bring warm clothes and decent shoes with good grip for walking about the resort in the evening.

Other items that might make your time in the snow warmer, easier or more fun are:

Sundown Lock

Sundown Ski Lock, Blacks

• Day rucksack
• Water bottle
• Ski Lock
• Thermos
• Hand warmers
• Foot warmers
• Muscle rub/soak
• Ankle, knee and wrist supports

Check out skiclub.co.uk for a foolproof packing list, and if you are looking to grab some ski clothes and accessories – without paying a design label premium – Blacks have a superb range.

WINTERSPORT INSURANCE

ossur-image-2-ski-mega-blog

© Courtesy of Össur

WINTERSPORT INSURANCE IS AN ESSENTIAL PIECE OF YOUR KIT WHEN YOU HEAD OUT ON SKIS! Even if you are holidaying in the EU, you should make sure that your travel insurance covers you for the activities you plan to do. Wintersports insurance from worldwideinsure.com provides cover for equipment, ski packs, cancelled flights, medical assistance and repatriation for all destinations including even if you want to go off-piste, heli-skiing, and parapenting!

Best Ski Resort for Beginners – Avoriaz

© Stephane Lerendu / OT Avoriaz

© Stephane Lerendu / OT Avoriaz

• Only truly car-free resort in France.
• Offers access to the fantastic Portes du Soleil ski area.
• Perfect for beginners thanks to the several easy green runs through the village, plus a great selection of ski schools, including Le Village des Enfants (located in the heart of the resort with two distinct areas for skiing abilities). Avoriaz Alpine Ski School is another excellent ski school – small team of British and local instructors offering high quality tuition, for all ages.
• Also great range of runs for intermediates and over 30 black runs for advanced, including the World Cup Downhill which drops from Les Hauts Forts.
• One of the world’s leading freestyle centres with three snowparks and a superpipe.
• Good areas for beginner and intermediate boarders, as well as plenty of powder for freeriding.
• One of the highest resorts in the Alps so snow cover isn’t often a problem, except for some of the runs below resort height.
• Accommodations are generally all ski-in/ski-out offering easy access to the slopes for first-timers.
• Also great non-ski activities available to keep everyone busy – Aquariaz claims to be Europe’s highest waterpark, complete with a main pool, lazy river, half-pipe, mini flume, Jacuzzis and tropical vegetation. There’s also dog sledding, snowshoeing and ice skating.
• Where to stay – Residence L’Amara offers luxurious ski-in/ski-out apartments at the entrance of the resort, with a private car park, indoor swimming pool, fitness room and Deep Nature Spa.

Best Ski Resort If You Are Travelling With Intermediates – Les Arcs

© Merci Creative / OT Les Arcs

© Merci Creative / OT Les Arcs

• One of the biggest resorts in the Alps, with a choice of four different base villages, located in the huge and varied Paradiski area.
• More than 125km of fast long and blue and red runs on the Les Arcs side of Paradiski alone – superb for intermediate skiers.
• Can also use the Vanoise express to cross over to the La Plagne side to experience more terrain. Although, as there is so much terrain in Les Arcs, it is only worth doing this for a day, so opt for the Paradiski Discovery Pass rather than the full Paradiski pass.
• Also has a strong reputation for advanced terrain with more than 40km of black runs, divided into 19 runs.
• Beginners are also well-catered for with gentle slopes right by the four base villages. Plus, the relatively recent Mille 8 development in Arc 1800 includes a dedicated beginners’ area.
• Also great for snowboarders – the Apocalypse Snowpark is fitted with tricks and treats for all ability levels, with great progression from beginner to intermediate to advanced features. Well-maintained and one of the better parks in the Alps.
• Non-ski activities also available – mostly from Arc 1800 – snowshoeing, dog sledding, bowling, shopping and there’s a small cinema.
• Where to stay – La Source des Arcs offers stylish and spacious ski-in/ski-out apartments in the highest altitude village of Arc 2000. However, if you’d like to be closer to the action in Arc 1800, try Residence Edenarc.

Best Ski Resort If You Have Advanced Skiers In Your Party – Val d’Isere

© andyparant.com / OT Val d’Isere

© andyparant.com / OT Val d’Isere

• Ski area traditionally known as Espace Killy, although more commonly known as Val d’Isere-Tignes these days – regarded as one of the most exciting ski areas in the world.
• One of the world’s great resorts for advanced skiers with 25 black runs to test your abilities on – including the world famous La Face run (descends nearly 2 miles from its peak) – only those brave enough should attempt it.
• The area is most famous for its off-piste (10,000 hectares), with forested areas like Daniades, accessed from the Solaise Express among the more popular.
• Also a great ski area for intermediates, with over 100 blue and red runs in the Espace Killy.
• With the redevelopment of the Solaise area due to open for this winter, Val d’Isere is also set to become a great resort for novices, with a new dedicated beginners’ area.
• Also great for boarders with a highly regarded snowpark spread over 35 hectares. Other terrain parks to try out across the Espace Killy into Tignes too.
• Also, one of the most snowsure resorts in Europe thanks to its high altitude.
• Always stays at the forefront of winter sports but has remained a picturesque main resort village, meaning it continues to attract guests from all over the world.
• With a sports centre, glacier walking, husky racing and 70 shops available, there are plenty of non-ski activities to keep you entertained also.
• Where to stay: for self-catering, opt for Chalets du Jardin Alpin, but if it’s a luxurious hotel you’re after, the five star Hotel Christiania in the centre is a very popular choice.

Après-Ski – Social Life On The Slopes

© Fruitiere / OT Val Thorens

© Fruitiere / OT Val Thorens

If going out for drinks after a long day on the slopes appeals to you, make sure to pick a resort with a good après scene. Val Thorens is great, with several bars on and off the slopes, as well as Malaysia, the highest nightclub in Europe. Val d’Isere is also a good option, being the home of the original La Folie Douce. Alpe d’Huez, Les Deux Alpes, Meribel and Verbier are also renowned for their après scenes.

The off-slope vibe may be laid back, but make sure you show your fellow après party people some respect. Here are some top tips:

Pack your gear away before heading to the bar. No one wants to have to manoeuvre their way around a bunch of skis and snow boots!

Welcome strangers into your fold – in other words, don’t hog a huge table to just a few of you. Likewise, don’t be shy if someone offers you a seat at their table – the après scene is a great way to get to know people.

• Come as you are, which means there is no need to get showered and dressed up as soon as the lift stops spinning. Unless of course you are heading to a hot tub – in which case always, ALWAYS rinse before going in.

And one more thing: If you respect your fellow guests, endeavour to not puke on them. High altitudes will have a major affect on your tolerance to alcohol. Pace yourself and have a glass of water in between drinks – skiing is heaps more fun without a hangover anyway!

Injuries At Altitude

Courtesy of Össur

© Courtesy of Össur

Nothing can bring a fun holiday to an abrupt halt like hurting yourself, and on a ski holiday the head, wrists, knees, ankles and spine are all at risk. We asked injury experts Össur for some top tips on how to avoid injuries on the slope and what to do if things don’t go to plan.

How to avoid injuries on the slope

Whilst on the whole injuries are unavoidable and sometimes just happen, there are things you can do to minimise the risk as the last thing you want is to injure yourself on day one and spend the rest of your holiday looking at the slopes rather than being on them.

1. Wear the right gear
Wearing the right gear is a good start. Without a doubt you need to wear some good winter clothing as it’s cold up in the mountains but there are a few other things which could help you.

• Helmet: Would you ever ride your bike without a helmet? No? It’s the same for winter sports. We’re not just talking rocks that you could land on, as compacted snow could be just as hazardous if you whack your head on it, so stay safe.
• Knee Bracing: Prophylactic knee bracing is becoming more popular with many professionals now sporting these carbon fibre (lightweight and strong) exoskeletons to protect the knee from injury following a fall but also to offer stability to help manage pre-existing injuries.
• Wrist Guards: Everyone falls down on the slopes, some more often than others. When we fall we put our arms out to break our fall but that can lead to broken wrists, arms, or dislocated shoulders. Wrist guards offer a degree of protection when you fall.
• Boots: A standard piece of kit but make sure you pick something suitable. Have a chat with the professionals and see what is best for you given your expertise and what you want to achieve, as more freedom of movement may be good for tricks but potentially bad for your ankles.

2. Know your limits
If you’re just starting out then it’s understandable you want to follow in the footsteps of famous skiers, but it is important that you take it easy and practice, even Jonny Moseley had to start somewhere. It’s ok to push yourself as that is the only way to get better, but you know yourself what is pushing yourself and what could be considered a little foolish.

3. Take lessons
Taking lessons is a great way to start and even the experienced skiers still take lessons to brush up on their skills, especially if you’ve had a few months off (like when there is no snow). Lessons ensure you have the right technique and most importantly, know how to fall (as in minimising the risk of injury) so book them in, listen and learn.

4. Stick to the path
When you finally arrive at your resort you’ll be as giddy as a kid at Christmas and want to do everything. Just remember that there are routes designated for each level of ability so stick to them and practice before moving up and deciding to do something adventurous. Being on the slopes is extreme enough when you’re starting out without going off-piste in search of something different and potentially dangerous.

5. Be aware of your surroundings
It’s important to remember where you are on the slopes and that you don’t only have to watch what you’re doing but also what everyone else is doing as well. It only takes one person to either do something daft or lose control and they could wipe you out as well as leave you battered and bruised, or worse.

What to do when you’ve been injured

Following an injury there are a number of steps to consider both in the immediate aftermath and throughout your overall rehabilitation journey.

1. Stop what you’re doing
If you’re injured then stop what you’re doing as carrying on could make it worse. Sprains, for example, are graded 1 to 3 depending on their severity, with a 1 being a few days of hobbling and 3 being a few months using crutches. If you sprain your ankle when running then failing to stop could turn a grade 1 to a grade 2, as you’re increasing the chances of your ankle rolling as a result of the instability.

2. Remember RICE
It’s the standard protocol following an injury and stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation.

Rest is simply giving the body time to repair itself and heal naturally.
Ice can be used to help manage inflammation as well as offering a degree of pain relief.
Compression is typically achieved through bracing but helps to manage inflammation when on the move, again having pain relieving qualities,
Elevation is the act of raising the affected area of the body above the level of the heart to reduce blood flow and in turn reduce inflammation.

You will know if an injury warrants urgent medical attention, in which case, you should seek this right away to minimise the risk of the injury worsening.

3. Obtain a professional diagnosis
If RICE doesn’t work after a few days then you should seek a professional diagnosis as it may require additional treatment following a more detailed examination.
You may be sent for an X-ray, an MRI or simply referred to a physiotherapist depending on how severe they believe the injury to be.

After a professional diagnosis you may need physio, a brace and even surgery. Overseas this can be a lot more complicated. Make sure you contact your travel insurance provider and discuss what procedures and treatments are covered.

Well, that’s the essentials covered, but nothing compares to the real thing – stay warm, stay safe and have fun wherever you end up!

© P Tournaire / OT Val Thorens

© P Tournaire / OT Val Thorens

For more information about getting the right wintersports travel insurance for this ski season, get in touch with one of the team on 01892 833338

Travel Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make!

beach-image-by-unsplash-cc0

Beach image by Unsplash CC0

You can ruin a beautiful holiday fast by making some seriously rookie mistakes. Find out what NOT to do next time you go away.

Overpacking – It makes your bag heavy and difficult to carry around, it may put you over your weight allowance, costing you money. Worse than that, if your bag is full to the brim, how are you going to bring back any lovely new things from your travels?

Overspending – If you think sticking to a budget sucks, then you should adjust your perspective. Make fulfilling your itinerary a creative achievement with what you have and consider which money-saving tactics you are prepared to make for each activity. Are you prepared to forego a hotel for a few nights in a hostel so you can do that big adventure?

Not having any local currency – Turning up in a new town without a bit of cash can be super-embarrassing if your driver or porter is expecting a tip. Plus, using a local ATM might carry some hefty card charges. Make sure you get your currency at a good price before you set off, either at the airport or dedicated currency exchange centre.

Having too much local currency – Not only can it be difficult taking a large amount of cash through customs, you don’t want to have “all your eggs in one basket”. Take enough money for the first couple of days – not for the duration of your stay! Pre-paid currency cards such as fairfx.com are a secure way to ensure you have all the money you need, but still make sure you have some loose cash when you travel.

Not getting travel insurance – Too many travellers seem to think that they just don’t need it, especially if they have an EHIC. The cost of medical treatment or repatriation to your home country is far higher than you might think, and you will HAVE to cover the costs yourself if you don’t have insurance. The financial implications of lost luggage and missed or cancelled flights is a minor inconvenience by comparison.

Forgetting to check visa requirements – You don’t want to fall at the last hurdle. Not many situations are much more frustrating than getting to your destination and being refused entry, so make sure you check the entry requirements for your visa. This can include having a certain number of months left on your passport, having a flight out of the country booked, an address that you will be staying at, ensuring that you have had the correct immunisations, or even that you haven’t just travelled from a certain country!

Being culturally insensitive – It isn’t just impolite, it could land you in jail! Here are some examples of how you could innocently cause offense abroad:

  • Sipping your vodka in Russia
  • Not eating enough in Greece
  • Crossing your chopsticks in Asia
  • Showing the soles of your feet in Africa
  • Giving a “thumbs up” in the Middle East
  • Wearing yellow in Malaysia

Not making copies of important documents – Either scan your documents, or take a picture. You don’t need to carry around hardcopies of your insurance, passport and travel information, but do make sure it can be accessed easily online if you need, or leave with a friend/family member back home in case of emergency.

Not checking ALL your booking details, and passport! – Turning up at the wrong airport, finding out that your passport has expired, and even getting your dates of travel wrong are all entirely possible if you are not paying enough attention. So check all your booking information thoroughly, and check again. You should also pay attention to changes in time zones if you are taking more than one flight – is it actually possible to get from A to B in the time you have?

Trying to fit too much in – Overstretching yourself with a loaded itinerary can actually be a miserable experience, so factor in some rest days in between your adventures, and for the last couple of days of your holiday. This way if you have the energy to do more, you can add a little something in rather than feeling bad (and possibly losing money) by bailing out because you are exhausted.

Nevada – A Spooky Place To Celebrate Halloween!

You may associate Nevada with tales of extra terrestrial activities, but did you know that it has some pretty spooky heritage? Nevada’s vast landscape is dotted with countless ghost towns – some are indecipherable ruins infested with tumbleweeds, but others are surprisingly intact. Both are portals into a Nevada of old…

Rhyolite Porter Store by Tom Babich CC2.0

Rhyolite Porter Store by Tom Babich CC2.0

Rhyolite – America’s most famous ghost town…

Rhyolite is a secluded town set on the eastern edge of Death Valley, and has a reputation for being one of the best ghost towns in the US. It was once a thriving mining town, but now the abandoned streets and buildings send shivers down the spines of those who visit. The general store, train station and bank still stand, and so does the jail, undoubtedly the most popular attraction for spooky thrill seekers who can look into the cells and imagine the tortured lives of former prisoners.

The Haunted Mizpah Hotel

Mizpah Hotel

Mizpah Hotel. Image © Travel Nevada

Between Las Vegas and Reno is a spooky hotel that is said to have some ghostly inhabitants. Here are some of the hair-raising rumours that would make great torch lit Halloween tales!

It is said that guests can hear laughter by one of the hotel’s bath tubs, possibly the ghostly echoes of a politician who died there. Rumour has it that he met his demise before an important election, but his death was hidden by his aides who decided to keep his body in a bathtub on blocks of ice instead.

The Mizpah is also home to “The Lady in Red”- the spirit of a prostitute who was murdered on the fifth floor of the hotel, viciously stabbed outside her lavish suite. Some stories say that she was killed by a jealous ex-boyfriend, whereas others say she was caught cheating by her husband at the hotel after he had missed a train – he then proceeded to kill her in a fit of jealous rage. She has also made appearances in the original elevator the hotel features, which at its installation was the fastest elevator in the state!

The ghosts of Mizpah are said to reside across the eerie building – there have been several sightings of ghosts of children playing throughout the hallway on the third floor, and it is said that the ghosts of miners can be seen walking through the walls of the creepy basement too.

The Lady in Red Suite Courtesy of Travel Nevada © Travel Nevada

Brave guests can stay in The Lady in Red Suite for as little as £122 a night. Image © Travel Nevada

Creepy Clowns of Highway 95

clown-motel

Image © Travel Nevada

Like all good spooky places to visit in Nevada, Tonopah was once a thriving mining town, which now has an extra eerie appeal to visitors. Along the highway of this desert town lies the Clown Motel, a roadside rest place stuffed to the brim with clowns and clown collectables. The hotel itself may not be haunted – it’s just the creepy clowns that are guaranteed to give guests night terrors – but the Cemetery next door probably is. It has been closed for over a hundred years and is packed with graves of former miners many of which died from the mysterious “Tonopah Plague” in 1902.

Avoid the fright of your life on holiday! Get travel insurance!

While we don’t insure against ghouls and ghosts, we can provide cover for a range of holiday mishaps – Get in touch or visit our website to find out more about single trip, multi trip and long stay travel insurance.

Road Trip 101 – Everything you need to know before you go!

Hitting the highway for your holiday? Make sure you read our awesome guide to planning a road trip!

Image by fancycrave1 CC0

Image by fancycrave1 CC0

We cover everything you need to know from what essentials to pack, planning your route and budgeting for fuel, food and fun – to information about vehicle hire, what transport to choose and the pros and cons of camping, caravanning, hotels, Airbnb and more! We’ve even got some handy hints on what NOT to do on a road trip too. To get you started, here are five great reasons you should make your next holiday a road trip…

Five Reasons You Should Go On A Road Trip:

  1. You get to see so much – being on the road means you get to see places you’d miss if simply travelling from A to B, take the scenic route wherever you go, and you’ll catch a whole heap more!
  2. It’s spontaneous – if you see something you can stop, you can detour and you can change your plans altogether… for the whole holiday!
  3. You get “together” time – whether you are going with your partner, your kids or your friends, being on a road trip leaves plenty of time to kick back, relax and chat on every journey you make.
  4. The playlist! – second only to the wedding playlist! The tunes you choose for your road trip will set the vibe for the whole journey and remind you of your awesome adventure for years to come.
  5. It feels like you have all the time in the world – the freedom of living life on the move can be truly liberating! As long as you have a very loose plan in place it doesn’t matter when you arrive at the next destination, or whether your next destination was part of the plan at all.

Planning Your Route

TomTom GO 5200 Sat Nav

The TomTom GO 5200 Sat Nav should stop any map reading disputes!

To plan or not to plan? Make a loose plan! Have a start and an end, tick off some places that you’d like to see in between and then see what fits into your timescale. It’s good to add a couple of days “spare” for unexpected adventures and detours.

Budget is an obvious factor in making that plan – more on that later, but before you decide what you think you’ll do, it’s good to have a rough idea of what you’d like to do, but not so tight that there isn’t room for plans to go awry!

How Our Scottish Road Trip Didn’t Go To Plan:

Day 1. Plan: Drive from Essex to Scottish border, stopping off in Lincolnshire to get side windows fitted to the camper. What actually happened is that our exhaust disintegrated just as we reached the fitters, they bodged a repair, we got as far as Rugby before it fell apart again and spent a few hours in a supermarket car park waiting for more help. By nightfall we had only got as far as Cumbria when bad weather hit, so we spent our first night in a service station car park already behind by a day according to our schedule.

If you are leaving the UK for your road trip adventure, then you may need to make some solid plans around ferries, trains or even fly drive holidays – especially if you are on a set budget.

The Mistakes We Made On Our French Road Trip:

Our planning for this trip was “loose”, and we didn’t have an “end” to our plan, apart from knowing we had to be back in the UK. In addition, because we would be slumming it in the back of our van, we allowed ourselves the luxury of a cabin on board the outbound ferry, with sea views. This combination made it one of our most expensive excursions to date! Here’s why…

  • A ferry from Portsmouth to Bilbao with a large vehicle is expensive, even more so when you book an exterior cabin.
  • We didn’t think about taking our own food to our cabin, so had to fork out for high priced food and drink on board.
  • Without a set agenda, we didn’t really know where we would be heading, so only booked a ferry out, a return of some description would have saved quite a lot of money.
  • By the time we finally knew where we’d be in France close to the end of our trip (turns out it was St Malo), last minute ferry bookings were EXPENSIVE.

 

Useful Resources:

Book trains to Europe: Eurostar

Book Ferries to France and Spain: BrittanyFerries

Fly Drive worldwide: VirginFlyDrive and BritishAirwaysFlyDrive packages

To Hire or Not To Hire? The Car Rental Dilemma.

Image by Unsplash CC0

Can your vehicle cope with your chosen route? If not, you might need to hire or buy one that can! Image by Unsplash CC0.

Taking your own vehicle has its merits – you know it’s condition, can make sure that it is fully serviced before your trip, know how many miles you get to a gallon, and most importantly you don’t have to answer to a car hire company if something gets damaged – or worse still, the vehicle is stolen.

However – your own vehicle may not be up to the job of your planned road trip, either because of its size or because of its condition, in which case you have a few options:

Hire A Vehicle. Pros: It should be in great condition, quite new and of course up to the task. Cons: It can be costly especially if you are planning to hire something nostalgic like a VW T25!

Buy and Sell a Vehicle: A popular option if your road trip is abroad. Pros: You can fly to your destination, pick up a car or camper when you get there and then sell it on when you reach the end of the road to fly home. You also don’t have to answer to a car hire company. Cons: Quite a lot of hassle compared to booking a hire car, plus you don’t know whether you are purchasing a lemon!

Relocation Hire: Pros: Much cheaper than a straightforward hire, and you don’t have to do a “round trip”. Cons: You will probably be travelling against the grain, people have paid more to travel in the opposite direction on a one way hire for a reason. There may be a limited choice of vehicle, and you may have to compromise your route.

Useful Resources:

Relocation Hire US and Canada: AutoDriveaway

VW Campervan hire UK and Europe: Camperbug

Car Hire worldwide: HolidayCarsDirect

Car Rental Insurance

If you are going to hire a car, camper, or van, you really must take out car rental insurance, even if the car hire company has it’s own policy (which incidentally will not offer the cover you really need). Car rental insurance from WorldwideInsure.com not only insures for the excess on damage, but the deluxe covers the car for total loss up to £50,000, similar to a CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) policy. Please note that Third Party Liability Insurance is not included in this policy.

Travel Insurance

Car hire insurance doesn’t cover everything you need for going on a road trip – cancelled ferries or trains, lost luggage, illness, injury or repatriation all need separate cover even if you are in a hire car. Make sure you have the right insurance for your needs with our flexible and affordable travel insurance options that can be tailored to suit you.

Car Insurance and Breakdown Cover

If you are taking your own vehicle, you need to make sure that your motor insurance covers you for driving abroad, and that your breakdown cover includes overseas recovery. You may want to check exactly what happens if you do have an accident or your vehicle breaks down – some policies may not automatically include a replacement hire car, or cover the costs of shipping your vehicle back separately.

Where To Sleep On A Road Trip

Image by MemoryCatcher CC0.

Image by MemoryCatcher CC0.

Purists would say that to truly experience a road trip, you should be living, eating and sleeping in your transport of choice – but that isn’t always practical. Here are the pros and cons of travel and sleeping arrangements…

Camper van: Travelling in a camper offers the most freedom in the easiest package, everything you need is with you in one easy to drive and easy to park vehicle, and it doesn’t matter if your plans change as you probably haven’t booked to be anywhere for a specific time. You can park up in a layby or beauty spot for free, or spend the night in a campsite if you choose – a nice option if a hot shower is needed!

Caravan: A slightly cumbersome way to tackle a road trip as it’s not as easy to just park up wherever you fancy. Chances are you have more space and home comforts than in a van, plus if you decide to spend a bit of time in one place, you have the freedom of taking your car off to explore the local area. Towing a caravan takes quite a bit of fuel too, so you’ll need to budget for this.

Tent: This is the space saving option. Driving about in a car is cheaper and easier than in a van, or towing a caravan, and with a tent you still have the freedom to pitch wherever you fancy, or take your tent to a campsite. It is a bit of a hassle packing up your pitch each and every night, but the money-saving perks might be worth it.

Hotel: A luxurious way to finish off a day driving, and an almost guaranteed nights rest. Big plus point is that you don’t have to lug a second home around, but this is definitely a pricey option that fuel savings don’t make up for. Also, hotels generally need to be booked in advance, which takes away many spontaneous opportunities.

Airbnb: A cheaper way to have the luxury of staying in a hotel. Airbnb is hugely popular as you have the freedom to treat the accommodation as your own and it is more like a home from home. As with hotels, you may lose money if travels don’t go according to plan, or have to kip in your car if you plan to find somewhere on the fly.

Couchsurfing: The free way to find a decent bed for the night and you may find that hosts are more accommodating if you are early or late even if it is by a day or two! Couchsurfing is a great community and definitely more open to the impact adventures can have on schedules.

Don’t Make These Road Trip Mistakes!

  • Don’t drive an unreliable vehicle – you don’t want to spend your road trip in a layby.
  • Don’t travel with people you don’t get on with – arguments don’t make the right kind of road trip memories. Avoid people that you find boring too.
  • Don’t drive when you need to rest – just because it is a road trip, it doesn’t mean you need to drive 24/7. Stop regularly, and get a good sleep every night for your own safety, and everyone else’s.
  • Don’t rely solely on sat nav – pack an old fashioned paper map too. Not only can sat navs be wrong, you don’t want lack of signal or power to scupper your pathfinding powers!
  • Don’t pick the fastest route – unless all you want to see is tarmac. Go the scenic way, detouring and stopping off at beauty spots and places of interest.

How To Budget For A Road Trip

Image by Unsplash CC0

You wouldn’t want to run out of money for fuel with views like this ahead! Image by Unsplash CC0

Fuel is the obvious cost of a road trip, so do your research and find out the fuel prices in all the places you plan to pass through. Once you have this, work out the average price per gallon, and hopefully you already know how many gallons you can fit in a tank and know how far a tank of fuel will get you – if you are driving your own vehicle anyway! Next calculate the distance you’ll be travelling, and add an extra 50 miles or so per day just to be on the safe side.

DON’T FORGET TO BUDGET FOR TOLLS! In some countries, the cost of travelling on toll roads can really add up. Check your route carefully as you travel. And always consider taking an alternative toll-free option.

Make your fuel go further with these fuel-saving tips:

  • Have your vehicle serviced before your trip
  • Fill up with fresh oil
  • Keep your tires at the right pressure
  • Keep your speed down and your driving style relaxed
  • Keep your load as light as possible
  • Have a good navigator so you don’t waste fuel on getting lost!

Unless you plan to wild camp, you need to factor in the cost of accommodation, even if it is just a campsite for a night. Even if you think you’ll do the duration without needing to arrange accommodation – allow a little for a luxurious night somewhere – either for a good night’s rest or just the lovely shower!

Food is the other big cost to budget for, allow a little for a few meals out, and have a basic daily budget for supermarket essentials.

Don’t forget that you’ll probably want to do a few fun things too. Although a road trip is often about the scenic views and visiting cool places, no doubt there’ll be the odd occasion where you’ll need to pay an entry fee to an attraction.

Know The Rules of The Road

Motor retailer Lookers share some tips on planning a road trip abroad….

“The rules of the road can differ a lot from country to country, so you need to do a lot of research before you set off. It’s also a good idea to double-check the appropriate driving laws during your journey before you cross any borders. This way, you’ll be less likely to encounter any problems and your journey will go a lot smoother.

Certain European countries’ driving regulations are particularly different to the UK’s. In France, for example, drivers are required to carry a breathalyser. Also, if you wear glasses and are planning to drive through Spain, you must have a spare pair with you while you’re travelling.

In Germany, it’s illegal to drive without winter tyres at certain times of the year and it’s illegal to pick up hitchhikers in Russia. Additionally, driving a dirty vehicle is against the law in Belarus, so you must keep your vehicle clean if your journey takes you that way.

These are just some of the regulations you might come up against during your trip and, while they might seem extreme or bizarre, they’re in place for a reason. If you respect and abide by the rules set out by every country you visit, you’ll have a much easier time, so it’s worth doing the research.”

What To Pack for a Road Trip

Just Put It Up Top by Christoph Rupprecht

Just Put It Up Top by Christoph Rupprecht CC2.0

So this list will vary depending on whether you are camping, “camper”ing or stopping off at nice hotels. To keep it simple we have included essential on-the road equipment that everyone will need, especially in the event you break down somewhere remote, and a few items that caught our eye that will make living life on the road that little bit more luxurious! Just don’t forget your toothbrush and other holiday essentials – check out our Zen of Packing blog for some helpful hints!

Four Essential Things You Need For A Road Trip With The Kids

Road trips can be a lot of fun when your kids come along for the ride. You can spend hours singing along to all your favourite songs, playing car games and enjoying quality time as a family. Although, if you run out of ideas and your children get bored, things could take a turn for the worse and you might be faced with bad moods and tantrums.

Putting together a ‘road trip kit’ will help you to keep your entire family entertained on long journeys. Here are some essentials to take on the adventure!

1. Food and Drink

If you’re planning a particularly lengthy trip, buying food from service stations along the way will get pretty pricey. Instead, pack a range of healthy food and drink into a practical carrier, like the Sakura 12v plug-in cooler bag from DriveDen. This will save you money and ensure that all of your snacks stay fresh for longer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Electronics

Of course, you won’t want your kids to travel the entire way with their heads down and eyes glued to the screen of a portable DVD player or tablet. However, if they’re used to playing with these gadgets at home, they’re likely to come in handy when you’ve settled into the journey and the boredom starts to set in. Tech Advisor has put together a list of the 48 best free and cheap apps for kids, toddlers and teens perfect for pre-loading on mobile devices.

3. Activities

When you’re bored of playing ‘I Spy’ and your kids’ electronics have run out of charge, you’ll be glad to have brought some old-fashioned activity supplies with you. Pen, paper, activity books and even a whiteboard with dry-wipe markers will help to keep your kids entertained along the way.

4. Travel pillows

Long road trips can be tiring, and pillows are important for when the need to nap strikes. Young children in particular are more likely to snuggle down for longer with a fun and colourful travel pillow. Not only does it provide the right support for a good rest, but it doubles up as a cuddly toy too!

Extra cute and cuddly Kids Travel Pillow from Go Travel

Bon Voyage!

We’ve written oodles of travel advice over the years, so thought we’d share a few choice blogs that might help you plan your perfect road trip! In the meantime – happy planning, happy driving, and here’s wishing you an adventure of a lifetime wherever the road takes you!

50 Tips For First-Time Travellers

30 Ways To Use A Sarong – Essential Advice For Travellers

Best Packing App for 2016

The Zen of Packing

Travel Health and Safety – Have You Packed These?

Image by Unsplash CC0

Image by Unsplash CC0

How To Book A Holiday And Not Lose Money

In the unfortunate event that one of the companies involved in your holiday goes bust, you’ll want to be sure that you can get your money back. To help you understand what to do to make sure your holiday is financially protected, we’ve busted some jargon on your behalf.

If You Are Getting A Flight, Make Sure Your Travel Is ATOL Protected

We’ve all heard of this, but do many holidaymakers really know what it means? ATOL stands for Air Travel Organisers Licencing and it offers financial protection for those who are travelling by air. All UK companies selling air travel must have an ATOL certificate.

If the company goes into administration before you travel, you’ll get your money back. If you are already travelling, you can finish your holiday and get home at no extra cost. If the company is not ATOL protected, there’s no guarantee you’ll get your hard earned cash back.

Use An ABTA Travel Agent

Members of ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) are bound by a code of conduct and therefore much more likely to act responsibly if a link in the chain fails. However, don’t take the ABTA stamp as a definite when it comes to financial protection, always ask your agent the big question… “Will I be refunded if the airline, hotel, cruise company… goes into administration?”

Book A Package Holiday With An ABTA Agent

Package holidays booked via an ABTA agent are automatically financially protected.

Get Travel Insurance That Covers Companies Going Bust

Not all travel insurance providers policies this type of cover, so make sure you call yours and get the cover you are looking for. Remember to tell them about all operators – airlines, hotels, hire cars etc. WorldwideInsure.com are regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority), a member of BIBA (British Insurance Brokers Association), and highly rated on Trustpilot.

Pay By Credit Card

If you pay for your holiday on your credit card and the company or one of the companies goes under, you are covered by section 75 of consumer credit act, and can claim via your credit card company. This is because under Section 75, the credit card company is liable, along with the operator, for any breach of contract by the company that has gone into administration. It is worth noting that you can make a claim via your credit card provider as well as directly with the company at the same time. You will obviously only get one refund though!

 

Trippeo App Review – Travel App of the Month May 2016

Trippeo LOGO – Travel App of the Month May 2016Just two weeks ago we focussed on smart travel tips for business trips, and mentioned that apps were just one way to reduce stress while travelling overseas for work. This inspired us to find the BEST app for business travel – and we found Trippeo!

What is Trippeo?

Trippeo is a mobile-first approach to booking business travel and tracking expenses – automatically! What makes it really great is that it is aimed at company level, so a business can subscribe, and all of their mobile workforce can use the same platform to keep track of itineraries and costs.

What does Trippeo do?

Primarily it offers expense management and travel booking, but its power comes from being customisable and flexible whilst maintaining a solid central admin base. It also has many corporate perks, such as guaranteed lowest flight prices, frequent flyer points, and even personal concierge services.

  • Centralised Administration
  • Supports 150 currencies and taxes
  • Automated Controls and Compliance
  • Fully Customisable and Flexible
  • Integrated Accounting with Quickbooks etc
  • Automatic Expense Reimbursements
  • Photo Receipt Logging
  • Credit Card Sync
  • Auto Email Receipt Logging

Business Travel Savings

  • Pre-negotiated flight rates
  • Frequent Flyer Program
  • Personal Travel Concierge

Corporate Travel Management

  • Autonomy policy control
  • Set Preferred vendors
  • Set and switch company controls

Trippeo is available worldwide for Small Businesses (less than 50 people) and Enterprises (50+ employees) for a small monthly fee. Find out more at Trippeo.com

Need travel insurance for your next business trip? Get an online quote at WorldwideInsure.com or call 01892 833338 to speak to a member of the WorldwideInsure.com team.

Temporary Work Abroad – Essential Info, Tips and Advice

 

Buffalo Image by Conservation Africa

Image by Conservation Africa courtesy of Gapwork.com

If you fancy a long-term change of scenery but don’t have the funds to travel the world for a whole year, you could always work overseas instead. Working whilst travelling is totally possible, and incredibly enjoyable – all it takes is a little planning…

How long is temporary?

The length of time a UK resident can work abroad is about the same length as a piece of string – it varies! It can depend on the type of work you are doing as well as the country you are doing it in, but generally speaking, anything under a year is temporary. You should make sure you check what your travel insurance provider thinks though.

“An Australia Working Holiday Visa lasts for up to a year, so anything within this period would count as temporary.” David Owen, Gapyear.com

Some travel insurance policies place restrictions on the period of time a person spends in any one place so this can be a problem if someone has a work placement overseas.  WorldwideInsure.com don’t place this type of restriction so long as the person travelling is on a temporary contract and returning to the UK at the end of the trip.

Deciding where to go and what to do

Chances are you either have your heart set on a specific destination and don’t mind what work you do there, or you know exactly what you want to do and don’t mind where you do it. If you are totally undecided, then it may be worth taking a look at what jobs are available on the many websites dedicated to advertising work overseas, such as Season Workers which covers a wide range of jobs in different sectors, Natives which focuses on jobs at ski and snowboard resorts, or E4s, which is a site dedicated to student jobs.

Ski image by EA Ski

Image by EA Ski courtesy of Gapwork.com

10 best places to work abroad

  1. New Zealand – It comes top in quality of life surveys.
  2. Singapore – Very clean, very low crime, English is an official language.
  3. Switzerland – Low taxes and high quality living.
  4. China – Low living costs, excellent place for TEFL.
  5. Hong Kong – A great place for foreigners to feel at home.
  6. India – Money goes a long way here, and the jobs market is really opening up.
  7. Ecuador – Low cost of living and very pleasant weather.
  8. Thailand – Low cost of living, beautiful scenery, perfect place to teach English.
  9. Belize – Locals speak English, every pound goes a lot further than in the UK. 

Going solo or go with a season worker specialist?

There are specialist websites that are chock-a-block with information and advice about arranging your own temporary work or gap year. Gapwork.com is one such resource, with plenty of independent information on all options available. You can search by job or destination, and there are plenty of helpful planning resources.

If taking it all on sounds too daunting, which it might if this is your first time working abroad, you’ll probably enjoy the peace of mind you’ll get from a programme provider such as Gapyear.com. They can help with all the planning involved in a trip and handle all the booking, which is especially important if you are travelling to a few locations. The main advantage of going through a company like Gapyear.com is knowing that everything will be in place, as described, when you arrive, as the programmes will be regulated and travel providers thoroughly vetted! They are also on hand if you need to call someone for help or advice.

Get a job first – or wing it?

If you really like flying by the seat of your pants, you could head off on your extended holiday, and worry about the job (and sorting the visa) later, but be warned – arranging a working visa on the move could be difficult. On that note…

Visas

Different countries have different visa requirements, so do your research first!

Don’t be tempted to work on your holiday visa, even if you find work with someone who will overlook the fact you don’t have the right visa – if discovered, you could be fined, prosecuted, deported and may even be barred from re-entering that country. There could be harsh consequences for your employer too!

The only way you could work abroad on a holiday visa is if you are a Digital Nomad and all your clients are in the UK paying into your UK bank account. Novelist Adam Sprode has been working as a freelance blogger whilst travelling for the last few years. “I write for a few UK clients, which keeps me in food and beer, and pays for a roof over my head without having to work full time. This leaves plenty of hours to appreciate the country I am in, and also work on my next novel.”

The only solid answer to visa questions is to ALWAYS CHECK THE VISA SITUATION BEFORE YOU TRAVEL! Check out this visa planner from Gapyear.com for starters.

Image of passport and visa by Passport Pages by Jon Rawlinson

Passport Pages by Jon Rawlinson CC BY 2.0

 

5 most difficult places to get a visa

  1. North Korea – Tourists from many countries will find entry difficult. Even if you can get in, you will quite likely have a “guide” watching your every move.
  2. Russia – A long process that also requires that you be invited to stay. Warning: leaving the country if your visa has expired could be even more difficult!
  3. Democratic Republic of Congo – Dogged by red tape, and unofficial fees it is a lengthy process to get into this very dangerous part of the world.
  4. Saudi Arabia – At certain times of year non-Muslims face lots of questions on why they are travelling. Women be warned… lone females must be met by a sponsor or male relative.
  5. USA – You’ll find it nigh-on impossible to get a visa if you have a criminal record of any sort. If you’ve been convicted of a drug-related offence, then this country is a no-go. 

Selling or storage?

Unless you live at home with your parents, you are going to have to do something with your belongings. Your choices are:

  • Keep them where they are – easy, but expensive, and maybe risky too.
  • Sell them all it’s only “stuff” – essential if you need to fund your travels until you start work.
  • Sell some and store some – the most likely option.
  • Take everything with you – really only suitable if you are relocating.

If you own your own home, you probably don’t want to leave personal belongings either unattended, or with someone you don’t know renting your property, and if you are renting, it is actually more cost effective to put your things into storage.

“If you’re going to be out the country for a significant amount of time, it doesn’t make sense to keep paying rent; a self storage unit is by far the cheaper – and safer – option, starting from just £15 a week. Sue Bailey, director Easy Access Self Storage

But what about the things you need? Whilst backpacking is a great experience, some people setting off to work overseas want to take their belongings with them, in fact, depending on what they plan to do overseas, they may need to take some big things with them…..

 Shipping possessions by sea and air

Yoga teachers with bags of bricks and mats, musicians with multiple instruments, gamers with precious technology, snowboarders and skiers with erm, snowboards and skis – sometimes there are big things that need transporting that just won’t fit in a suitcase! We spoke with International removal expert Pickfords to find out when you should ship your stuff by air, and when you should ship by sea… 

“Firstly, send the bulk of your big and heavy items, such as furniture, by sea, this is by far the cheaper option, but also slower. If you have any hobbies that require large equipment such as musical instruments or skiing or snowboarding apparatus, send these by sea as well, alongside items like televisions and games consoles. These items will be loaded and sealed into a metal container (which is large enough to transport the contents of a three-bedroom house) and then delivered directly to the port.

For items that you’re going to need closer to hand, arrange an airfreight, which offers a much faster transit time. Airfreight is charged per kilo and is a lot more expensive than sea freight, but ensures essential items will get to you exactly when you need them, making it perfect for items that you’ll struggle to do without. It would be incredibly expensive to send all of your belongings via airfreight, but it’s perfect for the items you need.”

Working abroad image by Raleigh International

Image by Raleigh International courtesy of Gapwork.com

Travel insurance

If you are planning to work while you are overseas, you must make sure that your insurance policy allows it, as some policies exclude working altogether. WorldwideInsure.com’s Longstay Travel Insurance covers business trips and working abroad on a temporary contract, however the Standard policy does not. The Longstay option can also be purchased while travelling if you discover that yours has run out!

Knowing which policies cover working and which don’t is especially important if you are comparing different policies on the market. You should also take note what type of work is covered. For example, while most types of work are covered in a WorldwideInsure.com Longstay policy, some manual* work is not.

We do however cover some manual work** that travellers commonly take up such as:

  • Fruit picking
  • Bar work
  • Waiting
  • Catering
  • Singing
  • Playing in a band
  • Supervised conservation work
  • Voluntary labouring
  • Supervised animal sanctuary work

(Please see information below or call 01892 833338 for specific details.)

 gap year image by Raleigh International

Image by Raleigh International courtesy of Gapwork.com

Bank accounts

Not the most exciting aspect of planning a mega-trip abroad, but definitely important – should you open a local bank account, or should wages be paid into a UK account? Well, if you are paid in the local currency and it goes to a UK account, you will be charged an exchange rate, which isn’t the savviest of money-saving ideas.

“Some work placements will require you to have a local bank for payments. You will need a letter from your employer to be able to open one as well as all-essential passport and visa paperwork.” Linsey MacLeod, Gapwork.com

A local bank account for some jobs however is mandatory, so make sure you speak with your job provider – many working holidays come complete with help setting up a local account anyway. You should also have a chat with your UK bank, they may offer international bank accounts.

 “There are some jobs, such as bar work, that might be paid cash in hand, but these are increasingly rare and a traveller shouldn’t rely on that!” David Owen, Gapyear.com

What about taxes?

As if the bank stuff wasn’t boring enough eh? But really, you don’t want to mess with the tax man! As you are overseas temporarily, you will still be classed as a UK resident, so will be liable to pay tax. You may also find that you are taxed on your earnings in the country in which you are working.

Yowch!

Don’t worry, travellers can usually claim tax relief and make sure they aren’t taxed on the same income twice. The trusty Gov.UK website has lots of information, however if the whole thing gives you a bit of a headache, you can turn to the services of a dedicated financial advisor such as taxsafe.uk.com who specialise in offering tax advice for Britons working abroad.

Image of Koh Tao Thailand

Koh Tao Thailand by Nick Kenrick CC BY 2.0

Don’t forget the spirit of adventure!

Whichever way takes you in your chosen direction, it is what you get up to and how you get up to it when you are out there that counts. Ok, you are going abroad to work, but that doesn’t mean you should forget to have an adventure, as these wise words from travel writer Lloyd Figgins reminds us…

“I’ve been fortunate enough to live and work overseas for much of my life and had so many positive experiences. That’s partly because I have embraced my time living in a new country and made a point of getting off the beaten track, rather than simply becoming part of the local ex-pat community. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but the rewards of immersing yourself in a culture can open doors, which might otherwise remain closed. I’ve had coffee with elders in a remote village on the top of a mountain in Oman, joined a dawn bush walk with tribesmen in Kenya and was even the guest of honour at a wedding in Uzbekistan. Get out there and discover your environment, but do it safely. Do your research, prepare well and always make sure you let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to be back.”

 Lloyd Figgins is an international expert in travel safety and author of Looking for Lemons, £9.99 available from Amazon.  

Looking for Lemons Cover Image

Ready to take the next step and get your travel insurance sorted? Get an online quote at WorldwideInsure.com or give one of our team a call on 01892 833338.

 

******

The small print…

* Manual work means work that involves;

  1. hands-on use, installation, assembly, maintenance or repair of electrical, mechanical or hydraulic plant, heavy power tools and industrial machinery, and
  2. hands-on electrical and construction work or work above two storeys or 3 metres above ground level (whichever is the lower), building sites, any occupation involving heavy lifting;

**The exclusion of manual work does not apply to work that is:

  1. purely managerial /supervisory, sales or administrative capacity;
  2. bar, restaurant and catering trade staff, musicians and singer;

iii. Fruit pickers (who do not use heavy machinery), casual light work, light agricultural work; supervised conservation work, voluntary charity work labour where there is no financial gain; in such circumstances there will be no cover for hands-on involvement with the installation, assembly, maintenance, repair or use of electrical, mechanical or hydraulic plant, heavy power tools and industrial machinery, or work above two storeys or 3 metres above ground level (whichever is the lower).

  1. supervised animal sanctuary work but no cover can be provided in relation to any interaction with dangerous wild animals such as lions, tigers or big cats of any kind.

 

 

 

Travel Insurance Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make

Early morning departure from Halifax by RicLaf CC 2.0

Holidays should be fun, but sometimes things don’t always go to plan. Should your travel plans take a turn for the worst, you want to be sure that you haven’t done any of the following!

Deciding you don’t need travel insurance

Last year 581,000 travel insurance claims were made by Brits abroad. The total paid out by travel insurance companies to help those travellers in need was £370million!*

Thinking a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) provides free healthcare

An EHIC allows travellers to access the same level of care that the locals get – which may not be free! If you don’t have separate insurance you might find that fixing a broken leg in Spain is more costly than your entire holiday.

Not disclosing existing medical conditions

You may not think your previous illnesses or conditions are relevant, but your insurer might. If you have a fall abroad and the underwriters decide that it was caused by low blood pressure linked to an undisclosed medical condition, you might find that your insurance is invalidated.

Not checking your details are correct

Name, address, dates of birth, dates of travel…. All these details need to be correct or once again your insurance could be invalidated. Make sure you check your paperwork and contact your insurer immediately if any details are wrong.

Failing to get sports cover for skiing, climbing, snowboarding, rafting, sharkdiving, paragliding….

No two travel insurers are the same, and while many things may be included as standard on a policy, you can be sure that sporting activities are not. This is easily sorted though, just let them know what kind of activities you are likely to be doing and these may be able to be added to your policy.

Getting drunk and doing something stupid then trying to claim on your insurance

If you have been drinking or taking drugs and you have an accident (or lose your belongings) because you are not compos mentis you aren’t going to be covered by your travel insurance. If an incident happens where the fact you have had a couple of drinks is not actually a factor, then you may still be able to make a claim.

Don’t get caught out when you next travel – call the team at WorlwideInsure.com on 01892 833338 to get the right travel insurance for your holiday!

 

*Source

Top 10 Adrenaline Fuelled Activities For Your Bucketlist

Looking for a way to put the excitement back into your out of office adventures? You won’t go far wrong with these extreme sports and activities on your bucketlist – as long as you have a head for heights and frights! 

1: White Water Rafting 

White Water Rafting in California. Image by Kaydin Carlsen CC by 2.0

2: Via Ferrata

Via Ferrata Image courtesy of honister.com

3: Sandboarding

Sandboarding in Namibia. Image by Luke Price CC by 2.0

4: Canyoning

Canyoning in Utah. Image by Cyril Bele CC by 2.0

5: Bungee Jumping

Bungee Jumping in Switzerland. Image by Alan Light CC by 2.0

6: Ice Hiking

 

Ice Hiking “Wolverine”, Helmcken Falls Spray Cave in British Columbia, Canada. Will Gadd and Brit Tim Emmett discover a new universe of ice climbing where a 500 foot waterfall sprays the underside of a gargantuan cave with fantastical ice formations.

7: Skydiving

Skydiving. Image by Philip Leara CC0 1.0

8: Zero Gravity Flight

Zero Gravity Flight in the USA. Image by Steve Jurvetson CC by 2.0 

9: Bull Riding

Bull Riding in California. Image by Peasap CC by 2.0

10: Shark Diving

Shark Cage Diving in Hermanus. Image by Hermanus Backpackers CC by 2.0

GET SPORTS TRAVEL INSURANCE! We cover loads of activities including Shark Diving, Via Ferrata, Dude Ranching, Canyoning, Sandboarding, White Water Rafting, and Bungee Jumping in the UK and overseas. Call 01892 833338 if you’d like to know more, or get an online quote.

 

How To Travel Long Term, And Excuses To Extend Your Stay

Image by Jason Priem CC BY-SA 2.0

Image by Jason Priem CC BY-SA 2.0

Backpacking your way around the world, or at the very least across a continent is on most people’s bucket list – but how do you turn the fantasy into a reality? We share three seemingly simple steps to help make your dreams come true!

1. Find Time

First, you need to find the time to take a long break. Most round the world trips never start because they will always supposedly happen “one day”. You need to choose which day that one day will be. It doesn’t have to be soon, but it should definitely be soon enough to get your pulse racing from excitement! Consider that you will need to save some money, hand your notice in at work, give up your rental, and maybe even sell off some of your belongings… all of which takes time!

2. Save Money

Having given yourself a departure date, you need to plan what you need to save by when to make sure you can fund your trip. It is at this stage you might find that your targets might be difficult to meet, so you might need to take drastic action to protect your finances:

  • Sell belongings
  • Take a second job
  • Move back home/get a roommate
  • Stop going out

3. Commit To A Plan

The first step may be the hardest, but without taking it you won’t get anywhere! So you need to book your first place to stay. Some people plan an entire trip before they leave, others just book a room ready for their arrival and take it from there. Either way, buy the ticket so you can’t back out.

Hooked on backpacking and don’t want to go home?

Once you are on the road less travelled, or a well-worn path of international interest, chances are you won’t want to hurry home. If you are coming to the end of your journey and want to stay longer, you can extend your travel insurance, even while you are still travelling. That just leaves telling family, friends and colleagues that you won’t be home as soon as you thought. Here are some almost plausible reasons you could give for extending your stay abroad…

  • I am still working on my tan.
  • My backpack broke so I can’t get my stuff on the plane.
  • I am only half way through my bucket list.
  • I still have some sunscreen left, and I don’t want to waste it.
  • A camel ate my map, and now I can’t find my way to the airport.

We provide longstay travel insurance for trips from 3 to 18 months, with option for extending travel insurance while you are still abroad. Call 01892 833338 if you’d like to know more, or get an online quote.