Category Archives: 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 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. 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

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

Temporary Work Abroad – Essential Info, Tips and Advice


Buffalo Image by Conservation Africa

Image by Conservation Africa courtesy of

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,

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. 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

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. 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 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 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…


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 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

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.’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 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

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,

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,

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.


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 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 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 on 01892 833338 to get the right travel insurance for your holiday!



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

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.

Top Tips For The Mature Solo Traveller


Travel Tips for Mature Solo Travellers

Courtesy of

If you are single, over 50, and want to travel the world, you will love these essential tips, guaranteed to ease the anxieties of travelling alone, and make your holiday more enjoyable! 

Spend Wisely

Travel off-peak when it is cheaper, but also be mindful of seasonal and extreme weather conditions for your own comfort and safety – you don’t want to get a cheap deal because you’re travelling during the monsoon for example!

Solo travellers should be aware of single rooms supplements – consider booking through a dedicated solo travellers website to make sure you aren’t paying over the odds just because you aren’t sharing your room!

Travel Lightly

Only take a few items with a view to doing washing while you are away, that way you can take a smaller bag. Using a suitcase with wheels will make lugging your luggage around much easier. A top tip from seasoned travellers is to invest in a luggage set so your hand luggage attaches to your suitcase making it easier to manoeuvre.

Stay Safe

Leave essential travel details with someone back home – insurance details, passport number etc. in case your property gets lost or stolen. Another good precaution is to take a pre-paid money card to avoid carrying too much cash with you. You should also make a note of the local emergency numbers and key phrases in the local lingo. Final safety tip: Update friends or relatives with your itinerary so they know where you planned to go should they worry about your whereabouts.

Don’t Ignore Health Issues

If you need medication, be sure to pack enough for the whole holiday and keep them in original packets to go through customs. It is wise to make a note of your medication’s generic name in case you need more while you are away. Other things to consider could be: backup batteries for hearing aids, a spare set of glasses. If you have mobility issues, notify your airline, cruise or tour operator well ahead of your travel date.

Work On Your Wellness

Stay hydrated to boost your energy levels and take regular short walks to aid circulation.If you are flying to your destination wear compression flight socks to reduce risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).

Is Accessibility An Issue?

Assess the accessibility of your accommodation – would steps be a problem, is it at the top of a hill? You should also consider the accessibility of the location – if you are out of town are you close to public transport? Another point to consider would be to tell a car hire company your age before you arrive in case they have limits. You could also consider staying at a resort that has everything you need to hand.

 Get The Right Insurance

Check that you have adequate travel insurance, as if you are over a certain age there may be limitations on standard policies, and age-related conditions may need specific cover. You should also make sure you understand what pre-existing conditions your insurer needs to be aware of. We actually specialise in offering holiday insurance for travellers with pre-existing medical conditions, and for the more mature traveller!

Travel With Other Mature Solo Travellers

No matter how mature you are, travelling solo can be a daunting experience, but it is in fact dining alone that causes the greatest anxiety. If this sounds familiar, consider booking a holiday where you can choose to socialise with other solo travellers without the fear of ending up on a dating-style “singles holiday”. Friendship Travel provide group dining in the evening, offering holidaymakers the feeling of safety, security and company alongside the freedom to be as sociable (or not) as you choose. One package that would appeal to the older solo traveller this summer is in Tsilivi, north of Zante town:

Friendship Travel has virtually exclusive use of a small hotel just 100 metres from the beach. Facilities include a swimming pool, bar and restaurant and a stroll of around 10 minutes leads to the heart of the resort. A seven-night holiday costs from £595 to £735 per person inclusive of return Gatwick flights, transfers, accommodation with breakfast, five evening meals, sole occupancy of a twin room and services of a Friendship Travel host. To find out more call Friendship Travel Reservations on: 0871 200 2035.


Heli Skiing – Exposing The Thrill For First-Timers

Southern Lakes Heliski

Courtesy of

If you like living life on the wilder side, chances are heli skiing is on your list of Awesome Travel Adventures, and if it’s not – it should be! We caught up with a couple of heli ski operators to find out more about the tantalising temptation of pure powder.

What the Heli ski?

Heli skiing is pretty self-explanatory, it involves a helicopter and skiing. Contrary to many people’s ideas, you do not take to the slopes by jumping out of a helicopter (a la 007), the helicopter takes you to some of the best untouched powder snow out there, and lands safely to let you out. Heli skiing isn’t an extreme sport, just for daredevils or stunt skiers – it’s suitable for strong intermediate to expert powder riders, and there are even some heli skiing operations that are well suited to first timers.

Harris Mountains Heli Skiing

Harris Mountains Heli Skiing Courtesy of

How good do you need to be to heli ski?

If you’ve never tried skiing, you’ll definitely need to get a bit of experience under your belt to take on heli skiing. At a minimum riders should be able to ride a red run in any condition at a ski resort, although some operators say that experience on an ungroomed black run at a ski resort and feeling comfortable on tree runs is the best place to be before trying it out. If you aren’t sure, you could always take a soft approach by booking a day heli skiing as part of your wider ski holiday. Day heli skiing is a convenient and a relatively low cost introduction. Be warned – this teaser is likely to leave you wanting more!

“Heli skiing is for those who love skiing or boarding powder but are tired of the tracked out slopes at the ski resorts.” Lyndell Keating, Powderhounds

Get fit to get the most out of it!

A pre-season fitness regime focusing on legs and lungs will add to your heli skiing enjoyment, because guess what – if you are a powder virgin, you are going to find taking on the deep stuff pretty tiring! When you get there, and the conditions are perfect, nothing will be more frustrating than your body preventing you from making the most of an adventure you have spent years dreaming about.

Southern Lakes Heliski

Southern Lakes Heliski Courtesy of

When and where to go

The heli ski season varies significantly depending on where you want to go. For Canada and the lower 48 of the US, the peak heli ski season is February, with operations generally running from December to early April. The main Alaskan heli skiing season is March to April, when there are adequate daylight hours. The New Zealand and South American heli skiing season is from July to September, with the peak season being in August. In Europe, January & February is usually colder, with more fresh powder about, but inclement weather can stop play. March and April on the other hand tends to have more ‘bluebird’ days and the alpine terrain is generally more accessible.

An adventure worthy of a bucketlist?

We believe so!  Heli skiing should be on every serious skiers bucket list – it is a realistic aspiration that is easy to fulfil. This is what operators Powderhounds and Scott Dunn had to say on the subject…

“Heli skiing or heli boarding should absolutely be on the bucket list of every avid powder hound or adventurous skier or snowboarder. The helicopter rides are amazing in themselves. The spectacular vistas up high in the remote mountains are intoxicating and then the trip down in the virgin powder is often sublime. Heli skiing is the ultimate skiing or boarding experience.” Lyndell Keating, Powderhounds

“There comes a time in every skier’s life when you feel the need to try something new and experience something quite unlike anything you have ever experienced before. The adrenaline starts pumping with the sound of the first thud of the rotor blades and you are whisked off on an exhilarating ride to places where vast fields of beautiful virgin powder lie in wait. Gliding through blankets of pristine powder away from the crowds in the heart of the mountains is something that every skier should experience, at least once.” Kirsty Edwards, Scott Dunn

Harris Mountains Heli Skiing

Harris Mountains Heli Skiing Courtesy of

What are you waiting for? Book it!

Canada, Alaska, US, New Zealand, South America and Japan heli skiing packages from

Heli for First Timers (Canada) from

European heli skiing trips from

Scott Dunn offers a 7 night stay at Chalet Chinchilla in Val d’Isere, France from 1,985 per person based on six sharing and including return British Airways flights, luxury coach transfers, private chef and chalet host. 1 day heliski packages departing from Scott Dunn’s chalets in Val d’Isere start from £360 (€429) per person (based on a private group of four). 


DON’T FORGET YOUR HELI SKI INSURANCE! Extend your wintersports insurance to include heli skiing, and you can go play in the powder knowing that we’ve got you covered should your holiday not go to plan. Call 01892 833338 if you’d like to know more, or visit our homepage to get an online quote.

Christmas in Durban – A South Africa v England Test Match Mini Travel Guide

England’s tour of South Africa takes the Cricket team to Durban for what promises to be a hot and humid Christmas! With the 1st Test, which takes place at Kingsmead Stadium, running from Boxing Day to the 30th December we thought we’d share insider ideas for passing time in this part of the world.

Durban at night. © Image & Design Ian Halsey MMXV

Durban at night. © Image & Design Ian Halsey MMXV CC BY-NC 2.0

 The Beach

For Brits, heading to the beach on Christmas Day is sure to be a surreal experience, more so if you head to a Durban beach as it gets packed with locals during this holiday period. Those in the know suggest avoiding the beaches altogether, but we guess it is horses for courses, and maybe you might enjoy that kinda thing.

Behold: the inevitable cliché by Tyler Yeo

Behold: the inevitable cliché by Tyler Yeo CC BY 2.0

The Food

Most places are closed on Christmas Day, but you can still find a few choice eateries open. The Rainbow Terrace Hilton Restaurant, Cosmopolitan Restaurant and The Oyster Box are all top choices – to discover more about menus and what is available where visit The Durban Food Blog. However you may find places have been booked up way in advance, in which case speak with your accommodation provider who may be able to help you find something less well known, or they may even extend an invite to their own festive celebrations.

The Activities

  • Whale and dolphin watching from Wilson’s Wharf
  • Catamaran trip
  • Scuba diving at the Aliwal Shoal – about an hour drive from Durban
  • Tala Game Reserve – about a half hour drive inland
Durban 2012 - 12 by Brent De Vries

Durban 2012 – 12 by Brent De Vries CC BY-NC 2.0

The Match

Kingsmead Stadium in Durban is home to the Boxing Day test match whenever the Test Series is played in South Africa. In 2015 it runs from Saturday 26th to Wednesday 30th December before cricketing fun moves on to Cape Town. England fans will no doubt have all their fingers crossed as England were beaten 2-0 at home when the two countries last met in a Test series in 2012. For more information about what to expect visit the EBC website. 

Don’t forget your travel insurance!

Whether this is the only trip you’ll make all year, one of many, or you plan to visit Durban while you are already travelling – we have a great value comprehensive travel insurance option for you. Visit to find out more.