Category Archives: Travel Tips

The Worst Holiday Destinations In The World To Visit in June

Ever planned a badly-timed break? Spent your Round The World Trip visiting every destination in the wrong season? If you are thinking of a last-minute getaway this month, you’ll do well to avoid the following locations!

Dubai, UAE

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In June in Dubai it is really really hot, and really really humid, which makes really really hot feel like a bath in a volcano. Basically the seasonal high of 40°C combined with 58% humidity makes it feel like a searing 59°C! That is hotter than the hottest place on earth! If you must go, stick to indoor activities – thankfully quite easy due to the many luxury shopping malls and the world’s largest aquarium.

The Everglades, Florida

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June marks the start of several seasons in the Everglades – The Wet Season, The Hurricane Season and the Mosquito Season, not the most sought after combination on anyone’s travel itinerary! Plus the thunderstorms at this time of year can last for hours, so you’ll find yourself hiding for cover most of the time. FYI, the best months to visit are December to April.

Havana, Cuba

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Hot, wet and very very windy. June in Havana marks the start of the Hurricane Season, and the stats say it will rain on average for half the month. We all know that wind and rain are the number one enemies of enjoying a Cuban cigar, so save your trip for another time, ideally between December and May.

Death Valley National Park, California

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This destination holds the impressive Highest Recorded Temperature In The World title, and guess when it was recorded? Yup, June – a whopping 56.7°C! The previous record of 58°Crecorded atEl Azizia, Libya, and held for around 90 years, was deemed to be inaccurate by as much as 7°C because the measurement was taken over tarmac, not a true representation of the desert terrain.

Don’t forget your travel insurance! A well-chosen policy can help you out when Mother Nature decides to scupper your travel plans. Bad weather can mean cancelled flights, long delays, and in extreme cases the need for replaced belongings and even repatriation! Speak to our travel insurance advisors to make sure you’ve got the cover you reallyneed for your next break!

 

Scorchio! 10 Tanning Tips Sun Seekers Tend To Ignore

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With the holiday season well underway and temperatures soaring in the UK, we thought this list of tips that sun-worshipers tend to ignore would be rather timely.

  1. Wear sunscreen to suit your skin type – never choose anything less than SPF 15.
  2. Make sure your sunscreen provides UVA protection as well as UVB protection.
  3. Apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before exposure to the sun.
  4. Reapply sunscreen regularly, and always after swimming.
  5. Wear clothes that protect from the sun.

Crazy Fact: A regular t-shirt actually offers less protection than an SPF 15 sunscreen. Choose clothes that are tightly woven, or have been given a dedicated SPF rating – especially for children!

  1. Stay out of the direct sun between 11am and 3pm when it’s at its strongest, or at least limit your time exposed during these times.
  2. Wear sunglasses to prevent cataracts caused by sun damage – make sure they have a protection rating.
  3. Buy a new sunscreen at the start of each season, its shelf life is reduced when exposed to hot temperatures.
  4. Apply sunscreen even on a cloudy day or when sitting in the shade. The rays are still strong and can damage your skin.
  5. Check the SPF of your cosmetics, if it is less than 15, or has no SPF at all, use with sunscreen.

Top Tip: Get on the fake tan, but don’t be fooled into thinking your skin is protected because it is darker! How long you can stay in the sun isn’t actually determined by how dark your skin is; it is down to your skin type. So, a person who is classed as Type I (very fair) who has darker skin is just as vulnerable to the effects of UV damage as they are without a tan.

 

Vegan Travel Tips – Easy Ways To Keep To Your Plant Based Diet Abroad

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In the UK we are pretty blessed when it comes to eateries understanding “specialist dietary requirements”, but in some places around the world it is harder to get the importance across. Here are some top tips for ensuring your plant-based diet isn’t compromised!

Learn the lingo for the things you want to avoid. It is easier to get a straight answer about the vegan-ness of the food if you ask directly whether it has butter, milk, honey, or egg etc. in.

Say that you have an allergy to the ingredients you want to avoid. In some places dietary choices aren’t given as much respect as they are in the UK, saying you have an allergy, to dairy for example, should ensure your meal is free from animal products.

Tell your host about your vegan diet. You are more likely to bag yourself easy vegan alternatives if you give the hotel or guesthouse a heads up about what you can and can’t eat in advance. Leave it until check in and you might have to go hungry.

Stock up on your own vegan essentials such as milk and spread. If your hotel or guesthouse is somewhat lacking on vegan alternatives, ask them if they can keep your supplies to hand in the kitchen. This way you can be sure you’ll be able to start your day with a vegan-friendly breakfast.

Go online to find vegan restaurants at your destination. Websites such as happycow.net have user-rated recommendations for vegan-friendly eateries all over the world.

Carry vegan condiments and snacks at all times. Whether it is a bottle of soy sauce to stop the street vendor plastering fish sauce on your noodles, or a vegan power bar for when you just can’t find anywhere to accommodate your diet, having your own supplies will prevent you getting “hangry” on holiday!

Choose vegan-friendly accommodation. There are lots of retreats, hostels, and hotels that cater for vegans, or you could choose to couchsurf with a vegan host. As well as ensuring your diet stays clean, you’ll also know that the complimentary toiletries are vegan-friendly and you won’t be confronted with animal-hide furnishings or décor.

The Zen of Travelling

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Philosophical musings for enjoying far-flung adventures.

Live In The Moment

Thinking about life after the big trip, whether that be the internship, your next job, or simply “aaaaarrrrggghhhh, what am I going to do for money?” will definitely put a dampener on your travels. So much so in fact, that you might miss all the things you wanted to go on the trip for. Instead, learn to be present, learn to just be.

How to do it? Taking up the practice of meditation or mindful breathing is a great way to rein wandering thoughts in and get back in the moment!

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

Getting anxious, fraught, or upset by minor setbacks, changes of plans, inconveniencies, or mishaps is going to turn your trip of a lifetime into a stress-pit! Stuff happens, and unless it is putting your physical, mental or emotional health and safety on the line, just let it go, save your sweat for real problems!

How to do it? Ask yourself, “Will this matter tomorrow? ”If it’s something small, this should put the incident into perspective.

TIP: If you like the idea of not having to sweat the big stuff either – do make sure you have travel insurance that suits your trip. It can help if you are ill, lose your belongings or have them stolen, find that your flights have been cancelled, and even if you take a nasty tumble during some daredevil adventure!

Employ The F**k It Philosophy

Yes, it is a real thing, there are courses and retreats and all sorts to help people embrace the notion of “F**k It”. There are two basic ways one can employ this method. Either “F**k it, I’m doing it!” with gung-ho enthusiasm, or “F**k it, I don’t need to do it!”, with a laid back assurance that the world will be just fine if you don’t.

How to do it? Approach every opportunity with openness and curiosity rather than caution and resistance. Take a moment to tune in and really feel which “F**k It” is appropriate to you.

Don’t Buy Stuff, Do Stuff

Chances are that your decision to go on a globetrotting adventure was to experience “stuff” and get a taste of freedom, not to burden yourself with “stuff” and feel what has come to be known as “stuffocation”.

How to do it? Set yourself a budget and only buy what you need – this includes trips, excursions, fabulous foods – no need to get too thrifty about spending on experiences! BUT, if the urge for retail therapy strikes, just think which adventure on your itinerary you’d have to sacrifice to have it, and what a pain it’ll be to lug around!

11 Totally Awesome Pre-Holiday Detox Tips – Get Summer Ready!

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Want to look hot on your next holiday? Check out these tips which promise to turn up the temperature by beating the bloat, burning the fat, and giving you a wonderfully healthy glow (without a fad diet in sight)!

1. Hydrate at the right time – Drinking your water between meals will make your digestion more effective. As well as making you feel good on the inside, effective elimination could in turn lead to clearer skin! Experts advise to drink a glass of water no less than 15 minutes before a meal and no sooner than an hour after eating.

2. Savour your food on a smaller plate – Choosing a smaller plate means you are less likely to serve up a huge portion, but be mindful that you should eat slowly too. It takes about 20 minutes for your tummy to get the signal it is full. If you finish your meal before then, you are likely to head for seconds you really don’t need.

3. Keep caffeine as a morning treat – Indulging in caffeinated drinks later in the day can impact on your ability to get a good night’s kip. In fact, one study showed that consuming caffeine 6 hours before bedtime reduced sleep time by 1 hour! Ideally, stick to the morning, but definitely no later than 4pm if you want a fresh glowing look for your holiday.

4. Get on the mat – The yoga mat that is. Yoga isn’t just about exercise, it is a combination of breathing techniques (Pranayama), meditation, and movement (Asana). Practiced regularly this combination will promote relaxation, reduce stress, improve digestion, and give greater physical and mental strength. The result will be more energy, and a natural radiance from within!

5. No raw after 4 – As with caffeine, the advice is that raw food should not be consumed after 4pm. This is because the uncooked cellulose in raw foods is harder to digest, especially when your metabolism is starting to wind down ready for rest, which ups the chances of bloating after eating your dinner-time salad.

6. Let go of excess baggage – No, we aren’t talking about hand luggage! Believe it or not swelling and bloating could be down to negative emotions connected to stressful events in your life that you have not yet let go of. Systems such as DTO can release the negative feelings, and the body naturally changes as a result.

7. Take three 10 minute walks a day – Apparently a brisk 10 minute walk that gets your blood pumping taken three times a day is better for you than trying to hit your daily 10,000 steps. The key is to ensure you get a bit out of breath.

8. Eat the rainbow – This is not permission to stuff your face with Skittles! While we don’t want to encourage fad diets, healthy eating is a must. One easy and fun way is to aim to create a rainbow of different coloured foods on your plate. At the very least it means you’ll be avoiding beige dinners, synonymous with an unhealthy diet!

9. Pamper yourself! – Body brushing, face packs, hair masks, nail oil, manicure, pedicure… the list could go on indefinitely! Make sure that every inch of your wonderful self is treated to a pampering in the lead up to your holiday. Start at least a month before you go for the best results!

10. Make time for a massage – There aren’t many activities that can improve your health while you literally lie down and do nothing! As well as having all the benefits of relaxation, a massage can boost the immune system, and make the body more effective at getting rid of toxins by increasing circulation.

11. Catch some Zs – Sleep, or lack of it, is top of the list for bad skin, sluggish digestion, and increased stress, so if you want to look good you HAVE to get your rest! A top tip for a good night’s slumber is: NO screen time for an hour before bed, in fact no screen at all near you – this is because the blue light interferes with the production of melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone.

Disclaimer: These tips may not be suitable for you! Please seek advice from your GP before making changes to your diet, wellness, or exercise routine if you think it is necessary, or if you have a pre-existing medical condition.

Backpacking Life Lessons – 20 Things You Discover On Your First Trip

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  1. You don’t need a change of clothes for everyday.
  2. Layering is the best way to dress for all weathers.
  3. Cotton clothes retain water, which is rubbish for backpacking in the winter. During the summer however that is an obvious perk.
  4. Wool socks and base layers are the way to go in winter.
  5. Merino wool is worth the money because it’s not itchy.
  6. Extra socks are a necessity not a luxury.
  7. Every little thing you can cut from your backpack bag really does make it weigh less.
  8. Pack less, smile more.
  9. Pack a portable charger WITH converters.
  10. Take a kindle not hardcopies of books.
  11. Download “offline” maps while you have wifi.
  12. Listening to music on an mp3 player is better than wasting phone battery.
  13. Microfibre towels take ages to dry, a wash cloth is just as good as a towel.
  14. Ziplock bags in various sizes will save your day, every day.
  15. Going with the flow and hoping to find a bed for the night doesn’t work out if you turn up mid-festival/holiday/celebration… check how busy your destination might be before you head there.
  16. Good socks are just as important as good shoes and boots.
  17. Sock liners are a luxury you make room for if you don’t want stinky feet or blisters.
  18. Looking for stuff in an unorganised pack is a waste of time – pack your bag so the stuff you use the most is on the top or in external pockets.
  19. Earplugs are a must if you want a good night’s sleep.
  20. Hostel beds can be rank even at the best of times – pack a travel sheet.

 

Don’t forget your travel insurance! Living out of a bag and being constantly on the move ups the risk of losing belongings, or having them stolen. We have special long stay insurance perfect for backpacking adventures. Cover from 3 to 18 months covering casual work plus many sports.

The Most Romantic Valentines Getaways For A Proposal

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What could be more romantic than popping the question on Valentines Day? Doing it on a romantic Valentines break! Here are the top three romantic getaways that will ensure your loved one says YES!

Spa Break

Undivided attention, pampering, and a luxurious setting – an undeniably romantic combination. Whether it is a couples massage, soaking in a hot tub under the stars, or the intimacy of a candle lit detox dinner that ignites your passion, a spa break is guaranteed to ensure the love of your life feels like a million dollars when you say “Marry Me”.

City Escape

Paris, Venice, Rome, and Reykjavik are some of the most sought after destinations when it comes to a proposal. If you are heading to the latter, Gullfoss Waterfall is the most popular place to pop the question. If Venice is your destination of choice then head for romantic hotspots like Doge’s Palace, The Grand Canal, St Mark’s Basilica, and Rialto Bridge.

Exotic Beach Holiday

Maldives or Seychelles? What a choice! These Indian Ocean destinations are what romance is made of, but they offer very different experiences. The Maldives is an archipelago of tiny islands with just one resort on each – perfect if you want to propose in the seclusion of a romantic bubble. Seychelles on the other hand offers more space, bigger sweeping beaches, and things to see and do, so if activities are key to your romance as a couple, head here.

How To Cut The Cost Of A Holiday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

5 Tips To Make Business Travel A Bit Less Boring

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

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1. Book an apartment

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

2. Take public transport

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

3. Book in some “me time”

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

4. Meet new people

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

5. Make it a Bleisure trip

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

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

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

7 Ways To Get A FREE Hotel Room Upgrade

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

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1. Choose a rebooking agent for automatic upgrades

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

2. Be a loyal customer

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

3. Ask at the desk – nicely and quietly

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

4. Ask the concierge not the desk agent

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

5. Book over the phone

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

6. Let them know it is a special occasion

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

7. Only stay for one night

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

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