Travel Advice If You Have Cancer

Travelling abroad if you have cancer comes with a whole lot of planning! We’re here to help you discover what you need to consider before you go.

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When NOT to travel if you have cancer

Travelling, and air travel in particular, can be an issue if you have recently had certain treatments or procedures. The advice is to ALWAYS ask for your GP or consultant’s opinion before planning a trip – here are some reasons why your plans could be affected if you have cancer:

  • Weak immune system – Some destinations may pose a greater risk to your health.
  • Low platelets or red blood cells – Some cancer treatments can affect platelet or blood cell count making you at higher risk of bleeding. Stem cell or bone marrow transplants are examples. If your count is very low air travel is not recommended.
  • Recent surgery – Some procedures trap air within the body that can take a while to dissipate. If you fly too soon after certain types of surgery, that air will expand, putting your health at risk.
  • Risk of a blood clot – Being seated for an extended amount of time can increase the risk of a clot.

Things you may need to consider when booking your holiday

  • Whether you tire easily – If fatigue is likely to strike you may want to focus on destinations that have manageable terrain and easy access to facilities where you can rest.
  • Will you need a wheelchair or wheelchair access? Many hotels, hostels and even AirBnBs offer wheelchairs and wheelchair access, but did you know there are also loads of travel companies that specialise in accessible holidays all over the world.
  • Whether you can take your medication abroad – Some countries have very strict policies on what can be taken into the country, you will need to make sure that what you need is on the allowed list – more info on taking medicines abroad below!
  • Do any of your medications cause photosensitivity? A wide range of medications make the skin more sensitive to sunlight – find out if you need extra protection form the sun or if you should avoid high UV areas completely.

Health and Travel Insurance if you have cancer

People who have, or have had cancer can find it tricky to get travel insurance, but travel insurance for pre-existing conditions is something we specialise in, including travel insurance for cancer patients. Our aim is to be able to provide the right travel insurance for your needs whether you are on preventative maintenance medication following Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy or Surgery; are currently receiving treatment, or are having check-ups on a ‘watch & wait’ basis.

Travel Insurance for Cancer Patients Image

It is also recommended that you get a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), if your EHIC has expired. The GHIC entitles the holder to the same free, or reduced cost, state-provided healthcare as citizens of that country, where medically necessary. Be aware that there may be additional charges that we aren’t used to seeing in the UK, including charges for equipment, supplies, food, medicines. It is not a replacement for Travel Insurance, it complements it.

Airport and airline assistance

Airlines have a medical officer who can help you access anything you need to make your journey easier. Whether this is early boarding, access to a wheelchair or oxygen for the journey. Do be aware that these things need to be arranged well in advance and may also require a “fit to fly” letter form your GP or consultant.

Taking medicines abroad

Firstly, you need to make sure you have enough medication for your stay, secondly you need to make sure that you aren’t in danger of taking a controlled drug into another country.

Just because you have been prescribed a drug here in the UK does not mean that it is a legal prescription drug in another country, and even if it is, the amount you can take in might be controlled. The medicines most likely to be restricted are ones that can cause addiction such as opiates or steroids, or medicines that need to be injected.

Here is a vital check list:

  • Check with your destinations country’s embassy or High Commission for information about controlled medications.
  • Also ask your GP to tell you if any of your medications are restricted in your chosen destination.
  • Plan to take enough medication to last your entire trip, plus a few days in case of delays.
  • Get a GP letter to explain why you are taking medicines, which medicines you are taking and what doses are required.
  • Take a copy of your prescriptions – This will help with issues at border control or security as well as if you lose your medication abroad and need to get more while you are away.

For more information about travel insurance if you have cancer, visit our dedicated page, or contact one of our team on 01892 833338. Also, please visit Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support who have lots of valuable information about travelling overseas if you have cancer.

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European Destinations With A Totally Christmas Vibe

Ready to whisk yourself away to a winter wonderland this December? Well, we’ve rounded up some of the best EU destinations for Christmas vibes that could put Whoville to shame at this time of year!

Christmas Market Image

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Lapland, Finland

Lapland is a magical place to visit at Christmas time. It is home to the northern lights and has tons of winter activities that will keep the whole family entertained. Skiing, snowboarding, dogsledding and husky sledding are easy-to-access activities that will be sure to bring out your inner child! Just remember to get your wintersports travel insurance before you go!

Tallinn, Estonia

This gorgeous medieval city has a huge array of Christmas markets offering handmade gifts, decorations and foods to give as gifts. The festive vibe comes in strong with music-a-plenty from carol singers and street performers, Christmas parades, concerts, theatre performances, and ice skating rinks.

Tallinn Christmas Image by step-svetlana CC0

Image by step-svetlana CC0

Brussels, Belgium

This Belgian city is a wonderful place to visit for Christmas. It is well-known for its Christmas markets selling a variety of festive goods from handmade chocolates to handcrafted jewellery. Top tips for where to see some sights while you shop include:

  • Grote Markt: Located in Brussels’s Old Town quarter, which has been hosting this market since 1549! Check out the impressive equestrian statue depicting Philip II – who was the King at the time – on his horse.
  • Place du Jeu de Balle/Grand Place: This is home to Notre Dame du Sablon Church which dates back to 1270.
  • Patershol/Rue des Bouchers: This street starts off at Place Royale, passes St Gudula Cathedral and takes you to Patershol Square, which is full of shops selling traditional Belgian fare like chocolate biscuits filled with whipped cream!

Vienna, Austria

The Christmas markets here are huge attraction for visitors. While you’ll find them all over the city, those in the know say to head to Karlsplatz square and the adjacent streets for some truly festive retail therapy and the market on Graben for baked goods like gingerbread men, as well as handcrafted jewellery and toys from around Europe. There are also daily performances of traditional German carols by choirs and orchestras to watch out for during your stay!

Vienna Christmas Market Image

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Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm is considered one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, and in December becomes a hub for holiday shopping, with more than 40 Christmas markets scattered throughout the capital – many with their own unique attractions such as ice skating rinks. If you’re looking for some more wintersports action, Stockholm is also great place for cross country skiing! There are several trails around town for you to discover.

Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg’s Christmas market is one of the biggest in Europe and has been going on since 1570. It’s an open-air market with more than 500 stalls, selling everything from mulled wine to toys. One of the largest Christmas events is a parade through the streets that includes magical creatures, carollers and dancers, amongst a myriad of festive delights.

If you’re looking for a Christmas holiday to remember for all the right reasons don’t forget your travel insurance! Get in touch for an instant quote before you travel!

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What To Do If You Get Robbed Abroad

If the unthinkable happens on holiday, and your personal belongings get stolen, you need to know what to do and when to do it to ensure you can recover the costs of your lost items, and get back home safe.

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Take a quick inventory so you know what is missing

Before you report the theft you need to know what has been stolen. The things most likely to be targeted are passports, cash, bank cards, and valuable personal items such as jewellery and watches.

Report the theft to local police

To make a claim on your travel insurance and to stand a chance of getting your belongings back, you will need to file the incident with the police within 24 hours. If the language barrier is an issue it may help to contact the British Embassy first. Try and get a few copies of your statement as they will be needed for any claims you make to your travel insurance provider.

What to do if your UK passport has been stolen abroad

  • File a police report within 24 hours
  • Apply for an emergency travel document online
  • Collect your emergency travel document from the Embassy or Consulate before rebooking any flights back home.

Contact the British Embassy

Either the Embassy, High Commissioner or Consulate are able to assist with understanding local laws and legal procedures, and they are also able to assist with providing translators and even English-speaking lawyers.

Cancel bank cards and contact the bank

Freeze any accounts linked to stolen bank cards and contact your bank. It may be possible for the bank to issue a new card to be sent by express delivery to where you are staying abroad, or send emergency cash. If your card has been used since being stolen your bank may refund the money.

Contact your travel insurance provider

Once you have a police statement, you can start your travel insurance claim online. You will need your insurance certificate details, details of the incident, and any supporting documentation to be able to start the claim.

What to do your mobile phone has been stolen abroad

Contact your phone provider so that they can block your device. They may also send you a new SIM by express delivery.

Stay safe – do not try to recover your belongings yourself

Do not arrange to meet anyone who says they have your belongings and is asking to meet up to return them. If you get approached then notify the police immediately.

Get Travel Insurance you can trust.

Our comprehensive travel cover can be tailored to suit your needs and our 24 hour multilingual helpline offers peace of mind when you need it most – no matter where you are in the world.

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18 Top Tips to Make Your Money Go Further on Holiday

It’s easy to splash the cash and live in the moment when on holiday. But being thrifty when it comes to spending abroad means you could travel more often or for longer! Check out these top tips to keep your spending sensible and make your money go further on holiday.

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  1. Go all-inclusive – if you book in advance, you can pay in instalments and there’s no spending surprises at your destination.
  1. Go half board or self catering – often a cheaper option and if you shop wisely at local markets and shops you can keep your food costs down.
  1. Set a budget – if you think you can keep to it, allow a set spend for days out, eating out, tasty treats, and souvenirs.
  1. Plan eating out – being tired and hungry is a sure-fire way to think it’s a great idea to head to the nearest restaurant or order a takeout or room service! If you know which days you plan to eat out, you can get food in for the days you are catering for yourself.
  1. Plan your excursions – there is always so much to see and do, so when you get to your destination (or before!) decide what days out are a MUST, and see what budget you have left to do other activities.
  1. Find places to picnic or BBQ – this can be a cheap, easy and fun way to eat out on holiday.
  1. Allocate kids ice-cream money – not only will this help them learn to budget themselves, but it will keep the guilt away while keeping on-budget.
  1. Locate the local markets – local produce, fresh ingredients and usually at a favourable price. A great place to grab food on the go, or to stock up your supplies.
  1. Grab lunch at the local supermarket – you don’t have to eat out every day, and supermarkets are the same the world over. It’s easy to find something light for lunch, and a great way to discover new foods.
  1. Pay in local currency with a Mastercard – the exchange rate is fixed and doesn’t come with any extra charges such as commission.
  1. Travel by bus – a hire car can be great but it isn’t usually a thrifty option. Take the bus to save money and to really soak up your surroundings.
  1. Get car hire excess insurance – if you are going to hire a car, don’t get hit with costly bills for damage to things that aren’t covered by the car hire company insurance. Their own damage liability waiver can be costly with unfavourable terms – we offer surprisingly affordable car hire excess insurance that covers all bases.
  1. Hire bikes – as well as being cheap transport, you can also make bike hire a great day out!
  1. Get out in nature – it is free, good for the soul, and great for your physical and mental health!
  1. Take your own entertainment – whether that is card games, a games console, or some films downloaded to a tablet, it will keep the family entertained without spending more money.
  1. Check your data allowance – you should get a message from your network provider as soon as you enter a new country, check to make sure what is and isn’t included in your allowance and switch off data roaming if you are at all unsure!
  1. Get “kids go free” travel insurance – an easy way to save money whilst still making sure you have the insurance you need.
  1. Don’t get hit with huge medical bills – as well as getting your travel insurance, get your Global Health Insurance Card, it replaces the EHIC, and gets card holders access to treatment at the same cost as a resident of that country.

Find out more about the benefits of a GHIC and why you still need to make sure you have travel insurance too in one of our recent blogs: GHIC is the New EHIC – Health Insurance On Holiday.

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Sacred Sagres – Surf & Sanctuary in the Algarve

If you are looking to unwind, relax, and recharge head to Sagres, a wild and wonderful escape for nature-lovers and outdoor adventurers. Here’s what one solo traveller experienced on her mission to cultivate peace and wellbeing on a retreat in the Algarve.

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Where did you stay in Sagres and why?

I headed to the Memmo Baleeira Hotel, a gorgeous contemporary 4-star spa hotel overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Why? This was to be my home for a week while on a wellness retreat.

What did you do in Sagres?

As soon as I arrived I explored my surroundings. Armed with a cute little map from the hotel I hiked the cliffs,  explored the village, relaxed on the beaches, and soaked up the beautiful views of the ocean. There was plenty of time to explore Sagres, which is set in a Nature Park, between classes and dining with fellow guests on the retreat.

Hit the beaches – There are four easy-to-reach and absolutely glorious golden sandy beaches in Sagres.

  • Praia de Baleeira sits at the base of some steps a couple of minutes walk from the hotel – it is small, quiet, and the perfect spot for watching the sun rise.
  • Praia do Martinhal a little further up on the coast (a 5 minute walk) is much more spacious, has some dunes, a couple of beach bar/restaurants and a lifeguard. Lots of families were here playing in the gentle surf, and it was the gateway to an excellent cliff-top hike along the coast towards Faro.
  • Praia da Mareta takes approx 15 minutes to walk to from the hotel (unless you take the long route round the headland – which is definitely worth it!). It is a great place for surfing and gentle enough for swimming, has a lifeguard, beach chairs with parasols, and a couple of options for sea-view dining. This was my favourite of the beaches in Sagres, sheltered by the cliffs and with plenty of space.
  • Praia do Tonel is THE place to head for some serious surf action. It is smaller than the other beaches, but does have a beach bar for refreshments.
sagres map image

Image by 43kcreative CC0

Filled my cup with yoga and breathwork – Michael Bjiker of Yogalap holds Yoga and Breathwork retreats at the Memmo Baleeira Hotel. There were two gentle, accessible and deeply nourishing sessions a day held in the hotel yoga studio, which had the most memorable sea-views and sunrises. All food was included in our stay, and there was plenty of opportunity to take time for yourself as well as connect with other people on the retreat.

Watched the surfers – when the surf was small, folks were out on their body boards and enjoying the waves; and when the windier weather came in plenty of surfers were out and riding the big ones. The views of surfers at Tonel beach from Fortaliza de Sagres were stunning.

Explored the village – Sagres is small, and has a relaxing low-key vibe. In the village you’ll find plenty of colourful houses, accommodation for those who come to surf, hike and bike, a smattering of shops and a few places to eat and drink.

  • What to eat: The fruit! It tastes of sunshine! Açaí berry smoothie bowls are a big hit here. Pastel de Nata (Portuguese custard tart) are hailed as the best pastries in Portugal, and one I wish I could overcome my gluten intolerance to enjoy – I am told they are AMAZING. Savoury foods in Portugal? It’s all about the seafood and peri peri.
  • Where to eat: Sagres “high street” has a few choices – Dromedario, Agua Salgada, and Pau de Pita are all serving up wholesome treats and have a lovely welcome vibe.
  • What to drink: As I was on a wellness retreat, water was my go-to (bottled not tap – see why in the top tips below!) but really everyone should try a beer called Sagres. Just like everything else about this place the beer is wholesome – made using traditional techniques with no preservatives or additives.
  • Where to shop: There are a few surf shops that stock the usual surf brands, plus Surf Sagres which has customised apparel and local gifts. Ceramica Mo has traditional ceramics and cheap n cheerful beach clothes and accessories. Shaz Boutique was my favourite place to buy a treat – ethically sourced clothes and accessories and a very welcoming vibe!

Learned about the sacred space of Sagres – This village has a very special feel. It is tranquil, calm, it is remote and you feel very close to nature. People come here to surf, to hike, and to get out on their bike, and as Sagres sits in a protected Natural Park you can really take time to connect with your surroundings. Sagres has long been regarded as a special place – its name translates as holy or sacred and at one point it was known as “the end of the world” because no-one knew what could possibly be beyond the vast expanse of ocean.

Sagres chapel Image by IdaT CC0

Image by IdaT CC0

Visited the fortress Fortaleza de Sagres was built in the 15th Century to protect the town from invaders. There isn’t a huge amount to see here, but it is definitely worth the short walk from the village and the 3€ entry for the dramatic views, a chance to enter the chapel, and to experience the Chamber of Sound – an amazing structure that amplifies the sound of the waves in the caves below and even creates a updraft if you stand on the safety grill.

Hiked the headlands – Go in any direction and you will end up in a remote and wonderful wilderness, and always with amazing views.

Indulged in swimming pools and spa treatments – Memmo Baleeira Hotel has a heated outdoor pool with sea views and sun loungers, as well as an indoor pool, sauna, and hammam. Massages and treatments are available but I chose to have a massage from a local lady called Julia who came to the hotel and hands on heart it was the best massage I have ever had!

What did you love (and not love)

I loved the peace, the fresh air, the birds, the wind, the sunrises, the sun sets, the people I met, the beaches, the swimming, the food… I think I loved everything! Açaí berry smoothie bowls, my wonderful massage, the way the light dances on the sea and the cliffs, and the amazing moments with the group will forever be in my heart.

I guess anyone looking for a party vibe or vibrant night-life would probably not love the remoteness of this wild haven.

Image by 43kcreative CC0

Top tips for visiting Sagres

Fly into Faro and get a taxi transfer. The transfer took 1 hour 20 minutes and cost around 120€. There is the option to take a train and then a bus to get to Sagres, which works out a lot cheaper, but will take longer.

Buy bottled water! The water is safe to drink in Portugal but… well, I’d like to say it’s an acquired taste but I’m not sure it is – it seems like everyone drinks bottled water here!

Take good outdoor clothing! The weather here is very weathery. It can be very windy, it can be hot and sunny, if rain is coming it comes down hard and then just as suddenly makes way for clear blue skies. The hikes require good trainers or walking boots. For maximum enjoyment take clothes that stand up to all the elements and a decent daypack.

Would you go again?

In a heartbeat! I went solo this time, and it felt super safe to do so, but I really want to soak it all up again and next time with my family. Sagres is super kid-friendly and a great place to go if you like outdoor adventures, good food, and nice people.

Kids Go Free On Our Travel Insurance

Fancy heading out to Sagres on an outdoor adventure? Make sure you’re covered in case things don’t go to plan. Kids go free on our travel insurance – get an online quote today!

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Halloween Holiday Ideas for Fiction Fans

Fancy a trip away that will put a shiver down your spine? We’ve picked 5 of the spookiest places to go for fiction fans at Halloween!

Mexico Day of the Dead Holiday Image

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Day of the Dead is a huge time of celebration in Mexico, and an event that sets the scene in Macario, a supernatural thriller. It was originally written in 1950 by B. Traven, and was made into a highly acclaimed film in the 1960s. Day of the Dead is a holiday to celebrate life and death and welcomes back the souls of the deceased for a party that runs from 31st October through to 02nd November. Put it on on your bucket list if you haven’t already!


by MMZ84 CC0

Image by MMZ84 CC0


Brașov in Transylvania, Romania is home to the real Dracula’s Castle. This medieval monument – actually called Bran Castle is where the lead character in the book Dracula, a 1897 gothic horror written by Bram Stoker is said to have lived.  The castle accepts visitors all year round, but there is a special sleepover for fans who want to spend the night at Halloween!


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Image by TimHill CC0


Sticking with the Dracula theme, we’d like to give Whitby Abbey a mention. Bram Stoker visited this English seaside town in 1890 and the place provided him with the perfect atmospheric backdrop to his novel. The book references the Abbey and attracts thousands of visitors each year convinced that Dracula was real and in search of his resting place.


House of Seven Gables Image

Image by 12019


America is home of horror movies, and there are many, many places film fans and book lovers could visit in search of some spooky action at Halloween, so we went for original and old – which isn’t actually that far back in US history. Cue Salem, Massachusetts, and in particular the House of Seven Gables – the house is real and became the setting for in a novel, and film adaptations, of the same name. Supernatural goings on, witchcraft, and the Salem witch trials are all part of yet another gothic horror from the 1800s!


Overlook Hotel Image

Image by Mike Goad

Colorado, USA

You’ll recognise this one right away – it is the Stanley Hotel aka the Overlook from cult horror The Shining – produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on the novel by Stephen King. The hotel is located in Estes Park, Colorado and still has a maze! Great news is that each year the hotel throws a massive Halloween party in the ballroom for fans, and bemused guests alike!


Avoid a fright on your next holiday… get your travel insurance!

Our policies provide you with peace of mind, and comprehensive travel cover for the whole family, whether you are planning a single trip or multiple adventures throughout the year.

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GHIC: the new EHIC – Health Insurance on Holiday

With over 5 million European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) due to expire in 2022, many UK travellers are asking themselves whether there is replacement cover in place, and as always – if they also need travel insurance if they have one. Here is all you need to know!

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What is a GHIC and where can I use it?

It is a Global Health Insurance Card, and although it uses the word Global, the GHIC is in fact only valid in EU countries (with the exception of a few*) and in most cases Switzerland too. It is not going to be of any use anywhere else in the world.

Fun fact: It’s all in the name. The Global part of the name signifies that the holder is not from an EU country. European Health Insurance Cards still exist – now called UK EHICS – so named because they are for use by citizens that have rights under the withdrawal agreement to access healthcare in EU countries). The GHIC – formally known as a UK GHIC – is a health insurance card for UK residents, no longer part of the EU, to access treatment in EU countries.

What does the UK Global Health Insurance Card cover?

Pretty much the same as the EHIC, but not as comprehensive in its cover. As a rule it entitles the holder to free or reduced cost state-provided healthcare where medically necessary. The wording here is key:

  • State provided may or may not be free or reduced, the charges will be the same as for a national of that country.
  • Free or reduced healthcare may not be the same things that are free on the NHS.
  • Only treatments deemed medically necessary qualify for cover – if it could wait until you get back from your trip, or you have travelled in order to get treatment then you won’t be entitled to special rates.

These are just some of the reasons why the .gov site states:

“Your UK GHIC is not a substitute for travel insurance. You should take out private travel insurance before your trip. [The GHIC] may not cover all health costs and never covers being flown back to the UK (medical repatriation).” Find out more at

Why do I need travel insurance if I have a GHIC or EHIC?

Outside the UK many medical treatments do not come for free – even for citizens of that country. Additional charges may be added to a hospital bill that we aren’t used to seeing in the UK, including charges for equipment, supplies, food, medicines… and that can all add up.

GHICs also won’t cover things like mountain rescue if you are injured on a ski trip for example, and the big expenses such as medical repatriation are also not covered.

Travel Insurance also offers things a medical insurance card can’t travel insurance for existing medical conditions, help if your passport or belongings are lost or stolen, costs incurred from cancelled flights or bookings, and even if personal circumstances mean that you are no longer able to travel. Travel insurance is a product that compliments a GHIC, providing cover and peace of mind especially for existing health conditions and unforeseen circumstances beyond falling ill or being injured.

Can I still use my EHIC?

If it is still valid, then yes – the last EHICS were issued in 2020 (the GHIC replaced it in January 2021) and have been allowed to run up to their 5 year expiry date. However, all EHICs now fall under the restricted use of GHICs, so no longer valid in non-EU European countries e.g. Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein. As stated above, UK EHICS are also available to those who have been allowed special access under the withdrawal agreement.

GHICs are free – so get one!

There are a few sites out there that are charging people a handling fee to get a GHIC, this is not necessary – GHICS are available directly from via the NHS and they are FREE – you can apply for GHIC on the NHS website. Once you apply you will be sent an email with all the details you need until your card arrives, make sure you take your card with you while on holiday – if you find that you’ve lost it or left it behind you’ll need to apply for a temporary certificate.

*The GHIC isn’t valid in Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican. It is not valid for treatment in Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein either.

Don’t forget your travel insurance!

Travel insurance is a product that compliments a GHIC, providing cover and peace of mind especially for existing health conditions and unforeseen circumstances beyond falling ill or being injured.

Get your travel insurance quote online today.

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Family Holiday in Alcudia, Mallorca – A Real Destination Review

Two families join forces on a villa holiday in Mallorca during the summer break – this is where they stayed, what they did, and their honest opinion of their experience!

Alcudia Travel Image

Image by Hans CC0

Where did you stay in Mallorca and why?

We stayed in the north in a small place called Manresa, near the medieval town of Alcudia (not to be confused with the port town which is a little further out) which was a short drive, or a 20 minute walk away.

Manresa itself is right by the sea and nestled between the coastal gems of Mal Pas-Bon Aire and Pollensa Bay.

We chose to book a villa with a pool through James Villas. It was a choice outside of our normal budgets, but we all felt it was justified as the cost was being split between two families. The pool was a must and was even more popular with the kids than we had bargained for.

Was it worth it? Yes!

Alcudia beach Mallorca Image

Image by alexanderwaltner CC0


  • The flights – Just under 3 hours from Stanstead with Ryanair.
  • The transfers – One family opted for the James Villas private car transfer, the other chose a hire car from the airport. Travel time from Palma International Airport to Manresa was 45 minutes. Both options were easy to arrange.
  • The accommodation – Spacious, clean and kid-friendly. It had a pool, air con, plenty of kitchen space, ping pong, BBQ area and came very well equipped, even down to buckets and spades for the beach.
  • The weather – It was HOT! We went the last week of August and the temperature was 33 degrees and full sun. One day we had a thunder storm but that cleared and before long we were back by the pool and under a parasol!
Pollensa Bay Image

Image by Hans CC0

What did you do on your holiday?

Found the best beaches – the beaches in Mallorca are well known for being incredible, the beaches in the north are quieter and somehow even more incredible, but there was one very small bay that beat the best of the rest by a mile – Platja de Sa Font Sant Joan. A hidden gem that you won’t find on many “must visit” lists, and it was just a five minute walk from our villa!

Visited the Caves of Drach – The Caves of Drach was our choice for a day out in the shade and it didn’t disappoint. It was educational, great fun, and absolutely out-of-this-world impressive. It has one of the biggest underground lakes in the world and the hour long tour through the stalagmites and stalactites culminates in a rather surreal musical performance and a chance to head back to the entrance by boat.

Went to a Hydropark – Hidropark Alcudia is a great way to spend a day, but we only had a few hours before catching a flight home. It was still worth the entrance price, it had something for every age group and even has a golf course!  There were plenty of families with picnics, and looked like the sort of place you could rock up with all that you need and make a proper day of it.

Ate the best Tapas in Palma – On the last day we explored the streets of the capital Palma. It is a busy space to be in, narrow streets packed with tourists and locals alike. Shopping is a mix of designer labels, high street names, and boutiques; and then there is the food. We ate Tapas at Bazaar Palma at Placa del Mercat in the city centre. Not the cheapest option around but comes with a big thumbs up from us and in online reviews!

Explored the medieval town of Alcudia – Narrow streets of this stunning town are surrounded by a wall built to keep the pirates at bay back in the day. It is a bustling but authentic place to be, not overrun by shops selling inflatables, or too much touristy “tat”. Plenty of great places to eat, very welcoming and home to a brilliant market twice a week. Walking the wall surrounding the town is a must – if you have a head for heights.

Hired a bike – There are loads of places to hire bikes in Alcudia, and in the port – prices starting for as little as €15 a day for pedal power, €35 for e-bikes. Make sure you take a driving licence to be able to go through with a rental.

Alcudia Town Image

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What did you love? And what did you not love?

Strangely the things we loved were also part of the things we didn’t love! So, the remote location, peace and quiet, lack of “touristyness”, amazing yet quiet beach so close by were all massive plus points. However, the same remoteness that was so nice made some things more difficult – there was no “small” shop nearby, we weren’t on a bus route, and it would have been nice to have a local bar/restaurant within a shorter walk.

Pollensa Bay Image

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Top tips:

1. Plan to start late and stay up late – even with small children!

We didn’t get the memo on this one until far too late into our holiday. In our excitement we wanted to be up and out and experiencing our destination – but the reality was that it was far too hot to do much before about 4pm. Local families were out and eating dinner at 9.30/10pm when it was a lot more comfortable.

2. Enjoy indoor activities at the hottest time of the day.

Whether that is relaxing in the shade, having a siesta, or going on a day out that doesn’t involve being in the full sun – do anything other than trying to get kids from A to B between 10 and 4.

3. Get a hire car if you’re going with kids.

The heat was pretty relentless for the little ones, so making sure you can get from A to B easily and with air-con is a great idea. Although we were close to the beach and the town, the nearest big food shop (aka Aldi) was too far to walk to and given that you need a huge supply of bottled water for drinking, a car makes getting it a lot easier.

Don’t forget your family travel insurance!

Kids go free on our policies – for peace of mind every holiday, we’ve got you covered. Get an online quote today.

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Stargazing, Camels and Medinas: Explore Mesmerising Morocco

Just three and a half hours away by air from the UK, Morocco is worlds away in every
other respect. From the dramatic Atlas mountains and alluring Sahara, to the buzzing
medinas and fabulous cuisine – your Moroccan adventure beckons…

Morocco architecture Image bybbsil CC0

Image bybbsil CC0

Why Morocco?

Morocco is one of North Africa’s most traveller-friendly destinations, offering an alluring mix of majestic mountains, ancient cities and warm hospitality. The weather is great for most of the year, too – although autumn and early spring offer the most comfortable temperatures. It’s also considerably cheaper than most European destinations, with an affordable train network, myriad cheap eats, and low-cost accommodation.

Morocco Travel Image

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Where to Go

Get a taste of old Morocco in the winding alleys of the coastal city of Essouriera, or the Nation’s backpacking mecca, Marrakesh. See the new Morocco rise up in the chic modern neighbourhoods of Casablanca and Fez, where the long-standing pleasure of people- watching in cafes – invariably over a mint tea – continues.

There’s a huge choice of accommodation available across Morocco – much of it both high quality and affordable. We recommend staying in a “riad” – a hotel or guest house built around a breezy internal courtyard.

Chefchaouen Morocco Image

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What to Do

Ascend North Africa’s Highest Peak: Mount Toubkal (4,167m) is just 40 miles to the south of Marrakesh, but lightyears away from the jangle and hum of the big smoke. It takes two days to reach the summit, so it’s an ideal expedition if you’re on a longer trip.

Explore the Djemaa El Fna Medina: Wander Mareakech’s buzzing Djemaa El Fna medina, where a dazzling array of leather handicrafts, ornate teapots, carpets, rugs, spices – and much more – can be haggled over.

Take care not to get lost in the maze of alleys in and around the medina, and don’t always go by the directions of the locals – you may end up in someones carpet shop!

Sleep Under The Stars in the Sahara Desert: Book an overnight camel trip where you can enjoy some of the best stargazing on the planet. A top stargazing destination is the Merzouga Erg Chebbi sand dunes in the Sahara desert, where the clear skies make for an unforgettable experience.

Choose an excursion with a luxury desert camp for extra comfort. Aim to book in spring or autumn, when it is warm enough to sleep outside and the skies are wonderfully clear. If you do plan a desert trip, stay up to date with the weather forecast – sandstorms are not unknown and can ruin an overnight excursion. Around three days are required.

Morocco Dunes Image

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What to Eat

While Morocco is a treat for your visual and auditory senses, it’s also an ongoing delight forvyour taste buds. Tagine is a must-try – a kind of stew made in a dish with a conical lid. Chicken, vegetables and spices are key ingredients, but vegetarian versions are easily found.

Other culinary wonders include couscous, ssara (a rich broad bean soup), fish (marinated in herbs and grilled), and harira soup (tomato, lentils and lamb). And of course, the locals will offer you a refreshing mint tea at almost every opportunity!

Souk Image

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Good to Know: Travel Safety & Etiquette in Morocco

● While you can enjoy Morocco all year round, temperatures are best in autumn
(September-November) and early spring (March-April). A midsummer visit may be
too hot for some, while a midwinter trip comes with chilly nights.
● Dress appropriately. While men are less restricted in terms of clothes, women are
expected to dress modestly – this means no bare shoulders or legs. Too much skin
on display could attract unwanted attention. A shawl or scarf can make a great ad-
hoc cover-up.
● Buying things isn’t always straightforward. Haggling over prices for things like
souvenirs and clothes is expected in many places. Always establish the price for
services like hair cuts and taxis, and always keep small change with you (few cab
drivers seem to carry change!).
● Plan your routes in cities. If you look lost, someone will almost certainly appear to
offer directions – and will almost certainly ask for a tip in return!
● Flash flooding is not uncommon in Morocco – including around Marrakech. Stay up to
date with the weather forecasts, and don’t take unnecessary risks if bad weather is
on the cards.

Don’t forget your travel insurance! We offer a range of comprehensive travel insurance options for longstay, single trip and multi trip adventures, as well as travel insurance if you are already travelling!

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Avoid Lost Luggage – 10 Top Travel Hacks!

Travel insurance is a wonderful safety net should something go wrong on your holiday, but nobody really wants to make a claim when they could be relaxing and having fun. Here are some top tips to keep your baggage safe so you don’t need to ring the claims line!

Lost Luggage Image

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1. Take hand luggage only
If you have the option to pack light then DO! Having everything in your hand luggage means you can keep an eye on your stuff and it is far less likely to get lost. Bonus for not having to wait at the other end to get your belongings too.

2. Make your case stand out
Buy a bright coloured case, but bear in mind that many others may have done the same, get a colourful baggage strap or tag, and hope that it doesn’t come off, or go all out and get a personalised skin added to your case so it is absolutely like no other. We’re loving these suitcase skins! Whatever you do, do something to make that case stand out – not just so you can spot it on the carousel, but in case you need to describe it if lost.

3. Label bags inside and out
If your case goes wandering someone is likely to want to get it back to you, so get your luggage tag sorted. It’s also a good idea to add a piece of paper with your name and phone number inside too in case the tag goes missing and someone opens it up to look for owner info.

4. Remove old flight labels
No need to confuse matters by leaving old flight stickers on – take them off so that only your current travel info is on there.

5. Invest in a luggage tracker
Should your case go missing, it may well be in with many many others – having a tracker means you could track it down and let those that need to know where it is so they can return it to you asap.

6. Keep valuables with you
Losing a sarong or two is bearable, but when it’s your favourite signature accessories, or valuable jewellery it’s no joke. Keep any irreplaceable, difficult to replace items, or high value items in your hand luggage to make the pain of losing your suitcase more bearable.

7. Don’t overfill your case
An over-stuffed case is more likely to get caught, ripped, or sad to say, opened. Keep it simple and not over-stuffed.

8. Avoid luggage with straps
Holdalls, duffel bags, rucksacks and the like are likely to have straps which can get caught places en-route to the plane. Maybe nothing will happen, maybe your bag will get ripped, or maybe your bag will stay stuck while all the other cases go on board.

9. Get to the airport early
Checking in late increases the risk of your bags not making it onto the plane – get there early and it’s less likely to happen.

10. Send your belongings ahead of your holiday
There are some things that just must not be lost and won’t fit in a carry on, such as wedding dresses and sports equipment. Thankfully there are some very highly regarded luggage forwarding services that can ensure your special things arrive at your destination before you do.


Don’t forget your travel insurance! You may well need it if travels do not go according to plan! Get an instant online quote today.

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