Last-Minute Getaways To Avoid Christmas

These destinations are the perfect last-minute getaway, well away from the hubbub of the festive season, and (probably) not a twinkle of tinsel in sight!

December in Sal, Cape Verde

Cape Verde Fishing Image

Image by Schland CC0

The weather is warm at this time of the year in Sal – a gorgeous sandy escape, and just one of the many islands that make up the volcanic archipelago of Cape Verde. While your all-inclusive hotel may have popped a token Christmas tree up in the lobby and have a sprinkling of tinsel here and there – you can head to the beach, the local markets, and all the best attractions without much “Christmas” getting in the way.

Top things to see and do:

An island tour stopping for a spot of paddling with lemon sharks, and a photo op at Buracona, the Blue Eye Cave, where the midday sun turns the water a bright and beautiful blue. It certainly beats looking at baubles!

Christmas in Tenerife, Spain

Image by Hans CC0

It is warm enough to brave it in a swimsuit at the end of December in Tenerife, but the water might be pretty cold! The black volcanic sand of the beaches will however help keep you warm as they soak up the rays, especially on the more sheltered beaches on the northern coast. Most places are open for business on Christmas day, so it can feel just like any other day – as long as you are away from the tourist hotspots such as Puerto De La Cruz and Los Cristianos. Having said that if you suddenly get a pang for a mince pie or dancing to a Christmas playlist – these are the places to go!

Top things to see and do:

An excursion to the top of Mount Teide is a must! Grab yourself a ticket for a coach tour that comes with a guide so you can learn all about the flows and formations of this spectacular volcanic peak whilst you traverse the lunar landscape. For an extra treat, once you get to the stop at the top get a ticket for the cable car to take you all the way to (almost) the top. Here you are above the clouds in a world of wonder where thoughts of Christmas are million miles away.

Winter in Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakech Souk lane with rugs Image

Image by emma-bosley-ritchie CC0 via pexels

This is the place to be if you fancy a bit of retail therapy over the festive season but without the hustle and bustle of tinsel-strewn shopping centres and endless Amazon boxes on the driveway! Don’t however expect it to be the epitome of pace and calm. Marrakech, and Morocco in general, is an extremely popular destination at this time of year. It takes a little over 3 hours to fly there and the temperature is a very pleasant 20ºC – but there won’t be a Christmas carol to be heard or a festively decorated tree in sight!

Top things to see and do:

Head to the Souk! A maze of narrow streets filled with a world of wonders such as handcrafted goods, spices, clothes, glasswear and ceramics. Make sure you go with your bartering head on as it expected that you will haggle. Top tips for getting a good price: don’t look too keen, start at about a quarter of the price, and try not to settle for an amount that is more than a third of what is displayed!

Xmas in Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul mosque in snow Image

Image by vedatzorluer via Pixabay CCo

For a quieter vibe – head to Istanbul. It’s business as usual with shops, galleries, and museums all open but it is definitely a quieter time to to enjoy these Turkish delights! “Why?” you may ask! Well, it is a little chilly at this time of year. It is recommended to pack a jumper or two, and although it is unlikely to fall into single figures at this time of year a coat is recommended in case it rains, and be warned that it has been known to snow on occasion during December.

Things to see and do:

Head to The Blue Mosque, an Ottoman-era place of worship that is known for its beautiful architecture which includes a blue tiled dome, and six minarets! The Blue Mosque is free to enter, welcomes non-worshipping visitors, and is open all year round. Do check times before visiting though as it is an active place of worship. This means that it is closed to non-worshippers in the times leading up to, during, and just after call to prayer.

You will need worldwide travel insurance to travel to Turkey!

Travel Insurance to Turkey is not covered by EU policies – so make sure you upgrade your travel insurance to a worldwide policy before you travel!

Posted in Destination Guide, Travel Tips, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Last-Minute Getaways To Avoid Christmas

Beginners Guide To Skiing Holidays

Hit the slopes with confidence this season! In this jam-packed article we share insider info from ski and fitness experts about how to get fit ahead of your ski holiday, what to do to avoid injury on the slopes – and what to do if you do get injured on holiday – plus what to pack, where to go, and as bit about après scene etiquette!

Ten Things You Need To Know Before Learning to Ski

© Merci L’Agence / OT Les Arcs

© Merci L’Agence / OT Les Arcs

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

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

How To Get Fit For The Ski Season

© andyparant.com / OT Val d’Isere

© andyparant.com / OT Val d’Isere

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

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

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

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

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

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

Packing For A Ski Holiday

Image by tookapic CC0

Image by tookapic CC0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


WINTERSPORT & SKI TRAVEL INSURANCE

ossur-image-2-ski-mega-blog

© Courtesy of Össur

WINTERSPORT INSURANCE IS AN ESSENTIAL PIECE OF YOUR KIT WHEN YOU HEAD OUT ON SKIS!

It’s essential to get travel insurance that covers you for the activities you plan to do. Wintersports insurance from worldwideinsure.com provides cover for equipment, ski packs, cancelled flights, medical assistance and repatriation for all destinations including even if you want to go off-piste, heli-skiing, and parapenting!

To find out more about why specialist wintersport travel insurance is essential  check out our article: What insurance do you need for a ski holiday?

Description oi Benefits of wintersports travel insurance


Best Ski Resort for Beginners – Avoriaz

© Stephane Lerendu / OT Avoriaz

© Stephane Lerendu / OT Avoriaz

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

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

© Merci Creative / OT Les Arcs

© Merci Creative / OT Les Arcs

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

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

© andyparant.com / OT Val d’Isere

© andyparant.com / OT Val d’Isere

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

Après-Ski – Social Life On The Slopes

© Fruitiere / OT Val Thorens

© Fruitiere / OT Val Thorens

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

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

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

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

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

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

How To Avoid Ski Injuries At Altitude

Courtesy of Össur

© Courtesy of Össur

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What To Do If You Get Injured While Skiing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You may also enjoy these articles!

The most common ski injuries and how to avoid them

Prepping for a safe ski holiday – how to get fit and ready for action!

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

© P Tournaire / OT Val Thorens

© P Tournaire / OT Val Thorens

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

 

This article was first published December 2016. Content and images may have been updated, all credits correct at time of original publication.

Posted in Destination Guide, Ski Insurance, Travel Advice, Travel Insurance | Comments Off on Beginners Guide To Skiing Holidays

Wintersports Destination Ideas for 2023

Whether you want to take to skis or a snowboard, or maybe go cross-country on a snow mobile or even by sled – we’ve picked some delectable destinations for the coming season! 

Whistler Canada Ski Image

Image by ArtTower CC0

Skiing and snowboarding

Where: Whistler, Canada

When: November through to April (this is when the slopes are at their most quiet!)

Why you should go: It is a legendary place to take to the snow! The resort is home to over 200 trails in over 8000 acres, and it is regarded as a backcountry paradise for skiers and snowboarders alike. It was also good enough for the Olympics! If that wasn’t enough – and we know it isn’t, the apres scene is equally legendary.

Heli-skiing

Where: Himachal Pradesh, India

When: January through to March

Why you should go: The views are incredible! Not only do you get to soak up the views from up in the sky, but you will start your run on a drop 5000 metres up in the mountains with the Himalayan peaks towering above you! Then you’ll get to experience perfect powder all the way down, through towering forest. To top it off, the vibrant culture of the Kullu Valley will seal it as an experience of a lifetime.

Harris Mountains Heli Skiing

Image Courtesy of powderhounds.com

Cross-country skiing

Where: Peer Gynt Trail, Norway

When: February and March

Why you should go: Norway is the birthplace of cross-country skiing, and the Peer Gynt trail is truly iconic. The trail itself is approx 80km long, reaching from Espedalen Valley to Skeikampen mountain resort. Guides will take you though terrain that includes frozen lakes, remote valleys and peaceful woodlands, stopping on the way to stay in lodges so you can explore other trails along the way.

Snowmobiling

Where: Langjökull Iceland

When: March to June (Icelandic spring, when the weather is more pleasant)

Why you should go: Translating as The Long Glacier you know what to expect here! It may not be the largest glacier in Iceland, but it is thicker and is less likely to be affected by local volcanic eruptions! Expect pristine snow, sweeping vistas, and ice valleys across near on 1000 square km of seemly infinite powder.

Snowmobile Image

Image by Mike Muller via Pixabay CC0


Get travel insurance for wintersports activities and adventures before you go!

Call us on 01892 833338 to arrange competitively priced comprehensive wintersports & ski insurance or get a quote online.

Posted in Destination Guide, Sports and Activities Abroad, Travel Advice | Comments Off on Wintersports Destination Ideas for 2023

What insurance do you need for a ski holiday?

If you are heading off to the slopes this season, you need to get yourself some specialist wintersports travel insurance. Read on to find out what it is, what it covers, and how it could save you a small fortune on your next holiday!

Ski Insurance Image by Daniel Frank CC0

Image by Daniel Frank CC0

You need a different insurance for skiing!

Regular travel insurance won’t provide the cover you need on a ski holiday. Put simply, a ski holiday carries far more risk when it comes to injuries and losses that other types of holiday, so you need a specialist insurance policy that covers those risks.

Wintersports travel insurance does just that. Sustaining a serious injury in near inaccessible places is a potentially bankrupting experience without the right  travel insurance. In addition to that, you will want a policy that specifically insures the loss or damage of expensive ski equipment – whether it is yours or hired, and compensation for piste closures.

Does travel insurance cover ski passes?

Regular travel insurance will not cover ski passes, but wintersports policies will. Whether they are lost or stolen, and even if they go unused due to piste closures, your passes will be covered.

Does a GHIC or EHIC cover skiing?

The Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), currently replacing the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) entitles the holder to the same level of medical care, at the same cost, as a resident of that country. It in no way guarantees free medical treatment and the UK Government 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 gov.uk


So, if you find yourself needing a mountain rescue or need to be flown back home to the UK, don’t expect your GHIC to cover those expenses! Find out more about GHICs here.

What does wintersports travel insurance include?

As well as the usual things covered by travel insurance such as lost or stolen baggage or passports, cancellations of holidays and flights, Wintersports & Ski Insurance covers:

  • Mountain rescue
  • Repatriation
  • Accidental injury to others – easy on skis!
  • Lost, damaged or stolen ski equipment
  • Lost, stolen, or unused ski passes
  • Piste closures

What is classed as a wintersport on travel insurance?

All sorts of amazing activities are covered in our Wintersports & Ski Insurance! Here are a few examples:

  • On-piste & off-piste skiing and snowboarding
  • Cross country skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Tobogganing
  • Heli-skiing
  • Glacier walking

But loads of other activities are covered – even dry ski slopes and ice skating!

Benefits of Wintersport & Ski Travel Insurance with Worldwideinsure.com

Description oi Benefits of wintersports travel insurance

Get an instant online quote or call us on 01892 833338 to arrange competitively priced comprehensive ski travel insurance for your next snowy adventure!

 

Stay safe and avoid injury on the slopes! Check out these articles to find out how:

The most common ski injuries and how to avoid them

Prepping for a safe ski holiday – how to get fit and ready for action!

Posted in Ski Insurance, Travel Insurance | Comments Off on What insurance do you need for a ski holiday?

10 of the Best Money-Saving Cruise Travel Hacks

After booking a luxury cruise of a lifetime you’ll probably want to make savings wherever you can! Here are some top tips from seasoned cruisers!

Cruise ship image sea sky boats

Image by javier-camacho CC0

  1. Make your own excursion arrangements. With a little research and fore-thought you can plan your on-shore time in a budget-friendly manner. Whether it is booking with a shore-side excursion company or working out transport and your own itinerary you could end up saving a LOT of money.
  1. Get a better cabin by bidding for a cabin upgrade. It doesn’t always happen, but on most cruises there are luxurious cabins and suites that remain unbooked. Closer to departure day the cruise company will want to get these filled by offering them for an inexpensive upgrade fee to those booked in cheaper cabins. You might get a great deal, and the cruise company are left with a standard cabin that is easier to sell before departure day!
  1. Opt for the Beverage Pack as drinks on board do not come cheap! For the most part this is usually just for juice, water, coffee and tea, but there are ones available that cover soft drinks and alcoholic beverages too. The key is to find out what is included and whether it is worth the cost.
  1. Pack a “mini-shop” as part of your luggage. The generous luggage allowance means that you can easily bring snacks and drinks on board to save yourself a fair bit of money during the cruise. Soft drinks, wine and cases of water are quite normal for people to bring to the cabin. Don’t forget that you can also bring refillable water bottles for use at hydration stations too.

TOP TIP: Get cruise travel insurance! To find out why – head on over to our article: what type of insurance do I need for a cruise?


  1. Buy a wi-fi pack before boarding day. There is often a discount for packages bought ahead of time. Even with no discount a wi-fi package is likely to be more cost effective if you like to keep up to date online!
  1. Wait for free wi-fi or data roaming when in port. You can save even more by opting out of the ship wi-fi completely and only going online when back near land. It is a great excuse for a digital detox as well as saving money.
  1. Look out for embarkment day discounts. These are simply discounts offered on day 1 of the cruise as it is a slow day for spa bookings and the like. Port days are also a good time to check in and see if there are any discounts because of fewer people being on board.
  1. Oh yes – you can also skip excursions and on-shore adventures. It’s ok to not want to disembark at every stop – you can make the most of a quiet cruise liner and enjoy the on-board facilities you have already paid for!
  1. Book your next cruise, or at least pay the deposit while you are still on board. You may well pay less deposit, and you are very likely to be given on-board credit for your next trip for being a loyal customer.
  1. Book through a travel agent. While you can get some great saving booking your next trip while onboard, quite often a travel agent will be able to get add-ons, discounts and perks that will save money in a different way on your trip. Some seasoned cruisers say you can move an existing direct cruise liner booking over to an agent and still keep the discount or perks you got onboard!

Get your cruise travel insurance policy as soon as your holiday is booked!

Ensure your trip of a lifetime is memorable for the right reasons with cruise travel insurance – call our team on 01982833338 or get a quick quote online.

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Winter Destination Wish-List 2023

With the summer finally falling into submission, it is time to set our sights on the next season for travel. Here are our top destinations for Winter 2023, incorporating the colours of nature, a spattering of snow, seasonal markets, and an option for sun seekers of course!

Nara, Japan

Nara Japan Image

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The autumnal shades that hit the Maple trees in Nara from mid-November to early December are awe-inspiring. So much so that there is even an Autumn Leaves Festival that celebrates the beautiful hues at this time of year. Best views are said to be from Murouji Temple. From December you could even incorporate a daytrip northward to Jigokundani Monkey Park to see Macaques enjoying the hot springs in the snow.

Tromso, Norway

Tromso Norway Travel Insurance Northern Lights Photos Image

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This is quite simply the best place to see the Northern Lights, aka Aurora Borealis in the whole wide world. At 350km north of the arctic circle it is one of the most northerly places to be to witness this natural wonder. Make sure you have travel insurance before you go, especially if you are planning to explore the fjords and mountains of Tromso!

Yukon, Canada

dog sledding wintersports insurance

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Evoking images of a rugged and back-to-nature way of life, Yukon is the destination of choice for anyone who wants to ditch the intricacies of modern-life and get back to basics with the elements and animals. Husky adventure holidays are just the ticket for this kind of thing – stay in a cabin, look after the pack, and have a go at mushing on freshly fallen snow.

Lapland, Finland

Christmas Market Image

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Christmas markets galore, and winter activities to keep the whole family entertained! Lapland is a magical place to head with or without children. Top winter activities include snowboarding, skiing, and dogsledding. Make sure you have your wintersports travel insurance before you go!

Baa Atoll, Maldives

Maldives Image beach palm trees sea

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Whether it is in search of an alternative white christmas – swapping snow for sand – or somewhere to see in the New Year in bliss, Baa Atoll offers the best the Maldives has to offer. It boasts excellent diving, canoeing and SUP experiences and is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Plus you get the fun of a 35 minute sea-plane journey from Male!

Get your wintersports travel insurance policy!

Ensure your winter getaway is memorable for all the right reasons – call our team on 01982833338 or get a quick quote online. Single trip, multi trip and longstay policies available worldwide.

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What Type Of Travel Insurance Do I Need For A Cruise?

Most cruise operators require that the traveller has comprehensive travel insurance. While that doesn’t necessarily have to be cruise-specific insurance, you’ll probably find that one tailored to cruises does indeed offer the best value for money due to the unique nature of this type of holiday – read on to find out why!

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Cruises are more expensive on average per person which means you’ll need Travel Insurance that can meet the costs if things don’t go to plan.  

Cruises are the ultimate all-inclusive package holiday. You have travel, accommodation, entertainment, food and drink all wrapped up in a luxurious trip of a lifetime. And this usually comes at quite a cost.

It’s for this reason that travel insurance tailored specifically for cruises is the best option. It is designed to offer adequate cover should things not go to plan, so you don’t suffer the financial impact from the theft or loss of personal belongings and passports, delayed departures and trip cancellations, or the costs of medical assistance.

On the open sea everywhere is a long way from home! Whether you are in the Med, Caribbean, or even the Arctic you are going to need travel insurance that can get you back home if needed.

While medical assistance is available on every cruise, should you fall very ill or get badly injured you will need to get medical treatment on-shore. This could mean a helicopter transfer or a boat charter, and even repatriation back home. None of these things come cheap, and quite often not included in standard travel insurance policies.

Cruise travel insurance should come with a helpline that can assist with getting the medical help you need, including speaking with medical professionals anywhere in the world.

Extended travel comes with extended risks. You need travel insurance that can accommodate longstay travel arrangements, adequate cover for additional baggage, and the added risks associated with multiple stops, as well as excursion, activities and sports.

The longer you are travelling for, the more likely you are to encounter adversity. The risk of loss or theft of belongings goes up, as does the risk of injury from on and offshore activities and excursions. And as you travel from port to port encountering different countries, the risk of missing a departure rises considerably too!

Cruise-specific travel insurance can provide cover for these increased risks and also provide cover for a range of sports, activities and adventures that may be included in your cruise. The extended travel means you are also more likely to have taken extra baggage to last the trip – which requires additional cover too!

When should you buy travel insurance for a cruise?

As soon as you book your holiday! The sooner you take out insurance, the sooner you are covered. It isn’t just the time on the trip that travel insurance provides cover for – it can be there for peace of mind should anything happen in the lead up to your cruise which could cause the trip to be cancelled, postponed, delayed or missed.

What Can Worldwide Insure Cruise Travel Insurance Cover?

  • 24hr multilingual emergency helpline to liaise with doctors and hospitals overseas.
  • Medical treatments and repatriation.
  • Sports and activities.
  • Loss or theft of personal belongings.
  • Impact of missed, delayed or cancelled travel.
  • Cruise interruption and Cabin confinement.

Get your cruise travel insurance policy as soon as your holiday is booked!

Ensure your trip of a lifetime is memorable for the right reasons – call our team on 01982833338 or get a quick quote online.

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Stress-busting Travel Yoga – Ideal for Airports!

Unless you are booked into a luxury lounge, waiting around at an airport can be a less than blissful experience. Here are some top movement and mindfulness tips that might just get you into a more peaceful space while travelling!

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What is Travel Yoga?

Yoga is a practice that unites breathwork and movement to bring about a state of mindfulness and relaxation – and guess what – you don’t necessarily need a mat and fancy leggings to do it! Travel yoga embraces minimalism and subtlety, and can be done ANYWHERE!

1. Stretching it out with airport asana

Asana is the part of yoga that you are likely most familiar with, it is all about movement. Doing a full sun salutation whilst waiting for your flight would be a bold move, but there are elements that we can take from a regular yoga practice that will help ease tension in the body.

  • Stand with feet hip width apart, really feel your feet on the floor, draw up through your spine, roll your shoulders up towards your ears then down and back before pulling up through the crown of the head.
  • Gently drop your right ear to right shoulder then left ear to left shoulder then roll the head taking chin to chest and back again.
  • Come back to centre then interlace your hands in front of you and sweep them up to the sky, taking your gaze skyward too.
  • Once there take a deep breath in, push down with your left foot and exhale with a stretch over towards the right. Inhale to centre, push down with the right foot as you exhale your stretch to the left, inhale to centre and release your hands.
  • Give your arms a gentle shake, maybe swing gently side to side, and then interlace your hands behind your back, drawing fingers towards the floor as you squeeze shoulder blades together and open up across the chest.
  • Release, take a deep inhale and with an exhale tip at the hips to fold forward and let your arms and head hang heavy, taking a gentle swing from side to side. 

 

2. Take a seat, steady, stable & comfortable

Ancient yoga texts reference just one yoga pose – a steady, stable and comfortable seated position. You don’t have to be sat in some pretzel shape to achieve it either – in fact the main requirement is just a straight spine, so grab yourself a seat for your next step to airport inner peace!

  • Take a seat, placing feet on the floor, hip width apart and knees at ninety degrees.
  • Ensure your spine is stacked above your pelvis, once again drawing up through the spine all the way to the crown of the head.
  • Chin should be slightly tucked to get length in the back of the neck.
  • Roll the shoulders up towards the ears, then down and back to open up through the chest.
  • Hands can rest gently palms down on the thighs.
  • Relax the jaw, soften the cheeks and brow and if it feels good, gently close the eyes too.

3. Find your breath – airport pranayama

Pranayama is a yogic word for breathwork that builds up energetic reserves. Think of it like a power-nap but using nothing more than mindful breathing techniques!

  • Prepare by gently breathing in through the nose then exhaling through the mouth. Repeat 3 times.
  • Bring your focus to your diaphragm. As you inhale feel the belly expand, and as you exhale, draw the belly in, navel towards the spine, expelling all the air you can but without causing any tension.
  • Continue to inhale and exhale like this for a few breaths, ideally for a slow count of 4 in, and a slow count of 4 out, and then let your breathing return to normal.

4. Go within – the practice of pratyahara

There are 8 limbs of a yoga practice – the first two are around social ethics and personal practices, the third is asana (poses), fourth is pranayama (breathwork), and fifth we have pratyahara, turning inward. This is one of the steps that leads us closer to state of inner peace and meditation.

  • With the breath settled and gentle turn your attention inwards. This could be to the gentle hum in your ears, lights, colours and shapes behind the closed eyes, or a sensation in the body such as the feeling of the breath gently coming in through the nose and out through the nose.
  • Keep your attention focussed on that one thing, and should you mind wander to internal thoughts or external distractions, bring your attention back inwards. 

5. And time to come back to the room!

Rub your palms and bring them up to your eyes, lift the heels of the hands and gently blink your eyes open! Take a nice big breath in and let it all out.

Now you should be stress free and ready for the next step of your journey!


Take the stress out of your next trip with travel insurance from worldwideinsure.com

Policies personalised to your needs providing cover for single trips, longstay adventures, city and breaks and holidays the world over! Call now on 0189283338 or get a quick online quote.


Writer bio

Resident travel writer Kerry McCarthy is also a yoga and breathwork instructor. To find out more visit CoolBreezeOverTheMountain.com.

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Car Hire Insurance Excess for Holiday Car Hire

What is it? Do you need it? How much do you need to budget for it on holiday? And why don’t I just get the insurance offered by the car hire company? If any of these questions are bugging you – we bring all the answers right here!

car hire excess insurance

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The number one question is: Do I really need Car Hire Excess Insurance?

And the answer is YES! Without this type of insurance – if you return the vehicle damaged, even if it was not your fault, you will be held liable for the excess charge set by the rental company.

This particular type of insurance gives you the power to claim back the charges. There are other benefits when you get your policy through worldwideinsure.com too, depending on the type of cover you choose.

The second question that everyone wants to know is: Why don’t I get the policy offered by the car hire company?

Put simply – it will not give you the same level of cover as a policy from us. The excess insurance provided by your holiday car hire company has a very long list of exclusions. If you lose the keys, suffer a tiny dink or two from loose chippings, or something happens to the tires, windscreen or underside – even if it is not your fault – you will have to foot the repair bill as well as pay the excess on the claim.

Holiday car hire excess insurance isn’t as expensive as you might think (in answer to the third question that everyone asks!)

You can get excess insurance for your holiday car hire for less than a tenner (*accurate at time of going to press!). A small price to pay considering a that paying for repairs could be thousands of pounds.

Find out why car hire excess insurance from worldwideinsure.com is different!

And see our very own Norbert in action! Head over to What is Car Hire Excess Insurance? Or visit our Car Hire Excess Insurance FAQ Page. Alternatively, call us for a quote! 0189283338

*PRICE CORRECT AT TIME OF PUBLICATION – PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS FIGURE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

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Kas or Kalkan? Travelling With Kids To Turkey

Deciding on a summer break to the Antalya coast in Turkey, raised one big question for two families travelling together – Kas or Kalkan? Let their experience guide you to choose the best destination out of the two for you!

Kalkan villa view with pool, sea and mountains

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Kalkan

Set in the the province of Antalya, stunning scenery is guaranteed. This area is also known as the turquoise coast (and the seas here really are a stunning shade of blue), as well as the Turkish Riviera.

Kalcan itself is surrounded by the arid Taurus mountains, and is one big very steep hill from top to bottom! But don’t let this put you off if you feel hiking up and down hills isn’t your jam, because here no one does that anyway. It is so steep that everyone hops in a taxi to get from top to bottom, or drives their own car or if you are brave enough a moped!

The steep incline means that the views are just incredible. Whether looking away from the coast at all the gorgeous houses and villas that seem to trickle down towards the sea, or from higher up across the sheltered bay and the twinkling Mediterranean Sea.

Kalkan street view with plants and lights image

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Where to go and what to see in Kalkan

  • Terrace restaurants and bars – these were a firm favourite with our group, not only because of the stunning views across the town and the entire bay, but also because nothing feels better than a warm evening breeze while dining alfresco!
  • Beach clubs – a family-friendly way to spend the day in the shade of a cabana right next to the sea. Most have easy access to the sea either by being on the beach, or by having platforms that lead to the sea as well as having a pool.
sea view kalkan beach park image

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  • The weekly local market – a bustling space selling spices, fresh fruit and veg, and all the genuine fakes you could dream of! You can also bag yourself some freshly made turkish treats to keep your energy up as you go round. Only on a Thursday.
  • Arts & crafts boutiques – there is so much local talent hidden among the many winding streets in Kalkan. Look for handmade and artisan pieces – pottery, glass, and macrame.
  • Petara historical site – just a short drive from the town is Petara, the ancient capital of Lycia – a glorious place to be as the sun sets, with a wealth of tumbled down ruins and semi restored areas and amphitheatres complete with very friendly goats!
Petara Goat Image Turkey

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Is Kalkan good for a family holiday?

A resounding yes from us all! We were fortunate enough to have a villa with a pool – so plenty of space to chill and keep cool until the temperatures dipped enough to venture out. The sea was safe and gentle for the little ones, and the Beach Club we spent a day at had a wealth of water toys (sea tractor and trampoline!) to keep the kids occupied for hours.

All the restaurants and bars were super kid-friendly too – and while we didn’t stay out late it certainly seemed safe enough while we were there. For older kids and adventurous adults there were a range of outdoor adventures to choose from such as mountain biking, parasailing, jet skiing, and boat hire.

Al fresco dining in kalkan Turkey image

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Kas – a better destination than Kalkan?

It seems like everyone talks about Kas more than Kalkan – and on a day trip there we could kind of see why. For a start the atmosphere is more gentle, less touristy, and has areas with more of an authentic local feel. The inclines are also less intimidating and it isn’t too much trouble to wander from the car park by the harbour right up to the highest street in the town.

Once again, the setting is absolutely beautiful as it sits along the same part of the turquoise coast, and it has a wealth of wonderful boutiques to explore and a more than its fair share of terrace restaurants to enjoy spectacular views across the harbour! All in all it seemed more grown up, less glitzy and less like a place only tourists frequent!

Boats in Kas Harbour Turkey image

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Is Kas a good destination for a family holiday?

I guess it all depends on the vibe you are looking for! It is a more gentle, more Turkish version of Kalkan and I would say more relaxed too. Would the kids think it is better? Chances are the bright lights and more accessible beach clubs of Kalkan would get their vote!

Kas Restaurant Terrace with sea views image

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Holiday Profile:

Turkish villa with pool

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Worldwide travel insurance to Turkey

Get your worldwide travel insurance before you head off on your next trip – annual cover at great rates for families that love adventure. Get an online quote or call us on 0189283338

 

Travel Writer Bio:

Kerry McCarthy is a Writer, Editor, Artist & Breathwork Instructor who loves to travel with family, friends and also solo. You can find out more about her adventures over on instagram at @kerrymccarthystars

Dalaman Airport Turkey Image

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