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The World First Wander: the best travel writing on the internet

November 21st, 2014
World First

The World First Wander: travelling while pregnant

Another weekly look at the best travel blogs, blogging and bloggers the internet has to offer. As always it is compiled by our social media man Tristan Rothwell.

It’s been another good week in the blogosphere. As I trawl the internet and RSS feeds looking for the best articles and blog posts it never ceases to amaze me how many great and passionate bloggers are out there.

First this week is a regular visitor to the world first wander,  The Travel Hack, who has shared some of her tips for travelling while pregnant. It’s amazing how many places she’s travelled to since she’s been pregnant, which just goes to show that being pregnant doesn’t always have to mean staying put. If you are one who doesn’t want to hang up the travelling bags just yet, it’s as well to know we offer travel insurance for pregnant travellers. Not all insurers do.

A firm favourite when it comes to bloggers is Ed Rex. He writes really good pieces and this one is no exception. There were a few items on Ed’s 28 Items this backpacker can’t do without list I hadn’t thought of.  But what’s the number one item? A spare pair of pants…essential!

Let’s stick with Ed for another article. This isn’t a new one as it was written back in May, but it’s a good one. It first appeared on The Deaf Traveller and is a thought provoking piece. Take a quick look at travel and deaf awareness. Great work Ed.

Last week I mentioned we were starting to see a few travel bloggers write about their plans for travelling in 2015…but we still have over a month left of 2014! So how about hearing Iain Mallory’s top travels of 2014 in My Top Travel Experiences of 2014.

As Kash Bhattacharya AKA The Budget Traveller says in our next article, 2014 has flown by. So while  Iain has been looking back at 2014 Kash has come up with some great suggestions of Luxury Hostels to check out in 2015. This article is as much a celebration of super cool interior design as it is a guide! Some of them look truly amazing.

Regular readers will know I love my photography so I am always going to take notice of any articles that include tips on how to take better travel photos. Devon’s Chris Stevens has written a blog post about Photographing your travels, which I thought was interesting.  Chris has admitted that most of his photography is done on an iphone! As is mine these days.

Happy snapping.

Until next week.

The World First Wander: the best travel writing on the internet

November 17th, 2014

travel writing

The World First Wander: the best travel writing on the internet – 17th November 2014

Here we go again with our weekly look at last week’s best and most useful travel blogs and articles from around the internet.

Let’s kick of with a funny, yet philosophical post from Elle-Rose Williams from her travel blog – The World and Then Some. If you ever thought about what travel brings you, then this will show you one side of it. Take a peek at 11 things you learn about yourself when travelling and see which of those you can relate to. Just look at that sunburn though! Ouch.

Sometimes you don’t need to travel far to experience amazing journeys. The London Eye is one of those journeys that takes you all over the city without going anywhere. It is truly fantastic!

If you have never been then you might want to read this informative post from Sunny in London about going up on the Eye. Everything you need to know – along with some nice pics – is on the post  Advice on how to fly high .

If London is not your cup of tea then maybe Exmoor will be more your kind of thing. We love it, as it’s just a short hop from our Exeter office. In fact, it’s just upstream! Exmoor is the source of the River Exe, which flows through Exeter before hitting the sea at Exmouth.

Travel Candy’s latest post Exmoor: Red Stag Adventure in Doone’s Land is really inspirational. It’s simply written and illustrated by good shots that will help to put you right there among the heather! Something for the wish list!

Mind you, there are plenty more adventures to be had on these lovely islands of ours. This post from Escapisim Magazine might get your heart racing with the possibilities. How about climbing on Dartmoor, cycling the  Severn Valley or kayaking in Northern Ireland? Sounds good? You need to READ THIS!

One of our favourite writers – and a regular in the World First Wander is Zoë Dawes aka The Quirky Traveller. She has put together a stunning looking list of her Top 10 Lake District Views. Lovely. Tarn Hows looks amazing doesn’t it?

Before we sign off for another week we’re going to venture further afield for a jaunt to Ko Chang , Thailand’s second largest island. Jodie from The Little Backpacker has written all about her experience of this tropical hot spot in Travel Journal – A Journey to Ko Chang.

It’s enough to set you off making travel plans isn’t it? If you haven’t yet decided where to take your next break then you might like to see Liz Jarvis’s 2015 Travel Wish List from The Mum Blog. Who wouldn’t want to go to Hawaii?

Well that rounds off another great week! Don’t forget to let us know if you have seen any great travel posts this week. Either leave the link in the comments below or send me a tweet to @wftristan. Thanks.

Until next week.

Holiday water safety. If in doubt, don’t go out.

November 13th, 2014

Holiday water safety. If in doubt, don’t go out.

Holiday water safety

Water safety: watch your kids like a hawk

World First staff writer, Martin D, is also a trained and qualified RNLI Beach Lifeguard. Following the recent drowning of holiday makers at home and abroad he explains how you can avoid getting in trouble in the sea while on your holidays and what to do if you see others in trouble.

There have been some disturbing incidents recently on beaches in the UK and Cyprus. In late October three people died at Mawgan Porth beach in Cornwall and in early November two British tourists died in the sea off Pathos.

These incidents are terrible tragedies made all the more so by the fact that, as far as I can tell from reading the reports, they were avoidable.

In both incidents there are a couple of common threads. Firstly there were no lifeguards present at either of the beaches in question because of the time of the year. Secondly, it appears that in both incidents the people who died had entered the water to save someone else who had got into trouble. In both incidents the people who had got into trouble in the first place survived. Read the rest of this entry »

The World First Wander – The Best of British Travel Writing

November 10th, 2014

The World First Wander – The Best of British Travel Writing – 7th November 2014


Quantum of the Seas

We take our weekly cruise around the best travel blogs and bloggers from the UK with Tristan Rothwell.

How did we ever manage without smart phones?

They have made our lives so much easier and so much more complicated, all in one.  We can send pictures across the globe in seconds, find restaurants, track our travels and even find out what’s playing on the radio. Some of the Apps (applications) that are now available for smart phones are astounding. There are hundreds to choose from too, and many of them are useful for travel. Read the rest of this entry »

The World First Wander.

November 3rd, 2014

The World First Wander 3rd November 2014.

The World First Wander

The World First Wander

Hello again and welcome back to another World First wander where we take our look at the hottest travel blogs from the last week.

First up this week is a brilliant interview with Graham Hughes who was the first person to visit every country in the world without flying – impressive stuff!  I found the interview on Alastair Humphreys’ website. Alistair is an adventurer, author and motivational speaker. The post is called “the toughest part of travel is deciding to go”  and is a really enjoyable read. IF you need a little motivation, read it now!

I am a firm believer that if travel didn’t make us smile then it would be a pointless exercise, so I love blog posts about what makes other travellers smile. Emily Ray writes about the things she found on a trip to Greece that made her smile in the post 12 Moments that made me smile in Athens.

Di you know that Tuesday 3rd November is National Toilet day? Me neither. However, thanks to That Adventurer, an intrepid travel lover called Hannah, I do now. It’s just one of her 10 crazy Cultural experiences you must see  blog post from last week. I love the expressions on the faces in the Cheese rolling photograph. Brilliant!

This next one caught my eye because I was chatting recently with a friend about diving. He has been getting his scuba diving insurance from us for a few years now and keeps trying to get me to go with him. The trouble is that I don’t like seaweed! However, if you don’t mind it then this post from  A Brit and a Broad will interest you. It’s all about Diving the Blue Hole.

If staying on Terra Firma is more your idea of a holiday you may have considered a safari. You will definitely put it on your list of ‘must dos’ after you have read Poi and Kirsty’s latest blog post,  Our first taste of an African Safari. What an adventure! You can follow them on their latest travels on twitter.

That’s it for another World First Wander. Thanks for reading. I hope you have enjoyed reading the cream of travel writers. Let us know what you think and if you have written a great travel post on your blog just send me think link via twitter – @wftristan.

World First Wander

October 24th, 2014

World First Wander October 24th 2014

World First Travel Insurance

The World First Wander

We take our weekly look at what’s hot in travel writing and blogging with our social media man Tristan Rothwell.

It’s been a great week for travel writers. I’ve been able to find a lot of really good quality writing on some really interesting blogs. So let’s dive in!

First up is another lovely post from Monica Stott, a full time blogger who writes as The Travel Hack. She has compiled a brilliant list of 101 truths about travel. As travel insurance specialists we have to agree with her wholeheartedly about points 23 and 24! That aside, it’s a great list and well worth a read.

So now you know the truth, all you have to do is decide where to go!

Dublin! It’s a really popular destination for us Brits. We go for the culture, family, people and, of course, to visit a few pubs.

But if you want to go for something entirely different then you have to read this next blog from A Luxury Travel Blog. It was written by Jackie De Burca and celebrates seven offbeat things to do when you are in the Fair City. So check out 7 quirky things to do in Dublin.

But if Dublin feels like it’s too close to home for you, try the other side of the world, namely Australia.

Girl Tweets World is the travel blog of award winning British writer Jayne Gorman. It is a veritable hive of travel information, so if Sydney, Australia is your idea of a perfect holiday destination then Jayne’s 10 things I love about Sydney (and a few things that bug me) is definitely worth a look.

I have followed Kash Bhattacharya’s Budget Traveller blog for quite a while now. Why wouldn’t I? Everyone likes to save a few pennies when they travel don’t they?  The latest post is about saving a few pennies or Groszeys in Krakow in Poland. It’s another cracking top ten and I love it.  10 budget tips for Krakow will save you a small fortune!

This next addition to our weekly wander – a blog from the popular A Lady in London – caught my eye due to its brilliant photography. Fancy trip to the Galapagos Islands? Read all about Lady in the Galapagos Islands and then go and book your ticket!

Now we’re off from one extreme to the other. To Las Vegas, in fact.  I enjoyed this blog because its writer Angie Silver writes about everywhere in Las Vegas that you can’t gamble, which is a relief. Sometimes unearthing the lesser well known aspects of a place can be really rewarding. Angie does it very well with gorgeous pictures of food fun and fabulousness in The silver spoon guide to Las Vegas. Hungry? You will be.

Finally, we’re finishing this Wander in Finland with Ed Rex, who is also known as @rexyedventures on Twitter.

Ed headed for Porvoo, which is just 30 miles from Finland’s Capital Helsinki. Not for you? Not a bit of it! Ed’s got  47 reasons why we should visit Porvoo. To be honest Ed had me at number 2.

Does that give you food for travel thought? I hope so.

Until next week


P.S. Don’t forget to let us know what you thought of my blog selection this week, or let me know if you found a great travel blog you’d like to share. Just leave a comment. Thanks.

The World First Wander

October 17th, 2014

The World First Wander October 17th

Here we are again. Another wander around the world of travel blogging with our Social Media Man, Tristan Rothwell.

The World First Travel Insurance Weekly Wander

The World First Wander – Whats hot in travel


This week we are keeping it distinctly British flavoured. First up we are heading over to Woolacombe to try some surfing.  It’s a really healthy activity and is good for the soul. Woolacombe is as good a place to do it as anywhere as its beach is fabulous! I found a great article from Stuart and Kirstie, a husband and wife team who share an adventurous spirit, a passion for independent travel and three growing children. They wrote a great blog about surfing in Woolacombe for The Family Adventure Project.

Not everyone likes to be active on their holidays. So if staying still is your thing, what better than a tree house to relax in? It unusual, that’s for sure! Monica Stott AKA @thetravelhack, a full time blogger and founder of a website called ‘The Travel Hack’ wrote a great blog about staying in a cabin up a tree on a hillside in west Wales. It all sounds amazing. Her photos are pretty good too. Check out Staying in a tree house in Wales. What a location!

With half term looming in England and Wales (and the October holiday already underway in Scotland) we have been trying to work out what to do with the kids to keep them from driving us crazy. Mums do Travel, a blog from Gretta Schifano, an award-winning blogger and freelance journalist specialising in family travel, has put together a list of things to do in London during half term . Very useful if you are a parent or grandparent looking for new ways to keep them happy!

Another great place to visit in London is Portobello Market.  It’s a great place to lose a few hours and if your kids are anything like ours they will love looking at the stalls, rummaging around for bargains and trying all kinds of great street food. For inspiration have a look at Beverley Reinemann’s Pack Your Passport blog about Portobello Road market and Kensington Gardens.

Where next? Nortfolk. Did you know it’s the the 5th largest ceremonial county in England? I didn’t either. Well it is home to Sandringham so I suppose it stands to reason. But did you know that you can actually visit? Find opening times and prices HERE.

If that’s not a good enough reason to visit Norfolk then maybe you need to have a look at Why you should visit Norfolk Now! It has been written by Hannah Kacary, who is also known as ‘That Adventurer’ in her blog. You can follow her on twitter by searching for her twitter name, @adventureHan.

Finally, we’re going to depart these shores – but not in the way you might think. We’re going to saddle up and hit the road by bike.  Tim Moss is an adventurer on an epic scale. He’s climbed mountains, ridden a rickshaw over a thousand miles and swam the length of the river Thames. Currently he’s cycling from London to Sydney… crikey!!! Anyway, he’s compiled a list of the kit carried by 37 round the world cyclists.

Food for thought? Maybe. Until next week.


Keep calm and carry on! Advice for travelling with kids.

October 10th, 2014

Keep calm and carry on! Advice for travelling with kids.

Advice for travelling with kids

Advice for travelling with kids

Are we nearly there yet? We’ve all heard it a thousand times haven’t we? It’s so old hat now that it’s gone beyond a cliche. But if anything spells out what it’s like to travel with kids it’s those five little words. It says it all: I’m bored, I want to be there now, I’m fed up with travelling. Of course there’s nothing you can do to make the journey go faster or to get you there any quicker, but there are lots of ways of keeping them on your side until you get there.

So, seeing as half term is looming here in England and Wales and the October holiday starts today in many parts of Scotland, we thought it would be useful to offer some travel advice and tips for parents, grand parents, aunties and uncles travelling with young children. Good luck! Read the rest of this entry »

The World First Wander

October 10th, 2014

The World First Wander

The World First Wander

The World First Wander


10th October 2014

Once again we take our weekly look at the best that the world of travel blogging and writing has to offer. It is compiled, as always, by our Social Media Man, Tristan Rothwell.

This week it’s all about lists, apart from my first recommendation, which is all about my beloved motherland, Cornwall, but does include lots of great ideas for places to stay, eat, do and experience this autumn. So it still counts.

The reason I wanted to include it is because autumn and winter are sometimes the best seasons to visit Cornwall. The sun might not shine as much as it does in summer but it’s still amazing. Anyway, this great piece from The Daily Telegraph’s Gill Charlton made me homesick so I have to include it.

Cornwall : A guide to Autumn Weekend Breaks

If you’re the type of traveller who prefers to travel a little further than Cornwall then perhaps you should read this post from Amanda, a girl who writes a blog called ‘A Dangerous Business’. She kicks off our lists with 9 Reasons you should never travel the world . See anything familiar in that?

However, many of you won’t let little things like strange food spoil your travel. Especially when there is no limit to how far you can go and how much you can see. Once you get the travel bug you can’t stop. So what about going the whole hog and heading for Everest Base Camp? Yes? First you’ll need to read Lindsay Buckley’s post that appeared on Michael Hodson’s blog ‘Go – See – Write’.  5 Essential tips for surviving the Everest base camp. I would love to do this. I wonder if wifi is available up there? Maybe I could persuade the boss to let me work from Everest.

If you are going to Base Camp then you’ll definitely want to take your camera. I wouldn’t go anywhere without mine, so I thought a few tips from National Geographic photography expert Susan Seubert would be welcome. After all, when you get home your snaps and memories are all important. If you are a keen snapper then this will be essential reading from Ytravel:  5 Travel Photography tips from a National Geographic Photographer.

How often do you travel? If it’s more then once a year then you should have  read of this next blog from The Frugal Travel Guy blogger Christine Krzyszton. She’s written about the Twenty Five Signs You’re Travelling Too Much. How many of them are you guilty of?

Don’t forget to let me know if you have seen or indeed written a great travel article – just leave a comment and let us know.

Until next week.


France Passion: the secret to a perfect holiday!

October 8th, 2014

France Passion: the secret to a perfect holiday!

France Passion: the secret to a perfect holiday!

An Aire de Camping Car at Contis in Western France

If you could define what makes a perfect holiday, what would it be? Where would you go? How would you travel? What would you do when you get there? According to the results of our recent travel survey  46% of you like to take holidays in Europe and 40% of you like to travel independently.

So if you like having the freedom to explore Europe, taking your time getting from one place to another, staying in spectacular locations, meeting passionate locals and trying the very best food and produce – all the elements of enriching independent travel – then we have news for you.

You may have been doing it all wrong.

Why? Probably because you may not have heard of France Passion, a scheme that lets you stay for free on over 1800 sites around rural France. As guests of farmers, producers and wine growers the scheme gives you an invitation to stay on their property, try their very best produce, eat their home cooked food and feel welcomed like part of the family.

Sounds good? It is.

France Passion allows you to immerse yourself in the real France. You’ll meet people who genuinely want to meet you and who want to tell you about their lives, the history of their area and the things they grow. You’ll get to try their produce and find out more about France and its food than you ever could by visiting a tourist restaurant in a busy resort.

Stay for free? What’s the catch?

France Passion is a scheme solely for people who drive self contained motorhomes and camper vans. To join costs just £24.99, which buys you the list of destinations, details about each one and the facilities they offer. Each ‘host’ offers their land – for free – to pitch up overnight on the understanding that you’ll take an interest in what they do and will – at the very least – say hello and be friendly. Sometimes this may mean sampling their wine, eating at their bistro or buying a few bits of their home grown produce. There’s really no hardship in that, is there? It’s a small price to pay for a free overnight. Don’t worry about your French either – over 450 of the hosts speak English!

Motorhoming isn’t what you think it is

You might think that motor homing and camping isn’t for you. But things have changed in recent years. Motorhomes have now become more user friendly than ever and include showers, toilets and wash basins with options for satellite TV, cookers, microwaves, central heating and every single mod con you can think of.  And with a good amount of storage and fixed beds that don’t have to be made every night you really could be in a home from home every night of your trip.

It’s no wonder there are around 250,000 motorhomes registered in the UK. It’s a great way to be an independent traveller!

Motorhomes aren’t cheap, it’s true, but once you have made the investment you’ll be able to take off at a moment’s notice. All you need is an Annual Multi Trip travel insurance policy and France – and the rest of Europe – is your oyster.

Why France is fantastic for campers and motorhomes

France is a favourite country to visit for us Brits, and we are not alone in enjoying Gallic hospitality. France is also the world’s most visited country, with over 83 million visitors landing on French soil in 2013.

Happily, France is a very camping-friendly country too. Almost every town has a municipal camp site where it is possible to stay cheaply with basic facilities. There are also countless other private sites ranging from huge 5 star corporate sites with pools, spas and all kinds of facilities to ‘a la ferme’ campsites with nothing more than a tap and a loo.

As well as the France Passion scheme there is also a network of Aires de Camping Car where motorhomes and camper vans can pitch up overnight. They offer a place to fill up with water, empty tanks and service all the essentials. They cost anything from nothing to around €15 per night and are offered by the local community because they see the benefit of having motorhomes coming to their area. Invariably motorhomers – like any other visitor – will spend money in local shops and restaurants – so benefitting the town as a whole.

Once you’re here you might as well stay!

While we have no figures of the number of Brits heading off to over-winter in their motorhomes, we do know that many thousands of migrant Brits end up in places like southern Spain, Italy or Greece on extended trips to escape the British winter. And why not? Once you’re over the channel and ambling through France you might as well follow the sun south. If you have no responsibilities back home it’s an idyllic option for adventurous travellers.

A World First Single Trip travel insurance policy will cover you for up to six months if you are up to 89 years of age. It can also cover you for medical conditions and over 150 sports and activities.

Fancy a motorhome adventure?

See our travel insurance guide for European long stays.

Here is a useful guide to motorhomes from the Camping and Caravanning Club.

Buy the book! Vicarious Books are the UK publisher for France Passion and also publish a guide to the Aires de Camping Car in France, Spain and Portugal.

Get a quote for a World First travel insurance policy now.

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World First is a trading name of Rothwell & Towler (2013) Ltd and is an appointed representative of Crispin Speers & Partners Ltd who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, FCA register number 311507. Travel insurance premiums and availability of cover may vary depending on individual circumstances. If you are a consumer insured (i.e. a person buying insurance wholly or mainly for personal purposes unrelated to your employment), you have a duty to take reasonable care to answer questions fully and accurately, and that any information you volunteer is not misleading. This duty exists before the cover is placed, when renewed, or altered at any time throughout the duration of the policy. If you do not do so, your Insurer may be able to void your policy from inception. Rothwell & Towler (2013) Ltd, Registered in England No. 08294942. Registered Office: St Clare House, 30-33 Minories, London EC3N 1PE.

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