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5 reasons to visit Panama

April 27th, 2016

5 reasons to visit Panama

Caribbean Panama. Clear sea. Cool houses. What's not to love about this colourful country?

Caribbean Panama. Clear sea. Cool houses. What’s not to love about this colourful country?

The Panama Papers have revealed all kinds of murky financial corruption among the global elite. But don’t let that sully your opinion of this captivating little country. Here are five fabulous reasons to visit.

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The World First Wander: the best of this week’s travel blogs

April 26th, 2016

The World First Wander: the best of this week’s travel blogs

Welcome to another World First Wander, our weekly look at what’s hot in the world of travel blogging and writing. As always it’s compiled by Tristan Rothwell, the man who scours the internet for the very best travel related stuff so you don’t have to.

It’s been another busy week in the travel blogosphere. So let’s get straight to it. This week we kick off with some great tips for travelling with little ones in tow. Or perhaps that should be: travelling with little ones in transit. Because our first article is about jetting off during the first trimester of pregnancy.

travel blogs

Those first twelve weeks of pregnancy can be a tough time for expectant mums-to-be. Not least because of the dreaded morning sickness. So what’s it like to travel during the early stages of pregnancy? Is there anything you can do to make the experience easier? And how should you prepare for bumbling about with your bump? For the lowdown we toddle over to Twenty Something Travel: What it’s like to travel in your first trimester.

Once baby has arrived – what’s it like to travel?

The idea of travelling with a baby might not be everyone’s cup of tea. But where there’s a will, there’s a way. And A Bavarian Sojourn has the proof, having gallivanted around Venice with their new gelato-loving family member. With its beautiful network of waterways and bridges, Venice isn’t exactly pushchair-friendly. Just one of many challenges to overcome when exploring Venice with a baby.

travel blogs and blogging

Children and jetlag

Jetlag. It’s the scourge of long-haul travel, capable of doing a number on even the hardiest traveller. But when you add young children to the mix? Well, that can be a recipe for disaster, so you’d better have the patience of a saint. The bad news is that children can be particularly susceptible to the effects of jetlag. And when Mini Travellers set off for Florida, they soon realised that their strategy of tackling jetlag with a G&T and two glasses of wine couldn’t really be extended to their five year old and two four year olds. So how do you help young’uns deal with the side-effects of hopping across timezones? Find out here: How my kids coped with an 8 hour flight and jetlag.

The perfect shot…

travel - The perfect shot

Travel and photography go together like cheese and wine. And in the digital age, the opportunity to capture and publish your travel photographs is easier than ever before. You can take amazing photographs with your smartphone and share them with your friends almost instantly. But no matter how far technology can take you, it’s still worth brushing up on the timeless basic principles of photography. As with so many things in life, you have to know the rules before you can break them. So how do you take the perfect travel snaps? Let The World And Then Some be your mentor: A guide to taking great travel photos.

Looking for some bonus points for extra homework? Life As A Nomad have some fine photography tips of their own: 5 simple tips to take better pictures with any camera. Especially important is the advice about not over-editing your snaps. If you are spending 30 minutes tampering with every photograph, you should probably work on your technique. And besides, think of all the great photo opportunities you’re missing while you’re tweaking.

Living the dream…on Instagram

Living the dream travel blogs

So you’ve got the perfect travel snap? It could move planets with its corporeal beauty. But where are you going to share it? Well, the travel photographer’s platform of choice is Instagram: fast, free and oodles of fun. But Instagram is more than a great place to publish your paps. It’s fabulous for finding new inspiration for your travel photography. Just take a look at our next post from the New York Times, which takes a peek at the Instagram account of Evan Geiselman – one man who is living the dream by combining travel, photography and surfing: On Instagram, a Surfer’s Safari.

Travel tips and holiday hacks

Travel tips and holiday hacks

One of the best things about writing the World First Wander each week is that we get to soak up some of the finest travel tips the travel blogosphere has to offer. Week in, week out we learn something we definitely didn’t know before we started. This week is no different as we take in My top 20 travel tips ever from The Travel Hack. We loved number fourteen. What’s your favourite?

Of course, travelling in confidence means being prepared for the unexpected. But that doesn’t have to be as complicated as it sounds. Just ask Awesome Wave, who have scribed a list of Simple travel hacks to always be prepared for the worst. Tip number four – always buy travel insurance – gets a special shout out. We are biased, of course. But a good policy that you can trust can be a godsend. You simply never know when you may need a safety net to fall back on.

Speaking of needing a little support, that’s us when it comes to packing. Next time we jet off we will definitely be coming back to The Little Backpacker’s Tips for travelling with hand luggage only. The pearl of wisdom about using an airport shopping bag to carry extra bits and pieces is pure genius. We will be pinching that one for our next hand-luggage-only sojourn.

From short-haul to long-haul. Thailand, to be precise. Given her map-reading skills, we wouldn’t recommend following in the footsteps of Kim, our customer service whiz, who is currently sunning herself on the stunning beaches of Thailand. But if you’d like to experience this mesmerising country for yourself, you could do far-worse than filing this next post under must-read. It’s a comprehensive list of everything you will need during your Thai adventure: Backpackers Guide: What to pack for Thailand.

Travel and self development

Travel and self development

Travel is about more than taking a break and recharging the batteries. In our opinion it’s one of the greatest learning tools there is. And there’s no doubt that travel can teach you an awful lot about yourself: your resourcefulness, your strength, your determination, your confidence, your independence. Travel seems to have a keen ability to dish up a life lesson or two. And we straight up love reading articles about how travel has changed people’s outlook on life. What better travel souvenir could there possibly be?

With that in mind, here’s a fantastic article from USA Today. On the off chance you needed extra inspiration to broaden your travel horizons, you certainly won’t do after reading this. It features tall tales from top travel bloggers such as Matt Long, Paul and Karen Farrugia and Janice Waugh, all of whom have appeared here in the Weekly Wander recently. From swimming nose-to-snout with sea lions to taming the Annapurna trek, these are all life-changing stories: Bloggers share their magical moments.

What happens when it all goes wrong?

The unpredictable nature of travel is part of what makes it so fun and exciting. But sometimes fate takes a turn for the worse. That’s why it pays to have a little knowledge on how to handle whatever woes that travel can throw at you. And learning from experienced travellers who have emerged unscathed from their dalliance with adversity is a great way to teach yourself how to cope when it feels like everything is going wrong. For that you can turn to Fevered Mutterings – and their wonderful piece Cancelled! How to fix broken travel plans without losing your mind.

Of course, sometimes you simply have to embrace adversity. You know what they say. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And if there’s any truth in that then the writer of our final article this week may just be the world’s strongest blogger. Behold a gripping tale of travel disaster. Just don’t have nightmares: Storytime: Travel terrors & holiday horrors.

Until next week!

A quick introduction to via ferrata (and why you may love it)

April 21st, 2016

A quick introduction to via ferrata (and why you may love it)

via ferrata

Next time you’re stuck for a dinner party fact, bring out the one about Earth being smoother than a billiard ball. (It’s true.) Yet despite its ‘flat’ surface, our planet is home to some seriously spectacular alpine scenery.

Wish you could get up there and take in the views for yourself? Well, you don’t need to grow wings. You don’t need a helicopter. And you certainly don’t need to become a pro rock climber. You just need to follow the thousands of outdoors lovers who are trying their hand at via ferrata.

Here’s a super-quick lowdown.

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The World First Wander: the best from the world of travel blogs and blogging

April 18th, 2016

The World First Wander: the best from the world of travel blogs and blogging

Welcome to another World First Wander, our weekly look at what’s hot in the world of travel blogging and writing. As always it’s compiled by Tristan Rothwell, the man who scours the internet for the very best travel related stuff so you don’t have to.

Eek. This week it’s been more difficult than ever to whittle down our favourite new articles from the travel blogosphere. But since the sun has had his hat on (for most of us) this week, we’re going to start with that quintessential summer pastime: the festival.

travel blogs and blogging

Of course, festival season isn’t all about seeing Adele headline Glastonbury. (And I’m not sure about you, but Adele seems a strange choice of headliner to me.) In fact, festivals don’t even have to be about the music and reckless hedonism. Just ask Vicky Flip Flop, who has quaffed down a smoothie and compiled a list of The healthiest festivals in the UK.

The perils of getting older

Here at World First we enable thousands of older travel-lovers to live their travel dreams with our seniors travel insurance packages. So this next post is pretty apt: a delightfully tongue-in-cheek look at getting older.  Award-winning writer Carol Wyer is a firm advocate of growing old disgracefully. That and making unusual noises on buses. Sure. Who are we to argue? What no one tells you about getting older until it’s too late.

More senior travel…

Staying with the baby boomers, next up is a post from The Planet D. Guest bloggers Jane and Duncan Dempster-Smith believe that you are never too old to inject a bit of extra adventure into your life. And, from eating crickets in Myanmar to a nighttime trek through the Amazon lit only by an iPhone torch, they practice what they preach: Baby boomers hit the road – Senior travel is not like it used to be.

If you like what Jane and Duncan have to say, take a look at their blog To Travel Too.

East Jesus!

Nope, we had never heard of it either. But it exists. In California. And it sounds as amazing as it does crazy. One Google reviewer describes it as a permanent Burning Man type of exhibition, with all sorts of weird and wacky art and sculptures. Here in the World First office we thought it looked like a set from Mad Max. Either way, it seems like an utterly spellbinding place to visit. Travel Past 50 are inclined to agree: A short trip to East Jesus, California.

It’s not all plain sailing when you travel

There’s a lot to love about travelling. Adventure, exploring new places, food and meeting amazing people along the way. But there are consequences. Big, big consequences. One traveller who knows all too well is Girl vs Globe, who has written this strongly worded missive: 15 ways travel ruins your life.

What’s your contingency plan?

Do you have a backup plan when you travel? Sometimes even the best laid travel plans go a bit wonky. Other times they are completely blown out of the water. Of course, the unpredictable nature of travel is part of what makes it so appealing. But it’s important to have a contingency plan for the unexpected. If you are unprepared in an unfamiliar place, home can suddenly feel like a very, very long way away. Not convinced? Consult Travel On The Brain: Do you really need an ironclad backup plan?

A castle close to home

Each week we try to include a post featuring somewhere a little closer to home. This week our final post comes from two of our favourite bloggers: Rob and Bridget of The Bimblers, who know a thing or two about accessible travel. Now, you could be forgiven for thinking that a wheelchair and a Grade 1 Listed castle may not be the closest companions. But the National Trust had other ideas and have attempted to make Castle Drogo (the last castle built in England) as accessible as possible: Saving Castle Drogo.

Righto! That’s it for another Weekly Wander. Until next week, happy travels and stay safe.

Need nudism advice? Who you going to call? Holidaybusters?

April 13th, 2016

Need nudism advice? Who you going to call? Holidaybusters?

nudism advice?

So you’re off Spain. You’ve heard there are issues with nudism. You decide to make a few enquiries to see if what you’d heard – that there might be nudists in the streets – is true. You are genuinely worried.

Who do you call?

What about if you were in Singapore and looking for work? The only issue is that you aren’t actually allowed to work as your visa won’t allow it. So you decide to seek illegal employment.

Who do you call?

Then again, let’s imagine we have more serious problems. Let’s imagine you are in Europe and you’re hungry. The only problem is that you have run out of English bacon. You need a BLT urgently. Things are desperate.

Who do you call?

Would you pick up the phone to the British Embassy? Of course you wouldn’t. Would you? Surely not? We know better than to trouble our “man in wherever” with such nonsense. After all, we know that the British consul is there to help with genuine emergencies. Their staff are able to support Brits abroad in many ways – including arranging to visit Brits in hospital or in prison, advising on how to transfer money and helping those caught up in crisis situations.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office received almost half a million calls last year from people in trouble abroad. This involved helping 3,250 Brits who were hospitalised, 4,770 who were arrested, and the families of 3,670 who died overseas. Almost 38,000 replacement travel documents were issued too.

But locating a rasher of the finest English? It’s not in their remit. However it doesn’t stop people from call to ask bizarre questions, seek help with trivial matters and even request the loan of a few quid. In a bid to cut down on unnecessary workload the FCO has just released its top ten of odd requests to British Consulates around the world in 2015 to remind us of the real job they do!

In fact, in recent research the FCO revealed that almost three quarters of Brits (74%) thought the FCO could get them out of jail if they were arrested, almost a quarter (22%) thought the FCO could arrange for them to get home if they lost their ticket and 15% presumed the FCO would lend them money if theirs was lost or stolen. They can’t.

The top ten requests the British Consul received in 2015

  1. a man planning to move to Spain who was worried he would encounter nudists walking through the streets
  2. a homesick expat asking where he could buy English bacon
  3. a lady in Lebanon looking for help to recruit an English butler
  4. a holidaymaker trying to find travel advice for a visit to Coventry
  5. a European filmmaker looking for an English pensioner to play a part in his new film
  6. a woman who was disappointed the British Embassy has not sent someone to give her a tour of St. Petersburg on her arrival in Russia
  7. a British man asking for assistance to get illegal employment in Singapore
  8. a mother asked for the contact details of a young British YouTuber, as her son was a fan of his Minecraft videos
  9. a confused businessman looking for information on the construction of plug sockets
  10. a man in South Korea asking what he could do with his old pound notes

What the British Consul can’t do:

  1. Help with travel arrangements
  2. Lend money
  3. Pay medical bills
  4. Find bacon
  5. Get you out of jail free
  6. Give you a tour of St Petersburg

What your travel insurance CAN do:

While we can’t help you with your holiday plans, we can make sure you won’t have to call the consulate if you need emergency treatment abroad. Our travel insurance policies include cover for a minimum of £5 million in emergency medical expenses so if you do get taken ill we can sort it for you. It’s the same if you get money, documents or belongings stolen, your airline stops trading or you have to cancel. We’ve got your back.

But when it comes to nudism you’re on your own.

 

The World First Wander: the best from the world of travel blogs and blogging

April 11th, 2016

The World First Wander: the best from the world of travel blogs and blogging

Welcome to another World First Wander, our weekly look at what’s hot in the world of travel blogging and writing. As always it’s compiled by Tristan Rothwell, the man who scours the internet for the very best travel related stuff so you don’t have to.

 

The World First Wander: the best from the world of travel blogs and blogging

It’s been another great week in travel and travel writing and it’s been more difficult than ever to narrow down our favourites. We start this week’s adventure with the weekend. They fly by don’t they? I bet you’re sitting at your desk now thinking “where did that go?” Am I right?

So we might need a bit of help to make our weekends last that little bit longer. But whereto start? Let’s go over to Travel Candy then, a blogger who has previously featured here in the World First Wander, with this post on 10 ways to make your weekends last longer.

What to do with your weekend time?

There are a hardy few of the team here who can often be found out in the wilds of a weekend. MD Martin is one of them with regular trips to his beloved Woodbury Common. Personally I like to head to Dartmoor, so I loved this next post about backpacking in beautiful Belstone. Have a read of Dartmoor Tramping (part One).

Getting down and dirty

 travel blogs and blogging

This next blog is interesting because it not only ties in nicely with being on Dartmoor (see above) and coming home filthy covered in mud, but also resonates with the parents in the office. We often end up discussing how dirty our children got this past weekend and what mischief they got up to !

It’s not travel related but it’s a topic that is close to our hearts. If we instil a sense of adventure in our children then, who knows, they may turn out to be the great adventurers of tomorrow. Have a read of Dirt is good and then take the kids outside and have a roll round in the mud.

Taking the adventure a bit further…

Quite a bit further actually, with some long distance backpacking and hiking along the UK’s longest trails. It’s something we know many of you love to do as we get lots of enquiries about backpacking travel insurance from all types of walkers, hikers and backpackers. So if you are thinking of walking that bit further next time, this next post may keep you motivated. It’s from The Next Challenge blog – Could you walk the length of every national trail in the UK ?

For those who prefer pedal power

the best from the world of travel blogs and blogging

If all this walking is not your cup of tea then maybe you’ll prefer two wheels. And that’s what our next blog is about… sort of. It’s all about staying on two wheels while on a two wheeled touring holiday. After all, disasters like running out of tea can and do happen…  If you are thinking of a cycling holiday or tour this year then you will want a repair kit with all the right tools and the next post, an in depth post from Tom Allen, has it all. The Ultimate Fix-anything Cycle touring toolkit.

If you like your adventure served cold

The first thing that caught our eye about this post was the statement “My current employer just sent me to Norway to chase the northern lights”, so, in the vague hope that our boss will do the same, we are including this next post from Love Life Go Travel. It’s not the only reason. We loved the way it is written and made us smile and, for us that’s what travel is all about. From dried haddock crisps before a date to tying up a Viking with gaffer tape, it sounds like an amazing trip (note to Boss, I am happy to go on a trip like this in the name of work).

Have a read of an arctic adventure in Norway.

Really getting away from it all

The World First Wander: the best from the world of travel blogs and blogging

While technology is a wonder of the modern age, helping us to stay connected with friends family and loved ones, it can also be a curse. Sometimes it seems we have become so reliant on technology that we can’t just actually look at a view and enjoy it. No, we have to take a selfie and share it with everyone we know!

Does that trouble you? Read this from camping with style. How to have a tech free family camping holiday.

Feel the fear and do it anyway

Our last post this week comes from Beverley at Pack Your Passport. It’s not about travel but more about life itself and the thing that holds all of us back at certain times in our lives –fear.

Have a read. Fear and falling is a good one.

That’s it for this week. Hopefully there has been something here to get you inspired to go on an adventure and maybe even do it tech free, or maybe go out and tie up a Viking with gaffer tape.

Until next week.

 

April Showers? Your best chance of finding Sun in April.

April 8th, 2016

April Showers? Your best chance of finding Sun in April.

Thinking of jetting off this month in search of the sun? Great! We have put together some ideas of the kind of places you are – almost – guaranteed good weather…

April Showers? Your best chance of finding Sun in April.

There is nothing worse than arriving at a destination, having saved long and hard, to discover it’s the rainy season! You’d be surprised how many people do just that. However, with just a little research we can improve the odds of getting some of that much needed sun.

We have divided this guide into 3 sections, The UK, Europe and the rest of the World.

The UK

April Showers? Your best chance of finding Sun in April.

Last year Britain basked in its sunniest April on record, with Morpeth in Northumberland having its sunniest ever, with 110 hours of sunshine! Could history repeat itself this year?

The South coast is always a good bet  and the stats prove it. South east England takes the top spot though just beating the southwest to the sunniest spot with an average of 170 hours of sun in April.

So where to go?

Sussex

April Showers? Your best chance of finding Sun in April. sussex

Last year Sussex was one of the driest places in the UK and the coastal resorts of Sussex and neighbouring Hampshire are amongst the sunniest places in the UK.

Devon

April Showers? Your best chance of finding Sun in April. devon

Not only is it one of the top places to retire in the UK but it averages above 1600 hours of sunshine a year. The highest points on the moors will get more rain than surrounding areas due to their height but don’t let that put you off. If you strike it lucky with some April sun then there is nowhere more beautiful to be.

The Isle of Wight

April Showers? Your best chance of finding Sun in April. isle of wight

With its milder sub-climate than other areas in the UK, the Isle of Wight is a great bet for finding April sunshine. Lower Ventnor enjoys a position sheltered by cliffs, giving it its own micro climate. That means if it’s raining on one part of the Isle of Wight it may well be dry there. Temperatures hit an average high of 55F in April so while it may not have you reaching for the factor 60, it does have a good track record for weather.

Europe

April Showers? Your best chance of finding Sun in April. europe

According to the Met Office you are spoilt for choice in Europe, from Osta  in Portugal with a lovely and warm maximum average of 20.7c and up to 8 hours of sunshine a day, to that old British favourite, the Costa del Sol,  with temperatures in April reaching 20c or just slightly over.

Greece

April Showers? Your best chance of finding Sun in April. greece

Kos in Greece is another popular destination for British sun lovers. It might have been 14c, which is just under 60f, at the time of writing, but it’s forecast to  rise to a heart warming 22c and possibly as high as 25c and that’s perfect for starting off your 2016 tan.

Considering going to Greece have a look at Visit Greece.

The sunniest country in Europe – Spain

The sunniest country in Europe - Spain

Spain is a consistent contender in the sunniest spot awards. With a high of 21c in Malaga and 8.1 hours of sunshine it’s another good bet for escaping those British April showers. Seville is consistently a winner in the sunny stakes with spring being one of the most popular times to visit, as summer temperatures can reach the 30’s. Some find it too hot.

If Spain is your destination of choice then head over to Spain.info

The rest of the World

Las Vegas

Las Vegas

Peaking at approximately 25c in April with just 5mm of rain this is a great bet! Excuse the pun, Vegas doesn’t have to be just about gambling though, and to get some great ideas for what activities are available there take a look at the trip advisor website:  Things to do in Las Vegas.

Florida

Florida sunshine

Florida is typically hot in April with a daily maximum of over 28c and 9 hours of sunshine a day. It’s also home to Disney World in Orlando – it is guaranteed to keep almost any child happy.

There is loads to do and see in Florida in April from the Charlotte harbour super boat grand prix to the seafood festival at Palmetto to the one which we really liked the sound of – The festival of Chocolate in Tampa.

Cancun – Mexico

Cancun – Mexico

With its tropical climate, the temperature in Cancun averages 32C in April but can rise to a sweltering 36c. It’s dry too, with average rainfall of approx 1.5 inches. Apriul marks the end of the dry season so the chances of rain are a bit higher than in January or February.

So if it’s real heat you want then Cancun is your best bet this month.

Happy holidays…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The World First Wander: the best travel blogs this week

April 5th, 2016

The World First Wander: the best travel blogs this week

Welcome to another World First Wander, our weekly look at what’s hot in the world of travel blogging and writing. As always it’s compiled by Tristan Rothwell, the man who scours the internet for the very best travel related stuff so you don’t have to.

It’s been another great week in travel and travel writing and it’s been more difficult than ever to narrow down our favourites! But anyway, we had a go…

Starting the journey close to home

The World First Wander: the best travel blogs this week

Dartmoor has tough terrain, but it can be done!

Dartmoor is just a 30 minute drive from our Exeter office, so, for us it’s almost like our back garden. It’s stunning whatever the season and weather but as spring approaches it really shines out there on the moor. So it’s a good place to start this week, with regulars The Bimblers, who have been checking out how accessible Dartmoor is. So let’s find out on Our Accessible Dartmoor Road Trip.

Are you thinking of travelling while pregnant?

travelling while pregnant

Travel while pregnant? Why not?

For  some the idea of travelling while heavily pregnant is an absolute nightmare. But for others it’s just another day at the travel office. It all depends on how you feel, what kind of advice you’ve been given and how far you want to go! Event then it can be helpful to get some good advice from a seasoned travel blog like Travel Mamas. One of their writers Stacy Jessee has travelled at 8 months pregnant and has some sage advice in Pregnancy travel tips learned the hard way. And don’t forget your pregnancy travel insurance – while you may not feel like it, pregnancy is classed as a medical condition so you’ll need decent medical cover.

For when you travel with a medical condition

For many people, medical conditions are no reason to stay at home, especially if it’s something chronic like IBS, Crohn’s or UC. Dealing with unfamiliar food and places can be a real challenge but it often worth it. And if you ever needed some inspiration to book that trip – and don’t forget we cover 1000s of medical conditions –  then take a look at this next post from Jodie from the Little Backpacker. It’s a frank account of her recent diagnosis of IBS and how it affects her eating. Well worth a read: Dealing with Food Intolerances.

Do you travel with medication?

travel with medication

If you travel with a medical condition then there is a good chance you will need to carry some form of medication. Often it’ll also mean taking a little more time to be prepared. That’s something Julie, mum at Have Wheelchair Will Travel knows all about. Thankfully, she’s written a helpful blog entitled What to do when travelling with medication. It’s a well informed and informative piece, so please, give it a read.

You’re not going to travel around the world, especially if………

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Someone once told our next travel blogger “You’re not going to travel around the world, especially if you are deaf”. Little did they know Ed Rex of Rexy Edventures would be buying his round the world ticket the very next day! Fortunately he took no notice of this awful piece of advice because he’s an expert blogger (and one of our favourites). He shows that, while being deaf may throw up a few obstacles along the way, it’s no reason not to travel. Ed travels with cochlear implants due to Pendreds Syndrome and has listed some of the things he packs to make sure his travels go smoothly in Travelling solo with a cochlear implant around the world.

Another travel blog we follow is Definitely Wanderlust which is run by Lilo and Stacey, both of whom are deaf. They have written a great blog post about what you can ask when meeting deaf or hard of hearing people. It’s a good post and well worth a read.

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas…sometimes

photo5

The best of Vegas with Curb Free Cory Lee

We have followed Curb Free with Cory Lee for quite some time now and it’s a veritable treasure trove for the disabled traveller. Recently Cory lived it up in Vegas and he has written a great blog post for any wheelchair user thinking of heading there. He got up to all sorts, from hot air ballooning to scaling the world’s largest observation tower. As Cory says in his post, “there is nothing getting in the way of wheelchair users having the full on Vegas experience”. So here it is!  9 Wheelchair accessible things to do in Las Vegas.

That just about rounds up this week’s wander, hopefully you have enjoyed reading it as much as we have enjoyed writing it, let us know which is your favourite this week and if you have found a great travel blog post we may have missed please let us know.

British traveller facing £53,000 medical bill after rare bird attack

April 1st, 2016

British traveller facing £53,000 medical bill after rare bird attack

Photo Picture of a Guitar on the Sand Beach

Lost your guitar? It could be worse….

We get a lot of emails here at World First. But occasionally we get one that really stands out. Like the email we received from a gap year traveller, who recently had their round-the-world trip cut short after just one week. The sender, who has asked to remain anonymous, has given us permission to publish the email below.

Never forget to take out travel insurance. And do NOT mess with wild animals.

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The World First Wander: A worldwide road trip special

March 29th, 2016

The World First Wander: A worldwide road trip special

Welcome to another World First Wander, our weekly look at what’s hot in the world of travel blogging and writing. As always it’s compiled by Tristan Rothwell, the man who scours the internet for the very best travel related stuff so you don’t have to.

Pack your bags and pack them light. This week we are heading off on a road trip – and we don’t need you jiggering the rear axle with your shoe collection. That much we do know. For everything else, we have a swashbuckling A to Z of road trip advice from some of the finest travel writers in the blogosphere. Start your engines. It’s time to mirror, signal, manoeuvre your way to the trip of a lifetime. Honk, honk!

What exactly is a road trip?

According to the font of all knowledge (ahem, Wikipedia), a road trip is “a long distance journey on the road”. Hmm. Not exactly a robust definition. So how long is long distance? Does a road trip really have to take place on the road? And do you need to hire a hootin’-tootin’ RV or will your Uncle Jack’s Fiesta 1.1 do the trick?

The World First Wander: A worldwide road trip special

The legend of the road trip starts back in 1888 when Bertha Benz borrowed (without consent) her husband’s car to travel 66 miles to visit her mother. 66 miles may not sound like much of a stretch in today’s money, but by nineteenth century standards – with a two-thirds of a horsepower engine that struggled to hit 10mph – it was a bona fide test of endurance. And you couldn’t even stop for a Burger King on the way.

road trip travel blog

Flash forward to today and your road trip can be anything and everything you want it to be. Coast to coast along Route 66, 10,000 miles in an old banger in the Mongol Rally, the length of Australia’s Gold Coast on an epic surfing adventure. You choose. Long or short. Through mountain passes. Along salt flats. You are limited only by your imagination. Okay, you are limited by your vehicle too – but even that’s negotiable with the right budget.

So, where would your dream road trip take you?

Wherever you go, make sure it’s safe

Car safety advice for a road trip.

First up this week is a blog post from Wander Mum, who has some sound advice about car safety. Sure, it might not be the most romantic part of road trippin’, but it is one of the most important. You won’t be going very far without both you and your car in one piece: Car safety advice for a road trip.

Go solo or go with friends?

A solo road trip – why you can and why it will be fabulous!

Make no mistake, this is a mighty big decision. Going solo can be immensely liberating – it’s just you and the open road. Trouble is, if (or when) something goes wrong, being on your own will bite that much harder – especially if you think a carburettor is something that belongs in an Italian restaurant. Going with friends can make things much less daunting. But you’d better be sure you can cope with living in each other’s pockets. Being together 24/7 is enough to drive a wedge between even the closest relationships. Decisions, decisions. While you scratch your head, Solo Traveler has your back: A solo road trip – why you can and why it will be fabulous!

If you decide the solo thing just isn’t your cup of cocoa, let’s look at this from a different angle. Would you consider road tripping with a stranger? Pick your jaw off the floor. Yes, it’s a gamble. But it can also be one of the most thrilling experiences of your life. And you might just get to have as much fun as the guys from Internet Adventure Club.

Just make sure its epic

How to plan an epic road trip.

Of course a road trip doesn’t have to be epic must be epic. And the supremely unglamorous secret to achieving epic? Planning. Lots and lots of planning. The good news is that Helen In Wonderlust is here to throw you a bone or two: How to plan an epic road trip.

Talking of epic…

Valley of Fire - travel blog

The name Valley of Fire conjures images of biblical epicness. But you won’t find the Valley of Fire in the pages of Leviticus or Genesis, it’s in Nevada! And the scenery is every bit as dramatic as the name suggests. Don’t believe us? Hotfoot it over to Alex In Wanderland’s A very JUICY road trip part V: Valley of Fire. The photos are stunning. As for the hired RV – well, you be the judge.

It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey

Exactly. Sure it’s a cliché, but it’s lost on so many travellers. The journey is part of the travel experience. One person who knows that better than most is Elle-Rose from The World And Then Some, a traveller who discovered the joys of road trippin’ after realising that flight gave her the wrong kind of goosebumps. Thousands of miles, hundreds of photographs and dozens of unforgettable experiences later, Elle-Rose knows a thing or two about how to make the most out of a road trip.

how to make the most out of a road trip.

Road tripping at 90

You don’t have to be a spring chicken to road trip. After a cancer diagnosis, 90 year old Norma Bauerschmidt opted against treatment in favour of packing her bags and hitting the road. How inspiring is that? Norma has since become something of an internet sensation – and you can follow her adventures on Facebook at Driving Miss Norma.

What about a road trip at home?

You don’t have to go to the end of the Earth and back to enjoy a road trip! There’s plenty on offer right here in Blighty. In fact a road trip is one of the best ways to see Britain for what it is: a little island that’s endowed with a rich and varied beauty. Travel around the coast. Go up hill and down dale in the Peak District. Take in the visceral landscapes of Snowdonia. There’s a lot of choice for such a small island. Whittle down your options with Hand Luggage Only: 20 essential places you must include on your British road trip.

Europe bound!

As we enter the home straight of this week’s Wander, we look to Europe. And let’s just say that with 3,930,000 square miles to explore, you will want to make sure you have a full tank. Or just do what Michael Hodson did and bee-line for Slovenia. There’s plenty to see – from the European Green Capital – that’s Ljubljana, by the way – to the Julian Alps. You would know that too if you had read Roadtripping Slovenia: The parts you shouldn’t miss.

Roadtripping Slovenia: The parts you shouldn’t miss.

That’s the joy of road tripping. It makes it so much easier to make like Fleetwood Mac and go your own way. No itineraries to stick to. No waiting in departure lounges. And no letting the tour guide decide where you go. So if you’re in the mood for rebelling against the norm, may we be so bold as to recommend a trip to Riga – Latvia’s architecturally beautiful capital? Bruised Passports did just that. And by jingo it sounds like they had a fairly decent time in the process: Baltic roadtrip: A guide to Riga, Latvia.

Baltic roadtrip: A guide to Riga, Latvia.

Righto, that’s it for this week! We hope we’ve left you with an appetite to get those wheels rolling. But remember that wherever you go and however you get there, if you are blogging it we want to know. Chances are you might appear in the World First Wander one day soon!

Until next week.

Rothwell & Towler Tourism House Woodwater Park
Pynes Hill Exeter EX2 5WS

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