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

January 26th, 2015

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

travel blog

Another best of the West: Exeter Cathedral

Welcome to this week’s World First Wander, our weekly look at the best travel writing and blogging from around the world with our social media man Tristan Rothwell.

We start our journey this week with a spot of hiking, something that is great for the body and good for the soul. We featured part 1 of Heather Cowper’s ‘Hiking the Dry Stone Route in Mallorca’ in December’s World First Wander so naturally we wanted to include part 2. This time Heather takes us from Lluc Monastry to Port de Pollença. Great hike and great read.

If Heather’s post gives you a yearning  for the trail then this next blog will definitely be one to follow. It’s the London Hiker, although that doesn’t mean the hikes are in or around the Capital. This is a blog full of ideas for people who happen to dwell in London but love hiking. The latest post, Ideas for your hiking year ahead offers some really great ideas for getting out of the city and hitting the trail.

If you have been keeping up to date with the World First Travel Blog you will know that my fiancé are I are expecting a baby in June. If you are in a similar position and are thinking it might curtail your travel plans, give us a call about getting great cover, then take a look at our post why your pregnancy doesn’t have to stop you travelling.

I guess I shall soon be asking the burning question ‘can you really keep travelling with a baby in tow?’ that Cathy Winston answers very eloquently in her blog Mummy Travels. The answer, I think, is yes. Her latest post 11 things travel has taught me about parenting is packed with good tips and advice for travelling parents. I will be referring back to it once the baby arrives.

As we are Exeter-based it’s obvious that we should be biased in this next choice of blog. But it is not without very good reason. Polly Allen’s post South West England’s 2015 hotspots highlights just a few of the fabulous places that are on our doorstep, from Burton Bradstock to Salisbury Cathedral. The South West is full of undiscovered and underrated gems and this blog is a great place to start if you plan on visiting this year.

We stay in the southwest (sort of) for our final article of this week’s Wander. It’s one of our regulars, Devon lad Chris Stevens. He has compiled a list of Travel Bloggers to follow. There are a few on there I have yet to catch up with so it’s well worth a look if you, like us, enjoy your travel blogging and writing.

That just about wraps it up for this week. Don’t forget if you spot a great travel blog this week let us know!

Until next week.

Why your pregnancy doesn’t have to stop you travelling.

January 21st, 2015

Pregnancy travel insurance. Why being a mum-to-be shouldn’t stop you travelling.

.Pregnancy travel insurance

We have some exciting news at World First HQ. Senior Customer Service Supervisor Shushanah Tolley is expecting a baby on the 13th of June. Naturally she’s thrilled, as is her partner and fiancé, Tristan Rothwell, our very own Social Media Man. He’s beside himself at the prospect of being a father for the first time! As you can see from the pictures above.

Last chance for a child-free holiday?

While Tristan and Shushana have no plans for a big getaway before the event, it’s understandable that lots of young mums-to-be should want to travel before their baby is due. It is a fantastic opportunity to relax, take time out and enjoy the calm before the storm. After all, life and travel will never be the same again once the baby arrives. But what about getting pregnancy travel insurance?

Travelling while pregnant

Pregnancy is considered to be a ‘medical condition’ by the travel insurance industry, so you will need specialist cover. Also, if you were to head off on your holidays and didn’t declare it, the chances are your insurance company would decline any claim that arose as a result of that pregnancy. So it is absolutely vital that you take out a policy that will cover it.

Talk to a specialist insurer

Lots of travel insurance companies won’t cover pregnancy because it is seen as too great a risk. That means that cover you get free through your bank or with your credit card may not cover you without exclusions, if it covers you at all. Shop around and choose carefully who you go with. Some companies may refuse cover, while others may charge you a small fortune for it.

World First can cover you

We are happy to say that World First can offer pregnancy travel insurance cover with the same great range of benefits as all other travellers enjoy. In fact, we cover hundreds of mums-to-be each year who don’t want to let their pregnancy stop them from seeing the world. Our policies include medical expenses cover for pregnancy and childbirth from week 0 to week 28 while you are away. From week 29 to week 40 we can’t offer any cover for claims relating to a normal pregnancy or cancellation due to the pregnancy. However, we will provide this cover if you experience complications more than 12 weeks (or 16 weeks if you know you are having more than one baby) before the expected delivery date.  These are: toxaemia, gestational hypertension, ectopic pregnancy, post-partum haemorrhage, pre-eclampsia, molar pregnancy or hydatidiform mole, retained placenta membrane, placental abruption, hyperemesis gravidarum, placenta praevia, stillbirth, premature birth, miscarriage, emergency caesarean or a termination needed for medical reasons.

Are you fit to travel?

All airlines and most ferry companies place restrictions on how far into your pregnancy you can travel. This can be as little as 28 weeks or as much as 38 weeks, depending on the company and the length of your journey. If you’re having trouble travelling by air or sea and are still keen to get away, it’s worth noting that there are usually no restrictions on coach or rail travel. The best thing to do here is to check with your carrier – before you book – that they will be willing to let you travel at your stage of the pregnancy at the time of travel. Unfortunately, if your carrier refuses to take you then we will be unable to cover you.

Getting vaccinations right

If you are planning to travel to a country that requires vaccinations it is important to do your research before you book. This means checking that you’ll actually be able to have the necessary vaccinations. If you discover – after booking – that you are unable to have the appropriate and required vaccinations as a result of your pregnancy then you will not be covered if you decide to (or have to) cancel your trip.

What if you have your baby when you are away?

It does happen! The good news is that we will cover both of you to travel home. If you have Annual cover all you have to do is let us know and we can add the baby to your policy before you travel home. Just make sure you keep us in the know.

Should you be worried about travelling when pregnant?

Unless you have been told by your doctor not to travel, then most likely, no. However, if you’re flying when pregnant, you may have a slightly increased risk of developing deep vein thrombosis – a potentially life-threatening blood clot that (usually) forms in the deep veins of the legs. This is why carriers are unlikely to carry you after a certain period. Simple preventative steps like wearing DVT socks, walking around every so often, staying well-hydrated and avoiding tight clothing will minimise the risks.

If in doubt, talk to us

Our Customer Service team have a lot of experience of helping mums-to-be. So if you have any doubts or worries about travelling, or our pregnancy travel insurance give us a call before you book anything. They will be able to let you know where you stand right from the off.

We look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

The World First Wander: the internet’s best travel blogs

January 16th, 2015

The World First Wander: the internet’s best travel blogs – January 16th 2015

travel blogs

Welcome to another World First Wander with Tristan Rothwell. Every week Tristan takes us on a tour of what’s new from the best travel blogs and writing. So if you love to read about travel but don’t want to put in the leg work, this is the place to come!

Here we go…

With a lot of people now busy planning their travels and holidays for 2015 I thought it might be useful to many to take a peek at the price of travel and see if I can answer the big question: how much is it going to cost?

Luckily I found the perfect post to tell you! I really like Alaistair Humphreys blog as there is always great content. So if you are wondering “how much” have a look his post How much money do I need to go travelling?

So you have saved the money and booked that trip but you still need to budget and save a few pennies along the way – if you can. That’s where this next blog from Global Grasshopper  is going to be invaluable. It contains some great travel tips here and – get this –  will help to save you money! Read  6 tips and secrets for saving money on your travels  and start saving.

For some people saving the money isn’t the difficult bit. What’s tough is deciding where to go!  You can always try the throwing a dart at a map option but it doesn’t always work out the way you hoped.

To help us with the decision making process I sought out the help of The Travel Hack. Monica knows a thing or two when it comes to making decisions so if you are stuck for ideas How to choose your travel destinations is well worth a read.

Money saved, destination decided! What next? Start your own travel blog, of course.

It’s a bit of a minefield knowing where to start if you have never written a blog before. It can also be a little daunting, but help is at hand from Global Help Swap who have written the perfect blog post to get you started. How to start a travel blog in just under an hour is well worth a read. If you do start a blog, let us know. We’d love to feature it here!

None of it working for you? Ok, try this post from Jayne Gorman about how to find your inner tourist – but without going too far. If you don’t want to travel there is always something to discover just outside your door.

Have a read of Jayne’s Tips for being a tourist in your own town and get out there!!!

Until next time.

Tris

10 ways to make your partner’s heart soar this Valentine’s

January 12th, 2015

Valentine’s Day is coming! Better be on your best behaviour. But forget about the overcrowded restaurants, overpriced flowers, soulless cards and supermarket chocolates! This year it’s time to do something different. It doesn’t have to be lavishly extravagant or a grand romantic gesture, just something completely different.

We’ve compiled this list of ten very different ways to make your partner’s heart soar this Valentine’s Day. OK so there’s no Orient Express or trip to Paris on the list but who cares? Sometimes it’s good to go against the flow.

10 ways to make your partner's heart soar this Valentine’s Read the rest of this entry »

The World First Wander – the best travel writing on the Internet

January 8th, 2015

The World First Wander – the best travel writing on the Internet

travel writing

Scotland: wild and beautiful. Is it in your travel plans for 2015?

Welcome to the first ‘Wander’ of 2015! A very happy New Year to you all.

New Year is all about goal setting for many people. This year it’s no different, with lots of travel bloggers writing about their plans for 2015. Judging by some of the blogs I have read, 2015 is going to be an epic year for travel.

So let’s see what the best British travel bloggers have got planned….

The Cosy Traveller, Emily Ray, has a few great suggestions in her post, “Where do I hope to travel in 2015?”. On her list is Scotland, a place that is ‘easily overlooked’ by the English – even though it is right on our doorstep. I agree. It really is a fantastic country, with wonderful scenery and a long and proud history . Of course it’s not the be and end all of Emily’s travel ambitions by any stretch, so take a look and be inspired!

Does anyone have plans to travel less in 2015? @jayneytravels AKA Girl Tweets World writer Jayne Gorman is planning on doing just that. However, as she’s living in Sydney it’s not an announcement that she’s retiring from travel blogging just yet! Far from it! When you have an entire continent to call home there’s always more to see in your own back yard!!! Anyway,  Travelling less in 2015 is a great read.

How about if you want to do more travelling this year? Then you may need to read one of our favourite travel blogs, The Travel Hack. It’s written by Monica Stott and has some great travel tips for getting more miles under your belt in 2015. Interested? Take a look at “How to travel more in 2015” if you are wavering….

Are you in the mood for setting goals for 2015? Blogger Frankie Thompson has put hers down in a big list of the things she wants to achieve in 2015. It might not be the same kind of things you might aspire to but the principle is there. Write it down and it’s more likely to happen! Make a list! Here’s Frankie’s travel and writing goals for 2015.

For those of you with resolutions rather than goals for 2015, “7 effective ways to become a better version of yourself this Year” , an interesting post from the quirky blog Hand Luggage Only, might be something to take a look at. . It’s not about places to go or things to do, rather a few suggestions to make yourself a better you in 2015. If that puts you off, don’t worry. If you are staring 2015 in the face wishing you could do it better than you did in 2014, it’s a fun list of things to ponder. The final point on the list? Travel more, of course.

To round up this week’s Wander, we go now to a post by another regular here, Ed Rex, who has listed some great British weekend getaways. It’s nice to see that he rates our hometown Exeter among them. So, if one of your goals for 2015 is to see more of the UK, it’s a great place to start. See his list of 15 British weekend breaks.

That’s it for now. See you next time.

Tristan

 

 

 

 

Snow or no snow? Where you stand with your travel insurance.

December 30th, 2014

Snow - Where you stand with your travel insurance

Booked to go skiing soon? Hoping for the best conditions is a natural part of the experience. There’s no guarantee of snow and certainly no promise of perfect conditions. Last month the press was awash with talk of snowless resorts in Europe yet this week it’s all about huge dumps stranding motorists and holiday makers and making travel very difficult in some areas of France. You simply never know what you’re going to get!

So we thought it might be a good time to let you know where you stand with snow and your World First travel insurance policy.

What happens if you get there and you can’t ski because there’s no snow?

With Winter Sports cover from World First you will be covered if there’s no snow on your skiing holiday – as long as it’s within certain limits. If you booked a skiing holiday in a resort that’s above 1600 metres between 1st January and 30th April then you’ll be covered for £20 per day up to a maximum of £400 with our Superior policy if you can’t ski. Maximum limits on our Economy and Standard policies are £200.

What happens if you can’t travel because of too much snow?

It might seem like the deepest of ironies to get stranded at home, in the UK, in a snowdrift, but it does happen.

This week we’ve already heard of a few problems with snow in the North of England and in previous winters we’ve seen snow disrupt thousands of flights. So what if it happens to you? While your airline is only obliged to get you from A to B and will either offer a refund or later flight, the good news is that you can claim on your World First travel insurance policy, as long as you booked it before any problems were forecast.

If you are delayed at the airport for 12 hours or more because of bad weather, we will compensate you providing you checked-in on time. You just need to get a representative of your airline to confirm the length and nature of your delay in writing.

If you are delayed for more than 12 hours at the airport you will be entitled to claim Trip Abandonment on certain policies, with a maximum payout of up to £5,000 on our single and multi trip Superior policies. So if you decide a major delay is no way to start the holiday of a lifetime, you’ll be able to recover your holiday expenses. Additionally, if bad weather causes an accident you’re involved in or your vehicle suffers mechanical breakdown en route to your departure point and you subsequently miss your flight, we will provide compensation up to the amount covered for trip cancellation. We will also pay-out if you are travelling to the airport on public transport that becomes delayed as a result of the adverse weather.

If snow delays you on the return leg of your journey, there’s no need to worry about extending your cover as your policy duration will automatically extend until you’re back in the UK.

What if there’s so much snow that you can’t get to your resort?

This did happen this week! Ski resorts are used to snow so it’s much more likely that you’ll be delayed by snow in the UK than in Europe or the USA. However, if you were to be delayed leaving or arriving in your resort due to avalanche your World First policy will cover the cost of additional transport and/or accommodation if you are unable to reach or leave your pre-booked resort because of access problems due to an avalanche.

What happens if you hit the wrong type of snow?

We aren’t talking about snow that stops trains. We are talking about snow that causes you to slip, trip or fall when you are away. Frankly it’s any type of snow, because, as all rational people know, there is an inherent risk of injury on winter sports holidays. So, whatever excuse you give for slipping and hurting yourself, no matter how seriously, we’ll be there to cover you.

Our policies will cover you for up to £10 million (with a Superior policy) worth of medical expenses, including the cost of medical emergencies and repatriation if you hurt yourself on your winter sports holiday. If you need to be airlifted off the mountain or even airlifted home after a serious injury it will more than cover it. And if someone else gets seriously injured on the slopes and it’s your fault, we’ll cover you for £2 million worth of personal liability cover too.

If you have any questions regarding your travel insurance, get in touch with us and we’ll do our best to give you all the help you need. Call 0845 90 80 161 or email info@world-first.co.uk.

 

 

 

The World First Wander – The Christmas Special

December 22nd, 2014
martin rothwell

The World First Wander. What’s your Christmas tradition?

The World First Wander – The Christmas Special

Welcome to this very special Christmas edition of the World First Wander. After weeks of refusing to give in to the ‘festive spirit’ our social media man Tristan has finally given in to the mistletoe and wine. Mind you, he’s recently grown a beard with just a little too much white in it….

Never mind that thought. Let’s move on straight away with a few Christmas tipples from around the world with @adventurehan. In her post Christmas drinks from around the world she takes a look at a few choice Christmas drinkies. Along with mulled wine and eggnog the post contains some really interesting recipes, including one from Chile.  Time to shake it up…

If you’ve been listening to Christmas songs recently (as if you could avoid them) then no doubt you will have heard ‘A Fairytale in New York’ a few times by now… and why not? It’s one of the best, so I am delighted to let it lead us to our next post from Christine Amorose, who is also known as C’est Christine. The lovely, picture heavy blog Postcard of Christmas in New York City will give you a real taste of Christmas in the Big Apple. Great pictures. Have you got itchy feet yet?

Talking of photography, we’d like to point you in the direction of a new post on the World First Travel Blog now. We have put together a list of ten things you can do to improve your travel photography  to help any budding David Baileys among you get more from your digital SLR when you are travelling. We hope you’ll find something useful in there to help you make even more of those brilliant travel memories.

London next, with a regular on the World first wander,  A lady in London, who has been wandering around our greatest city admiring the lights. London can be a magical place at Christmas so it’s lovely to see it in its full, illuminated glory in this post, Lady loves Christmas lights.

On the subject of great cities, we’re off to Dublin now with another of our regular bloggers, @heathercowper. She recently wrote 10 fun things we did on a Christmas weekend in Dublin and we love it. Heather’s blog is always full of good advice and helpful tips and this post is no different. If you are planning a shopping and sightseeing trip to Ireland’s fairest city, have a read of this post.

Before we all take off for the holidays and set off to put up the tree, bake a ham and watch a movie with an elf in it, I thought it might be nice to see what some of our featured bloggers do at Christmas. After all, everyone does it differently, don’t they? Elle Rose Williams, in her post My Christmas and New Year traditions lets us into her Christmas world… and it sound pretty good!

That just about wraps up this year’s festive selection! Thanks for coming with us and a very merry Christmas to you all.

Finally, a word about the photo above. It’s our MD Martin Rothwell ( who also happens to be my brother) looking most festive just before he disappeared into his office to wrap my present. Hope it’s not a P45.

Merry Christmas!!!

Ten things you can do to improve your travel photography

December 18th, 2014

Ten things you can do to improve your travel photography

improve your travel photography

West Ireland caught between showers

Here at World First we love our photography, especially if it involves going on a trip somewhere nice. It doesn’t even have to be sunny and warm, although it can help, especially if you’re looking for that perfect image. Anywhere can yield stunning images if you put your eye to it. But, of course, taking perfect pictures isn’t always easy. There are so many things that can conspire against you when you are trying to capture the moment forever. So if you are one of those snap happy snappers who finds that more often than not your pictures are washed out, blurry, out of focus or have lamp posts coming out of people’s heads, this is for you. These are our top ten tips for getting more out of your travel photography.

Over to you!

Read the rest of this entry »

The World First Wander – The best travel writing on the Internet

December 15th, 2014

The World First Wander – The best travel writing on the Internet

tThe World First Travel Blog

Welcome to The World First Wander, our weekly look at the hottest travel blogs and travel writing on the internet.

Christmas might be looming but I am not going to give in just yet. We’ll look at Christmas blogs next week in our World First Wander “Festive Special”. In the meantime this week is all about budgets, babies, brekkies and weekend breaks. Let’s hit the road.

First up is money saving with someone who features regularly on this blog, Zoe, The Quirky Traveller.

Zoë knows a thing or two about travel so she’s become part of our essential reading here at World First. If you are looking at saving a few pennies on your next trip, take a look at 7 Money Saving Tips for Holiday Travel. Great read.

Toddlers next! I have found myself more drawn to travel articles about children recently. I wonder why? Did I mention that my fiancé is pregnant? You heard it here first!!! Time to try out our Pregnancy travel insurance policy then…

Anyway, on with the travel.  Check out Travel Lessons Learned: Lanzarote with a Toddler from Cathy Winston on Mummy Travels.

Staying in Europe, we’re now heading off to Denmark with luxury travel blogger Mrs.O. As Anna says, Denmark is 80 Minutes from London so it’s near enough for a weekend away. I have heard that it’s a great place to visit – my fiancé went years ago – so perhaps it’s time to take a trip. Have a read of A Lux weekend in… . Definitely one for the 2015 list of must see destinations!

If Denmark isn’t your cup of tea the maybe Limerick will be. Brenna Holeman  of This Battered Suitcase has written a great review of her trip there. It was the Irish breakfast that sold it to me! It looks delicious. Take a peek at Why I love Limerick (and why you should too).

A little bit further away, at just over 2 hours from London, lies Venice and all that its name conjures up. Perfect spot for a weekend away? Travel blogger Chris Sharpe headed there for 24 hours and lived to tell the tale in his lovely post Venice in under 24 hours.

That’s it for now but if you are looking for more travel inspiration have a look at Top 50 Travel Blogs. It’s our choice of the best blogs and has been really popular.

Until next week, when it really will be time to look at the best of the festive blogs…

The World First Travel Insurance Top 50 UK Travel Blogs

December 8th, 2014

The World First Travel Insurance Top 50 UK Travel Blogs

The World First Travel Insurance Top 50 UK Travel Blogs

The World First Travel Insurance Top 50 UK Travel Blogs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We follow a lot of travel blogs here at World First as it’s important for us to stay up to date with what’s going on in travel. The more we know about the way people travel, the better we are able to provide travel insurance policies that are genuinely useful.

The UK has some really fantastic travel writers and bloggers so we thought we’d share some of our favourites with you. They are in no particular order and are simply a collection of those we follow, find useful and think will inspire you to travel more! From the Bald Hiker and The Battered suitcase to Backpacker Banter and Borders of Adventure we think we’ve pretty much covered it all!

 

 

Obviously we haven’t included the World First Travel Blog on the list. But, in case you don’t want to miss anything that gets posted here – like the World First Wander – you can subscribe to our newsletter on our HOME PAGE HERE. Just scroll down the page and enter your email address where it says ‘Travel and news from World First’.

If you think we have missed anybody off the list let us know by leaving a comment below.

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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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