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The World First Wander: a city breaks special

April 24th, 2015

The World First Wander: a city breaks special

The World First Wander: a city breaks special

The ultimate city break? Paris, as always and forever.

Each week our social media man Tristan Rothwell scours the internet looking to bring you the cream of the crop from the world of travel blogs and writing. Welcome to this week’s installment! We have focussed on city breaks this week, with blogs on taking time out both here and abroad.

Got a week or a weekend to spare? What could be better than taking off to explore somewhere new on a city break? Whether a quick overnight or a long weekend, we have been offering travellers City Breaks travel insurance for over 40 years – so I thought we should see what the world of the blogger has in the way of tips, hints and ideas. What city should you head for? What do you do when you get there? What’s it to be?

New York? London? Paris? Munich?

Let’s look at Paris first. For us Brits it’s the ultimate city break destination, with everything a culture vulture could ever hope for: stunning architecture, great food, art galleries, music and culture. I was lucky enough to go to Paris a few years ago on a music buying trip and it was surprisingly brilliant. And it’s not the only surprise Paris has to offer. In this first recommendation Global Grasshoppers looked at 12 under the radar things to do in Paris. It’s a great list of fabulous sounding adventures, eateries and lesser know museums. You can find Global Grasshopper on Twitter @globalgrasshopper and over at Facebook.

Paris isn’t far to go, but if you prefer your city break to be within UK borders let’s look at Edinburgh. It’s non stop from our base at Exeter – as it is from many UK cities – so it’s an easy weekend away. Check in after work on Friday and be up in time for dinner.  If you plan to head for Scotland’s capital city then Gary Bembridge has the perfect podcast for you, his Edinburgh Tips for Travellers Podcast. It’s all in there.

You can follow Gary on Twitter @garybembridge and Tips for Travellers on Facebook.

city breaks

City break with a difference. York Minster.

Heading a little further south now, to historic York, a city that was founded in 71 AD and that is home to York Minster Cathedral. It’s another great city break destination. Pack your Passport, a blog written by Beverley Reinemann, has just published a great post 48 hours in York: what to do and where to stay to help you a weekend break. It contains lots of great photos and plenty of good information.

Follow Beverley (Pack your Passport) on Twitter and Facebook.

Heading towards the sun now, and the capital City of Spain, Madrid, as visited by Karen Bryan from Europe a La Carte. She set off with a mission to mix  wine and tourism on day tours available from Madrid. So if you need to get out of the city, take a peek.

It takes around 2 hours 15 minutes to get to Madrid from Heathrow so it’s another perfect destination for a weekend break. It also has the advantage of having average temperatures of around 60 degrees Fahrenheit in May so it’ll be warm but not too hot to melt your ice cream.

Follow Europe a La Carte on Twitter and Facebook.

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Bored with the same old city breaks? Try Stratford Upon Avon.

Next up is a great post from our friends The Bimblers. We have featured them here in the World First Wander a few times and I always enjoy reading their blog. Their latest blog post is Accessible Stratford upon Avon, the birth place of Shakespeare. And ok, so it’s not a city, but it’s well worthy of a break. Rob and Bridget say at the end of their post, “clearly access for all is high on the town’s agenda”, so if accessibility is a priority then Stratford upon Avon is a good bet.

Follow Rob and Bridget on Twitter and Facebook

Last on my List is perhaps the ultimate list of city break ideas and tips from Urban Travel Blog. It is extensive with lots of inspiring information on all kinds of great locations including Florence, Prague and Vienna.

You can follow Urban Travel Blog on Twitter and Facebook.

Have you got a favourite city break destination? Let us know!

Until next week.


Faldo to play his last. But will you play his best?

April 23rd, 2015

 Faldo to play his last. But will you play his best?

golf travel insurance

Nick Faldo announced recently that the Open Championship of 2015 at St Andrews will be the last time he will play in the event. Still, he’s not had a bad run. Faldo has won the Claret Jug three times. That includes a 1990 win at St Andrews. Add to that 3 Masters wins and it all adds up to one great career.

But, as any golfer knows, Sir Nick has had a side career going for a while now, as the owner and designer of Faldo Design, a company that has created more than 25 championship golf courses around the world. Sir Nick has invested heavily in each and every course, and, as it says on the company website, “I never wanted to be someone that just stuck my name on a course, turned up at the opening and that was it. I love being out on site and I enjoy discussing concepts and plotting strategic ideas with my architects. In short, I want to have as much involvement as possible with every project. I think it’s important that our clients and their patrons know that the finished product will be a Faldo course by design – and not just by name.”

And that’s where you come in! Not every golfer will have the chance to play in the Open but anyone can play a round on a Faldo course. And where better than in Europe’s favourite golfing location, the Algarve? The Faldo designed par 72 course at The Amendoeira Golf Resort is rated among the best in a region that isn’t short on decent courses. In fact, on a two week holiday in you could easily play a different course each day.

But what if you played your best and hit a hole in one on Faldo’s 18th? With Golf cover from World First even your finest moments will be insured. Should you happen to tee off and find it disappears down the little hole then we’ll cover your bar bill afterwards to the tune of £100 with our Superior and Standard cover. We’ll also cover your equipment up to £50, golf hire up to £150 and your green fees if you can’t play a pre-booked course to the tune of £400.

Time to book that trip? Better do some practice first. We’ve got you covered – even if it all goes to plan!

Heroes head north for charity fundraiser

April 14th, 2015

Heroes head north for charity fundraiser 

travel and medical insurance

From time to time we get involved in projects that need very specialist insurance. Recently we were delighted to be able to broker the travel and medical insurance for a fantastic charity fundraising trip to the North Pole into the Lloyd’s market.

The project was HeadNorth. Its aim was to raise in excess of £250,000 for the Lewis Moody Foundation, a charity that brings relief to families affected by serious illness and raises funding for brain tumour research, and the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund, which supports those injured in service to our country and the families of those who gave their lives.

The challenge was nothing short of extreme, with a team made up of ex marines, ex professional and international rugby players, sailors, and the CEO, chairman and directors of The Yacht Company. The expedition leader was Alan Chambers, MBE FRGS, an experienced Polar Explorer.

The aim of the trek was to walk 100km from Ice Camp Barneo to the Geographic North Pole, the highest point on Earth at Latitude 90° North.

The team set off on the 4th of April and reached the North Pole some 6 and a half days later, having trekked through awful conditions and temperatures of -35 degrees centigrade.

We’d like to offer our heartiest congratulations to the team and wish them well as they recover and return to ‘normal life’.

You can read more about their remarkable journey or donate here.

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

April 10th, 2015

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

best travel writing

Paris – perfect no-fly destination.

Welcome to another edition of the World First Wander, our weekly take on what’s hot in the world of travel writing and blogging. In this edition we look at tips to make your journeys and holidays easier by getting some sound advice on stress free airport travel, no fly holidays, train tickets and cruising.

So let’s begin with a stress free airport experience, courtesy of Zoë Dawes AKA The Quirky Traveller. Zoë knows her stuff when it comes to travel so everyone is bound to find something useful in her 9 tips for Stress free airport travel.

Not everybody wants to head for the Airport. A lot of people don’t want to fly. And if you are one of them then the next blog post from Feet On The Ground will give you something to think about. Check out 100 no fly holiday ideas for 2015. It’s a fantastic list of no fly ideas.

Going on a no fly cruise is another wonderful way to see the world without flying. We know that many of our customers love both long and short cruises and enjoy flexible cover with our cruise travel insurance. We’ve been providing it for over 40 years. We haven’t been following @jayneytravels for quite such a long time but we do read what she writes. In her latest post,  12 things I didn’t know about cruising in which she writes about her first time cruising experience, she tells it like it is. It’s a good start if you are thinking about it but yet to book.

Once you’ve digested that, take a look at cruising expert Gary Bembridge’s Tips for Travellers blog, where he webcasts regular 60 second cruise tips. These contain lots and lots of useful information about getting more from your cruise. If you have a few minutes to spare and are thinking of booking a cruise, they are well worth a listen. There is a wealth of great stuff there!

Avoiding flying may often mean taking trains. But which ticket are you going to get? When is best to book? How can you make it as cheap as possible? The people at Hand Luggage only can tell you! Their blog post 7 ways to get cheap train tickets will be a boon for land based travellers.

OK, so you know how you’re going to get there. But what about thinking of an alternative way to stay there? Have you ever thought about couch surfing or staying in a beach hut? Maybe not, but there are more options than just staying in a hotel these days. The Travel Hack offers the best of all of them in her latest post, a  guide to choosing your accommodation type when you’re travelling.

That’s it for this week.

Have you got a favourite travel tip you want to share? Let us know if you have. We’d love to compile a blog of our own with tips from World First travellers!

Until next week

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

March 27th, 2015

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

World First

Walking with toddlers – the rules change!

Welcome to another installment of The World First Wander! This is where we take our weekly look at travel blogs and post from over the last week or so. This week we look at babies, Exeter, Cornwall, City Tours and things to do near you over Easter.

Read the rest of this entry »

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

March 20th, 2015

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


Welcome, once again, to our weekly look at some of our favourite travel blogs and articles from the last week or so. As always it is compiled by our social media man, Tristan Rothwell .

This week we look at accessible travel, learn about first aid and visit Jane Austen’s Bath (as in the city, of course). Read the rest of this entry »

What’s in your holiday luggage? And how you can help keep our beaches clean.

March 19th, 2015

What’s in your holiday luggage? And how you can help keep our beaches clean.


Don’t let plastic pollution spoil your holiday.

If you travel then you can’t fail to have noticed the amount of plastic pollution ending up on beaches in Europe and the UK.

According to a new marine litter report from The Marine Conservation Society, which surveyed 301 beaches in September 2014, the number of pieces of litter, on average, per Km of UK coastline surveyed is now up to 2457. That’s a rise of 6% from 2013.

You can read the full report here. Read the rest of this entry »

The World First Wander – The Internet’s best travel blogs

March 13th, 2015

 The World First Wander – The Internet’s best travel blogs  

travel blogs

Welcome to another World First Wander! It’s our weekly look at some of our favourite travel blogs and articles from the last week. As always it is compiled by our Social Media Man, Tristan Rothwell.

This week we look at city breaks, winter sports, Sri Lanka, Greece and …. and Mr Motivator!

City breaks first then, with our friend The Travel Hack, a lady who loves to jump on a plane on a Friday night for a swift weekend away. Who doesn’t? City breaks are an easy, bite-sized way to see a little of the world. And you can do it without using up all your holiday allowance in one go too!

Anyway, Monica has some invaluable advice for you if you are looking for free things to make your cash go further on your city break. 10 free things to do in every city will give you a whole selection of ideas for things to do if the purse strings are tight. And, while we are on the subject, don’t forget that our City Break Travel Insurance can also save you ££££.

We are off to the Greek capital Athens next with Emily Luxton. Athens is one of the world’s oldest cities, dating back almost 3500 years. Emily has written a really great guide to Athens and what to expect when you are there.  I must say that the Loukoumades look delicious. They were apparently  once served to winners of the Greek Olympics. For more stories of the gods, read Emily’s Exploring Athens .

And if that inspires you to explore a little more of Greece then you’ll find a bunch of great blogs about the islands on Life Beyond Borders. If you love Greek Islands you’ll love this. Then take a read of our quick guide to travelling in Greece before you book.

We head now to South Asia, specifically Sri Lanka. This next blog, by Becki Enright, caught my attention because one of my friends is currently travelling round Sri Lanka with his wife and 10 month old daughter. I wonder if they have found their way to Galle yet? It seems as if the town is a real ‘must-see’ stop off, judging by all that’s in Galle Fort, Sri Lanka –  History, Artistry and all that Jazz.

Weird experiences are all part of the fun of travel (in my opinion) but when a travel blogger writes that they have sat next to Mr Motivator on a boat in Santorini (Greece again) then you have to read on!  My Weird Travel Experiences, an entertaining run down of the weird things Scottish Emma has encountered on her travels, is a great read and guaranteed to make you smile.

I mentioned last week about winter sports and disabled users. While chatting on twitter this week I was put in touch with Alex Squire. In his blog he talks about life with Spastic Quadriplegia and he has written a really interesting piece about  winter sports and his experiences of it. Skiing: Its going downhill fast is another good read – and very inspiring. For more about Alex, take a look at the “about me” page on his blog.

That just about wraps it up!

Until next week.

Bag a bargain this summer. Just don’t bag more than you bargained for.

March 12th, 2015

 Bag a bargain this summer. Just don’t bag more than you bargained for.

9 Chasing the waves at Labenne

Favourable exchange rates mean that going abroad in 2015 is going to be cheaper than ever. But the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has recently issued some excellent advice about grabbing bargain breaks this year and is urging everyone to make sure they don’t get more than they bargained for.

How so? Read the rest of this entry »

The World First Wander – the Internet’s best travel blogs

March 6th, 2015

The World First Wander – the Internet’s best travel blogs

travel blogs

The Internet’s best travel blogs

Welcome to another World First Wander.

As usual we have found a few interesting travel blogs for you to peruse this week. In fact, we have found a couple of new ones, starting with The Bimblers a blog from Bridget and Rob, a couple who aren’t your average travel blogging couple. Why? Because they do it in a wheelchair.  Their blog is a great inspiration and their outlook is fantastic. After Bridget became ill with severe rheumatoid arthritis Rob had to give up work to become her full time carer. However, that hasn’t stopped them from getting out there and they began The Bimblers as a way of staying positive.  Hats off to them!

I often ask Twitter (find me with @WFTristan ) for recommendations of new blogs and this recoomendation came from that route. I am so glad I found them! They offer us a refreshing perspective on the world while also taking a pragmatic look at accessible travel. So please enjoy this first post from them, a guide to Walking Liverpool’s Waterfront.

I was also lucky to find another great article this week from Disability Sanctuary a website devoted to the disabled, their carers and the people offering services to the disabled. They offer lots of sound advice as well as a meeting point for people with disabilities. I found this really interesting post about winter sports and disabilities. It’s a guide to winter sports for wheelchair users.

Check out Don’t let your disability stop you skiing during winter. It’s a good read.

As insurers specialising in medical travel insurance we often speak to people with disabilities looking for travel policies, so I hope that Disability Sanctuary’s list of Disabled Travel Resources may be helpful to some of you.

Our next blog reintroduces us to a blogger who first appeared here in October of last year. It’s  Scottish Emma, a well travelled twenty something with a degree in English literature. In view of that it’s fitting that we should look to Emma to tell us about her  Top Novels to Read on Holiday. I love to read and always have a book on the go. But if you are one of those who only reads by the pool on holiday, take note of this post and start planning your next holiday reading list.

If you are among those who don’t like to fly then you will certainly need a good book if you intend to go far on your travels. It may take longer but it’s no less rewarding – not to say glamorous – to travel on terra firma, as our next blogger, Johanna Payton proves. Her blog Feet on the ground is perfect for those who want to see the world but hate to fly. You are not alone!

We have featured a lot of posts from our next travel writer over the past few months. The Travel Hack is one of my favourite travel blogs. I see many parallels between our lives as both Monica and my fiancé are heavily pregnant. So I was particularly interested to read this latest post about Monica’s plans for 5 baby friendly holidays for baby’s first trip. It all sounds glorious….

That just about wraps up this week’s World First Wander. As always let us know if you write a travel blog as we may be able to feature it here.


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