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

Friday, 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?


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.


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.


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.


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 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

Tuesday, 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………












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


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 ÂŁ53,000 medical bill after rare bird attack

Friday, April 1st, 2016

British traveller facing ÂŁ53,000 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.


The World First Wander: A worldwide road trip special

Tuesday, 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.

Terrorist attacks in Brussels – where you stand

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

TUESDAY 22 March 2016

Following the recent explosions at the Brussels Zaventum Airport, and the Brussels metro line, we would like to extend our sympathies to those affected.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has issued advice this morning and it can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/belgium

British officials and nationals in Brussels are being given the same advice to avoid crowded places and the public transport network. If you are concerned about family or friends then you can call the Belgian Crisis Centre on 0032 2753 7300 (or 1171 for general enquiries).

For clients caught up and in need of emergency medical attention we advise making sure they are safe first, then calling our Emergency Assistance Facilities service with the number provided in the policy wording.

Booked to go to Brussels or booked to come home?

If you want to cancel a trip:

These claims should go through the tour operators at this time as there is no cover under the policy for attacks of terrorism.

If your tour operator or airline offers you alternative flights / holidays:

If you are offered an alternative destination and / or dates from your travel agent, we are pleased to advise that we will shift your insurance policy to fit the new trip without any administration charges.

If your trip is refunded:

If you are unable to move the trip to an alternative destination and have been offered a refund from your travel agent or tour operator, we are happy to offer a full refund of premium on the understanding that no claim is to be made against the policy.

If you are travelling independently:

You should make your own arrangements to leave by either altering your return tickets where possible or booking into an alternative form of transport.


Got a question?

Email our claims team at claims@tif-plc.co.uk.

Do I need travel insurance? You asked, here’s the answer.

Monday, March 21st, 2016

Fed up with paying an insurance premium before you jet off? You don’t have to. You can travel anywhere in the world without travel insurance. But that doesn’t mean you should. Without travel insurance you could find yourself out of pocket if something goes wrong – anything from a few quid if you lose your passport, to hundreds of thousands of pounds if you need medical treatment on foreign shores. Oh and the travel policy you have with your bank account probably isn’t as foolproof as you thought.

Travelling without insurance isn’t illegal. It won’t get you turfed out of your taverna. But it could prove costly. It depends whether or not you are prepared to gamble with your savings and how much you can afford to lose. Here’s what you need to know. (more…)

The World First Wander: The best in adventure travel this week

Sunday, March 20th, 2016

The World First Wander: The best in adventure travel 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.

Pop your head out of the window. Go on. You can almost smell the hot cross buns can’t you? Easter is just around the corner. That means warmer weather and brighter evenings will soon be with us too. Finally! Yep, it’s time to activate the beginning of the end of your hibernation sequence. New adventures await! It’s what travel is all about, right? Right.

The best in adventure travel

What does adventure mean to you?

Adventure means different things to different people. For some it could be a weekend camping in Cardigan Bay. For others it will be going solo and discovering a new country – alone. For others still it will be something more extreme. You know, like scaling Everest. And it’s the extreme side of adventure that we have trained our digital crosshairs on for this week’s Wander. Step forward Steve Backshall.

Life in the Extreme

the world first wander

In 2008 Steve fell from a cliff and broke his back in two places. Twelve operations (and a lot of rehab) later he resumed climbing. His is an inspiring story – and a small part of it is revealed in his recent interview with Sidetracked Magazine. Sleeping on vertical rock faces, suspended hundreds of metres above the ground, with bullet ants and scorpions as bedfellows. Sounds pretty extreme to us: Life in the extreme – an interview with Steve Backshall.

Now we have got a taste for adventure…

Now we have got a taste for adventure

Okay, both feet back on firm ground, it’s time for a hike. And where better than the Himalayas? Many travel lovers make the mistake of thinking the Himalayas is for pro ramblers only. It doesn’t have to be that way. The Beas Kund trek carves a distinctly manageable path through these snowy mountain peaks, with a difficulty level of easy to moderate. Just ask Joy from Global Grasshopper. Her account of her Himalayan adventure features some stunning, visceral photography that will make you want to fetch your passport and head for the hills: Trekking the Himalayas – Beas Kund.

Staying in the Himalayas

Staying in the Himalayas

Of course, it’s almost impossible to speak of the Himalayas without honourable mention of its principal peak. Its pre-eminent pinnacle. It’s most stately summit. You guessed it: Everest – the towering apex in the roof of the world. Scaling Everest has long been the dream of gutsy adventurers, but even getting to the Everest base camp is a mission! Curious? Peregrine Wanderer has the skinny on What to expect on a hike to Everest base camp. And if that whets your walking whistle, soak up the advice of Brian and Noelle from Wandering On: The ultimate guide to walking the Everest base camp trek independently.

In search of Incan civilisation

In search of Incan civilisation

A staple on the bucket list of travellers far and wide is Machu Pichu. And who can blame them? Thought to have been built in 1450 and abandoned a century later, it remained unknown until 1911. In 1983 it was declared a World Heritage Site and in 2007 was voted as one of the 7 Wonders of the World. A mere glance at any photo from this spectacular destination is enough to stoke the excitement – even if that particular snap is being photobombed by one of the llamas that call this part of Peru home: Trek to Machu Pichu – 10 amazing facts about the mystical Andean beauty.

How many of these can you tick off?

travel list

Who loves a travel list? Who doesn’t! When it comes to adventure there are lists for everything. And this next one is going to stoke your hunger to get your next trip booked. Probably. Hop to it: 50 adventures to try in your lifetime.

Time to ride

Time to ride

From two feet, to two wheels. Taking to the bike saddle is fabulous way to see the world. Leisurely peddling hither and yon, from village to village, taking in the sights and sounds and scents and scenery. Sure sounds good to us. Of course there’s an extreme side of cycling too. Just take a look at this insane video from Diamondback as Eric Porter races along the Colorado trail. The scenery and filming is amazing. (Hey, hundreds of cyclists come to us every year to get the cover they need for their two-wheeled adventures. You can too.)

Getting outdoors when you are stuck indoors

Getting outdoors when you are stuck indoors

Having the appetite for adventure is one thing. But before you fill your boots, chances are you need to figure out how to untether yourself from your desk. Easier said than done. But hey, that doesn’t mean you can’t set your mind free. Fill your lugholes with travel inspiration with Outside’s 8 best outdoorsy podcasts. And for a bonus shot of motivation – hey, we all need it sometimes – watch this short video on the theory of human motivation from the makers of The Dirtbag Diaries. Inspiring stuff.

Persuading your better half

Overcoming other commitments to make your adventure happen

With any adventure, there’s always people that get left behind. And the general rule is that the older (nay, wiser) you get, the more responsibilities and commitments you have. That can make it harder to down tools and set off on your next big adventure. Harder, but not impossible. Author and motivational speaker Alastair Humphreys has the advice you need to make today’s ambitions tomorrow’s memories: Overcoming other commitments to make your adventure happen.

Right then! That’s it for another week. Hopefully there’s more than a little inspiration in here this week to help make a reality of your travel dreams, whether that’s hiking the Himalayas, racing through the dusty downhill sections of the Colorado trail or discovering an ancient civilisation at Machu Pichu.

Over to you… !


Looking for something different this Easter? Here are 8 alternatives…  

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016

Looking for something different this Easter? Here are 8 alternatives…  

Fed up with chocolate eggs, hot cross buns and the elusive Easter bunny? Cast your net beyond the UK and alternative Easter traditions await. Marvellous, curious and intriguingly different.

Seville: huge parades celebrate Easter during a week long revel.

Seville: huge parades celebrate Easter during a week long revel.

1.Czech Republic

During an event that does nothing for women’s lib, in the Czech Republic men grab special Easter whips made from pussy willow and get busy flogging the women they like most. In return the freshly flagellated women endow their admirers with chocolate eggs and shots of whiskey. It’s more light-hearted than it sounds, however. Many women take offence if they don’t get whipped.

2. Slovakia

From whips to water. Buckets full of it. On Easter Monday in the villages of Slovakia, the locals dress up in traditional folk garb, before the men delight in pouring buckets of water over the women. The event is known as OblievaÄŤka, which translates as “watering”. Similar, erm, celebrations are held in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland – where the event is known as Ĺšmigus-Dyngus, meaning Wet Monday.

3. Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea has an average annual coastal temperature of 28oC and humidity that usually falls somewhere between 70 and 90%. This tropical climate isn’t exactly ideal for devouring chocolate, unless you like it wet. No, the Easter treat for Papua New Guineans is sticks of tobacco and cigarettes, which are often handed out to the congregation after Easter church services.

4. Bermuda

Every Easter in Bermuda kites are designed, created and decorated from scratch. These are taken to the beach and flown high in the sapphire skies to symbolise Christ rising from the grave and ascending to heaven. The kites can take weeks to create and awards are dished out for the best kites across a multitude of categories.

5. France

On the Saturday before Easter it’s tradition for the churches in France to stop ringing their bells. The day is called Silent Saturday and is intended as a token of remembrance of the passing of Jesus. French kids are spun an ulterior yarn. They are told that the bells have stopped ringing because they have left their towers and flown to Rome to see the Pope. When the bells return to France, they drop chocolate eggs and bundles of candy for the children to enjoy. (Sounds about as plausible as the Easter bunny.) But for France’s most eye-catching (and belly-busting) Easter tradition, look no further than the quaint village of Haux in southern France. Every Easter Monday the residents gather to make an omelette of epic proportions. Some 4,500 eggs are emptied into a gigantic pan to create an omelette that is measured in yards and feeds over 1,000 people.

6. Norway

Partial to a murder mystery? Then you’ll love Easter in Norway. Here the tradition is to sit down with your nearest and dearest while watching and/or reading murder mysteries together. It’s become such a big deal that most major television stations in Norway change their schedules and only broadcast murder mysteries during Easter. Publishing houses, meanwhile, fast track the release of murder mystery novels in time for Easter. Adding to the sense of drama is the fact that almost everything shuts down in Norway for practically the entire Easter week. Nobody goes to work. Kids don’t go to school. The shops are shut. The only thing that matters is whodunit.

7. Spain

For an Easter procession to end all others, head to Seville to take in the celebrations of Semana Santa. During a week of revelry, lavish floats festooned with decorations and twinkling candles amble through the streets, accompanied by marching bands and thousands of revellers and worshippers. The bars and restaurants of the city are thrumming and celebrations extend well into the small hours.

8. Germany

Georgiritt (St. George’s Parade) is an Easter tradition in Germany that harks back to the 18th century. Every Easter Monday in Traunstein hundreds of revellers dressed in traditional Bavarian costume take to garlanded horses and trot through the fields to a local church to receive blessings. The event is actually held to commemorate the legend of George’s victory over the dragon that was threatening the pagan city of Sylene. Fancy a more traditional Easter fix? There’s no beating the Passion Play, which is held 90 miles away in the village of Oberammergau. This special depiction of Christ’s trial and death is produced by residents to thank God for sparing them from the plague, which threatened to wipe out the village in 1633. The play lasts six hours and is staged every ten years, seven days a week from May to October. Unfortunately you will have to wait until 2020 for the next performance.

Heading off this Easter? Get cheap travel insurance from World First.

The World First Wander: what’s hot in travel blogging this week

Monday, March 14th, 2016

The World First Wander: what’s hot in travel blogging 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 frantic, frenetic and fabulously frenzied week in the world of travel writing. You could be forgiven if you haven’t noticed that spring has sneaked up on us and is ready to shower some sunshine on those winter blues. At least that’s the plan. So, where better to start this week’s Wander?

what's hot in travel blogging

Spring is here! Isn’t it?

Okay, there seems to be a bit of confusion about when spring actually starts. Meteorological spring has been with us since 1st March, yet the astronomical spring doesn’t begin until the 20th of this month. Confused? Snap. At least you won’t be lacking inspiration for your first holiday of the season. Not if Wander Mum has anything to do with it.

Travel Blog

Perhaps the balmy temperatures in Lisbon tickle your fancy. Or banish the winter chill once and for all with a trip to Istanbul, where the mercury will rise to the mid-twenties as you take in the East v West delights of this historic city. Oh and let’s hear it for Blighty, hey? As blossom blooms and leaves return to trees, our frondescent little island sure is easy on the eye at this time of year. For all your springtime inspiration, check out 6 destinations to visit in spring.

Spring is made for…

Camping of course! Now, some people won’t go near the canvas unless it comes with five stars and a mini-bar. But if you’re partial to pitching up in the great outdoors, behold Amazing places to pitch your tent from Enjoy The Journey. It’s fantastic to see Croyde in North Devon make the cut – it’s just up the road from World First’s office in Exeter. Pro tip: head to marvellous watering hole The Thatch and order the nachos. They are a thing of local legend – and with good reason.

Heading north

destinations for casual hikers

Of course, you don’t have to spend the night under canvas to appreciate the great outdoors. Spring is a great time for lacing up the walking boots and having a good old stomp around the countryside. And rural Britain doesn’t get much prettier than the Highlands and isles of Scotland. But you don’t have to spend hours trekking hither and yon to take in the beauty. For Scottish walks that are easy on the thighs as well as the eyes, have a butcher’s at The Travelling Savage’s Best of Scotland: Five destinations for casual hikers.

Staying north for an extra day

World First Travel Blog

Once the walking’s done, you could do worse than treat yourself to a mini-break in Scotland’s capital. As The Aussie Flashpacker says: “I’ve never heard a person say they didn’t like Edinburgh.” And come to think of it, neither have we. Get the lowdown on what to expect with 24 hours in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh.

Travel can (and will) change your life

travel can change your life

We love reading about how travel has challenged people’s outlook on life. Every trip we take helps to shape who we are and how we see the world – sometimes in dramatic, life-defining moments; often in simpler, subtler ways. Absorbing different cultures. Sampling new tastes. Meeting different types of people. Few put it better than Matt Long from Landlopers. If you are a bit of a romantic when it comes to the inspirational side of travel, be sure to take a read of 10 of my favourite life changing travel moments. It’s a fantastic piece.

Talking of change…

happy birthday

There’s nothing like a birthday to kindle a little reflection. And some of our favourite travel bloggers have been blowing out the cake candles recently. First up Lauren from The Enjoyable Rut, who has turned 27 and offers 7 bits of advice for my 17 year old self. Hot on Lauren’s heels is Emily – aka The Cosy Traveller – who has turned 25 and looks back at her 25 most memorable travel experiences: flushing pizza boxes down hotel toilets, getting attacked by a ferocious feline in Bruges and meeting Usain Bolt in Oslo. You know, the kind of travel experiences everyone can relate to!

Could you be a travel blogger?

Could you be a travel blogger

Hopefully some of the blog posts above have not only inspired you to travel but to write about it too. We read so many travel blogs but always have space for a new one to whet our appetites for adventure. If you fancy chancing your arm at travel blogging – and hey, why not? – then you could do worse than follow the sage advice of one the most successful travel bloggers out there: Johnny Ward from Onestep4ward. Luckily for you, he’s written this: How to start a travel blog. Just make sure you remember to tell us about your new project once you’re up and running. Who knows? You might even feature in the Wander one day soon!

Righto, that wraps up the Wander for another week! We hope you have enjoyed reading it as much as we have enjoyed writing it. Do let us know which blog post is your favourite and if there are any blogs you would like us to feature in future editions.

Until next week!

The World First Wander – Europe’s hottest travel destinations

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

The World First Wander – Europe’s hottest travel destinations

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.

Travel bloggers. You’ve got to love them. Remember when we recently mentioned how many of the bloggers we follow have been talking about Iceland? This week a study confirmed it is officially surging in popularity, with a 30% growth in visitors in the last 12 months. To the list of so-hot-right-now destinations you can swiftly add – deep breath – Romania, Slovakia, Montenegro, Ireland, Croatia, Portugal and Greece. So this week, armed with our European travel insurance, that’s where we’re heading: Europe’s travel hotspots.

Buckle up!


The World First Wander – Europe’s hottest travel destinations







It’s a geological marvel. And it’s home to some of Mother Nature’s most visceral scenery. How could you not be intrigued by Iceland? Our first blog post this week is from the Fuji film blog, dedicated to all things photographic. Prime your jaw to hit the floor as you take in part 1 and part 2.

Okay, that’s the snaps taken care of. Now you need to know how to discover the secrets of this enchanting island. First up is California girl Kiersten, who knows how to make the most of an Iceland stopover. Staying a little longer? Then you need two things: some wheels and Escape Brooklyn’s advice for a roadtrip in Iceland.    


Europe’s hottest travel destinations








If you’d rather not forego the finer things, you’re in good hands with Matt Long from Landlopers. You may not associate Iceland with luxury, but it’s time to put that myth to bed once and for all: Enjoying a luxury Iceland getaway in three steps.


Romania travel








It’s home to the largest collection of Brown Bears in Europe. But that isn’t stopping people flocking to Romania, which is enjoying 17% growth as a tourist destination. Most travellers head for the capital. But before you do the same, make sure you’re aware of the common misconceptions about Bucharest. Then whet your appetite with Nomadic Matt’s Romania travel tips and TripAdvisor’s Romania travel forum.

Chances are you will leave Romania with a heavy heart (albeit one that’s less jumpy about the chances of coming nose to snout with you know what). Yet there is no finer way to leave Romania than jumping on a cross-country train bound for another magical city. But hey, don’t take our word for it: Everything you need to know about travelling by train from Bucharest to Sofia


With 16% growth in visitors, Slovakia is another bona fide European hotspot. And that’s where we head next with Touch The World Travel and their guide to Bratislava in Slovakia. What to see, where to see it and – more importantly – where to eat. It’s all there. For pudding? A few generous dollops of Bratislava travel tips from Nina Travels. Delish.










The Visit Bratislava website is another one-stop-shop for what to do in the Slovakian Capital, packed with everything you will ever need to know, from why you should visit  to the gastronomic delights available.










Black Mountain. Montenegro. Call it what you will. Just know that it’s seriously in vogue right now, seeing a 15.5% increase in tourism on last year. Our first stop here is with My Well Travelled Friend, who travelled to Montenegro with son Oscar and has wrought the English language into this: Montenegro with kids – what to do and where to go.

As you might expect given the name, Montenegro is home to stunning mountain scenery. Fetch your crampons and join the Travel Tramp in Durmitor National Park. Stunning photography awaits in Durmitor: The mighty mountains of Montenegro. And if that’s enough to get you booking your flights, bone up on the need-to-knows with The traveller’s guide: Montenegro from The Independent and Montenegro.travel.

travelling in europe








The best of the rest of Europe

To help us cover the rest of Europe we start off with The Roaming Renegades. “Question normality” is their travel mantra. And who are we to argue? We start off a whistle-stop tour gazing at some of Europe’s most stirring, beautiful buildings: Churches of Eastern Europe: A photo essay.

Rock & Stroll – Some walking holiday ideas

walking holidays in europe








Sometimes you can’t beat a good stroll. But if your love of exploring the world on two feet is more than fleeting fondness, you will find plenty of inspiration for your next stomp from Global Help Swap: Rock & Stroll: great European walking holidays.

A City of Romance

You know about Paris. And Venice is just a cliché. Nope, when it comes to romance, spontaneity is the order of the day. You might think that Heidelberg in Germany is a bit of a curveball when it comes to a backdrop for romance, but that’s only because you haven’t read this from Heather On Her Travels: Heidelberg – Germany’s city of romance.

Are you a Game of Thrones fan?

Game of thrones image







Spurred by the stunning scenery in Game of Thrones, Croatia has become a must-visit for any self-respecting telly addict. But why waste your time searching hither and yon for those dramatic GoT backdrops when the legwork has already been done for you? All you need to do is follow in the footsteps of StoryPick: See the real shooting locations of Game of Thrones.

But of course there’s much more to Croatia than pretty scenery. Feast your eyes on the people, the places and the mouth-watering plates of food with travel photographer Travel Experience Live: 32 Croatia photos that will make you want to visit this gem of a country. Which way to the airport?

Got a travel blog? Tell us about it so we can feature you! Just leave a comment below.

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