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How a weak Euro can help you save this summer

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

 How a weak Euro can help you save this summer

weak Euro

Have you been looking at the Euro / Sterling exchange rate recently? If you haven’t then we’ll be happy to tell you that the pound is at its strongest against the Euro since the crash of 2008. From an all time low of around 1.04 Euros to the pound in January 2009, the pound is now worth around 1.4 Euros, the most it’s been worth in over 6 years.

What does that mean to you?

A favourable exchange rate means that you’ll get more Euros for your pound when you exchange them prior to travel and pay by cash or when you use a credit or debit card abroad. At the time of writing the rate you can expect when paying for items in Euros with your Visa card is around 1.34 Euros to the pound. That means if you buy something costing €100 you’ll pay around £72 for it (excluding fees). In 2009 the same item would have cost you around £99 or so. If you get a good exchange rate for your cash at the bank it may be even cheaper.

How to make your holiday cheaper

A favourable exchange rate is only useful if you are paying for items in the local currency. That means anything you book and pay for in sterling before you go will not be any cheaper. It’s bad news if you are going all inclusive as your meals and drinks in your hotel will already be paid for. But if you are going independently and buying food, accommodation, excursions and suchlike as you go – for example if your are touring, camping or staying in self catering – then you will be able to make the most of it.

The cost of holiday essentials

Whatever the exchange rate, it’s always good to know what you can expect to pay for typical holiday items once you get there. Each year the Post Office conducts a survey of typical holiday items in countries across the world. It’s a bit like the shopping cart that supermarkets use here in the UK except that it counts the cost of items like sun cream, bottled water and cigarettes. Our favourite holiday destination, Spain, is still among the cheapest places in Europe – something that’s great news for millions of us hoping for some cheap sun and sangria this summer.

The fantastic website pintprice.com has prices of a pint all over the world. It also details cities and areas of each country so you can make informed decisions about what it’s going to cost where. In Donsotia San Sebastian, for example you might expect to pay up to €5, whereas in Benidorm you may get it for as little as €1.04. It won’t tell you the price of accommodation, meals out or other holiday sundries but it can give you a good indication of local pricing, especially when it comes to tourist areas.

Save on independent travel cover too           

Some holiday essentials you’ll have to buy in the UK in sterling before you go – even if you travel independently. One of them is your holiday travel insurance. However, you’ll still be able to enjoy savings with our policies. We offer cover for the entire family, for extended families and for people with medical problems at a price that’s fair and can cover most conditions. That’s because we are specialist and do nothing but travel cover. Even if you’ve been quoted a price for your travel cover with your all inclusive you may still be able to save with us – especially if a member of your family has to make medical declarations.

Get a quote now.


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

Thursday, 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. (more…)

Heroes head north for charity fundraiser

Tuesday, 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. (more…)

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

Friday, 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.


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

Thursday, 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. (more…)

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

Friday, 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! (more…)

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

Thursday, 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? (more…)

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

Friday, 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.


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

Friday, February 27th, 2015

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

the Internet’s best travel blogs

Lessons learned from travel? There are many!

Welcome to another edition of our weekly collection of the best travel blogs, writing and articles from around the world.

As travel insurers we understand that travel isn’t always plain sailing. Sometimes things don’t go to plan. It’s one reason why it’s vital to make sure your travel insurance policy is in place before you leave.  But then again, as long as you are able to get out of a situation intact and can laugh about it later, mishaps and disasters can provide interesting reading, which is exactly what Adventure Han  has done in her latest post. Take a look at When travel goes wrong. Have you been through similar? I am sure we all have!

If things go wrong then it’s comforting to know that you have people with you who are on your side. But what if you are a solo traveller? Many of us would prefer to travel within the safety of our family or with friends but some people love to travel alone – or have no choice.  The Travel Tester is someone who has travelled solo so is well qualified to write her latest post 5 things they don’t tell you about solo travel. If you have anything to add, please let us know!

Whether you travel solo or with family or friends there is no doubt that there are things to be learned from travel. And it doesn’t matter if you travel by cruise ship, on foot, by motorhome or bicycle! Our next post, from Frances Thompson, looks at lessons learned ‘on the road’. There are 33 of them because Frances recently turned 33. They are really interesting – and some, like number 21 – are just plain hilarious. How do you find that out? Only one way I suppose. Anyway, read 33 Lessons learned about life, travel, writing, snowboarding, dancing and love and enjoy a smile.

I enjoy following Ed Rex because of the way he writes. His articles are interesting and full of life. In this latest post he goes on dates with 6 of his favourite travel bloggers. Actually that’s not true. He asks his favourite travel bloggers where they would take him on a date, if they were to. So it’s a blog by a blogger about what bloggers do on virtual dates with bloggers. And I’m blogging about it! Anyway, it’s a bit like blind date but well worth a read all the same…. I dated 6 travel bloggers. If only he had asked me…

Our last post this week is from A Bird in the hand who is looking forward to her 30th birthday. In this post she takes a look back (remember she’s only 30!) at some of the things she has wanted to achieve in her life. It’s titled The bucket list and why you should ignore it and it’s about how ignoring the ‘bucket list’ can be a liberating thing. I love bucket lists and have ticked off a few on mine, but maybe I should take a leaf out of her book and just chuck it away.

Do you have a ‘bucket list’?  What’s on it?

Until next week









The very best beach in the world? Or is it?

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

The very best beach in the world? Or is it?


Wild and wonderful: Derrynane Beach

Everyone has a favourite beach. It could be somewhere far from home, a palm fringed beauty on an unspoiled paradise island perhaps. Or it could be right here in Blighty, on a wild stretch of coast where the wind blows and the waves crash. It could be in the most unlikely of places, a hidden gem in an otherwise dreary landscape. A ray of light and hope in an otherwise hostile city. Or it could also be brash and bold, with twinkling lights and Ferris wheels, revelers and sun worshipers.

The point is that ‘favourite’ or ‘best’ is always subjective. Everyone has different tastes, and we are no different. My favourite beach, for example, is Derrynane Beach in County Kerry in Ireland. It is a white sand crescent beneath high mountain passes, dotted with huge round granite boulders that create rock pools that are big enough to snorkel in and is lapped by clear blue water and white capped rollers. Even in a storm it is beautiful. But then it is in Ireland and storms are a regular occurrence there. So for those who like it hot, it really wouldn’t rate too highly.

Another of my favourites, Bathsheba beach in Barbados is a world away from the wild shores of Kerry – and no less beautiful – but I wouldn’t rate it as highly as I do Derrynane. Why? Because I like Ireland and I like wild beaches and mountains and it has something that many other beaches I have visited simply don’t have (and I have visited a lot of beaches). OK so it has none of the sand made from crushed coral, the palm trees and the tiny rum shack resonating with the sound of cracking dominoes that Bathsheba has but it’s still a very special place. How would you rate it? I suspect many of you would prefer to be in Barbados than Ireland any day.

So what is the world’s best beach?

This week Tripadvisor, the peer review website announced its list of the World’s Best Beaches as voted for by their users in the website’s Traveller’s Choice 2015.

And if you doubted that it’s a valid list, Trip Advisor will remind you that their site is the world’s largest and that it contains over 200 million reviews. It’s hard to argue with that.

Of the world’s beaches reviewed on Trip Advisor, the ‘world’s best’ has been announced as Baia Do Sancho, in Brazil, with over 2,250 5 star reviews. The best in Europe is Rabbit Beach on Sicily. The best UK beach, which ranked 13 in the world chart and 4 in Europe, was Devon’s Woolacombe Beach.  But are they right?

See the World’s Top 25 Beaches here.

See the UK’s Top 25 Beaches here.

See Europe’s Top 25 Beaches here.

Let us know what you think! Have they got it right? Have you got a hidden gem for us?

We’d love to hear from you.


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

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