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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 Oblievačka, which translates as “watering”. Similar, erm, celebrations are held in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland – where the event is known as Śmigus-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!

Iceland

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

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

Slovakia

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.

Slovakia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Montenegro

Montenegro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

What is it you look for in a travel insurance company?

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

What is it you look for in a travel insurance company?

travel insurance

We all expect different things from life. It’s part of what makes our society so rich. But what about when it comes to making important buying decisions, like buying your travel insurance? We all need it but how do we choose? Not all companies are the same. Some offer specialist cover while others won’t even consider covering people with even the most minor of medical conditions.

What do you expect from your travel insurance provider? How would, say, a good customer service experience favour compared to a low price? How would you choose then? What’s important to you?

For some of our customers it’s customer service that’s important. They like to speak with a real person on the phone. That’s understandable. Other customers look for low prices. That’s perfectly understandable too. We can offer good prices because we use the Protectif medical screening system, which is detailed and comprehensive and enables us to assess risks properly. Some people look for the ability to cover medical conditions after their usual insurer turns them down for cover. We find that a lot.

Anyway, whatever you come to us for, the truth is that we all expect and want different things. As a company we try to do our best to keep all our customers happy, but there’s only so much we can tell you. So we thought we should let some of your fellow customers do the talking. The following are genuine Trustpilot reviews about the way we do business. They were all posted in the last week.

If you want to read more, you can read them all here.

The truth

As an older couple we will never go with anybody else again. A wonderful company. And when on holiday we told every older people who we met to contact you for Insurance. Thank you so much, we can now enjoy a few more holidays at our age. My cousin told me and my husband about how good you were. I should have listened as we were ripped off as oldies. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart xx

Excellent cover

Having being diagnosed with a chronic illness some time ago, and after several one-off policies to cover the possibility of treatment while abroad, I was advised to speak with World First. The annual policy offered was everything I required and it has been renewed many times since inception several years ago.

Very happy new customer

It was very nice to be able to talk to a real person as though they actually cared.
I was sold a policy which exactly fitted my needs. Thank you.

Fantastic for those with pre-existing medical conditions.

This is the fourth time I have bought travel insurance from World First Travel competitively priced and wonderful with both myself and my sons pre-existing conditions.

On Holiday!

We have struggled to find good cover for our trip to Vietnam, since my wife was diagnosed with Myeloma 4 months ago. However, we applied to World First on recommendation of The Myeloma Group and after very diligent medical screening we were very pleased to have been offered cover at a very reasonable premium. We do not anticipate having to make a claim, but it is re-assuring and puts our minds at rest should there be unforeseen problems. Thank you!

Surprised costing

After getting a lot of expensive quotes because of my wife’s heart attack I was starting to give up but I was recommended World First by Chase Templeton. I did an online quote but was told I needed to ring them for further screening. They did a more thorough screening than anyone else and I was expecting the pounds to increase with each question but it turned out the opposite. The quote was way less than anyone else so after reviewing the policy I rang them back and bought it. Certainly try them again.

Very easy to set up and a very competitive price

Each page was easy to follow and the policy was just what I wanted at the right price, especially having pre-existing medical conditions.

Great deal

I wanted travel insurance at a reasonable price and that’s what I got. A friend of mine looked online for me, she also rang them and she said they were very obliging and friendly. Thank you.

Very impressed

Very impressed with the service I received, because I thought the representative took time to assess the risk I presented and didn’t hear the condition and assume the worst. I would and have recommended others to contact World First for a quote and will do so again.

Great for those with medical conditions

Much more intelligent questions than any other travel insurance company meant that my premium for an annual policy, even though I have leukaemia, was less than £200. I had been quoted as much as £1200 for a 2 week holiday. It was a relief to find World First who were recommended by MacMillan and it meant I could go on holiday with my daughter when my treatment ended. I have no experience of making a claim.

Over 75

It’s hard to find a company that will insure the over 75’s. World First don’t seem to have a problem with it. Have used them before and have done so again with confidence

Excellent

After trying to get insurance with various Insurance companies due to my husband having cancer we finally found World First Travel Insurance. They insured him at a very reasonable price, Thank you!!!

Excellent service!

Excellent service and cover for ongoing conditions. Helpful telephone contacts. We have already passed on World First Travel to our neighbours who have since taken out travel insurance with you themselves after having difficulty with other companies.

No problems even with medical conditions

Found the quotation process very easy to complete. Listed our medical conditions and received an immediate quote. Very pleased with the premium. We were able to purchase an annual, worldwide policy which included cruise cover for a small extra cost.
Would definately use again.

A name and extension number of an individual I can contact is most reassuring

The above is what all service providers should be giving their customers. Well done WFTI.

 

The World First Wander: travel inspiration from World First travel insurance

Monday, February 8th, 2016

The World First Wander: travel inspiration from World First travel insurance

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

It’s been another busy week in the world of travel and travel blogging. This week we take a look at travel advice, searching for hidden treasure and confessions of a travel blogger.

Ignoring the advice of the FCO

We start off with a controversial story. It is especially so for us in the travel Insurance industry because it is about travelling to a country where the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised against travel to. The basic crux of this is that if you do go to such places it is likely that you will void any travel insurance you may have. We would always recommend you read and heed the FCO’s advice if you are planning to visit any country. It’s also worth reading their Know before you go page.

However, Travel Geek decided to go against all this advice in his latest post that he has entitled  Should you visit a country that’s advised against travel to?  It’s interesting, of course, but our response has to be ‘if you want and expect cover then it has to be “NO”’.

Mallorca. Should you or shouldn’t you?

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Mallorca. Go or no? If you like winding roads….yes!

Mallorca has always been a popular destination for us Brits. And it’s not hard to work out whay when you look at the average temperatures. Even in winter you can expect a balmy mid 20s degrees Celsius.  It seems like a distant memory here! So it shouldn’t be such a tough decision for blogger Jen Lowthrop on She Gets Around. But in case you need reminding here are the answers to the important question So…..should I visit Mallorca this winter?

2nd Week in a row for the Bimblers

We included The Bimblers in last week’s World First Wander as they were celebrating their first 12 months of blogging. This week we are featuring them again with their Wheelchair friendly bucket list for 2016, although we have to say we are deeply disappointed that neither Rob nor Bridget have yet to venture to Cornwall. We think both Devon and Cornwall should be on everyone’s bucket list, which is why we’ve found two great sites for people looking for accessible holidays in the Westcountry (or anywhere for that matter. Check out Accessible Countryside  and Walks with wheelchairs.

Top travel Destinations for February

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So hot right now. Berlin. Home of the Trabant and great street art.

We like to keep our finger on the pulse when it comes to the hot travel destinations bloggers are writing about. This week we seek the advice of Scottish Emma who has been giving us some ideas for Top February travel destinations.  Some great ideas in there, from Berlin to Iceland, places that are proving popular with travellers at the moment. Berlin is obviously a hot spot at the moment because A Brit and a Southerner have also been blogging about it as well in their post 10 Reasons you will love to explore Berlin in a day

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Going up? The easy way…

Another spot that will always be hot is the Eiffel Tower in Paris. As  with any tourist attraction there are always a few tips worth reading to make your visit easier, so if you are planning a trip, have a read of Tips for touring the Eiffel tower from Pit Stops for Kids.

Searching for hidden treasure

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Boxes of treasure on a real life treasure hint.

Geocaching, in case you have never heard of it, is the up to date equivalent of letterboxing. That is using your phone or GPS locator to find hidden treasures around the countryside. It’s a great way to get out there in the wild whether and is as simple to get started on as downloading app. Tristan likes  Geocaching.com

Geocaching is a great way to explore new destinations on holiday. In the course of a day you’ll visit all kinds of places you might never have gone. Kids love it too because they still get to use their phones but also get to go outside. It’s a parents’ win win. If you are new to Geocaching Got Ireland has a new post that explains it all: Geocaching in Ireland: searching for hidden treasure.

Searching for Adventure

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Where will your boots take you this year?

Hand Luggage Only have featured many times before in the World First Wander, and for good reason. They consistently write great articles about great stuff which are always accompanied by amazing photography. This next post is no different. 21 Adventures you have to take this year is a dreamer’s paradise of ideas. Which one would you do first?

Finally, it’s confession time

Confession is good for the soul, so they say. So here’s a little something another of our favourite bloggers, Vicky Flip Flop.  If this isn’t enough to make you want to run for the nearest airport then we don’t know what is. It’s funny, honest and inspiring. Ready…? Take it away Vicky…. 29 confessions of a 4 year strong travel blogger.

 

The World First Wander: travel inspiration from World First Travel Insurance

Monday, February 1st, 2016

The World First Wander: travel inspiration from World First Travel Insurance

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

It’s been another busy week in the world of travel and travel blogging. This week we take a look at Antarctica and disabled and solo travel.

Champions of accessible tourism

World First Travel Insurance

Accessibility issues resolved with help from Lonely Planet.

We start off this week with one of our favourite travel blogs, The Bimblers, Rob and Bridget, who are celebrating their first year as Britain’s most unlikely travel bloggers. They may be unlikely but they are also brilliant, which is why we wanted to include them in this week’s Wander. Have a read of Britains most unlikely travel bloggers and give them a follow on twitter here.

Things learnt from a disabled traveller

Our next post, from Matador Network, is from a while ago. While we normally include posts from the previous week, we liked this one and felt it was worth including. It was written by Anthony Williams, aka The Geordie Traveller  and is all about the 6 things I learnt whilst travelling with a disability.

There is some really great stuff in there. But of course travelling with a wheelchair is going to be more difficult. However, to make things a little easier, the good folks over at Lonely Planet have produced an  Accessible Travel Online Resources guide, which you can download. It provides a list of internet resources country by country for disabled travellers and may prove to be very useful if you have accessibility issues.

A simple hello could lead to a million things

Does shyness hold you back when you travel? It’s not always easy to strike up conversations with strangers for lots of different reasons. However, it could well be that you are missing out by not being able to learn from fellow travellers, locals and people of different cultures. Chris Guillebeau is someone who doesn’t have any trouble getting on with strangers. His post Inspired by strangers: how to talk with people when travelling will give you every reason to stop and say ‘hi’ to more people on your travels.

Going Solo?

solo travel

Travel solo: supremely rewarding – with no compromises.

Travelling alone can be tough, but also extremely rewarding if you are able to be self sufficient. That’s easier said than done, of course, so sometimes it’s nice to read about people who do it too. That’s where regular visitor to the world first wander Amy Trumpeter comes in with her Tips for travelling alone. It’s packed full of useful  tips for those planning a solo trip.

To Ink or not to Ink. Holiday tattoos.

Holiday tattoos

Tattoos aren’t to everyone’s tastes but there are plenty out there who like to mark their travels with a permanent memory.

Travel Tattoos next. We have talked about travel and tattoos on the blog before. While not to everyone’s taste they have grown in popularity, with plenty of people using tattoos as a record of their travels. It’s a great idea but one that is never better for the assistance of alcohol. So, if you have been thinking about it, take a look at Sunny in London’s post 5 things to do if you want a travel tattoo.

Everything but the kitchen sink

image 4

Packing light or taking everything and the kitchen sink?

We’re back on this old subject again. What to pack? This time it’s the turn of Jess Gibson from the Travelista blog who is talking about ‘adventurous travel’. The blog is new to us so we’re happy to be able to include it. And if you are an ‘adventurous traveller’ type this will be just perfect for you.  Top 10 essentials for the adventurous traveller.

Still feeling adventurous? Go trekking!

As the boy scouts motto says, “Be prepared”. Never was a truer word spoken if you are heading off on an adventure holiday. The more prep you do the less pain you’ll feel when you hit the trail. And the same goes for your physical preparedness. Our next post is all about being ready for anything…well almost anything. If you need to get in shape for an adventure holiday – or any holiday for that matter – then you need to read this from Rickshaw Travel: 5 training tips for your trekking holiday.

Where do you get your travel inspiration?

If you are constantly looking for the next big adventure but sometimes hit the wall and lack inspiration then this next post will help you out. It’s from Mollie Bylett and it’s all about getting motivated for that next big adventure. So get pinning and start planning with From destination to itinerary: how I get my travel inspiration.

This week’s hot destination. Antarctica!

We finish off this week with a hot destination. Well, that’s not strictly true, as it’s not the kind of place you go to get a sun tan. But it is a place to wonder at the beauty of nature in all its chilly glory. Antarctica has cropped up on the blogging radar a fair bit in the past week. So without further ado, pull on those thermals and check out the post from My Itchy Travel Feet who answer 6 questions about cruising to Antarctica. Then pull on some extra socks and check out My best tips for visiting Antarctica from Jeremy and Angie at Living the Dream.

Enjoy.

 

The World First Wander: the ski Monday special

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

The World First Wander: the ski Monday special

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

It’s been a busy week in the world of travel blogging. We have seen some amazing posts from all over the world this week and it’s been more difficult than ever to narrow them down to a few firm favourites. So…. now the ski season is well under way we decided to focus on skiing, snowboarding and….. fatbiking!

Planning on skiing this season?

Winter, skiing, journey - girl with ski equipment ready for travel to ski resort

What to pack for your first ski trip? Don’t forget the kids!

Skiing is really popular with our customers at the moment – as it always is at this time of the year! But who’s doing the packing and what, exactly, are they packing anyway? It’s time to take control and sort out your ski packing list once and for all with Flashpacker Family. They have created a downloadable packing list to make it really, very easy…. Head over to The complete ski trip packing list for more.

If this is your first skiing trip…

Is this the year you are finally going to take the plunge and book up that long promised ski or snowboard trip? This next post is perfect for you. It’s from Camping with style and contains 16 fun facts you need to know before hitting the slopes for the first time. Number 6 is particularly important to note. In case the worst happens and you do get injured it is vital to have a really good travel insurance policy in place. Take a bow World First  Ski and Snowboard travel insurance.

What to expect on your first Ski trip…

So you have booked your first ski (or snowboard ) trip? Fantastic. But it’s never easy heading into the unknown so we have included this post from  Rosalilium who recently went on her first ski trip and, judging from the post, thoroughly enjoyed it. Check out My First Ski Trip.

It’s not always plain sailing (or snowboarding)

Snowboarding travel

You may spend a lot of time on your backside, but you WILL improve.

If it’s your first time heading to the slopes to try snowboarding then it can seem like you will never get the hang of it ( ask our MD) but with a bit of perseverance and determination it can be done! We aren’t all naturals and sometimes it’s reassuring to read that other people have struggled to get to grips with being on the piste too. That’s the reason we have included this next post from Non Stop Destination in Vancouver. The title says it all: First time snowboarding: my failed experience.

More from Vancouver

Ski season has arrived with gusto in Vancouver after a slow start. They recently had 120cm of snow in 7 days so it’s shaping up to be a great season. Check out these great photos from Travel Canucks who have been taking full advantage of the conditions there.  Snowboarding season has arrived in Vancouver.

Where to go for Snow?

Fancy ditching the beaches in favour of Alpine vistas? That’s exactly what Boots’n’All travel bloggers suggest for this next post. It’s full of great ideas of locations for skiing and snowboarding in the northern hemisphere. It’s an interesting read. Skiing on Maui? Don’t mind if I do. Chasing snow: plan a ski trip around the world.

Dressing for success

Skiers and snowboarders have always been a fashion conscious lot. And, of course it is important to have functional clothing on the slopes. But how do you do both? Well,  Travelling Mom have all the right ideas in their post, Family ski trip: How to dress for success on the slopes.

What to do if you don’t want to Ski or Snowboard?

Boy riding a fat tire bike in winter snow. Motion blurred image.

Fatbiking on snow. The new sensation or just another way to take a tumble?

Fatbiking ! No we had never heard of either, but this really does look amazing. It could well be the perfect alternative sport for hitting the slopes.  Have a look at this from the Indy:  Fat Biking the latest snow sport to hit the Swiss Alps. Like the look of it? Check this out: Fat Bike 101 from Fatbike.com.

That’s it for this week – we hope you have enjoyed reading this week’s instalment.

Stay safe on the slopes…

The World First Wander: travel blogs we love this week

Friday, January 8th, 2016

Welcome to the first World First Wander of 2016! A very happy New Year to all!

As always the Wander is a selection of our favourite travel blogs and articles from the last week or so, compiled, as always, by Tristan Rothwell. In case you didn’t get the gist of things by now, he scours the internet for the very best travel related stuff so you don’t have to.

If the first few days of the year are anything to go by it’s looking like 2016 will be a busy year for travel. We are seeing record numbers of people getting their travel insurance ready for the trips later in the year.

Have you made a resolution to travel more in 2016?

World First Travel Insurance

Trying to decide where your travels will take you next?

If you are planning on travelling more in 2016 but feel you need some advice on how to actually make it happen then our first post this week is perfect for you. It’s from Beverley at Pack your Passport who, by her own admission, didn’t travel as much as she wanted to in 2015. However she has resolved to correct that, follow her own advice and travel more in 2016. If you are like Beverley and want to clock up more travel miles in the coming year then have a read of How to travel more in 2016.

Where will you travel this year?

Do you find it difficult to decide where to go? Are you the sort who revisits destinations that they have already oved or do you head to places you have never been? It can be a tough one, and sometimes we need help. Luckily for us, Chris and Heather from A Brit and a Southerner travel blog have put together a list of destinations their favourite travel writers are planning on heading this year. They include Northern Ireland with Charles McCool, Utah with 2 Travel Dads and The Falklands with Travelling Rockhopper. It’s a great list – and if you are unsure where to head for this year it’s definitely one to check out. Where are the best 2016 travel destinations?

Book at least one big Trip…

…that’s exactly what Cathy Winston at Mummy Travels plans to do this year. Cathy is going to be celebrating a landmark birthday this year, so what better way to celebrate than booking a big trip? Where would you go to celebrate? Have a read of Travel resolutions for 2016

2015 wasn’t all plain sailing

Engine break down.Strong young woman pushing a vintage car while man emboldening her.

The best laid plans of mice and men. Travel disasters do happen. Best solution? Be prepared.

We know only too well that not all travel goes according to plan. There are so many things that can and do go wrong for some people. One of those people, it seems, is Hannah from That Adventurer. In 2015 she suffered bed bugs in Morocco and almost jet skied into a boat on Loch Lomond. We shouldn’t laugh but it does make for a good blog.  Hopefully 2016 will be disaster free for Hannah but for now, enjoy 5 Travel disasters of 2015.

What’s your worst travel nightmare?

We all have our own travel nightmares.  Sitting next to a screaming baby on a long haul flight. Flying while ill. 1st class running out of Champagne! Well, that’s obviously top of the list, but actually, flying with airsickness can be a real horror. However there are steps you can take to make the journey a little more comfortable. And that’s when we hand over to  Twenty Something travel, who with a little help from Erin at Don’t Forget to Eat,  have written a great blog post for those of us who suffer with air sickness. It’s well worth a read: How to survive a long flight when you are sick to your stomach.

Ending on a serious note…

Travel problems do happen to all of us from time to time. It’s at these times that we rely on our travel insurance to be there for us. And with medical treatment costing a small fortune in some places, it’s essential to make sure it’s all in place before you leave. An article in the Daily Mail this week listed the cost of hospital beds per night around the world versus the cost of travel insurance per night (on average). It’s quite shocking and proves, once again, that buying travel insurance could be the best holiday buy you ever make!

The holiday destinations where travel insurance is really important: The world’s most expensive hospital beds revealed.

Until next week.

 

 

 

The World First Wander: 9 travel blogs we loved this week

Monday, December 21st, 2015

The World First Wander: 9 travel blogs we loved this week

Welcome to the last World First Wander of 2015! As always it’s a compilation of our favourite travel blogs and articles from the last week or so, compiled, as always, by Tristan Rothwell. In case you didn’t get the gist of things by now, he scours the internet for the very best stuff so you don’t have to.

Christmas is a slightly quieter time of year for us here at World First. It’s the hiatus of calm before the bookings storm that New Year brings each year. January, as I am sure you can imagine, is the busiest time of the year for us so we’re glad of the chance to slow down a little in the run up to it…

9 travel blogs we loved this week

Dreaming of a white Christmas? You may have to go further than the Met Office in London…

Dreaming of a white Christmas?

Aren’t we all? Unfortunately, in the UK it’s a rare event, even if all we need for it to be official is one flake of snow to land at any number of specified locations around the country. Mind you, that’s hardly enough to send us reaching for the snow poles. So for those of us who dream of proper, deep, powdery, white stuff at Christmas time, the only thing to do is to head for a snow resort. But which one? It can be a minefield deciding where to go for a ski holiday, however, with a little help from our first post this week you may be able to find the one that’s right for you! And if you don’t mind going to a place you’ve never heard of, read on and check out 10 great ski resorts you probably haven’t heard of.

Looking for snow? Try Scotland

If there’s anywhere that’s likely to have snow over Christmas it’s Scotland. Unlike our home county of Devon – where the warmest Christmas day ever was recorded back in 1920 –  Scotland does have a good chance of a few flakes. So if you don’t want to hit the slopes then how about A weekend in Edinburgh? Sounds just lovely…

All we want for Christmas is…

…to switch off! Mind you, it can be tricky, especially as we constantly monitor our social media channels for tweets from travellers in need of help. It’s a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week responsibility and we take it very seriously. Even so it’s nice to have the chance to unwind properly during a break. And if you’re the sort who needs a little help, this next post is for you. Check out How to switch off during the Christmas break.

Travelling with a baby

One of our friends jetted off to Florida last week for a Christmas break with her 6 month old son Harry. She went alone and will be meeting Dad later. For some that might be a scary proposition, but it’s not for well seasoned traveller, the Travel Hack, who travels regularly with gorgeous George. She’s written a post – Tips for flying long haul with a baby – that some mums (and dads) will appreciate if they are going to be flying with a new born for the first time this Christmas.

I’d rather be….

Surfing! Hitting the beach at Christmas used to be for the hardy few, but these days you can expect to find a few people in the line up even on Christmas day. Surfing is a fast growing sport and everyone wants to try it. If that includes you, then make 2016 the year you do. This next post has some great images (including one of one of our favourite Cornish beaches – Porthcurno – can you spot it?) as well as some good advice on making the most of your water time. Flighthub’s surfing guide for Canadians travelling abroad is well worth a read – even if you are not Canadian! The same rule apply to us Brits too!

When travel insurance comes in handy

Yes, we know we are bound to say that, but the truth is that when you travel things can go wrong. That’s when you need your travel insurance policy to get you out of trouble. And, as if you needed a little help to imagine a few going wrong scenarios, this next post highlights a few of the things that can go wrong when you travel. It might not be your usual glossy travel post but When travel goes wrong certainly tells it like it is.

Looking back at 2015

As we get to the end of the year it’s nice to look back at the previous year’s travel. It’s exactly what some of our favourite bloggers have been doing lately, starting with Rambling Man who posted his 2015: a year in walking, with a peek at adventures on the Wainright’s, the London Orbital Path and the Thames Path.

By the time Big Ben calls in the end of 2015 Vicky Flip Flop will have visited 23 countries this year! That’s quite an achievement! You can read all about her times in Japan, California and Israel in My 5 best adventures from 2015.

The last of our highlights of 2015 comes from Lauren at Never Ending Footsteps, who starts off her review of the year with a great photo of the same Cornish beach – Porthcurno – we talked about earlier. Check out the colour of the water in 15 travel highlights from 2015!

That’s it for this week. We hope it gave you a little travel inspiration for 2016.

Finally, it’s time to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us at World First Travel Insurance.

Until 2016…

Rothwell & Towler Tourism House Woodwater Park
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