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The Sunbird’s Survival Guide.

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Ten tips for taking off for an extended winter holiday.

Happy Senior Couple Dancing Holding Hands on A Tropical Beach

Listen carefully. What do you hear? Is that the sound of sun seeking Brits – our very own sunbirds and swallows – stretching their wings before they head south for the winter?

Every year, as the bad weather approaches and the news gets gloomier, thousands of us gather at departure points around the country with our bags packed and ready. Cheap flights, out of season prices and the fact that for the time being you can get your winter fuel payments on the Costa del Sol – as well as the health benefits of dodging the dodgy weather – are all very good reasons to flee the British winter and park our beach towels somewhere nice for a few months.

But while it sounds lovely, migrating requires more effort than just cancelling the milk (although that helps). So, here are few tips to help you make the most of a long stay abroad. And it all begins with talking to the dairy…


Taking your holiday health cover to the next level…

Monday, June 24th, 2013

World First travel insurance

We’ve changed a few things here at World First. The most important of which is offering different levels of travel insurance cover for medical expenses, cancellation and luggage  for different types of traveller. It makes sense doesn’t it? After all, everyone travels differently these days and everyone needs something different from their travel insurance. So if you need to be reassured by £10 million of medical expenses cover or worry about losing your medication, we’ve got something to suit…


Guest post | A taste of life in Greece

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Greece has been in the news for all the wrong reasons recently. In this guest post, EFL teacher and travel blogger Rebecca Hall reveals how this beautiful country is still full of life.

“Pame!” I look up from my chocolate croissant and fresh orange, eaten on the balcony of my bedroom, to try and locate the source of the call.

“Pame” means ‘come’ in Greek.  It must be a shepherd as the early morning stillness is interrupted by the jangling of goats’ bells obeying their master’s instructions.  I can hear, but not see them on the hill opposite – it’s too densely covered in pine trees.

Ithaca, from Athens, is an 8 hour journey by bus and ferry via Kefalonia.  Both are incredibly green.  I was debating whether to bother with this Ionian island or go to an island nearer my adopted hometown of Athens: Poros, Aegina or Agastri.  Yet I wanted to be inspired to write, and if Lord Byron could be inspired to wax lyrically by Ithaca and her beauty, why not me? (more…)

The Quirky Traveller’s Favourite Travel Destinations

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Zoë Dawes – aka The Quirky Traveller – is a travel writer.  She was recently voted Britain’s Best Travel Blogger and her website www.thequirkytraveller.com was voted in the Top 10 Inspiring Travel Websites 2010. We asked Zoë to give us a few ideas for brilliant places to visit. We never guessed that it would be good old Blighty that would take the top spot. But there it is. And Zoë really does know what she’s talking about.


World MS Day: 25th May

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) affects each of its 85,000 UK patients differently. Some experience chronic symptoms. Others less so. But it remains a serious, life-changing disease. The result is that travellers who have the condition can sometimes have difficulties getting travel cover for the price they had hoped. We offer a fairer deal.


A year after the ash: it couldn’t still be causing disruption, could it?

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Eruption of Mt. EyjafjallajokullWhere were you this time last year?

Not in the air, presumably. Last April, the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud paralysed air travel, leaving many thousands of travellers across Europe and beyond stranded. The unprecedented nature of the event, together with the widespread chaos it wrought, meant that many travellers were eager to seek compensation but were unsure of how to get it, where to get it and what their travel insurance policy entitled them to.

That led to disputes.

Now, it’s important that we get one thing clear right away. Many travel insurers have settled disputes with their customers by offering good will payments. Others simply accepted straight away that their customers were entitled to compensation. (Like us. We offered no quibble payouts to our affected customers twelve months ago.) Yet one year on, even though it has long since vanished from the skies, the ash cloud continues to disrupt some travellers who have locked horns with their insurers over compensation.

A recent ruling from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), however, could help to bring those disputes to an end. And it’s good news for travellers.


What does the Portuguese bailout mean for tourism?

Monday, April 11th, 2011

A beach in Faro, PortugalPortugal. It’s a beautiful country, famed for its easy-going lifestyle, great beaches and even better weather. But it won’t have escaped your attention that Portugal’s economy is in big trouble.

The European Union are negotiating the terms of a rescue package after receiving a formal request from Portugal for aid last Thursday (7th April). They follow in the footsteps of Ireland and Greece, who were both given emergency financial assistance at the end of 2010. But how will Portugal’s economic difficulties affect Brits travelling to the country?

Well, it might be good news if you’re after a bargain break.


Spain from a different point of view.

Monday, March 28th, 2011

The north coast by train.

For many travellers, the key to a good trip is to really get immersed in the local culture. When it comes to the north of Spain, one of the best ways to do that is to travel the coast along the FEVE, the narrow-gauge railway system that connects the towns and cities of what is unquestionably one of Europe’s most beautiful coastlines. It’s a backpacker’s delight. But you don’t have to miss out on the luxuries if you don’t want to. This May will see the launch of a new season of services aboard El Transcantábrico, one of the world’s most luxurious trains.

So, are you ready for the trip of a lifetime?


Spanish airport staff plan summer of strikes

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Airlines are bracing themselves for disruption after news that Spanish Airport Authority, Aena, are planning a series of summer strikes. Aena are state-owned and control many of Spain’s key airports.

Union syndicates have confirmed that Aena are planning to strike on a number of dates between April and August (see below for full details). Airport staff are taking the action in protest against government plans to sell off parts of the company.

But what does it mean for your travel insurance?

Well, it depends on when you took out your policy. News of the strikes was announced in the Spanish press on Tuesday night (8th March). More importantly, the UK media has been aware of the news since 8.40am yesterday morning (9th March). Any travellers whose policy was purchased after 8.40am on 9th March will not be covered for the strikes on the dates shown above. But those who purchased their policies before this time will be covered as per the policy wording under the sections for Travel Delay/Abandonment and Missed Departure.

Also, remember that if you do get caught up in the strikes it is the legal obligation of your airline to offer alternative flights as well as compensation for additional accommodation and sundries. Therefore, these elements will not be covered under your policy.

If you’re worried about the industrial action in Spain, keep an eye on our blog. We’ll bring you the latest news as it develops. And if you have any questions, call our support team on 0845 90 80 161.

Strike dates:

20th, 21st, 24th, 25th and 30th

2nd, 14th, 15th, 19th and 20th

13th, 23rd and 30th

1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 15th and 31st

1st, 15th and 31st

Close to home: why holidaying in the UK this year might beat going abroad

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Union Jack in a sandcastle on a British beachAnd where to find the perfect insurance policy for holidaying at home.

Fine dining, golden-sanded beaches, picture-postcard coastal scenery, pastoral countryside, world-famous cities and a vast choice of accommodation; there’s one place that has it all. And it’s right on your doorstep.

Yes, more and more of us are deciding to take our holidays at home in good ol’ Blighty. With purse-strings being tightened at every turn and the cost of foreign holidays continuing to spiral, people are waking up to the fact that giving up on foreign travels doesn’t have to mean going without your annual getaway. For many the UK will do just fine, thanks very much.

There’s no need to buy travel insurance either, right? Well, kind of. But consider what might happen if you had to cancel a booking at your dream cottage in the Cotswolds at the last minute. You could be left substantially out of pocket. Fortunately there’s a policy that’s absolutely perfect for UK holidays.

And you can find out more below.


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

World First is a trading name of Rothwell & Towler (2013) Ltd and is an appointed representative of Crispin Speers & Partners Ltd who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, FCA register number 311507. Travel insurance premiums and availability of cover may vary depending on individual circumstances. If you are a consumer insured (i.e. a person buying insurance wholly or mainly for personal purposes unrelated to your employment), you have a duty to take reasonable care to answer questions fully and accurately, and that any information you volunteer is not misleading. This duty exists before the cover is placed, when renewed, or altered at any time throughout the duration of the policy. If you do not do so, your Insurer may be able to void your policy from inception. Rothwell & Towler (2013) Ltd, Registered in England No. 08294942. Registered Office: St Clare House, 30-33 Minories, London EC3N 1PE.

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