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5 sensual spa breaks in Europe for Mother’s Day

February 18th, 2016

5 sensual spa breaks in Europe for Mother’s Day

spa breaks in Europe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mother’s Day is just around the corner (6th March to be precise). If mum deserves more than flowers and a tray of Thornton’s this year, spoil her rotten by whisking her off for a lavish spa holiday. It will show her just how special she is – and you will get to pamper yourself silly too. Win, win.

 

1. Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Lake Como, Italy

There are worse ways to spend your time than soaking in a bubbling outdoor whirlpool tub, overlooking the azure waters of Lake Como. This five star hotel – complete with beautiful art nouveau furnishings – packs some serious style. After a day spent cycling along the shores of the lake or pottering around in the stunning 20-acre hotel gardens, rejuvenate with a hot stone massage before soaking in the heated infinity pool and hydrotherapy areas. Bliss. This being Italy, there’s also a mouth-watering selection of fresh seafood, wood-fired pizzas and grilled meats.

Rooms from: £295
Airports: Lugano (29 miles), Milan Malpensa (50 miles)
grandhoteltremezzo.com

 

2. Les Sources de Caudalie, Martillac, France

When your spa treatment menu reads more like a wine list in some snazzy gastro joint, you know you must be in France. The hotel spa is a self-professed pioneer of vinotherapy, harnessing the anti-ageing properties of polyphenols found in grape seeds. If that all sounds a bit gimmicky, let’s just say the crushed cabernet scrubs, merlot and honey wraps, and soaks in grape marc (that’s the name for what’s left of the grapes after wine-pressing) feel pretty darn great. The spa also has its own natural hot-water spring and a beautiful indoor pool framed by dozens of oak beams.

Rooms from: £173
Airport: Bordeaux (16 miles)
sources-caudalie.com

 

3. Resort Svata Katerina, Počátky, Czech Republic

If it’s peace and quiet you and mum are pining for, you could do worse than a pilgrimage to Svata Katerina. This hotel and spa – just a short journey from the sleepy town of Počátky – is in the middle of a forest where cars are banned.  But don’t think peace and quiet means you can’t get the pulse racing. A huge selection of activities are available including yoga, pilates, fitball, bootcamp, volleyball, badminton, horse riding and tennis. Or wind it down a notch with golf, fishing, Nordic walking and petanque. Either way, there’s a Jacuzzi under the stars waiting for you at the end of the day.

3 night packages from £485
Airport: Václav Havel Airport Prague (100 miles)
katerinaresort.cz

 

4. Parkhotel Igls, Innsbruck, Austria

Happy gut, happy body. That’s the central philosophy at Parkhotel Igls, where the incredibly astute staff pioneer modern Mayr medicine. After a once-over on arrival, you will be given a tailored nutritional plan for your stay with dishes designed to cleanse your system and stimulate sluggish digestion. Exercise is gentle and promotes stability and core strength, while treatments include a selection of massages, mud wraps and, erm, beeswax liver compresses. Expect less R&R, more lifestyle tune-up. But as Condé Nast Traveller’s Most Effective Medi-Spa 2015, Parkhotel Igls is clearly doing something right. Give the gift of a healthier lifestyle.

Rooms from: £215
Airport: Innsbruck Airport (6 miles), Salzburg Airport (110 miles)
parkhotel-igls.at

 

5. Hotel Barceló Hamilton, Menorca, Spain

The newly refurbed, adults-only Barceló Hamilton is home to U-Wellness, where guests can laze around in the Finnish sauna, hammam, sensation showers and cube showers – use of which is complimentary for hotel guests. There’s also a huge selection of facial treatments, beauty treatments and body massages. Up on the rooftop terrace, there are six hot tubs where you can enjoy some you time while overlooking the Bay of Mahón and the Mediterranean Sea. Above that is Sky Bar, with commanding panoramic views over the city below. And with the most affordable room rates on our list, an all-pampering break doesn’t have to break the bank. (Sshh, we won’t tell. Mum’s the word.)

Rooms from: £67
Airport: Menorca Airport (9 miles)
barcelo.com


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The World First Wander: travel blogs we loved this week

February 15th, 2016

The World First Wander: travel blogs we loved 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 busy week in the world of travel and travel blogging. This week we take a look at adventurous ladies, being bored at half term and backpacking and hiking.

Learning as you go

travel blogs we loved this week

Travel broadens the mind. True.

Some would say that the world is the best classroom and sometimes it’s hard to argue with it. Seeing, doing and experiencing life as you travel through it is a brilliant way to learn. That’s why we have chosen to include An education on the road from the brilliantly named Plutonium Sox blog written by Natalie Ray. Taking off and hitting the road for 12 months? Who wouldn’t want to do that?

One for the women

travel

Where are all the women adventurers? Here, that’s where.

Our next post is from Hannah at That Adventurer whose latest blog post did get us thinking and asking Where are all the female adventurers? And it’s a good question, as Hannah says we have all watched Levison Wood walking the length of the Nile and the Himalayas and Bear Grylls doing his thing with Obama, but why haven’t we seen the girls? Have a look at Hannah’s blog post to find out what the girls are really up to. They are paragliding off 4000ft mountains in Switzerland, climbing impossible peaks and cave diving in Cuba. Check out what the likes of The Roaming Renegades and Words and Other Such Things are getting up to…

Mummy I’m bored

world first wander travel blog

No more bored kids at half term – we promise!

It can be a nightmare finding things to keep the young ones amused during half term, so we wanted to create a mini list of some blog posts that we thought might help you keep them happy. Firstly, My Travel Monkey have written a blog post with some top things to do this February half term (in London) including the first ever London puddle jumping championships! We think it sounds brilliant.

Tots to Travel are thinking Pirates at Pendennis Castle in their half term offering. It is a truly stunning castle and well worth a visit – especially if there are going to be pirates there!

There is also loads to do in our hometown of Exeter, and Devon in general, if you are holidaying in the westcountry. Take a peek at Visit Devon for some great ideas, from Exeter’s underground passages to the house of marbles in Bovey Tracey. Kids will love it.

Backpacking and Hiking

The great outdoors is indeed great. But what about if you have just had a baby? Travel Mad Mum Karen Edwards hit the headlines last week for heading off around the world with partner Shaun and baby Esme who was just 10 weeks old when they set off. Some may say it’s crazy but we sau “fantastic!” Find out all about it in Backpacking around the world with a baby on maternity leave. What an adventure!

travel blogging

Skye: beautiful landscapes. Take your walking boots.

Of course you don’t need to trek to the other side of the world to have an amazing adventure. Our next post proves it. It was written by Sarah at the Wanderblogger, who recently visited the isle of Skye on Scotland’s Inner Hebrides. Looks like a great place to hike. Have a read of The Isle of Skye: a real life Treasure Island.  If it seems like your idea of heaven you can find more information about Skye and what is has to offer hikers at The Skye trail. And then have a look at another of Sarah’s posts:  9 beautiful hikes and landscapes on the Isle of Skye.

 

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

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

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.

 

4th February is World Cancer Day. We can. Can you?

February 2nd, 2016

4th February is World Cancer Day. We can. Can you?

World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day takes place this week, on the 4th of February. As an awareness day its aim is to unite populations across the globe in the fight against cancer. The result of such an awareness is to help prevent millions of deaths each year though education, research and action.

Why world Cancer Day is important

Currently around 8.2 million people die each year from cancer. Of those, around 4 million will die prematurely as a result of cancer. It’s every reason to get involved.

How can you get involved?

The campaign is largely about social media, spreading the message and people making pledges to do the things that they can, despite or in the face of cancer. It encourages people to make healthy lifestyle choices, ask for help, support others, create healthy environments, inspire action or even take control of their own cancer journey.

These might sound like tough asks but the World Cancer Day website has lots of downloadable factsheets to help you if these are some of the choices you want to make. So if you have been inspired by the campaign or want to get involved, it’s easy.

Even if it’s as simple as downloading a profile picture for your Twitter  account it still matters. That’s because every action, no matter how simple, shows you care and that you want to speak out.

I have never heard of World Cancer Day. How long has it been going?

World Cancer Day was established by the Paris Charter adopted at the World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millennium in Paris on 4 February 2000. This Charter aimed at the promotion of the research for curing as well as preventing the disease, upgrading the provided services to the patients, the sensitisation of the common opinion and the mobilisation of the global community against cancer.

Living with cancer? Can you travel? We can help

While travelling might be the last thing on your mind while receiving treatment for cancer, it can often be the first thing that people want to do after treatment. However, it’s not always easy. For a start it can be really difficult to get travel insurance cover. However, it’s not with World First. We cover lots of types of cancer – from bowel cancer to breast cancer – and always at a price that’s fair. That’s because we understand that every cancer is different and that every cancer needs to be treated differently.

While we accept that risks of needing medical treatment abroad are greater, we would never penalise you simply for being unwell. It’s part of what we do.

So if your ‘I can’ for World Cancer Day is to travel the world, give us a call. We can help.

0345 90 80 161

 

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

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

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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

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…

It’s murder on the campsite. But it needn’t be with World First.

January 22nd, 2016

It’s murder on the campsite. But it needn’t be with World First.

World First

Down but not out. Camping is fun, but not without its dangers…

Have you got plans to go camping this year? You will not be alone. Camping is really popular at the moment, with the Great British Tourism Survey revealing that us Brits took 13.3m camping and caravanning trips in 2014. Another stat, this time from the European Caravan Federation, stated that UK registrations of new motorhomes rose by 10.6% in the 2015 season. So things really are on the up for the humble camping holiday.

Going abroad to camp is still as popular as ever, with 61% of Brits preferring France for their foreign camping adventure (according to Go Outdoors). There is good reason for this. France is one of the best set up countries in the world for camping, with all kinds of ways of enjoying life under canvas. You can stay on large corporate sites with pools and bars and restaurants, save money and stay on municipal campsites that are operated by almost every municipality, get a taste of the real France by staying in your campervan – for free – on one of the thousands of France Passion sites or stay on aires de camping car, which are specially provided places for motorhomes. Then again, if that wasn’t to your taste you can stay on ‘au naturel’ sites or ‘a la ferme’, both of which offer a chance to get away from the big business of camping.

However, the campsite isn’t always the safest of places. There are guy ropes to trip over, fires to get burned by, axes to skim shins and bugs to bite. And we’re pretty sure that most of us have, at some time or another, done something stupid on a campsite. Isn’t that right?

As if to prove a point we asked World First writer Martin if he’d ever hurt himself on a camping trip. Little did we know that we’d hit such a rich vein of stories! Enjoy the following that he freely admitted to on his blog, but don’t forget that our travel insurance policies will cover you for all kinds of mishaps, accidents, problems and issues you might come across along the way. As well as the camping related injuries, our cover will also cover you if you have to come home because of an injury, if your belongings go missing or if you have to cancel a ferry or campsite booking because of unforeseen circumstances.

You can get a quote here, but, in the meantime, enjoy a little campsite shadenfreude (and don’t let it happen to you…)

“I was chopping wood to put on the fire. The piece of wood I was chopping bounced into the air and hit me square on the nose very hard. It hurt. My teeth felt like they were about to fall out and my septum felt as if it had been crushed by an elephant. No break, just a loss of dignity and some big LOLs from my twitter followers.”

“We had a broken windscreen on a campervan trip to France. It was an old camper so it shattered. And that meant we had to be towed to a garage to get a new one. It took 3 days to arrive so we were effectively, homeless, until it could be fixed. Our travel cover paid for a hotel while we were waiting. The Mrs was quite pleased! Secretly, of course.”

“I got up one night to go to the loo and, on closing the sliding door on the camper van, hit my head on the corner of a cupboard and made a deep cut between my eyes. I went back to sleep but took myself off to A and E the next morning when I saw how bad it was.”

“During a tour of France and Spain I caught myself in the face with a fish hook whilst showing my daughter how to cast. The line had snagged and it popped back at me and embedded its barb just below my left ear. It had to be removed in hospital and I had to beg a Spanish fisherman to take me there. To his credit he waited for me and took me back to the camp site. Luckily I had my EHIC card, which got me free treatment. I was the only thing I caught that trip.”

“I have forgotten the number of times camping trips with my family have been ruined by bites from insects. One of my earliest memories of camping is of my mum going to A&E in Devon with a lump on her arm the size of a tennis ball. She had been bitten by a horse fly. I’m not immune to the odd bite but I’m not going to make a song and dance about it like my dear old mum did. I think she would have preferred to stay in a hotel.”

“Ages ago I went surfing while on a camping trip. The surf was huge and I came ashore unscathed, which was a miracle, but then I went and fell over on the beach and broke and dislocated my big toe. That was another trip to see the nice people at A and E.”

“The top prize for camping holiday incidents belongs not to me but to my lovely daughter Maggie, who fell off a climbing frame and broke her arm within an hour of arriving at Eoropie on the isle of Lewis in 2011. It had taken us a week to get there. All I can say is that the A&E department in Stornoway is lovely.”

Going camping? Take a first aid kit and make sure you have really good travel insurance.

 

The World First Wander: travel blogs we love this week

January 18th, 2016

The World First Wander: travel blogs we love this week

This week's Wander: ski kit, pregnancy, diabetes and Iceland

This week’s Wander: ski kit, pregnancy, diabetes and Iceland

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.

This week we take a look at diabetes, skiing, Iceland and wheelchair accessibility.

Travel and Diabetes

First up this week we head to Diabetes UK for a great story about travelling with type 1 diabetes. It’s written by Scott Brady who has been a Type 1 diabetic for nearly 20 years. Scott and his girlfriend are planning to backpack around South East Asia for 6 months in 2016 and, as Scott says in this post, it takes a bit more planning when you have diabetes. This is a great post for anybody planning to do the same thing. Have a read of Tales of a back packer – by Scott Brady then take a look at our Diabetes Travel Insurance page for the best in diabetes travel insurance cover.

Travelling with a bump

If you travel while pregnant and worry about it, it can help to read tips from experienced travellers.  In our 2nd post this week we get some great advice from Minitravellers, from the Wirral, who offer some great advice. Naturally we particularly like no 8, check your travel insurance, so if you are going to be travelling this year with your very own on board travelling companion, have a read of Tips on Flying Whilst Pregnant.

Planning a Ski Trip? Want to save some money?

Hitting the slopes this year? We found a great article on the Telegraph website which is going to be of interest to anybody planning on skiing or snowboarding this year. Why? Because it’s a list of how much some airlines will charge you to carry your skis. There are some surprising results in there. Have a read – before you book your flights perhaps – and you may just save a few Euros for the après ski. Revealed the best and worst airlines for skiers and snowboarders.

What to pack for a ski trip?

Having trouble deciding what to pack for your ski trip? We don’t think you are alone! Do you go for style over performance or performance over style? Or, if it were p[ossible, both? Our next post, from Wander newbies Travelista, may help to separate what you do need and don’t want to take from what you want to pack but perhaps don’t need. Check out  What to pack for a ski trip. Skis, ski jacket, snow boots….

The other Iceland

We are going to make this joke and then forget it ever happened. Iceland, for those who are still struck in Christmas mode, is a country as well as a source of quality food. And, we are led to believe, is infinitely more beautiful than the other Iceland. So, now the Christmas ads are done, it’s time to head for the real Iceland in the company of We Blog The World. The How to Guide to Iceland in the Winter is full of fantastic images and lots of useful advice for those thinking about a trip this year. Looks amazing.

Had Enough of the Cold?

At the other end of the temperature scale from Iceland is The Death Valley National Park, a place where the hottest temperature on earth was recorded back in 1913. SO, if you are looking for warm, n this is the place to head. In fact, this is exactly what Travel Bunny did. There really is no place like it on earth. The post includes lots of useful info as well as stunning photographs. It is well worth a read: Driving Death Valley – the highs and lows.

Booking hotels for disabled travellers

Curb Free with Cory Lee is a disabled travel blog we have followed for a long time. It’s one of our favourites as its always full of articles from a different perspective. This post, from last week is no different. If you are a wheelchair user choosing a hotel that will meet all your access needs can make all the difference. Hence Cory has compiled a list of questions to ask when you book a hotel to make sure you don’t arrive and find you have accessibility problems. A simple guide to booking hotels for wheelchair users will be useful to a lot of World First customers. Enjoy.

Until next week.

31% of skiers on thin ice? Not with World First Winter Sports cover.

January 15th, 2016

31% of skiers on thin ice? Not with World First Winter Sports cover.

Winter Sports cover

Got the right travel cover? Talk to us.

We’ve had some shocking stats from ABTA, via our Know Before You Go partners, The Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The stats, which are the result of an ABTA study among 600 travellers, reveal that 31% of British nationals heading off to the slopes this winter may not have adequate winter sports cover – because they don’t check whether or not their travel insurance will cover them if the suffer an injury while out on the slopes.

The over 65s bracket were even worse than the average, with 55% of them failing to check the small print in their travel policies. At the end fo the scale it was the younger age bracket – aged 25-34 – who were the most travel cover conscious. Just 25% of them set off without checking to see if their cover would cover winter sports. It’s better but it’s still a quarter.

You might well ask what the problem is with this, if they have cover. Well, as insurers we need to know what you are up to so that we can give you the right amount of cover. All policies are different , so if you head off with an annual policy that covers you for weekends away and holidays in the sun, it won’t cover winter sports. That means that if you injure yourself your cover will be invalid.

In the last 3 years, sadly, there have been 45 deaths among British skiers and snowboarders reported to the FCO, with thousands more needing treatment for injuries sustained both on and off piste.

Here at World First we insure thousands of skiers every year. Our Winter Sports cover includes cover for equipment, whether it’s rented or yours, cover for off piste skiing, cover if the slopes are closed and cover if your equipment gets damaged. And that’s on top of the cover we offer in each of our policy types, which includes up to £10m in emergency medical cover.

We can also cover your medical conditions too, and cover you if you are over 65 or under 35. We can do it at a price that’s fair too. So there;s no excuse not to head oiff knowing that you have done the right thing and got cover that will be right there with you all the way.

Advice for skiers from the FCO

The FCO, as part of their campaign, have put together an infographic to help keep you safe on the slopes. Take a look at it HERE.

They have also put together the following advice with the help of four time Winter Olympian Chemmy Alcott:

Pre-departure advice:

  • Take out comprehensive travel insurance with winter sports cover and check what it covers
  • If heading to Europe, travel with a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to get free necessary treatment at public hospitals
  • Make sure your passport is valid before you travel
  • Check the FCO’s travel advice for the country you are visiting
  • Keep up to date with the local weather conditions before you go and while you’re in resort

In resort advice:

  • Stick with your mates when walking back to your hotel or chalet and follow the signed paths
  • Only ski off-piste if you are a confident skier, aware of the risks and are with a qualified guide
  • Wear a helmet
  • Remember the effects of drinking alcohol increase at altitude – your judgement, coordination and reaction times may be affected
  • Make sure you and your friends know that in an emergency, the number to call is 112 in Europe and 911 in USA

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World First is a trading name of Rothwell & Towler (2013) Ltd. Travel insurance premiums and availability of cover may vary depending on individual circumstances. If you are a consumer or business insured you are reminded of your obligations to provide full and accurate information concerning your insurance cover. Further information can be found here. We are an Appointed Representative of Crispin Speers & Partners Ltd who are Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Register number 311507. Rothwell & Towler (2013) Ltd, Registered in England No. 08294942. Registered Office: St Clare House, 30-33 Minories, London EC3N 1PE.

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