Welcome to my travel blog

Hi and welcome. I love to travel and have had some amazing experiences over the years. As you can imagine, I have learnt an awful lot during these travels and have got some great tips to share with you. Whether you are a seasoned traveller or planning your first trip abroad, this is the place to visit for advice. Oh, and if you have got some great tips that you would like to share, give us a shout!

How To Choose A Walking Holiday In Four Easy Steps

Walking is said to be the number one most popular outdoor activity in the UK. Certainly, in a world that is growing more and more aware of the beneficial aspects of a healthy lifestyle and plenty of exercise, walking is a form of activity towards which many people are gravitating. In fact, it has been estimated that around three and a half million walking holidays are taken by British travellers each year.

Walking holidays offer an exhilarating combination of exercise and fresh air, but more than this they provide an ideal opportunity to get really close to the part of the world you are exploring, to experience the landscape, culture and people in a way that is just not possible when you are insulated from it all within a vehicle.

The advantages of such a vacation are clear, but that doesn’t mean to say it should be something that you rush into. Careful selection helps to avoid any potential pitfalls, and the first step towards choosing the kind of walking holiday that is right for you is a process of elimination.

Independent Or Group?

Do you enjoy the company and security of travelling in a group or do you prefer to go it alone? Naturally, there are pros and cons to both preferences. With group walking you get to enjoy the experience in the company of like-minded people with whom you can socialise. The other side of the coin, however, is that travelling with others can tend to isolate you from the travel experience. When you are on your own you have much more of an incentive to reach out and interact with the people who actually live in the place through which you are travelling. Such interaction gives you the chance to get a real feel for the local culture from those who understand it the best.

However, it cannot be argued that when you are in unfamiliar territory that there is safety in numbers. The security of travelling en masse helps to reduce the aspect of risk, a comforting element which in itself can aid enjoyment. On the other hand, those who prefer to travel solo will say that the frisson of uncertainty adds to the experience, giving us the savour of adventure which is generally lacking in our day to day lives.

Group walking offers the advantage of a guide who is familiar with the local landscape, society, culture and history and who can pass that knowledge on to you while ensuring that you don’t get lost. Without a guide there is always the possibility of going astray and getting lost, so for solo travellers it pays to be reasonably proficient with a map and compass (it’s not a good idea to simply rely on GPS; always have a back up).

Walking with a group leaves you with less to take care of yourself. Your itinerary is planned for you and you can simply go along and enjoy. However, there inevitably needs to be compromises as you are required to fit in, more or less, with what the majority wants. Fitting in with the walking speeds of others is an example of this. Some walking holiday providers do cater for differing levels of ability within groups, and make arrangements accordingly.


Another factor you might want to take into account is that the self guided walking holidays can be a lower priced option than their group equivalents.


How Much Exercise Can You Handle?

This is not a facetious point, but rather something that needs to be taken into careful consideration. After all, if you overdo it you could end up exhausting yourself, thereby defeating the purpose of the holiday. By the same token, you do need to challenge yourself a little, or you won’t receive the full fitness benefit of the excursion.

High mountain? Level plain?

Between these two extremes there are plenty of gradual gradations, from easy and low level on good, smooth surfaces with a severely limited number of ascents and descents and fairly short distances; through to moderate walking on reasonable surfaces over longer distances with plenty of ascents and descents up to 500 metres, and eventually to long routes in the mountains with lots of challenging inclines, long distances and rough going underfoot. It pays to be realistic regarding what kind of challenge you can handle and choose your walking holiday accordingly.

Bear in mind, though, that various companies offer flexible routes, with easier or harder ways to go depending on your mood and energy levels.


Food And Accommodation

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that just because you are contemplating a walking holiday that you will necessarily be roughing it. Although there is much to be said for a tent pitched beneath the stars, there’s also a firm argument to be made for a hearty meal, a warm bath and a comfortable bed at the end of a day’s exertion. Especially if you have a challenging day ahead!


Moreover, if you are something of a gastronome, a walking holiday provides a wonderful opportunity to try different kinds of food in a variety of circumstances, from roadside vendors to five star restaurants.


The Lay Of The Land

Last but not least you need to decide what kind of experience you wish to have. Do you want to be crossing an untracked wilderness or would you rather be encountering plenty of civilisation along the way?



Nature or culture?

Admittedly these are two extremes, and by no means mutually exclusive, but they will each give you a totally different holiday ambience.


This is where research comes in. Find out all you can about your proposed destination so that you are fully ready to embrace all of its joys and challenges. This includes asking the experts who you can contact via the various travel companies.


Whatever you decide, live the experience to the fullest and allow it to expand your knowledge of yourself and this fascinating world we share.

Don’t Skimp On Travel Insurance

Although maybe not the most glamorous subject worldwide, travel insurance is nevertheless an essential part of the vacation procedure. And unlike the relatively uncomplicated process of asking ‘which hotel should I remain in?’ getting the ideal travel insurance can be as confusing as it is discouraging!

And the common question I get asked all the time is whether I think travel insurance coverage deserves purchasing. Offered my job, it’s rather inevitable that my response will certainly be ‘yes’ however the reason isn’t simply because of the extra money it will certainly ensure I receive! It holds true that most of individuals go on vacation, have a remarkable time and return without any ill effects, however a small percentage of individuals will have an unanticipated hospitalisation or discover that their air travels are cancelled. And think me, in those instances trying to get assist without travel insurance coverage is not just expensive, but badly demanding. Undoubtedly, the best advantage of travel insurance is the peace of mind it provides the policy holder. A holiday should have to do with relaxation (or possibly getting your skin to end up being as lobster like as possible judging from recent case studies!) and how can you relax when you’re constantly on the lookout for health problems or injuries? I’m sure that even if you might have relaxed before reading this, you will be worried now! So without additional ado:.


1) Do not leave your travel insurance till the last minute.


Okay, people do not prefer to invest money – specifically immediately after dropping a load of cash on an costly vacation, however not getting your travel insurance coverage ironed out immediately can be a massive mistake as you lose out among the vital elements of it – cancellation cover. Although you might believe that there’s no chance you’ll cancel, life contains the unanticipated, and we take care of people cancelling their holidays due to family emergency situations every day.


As your holiday gets closer and better, the possibilities of you having to cancel are greatly decreased, so you completely lose the advantage of part of your insurance coverage if you don’t sort it out good and very early.


2) Don’t choose single journey cover if you’re going on vacation more than once.


On the subject of single trip cover, is that actually what you need? According to a current research study 2 thirds of people prepare to take two or more holidays a year. If you’re in the bulk here, then single journey insurance coverage will certainly not be the best priced option (unless you have a phenomenally good value insurance coverage company) and it deserves thinking about multi-trip or yearly.


3) Your E111 wellness card alone will cost you for clinical cover.


Don’t think that just due to the fact that you have your E111 European wellness card you will be paid for complimentary – that’s a misconception. You do require the card to reveal health centres in case of an emergency situation, however you will be charged by the country’s private health care system. See to it your travel insurance covers ailment and injury!


4) Be honest about any medical conditions you have.


On a similar note, ensure you inform your insurance companies of all your clinical conditions even if they seem irrelevant – too much information is a good thing in this case, as not supplying information could later on revoke any claims you have to make.


5) Get the ideal policy for your vacation.


 travel insuranceMuch like how there are different holidays for various tastes, there are different policies for different individuals. If you’re wanting to go backpacking, snowboarding or mountain climbing, you’re going to need to locate a policy particularly for these activities to guarantee you’re covered in case of an accident.


6) Buy for the family and conserve.


As I have actually already pointed out, there are various sorts of insurance for various cover – normally, business provide single, multi trip, annual and household travel insurance policies. Predict how much you expect to be abroad and purchase accordingly. If you are in a family, then it stands to reasons that family insurance is a excellent alternative – and some policies include the insurance of under-18s totally free!


7) Know exactly what’s covered.


Inexpensive travel insurance may seem like a deal – and there are a lot of legitimate business offering cheap travel insurance coverage out there – however see to it that you do go through the policy carefully so that you know what you are covered for and what you are not covered for.


8) Check out the excesses on the policy.


Actually, it’s worth reading through your travel insurance coverage very carefully regardless of how expensive it is. There are different excesses on every policy and these can make a huge difference, which is why it’s a good idea to find a policy with a lower or no extra on something that you could end up claiming on.


9) If you’re under the influence, then you won’t be covered.


Sounds evident, however we commonly get claims like this, so I ‘d best cover it: No travel insurance company will certainly pay up on any mishaps taking place while the policy holder is under the influence of liquor or medicines – the policy is not there to enable you to behave even more recklessly than you generally would!


10) Look for a business that covers versus acts of terrorism for comfort.


In the current climate, insurance coverage against acts of terrorism is something we have actually found individuals to be calling out for, and sadly, most business do not offer it as default with their policies. If it is something that’s fretting you, it is worth ensuring it is part of your policy.