Peace of Mind: A Precious Travel Commodity

You want to have peace of mind when you go travelling abroad. For this reason, it is advisable that you get a good insurance policy that will cover you and your possessions.

Often when you buy a flight to travel abroad you will be offered some sort of travel insurance.  It can be very easy to just go along with what is offered to you when it comes to buying tickets. However you should be cautious before you make your purchases and ensure that you are getting the best deal.

 Travel Insurance

 

What to consider?

There are many considerations that you will need to make before purchasing travel insurance. You might be going travelling and therefore are looking to purchase backpackers insurance. Most importantly you will need to decide whether you are going to choose cover for a single holiday or whether you will invest in annual cover that will provide insurance for you on all the holidays you make within a certain period of time; subject to the limitations of the policy.

Sometimes annual insurance policies can be worth the investment and you don’t necessarily have to go on holiday a lot to make them worthwhile. Annual insurance policies are particularly suitable for people who like to take advantage of last minute holiday deals and want to save themselves the hassle of having to organise last minute insurance as well.

 

Exclusions and inclusions

Make sure that you look out for common exclusions in your travel insurance policy. You do not want to get half way around the world only to discover that you have a limited amount of cover after all.

There is usually a certain level of baggage insurance included in insurance policies. This will usually cover you in the event that your baggage is damaged lost or even stolen. There are limits on the value for which insurance companies will cover your baggage though so make sure you are clear of these restrictions before you depart.

Insurance companies will also normally put strict limits on the cover that they will provide in the event that your valuables are lost, stolen or damaged. Some travel insurance policies will pay for the repair of a damaged item whilst others will even cover the purchase of a replacement if the original is lost or stolen.

Make sure you know what the cover you select entitles you to and double check whether common items such as your glasses are included as these are often overlooked but can still be expensive to replace.

Save Money Booking a Holiday With 5 Top Tips

Photo by Flickr User Pylon757

Timing is everything

For the best flight prices either book early when there is plenty of availability or at the last minute once airlines have slashed prices to fill seats. When you holiday is just as important: while you should be prepared for an expensive trip if you’re set on going away over the New Year, if you don’t mind going over the low-season you’ll be able to spoil yourself a bit more.

Consider a package/all-inclusive

Eating out is undoubtedly one of the most expensive parts of any holiday. By getting an all-inclusive package or going self -catering you can eliminate this cost. If you thought self-catering was code for cramped kitchens and primitive appliances you obviously haven’t seen some of the villas Teletext Holidays have available to rent.

Have an open mind

When you start looking for holidays you might have an idea of where you want to go. Be open to the possibility of different, cheaper destinations and you’ll not only bag yourself a bargain, you’ll be able to experience something unexpected.

Consider the extras

Whether you’re booking your holiday online or through a travel agent you’llprobably get offered extras such as car-rentals or holiday insurance. If you don’t need them make sure you’re not paying for them. However, if you do need travel insurance or a rental car you’ll often find that booking it at the same time as your holiday can save you money

Do everything in advance

If you want to carry on saving money don’t stop planning once you’ve arranged your transport and accommodation. Booking your train tickets to the airport or parking spot in advance can give you a considerable saving. Similarly, booking tickets for any attractions you want to visit in advance will also save you a great deal, and could even stop you having to queue on the day

Perfect Backpacking Holiday

The world is a huge place and therefore, if you want to see as much as possible, taking a backpackers holiday is ideal. Rather than being fixed in one location for the duration of your vacation, enjoying a backpackers retreat will allow you the flexibility to go exactly where you want. And, as long as you do the necessary prep work before you leave, a backpacking holiday can give you one of the most perfect getaways you’ll ever experience.

There are a vast range of top destinations to visit, and there is no end to where you’ll be able to explore. Some of the best places for backpacking holidays are the Americas, Australia, Thailand, Europe and India, with each location offering its own unique attractions and iconic landmarks to see. It is therefore essential that before you leave on your holiday you do some preparation in terms of discovering where you’re going. This can save vital time when you’re in a country, allowing you to head directly to the popular spots, save money, and make the most out of your time away whether it’s a few short weeks or several months.

One of the most significant things you should organize is how you intend on travelling around. Once you’ve booked your flights, which can be bought as open flexible travel so that you can move around at your own free will, you’ll need to establish how to move around within a country. Whilst public transport is always an option, a great way to travel, especially if you’re holidaying with friends, is to take advantage of cheap car rentals. If you’re planning on moving around a lot then simply hiring a car can actually work out as inexpensive as taking multiple train and bus journeys. In addition it’ll offer you a little luxury as you won’t have to heave your bags around and will be able to enjoy you own space without having to deal with passengers you don’t know.

Once you know how you’ll travel around it is important to plan a few places to go. There is something to be said for simply arriving in a country and heading out on a whim, however, this can often lead to a lot of time being wasted. You can maximize your stay by picking out a few key areas to visit such as major tourist attractions and landmarks. On your travels between these sights you can then explore other areas, allowing you the freedom of enjoying a backpacker’s holiday. This way you won’t return home feeling that you’ve missed anything out, and will be able to share stories and pictures of some of the world’s greatest sights in addition to your own unique adventures.

If it’s done in the correct way a backpacker’s holiday can truly be one of the best adventures you will ever experience. You can go where you what, when you want, and get a completely different view of a location than if you were staying in a resort in one place. And by carefully planning your journey beforehand you can reduce the possible issues that might occur whilst you’re away.

Tantalizing Tanzania

Tanzania is surely one of the most breathtaking countries in East Africa. Home to the historic state of Zanzibar, the towering Mount Kilimanjaro and so many more beautiful sites and experiences, Tanzania is not to be missed on any trip to the continent.

After a considerable amount of advice and recommendations, I decided to start my trip in Zanzibar. Where better to start than Zanzibar city itself? Situated on the west coast of Unguja (the main island of the Zanzibar Archipelago), the city offers something to suit every taste and interest. For a dose of historic architecture, The Stone Town is the place to see. The House of Wonders is probably one of most well-known landmarks. It was built in 1883 as a Sultan’s residence and is simply spectacular. The Old Fort, a heavy stone fortress is also well worth a visit. Live dance and music shows are held daily in the internal courtyard. After a day of sightseeing in sweltering heat, it was time for something to eat. The Forodhani Gardens, fronting The House of Wonders is the place to go after sunset for great food. Expect everything from grilled seafood to typical Zanzibari recipes. Pilau Meat with coconut milk and rice was my particular favourite.

With a belly full of rich and exotic food, it was time to burn off the calories. What better way to do this than trekking Mount Kilimanjaro? The climb is not an easy one. High winds and altitude sickness can put many people off. But the views are simply stunning and well worth the trek. The Rongai and Marangu paths are the best camping routes for beginners. If you would rather gaze at the impressive mountain from a safe distance, the plains of Moshi town are ideal. Expect to see some giraffes casually wondering about too.

If it’s luxury you are after, staying in Tanzania completely satisfies this need. Lake Manyara Tree Lodge, quietly tucked away by a beautiful lake and mahogany forest is the perfect base to enjoy the Tanzania Royal Safari. Expect seven days of seeing all kinds of game and the stunning plains of Kilimanjaro. There are plenty of luxury safari packages out there to suit every budget and taste. Unfortunately, my wee budget could not stretch this far, but not to worry. The Zanzibar Palace Hotel in the Stone Town was my base of choice. With authentic architecture, friendly staff and yummy breakfasts, you couldn’t really go wrong. The Zanzibar Serena Inn is another great location in the centre of the Stone Town. With its historical features still intact, there is a real atmosphere to the place.

To be truthful, Tanzania completely exceeded my expectations. When people think of a great safari, perhaps Kenya or South Africa spring to mind. Or if people want a bustling, cosmopolitan city, maybe Cape Town would be top of their list? The truth is, Tanzania offers both of these things and so much more. Whether you are trekking Kilimanjaro, sightseeing in Zanzibar City or just looking at some spectacular game, it’s hard to know where to start.

For more info please see My Destination Tanzania

Getting Away to the Cape Verde Islands

By Travel Writer Bradley Fink

When planning getaways, many tend to overlook the islands of Cape Verde. Butthis archipelago is one of the world’s most spectacular island chains.Magnificently scenic, exotic and diverse, Cape Verde is a great escapefrom the hordes of Paris and London.And what’s more, withbudgetbungalows,mid-rangehotels, and a growing number of resorts, there are great Cape Verde places to stay throughout these peaceful islands.

Located 570 kilometresoff the coast of Senegal, Cape Verde is an easy flight from Lisbon or the UK. Several flights arrive each week from London, Birmingham and Manchester. Most of these will take you to the Island of Santiago, which is the largest and most populated island of this little chain.If you like romantic landscapes, then you’ll love the vistas here, with sandy beaches, beautiful blue seas, and high volcanic cliffs.While the capital city of Praia has some restaurants and hotels, the interior of the island is a realm of natural wonder. National parks abound with mountain peaks and fertile valleys, where hiking is the best way to enjoy the high terrain. On the shores of Santiago, you’ll find fishing, diving, wind-surfing, sailing, and a number of other sports.

The other islands offer differentthings to see and do. For instance, Santa Antao is known for hiking, while Sal is known for its water sports and holiday resorts.  On any island you can find some top-notch ocean fishing, either from the shore, or by hiring a local fishing boat. But if you really want to escape, then make your way toSao Vicente, which is often thought to be the most enchanting of these islands.In Mindelo, which is home to most of Sao Vicente’s population, you’ll find a rich tradition of music, culture,restaurants and nightlife. The city has a vibrant buzz of pubs and entertainment, as well as several festivals that many come to see. In August there is a beach music festival during the full moon, and in February the city comes alivefor the annualcarnival.

Toeat in Mindelo, make your way to the food stalls of the QuiosquePraca Nova, where for 2 euros you can have a traditional local snack. Cachupa, a slow cooked stew, is famous in Cape Verde, and many people consider it to be the country’s national fare. This is made with corn, beans, and fish ormeat, which may be chicken, goat,or beef. Another delicious treat is the Portuguese dish calledFeijoada, which is also a stew of beans and meat, which is usually pork or beef.

Travelling in Cape Verde is a fairly simple task. There are ferries with connections to all nine of the inhabited islands.You may expect delays, however, as seas can become rough, but it’s a fast and easyway ofhopping in between the isles. There are also international airports on Sal, Boa Vista, and Sao Vincente, which are cheap and easy ways to make the trip from shore to shore.

For more info, please take a look at Cape Verde My Destination

First-time Backpacker: A refreshing how-to guide for the world’s travel junkies.

Alright guys, I’m here with a book review and I’m going to start out with a BIG disclaimer: I did not get paid to write this evaluation. I’m not even friends with the author, but he seemed like a cool dude and as he harks from England, I couldn’t leave a co-UK citizen hanging…so there you have it!

Basically, Shaun Rafferty’s back story is your stereotypical lost soul, young dude, adventure seeking plotline, and this book is basically a culmination of his vast backpacking experience packaged into a how-to guide (of sorts) on how you too can become a world traveler.

Right off the bat, I’ll give First-time Backpacker 3 ½ out of 5 stars. Admittedly, I didn’t read the whole thing, BUT I did read sections of the book I felt would set it apart from others. In my defense, I see it as a reference guide, to be consulted in times of trouble or at specific times during the travel planning process. But, of course, if you want to read the whole thing, be my guest!

I know, you’re probably thinking, “geez, do we really need another how-to travel guide out there? Don’t we all know how to pull out our credit cards and book the trip of a lifetime?”

The answer, unequivocally, is yes, we DO need another travel guide. We DO need a book that focuses specifically on those of us who make a lifestyle choice to put adventure first; those of us who value an experiential existence over one that values materialism, for instance.

Yes, those of us, who really DO want to live with only a few bags of belongings and yearn to jump overseas, have long been left to troll internet websites looking for like-minded souls. Well, look no further; I can assert that this book will speak to you and tell you not only everything you already know, but everything you need to know.

Granted, a lot of the book has been said elsewhere, BUT given that it targets first-time rookies, I think there is no harm in hashing out the age-old debate of suitcase vs. backpack, even if it’s been discussed to no end online.

The REAL goldmine? The candor, the spirit, the practicality that high-nose, so-called “backpacking guides” mostly ignore (such as unpleasant bowel complications or a frank discussion on whether or not to bring condoms on your worldwide adventure).

Yep, this book is not made for those of you who can afford a $5000 private tour through Italy…but that’s OK, because people with that sort of dispensable income are already satisfied with their Frommer’s guides.

Until now, the best books I’ve ever found for backpacking have either been too targeted, geographically, or not well written. In addition, they always seem to pander to more expensive types of travel, and they lack Shaun’s personal touch. Like it or not, the guy has some serious travel experience under his belt, and he’s written it out in 272 pages for you to read.

Rafferty, while often not the most loquacious of authors,  has created a product that rivals other books on the market and is without a doubt, a must-read for all aspiring backpackers. In truth, (and I say this honestly) I wish the book had come out before I embarked on my massive trip – I could have learned a thing or two. Such as how to pack a first aid kit, or the type of backpack to buy, or even the small and extremely significant fact that certain hygiene-related items are impossible to buy overseas.

In fact, aside from the weird British spelling (long abandoned by yours truly), all that’s left is for Rafferty to expand his geographic descriptions to include Africa. In fact, if Mr. Rafferty’s agent (if you are reading this), requires a warm body to fly over to Africa and get some on-the-ground facts, I’d be more than happy to sacrifice myself for the greater good of the backpacking community.

And so, I close this review with a whopping conclusion: buy this book. What it lacks in good writing it makes up for in fantastic tips for backpacking and traveling around the world. And really, what more could you ask for?

First-time Backpacker by Shaun Rafferty can be purchased on Amazon (Publisher: Authorhouse). More information can be found at: http://www.amazon.com/First-Time-Backpacker-Shaun-Rafferty/dp/1452065721/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1307674474&sr=8-1