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In the 21st Century, most people have at least one holiday per year. If you asked these people to describe their holidays, most would probably depict an airplane journey, lovely sunny weather, beautiful beaches, relaxation in a hotel and some kind of adventure or anecdote.
However, the origins of these kinds of holidays were very different;
Wherever you decide to holiday this year, make sure you invest in top quality Travel Insurance before you travel.
It’s rare to leave the house these days without carrying some kind of gadget with you; whether a now ubiquitous smartphone, or gadgets with more specific uses, such as sat-navs and mp3 players. Indeed, they are now so commonplace and easy to use, that it can be easy to forget just how many you regularly use, what conditions could potentially damage them, and, most importantly, how desirable they can be to other people.
The advice on this blog will help you to make the most out of your holiday, allowing you to be sure of the maximum efficiency and safety of your gadgets while abroad. After all, the last thing you need when on holiday is to have your favourite or most expensive device stolen from you, or find yourself robbed of all of your diligently gathered holiday snaps!
While there’s not a dramatic risk of theft or damage occurring to your gadgets while in flight, there are certain restrictions and security measures that may impede the use of certain devices, or prevent their transportation completely. Different airlines may have slightly different policies, so be diligent with when you use certain gadgets during flights. In many cases activating flight mode is plenty to prevent any inflight issues; though double checking with airline staff is always the best policy.
One recent change in airport regulations now means that electronic gadgets must be kept charged, or else passengers risk having them confiscated, or being refused access to the plane itself. The criteria that airport security will judge a gadget by is whether or not they can turn it on; the thinking being that if they can’t, there’s a good chance that the device in question may instead be camouflaging a weapon or bomb. By making sure that your devices are fully charged before you leave for the airport, you ensure that they will be completing the full trip by your side.
When it comes to keeping your gadgets safe and secure in your chosen accommodation, your most paranoid instincts are often the most effective at safeguarding your property. Avoid revealing your gadgets as much as possible, and ensure that they are stored securely in your room (in a locked safe or locker if possible) to minimise the risk of theft in your absence. This can be especially necessary when staying in youth or traveller’s hostels, as there is not only an increased likelihood of strangers sharing your room, but of there being a high turnover of other tenants; making it that much easier for your favourite gadgets to disappear if not sufficiently hidden, or used in a conservative enough manner. A little bit of common sense can make all the difference; it just isn’t worth taking chances with your expensive tech!
On a similarly paranoid note, it’s also a good idea to avoid using public Wi-Fi networks, such as the ones found in many hotels, wherever possible, as these networks are vulnerable to enterprising hackers, potentially opening up your devices to unauthorised access by third parties. There are plenty of ways to secure your devices in such situations, but if you’re not confident about such things, it may be worth avoiding public Wi-Fi networks altogether.
While we’re talking about data networks, also make sure that you’ve turned off data roaming! The last thing you want to find when you return from your trip is a ridiculously large roaming charge.
While it’s a good idea to avoid drawing too much attention to expensive devices while staying at a hotel, this advice goes double for travelling out and about in foreign climes. Tourists often make extremely easy targets for thieves and pickpockets; flashing the latest smartphone, or showing of a desirable model of mp3 player just mark you as an obvious, affluent target; which in turn may ultimately rob you of more than just the gadgets you brought with you.
The risk of mugging or theft alone makes a good case for leaving your most valuable and/or desirable gadgets at home when you travel abroad, though there are also other more practical, and environmental reasons for the restriction of gadget usage while abroad.
Extremes of temperature and humidity, for example, can play havoc with electronic gadgets, as can the egress of dirt, dust and sand; so take extra precautions when staying in areas that are likely to expose you to these kinds of conditions. Other factors that may damage or impede the usage of your devices include excess sun cream preventing easy operation, and, as obvious as it may sound operation near or in a swimming pool increases the odds of a gadget finding a premature, watery grave!
More physical holiday activities, such as skiing or snowboarding, also risk damaging your precious gadgets; the usual places that you carry them may place them in harm’s way when on piste. While carrying a smartphone in your back pocket, for easy access should the urge to take snow-based-selfies prove too powerful, may seem like a smart idea, the second you wipe out you may find yourself sitting on the shattered remains of your favourite device!
Needless to say, while it won’t mitigate the risk of any of the above taking place, taking out the correct level of gadget travel insurancewill go a long way to offsetting any doubts you have about bringing them with you on your travels. A good policy won’t bring back a lost or damaged phone, but it will give you fast access to a replacement, and possibly further restitution.
When most people plan their holidays, they head to hotter climates for some much needed sun. However, every year people fall victim to sun burn, heat stroke and dehydration.
To avoid a holiday disaster in hotter climates, here are our top tips for dealing with heat;
Enjoy the heat safely!
Every year, more and more teenagers and young adults are heading abroad on group holidays or backpacking adventures. We are not suggesting that these people abstain from having fun altogether (as this would be extremely naïve), but to stay safe we warn them to be sensible.
Follow the guidelines below, to avoid a holiday disaster;
In our modern day, more and more people are travelling more often, further afield and for longer durations. Therefore, it is extremely important that these tourists respect the places they are visiting, by following their customs and helping local people. Below are our top tips for being a responsible tourist;
By following the simple tips above, not only will you be a responsible tourist, but you will also experience more of your destination and the amazing experiences and cultures it has to offer. For further information, try speaking to your travel agent, reading relevant forums, or researching online – most tourism boards have websites packed full of important and interesting information.
Public transport is a great way to travel around abroad; it throws you head first into the culture, and allows you to see more of your destination, plus it is usually a lot cheaper than using a taxi.
It can be daunting to use public transport abroad, but if you know some simple facts and use our suggestions below, it can be extremely easy;
Every year, more and more people are heading further afield for trips and holidays, unfortunately a long flight and the effect of entering into a new time zone will usually result in jet lag.
Jet Lag will have different effects on different people, and these can range from lethargy and grumpiness, to headaches and stomach upsets, to disorientation and diarrhoea.
To help avoid and counteract jet lag, here are our top tips;
If you follow these guidelines, it should reduce the effect jet lag, and help your body clock to readjust and conquer it as quickly as possible.
Driving can be a great way to get around a foreign country and avoid busy public transport. Many people choose to drive abroad as it allows them to travel and see as much as possible, and do it at their own pace. However, if you are intending to drive abroad you must be extremely careful, most countries have different rules, laws and behaviours when it comes to driving and you must be aware of these to keep safe.
Here is our advice for avoiding disaster when driving abroad;
We are normally at our most relaxed when we are on holiday or travelling, unfortunately this is usually when disaster strikes. In our tranquil state we let our guard down, and increase the risk to our possessions and personal safety. Here we have created tips and advice for keeping safe whilst abroad;
When travelling or holidaying abroad most of us know the basic safety precautions, however there are many more serious issues which people tend not to think about until they themselves or someone they know find themselves in a tricky position abroad. In this blog, we intend to list those issues and offer advice.
It may sound obvious, but many people do not think about this until they face a medical emergency. This can be especially frightening if no one around you speaks English, or understands what you need. 112 is the international number to contact emergency help, but some countries also have local numbers, which you should be aware of when you travel.
If you do face a medical emergency you should always contact your travel insurer as soon as possible, because they will be able to offer help, support and advice.
Most travel insurance claims arise from stolen, damaged or lost possessions; never leave your possessions unattended and beware of pickpockets, always keep important documents and cash locked in a safe.
If you need to carry your passport a money belt may not be the fashionable choice, but it is the best way to keep your passport and money safe while you’re out and about, wear it under your clothes to avoid notice. It is also a good idea to carry a small extra wallet or purse with change, to avoid flashing your cash. Also avoid wearing expensive jewellery, because this may attract unwanted attention.
Always check local laws and customs before you travel. You could find yourself in serious trouble for something that would not be illegal or simply frowned upon in another country.
Sometimes hostels and hospitals will ask to see or hold your passport, but always remember never to give possession of your passport to anyone. Around the world some hospitals will hold a passport until a patient has paid their medical bills, basically holding the passport to ransom and causing a lot of problems for the traveller. In your passport it actually states that it is your property, and should only be in your possession.
If you break custom’s regulations, even unknowingly, you could still find yourself in a lot of trouble. Make sure you have declared everything and anything they ask, and always check their rules before you travel.
For example, in some countries it is illegal to carry natural products such as shells, coral and some types of wood (e.g. souvenirs).
Food poisoning and stomach upsets are really common complaints amongst travellers, so always be really careful about what you eat and drink abroad. If you do become severely unwell, alert your travel insurer and seek medical help.
Again, it may seem obvious but many people fail to properly prepare for a different climate. Especially if you’re heading somewhere hot, make sure you wear sun protection of at least factor 25, carry a sun hat, and sunglasses to protect against UV, take regular breaks in the shade and make sure you stay hydrated.
Be aware that many travel insurers will not cover you to cancel your trip, or to cut it short because of a relative with a pre-existing medical condition.
Always check the FCO website before you travel, to make sure your chosen location is safe and open for tourists. Insurers will not cover people who travel against FCO advice.
This can happen for multiple reasons, perhaps your flight has been cancelled due to adverse weather, or maybe your airline has gone bust. In either situation it falls to the airline or the aviation/travel authorities to get you home. Your travel insurer will be able to offer help and advice in this situation.
To get a quote please choose one of the following policy types;