|1Cover Travel Insurance exposes why you should never contemplate travelling abroad without suitable travel insurance.|
|1Cover Travel Insurance exposes why you should never contemplate travelling abroad without suitable travel insurance.|
|Lying on the beach, soaking up the sun is a favourite past time for many of us. However this fun filled day out can be compromised.|
|The wonderful thing about travel is that you experience so many things from food, culture, adventure and art. But what can’t be shared is often lost within your endless abyss of memories. A travel diary is the answer to capturing a treasure trove of tales that can be relived whenever you open that spiral-bound notebook.|
|The infamous Disneyland is located in Anaheim, California is the most visited theme park on earth. Described by many as the happiest place on earth, Disneyland has been operating since its grand opening on July 17, 1955.|
||Rumpy pumpy on the road. Long-haul love affairs. Getting the holiday horn. Ships passing in the night, getting low down and dirty. Joining the mile-high club. Strangers at sunset, exchanging underwear and email addresses. Can we say ‘sex tourism’? Or just file it under ‘holiday romance’?
Call it what you like, but right now there are thousands, probably millions of amorous young things (ok, and old) far from home, getting it on with one another. And why not? It’s what our bits and pieces are for, isn’t it? Making each other happy? Exactly!
You might be single and looking for some uncomplicated fun, or new couples on your first adventure together – either way there’s likely to be a bit of nakedness, right? At least you hope so…
So you like the white stuff? For some, a ski trip is as much about the social scene as it is a day on the slopes. Make the most of your holiday overseas with our guide to winter sports holidays . We’ll help you enjoy the best snow the world has to offer.
Surprisingly, this is a fairly recent addition to the skiers and snowboarders’ list of places to visit. If you’re looking for uncrowded, family-friendly resorts with slopes and snowboarding runs for all abilities, plus expert tuition, Slovenia is ideal. Kranska Gora, near the Swiss and Italian borders is a fantastic resort with a cosmopolitan feel, offering great value for money.
As well as many great ski and snowboarding resorts, Sweden’s landscapes host a range of other winter sports activities, including snowmobile safaris, husky sledding, ice climbing and ice fishing. Vemdalen, for example, is recommended for intermediate skiers and snowboarders. And being a little off the beaten track, it has a remote, relaxed atmosphere without being sleepy.
British Columbia, Canada
Anyone who’s been there will tell you Canada has some of the best terrain in the world for skiers and snowboarders. And it offers the adventurous and experienced winter sportsperson enough thrills to last a lifetime. Whistler, in southern British Columbia, simply ticks all the boxes, whether you’re a beginner or a veteran of the slopes – and the scenery is second to none.
If you like to party after a day on the slopes, Andorra’s Pas de la Casa resort has the nightlife to keep you going. It’s a popular destination for this reason alone, yet it’s surrounded by slopes to suit all abilities, and there are plenty of off-piste opportunities for the more adventurous. A great all-round destination for any skill level, and there’s lots going on if you fancy a day’s rest from the hat and goggles!
Beaver Creek, Colorado, USA
Perfect for families, beginners, even non-skiers, Beaver Creek in Colorado, is ideally located for easy access to slopes for all abilities, and has awesome panoramic scenery. Resort facilities are extensive, modern and luxurious. It’s not all about the slopes, though – spend all day honing your snowboarding freestyle skills or relax in a resort spa and pamper yourself.
In most cases, you’ll need to take out special winter sports travel insurance for your ski or snowboarding holiday. If you have annual, multi-trip cover, make sure there’s winter sports cover included. Many standard policies won’t cover you for off-piste skiing or other more dangerous activities, so you might need a specialist policy. Always check before you set off.
Ever fancied sleeping inside a waterfall, beneath the waves – or inside a giant dog? Well, here’s your chance. Stay somewhere different and make the most of your holiday overseas with our guide to unusual places to stay . We’ll help you enjoy the most unusual the world has to offer.
Drift off – literally
The Hotel Palafitte comprises a series of apartments on stilts, floating peacefully near the edge of Lake Neuchâtel in Switzerland. The high-tech suites are fully equipped to five-star standard, and offer a truly unique hotel experience. Just don’t forget where you are when you wake up…
Relax to the sound of waterfalls
In the heart of the Huilo Huilo reserve in Chile, the Magic Mountain Hotel has a waterfall cascading down its sides. Built into, and onto, the side of the rock face, much of the hotel’s structure follows the contours of nature instead of straight lines. Inside, the hotel is homely, comfortable and relaxing – once you’ve crossed the rope bridge to get to it.
Also in South America is the Quinta Real Zacatecas bullring. What was once a large, noisy amphitheatre dedicated to blood sports is now a tranquil hotel, with rooms built into the original amphitheatre walls, and a beautifully paved piazza as a centrepiece. The tiered seating remains as a feature, and is a perfect sunny terrace for an afternoon siesta.
Sentence yourself to a holiday
The bars in The Old Jail, at Mount Gambler in Southern Australia are now for drinking and socialising, not containing criminals. And the cell doors have been altered: the locks are now on the inside. Though many of the features and décor haven’t changed since this was a real jail, the rules are more relaxed. But what happens if you don’t pay your bill? Do you stay longer?
Swimming and diving to your hotel room is pretty unusual, but at Jules’ Undersea Lodge in Key Largo, Florida, it’s the only way to get there. Its sub-aqua suites are roomy and well equipped, and a great place to watch the neighbourhood sea life – who are probably wondering what you’re doing down there.
Why not book a week’s relaxing break inside a giant beagle? Dog Bark Park, in Idaho, USA, has just what you need – a giant wooden beagle that comfortably sleeps four and provides all the conveniences of a modern hotel. There are two floors, four legs and one tail. The park itself is a monument to all things canine, with wooden carvings and paintings at every turn. Pets welcome by appointment – although cats might not appreciate it.
Of course don’t forget to buy travel insurance before you go!
Australia was the first country in the world to grant a 40-hour working week – and combined with a ‘laid back’ attitude, led to the country becoming known as the ‘land of the long weekend’. But, Australians actually have fewer public holidays than most other industrialised countries, so make the most of the holidays you have with our Guide to the top long weekend destinations
1. Australia Day
Sydney Harbour, NSW
Nothing beats seeing the Australia day fireworks explode over one of the world’s most spectacular harbours. Stay in a CBD hotel, or charter a yacht, and watch the harbour come alive with countless boats and a fireworks display over Darling Harbour and the Harbour Bridge.
Gold Coast and Mount Tambourine, Queensland
The end of the school holidays is a great time to visit this famous stretch of beach in southern Queensland. There’s no wet season, so enjoy the sunshine and head up to the wineries and national parkland around Mount Tambourine.
2. Easter Long Weekend (March/April)
Broome, Western Australia
Between the red desert and the blue sea on Western Australia’s north coast, Broome was founded as a pearling port. Famed for the pristine white sand of Cable Beach and the warm, clear waters of the Indian Ocean, Broome has a wide range of accommodation, from five star resorts to backpacker options.
Cradle Mountain, Tasmania
Sheer, beautiful Cradle Mountain sits at the start of the 65 km Overland Track and at the northern end of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. The area offers cosy lodge, hotel and camping accommodation. Spend the weekend walking the lakeshore and mountainside tracks and experience the magic of the region.
3. Anzac Day
Kangaroo Island, South Australia
The UK Sunday Telegraph called Kangaroo Island ‘one of earth’s last unspoilt refuges’. Just off the South Australian coast, Kangaroo Island is home to an amazing array of native wildlife, with accommodation options ranging from camping sites to high-end resorts. You can fly in from Adelaide or catch a Sealink ferry from the Fleurieu Peninsula.
Margaret River, Western Australia
If you’re looking to enjoy the long weekend over a glass of wine, head to the Margaret River, south of Perth. With its Mediterranean climate, the region offers not only bountiful vineyards but a glorious coastline and some of Western Australia’s best surf beaches.
4. Queens’ Birthday (June)
A ski weekend
Jindabyne and surrounds in NSW, and Mt Hotham and Mt Bulli in Victoria provide great downhill and cross country skiing opportunities for the winter long weekend. The slopes can be busy, but you can always warm yourself in front of a fire back at the lodge, drink in hand, until it quietens down. Be sure to take out travel insurance before you hit the snow.
5. Labour Day (March to October)
Uluru, Northern Territory
Uluru the perfect place for a long weekend because you can comfortably and properly take in most of the fascinating Indigenous and natural heritage in three days.
Uluru itself is spectacular, changing colour throughout the day, but Kata Tjuta and the walk through King’s Canyon are also a must.
Great Ocean Road
Hire a car (or drive your own) from Melbourne and head out along the Great Ocean Road. Pass through charming Lorne and Warrnambool and stay in historic Port Fairy. The mighty Twelve Apostles are a central feature the drive, rising majestically from the wild ocean.
No matter how you choose to get away on your much needed mini-break, make sure you’re fully covered for all possibilities [ buy cheap travel insurance here]. Then relax, and enjoy the great Australian way of life.
Rather than pick up a hire car at the airport, why not make your trip from A to B more interesting and unusual? Enjoy experiences you won’t have behind the wheel, and make the most of your holiday overseas with our guide to unusual transport for travel . We’ll help you enjoy the best the world has to offer.
Cruise the world’s great rivers
The Amazon, the Mekong, the Nile and the Rhine, or the Cape York Wetlands. Just some of the world’s iconic waterways, best enjoyed slowly and smoothly on a boat cruise. Choose from an all-inclusive luxury liner, or a small motorboat, for a more intimate journey between the banks – whichever you prefer.
The paddle steamer
These days you don’t need a straw hat, a waxed moustache or a cigarette holder to ride these beautiful boats. Paddle steamers offer journeys through the Mississippi River of Mark Twain’s America, the Italian and Swiss lakes and rivers, and many other waterways worldwide. But the largest fleet of paddle steamers in the world today is on the Murray River in Australia, and includes the oldest wooden-hulled steamer in the world, the PS Adelaide.
On the railroad track
See America’s heartland of deserts, mountain ranges, prairies, forests and old mining towns, by heading from Florida to California along Amtrak’s ‘Sunset Limited’ line. Or take Canada’s famous Kicking Horse Route through vast unspoilt terrain. Then there’s the historic Silk Route running all the way from Moscow, through Kazakhstan to Beijing in China. Or the awesome Trans Siberian Railroad, covering 5,803 miles from Moscow in western Russia, to Vladivostock on Russia’s Pacific coast.
Hit the camel trail
These amazing beasts of burden are still used in many countries for carrying goods and people to remote places, almost inaccessible by vehicles or aircraft. You can enjoy camel trails in India, Morocco, Egypt and Kenya. A camel ride to the ancient city of Petra in Jordan is an amazing journey that takes you back thousands of years.
If a camel’s not big enough, try an elephant. Leisurely elephant safaris are available in Corbett National Park, India, and around Sun City, South Africa, offering a surprisingly comfortable and safe journey through breathtaking scenery, and wildlife in its natural environment.
A three-wheeled combination of moped and taxi, these ‘motorised rickshaws’ can be noisy and hair-raising at times. But a tuk-tuk ride is a ‘must-have’ experience and a cheap way to navigate the bustling cities of Asia, Central and South America, and parts of Europe. If you like a bumpy ride with lots of near misses, shouting and sounding of the horn, you’ll love the tuk-tuk!
As with any unusual activity when you’re overseas, make sure your insurance covers it. Many airlines and tour operators offer basic insurance as part of your holiday deal – but it may not cover your needs.
Whether you want a unique shopping experience, or one-of-a-kind mementoes of your holiday overseas, our guide to the top 5 markets in the world can help you save time and money. Just watch out for pickpockets – and make sure you have travel insurance to cover your new bargains and all your belongings.
1. Chatachuk weekend market, Bangkok
It’s easy to get to one of the world’s biggest markets by air-conditioned skytrain. The overwhelming maze of stalls is actually neatly divided into sections, so you’ll wander up aisles of live birds, then turn into rows of Thai handicrafts and antiques. Bartering is a must.
2. Portobello Rd, London
As the song goes, this is the street where the riches of England are sold. There are still plenty of antiques at the Notting Hill end, but the real action is underneath the overpass, with an eclectic mix of fashion, jewellery and homewares. Be sure to check out London’s attractions.
3. The Grand Bazaar, Istanbul
More than 4000 shops are crammed into this authentic covered market, where you’ll find locals haggling over spices and books. Go with the flow, and enjoy some apple tea while some Turkish carpets are brought out for your admiration. Or browse through the glazed tiles, pottery, leathergoods and clothing.
4. Aleppo, Syria
An important trading centre for thousands of years, Aleppo’s souq (or bazaar) is friendlier than Damascus, and more authentic than Cairo. It’s the world’s longest covered market, an endless medieval shopper’s paradise. Stock up on every kind of good imaginable, including spices, rugs, hand made soap and exquisite jewellery.
5. Chandi Chowk, Delhi
At one of India’s oldest and busiest markets, you’ll find more than 1000 different kinds of Indian sweets, authentic food and sarees with intricate work. The narrow lanes are crammed with shops selling books, shoes, electronic goods and leather goods. It’s a buzz for all your senses.