Why We Eat, Sleep, Ski, Repeat

Date Created: 17 October 2018

If you’ve never been skiing before, the thought of the cold weather, snow and ice can be off-putting, but there’s a mountain of fun to be had if you can overcome those fears!

Read on to discover why embracing the winter weather and booking a ski trip is something you should do at least once in your lifetime…

 

Skiing fun

2. There are many destinations to choose from

While you will need to pick from mountainous destinations that get regular and prolonged snowfall, you really do have an abundance of options!

No two slopes are ever the same, while you could even opt for a different resort in the same region if you want to mix things up a bit – the Alps, the USA and Canada are among the most popular, but you’ll find great slopes in locations such as Bulgaria, Norway, Finland and Slovenia too.

Courchevel Ski Resort France

3. It’s different

Skiing is an exhilarating experience in itself, but you can also try out other exciting snow sports such as snowboarding, sledging or tubing.

If you’re a beginner, even a trip on a ski lift is an experience too!

 Snowboarding

4. It’s a treat for the taste buds

Choosing catered accommodation provides plenty of opportunities to relax and socialise in the evening, as well as tucking into some delectable regional cuisine.

Of course, if you want something a little more flexible, going self-catered means you’ll be able to dine out at the restaurants in your resort while embracing the local people and culture. 

Outdoor dining

5. The surroundings are beautiful

By their very nature, ski resorts are set among some of the most beautiful scenic locations on earth – and you get to enjoy the views every single day as you whizz down the slopes.

Just, don’t forget your camera to grab some amazing snaps when you’re at the summit!

Scenic ski resort

6. Two words - Après Ski

If you’re not familiar with the term Après Ski, it means a time when you can take in plenty of local entertainment and bars following a day on the slopes.

It’s a perfect opportunity to meet new people, relax with your mates and take in your surroundings.

Apres Ski

7. Deals make it affordable

Ski breaks are increasingly affordable thanks to an array of deals and special offers. It’s always worth doing your research, as some resorts can cost significantly less than others.

 Skiing

 8. It’s more than just skiing

You don’t just have to go skiing on a ski holiday! If you find that the slopes aren’t for you, then why not relax in a spa, grab a few drinks, or indulge in a shopping spree?

Heading to the slopes this winter? Makes sure you’re covered with comprehensive winter sports travel insurance. For more information on winter sports insurance be sure to shop around for the best deal. 

Halloween 2018 - Spooky Destinations and Attractions

Date Created: 11 October 2018

Halloween is a great time to eat sweets and watch scary films, but it’s also a perfect opportunity to explore some haunted hotspots!  We have compiled a list of our favourite spooky locations and attractions for this time of year, take a read...if you dare!

Brick or Treat – LEGOLAND Windsor

Just in time for half-term, LEGOLAND Windsor hosts its spook-tacular Brick or Treat event. Explore the Brick or Treat trail and solve the mystery of the missing potion ingredients, take in ghostly live shows and ride the Spooky Hill Train down to the Enchanted Forest.

Build your own Lego pumpkin and still get to enjoy the abundance of other attractions that LEGOLAND has to offer – it’s Halloween fun that all the family can enjoy.

Pluckley Village

Located a small distance from Ashford, Pluckley is known as the most haunted village in Kent. The village is rumoured to be the residence of at least 12 ghosts, and in the run up to Halloween there are regular ghost hunts and tours, making it the perfect destination for a spooky weekend away.

Halloween inspired coffee

Scarefest – Alton Towers

Enjoy all of your favourite rides in the dark as Alton Towers embraces Halloween.  Get lost in the scare mazes and discover frights and thrills at every turn – you’ll certainly need to keep your wits about you!

And perhaps the biggest question of all – are you prepared to hurtle towards a six story high Wicker Man effigy as it bursts into flames? If you love to be spooked, a visit to Alton Towers will keep you on your toes!

Fright Nights – Thorpe Park

The Blair Witch is back for 2018 and it promises to be more terrifying than ever before. Or…maybe you could dare to walk the Island’s deserted railroad in another live action scare maze, Platform 15? Maybe you would prefer to explore Saw Alive, another horror maze that’s had an evil makeover? For spooky antics, Thorpe Park more than has you covered. 

Edinburgh Castle

Scotland is famous for many spooky sightings and haunted hotspots, making it a holiday haven for those searching for the paranormal. And Edinburgh Castle is no different.

With some parts of the castle, including the dungeons, more than 900 years old, it will come as no surprise to hear that many visitors have reported seeing a ghost or two. Once you have finished visiting the castle why not head over to some of Scotland’s other paranormal locations such as Cruden Bay or Roslyn Chapel.

Edinburgh Castle

The London Dungeon

The London Dungeon experience and its mix of haunting tales and thrilling rides are scary at the best of times! But for Halloween, there’s even more to enjoy as part of Screamfest!

Get face to face with the capital’s most notorious characters, follow in the footsteps of Jack the Ripper and Sweeney Todd and plummet on the free fall ride ‘Drop Dead’. But for a truly spine-tingling experience, do you dare to summon the spirits as you sit around the Ouija board?

Amsterdam

If you fancy travelling a little further afield, Amsterdam is home to a dedicated Halloween festival, and while this year’s event is certainly smaller than in the past, it promises to be just as scary. From themed costume parties to scary film showings, the Dutch capital can provide you with a Halloween experience that you won’t forget in a hurry.

Dam Square is famed as being a former public executions site, where thousands of suspected witches and heretics were burned during the Spanish Inquisition. So given the city’s bloody history that stretches back more than 800 years, you may also run into a few restless spirits along your way!

Heading off on a haunted holiday of your own? Don’t forget to Tweet us any spooky snaps to @QuestorIns

Stress free car rental

Date Created: 04 October 2018 by Questor Insurance

Stree free car rentalMore of us are opting for the freedom and flexibility that comes with car hire, but with so much to think about when renting a new set of wheels, how can you ensure the experience is stress-free?

Thankfully, we have five helpful tips to help ensure that your car hire journey is hassle-free.

1. Do your research

Don’t just look for the cheapest rental option, but focus on checking out the reviews left but other customers too.

These will tell you a great deal about what you can expect for a particular rental company when it comes to customer service, ease of rental and other important factors.

You should also check the terms and conditions of the rental too, as this way you can avoid being hit by mileage limits or other restrictions. If you’re unsure about anything at the rental desk, be sure to query it too.

2. Plan ahead and keep some time spare

If you’re given the option of choosing pick-up and drop-off times, make sure you leave yourself with some time for manoeuvre to cover the unexpected.

For instance, if you’re picking a car up from an airport rental desk, ensure you have enough time to clear passport control and to collect baggage from the point when your flight is due to land.

This can take several hours during the peak season at some airports, and a car hire company will rarely keep a vehicle aside for you if you are considerably late.

The same applies when returning the vehicle, as you may get hit with late fees if you get caught in traffic or miss the drop-off for any reason.

3. Think about any extras before you travel

If you want to add an additional driver or are under a certain age, you may have to pay additional fees on top of the rental quote you are given.

Be sure to have considered all of your options before you travel, as this will provide you with an idea of how much the whole rental process should cost.

Remember that add-ons such as sat-navs and car seats will cost more, so think about whether they are needed or if you can bring your own – most airlines will allow you to put a car seat in the hold of an aircraft for free for example.

4. Check the different car classifications prior to booking

While you can select a type of vehicle based on a wide set of rental criteria, you won’t always get the car you select.

Car hire is processed on an ‘or similar’ basis, so while you may have booked a BMW, a Mercedes could replace it.

Check out the various types of car that are available if you are unsure which is best for your needs.

5. Know your insurance

Insurance cover may be included with car hire but it often doesn’t cover everything. Car hire excess insurance can be purchased separately for example, and covers the excess you would need to pay should the car be damaged or stolen.

Depending on the vehicle, this could amount to hundreds or even thousands of pounds, so daily, weekly or even annual additional cover could be right for you. 

Understanding car hire cancellation

Date Created: 04 October 2018

Cancelling car hireShould you need to cancel a car rental for any reason, understanding all of the terms involved plays an essential role in ensuring you get as much of your money back as possible.

While most rental companies say they offer ‘free cancellation’, what is actually meant by this can vary wildly and you’ll quickly discover there are limits to what ‘free’ means.

In some instances, you may be able to get your money back, although other factors will also come into play, including:

  1. When you booked
  2. When you cancel
  3. Where you are hiring
  4. The rental company involved

It’s therefore vital that you check the terms and conditions when booking your car hire and to seek clarity if there is any point you are unsure of.

What ‘free cancellation’ actually means

Typically, ‘free cancellation’ may be offered in two ways – either meaning it must be cancelled in a fixed period after making the booking or that it can be cancelled up until a certain point prior to travel.

If you have to cancel within a set time, for instance, seven days, you could get your money back should you need to cancel within that time.

However, once that free-cancellation period is over, a cancellation fee will apply, meaning you will get a refund minus the money required to cover the fee.

The alternative is to have the option of cancelling up until a certain point before you collect the car – this could be 24 hours beforehand, 72 hours before etc. and this will vary by rental company.

Likewise, if you miss the deadline you’ll need to pay a fee which will be taken from the total you paid which is due to be refunded.

Avoiding cancellation fees

You may not need to worry about cancellation fees if you didn’t pay up-front. This applies in the USA and Canada for example when payment is often taken upon collection of the car, rather than when the booking is made.

You may also want to consider car hire excess insurance when booking, as this will cover against the excess you would need to pay should the hire vehicle be damaged or stolen.

For further travel advice, tips and tricks, visit our social hub or follow us on Twitter @QuestorIns

Your essential car hire checklist

Date Created: 04 October 2018 by Questor Insurance

Essential car hire checklistHiring a car provides freedom and flexibility to explore new destinations, but you need to be careful to ensure it doesn’t come at a cost.

By checking the vehicle and paperwork thoroughly, you can protect yourself from unscrupulous actions by car hire companies.

Our checklist includes the aspects you should look at when you first receive the keys, and you shouldn’t drive away until you are satisfied everything is in good working order.

1. Check the small print

Read the car hire contract thoroughly and question any part of it that you are unsure about. You should also note any extras that might be included.

The paperwork should also detail the rental company’s fuel policy – recognise what is expected of you and make plans accordingly to ensure the car will be returned in line with the agreement.

2. Take photographic evidence

Given that the vast majority of us own a smartphone, it’s easy to take plenty of photographs of all aspects of the car.

As well as looking for any dents and scratches, photographs can help should you be involved in a claim. Even if you think marks are relatively minor, it’s still important to write down any that already exist upon collection.

3. Check the unobvious

As well as looking for any dents and scratches, you should also check the windscreen, tyres and locks noting any anomalies on the paperwork provided.

The windscreen and windows should be checked for any chips, while the tread on the tyres should meet the legal depth.

Focus on the locks on the hire car to see if they are all in full working order too – this is especially true if the vehicle uses keyless technology. 

4. Take your time with any inspection forms

Inspections play an important part in any potential claim, and you need to ensure that all information is included on the forms.

The existing vehicle condition report may list some issues already, so be sure to check these and make the hire company aware of anything you would like added.

5. Check your insurance

Ensure that you have adequate insurance cover for your trip and keep in mind that what is included in the price of car hire may not be fully comprehensive.  For instance, car hire excess insurance can cover the excess payment that would be required should your hire car be damaged or stolen.

The additional cover provides peace of mind and costs less than you think. Get a quote today find out for yourself!

Know your travel insurance exemptions

Date Created: 03 October 2018

Are you covered?It’s easy to think that your travel insurance will cover all aspects of a holiday or trip away, but that is not always the case. While you may have a cancellation policy or are protected for everyday mishaps, it is unlikely you will be covered for riding a motorcycle or participating in extreme sports such as paragliding.

This isn’t to say that you can’t get cover for such events, you’ll just need to ensure you know exactly what is and isn’t included as part of your policy.

Risks of insufficient cover 

It’s worth remembering that it may cost thousands of pounds in medical bills and repatriation costs if you are injured overseas when lacking sufficient travel insurance cover. You’ll also be liable for any damaged equipment or the costs of cutting short your holiday.

Covers vary by insurer, and just because an activity is covered on one policy, it does not necessarily mean it is also included elsewhere.

Many policies will explicitly state the levels of cover, while some activities may be covered with caveats – such as needing to have suitable safety equipment.

Policy Checklist

It’s therefore vital that you check your policy documents carefully and check with your insurer if there is anything you need clarification on.

  1. Detailing any existing medical conditions when taking out a policy, will increase the likelihood that your policy will pay out in the unfortunate event you need to make a claim.
  2. For winter activities, you may need to pay extra, as you’ll likely need to purchase a winter sports premium, or similar.
  3. Of course, you won’t always know what activities you may want to partake in before you travel, which is why it can help to take your documents with you.  It may be possible to purchase additional cover when you’re away, although this would need to be done prior to commencing any activity.
  4. You should also remember to book your travel insurance in advance.  Not only does this allow adequate time for you to read all the small print to ensure you have the necessary cover for your trip, but it can cover you for possible cancellations as well.

For researching the best travel insurance cover and prices, try our online comparison tool to obtain quotes from our trusted providers. With many additional cover options such as winter sports and travel disruption, you are more likely to find a travel insurance policy that suits your needs. 

The benefits of booking travel insurance in advance

Date Created: 03 October 2018

Booking a holiday is really just the start of your journey, and while there is plenty to be excited about, you should also take steps to ensure that it isn’t ruined by unplanned events.

By purchasing travel insurance in advance, these pitfalls can often be avoided – but you’ll need to ensure that you don’t leave it until it’s too late.

As we detail here, a number of issues may occur between booking a holiday and jetting off, which is why it’s important to get covered early.  Booking in advance shouldn’t cost you more, so the sooner you buy travel insurance cover, the sooner you’ll be protected – meaning you could potentially save thousands of pounds should something go wrong.

Cancellation protection

Should you become ill, or suffer from a serious injury, you may have to cancel your holiday.  Provided that you’ve booked travel insurance in advance, you should be able to claim using your policy for cancellation cover.

Cover can protect against an unexpected illness for anyone listed in the travel documents up to the amount listed on your policy.

Note that you must have purchased cover prior to becoming ill or being injured in order to claim. 

Protection against unforeseen circumstances

Depending on what is included in your travel insurance policy, when purchased in advance, you could be covered for an array of unforeseen circumstances.  Such as an unexpected redundancy, from an airline going into liquidation, or if a natural disaster disrupts your plans.

However, if the Foreign and Commonwealth Office had advised against travelling to your holiday destination at the time of booking, it’s unlikely travel insurance will provide sufficient cover.

Find the cover that is right for you 

You should compare travel insurance policies to ensure that any options are adequate for your needs – it’s worth remembering that the cheapest option may not provide the ideal cover for you.

Don’t automatically think that you should purchase cover from a travel company either, as you may be able to find a better level of cover or a more cost-effective option elsewhere.

By checking whether cancellation cover is included within the price you pay you will know whether you’re covered from the moment of purchase. Just double-check the small print to understand what eventualities you are or are not covered for.

Optional extras

You may also want to give consideration to other extras, as cover for extreme sports, cruises or certain tours may not be included as standard.

Be upfront about any pre-existing medical conditions too, as a failure to declare something may invalidate your cover should you need to claim.

If you would like to compare quotes from some of our own trusted insurance providers, just click here

Great short-haul half-term holidays

Date Created: 28 September 2018

If you’re on the hunt for one last dose of summer sun with the family before the winter sets in, there are numerous fantastic short-haul holiday options to pick from this half-term.

Not only do all of these locations provide the warmth you crave, they’re also within easy reach – making for relatively stress-free journeys with the kids in tow.

Packed full of beaches, attractions and other sites that all of the family can enjoy, all of the following locations promise their fair measure of October sunshine.

Malta

Located in the central Mediterranean, the islands of Malta have plenty of beautiful beaches and stunning scenery, making it a perfect setting for an autumn getaway.

The surrounding clear blue seas provide the perfect spot for scuba diving, with numerous caves and wrecks just waiting to be explored.

Meanwhile, the capital Valetta has the warmest winter weather of any European capital and hosts historical re-enactments regularly in recognition of the archipelago’s rich history.

You’re in luck when it comes to sunshine too, as you can expect around seven hours on a daily basis in October.

Malta scuba diving

Cyprus

Rich in both history and culture, Cyprus gets plenty of sun too – 326 days a year to be exact.

There’s plenty more than it’s numerous Blue Flag beaches to keep you entertained too, as you won’t have to travel far in any direction to uncover ancient ruins and picturesque architecture.

Paphos, named European City of Culture in 2017, is full of Greco-Roman treasures just waiting to be discovered, while there are numerous hiking and cycling trails.

For those seeking some excitement, there are plenty of water sports to try out too, from jet skiing and kayaking to banana boats and parasailing.

Cycling in Cyprus

Morocco

With its rugged mountains, expansive desert and lengthy coastline, you won’t be short of something to do in Morocco.

From the souks of Marrakesh to the coastal resort of Agadir, you can immerse yourself in culture and heritage at every turn.

The Atlas Mountains provide numerous trekking opportunities and the chance to discover desert sports, while the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean are ideal for surfing and swimming.

Morocco is mid-way through a vision to make it one of the top 20 tourist destinations in the world too, so you can be sure your needs will be well catered for.

Souks in Marrakesh

 

Tenerife

The volcanic island, dominated by Mount Teide, is popular with Brits all year round thanks to its exceptional weather and golden sandy beaches.

The largest of the Canary Islands, temperatures regularly surpass 20°C throughout October, while the sea, at 24°C, is the warmest it is all year.

You can let the kids run wild in Siam Park, voted the best waterpark in the world by Trip Advisor for the last five years, or choose to relax by the pool if you fancy a lazy day in the sun.

The weather varies across the island though, with Mt Teide notably wetter than other areas – by staying on the coast though, you should avoid the majority of the rainfall.

Mount Teide in Tenerife

The Algarve

The Algarve sells itself on providing numerous sandy beaches and breath-taking cliff views, although there is plenty more to Portugal’s southernmost region.

Temperatures can reach a max of 23°C and while it is generally sunny, be prepared for the odd spattering of rainfall that may disrupt your time on the beach.

However there are plenty of adventure parks, karting facilities and zoos to capture the imagination, while Parque Aventura is home to a mammoth paintballing arena.

While the kids are busy, you could always take the chance to visit one of the region’s numerous golf courses where you can play a round amid stunning scenery.

Praia de São in Albufeira

 

Costa Brava

With eight hours of sunshine a day, the Spanish Costas provide a great value break for all the family.

Relax on some of the finest Blue Flag sandy beaches facing the Mediterranean, take part in various water sports or indulge yourself in the local cuisine.

You’ll find some of the most scenic Greco, Roman and Iberian archaeological sites in Europe in the region too, perfect for if you want to brush up on your history when away from the beach.

If you fancy a little bit different, the hustle and bustle of Barcelona is less than two hours away by train.

Sant Joan in Costa Brava

Lanzarote

Another of the Canary Islands, Lanzarote is a UNESCO World Biosphere reserve with a diverse set of unique attractions and activities.

Think camel riding on a volcano or dining out in a volcanic cave and you’re on the right lines. Or just bask in the autumn sun, as temperatures tend to average around 27°C in October.

As it’s the furthest east of the Canary Islands, Lanzarote enjoys warm weather and little rainfall, with seven hours of sunshine each day being more than enough to top up your tan.

Los Hervideros Cave in Lanzarote

Dubai

Although this is stretching the definition of short-haul, Dubai is another popular destination in October.

With flights taking around seven hours from the UK, a guaranteed 10 hours of sunshine a day and temperatures averaging 29°C are closer than you may think!

 Dubai skyscrapers

Idyllic Autumn Holiday Destinations

Date Created: 25 September 2018

The sun might be setting on the summer, but autumn brings with it a host of beautiful backdrops the world over.

So if you want to immerse yourself in spectacular scenery, striking cities, astounding architecture and incredible nature, make these the locations for an autumn getaway.

And while many of these locations are popular all year long, they possess a certain charm at this time of year that makes for unforgettable experiences.

Florence, Italy

Viewed as an idyllic romantic getaway, Florence comes alive as the leaves start to brown. Gasp in amazement at the colourful reflections in the Arno River and the architecture that stands tall over the many avenues and streets.

Find different colours at every turn, while the wine and oil harvests take place in the autumn, meaning you could be well placed to try the latest crop. The museums and attractions are usually quieter than during the peak summer months too.

Utrecht, the Netherlands

While Amsterdam often takes the headlines, Utrecht is another beautiful Dutch city that is transformed into an autumnal paradise.

Shades of red, orange, yellow and brown line the centuries-old canals of Utrecht, and while the many wharves were once thriving harbour points, they now house cafes, restaurants and bars – perfect for as the nights draw in.

New York, USA

So New York is definitely a city you can visit all-year-round, but if you don’t visit during the autumn you’ll miss the stunning colours that cover Central Park. As its 26,000 resident trees shed their leaves, it’s perfect for an afternoon stroll.

Of course, there’s also Halloween and Thanksgiving to consider during the autumn months too – celebrations famed the world over that make the Big Apple even more appealing.

Central Park in Autumn

Seville, Spain

Renowned for its hot summer weather and nearby golden beaches, Seville can be best experienced by delaying a trip there for a few months. With plenty of history to discover and numerous plazas to relax in, opt to stroll the blossom smelling streets or explore the region’s Arabian roots.

The city’s historic core is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, while the gardens that accompany the Alcazar Royal Palace provide a stunning backdrop in the autumn months.

Ontario, Canada

Transformed during the autumn months, both the Niagara Parkway and Algonquin Provincial Park feature nature that you need to see in order to believe. The winding rivers and dense forests are a mix of autumnal colours, dominated by spectacular red oak and maple trees.

It’s easy to see why Winston Churchill once called the Niagara Parkway “the prettiest Sunday afternoon drive in the world”. Alternatively, head over to British Colombia to see the famed salmon run, as grizzly bears enjoy a pre-hibernation feast.

Iceland

If you wish to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights, one of the best times to do it is during the late autumn. A visit during November means you should be able to avoid the worst of the winter snowfall, while a dip in the thermal-heated Blue Lagoon is all the more refreshing as the temperatures drop.

And although the days are relatively short, you’ll have plenty of space and freedom to enjoy the fresh air and magnificent scenery.

Blue Lagoon in Iceland

Lisbon, Portugal

For a low-cost autumn getaway, you should look no further than Lisbon. A visit to the Portuguese capital costs significantly less during the autumn months, but it’s also quieter – meaning you can explore its cobbled streets and architecture at a leisurely pace, without others stepping on your toes!

Ride the iconic yellow trams, try out truly delectable cuisine and climb the Rua Augusta Arch for a 360-degree panoramic view of the city.

Gdansk, Poland

This picturesque city and thriving cultural and entertainment hub on the Baltic coast is rapidly growing in popularity, and there’s no better time to experience it than in the autumn.

The charming narrow streets of the Old Town are perfect for an evening walk, as are the beaches around the bay. Alternatively, climb to the top of St Mary’s Basilica and gaze out over the city, parts of which are still being rebuilt today following the Second World War.

Loch Lomond, Scotland

For something a little closer to home, is Loch Lomond. The centre point of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, the area carries protected status and features scenery that’s often found on postcards!

The spectacular Western Atlantic oaks hide numerous woodland walks, while the autumnal leaves reflect brilliantly across the waters of the lake. If you’re looking for somewhere to unwind and relax, this is your spot.

Mount Fuji, Japan

Most of Japan offers striking scenery during the autumn months, but it’s the stunning combination of brightly coloured leaves and peaceful blue waters around Mount Fuji that really catches the eye.

Trees surrounding the Fuji Five Lakes become a mix of red and golden shades and we guarantee that the backdrop will have you reaching for your camera! An area known as Lake Kawaguchi’s maple corridor is a particular hit with both locals and tourists alike.

Mount Fuji in Japan

For further travel inspiration, check out or social hub or follow us on Twitter @QuestorIns

The Top 10 sites to see in Munich after Oktoberfest

Date Created: 19 September 2018

With Oktoberfest just around the corner, it’s important to remember that there’s plenty more for visitors to see and do in Munich this Autumn.

A prized part of Bavarian culture, the celebration – which gets underway on 22 September – is the biggest folk festival in the world and is known for its beer and culinary delights.

Munich is easily accessible from Airport Franz-Josef-Strauss – about 20km to the north – via two S-Bahn lines, with the journey taking around 45 minutes.

If you are visiting during the festival, the extensive public transport network should be your go-to option for getting around – and for seeing the many sites that the city has to offer.

1. Marienplatz (Marien Square)    Rathaus Tower in Munich

The beating heart of Munich and home to the New Town Hall (Rathaus), the Marienplatz is a must for visitors to the city.

However, it’s the Rathaus tower that grabs everyone’s attention, as the Glockenspiel chimes every day at 11 am, noon and 5 pm, and more than 30 figures dance and fight.

If you miss one of these shows, be sure to catch when the night watchman and an angel appear at 9 pm.

2. Asam Church

St Johann Nepomuk, better known as Asam Church, is a Baroque style church built between 1733 and 1746 by brothers Egid Quirin Asam and Cosmas Damian Asam.

Originally developed as a private church by the sculptor and painter pair, it is widely considered to be a masterpiece of the southern German Late Baroque style.

It’s interior is split into three distinct sections that increase in brightness as you go upwards – symbolising suffering at the lower level through to God and eternity at the higher level.

3. Eisbach Wave

The Eisbach is a 2km long manmade river that runs through the Englischer Garten. This in itself may not sound too appealing, but a manmade wave exists in one section and this is what many tourists flock to see.

You’ll be able to catch a stream of experienced surfers trying their luck at riding the standing wave – which is around one metre high – just past a bridge near the Haus der Kunst art museum.

4. Tierpark Hellabrunn (Hellabrunn Zoo)

Found on the right bank of the Isar River, Tierpark Hellabrunn is home to just shy of 19,000 animals from 733 species.

The zoo is heavily involved in breeding, conservation and reintroduction projects and houses gorillas, chimpanzees, elephants, wood bison and alligators, among others.

A young polar bear cub, named Quintana, was born at the zoo in 2016 and is a popular attraction, as is the ability to go face to face with giraffes in the Savannah House.

5. Englischer Garten (English Garden) Englischer Garten in Munich

One of the world’s largest urban public parks, Englischer Garten is modelled on the English style parks that came to prominence in the 18th century.

Stretching from the city centre to the north-eastern city limits, there are plenty of paths to explore and an abundance of lawns to relax on.

You’ll find numerous beer gardens too, including the city’s second largest, situated by the Chinese Tower, a distinctive 25 metre high pagoda.

6. Viktualienmarkt

The daily food market and square in the centre of Munich has around 140 stalls that offer all of the traditional goods you’d expect at a farmers’ market.

Most stalls are open for regular trading hours and you’ll find an array of game, poultry, exotic fruits, flowers, cheese and fish, among plenty more.

7. Municipal Gallery in Lenbach House

Established in the former residence of artist Franz von Lenbach, the Stadtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus features works by the artists of The Blue Rider movement.

Alongside contemporary art and works from the Art Nouveau and New Objectivity, there are works by Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Franz Marc and Gabriele Munter.

8. Frauenkirche Frauenkirche Church in Munich

The towers of the city’s largest church dominate the Munich skyline and have done since the 15th century.

The late gothic Frauenkirche can house 20,000 visitors and keep an eye out for the Devil’s Footstep when you enter – a mysterious footprint in the floor.

According to German legend, the mark represents where the devil once stood and it survived World War II, despite widespread damage to the rest of the cathedral. 

If you’re feeling energetic, climb the towers for a breath-taking view of Munich and the Bavarian Alps.

9. Munich Residenz (Residence Palace of Munich)

The grounds of this former Royal Palace are spectacular in their own right, but if you venture inside the largest city palace in Germany you’ll find a magnificent museum of interior decoration.

Featuring artwork, porcelain, tapestries and antiques in 130 rooms, be sure to visit the Antiquarium too to gaze in amazement at the grand gold and painted ceiling.

10. The Deutsches Museum (German Museum)

One of the biggest, and oldest, science and technology museums in the world, the Deutsches Museum is packed full of 17,000 artefacts.

You’ll find the laboratory bench where the atom was first split and the first automobile, as well as the famed Red Baron, a tri-plane from the First World War. There are plenty of interactive exhibits to fuel the imagination too.

As you can see, there is plenty to keep you busy in Munich beyond the Oktoberfest celebrations! If you have found this guide helpful, check out our social hub for further destination-based guides and travel advice. 

Be warned: Low cost might not always be best

Date Created: 10 September 2018 by Questor Insurance

Wallet1We all love to save money when jetting off on holiday, but research has found that low-cost flights hotels and car hire deals may not always be the best option.

According to Which? add-ons can push prices up so that a quote for a ‘no frills’ holiday ends being more expensive than you want.

For instance, thanks to airport parking and drop off costs, it might cost you more to get to the airport than it does to fly to Spain or somewhere else in Europe!

The research reveals that the headline figure that is often quoted does not include many of the items that were once part of a package and that they instead form an expensive set of extras.

So if you’re keen to keep costs down, there are several key ways that you can do just that. And it starts at the airport.

At the airport

Look to book flights from airports that do not have drop-off charges and have your boarding passes printed off in advance, or available on your mobile phone.

Some airlines will charge for checking-in at the desk or for printing a boarding pass, so these are initial costs that can easily be avoided.

Check the luggage allowances with your airline too, as you may be charged if you have too many bags, or ones that are too big for overhead lockers.

It’s best to take any food onto flights with you if you want to avoid being overcharged too, although several airlines, including Lufthansa, KLM and Air France still serve free food.

Picking locations

You can also bring costs down by avoiding locations where tourist taxes are applied to the costs of hotels – those in Amsterdam charge 6% for example, while in Rome it is €6 per person per night.

Meanwhile Which? reports that US hotels will often display headline prices that are far better than they actually are – keep an eye out for ‘resort fees’ and hunt around for nearby hotels that do not have them.

Car hire

It is also reported that car hire deals may not always appear as they seem, as some firms provide discounts for a whole week – meaning hire for four days may be more expensive than hire for seven.

But returning the car early might not be an option, as rental firms may change your per-day price if the discount period is not reached. It’s therefore important to proceed with caution if you intend to book for longer than you need the vehicle.

If you want to keep costs down, you’ll also want to check what sort of fuel rules the car hire firms have – some may want it returned with a full tank and may impose penalties if that is not the case.

Others may fill the tank for you in that instance but could charge you more per litre for doing so than it would cost if you were to do it yourself.

The key thing you consider with car hire is that cheap deals are often low cost for a reason and may not include all that you require.

While you should protect yourself by taking pictures of the vehicle, you may also want to consider car hire excess insurance for added peace of mind.

This extra will protect against the excess that you would need to shell out if the hire car was damaged or stolen and it costs less than you may think. Get a quote today to find out for yourself.

How To Avoid Common Car Hire Rip-Offs

Date Created: 10 September 2018

Car hire rip-offsAccording to Which? an incredible 63% of car hire customers fear being ripped off when renting a vehicle.  With hidden fees, pushy sales staff and numerous reports of unscrupulous practices, holidaymakers need to do their research before they hire.

But what do they need to watch out for? Here are a few of the main contenders…

Fuel

There are several types of fuel policies that are offered by car hire firms, so you need to know what to look for and what to avoid.

Full-empty Fuel Policy

This is where you hire the car with a full tank and return it empty – offers no value as you’ll be charged a premium for the petrol you’re given.

On top of that, it’s near impossible to return the car with a completely empty tank, so they’ll always be some fuel that is paid for and not used.

Full-full Fuel Policy

Instead, a full-full policy is often considered to be the cheapest option as you only ever pay for the fuel you use.

However, note that some rental firms will charge if the tank is not full when the car is returned, while others will want proof that you refilled within a set distance of the car hire desk.

Extra mileage

Check the terms and conditions on your rental as you may have a mileage limit and be charged extra if you exceed that.

Limits tend to vary by rental company and by location, but it can make the hire more expensive if you intend to drive a lot and regularly go over any limit that is in place.

It’s important to check before booking if you want a rental with long distance options or that offers unlimited mileage.

Think cleanliness

If a rental company considers a car to be exceptionally dirty, they may say it requires a ‘special clean’ which comes at a high price.

Which? points to the examples of Europcar, Goldcar and Firefly, who charge anything between £85 and £215 for the service.

Holidaymakers will therefore want to ensure that the car is returned in a clean state and should take pictures of the vehicle to document that in case of a dispute.

Shop around for excess insurance

Car hire excess insurance that is sold by rental companies might be cheaper elsewhere so it’s best to shop around.

Most rentals include basic insurance, but the excess – which could amount to thousands of pounds – is not covered, leaving you liable to cover the costs if the vehicle is damaged or stolen.

Car hire firms will tend to offer a super collision damage waiver that reduces a driver’s liability to zero or near to zero, but this costs much more than alternatives that are available online and elsewhere.

Furthermore, it’s also important to check what a super collision damage waiver covers, as tyres, wheels and windscreens are often excluded.

Which? reports that what is offered at the rental desk can be 10 times more expensive, or an even greater amount.

Car hire excess insurance is available to cover a period of one-day, several days, a week, or even a year, so you can find affordable cover that best suits your situation.

Is naming an additional driver for car hire worthwhile?

Date Created: 10 September 2018

Additional driversIf you’re planning on doing a lot of driving when you’re on holiday this year, you may want to share the burden – but at what cost?

Naming an additional driver for a hire car can reduce the workload for the main driver, but there’s plenty to consider before going down that route, as we reveal here.

The main thing to consider when it comes to naming an additional driver is whether you think it is necessary.  Adding a driver to a car rental is relatively simple, but if you don’t intend to use the vehicle that much, or want to save your budget for other things, it may not be worth it.

However, if you want to explore the road network and really take advantage of having a hire car, you may want to share the load.

Lead drivers vs. additional drivers

The majority of rentals will enable you to add up to three additional drivers – ideal if you’re in a group and planning a roundtrip – and you can expect to pay a fee for each.

It’s important at this point to recognise the difference between a lead driver, and others on the rental documents.

The lead driver is the person who has overall responsibility for the car and they will need to be the named driver on both the hire agreement and the certificate of insurance.

When it comes to additional drivers, the same rules relating to age and driving licence often apply – typically a driver will need to be at least 21 years of age and will have held a licence for a minimum of two years.  Depending on the age of the additional driver, a young driver fee or senior driver fee may also be applied to cover what is regarded to be a higher insurance risk.

To name an additional driver on any account, they’ll need to be present with their passport and licence at the rental desk when the main driver picks up the car.

Additional Driver Fees

The majority of car hire firms charge a fixed fee per day to insure additional drivers and this is usually the same price, regardless of the type of car being hired.

While you should add drivers at the start of your rental, you may be able to add one at a later point – although this would require you to return to the rental desk for approval and payment.

 

If you do intend to hire a vehicle in the coming months you may also want to consider car hire excess insurance to provide an additional form of protection.

This cover protects against the excess you would need to pay should your car be damaged or stolen and is available in daily, weekly or annual formats. 

The Car Classification Lowdown

Date Created: 10 September 2018

Car hire classificationsIf you’re all set for your holiday and plan to hire a car, knowing exactly what type of vehicle you need can prove challenging.  The wide array of vehicle jargon can easily become confusing, which is why it helps to know exactly what you’re getting when selecting a car category.

It’s important to note that rental companies don’t categorise their vehicles by their make, but on a number of other factors including the size of the car, the number of seats, the number of doors, the engine size and the boot capacity.

So while you may select a model that you want, you may end up with one in the same category if your chosen vehicle is not available.

What are your options?

In Europe, as well as many other regions, a standardised classification is used which helps rental firms to put their vehicles into groups.

The option exists to get a car with a manual or automatic gearbox, although the latter usually costs more.

Rental companies in the USA follow much the same protocol, but the descriptions tend to differ as the vehicles are generally larger, have more boot space and have at least five seats.  However, nearly all US cars are automatic – you can still drive them with a manual licence, although it may be worth talking to the desk staff about how exactly they work if you are unsure.

The classification

Here we have an overview of each group and detail how a vehicle in each may be beneficial for your holiday.

Mini – These vehicles will typically have two or four doors, four seats and room for limited luggage, and are best suited for city breaks.

Think: Hyundai i10, Peugeot 108, Fiat 500

Economy – Similar to mini vehicles but with more luggage space, making them suitable for city breaks and short trips.

Think: Seat Ibiza, Ford Fiesta

Compact – Ideal for city and mid-length trips, compact cars have room for two large cases, as well as accommodating three adults and two kids.

Think: Hyundai i30, Peugeot 308, Ford Focus

Compact Estate – Estate versions of compact vehicles with additional luggage space.

Think: Peugeot 308 Estate, Ford Focus Estate

Intermediate – Suitable for mid-length and long trips, intermediate vehicles can comfortably carry four adults and one child, alongside two large and one small suitcase.

Think: Skoda Octavia, Volkswagen Jetta

Intermediate Estate – Estate versions of intermediate vehicles with additional luggage space.

Think: Renault Megane Estate, Vauxhall Astra Estate, BMW 3 Series Tourer

Standard – Very similar to intermediate vehicles in terms of size and luggage space, but slightly larger for additional comfort, meaning five adults could all fit inside.

Think: Ford Mondeo, Volkswagen Passat

Standard Estate – Estate versions of standard vehicles with additional luggage space.

Think: Vauxhall Insignia Estate, Ford Mondeo Estate

Full Size – Capable of carrying five adults and a considerable amount of luggage, making it an ideal option for long trips where comfort and vehicle performance is needed.

Think: BMW 3 Series, Audi S6

Full Size EstateEstate versions of full-size vehicles with additional luggage space.

Think: Mercedes Benz E-Class Estate, BMW 3 Series Estate

Luxury For those that want to travel in style, with space for three large suitcases and five adults.

Think: Audi A5, Mercedes Benz E-Class, BMW 5-series

Convertible – Usually available in small or large variants depending on the number of passengers, these vehicles can carry up to four adults and are suited for those that want an open-air driving experience when on holiday.

Think: Audi A3 or A5 Convertible, Jaguar F-Type, Mercedes Benz E-Class Convertible

SUV – Perfect for longer trips and rural road networks, an SUV can comfortably fit five adults as well as two or three large suitcases.

Think: Nissan Pathfinder, Volkswagen Tiguan

People Carrier – The option for large families and groups, people carriers come in several forms. Some will have five seats with a further two that fold up in the boot, some will have seven seats and other larger vehicles can take nine passengers.

Think: Vauxhall Zafira, Ford Galaxy, Seat Alhambra

If you do intend to hire in the months ahead, you may also want to consider car hire excess insurance to protect against the excess you would need to pay if your hire car is damaged or stolen.

Not only does this cover provide peace of mind for your time away, but it also costs less than you may think. Get a quote today to find out how little the cover could cost you.

 

Understanding car hire mileage limits

Date Created: 10 September 2018

Car hire mileageWhen you pick up a hire car, you’re not always able to drive it as far as you want, as some rental companies impose mileage limits.

In such instances, you’ll have a certain number of miles included in the deal, and covering any extra miles will come with a fee attached.

However, if your rental comes with unlimited mileage, you are free to explore your holiday destination as much as you wish.

If you’re renting a car in Europe, you can expect to come across both limited and unlimited mileage offers, which is why you need to work out what is best for you.

Pros & Cons of Limited Mileage Deals

If you’re staying in a city or intend to restrict the amount of time you’re behind the wheel to transfers to and from the airport, then a limited deal could offer greater value.

While limited mileage deals can be cheaper, you do run the risk of racking up hefty fees if you need to exceed that limit for any reason.

Limits vary by rental company too, so you’ll need to check what is included as part of your deal in the terms and conditions before you book.  Most limits are shown as a daily cap, which can range from 20 miles per day to 250, although this should be confirmed in any paperwork and at the rental desk.

However, they add up to form a total at the end of the trip, meaning drivers still have the freedom to explore as they please – for example, if you hire a car for four days with a 25 mile daily limit, you can drive up to 100 miles while in possession of the car.

Avoiding Mileage Charges

It’s essential you check that the odometer matches any mileage figures in the paperwork for your hire vehicle and then you’ll need to carefully watch how many miles you drive.

Of course, it’s not always possible to account for the unexpected so if you do go over a car hire mileage limit, you’ll be charged at a fixed rate for every mile you go over.  These charges will then be charged to the credit card that you used for a deposit when hiring the vehicle.

Alternatively, if you know you’ll be driving a lot or are unsure of how far you’ll go, looking for an unlimited option is probably the best route to take.

If you are going to hire a car in the coming months, you may also want to consider purchasing car hire excess insurance.

This added extra can provide peace of mind by covering the excess you would need to pay should your hire car be damaged or stolen – and cover costs less than you might think. 

Getting To Grips With Out-Of-Hours Car Rental

Date Created: 10 September 2018

Car hire at the airportIf you arrive at an airport late at night or need to hire a car early in the morning, the car rental desk may not always be open.

But this isn’t a situation to be too concerned about, as it’s often possible to arrange an out-of-hours service, albeit with a fee attached.

Some rental desks will open for extended amounts of time during busy periods, while others, particularly those at airports, may operate 24/7.

However, if you need to hire or return a vehicle outside of regular opening hours, you will likely need to make a request in advance for the firm to open it.

While not all car hire firms offer such an option, you should still ask if it is a possibility.

What does an out-of-hours hire service cost?

Typically, you’ll need to pay an out-of-hours fee to pick the car up or drop it off out of hours and this varies depending on the company in question and the location where you’re trying to hire.

Essentially, it covers the costs of having an employee present at the rental desk at a period when they would otherwise not be there.

You can usually expect to pay between £15 and £50 for such a service, while the finer details will be included in the terms and conditions of any rental agreement.

What do you need to do?

If you book online and enter an estimated pick up time, you should be given car rental availability and details of whether any fees may be applicable.

Car hire firms often include on their websites for locations where they are based too, so it’s certainly worth doing your research if you have any concerns over when you may arrive or depart.

When it comes to dropping off a car outside of regular hours, you’ll need to speak with the hire company to see what services are offered.

Some have car parks and key boxes where you can leave the keys securely, meaning there is no need for an out-of-hours fee.  However, the car is still regarded as being your responsibility until it is checked and signed in by staff the next day, as such, your insurance must also cover this period.

If such a service is not available, you’ll likely need to pay an additional fee again in order to drop the car off at a time that suits you.

Alternatively, it may be worth dropping the car off at an earlier time if you can get away with not requiring it as this will mean you don’t need to pay the fee.  Most fees will be charged upon picking up the car or when you first make the booking and will be taken from the credit card used for a deposit.

If you intend to rent a vehicle in the coming months, you may also want to consider car hire excess insurance to cover the excess that you would need to pay should the vehicle be damaged or stolen.

Cover is available in a range of forms, from daily to annual, and policies cost less than you may think. 

7 Checks To Avoid Car Hire Charges

Date Created: 10 September 2018

Car hire contract

If you’re all set to hire a car when you arrive at your holiday destination this year, make sure you carry out these checks before driving away.

Not only will mean you can relax and enjoy your holiday, but you’ll be well placed to tackle any issues if something does go wrong.

1. Once you’ve passed your details over to the car hire desk and been handed the keys, it’s essential that you check the vehicle over thoroughly and note any pre-existing damage or marks.

You should also check the small print in your car hire contract to ensure you’re aware of any extras that might be included, and of the rental company’s fuel policy.

2. Take as many photos as possible as these can help should you be involved in a claim. Even if you think marks are relatively minor, it’s still important to write down that they exist.  Some hire firms also have inspection forms that you should complete – don’t leave any information off as this is your means of logging any damage.

3. Look for bumps and scratches, any marks you don’t think should be there and include pictures if you do find anything.  Ensure that these are mentioned in the condition report so that you cannot be held accountable for any pre-existing damage.

4. As well as checking the bodywork of the vehicle, you should also check the windscreen and windows for any chips.

5. The tyres are often forgotten too, and you should ensure that the tread is considered road legal on all tyres – including the spare if the car has one.

6. You should also look at the locks on the hire car to see if they are all in full working order – this is especially true if the vehicle uses keyless technology.

7. You’ll also want to ensure that you have adequate insurance cover for your trip – while this is often included in the price of car hire, it is not always fully comprehensive.  One option is to opt for car hire excess insurance which covers the excess payment that would be required should your hire car be damaged or stolen.  The additional cover can provide peace of mind and may cost less than you think. Get a quote today to see how little car hire excess insurance might cost.

 

 

5 Things to Consider Before Hiring a Motor Home

Date Created: 10 September 2018

Hiring a motor home

Hiring a motor home provides plenty of flexibility and freedom when it comes to exploring new locations, but what do you need to think about ahead of hiring one?

Firstly, it’s important to consider your needs and why you think a motor home is suited to your travels.  If you intend to get out and explore, want to spend a weekend in luxury at a festival, or simply want to keep the family together, then a motor home could be the best option.

1. It may come as a surprise, but you can’t always drive a motor home on a regular licence – for instance, if a motor home weighs more than 3.5 tonnes, you’d need a C1 licence.  However, the vast majority of camper vans and motor homes are below this weight, although there may also be restrictions depending on the age of the main driver.

In this instance, you’ll need to check with the hire company to find out what restrictions apply as it differs from firm to firm.

2. The size of the motor home you require will very much depend on your needs – larger vans offer more space and extra facilities for example, although they may not be required.  If you think you’ll spend a lot of time in the motor home or are planning a longer getaway, opting for more space is probably the best option.

3. You should also consider the road network where you are travelling too, as certain roads or regions may simply not be suitable for larger motor homes.

4. Eating arrangements also need some consideration, as this will ultimately shape what sort of appliances you want to look for.  If you plan to eat out or prepare very little, then a gas hob may be enough for your needs. However, if you need to cook regularly, or for many people, then more space is probably needed.

5. Finally, you’ll want to ensure that you have adequate insurance ahead of your trip and that you’re covered for all eventualities.  Motor home and camper van excess insurance can provide peace of mind by covering the excess you would need to pay should your vehicle be damaged or stolen.

To find out more about motor home and campervan hire excess insurance and what this will cover for, just visit our policy page

8 Ideas that will keep the children entertained this Summer

Date Created: 31 August 2018

The Summer holidays and weekends in between can be the most memorable time of a child’s life, yet finding things for them to do can be a full-time job in itself. If you are in need of a bit of inspiration, take a look at some of our top activities to keep the children entertained during the Summer months.

1. Create a Summer scrapbook Child playing with chalk

Create a scrapbook showing all your Summer adventures, don’t forget to collect meaningful items to stick into the book such as tickets, shells, feathers and photos! You could start an annual tradition of creating an annual summer scrapbook as a perfect keepsake for years to come.

2. Get creative with chalk

A packet of chalk can mean hours of endless fun for children. Hopscotch is a number one classic chalk activity, which can be spiced up by creating new rules and decorating each of the squares, why not choose a theme? Once you’re finished with hopscotch get arty and create some drawings, just remember to take some pictures of your work before the rain washes them away!

3. Start a vegetable patch

Why not clear a patch in the garden so the children can have their very own vegetable patch to look after and help grow. Vegetables which grow well in the summer include carrots, green beans, cucumbers and spinach. You never know they may even find a new love for gardening.

Children camping4. Decorate the garden

Paint some garden ornaments together and spend some time decorating the garden with all things pretty. Some of our favourite decorations at Questor Insurance include bunting, lights, windmills, flags and making somewhere for the fairies to live. 

5. Get baking

A family bake-off can be great fun for the whole family. For younger children hold a best-decorated cupcake or biscuit competition and for older children, you can be a bit more creative!

6. Go camping

You don’t have to go far for a camping trip, consider a local campsite or even camp in the garden (this can be especially fun for new campers). Camping together can be great fun, don’t forget the essentials of hot chocolate, marshmallows and plenty of snacks.

7. Have a pyjama day Child enjoying a picnic

Following all the excitement of the summer, why not have a rest with a relaxing pyjama day, spend time watching movies, reading and relaxing.

8. Have a picnic

Grab a picnic blanket and have a picnic in the garden or park. If the weather is warm you could even mix it up by having a breakfast picnic with cereal, fruit and pastries.

Why not let us know your favourite summer activities to do with the children by tweeting us at @QuestorIns

 

Florida Travel Guide for 2018

Date Created: 20 August 2018

Magic Kingdom

There is no doubt, Florida is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world!  Estimated to attract over 1.5 million UK tourists each year.  Situated amongst the southern states of the USA, Florida hosts a huge variety of tourist attractions.  From captivating parks in Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, to the tranquillity of the beaches in Miami and Clearwater, Florida is the ideal place for families to enjoy quality time together and make memories.

Sight-seeing

There is an abundance of things to do, see and experience in Florida.  In many people’s eyes, the main attractions of the state are Walt Disney World and Universal Studios.

Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World is the home to 4 unbelievable theme parks, 2 outstanding water parks and many shopping, entertainment and recreational facilities.  Throughout Disney World the parks explore different themes. 

Epcot

At Epcot, you can visit not only the world, but also outer space and under the sea!  With a variety of futuristic rides, Epcot is the perfect place to let your inner-explorer flourish.  

Magic Kingdom

In Magic Kingdom, you are able to revisit the classic Disney films that we all know and love. With a range of water rides, roller coasters and off-the-scale castles, Magic Kingdom is the ideal place to celebrate Disney’s best known stories. 

Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom provides the opportunity to explore the jungles across the world, and (new to Disney World) you can explore the world of the incredible film ‘Avatar’!  With thrilling roller coasters and extraordinary animals, Animal Kingdom offers something for everyone.

Disney’s Hollywood StudiosUniversal Studios Plaza in Florida

Hollywood Studios is the best place for all the movie fanatics providing the opportunity to explore famous films throughout the eras from the early 20th Century through to the modern day. A must for any Star Wars fan! 

Water Parks

Florida is also home to a variety of water parks such as Sea World and Universal Studios’ Volcano Bay. Fancy swimming with a variety of marine wildlife, such as dolphins, manta rays and even sharks? Then a trip to Discovery Cove is a must.

Beaches

After an exhausting few days exploring the parks, you might just want to relax on a beach.  No problem! Florida has plenty of beautiful beaches.  In the south of the state, beaches in Miami and Clearwater are perfect for a bit of rest and relaxation.  With warm, turquoise waters and talcum powder-like sand, these beaches will have you feeling like you have landed in paradise. 

Hiring a car

Many find that the easiest way to travel to these must-see attractions is via a hired car.  However, Brits travelling to the US state of Florida are shocked to learn that when they arrive in their dream destination, they are not fully equipped to hire a vehicle without an International Driving Permit (IDP).  On 1st January 2013, new laws were ushered into place, stating that motorists with non-US licences were required to also carry an International Driving Permit.  Even though this law was revoked by the Governor of Florida in early April of the same year, rental and hire companies of the state may still require you to have in your possession both your home licence and an International Driving Permit. Miami Beach

We at Questor Insurance recommend that although some rental companies do not require you to possess an International Driving Permit, it would be a good idea to apply for one – just as a precautionary measure.  International Driving Permits are widely available.  You can purchase these at selected Post Offices

Applying for an IDP

So, “How do you apply for an International Driving Permit?” you may be asking.  As a UK citizen, you are not permitted to apply for an International Driving Permit until 3 months before your trip and you must be 18 years of age upon application.  At the Post Office, you will need to fill out a form in person.

Please ensure that:

o   You have your valid UK driving licence at hand

o   You pay the £5.50 application fee

o   You bring along a passport sized photo of yourself that is signed on the back

o   You bring along proof of identification (for example, a passport). 

If you do decide to hire a car during your travels, remember to also consider purchasing car hire excess insurance. You will often find that comprehensive excess cover is much cheaper to buy through Questor Insurance in comparison to an excess waiver offered by the car hire company. To find out more about car hire excess insurance and how this protects you against additional car hire charges, just click here.