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Questor Insurance Travel Blog


Section: Travel


Best Travelling Apps

Date Created: 27 October 2016 by Kim Coppins

GadgetThe advances in technology have made travelling much easier and help to reduce those stressful elements. One of the greatest advances, is the development of smart-phones, these day’s smart-phones are often affordable and always within hands reach. There are number of smart-phone apps available on the market to help reduce travel stressors and find ways to enhance your travels. Take a look below at some of our top apps to download to help enhance your travels.

App in the Air

App in the Air is your own little personal flight assistant in your pocket. The App gives you great updates about your flight, information on your flight status, waiting times and even airport tips. The app is available to download for both Apple and Android users, with a free or premium version.

Cities Talking

Cities Talking is a great app if you are fairly new to a destination or visiting it for the first time. The app provides a selection of walking guided tours for most European cities. Using your devices GPS, the app knows where you enabling you to travel the city without Wi-Fi or a data connection!

Expensify

Available to download from iTunes and the Google Play store, Expensify is a great app to help you keep track of all your expenses on the go. Using the app, you can cleverly scan all your receipts and summarise your spending at the end of any trip.

Gas Buddy

The perfect app for those of you who love to hire a car on your travels. With Gas Buddy you can take away the stress of having to find the next fuel stop in an unfamiliar area, the app can not only help you find where the next gas stop is, but can help you save money by finding the cheapest fuel.

Google Trips

Relatively new to the market and available for free on both Apple and Android devices, Google Trips is a great addition to any travellers pocket. Google Trips allows you to bundle reservations, find nearby attractions, customise itinerary’s and get recommendations based on your search history.

Stop Breath & Think

Travelling isn’t always stress free, that is why Stop Breath & Think is such a great travel companion. At Questor Insurance we love the personalisation of the app depending on your mood, recommending mediation to calming walks. If you decide this isn’t the meditation app for you, there are plenty of others to try many offering different features.

* When downloading mobile and tablet applications always ensure you download them from a reputable source designed for your device e.g. iTunes and Google Play.


Swear by a great app on each of your travels? Tell us which one by tweeting us @QuestorIns

Worry about your gadgets and the chance of expensive repair bills? At Questor Insurance we can cover all your gadgets under one policy, protecting them from theft, loss, accidental damage and liquid damage. Find out more about what gadgets we can cover by visiting our website or contacting us on 0333 323 0090

Using Public Wi-Fi Hotspots

Date Created: 05 August 2016 by Kim Coppins

TravelHow many of us really disconnect while on our travels? Whether it’s quickly checking our emails, mobile banking or catching up on some social media, we all like to stay up to date. Some travellers are blessed with great data plans and never have to connect to a public Wi-Fi while out and about, however others of us find it a blessing to find that next Wi-Fi hotspot. However, have you ever wondered about the risks of using a public Wi-Fi hotspot and how you can minimalise them?

The Dangers of Using a Public Wi-Fi

The open nature of a public Wi-Fi leaves room for snooping and opens the risk of your details being compromised. The largest risk of using a public Wi-Fi is the ability of a hacker to put themselves between you and your desired connection (this is commonly known as a man in the middle attack). When this happens your details are sent to the hacker who then sends these across to the Wi-Fi hotspot (which you believe you are already sending the information to). In the process your details and any information you have submitted is readily available to the hacker. Less frequently, hackers can distribute malicious software and malware using the Wi-Fi connection.

Ways to reduce the risks of using a public Wi-Fi          

  • Visit web pages which are using HTTPS – this indicates that the webpage is using SSL/ TLS encryption which makes it harder for man in the middle attacks to take place
  • Ensure any sharing on your mobile or computer is switched off        
  • Use a VPN – this is a way of browsing the internet while using an extra layer of protection            
  • Take care when connecting to a hotspot, some appear legitimate however have been created by the malicious individual
  • Enable two factor authentication where possible – this adds an extra layer of security to your accounts.
  • Always log out of your accounts when you’re finished
  • Even with these precautions in place it’s recommended to never use public Wi-Fi connections for anything sensitive or secure such as online banking        
  • To increase security, say no to using a hotspot and use mobile data when possible and affordable

Make sure you can stay connected this summer and protect your gadgets. With a Questor Insurance gadget policy, your gadgets are covered for up to 90 days around the world for loss, theft, accidental damage and liquid damage! Worried about unauthorised usage of your device? We cover unauthorised calls, text and data usage if your device is lost or stolen. Click here for more information on our gadget policy or call us today on 0333 323 0090 to find out more.

Sources:

http://usa.kaspersky.com/internet-security-center/internet-safety/public-wifi-risks#.V6NikaIe7Ns

Questor Insurances Top Travel Tech for your Travels

Date Created: 18 August 2015 by Luke Dunn

At Questor Insurance we love using technology and gadgets during our travels, take a look below at some of our favourite travel tech:

Trakdot Luggage Tracker

TrakdotThe daunting wait for luggage at the conveyor belt after your flight is, for some, the worst part of flying. Tracking your luggage may have crossed your mind once or twice before, but thought 'How would I do that?' Well, Trakdot sell very handy luggage trackers for $69.99 (£44.89) each and an extra $20 (£12.83) per year for its network capabilities. You place it inside your luggage and it will monitor mobile networks to determine its location and remembers it. When your plane lands, your Trakdot luggage tracker will send you an email/text message saying everywhere it has been and where it currently is. It is also very light, so you won't have to worry about it disturbing those precious few grams spare in your luggage.

Sources: http://www.trakdot.com/en

dizauL Portable Solar Power Charger

When going on holiday, forgetting to bring a plug socket adapter can prove problematic. Solar power is usually an option, unless the weather takes a turn for the worse. dizauL provide small, portable solar power chargers that are waterproof and shockproof for just £12.98, which come with a USB cable so you can easily charge it from the mains before you leave, thereby acting as a spare battery allowing you to charge your mobile on the go.

Sources: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Waterproof-Shockproof-Portable-External-Adapters-Blue-5000mAh/dp/B00V9Y12QW?

BRITA Water Filtration

If you are going on your holidays abroad, the tap water usually isn't recommended to be used as drinking water. With BRITA, you can buy a water bottle which contains a water filter inside it so you can fill up at the tap and go. You can get a bottle and 4 filter discs included which should last a week each, all just for £9.29.

Source: http://www.brita.co.uk/brita/en-gb/cms/cpd.gridTrecknet

USB Wall Charger

If solar power isn't your ideal solution to plug socket adapters, this could be. Most mobile devices these days come with USB ports for headphones. With the USB wall charger, you can use your USB cable to charge up your mobile device, and other electronic gadgets. You can get one of these for just £9.99 from TeckNet.

Source: http://www.tecknet.co.uk/

Airport Express

If you are going on holiday with your friends or family and want to easily share network connectivity with them in your hotel room, the Apple Airport Express is the device for you. It is a highly portable and easy to use device capable of turning your single cable ethernet connection to a wireless connection for all to use. Just plug your ethernet cable into the device, and plug the device into the ethernet socket and you are good to go! It may be a bit pricy at $99 (£63.31), but it is certainly worth it.

Source: http://www.apple.com/airport-express/

Jetting off on your summer holidays? Make sure you and your family are covered with a comprehensive travel insurance policy, click here for your free quotation or contact us on 0333 323 0090. Don’t forget to tweet us your favorite travel tech to @questorins

 

Helping you understand ABTA and ATOL protection

Date Created: 21 July 2015 by Kim Coppins

Why chose a company which is a member of ABTA and ATOL?

Choosing a company which is a member of ABTA and ATOL gives you extra protection should the company face financial difficulties. Ensuring, if there are problems with the airline or travel agent, you will not be stranded on holiday and will receive a refund.

Take a look below to find out more about each organisation:

ABTAAbout ABTA

ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) are the UK’s largest association representing registered tour operators and travel agents. Registered members of ABTA have to adhere to a set level of service and are subject to regular financial checks.

ABTA provides advice and guidance to customers when purchasing products from ABTA registered members, help resolve any unresolved complaints with ABTA members and protects you financially if the company affects you due to financial difficulties.

ATOLAbout ATOL

ATOL (Air Travel Organiser’s Licencing) is a protection scheme for all flights and air travel holidays. It is mandatory for most firms who sell flights in the UK to hold an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (ATOL). When purchasing from an ATOL registered company you will be issued with a certificate which enables you protection should the company go out of business. If a firm who is ATOL certified goes out of business, ATOL will arrange alternative flights for people traveling home or a refund for customers who cannot fly.

How do you know if you’re protected by ABTA and ATOL?

ABTA: In order to find out if the companies you are purchasing from are members of ABTA simply input the details of the company in the ABTA website

ATOL: To find out if a company you are purchasing from is a member of ATOL simply input the details of the company in the CAA website (Civil Aviation Authority)

ABTA and ATOL do not protect you for medical emergencies or medical treatment. To ensure your family are protected on holiday make sure you purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy, click here for your free quotation or contact us on 0333 323 0090 for more information. 

Sources:

http://abta.com
http://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid=27

Foods to Avoid Before a Flight

Date Created: 03 August 2016 by Kim Coppins

TravelNormally before a flight you have been rushing around and just want to eat something quick and easy, perhaps a typical English dish or even some comfort food. However, eating the right food before and during your flight has never been more crucial, so you get the most out of your holiday from the very start. That is why we have put together a handy list of some of the top foods to avoid before a flight and the ones you should opt for instead.

Foods to avoid before a flight

Some foods are just best avoided before a flight, especially if you want to make sure your journey is comfortable for yourself and your fellow passengers. Take a look below at some of the foods to avoid before your journey.

Trigger foods – Avoid spicy or fried food which can cause heartburn. Heartburn can be uncomfortable at best, other foods which can cause heartburn include chocolate, fizzy drinks, spicy, fried and extra-large meals.

Onion and garlic – Avoid foods with a strong odor, the main reason for this is out of curtesy for other passengers (no one wants to smell garlic for the next 4 hours).

Beans – Avoid food which may cause excess gas and discomfort, being bloated and uncomfortable during a long fight can really put a downer on your holiday.

Alcohol – We know everyone likes to let their hair down and get the party started as soon as possible, or have that quick tipple before the flight to help settle those nerves. Alcohol before flying brings a whole host of negativities including; having trouble sleeping once landing and helping to contribute to headaches and dehydration.  

Best foods to eat before a flight

Some foods can help to reduce the effects of jet lag and some of the strain that flying can put on the body. Take a look below at some of the foods and drinks you should consume to get your holiday off to a flying start.

 

Water – Combat flight dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids especially water, don’t forget to add a slice of lemon to help combat dry and sore throats. Both alcoholic and caffeinated beverages contribute to dehydration.

Smoothie’s and Yoghurt’s – Smoothies and yoghurts are great preflight snacks! The fruit helps to boost your vitamin C and natural yoghurts may help to settle the stomach from flight stresses. Make sure to only have natural smoothies as many shop bought ones contain high levels of sugars and sweeteners.

Herbal teas – Herbal teas help to keep you hydrated and can taste great! Why not opt in for a peppermint tea for soothing stomach benefits or a calming chamomile tea to help you relax.

Celery – Snack on celery and foods high in vitamin B to help reduce the feelings of anxiety and flying woes.

Banana – Snack on a banana to help keep you full as well as to help you sleep during your flight. Bananas are packed with nutrients and vitamins including magnesium and potassium which help the body to relax and rest.

Heading of on your family getaway? Make sure travel insurance is the first item on your packing list. Click here or contact us on 0333 323 0090 to find out more about our travel insurance products and to get more information.

Summer First Aid Box

Date Created: 24 May 2016 by Kim Coppins

Taking a small First Aid Kit on your holiday can be especially handy, even for the simplest of accidents and illnesses including sun burn, upset stomachs and insect bites or stings.

While on your summer holiday, the last thing you want to worry about is putting together a First Aid Box and any of your fellow travellers having an accident or becoming unwell. That is why we have put together a handy list of things that should be in your First Aid Box and how to handle some of the most common minor holiday accidents.

Some of the items you might want to include in your Holiday First Aid Box

  • Prescription medicine
  • Spare glasses
  • A selection of plasters and sterile dressings
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Rolled crepe bandages
  • Disposable gloves
  • Tweezers
  • Small scissors
  • Bandage tape
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Antihistamine cream and tablets
  • Digital thermometer
  • Safety pins
  • Pain killers – Paracetamol & Ibuprofen
  • Anti-diarrhoea tablets
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun cream
  • After sun
  • A list of emergency numbers

First AidFirst Aid Tips

Take a look below at some of our top summer holiday/ travel first aid tips:

Prescribed Medication

When travelling with prescribed medication it is advised to store medication in several locations. This way you will always have some of your medication even if some is lost or stolen.

Bee stings

If you happen to be stung by a bee follow the below tips:

  • Remove the sting from the affected area using a blunt object (do not use tweezers)
  • Clean the wound and then apply a cold compress to the skin
  • Apply an antihistamine cream and take painkillers to help reduce inflammation and pain
  • If any signs of an allergic reaction take place after the sting the individual should be taken to the emergency room for further evaluation

Sun Burn

Having so much fun you forgot the sun cream? Take a look below on how to get quick relief from sun burn:

  • If you notice you have sun burn, cover your skin and limit further sun exposure
  • To help reduce the pain apply a cold compress to the affected area for 10 minutes
  • Apply calamine or after sun cream to burnt and sore skin
  • Avoid dehydration and heatstroke by drinking water

Cuts and grazes

For smaller cuts and grazes which don’t require a visits to A&E follow the below steps:

  • Firstly, stop any bleeding by applying pressure to the affected area with an absorbent material.
  • Once the bleeding has stopped clean the cut or graze with water
  • Lightly dry the area and apply a sterile dressing of the correct size
     

Sources:

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Bites-insect/Pages/Introduction.aspx
http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/476869/First-aid-for-summer

 

Don’t forget to send us your summer first aid tips to @QuestorIns

Getting ready to jet off on your summer holiday? Make sure your family are covered with great travel insurance. To find out more about our travel policy click here or contact us on 0333 323 0090

*This blog is for informational purposes only, please seek medical advice from a trained professional or your general health care practitioner

Children’s Car Seats

Date Created: 05 July 2016 by Kim Coppins

TravelSince 2016 there have been various laws reinforcing the use of car seats to protect children. The first law introduced required all children under the age of 12 or below the height of 135cm to use a safety child car seat, it is important to remember that drivers can be fined for using incorrect restraints. From December 2016 the rules for child car seats could be changed again, take a look below for information on the current rules and the changes.

December 2016 Changes

The new regulations will come in to effect in December 2016, however will only apply to any new products on the market.

  • The regulation will require children to use a child booster seat until they are 12 years of age or 135cm in height.
  • Backless booster seats should not be used by children under 125 cm and weigh less than 22kg.

Current Legislation:

  • The regulation will require children to use a child booster seat until they are 12 years of age or 135cm in height.
  • For babies weighing 0kg to 9kg a lie-flat baby carrier, rear-facing baby carrier, or rear-facing baby seat should be used.
  • For babies weighing 0kg to 13kg a rear-facing baby carrier or rear-facing baby seat should be used.
  • For all children weighing 9kg to 18kg a Rear- or forward-facing baby seat using a harness or safety shield should be used.
  • For all children aged 15kg to 36kg a rear- or forward-facing child seat using a seat belt, harness or safety shield should be used.

For more information on current child car seat legislation don’t forget to visit the government website.

Choosing the right car seat

Choosing the right car seat can be almost as tricky as fitting it correctly! Take a look below for some tips on choosing the right child seat:

  • Ensure the seat is suitable for your child’s height and weight.
  • Ensure the booster seat conforms to the United Nations Standard by looking for the ‘E’ mark on the seat.
  • Make sure the seat is suitable for both your child and car, some retailers will let to try before your buy.
  • Purchase from a retailer who has staff who are trained on both selecting and fitting the right child seat.
  • Do not buy a second hand child seat as you do not know its history, if it has been involved in an accident or if it is designed to current standards.

Have any great tips on choosing the best child car seat? Don’t forget to tweet them to @QuestorIns

Hiring a car for your family travels? Protect yourself from costly excess fees with a Questor Insurance car hire excess protection insurance. Click here to find out more information or contact us on 0333 323 0090

https://www.gov.uk/child-car-seats-the-rules/using-a-child-car-seat-or-booster-seat
http://www.childcarseats.org.uk/choosing-using/

http://www.which.co.uk/news/2016/04/new-booster-seats-ban-439787/

Should I use a dash camera?

Date Created: 05 April 2016 by Kim Coppins

trafficWe have all been there watching that driver in front or behind, wishing we could record them for our own security or just to show someone else. That is why dash cameras are the latest car accessory which are taking the roads by storm. Take a look below to find out more about dash cameras and how they may affect you.  

What is a dash camera?

Every day we are all caught on camera, whether it be walking down the high street, in a shop, a security camera or even while driving on the roads. People are turning to cameras for all sorts of situation and reasons.

Dash cameras are small cameras which can be placed on the dashboard of the car or stuck to the window screen to record your driving and other drivers on the road. There are a range of dash cameras on the market to choose from, all with the main function of recording the road and saving the footage in case you need it.

Pros of using a dash camera:

There are many reasons for drivers to install a dash camera in their car. However the main reasons are for self-protection and visual proof of a situation. Take a look below at some of the advantages of using a dash camera:

  • They are legal to use in the UK

  • They give the driver a sense of security

  • They can be used in a court of law

  • The footage can be used by insurance companies to help settle a claim

  • You can even use the camera for entertainment purposes, such as using the footage to create a montage of your drives or favourite scenery

  • A dash camera can be used to review the driving of a new or learner driver

  • They are low in price, starting from as little as £30, meaning there is one for all types of budgets

Cons of using a dash camera:

There are very few cons of using a dash camera, however there are a few you should be aware of:

  • Ensure you are not breaking the law by affecting your visibility with the camera

  • In some countries it is illegal to record someone without their permission, always check the laws before using a dash camera in a new country

Fed up of costly excess fees on your personal motor insurance? Why not save money and protect your motor insurance excess with a Questor Insurance Private Motor Excess Insurance. We will reimburse your excess fees should the worse happen, so you aren’t left out of pocket on your travels! Click here to find out more about our Private Motor Excess Insurance or speak to a member of the team on 0333 323 0090

Clueing up on the Zika Virus

Date Created: 17 February 2016 by Kim Coppins

Zika Virus

Originally discovered in Uganda’s Zika Forest over 60 years ago, the Zika Virus was first found in a mosquito bitten Rhesus Monkey. As of the 1st February 2016 the World Health Organisation declared the virus a global health emergency. Take a look below to find out more about the virus and how it may affect your travels.

What is the Zika Virus?

The Zika Virus is a mosquito borne infection being passed to humans, little is currently known about the virus and there is no vaccination or treatment.

The virus is exceptionally dangerous for pregnant women or women planning to become pregnant, there have been numerous links affecting foetuses and babies being born with brain damage and microcephaly.

Where is the Zika Virus?

Below is a list of countries where the Zika Virus is currently active and being transmitted (Please note this list may change if the virus spreads further):

  • American Samoa
  • Barbados
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Cape Verde
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Curacao
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Fiji
  • French Guiana
  • Guadeloupe
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Maldives
  • Martinique
  • Mexico
  • New Caledonia
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Puerto Rico
  • Saint Martin
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • Suriname
  • Thailand
  • Tonga
  • US Virgin Islands
  • Vanuatu
  • Venezuela

At Questor Insurance we advise checking to see if your desired destination has been affected by the virus before booking your holiday and before your travels. The government website is being updated on a regular basis to give information on affected countries.

Symptoms:

The virus has an incubation period of 14 days, however many people who are infected with the virus show no symptoms. For those who do show symptoms they are often mild and are shown for up to 7 days. Typical symptoms of the virus include:

  • A mild fever
  • Rash
  • Muscle aches and joint pain
  • Conjunctivitis and eye pain
  • Headaches

The full effects of the virus are currently unknown, the virus stays in the blood stream for 7- 10 days but continues to live in bodily fluids for several months. There have been links with the Zika Virus to neurological and autoimmune diseases such as the Guillian – Barre syndrome where the body’s immune system attacks itself. There are also increasing links to serious birth defects such as microcephaly where babies are born with smaller than usual heads causing severe brain damage and often death.

There is no treatment for the Zika Virus, it is advised that symptoms are managed with supportive nursing care.

Travel advice

If travel is unavoidable to an area or destinations affected by the virus it is recommended that you are vigilant and follow protocols to avoid mosquito bites:

  • If you are pregnant, planning to have a baby or have a weakened immune system always discuss your travel plans with a health care professional
  • Keep skin covered and not exposed
  • Use insect repellent
  • Avoid mosquito breeding sites such a large areas of water
  • Sleep under mosquito nets
  • Keep windows and doors closed
  • Clean or cover water containers to remove areas mosquitos are likely to breed
  • Use a condom for 28 days after traveling to an infected area
  • Use a condom for 6 months if you or your partner has had any symptoms of the virus
  • Seek advice from a medical professional before trying for a baby

*(Please note this blog is for information purposes, if you have any concerns please visit the government travel advice website or the World Health Organisation)

Sources:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/zika-virus
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/zika/en/

Keeping the children entertained during the summer months

Date Created: 29 July 2016 by Kim Coppins

ChildideaThe summer holidays are now upon us! For many this can result in plenty of stress and hours of planning. We want to take away the stress this summer by helping you plan some great activities for the whole family or even just the children so you can have some well-deserved you time. Take a look below at our top summer activities:

Camping in the garden
If you have the space, why not have a camping trip indoors or in your garden. Make the experience like a real camping trip by only using touches for lights, storing food in a cool box, singing camp songs and going for a nature walk. If you set up camp indoors you can even enjoy the luxury of watching a movie while being wrapped up in your sleeping bags. Most importantly make sure you have plenty of hot chocolate and snacks for the evening.

Bring out your inner artist
We all love arts and crafts, whether it be painting, drawing, making things or even playing with Playdoh the whole family can enjoy getting creative! At Questor Insurance our favorite Arts and craft activity is creating a picture or collage out of the resources found from exploring a nearby forest or countryside, some great items to pick up include pinecones, flowers, feathers and even pretty stones. Don’t forget to take pictures of your final works of arts.

Have the perfect picnic
Make the perfect picnic food for your own indoor or outdoor picnic. Make sure you get creative when making the food, by decorating thing and making artistic designs. Some of our favorite picnic food to make include, sausage rolls, pizzas, dips and veg sticks, fruit, cakes and even homemade bread rolls!

Mini Olympics
In light of the Rio Olympics beginning in August why not learn about the Olympics together! Once you have learnt all about the Olympics you can hold your own mini Olympics in the back garden or at a local park. Some great games you could play include; who can hula hoop the longest, skipping, obstacle courses, running and even an egg and spoon race, don’t forget to get crafty and make some medals for the winners!

Have an adventure
Take a day trip to a local attraction, you often don’t have to travel far or require a large budget to find a great attraction that the whole family can enjoy. Some of the best places to visit in the summer months include beaches, national parks, a local castle, a theme park or even a zoo.

As much as it can be tempting to make plans for every waking moment of the day to keep them entertained, it’s important to ensure there is still time available for children to be independent and grow their imaginations. The key to having fun and having the perfect summer holiday to remember is by keeping things relaxed and fun for the whole family (including you!).

Taking the children away on a summer holiday? Make sure the whole family is protected with comprehensive travel insurance, click here to get your quote today or contact us on 0333 323 0090 to speak to a member of the team.

Alternatives to Travel Vaccinations?

Date Created: 07 June 2016 by Kim Coppins

VacinationLove to travel but don’t enjoy having to have the required vaccinations? You’re not alone, a study undertaken by the university of Toronto and York University in Canada found that as many as 24% of adults were put off the idea of travel related vaccinations due to their fear of needles, this figure increases to a staggering 63% for children.

 As discussed by Travelvax Australia, there are now many alternatives to vaccinations which still immunise the traveller but don’t rely on the use of needles being developed! Some of the new alternatives which are currently being developed include:

Dry Powder

Dry powders are very similar to Asthma inhalers; the powder is inhaled directly in to the lungs to help fight bacteria and infections – an added bonus of using this method of immunisation is a reduced number of side effects compared to conventional vaccinations.

Edible Vaccines

Edible vaccinations will allow travellers to take the vaccination via an edible format. This method still requires some fine tuning, as it is argued some may have a delayed immunisation or some may reject it completely.

Nasal Spray

The Nasal spray allows someone to inhale the immunisation painlessly through their nose rather than having an injection. In some countries nasal sprays are already being used as a less invasive method to give the flue vaccination.

Nanopatch

The Nanopatch is an extraordinary invention which is being developed at the university of Queensland. Consisting of a small silicon square with 20,000 micro projections coated in the vaccine. This is placed on to the skin to give the vaccination without the use of a needle.

Sugar Microneedles

Using a very similar principle to the Nanopatch, the sugar discs contain a high number of microneedles which are coated in a small amount of the dried live virus.

Pharmajet

The Pharmajet uses extremely high levels of pressure to deliver the vaccination to the muscle or subcutaneous tissue.

Have you tried any alternative methods to travel vaccinations? Let us know your experience by tweeting us @Questorins

Looking forward to your summer getaway? Make sure you’re covered with travel insurance you can trust. Buy travel insurance from as little as £7.85 for a single day policy, click here for more information on our insurance policies or contact us on 0333 323 0090.

The best sporting events that mean you can see the world in 2017

Date Created: 27 January 2017 by Questor Insurance

While last year was a hugely successful one for British sport, 2017 promises to include just as many exciting opportunities to watch the best stars across the globe.

Although 2016 will be tough to replicate (England Rugby, Team GB at the Olympics and Andy Murray were just some of the success stories), here are a few of the events that we can look forward to – and all of them provide some fantastic holiday opportunities too.

The Alpine World Ski Championships

Held every two years at stunning locations around the globe, the Alpine World Ski Championships brings together some of the very best from the worlds of downhill, super G and slalom to name but a few disciplines.

If you’re keen to catch a glimpse of the skiers in action, venture to St Moritz in Switzerland in the middle weeks of February. Services to Zurich are offered via EasyJet, Swiss and British Airways so there are plenty of options.

The Masters

Held at the stunning Augusta National golf course in Georgia, USA, the Masters brings together the world’s elite golfers as they do battle for the prestigious Green Jacket. More than 250,000 flock to the event each year, and just being in the area enables you to catch the buzz surrounding the famous tournament.

Getting tickets is tough and you’ll need to apply for a ballot. Should you be successful, you can rely on KLM, Virgin Atlantic or American Airlines to get you to Atlanta. There’s plenty more to Georgia than just its exceptional golf courses, with a number of canals and nature reserves just crying out to be explored.

The America’s Cup

The concept for the America’s Cup is simple – put the best sailors in the fastest boats in the world, and watch as they race against each other. The 2017 event is in Bermuda in June and promises to be a spectacular show.

British Airways is the only airline to offer direct flights to Bermuda from the UK, although you could choose to stop off somewhere on the way (most alternative routes go via Paris and JFK in New York).

You can also discover the cast iron Gibbs Hill lighthouse and the picturesque pink sands of Horseshow Bay, while the waters around the islands are ideal for snorkelling, diving, jet skiing and fishing.

The British and Irish Lions Tour

It’s nearly that time again when the best that England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland have to offer in the world of rugby come together to clash in New Zealand. Three Test matches and numerous warm up games are sure to provide plenty of entertainment, and the British and Irish Lions will be keen to replicate the successes of the 2013 tour, when they overcome Australia.

This time around, the first two Tests are taking place in Auckland and Wellington, before the teams return to Auckland for a final clash. Qatar, British Airways and Etihad all provide flights to NZ while tickets are available via the official tour website.

The Tour de France

The most famous cycle race in the world, the 21 stages of the 104th Tour de France will weave their way across parts of Germany, Belgium and France (the race starts in Dusseldorf this year and visits Verviers in Belgium as part of stage three. Brit star Chris Froome will undoubtedly be keen to defend the title he worked so hard to win in 2016.

Getting underway at the start of July, the face offers plenty of opportunities to experience the best of French culture. Flights to Dusseldorf run from Heathrow, Manchester, Newcastle and Birmingham if you want to watch the start, while most of France can be easily reached via plane or the Channel Tunnel.

The Ashes

It’s still a long way off, but 2017 is also an Ashes year. England will do battle with Australia in Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney through November and December and will be keen to provide a vast improvement on their 5-0 loss last time Down Under. You might struggle to get tickets to see Alistair Cook, Joe Root and co., but there’s plenty to see in Australia (especially if you’re keen for a winter getaway to sunnier climes).

If you’re planning a trip overseas in the coming year, be sure to organise your long-haul travel insurance in advance

Short Haul Destination Guide: Italy

Date Created: 15 April 2016 by Rakim A Dixon

Italy is situated on the Mediterranean Sea bordering Switzerland, France and Austria. Italian is the language spoken by most of the population, but as you travel through the country you will find that there are many distinct Italian dialects depending on the area you're in at the time.

 

When to travel to Italy

If you are going to be planning to visit popular areas such as beach resorts then it could be wise to avoid July and August, this is because the weather can be very hot and the beaches can be at their most crowded. August is when most Italian residents are away on holiday so you can expect the crowds to be especially busy in the beach resorts and the major historic cities such as Rome, Florence and Venice. The finest time to visit in terms of the weather and lack of crowds will be April through to late June and September to October. For a full weather forecast for Italy why not check out - http://www.lonelyplanet.com/italy/weather

 

Accommodation

If you are going to be staying in popular resorts and the major cities, then booking ahead can be advisable mainly during July or August. Like most trips away you will save money by booking in advance, recently Italy short breaks deals have been appearing on many popular discount companies such as Groupon and Wowcher. Most deals include a hotel or a B&B stay with breakfast included

Hotels -  Italy has some of the most outstanding hotels in Europe, ranging from grand hotels to boutique hotels with some of the most cutting edge designs.

Hostels – Recently hostels are becoming very popular mainly by the younger generation as they can be a lot cheaper to stay in compared to hotels and B&B, rates are normally around €18 a night.

B&Bs -  Bed and breakfast options are also becoming a very popular form of accommodation. Some of the best B&B’s offer a real glance of Italian home life, though at times they are not necessarily cheaper than a hotel, and some will not accept credit card payments.

 

Getting there

The simplest way to get to Italy is to catch a flight, flights to Italy from the UK can be very cheap if booked in advance. Flight times from London range from 1h 50min to 2h 50min. Travelling by rail to Italy from the UK can be a pleasant and environmentally friendly way of getting to the country, and you can stop off in other parts of Europe on the way.

 

Top three Destinations

Rome - Formerly the capital of the Roman Empire, Rome is the government seat and is the capital city of Italy. Rome is a city that is both historic and modern at the same time. From romantic plazas to stunning cathedrals and Renaissance architecture, there is so much to see and do in Rome, that it could take months or even years to see it all, also Rome is home to one of Italy’s most recognised tourist destinations The Colosseum.

Venice - Venice is a unique city in that it’s built upon a lagoon surrounded by the Adriatic Sea. Located in north Italy, Venice is a surrounded by islands that all connected by hundreds of stunning bridges and scenic canals. Of the canals, the Grand Canal is most famous and divides the city into two sections.

Pompeii – When visiting Pompeii, you will be faced with Europe’s most compelling archaeological areas.  It is the one place in the world where you can understand, face to face, how the Romans lived. 

Travelling Nevada

Date Created: 20 February 2016 by Rakim A Dixon

Nevada is a land of sightseeing and adventure. Finding the best that Nevada has to offer means you have to turn off the main highway and be ready for a great journey.

Red Rock Road – is a wonderful scenic drive that will only take around one day and it is based in the Red Rock National Conservation Area. There are views of red sandstone cliffs and limestone bluffs that formed millions of years ago. You can also enjoy an off-trail experience where you can go exploring on the sandstone, this proves to be popular with rock climbers. Before setting off on the scenic drive you may want to have a look into the visitor centre as this has indoor & outdoor exhibits explaining the area.

Hoover Dam – is one of the most astonishing construction achievements of the 20th century, Hoover Dam is the highest concrete dam in the Western Hemisphere. You can walk across the dam and you can have fantastic viewing and photographic opportunities, you can only visit the dam in daylight due to the rules that are in place.

Pyramid Lake – is located within the Great Basin desert, it is one of the largest natural lakes in Nevada and is the focus of three national byways that offer stark desert landscapes. You can take up the opportunity to go fishing at the lake but this really can depend on the weather, people normally say it is better to fish in the warmer periods. As the lake is on an Indian Reservation you must buy a pass to be able to enjoy the park.

Reno – is the largest city in northern Nevada, it is surrounded by indoor & outdoor activities and this comes with wonderful weather. Reno is famous for its casinos and is the birth place of Caesars Entertainment Corporation. Reno is the most populated part of Nevada other than Las Vegas.  Before the late 1950s it was the gambling capital of the United States, but in the last twenty years Las Vegas has taken over this status.

Las Vegas – draws millions every year with its casinos, shopping, dining, entertainment and the fantastic LED and neon light displays. The Las Vegas strip has an ever changing skyline that includes New York New York, which has a roller coaster going through the hotel. The views that are available today are very different from what people saw back in the early 20th century, there is outstanding hotel rooms with stunning views and there is now even a zip wire flying through the Vegas strip.

 

Thinking of planning a getaway soon or maybe even a trip to the USA then make sure you’re covered, check out our Travel Insurance policy: https://www.questor-insurance.co.uk/travel-insurance.aspx?cl=100

Winter Gardens

Date Created: 16 February 2016 by Vittoria Soddu

Where to immerse yourself in green all year round

Winter Garden

Winter gardening traces its roots back to the Victorian period when municipalities began building large conservatories for the enjoyment of their citizens. The original conservatories were built as the convention centres of their day, they were the site of concerts and dances. After WWI these large conservatories fell out of favour due to the high costs of maintenance and heating. In the late 20th century, thanks to the advances in heating technologies they saw a resurgence, some of the grand conservatories retrofitted and reopened.

Source: http://blackthumbgardener.com/history-of-a-winter-garden/

Orangeries vs Glasshouses

Orangeries - For those of you who think “Orangery” sounds like something of a mystical term taken from a period drama, you’re not actually far off.

Between the 17th and 19th century, if you were wealthy and part of the “fashionable” elite, the chances are you would have had an orangery (or orangery) within the grounds of your home. Similar to a greenhouse, the extension was used for growing citrus trees in an environment that protected them from frosty weather to survive the winter months. The concept of an Orangery was born in Italy and architecturally adapted in Holland, and soon became viewed as a status symbol among the wealthy.

Conservatories - It is generally accepted that Conservatories were created as a by-product of Orangeries – the differentiation being that they were more for the protection of shrubs and herb plants than fruit. A glass ceiling and wall allowed an optimum amount of light into the structure so the plants could grow more rapidly.

Another slight differentiation is that conservatories tended to be built as an attachment onto the home, whereas that wasn’t necessarily the case with an orangery, which could be its own supporting structure elsewhere within a garden. This contributed significantly to the change in viewpoint that the space didn’t have to be used solely for plantation but could offer an extension to the home.

Source: http://www.everest.co.uk/blog/orangery-conservatory-difference/

Glasshouses - Prior to the mid-19th century a ‘glasshouse’ was an object of awe to the majority of the population. The combination of the window tax and the glass tax made even the smallest conservatory remarkable and put glasshouses far beyond the reach of the average squire. The construction of large glasshouses were strictly for the social elite and their commissioning was a powerful expression of wealth and status.

Surviving glasshouses and their surrounding gardens represent a unique legacy of Victorian and Edwardian society. Significant in terms of their architecture and design, they are also expressions of social and industrial progress during those periods.

Source: http://www.buildingconservation.com/articles/glasshouse-conservation/glasshouse-conservation.htm

 

Austria12 impressive Glasshouses to visit around the world:

1. France Versailles Garden: probably the world's most famous garden, built for Louis XIV and designed by Andre Le Notre.

2. Austria Palm House at Schönbrunn Palace Park in Vienna. Composed of 45,000 sheets of glass, it is the largest glasshouse in continental

Europe. Constructed in the 1880s, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. 

Image source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/65/Palm_House_%28Schönbrunn%29_seen_from_Palm_House_Parterre_%28from_app._N%29.png   

3. UK London’s Kew Royal Botanic Gardens where the famed Temperate House was built in 1860 by Decimus Burton to house the region’s growing collection of temperate plants collected across the globe. Measuring 52,527 square feet, it is the largest Victorian glasshouse in the world.

4. Denmark The Palm House, part of the Botanic Garden at the Natural History Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen; built by Carlsberg Breweries founder J. C. Jacobsen in 1874.

5. USA The Victorian-style Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at the New York Botanical Garden boasts a 90-foot-high central Palm Court and 11 interconnected galleries, which house different habitats. Completed in 1902, it was declared a New York City Landmark in 1975 and now contains tropical and desert plants for study and exhibition.

6. Ireland Completed in 1840, the Palm House at Ireland’s Belfast Botanic Garden is one of the earliest examples of the Victorian greenhouse. The curvilinear Palm House was designed by architect Charles Lanyon and built by ironworker Richard Turner—one of the first builders to assemble prefabricated materials such as glass and iron on-site.

Brazil7. Brazil Botanical Garden of Curitiba - This glasshouse may resemble the French greenhouses of the 19th century, but it was actually designed by Brazilian architect Abraão Assad in 1991. The greenhouse features fountains, waterfalls and lakes amongst their flora and fauna.

Image source: http://topwalls.net/botanical-garden-curitiba-brazil/

8. Belgium. Given his relation to England's Queen Victoria, it's no surprise that King Leopold II wanted a greenhouse just as grand as the Crystal Palace when it was built in 1851. The Royal Greenhouses of Laeken were completed in 1873 from designs by Alphonse Balat to look like a glass city placed atop Brussels' greenery.

9. GermanyY It shouldn't be a surprise that one of the more modern greenhouses sits at the heart of Germany in Frankfurt. The Palmengarten Botanical Gardens was built in the 19th century and offers an experience of climates from around the world. It also holds the Goethe Garden, an homage to Frankfurt's famous poet and avid gardener Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

10. Australia One of the newer gardens, the Adelaide Botanic Garden's Bicentennial Conservatory, was built in 1988 from designs by Guy Maron. It is hailed as the largest single span conservatory in the Southern Hemisphere, built in celebration of Australia's bicentennial. Unlike the other greenhouses, visitors can experience more of the southern climates, with flora from Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and nearby Pacific Islands.

Spain11. India The Lal Bagh Botanical Garden is the home of India's largest collection of tropical plants. The garden was commissioned by the ruler of the Mysore Kingdom, Hyder Ali, in Bangalore, India in 1760. It was later developed further by Hyder Ali's son, Tipu Sultan, and later still by British and Indian doyens of horticulture. They added a number of plant species, and extended the gardens. The name means Red Garden in English, and along with the plants holds an aquarium and lake.

12. Spain The Palacio de Cristal in Madrid's Buen Retiro Park is a historical heritage and botanical garden that once was an escape for Spain's royal family.

The crystal palace was built in 1887, the building itself is in the shape of a cross, perhaps due to the influence of the country's Catholic kings.

 

Image source: http://www.seekthesunrise.com/glass-cathedral-in-madrid-spain/

Source for some descriptions of the listed greenhouses: http://diply.com/i-love/article/worlds-best-greenhouses/4

Cyprus Myths and Legends

Date Created: 03 February 2016 by Kim Coppins

tropicalNot only is Cyprus full of spectacular beaches, culture and great tourist attractions, Cyprus is well known for many of its exciting myths and legends. Many of the legends are moving tales about Gods, Heroes and Royalty. Take a look below to see a few of our favourites:

Legend of Pygmalion

Pygmalion was the legionary ruler of the ancient city Carpasia. Negative experiences with prostitutes and women resulted in Pygmalion losing all desire in women. Instead of love Pygmalion focused all his energy creating magnificent sculptures, contradictory to his beliefs his favourite sculpture was of a beautiful woman.

Pygmalion fell in love with his creation and spent time wooing her with peals, flowers and even jewellery. The Goddess of love took pity on Pymalion and his devotion to his creation. The Goddess of love brought the sculpture to life enabling Pymalion to have his Queen and true love.

Legend of the Olive Tree

In Cyprus olive trees are considered sacred, holding both economic and spiritual value. Years ago ones wealth was once measured simply by the number of olive trees they owned.

Legend suggests that Jesus Christ hid on top of the olive trees to escape his enemy. Once he was safe and his enemy had passed he said the following prayer to bring luck and wealth from an olive tree “live 100 years more than the person who cultivates you: give plentiful fruit, be a tree which gives fruit and oil and makes your owners rich”. Since then then many people in Cyprus believe that olive trees are sacred and protector from evil.

Five Finger Mountain

The Five Finger Mountain is one of the most beautiful and popular tourist attractions within Cyprus. Below is just one of the many stories about how the Five Finger Mountain was formed!

Legend suggests a young hero named Dhiyemis Akritas saved the people of Cyprus from Saracen Invaders. While defending Cyprus and the people he left a hand print in the soil, which can be seen today as the jagged edges of the Five Finger Mountain.

Heading to sunny Cyprus this summer? Make sure you and your travelling companions are covered with comprehensive travel insurance. For more information on our travel insurance products click here or contact us today on 0333 323 0090

Sources:

WWW.welcometonorthcyprus.ord Brochure – Myths and Legends 

The Dangers of Skiing Off-Piste

Date Created: 22 January 2016 by Kim Coppins

Ski DangerFor many experienced skiers the thought of fresh untouched snow can be extremely tempting. However straying from designated slopes and routes can be extremely dangerous, as the trend becomes more popular the number of off-piste accidents which require medical assistance are increasing in number.

Why is off-piste skiing more dangerous?

  • Off-piste slopes are not maintained by snow ploughs, making visibility of rocks and cliff edges more difficult
  • There is an increased risk of an avalanche off-piste, each year 24 – 26 people in France are killed by avalanches.
  • There are more rocks off-piste which can increase injuries in the event of a fall.

Many travel insurance companies do not cover off-piste skiing, making it very expensive for off-piste skiers in the event of an accident or emergency. In many instances recovery of an accident can be billed at more than £538 an hour excluding medical expenses and hospital stays.

Take a look below at our top ski safety tips:

  • Wear the correct clothing, don’t forget your helmet and goggles
  • Stay with a group of friends and consider everyone’s ski capabilities
  • Respect other skiers and do not put others in danger
  • Take a phone and store the numbers of local rescue and emergency services
  • New to skiing? Attend a ski school to learn the basics
  • Ski with a guide or someone that knows the area well.
  • Research the official and local avalanche forecast – do not put yourself at risk!
  • Purchase comprehensive winter sports travel insurance

If you’re heading off to the mountains make sure your travel insurance covers you for winter sports activities and if you are tempted to venture off off-piste ensure you’re adequately covered by your insurance provider.

(Please Note Questor Insurance winter sports travel insurance only covers off-piste skiing when accompanied by a guide.)

Want to capture your ski journeys to show everyone back home? Head over to our Facebook page now for your chance to win a Go Pro Hero.

Source:

Source: ITIJ     January 2016 Issue 180 http://www.alpski.co.uk/The%2010%20Rules%20of%20Ski%20Safety.htm http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-25550111

Maintaining Your Wellbeing on a Long Flight

Date Created: 11 January 2016 by Rakim Asher

At the Airport

Drinking wise, while traveling on a plane can increase dehydration, which can lead to jet lag and a major a drop in productivity. Drinking 200ml of water every hour on a flight can make you stay hydrated, also avoid overindulging with alcohol. Particularly on long haul flight you should bring moisturizer, nasal spray, and eye drops will prevent dryness and this may make the trip more relaxed and comfortable.

Upgrading to a better class such as business class comes with two main boosts, more room on the flight itself and (on numerous airlines) access to an airport lounge. The business class area will be quieter and more comfortable than economy class, with the added room it allows travellers to spread out more. At the airport before boarding the plane, the airport lounges offer a comfortable escape from the busy and noisy gate area. Airport lounges often come with a business class upgrade, but regular travellers can also use elite status to get access.

On Board the Plane

Storing luggage can improve legroom to its maximum capacity, it could be an idea to put as much as possible in the overhead baggage allocations when boarding the flight. If you have items that you are going to be using throughout the flight then it could best to take these items out of your hand luggage and store them under your flight seat or the slots that are allocated on the back of passenger seats. Why not watch this quick video on how to pack a hand luggage bag - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIk8v__Osm8

Work space is something as a passenger you should take advantage as some travellers may appreciate less disruptions that occur when traveling on an airline. While traveling use the time to complete some work that you may have, or even begin to set out meeting plans if you have not made one.

If you have any trips occurring this year why not get a quick travel insurance quote with Questor Insurance -https://www.questor-insurance.co.uk/travel-insurance.aspx?cl=100   

Away For Business? What Shouldn’t You Leave Behind

Date Created: 04 January 2016 by Rakim A Dixon

Are you always on trips away? Then it's easy to put packing off until the last thing to do. There always seems to be other main concerns, including preparing properly for the meetings you have planned. But it is always worth taking some care in preparing everything you need. There are a few items which you may oversee when packing at the last minute which could ensure that your trip goes without a drawback.

You’re more unlikely to forget key items like your travel documents, money and clothing, although it could be worth making a tick list just in case. Some of the things that you might forget can be sorted at your destination, but there are a few extras which it really pays to remember.


Power

If you are going overseas then do take numerous power adaptors so that you can use or charge your devices and equipment when you need to, the main one normally being your mobile device. It can be almost impossible to find the right adaptors in some countries. Even if they are available, this will be of little comfort when you have retired to your room for the night. Finding enough power outlets can also be a problem in many hotel rooms. If you have several devices that you need to use, then a multi-socket adaptor would be a very wise investment and an essential addition in your baggage.

Business Cards

Business cards will most likely always travel with you, but make sure that you take more than you think you might need, there are always those unforeseen business opportunities. It can also be helpful to take some of your co-workers cards along just in case you should be uncontactable.

Business trips can be somewhat stressful, frustrating and boring. You will mainly be focused on achieving your goals for the trip. Though, careful packing could make all the difference and outcome in a hassle-free and productive visit that you are able to enjoy.

Health Concerns

Hopefully you would never travel without sufficient health insurance. You should also take a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you. This card is free of charge and will give you access to state-provided healthcare in both the European Economic Area and Switzerland. Any treatment you receive will be provided free or at a reduced rate. Pre-existing conditions are covered by the card and some insurers will insist that you have one.

Going away this year? Make sure you’re covered with travel insurance that you can trust, click here for travel insurance which is appropriate for your trip.

Gap Year Medical Claims on the Up

Date Created: 02 January 2016 by Rakim A Dixon

In a recent report from ABTA, the British travel association found that one in five people will travel out of their home country without any travel insurance, and a third of those people are in the 16 to 25 age bracket. Former research conducted by ABTA and the Foreign and Commonwealth office has also highlighted that many travellers can incorrectly assume that they can turn to the UK government for some support if they fall ill while abroad.

 

Other research has revealed that 30 to 40 percent of backpacking insurance policies sold are purchased within one to three days of the commencement date of traveling, with a further 10 to 15 percent of travellers buying the insurance on the same day of traveling. Booking travel insurance last minute means that travellers are not going to be protected against cancellation. So in hindsight the best thing to do is book your travel insurance well in advance so that you can be fully protected.

 

If you have any trips in the coming year why not get a quick travel insurance quote with Questor Insurance - https://www.questor-insurance.co.uk/travel-insurance.aspx?cl=100   

 

Source

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