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Questor Insurance Travel Blog


Section: What


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 Insurance Vehicle Hire Excess Policy is Now Underwritten by EUROP ASSISTANCE S.A

Date Created: 01 November 2016 by Kim Coppins

Policy





 



We are proud to announce that from the 1st November 2016 we are changing the underwriter for our vehicle hire excess policy to a World-Wide known Lloyds cover holder ‘EUROP ASSISTANCE S.A’. The decision to use EUROP ASSISTANCE S.A is part of a wider picture to improve our customer service and underwriting procedures, to ensure our company values are aligned across all elements of the service we provide.

Who are EUROP ASSISTANCE S.A?

Part of the Generali group EUROP ASSISANCE S.A are an international underwriter with 425,000 partners in 208 countries around the world. With 50 years of experience they have a culture of innovation while also incorporating the human touch across their points of contact. EUROP ASSISTANCE S.A has taken a revolutionary step to be the first international player to adopt a corporate social responsibly approach to their business, to enhance its company performance and ensure the business stays in line with its values.

What does this mean for you?

So what does changing underwriter mean for our loyal customers? In the event of a claim for vehicle hire excess policies purchased 1/11/2016 will be underwritten by EUROP ASSISTANCE S.A, any policies purchased prior 1/11/2016 will be underwritten by the underwriter specified within your policy document and certificate of Insurance. For all other policies please refer to your policy document for further information regarding your underwriter and how to make a claim

If you have any questions regarding the underwriter of your policy don’t hesitate to send us an email to assistance@questor-insurance.co.uk and a member of our team will happily be in touch.

Making Customer Service Better for You

Date Created: 26 July 2016 by Kim Coppins

At Questor Insurance we pride ourselves in providing outstanding customer service to all of our customers. That is why our latest investments are all about you, and helping to improve your experience from the moment you pick up the phone or visit our website.

This summer Questor Insurance has made some great changes with you, our loyal customers at the heart of our decisions. After careful consideration and some great customer feedback, we decided to rebrand and launch a new website which boasts usability and a flawless design. With great pleasure we can also reveal that we have invested over £40,000 in a sophisticated new telephone system which aims to ensure your customer service is even more seamless.

CustomerBenefits of the new Phone System

  • One of the key benefits of the new phone system is being able to direct your call to the member of staff who is best for your enquiry
  • Allows our staff to easily check the availably of other specialist staff and managers
  • It helps to free up more of our customer service staff time so they have more time for you
  • Help to increase staff efficiency and performance
  • Enhance staff efficiency by allowing call center staff to respond promptly and arrange timely call backs

Training
All Questor Insurance employees undertake extensive training to ensure they have up to date knowledge of our products, systems and the insurance industry. Understanding that great employees give great service, each member of our customer service team are undertaking a mixture of customer service related qualifications and training courses.

Our latest motivation has been to train every employee on the new telephone system allowing them to use the system to its full potential, making sure your customer experience is flawless from the moment you connect with us, to the moment you finish your phone call.

Money Saving Tips

Date Created: 16 December 2015 by Kim Coppins

money boxHolidays are the highlight of the year for many of us, however saving for that dream break can sometimes be rather tricky, especially when everyday life gets in the way. Knowing how important holidays are we have put together some simple saving tips, so you can go on that dream getaway!

  1. Save money by turning off light switches and electrical appliances when they are not in use.
  2. When food shopping, search for deals and when possible save money by switching to own brands. There’s no harm in stocking up on items you’re going to need especially, when they are on offer!
  3. Start walking – Save money by walking or cycling, rather than spending money on driving or getting the bus. Unable to start walking? Why not share the cost and consider a car share!
  4. Look after your car! When driving make sure your tyres are inflated to the recommended tyre pressure, not only will this help prolong the life of your tyres but it will help you save money on fuel.
  5. Reduce your food wastage by using a weekly meal planner and by cooking in bulk. Bulk cook foods that you can freeze to save money and time in the evening.
  6. Don’t just fill up at the nearest petrol station, search for the best prices.
  7. Stop paying for bottled water and re-use water bottles – you will be saving money while helping the environment.
  8. Draw up a realistic monthly budget to help you save. Give yourself an achievable savings goal each month, remember if saving goes well you could always have two holidays.
  9. Sign up to loyalty and cashback schemes, you could be earning cashback and points on items you would have purchased anyway!
  10. Most importantly shop around for deals on that perfect holiday – don’t be afraid to look for separate flights or transfers, sometimes you can bag yourself a great deal.

We want to help you save money for your holiday by providing you affordable comprehensive travel insurance. Click here or call us today on 0333 323 0090 for more information on our travel insurance.

Have some frugal saving tips? Tell us your holiday saving tips by tweeting us @QuestorIns

 

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.

Easter Crafts for Kids

Date Created: 17 March 2016 by Kim Coppins

EasterChocolateAs the Easter holidays are nearing, at Questor Insurance we know that finding activities to keep the children entertained can be challenging. That’s why we have put together some fun ideas for Easter Art and Craft activities.

Easter Bonnet

Need an Easter bonnet for school or an event? Make the perfect one at home! To create the base you can use large sheets of cardboard or cheat a little and decorate a straw hat. The most important feature of the bonnet is the decorations, whether it be with ribbons, bows, glitter, flowers, buttons, pretend animals or Easter eggs, make your bonnet one of a kind.

Easter Biscuits:

Get out your apron and mixing bowls and make some fancy Easter biscuits. Why not use lemon or orange zest for some spring flavours and pick shaped cutters and icing for unique Easter designs. If you make a few too many why not box some up as special Easter gifts for friends or family. When packaging them don’t forget to use ribbons and brightly coloured paper or wrapping.

Decorate Eggs

Decorate eggs to make fun Easter decorations, the more imaginative the better! Some of our favourite design ideas include decorating eggs as people, mythical creatures, flowers and animals. You could even make a whole eggquarium!

When decorating the eggs use a range of paint, paper and pens to get the best effect. If you have the time you could even make a back drop or some scenery for the eggs.

Homemade Easter Cards:

Make some homemake Easter cards for friends and family, choose Easter themed designs such as chicks, eggs, rabbits and even spring vegetables. Don’t forget to use a range of colours to really capture the magic of Easter.

Easter Nests:

Create tasty Easter nests using rice crispies or cornflakes and chocolate, take a look below for how to make your tasty Easter Nests.

What you need:

  • Rice Crispies or Corn Flakes
  • Chocolate of your choice (we like white chocolate)
  • Cadbury Mini Eggs or equivalent
  • Cake Cases
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spoon

Instructions

  1. With the help of a responsible adult melt the chocolate in the bowl
  2. Slowly mix in the cereal – make sure all the cereal is covered in chocolate
  3. Spoon the mixture in to the cake cases
  4. Decorate the top of the nests with eggs and other Easter decorations
  5. Put the nests in to the fridge to set the chocolate

Heading off for a family holiday over the Easter period? Make sure your family are covered with compressive travel insurance! Click here to get a travel insurance quote today or contact us on 0333 323 0090 for more information.

Don’t forget to tweet us your top Easter craft ideas or any pictures of your finalised crafts to @Questorins

Top Water Parks around the World

Date Created: 11 February 2016 by Kim Coppins

waterparkAt Questor Insurance we love traveling to hot and tropical destinations, the only thing that can make them even better is being able to cool off at a water park. There are over 2000 amazing water parks around the world, however in order to make the perfect water park we believe they need to be big, unique and cater for the whole family. Take a look below at some of our favourite water parks around the world:

World Water Park - Canada

World Water Park in Canada is the only water park located in a shopping and entertainment complex. The water park itself boasts 15 water slides for all different thrill levels, including the Sky Screamer Extreme which sends the rider plummeting down a vertical free fall.

Once you have finished in the water park you can have hours of fun making the most of the rest of the West Edmonton Mall complex. There are plenty of shops, allowing you to shop until your hearts is content, a great selection of restaurants, an Aquarian and even a cinema, we can’t think of a more fun way to spend a holiday!

Source: http://www.wem.ca/play/attractions-at-wem/world-waterpark

Beach Park – Brazil

Beach Park is an exciting water park located in a popular Brazilian tourist resort, boasting a whopping 16 attractions ranging from family to thrill seeker there are options for everyone. Our favourite attraction is The Chills, where riders get to ride a 90 degree half pipe in a 2 person boat!

Source: http://www.beachpark.com.br/en/parque-aquatico#!calendario-de-funcionamento

Etnaland – Italy

Etnaland Park is located at the bottom of volcano Etna which gives visitors to the park the most beautiful views when enjoying the attractions. The park consists of a Theme Park, Aqua Park and even a Prehistoric Park so there is plenty to do during your visit. The waterpark has an impressive 15 slides, a wave pool, hydro pool and unlike many other parks even has a selection of water rides.

Source: http://www.etnaland.eu/en/Acquapark/AL/

Blizzard Beach - Florida

Blizzard Beach is the third Disney water park and One of Disney’s most wonderful creations. As with many Disney creations the park comes with a story. Legend suggests that there was a freak snow storm which resulted in Florida’s first ever ski resort. The snow melted creating what is known today as “slushy and slippery” Blizzard Beach. If you decide to visit the park we recommend trying the Summit Plummet, which is one of the world’s tallest and fastest near vertical drop slides.

Source: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/destinations/blizzard-beach/

Wet and Wild - Orlando

Wet and Wild is the perfect water park for groups of friends, not only is there plenty of solo thrills but there are loads of activities for everyone to do together. Wet and Wild is one of the few water parks where you and your friends can experience many of the attractions at the same time, there is nothing more fun than screaming and laughing down the same slide together. Our top attraction at Wet and Wild is the Brain Wash, while riding the Brain Wash riders are launched down a 53-foot vertical drop in to a domed funnel.

Source: http://www.wetnwildorlando.com/

Planning your summer getaway? Don’t forget to purchase comprehensive travel insurance that protects you and the whole family, click here for a quick quotation or call us today on 0333 323 0090 for more information.

Don’t forget to tweet us @Questorins on what makes your perfect water park!

Sources:

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/TravelersChoice-Attractions-cWaterParks-g1

What to do and not to do when travelling solo

Date Created: 08 September 2015 by Kim Coppins

Beach Signs

Solo travel is becoming increasingly popular for both business and leisure purposes. A solo travel trip can be a great way to make new friends, enjoy complete freedom and even take a trip of self-discovery. Whether you are a frequent solo traveller or it’s your first solo trip, take a look below at Questor Insurances solo travel tips:


Solo Travel Do’s

  • Solo TravelPack a game - Consider packing a small travel game, such as a packet of cards or a mini checkers set. Travel games can be a great way to make new friends while on the move or staying in shared accommodation.

  • Keep safe - When possible try to arrive at your chosen destination during daylight and stay in well-lit open areas.

  • Selfie time - Be sure to purchase a camera with a self-timer feature so you can take pictures which include you, these will be great to show everyone when you get back home!

  • Identification - Keep your identification packed in a safe place and don’t forget to pack a photocopy of your identification in a separate location.

  • Meet the locals - Mix with the locals and meet new people! You may even make some new friends, don’t forget to exchange contact details before you leave.

  • Keep in contact - Keep in regular contact with home. There are many mobile applications which help reduce communication costs while abroad including Skype, social media and other mobile messaging applications.

  • Local and emergency contact numbers – Store important local numbers e.g. the hotel number and emergency contact numbers in your phone before you jet off.

  • Trust your own instincts – Always trust your instincts, if something doesn’t feel right, leave!

  • Enjoy yourself – Finally and most importantly enjoy yourself and embrace your travels.

 

Solo Travel Don’ts

  • Back packingDon’t leave your drinks unattended - Never leave your drinks unattended, even when just popping to the bathroom. Drink spiking is rare but it does and can happen.

  • Don’t over pack – The more you pack, the more you have to carry. If you’re wondering whether to pack that extra pair of socks and spare t-shirt, you probably won’t need them. We advise taking some spare cash for a launderette just in case, but by packing less you have some room for souvenirs.

  • Don’t be the tourist – Tourists can often can be a target for crime and scams, when possible put away your guide books, research local customs and avoid wearing clothing which relate specifically to your home country.

  • Don’t overindulge – Stay alert and in control during your travels. Avoid overindulging in alcohol and putting yourself in dangerous situations.

  • Don’t run out of cash – Manage your cash carefully during your trip, there is nothing worse than being away and running out of cash on the second day of your holiday.


Like to travel solo? Let us know your travel tips by tweeting us @QuestorIns. Before you set off on your adventure make sure you’re covered with comprehensive travel insurance, for your free quotation click here or contact us on 0333 323 0090 (Travel cover only available for trips up to 31 days) 

Yellow Fever

Date Created: 23 June 2016 by Kim Coppins

MosquitoThe current outbreak of Yellow Fever in Angola is the worst they have seen since 1986. Yellow fever is another mosquito born viral infection which carries serious consequences. Take a look below to find out more about the virus and how to stay safe while on your travels.

What is Yellow Fever?

Yellow Fever is an acute hemorrhagic viral infection which is transmitted by infected mosquitos. The infection has two stages, within the first stage it causes fever, headaches, vomiting, fatigue, muscle pain and loss of appetite. Approximately 24 hours after recovering from the first stage of the virus, some patients can enter a more dangerous stage. During this stage the virus can affect important organs such as the liver and kidneys, as many as half of the patients who enter this stage die within 7 days.

The good news is that the virus can be prevented with a simple vaccination, within in 30 days of receiving the vaccination it can provide lifelongimmunisation for 99% of those who receive the vaccine.

Where is Yellow fever

The latest outbreak of Yellow Fever is in Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda, however it is important to remember that the virus is also common in other tropical and subtropical areas of South America and Asia.

At Questor Insurance we always advise checking to see if your desired destination has been affected before booking your holiday and before setting off on your travels. 

Symptoms of Yellow Fever

Once the virus has been contracted it has an incubation period of 3 – 6 days. The Virus has different symptoms depending on the stage the patent is in. Take a look below for more information on each of the stages of the virus and its symptoms:

Stage 1:

Symptoms of the first stage of the virus include:

  • Fever
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite

Stage 2:

Not all patients go through the second stage of the virus, however those who do the symptoms are much more severe and are often life threatening. Symptoms of the second stage of the virus include:

  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
  • Dark urine
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Bleeding from the mouth, eye, nose or stomach

Travel Advice

If is advised to be vigilant when travelling to areas at risk of Yellow Fever and follow simple protocols to avoid mosquito bites:

  • Get the correct vaccination and discuss your travel plans with a heath care professional
  • If you are pregnant 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

*(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:

ItIJ June 2016 – Issue 185
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs100/en/

What Makes a Great Ice Cream and Where to Find Them

Date Created: 01 September 2016 by Kim Coppins

IcecreamIce cream is great all year round, however visiting a great ice cream parlor can really make your holiday or day trip stand out. Ice cream was first consumed in China many years before being introduced to Europe. The original Chinese ice-cream recipe contained buffalo milk, flour and camphor. Today all around the world each country has its own variation of ice cream, toppings and the way it is consumed. Take a look below to find out what makes a great ice cream and where around the world you can find them:

Salt and Straw – Portland and Los Ageles

If you’re heading to America Salt and Straw will definitely tickle your taste buds. When it comes to flavors they really like to mix things up as well as introducing tantalising seasonal specials, you will never be short for choice. Some of the classic flavors offered in Portland include Honey Lavender, Pear and Blue Cheese, Chocolate Gooey Brownie and Stumpton Coffee & Burnside Bourbon. However, if you choose to visit a shop in L.A their classic flavors include Roasted Strawberry & Toasted White Chocolate, Black Olive Brittle & Goats Cheese and Avocado & Strawberry Sherbet.

Source: http://saltandstraw.com/

Berthillon – Paris

Looking for a romantic ice cream with someone special? Why not visit Berthillon and experience luxury ice cream and sorbet in a range of flavors. After your ice cream you can enjoy the rest of your day in Paris spending time with your loved one and exploring the local attractions.

Source: http://www.berthillon.fr/

Gelato Messina — Australia

With stores in Sydney, Melbourne and Las Vegas you are bound to find one when travelling to Australia. Dislike process foods and additives? Gelato Messina only use raw and natural ingredients in the making process of their ice cream, their moto, is to make ice cream as it would have been done 100 years ago. They have a diverse range of over 40 flavors of which 5 specials which are changed weekly. If you happen to have a birthday while visiting, why not consider one of their ice cream cakes.

Source: http://www.gelatomessina.com

Gelupo - London

Visiting London or just fancy an ice cream on your way home from work? Visit Gelupo and experience Ice-cream at its finest. Carefully designing and testing each of its flavors in house Gelupo has featured in many magazines and newspapers as the best place to get Ice-cream in London. Flavors change on a regular basis however some of the most popular flavors include Lavender and White Chocolate, Tiramisu, Ricotta and Sour Cherry.

Source: http://www.gelupo.com/

Jetting off to find the best ice cream or just to have a great time? Don’t forget to cover you and your family with comprehensive travel insurance. Click here to find out more about our policy or contact us today on 0333 323 0090 to speak to a member of our Specialist Team.  

Want to recommend a great ice cream parlor that you have visited? Send us a tweet to @QuestorIns

A Guide to Hitting the Slopes for Beginners

Date Created: 02 November 2016 by Kim Coppins

Skiing and snowboarding can be great fun, however it can be dangerous without an understanding of the mountains, a couple of safety rules and some basic etiquette. Whether it be skiing for the first time or you are relatively new to the ski scene, skiing can be over whelming and in some cases quite nerve wrecking. Take a look below at some simple tips to help you feel more confident and relaxed about hitting the slopes for the first time.

Be PrepareSkid

Before you leave be prepared and do some research on your chosen destination. Find out useful information such as contact details for your accommodation, information regarding your travel insurance policy and local emergency contact details.

Get Active

The more active you are before your holiday, the easier it will be to get using those skiing/snowboarding muscles. To make the most of your skiing experience we recommend improving your activity level before travelling so you aren’t as worn out when you start.

What to Wear

When visiting the mountains it’s important to wear lots of layers to keep you well insulated and warm. When choosing clothing make sure to look for clothing which will keep you warm, let your skin breath as well as being waterproof. Take a look below at some examples of the items you may need to pack:

  • Base layer such as thermal under where
  • Mid layer e.g. long sleeve top and leggings
  • Ski Jacket and trousers or salopettes
  • Warm socks
  • Gloves
  • Hat
  • Scarf or gullet
  • Helmet
  • Goggles/ Sunglasses

Equipment

Whether you choose to ski or snowboard, equipment is very important. Winter sports equipment can often be expensive, especially if you are not sure how often you will be going or even if winter sports is your thing. The good thing is you can hire equipment at your chosen destination, this way you will get to try the equipment as well as not have to worry about travelling to your destination with a bulky set of skis or snowboard. When selecting hire equipment, ensure that they are the correct size for you and that they are well serviced with no visible damage.

It is important to take care and not rush when selecting a pair of ski boots, you will be wearing these four your duriation, so it is important to not grab the first pair you find. Whether you choose to hire a pair of boots or purchase yourself a pair, try on a few and see what feels comfortable. To know if your boots fit correctly attempt the below:

  • Bend your knees and then try to lift each heel of the ground
  • Move each foot putting your heel then toes to the ground. Make sure to take note if your foot is moving to the front and back of the boot.

If your feet move during any of the above tests it means your boots do not fit correctly. Even the smallest amount of movement can cause you problems and discomfort during your trip.

Training

Don’t just jump in! Make sure you book some lessons with a professional instructor to teach you technique and safety. If you are looking at skiing with some more experienced friends, try to arrive early so you can get a few lessons in before they arrive. Don’t push yourself too hard as you will be putting yourself at risk, travelling as fast as you can and attempting difficult ski runs can negatively affect your confidence at the least.

Never Travel Alone

A top safety tip is to never travel alone and carry the emergency contact numbers on your mobile. This way you can look out for each other and if one of you do happen to get in to trouble you will be much safer together and more prepared.

Travel Insurance

Our final tip for both skiing and snowboarding is to make sure you have travel insurance which covers the winter sports you plan to take part in. Not every travel insurance covers winter sports as standard, therefore it’s important to make sure you are covered so you are not left with large expenses if you unfortunately require to make a claim.  

Thinking about hitting the slopes for the first time? At Questor Insurance we offer annual and daily winter sports travel cover for affordable prices. Want to find out more about Questor Insurance winter sports cover click here to visit our website or contact us on 0333 323 0090.

How much will £10 buy you around the world

Date Created: 18 July 2016 by Kim Coppins

Ever wondered how much £10 will buy you around the world? International Currency Exchange recently conducted some research to find out exactly how much some of the daily essentials will cost you in each country. Take a look below to see how many of the daily essentials you can purchase with just £10 around the world.

 

Country

No. of 1 pint bottles of milks

No. 200ml bottles of Water

No. Bottles of Sun cream

No. 300ml bottles of Beer

Austria

9.4

14.2

0.5

3.8

Australia

12.6

10.3

1

2.5

Canada

8.9

6.4

1.8

3.3

Denmark

14.8

10.3

0.6

2.1

India

22.7

35.5

1.9

11.2

Japan

8.8

10.6

2.8

2.7

Poland

22.7

30.1

1.2

7.9

Mexico

17

23.3

1.3

10.2

New Zealand

8.2

6

1

3.2

South Africa

17.6

13.9

1.4

10

Thailand

10.6

23.6

3.7

7.1

United Arab Emirates

9.1

3.5

1

1.6

United Kingdom

11.1

11.2

0.9

3.2

United States

15.1

11.4

1.4

3.5

Vietnam

10.1

19.4

2

21.7

Saving
*Data sourced from international currency exchange

  • Often buy milk on your travels? The Most expensive destination to purchase milk is New Zealand, where you are able to buy only 8.2 pints of milk compared to being able to buy a staggering 22.7 pints of milk from India and Poland.
  • The cheapest country for purchasing water is India, where you are able to purchase 35.5 bottles of water for just £10. The United Arab of emirates costs 10 times more thank India as you are only able to purchase 3.5 bottles of water for £10.
  • Forgot to pack your sun cream? This isn’t a problem as in many countries around the world replacement sun cream is cheaper to purchase than in the UK. The most expensive places to purchase sun cream include Austria and Denmark where it will cost you more than £10 to purchase a bottle.
  • The cost of a beer is significantly more expensive in some countries compared to others, while in the UK, on average you can purchase 3.2 beers for £10 which sets a general average across many countries. If you are looking to purchase a round of beers for your friends we would recommend going to Vietnam where you are able purchase a shocking 21.7 beers for only £10.

Tell us about your favorite travel destinations and how you get the best deal by tweeting us @Questoins

Picking your summer family holiday? Make sure your family is covered with comprehensive travel insurance on your travels. Click here for more information on our travel insurance policy or call us today on 0333 323 0090

 

Source:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-3586787/What-10-buys-world-revealed-tenner-TWENTY-bottles-beer-Vietnam-eight-Big-Macs-India.html

https://www.iceplc.com/?gclid=Cj0KEQjw4J-6BRD3h_KIoqijwvkBEiQAfcPiBfKqy_yv-iLl72WtxHyrp5KSivFp6MrGnP-cCmKLYK4aAkIF8P8HAQ

Jungle & Rainforest Adventures

Date Created: 08 April 2016 by Kim Coppins

JungleWith the new release of the children’s classic The Jungle Book arriving in cinemas within the next few days, at Questor Insurance we thought we would get in to the spirit by finding some of the most exciting jungles and rainforests around the world.

Darien National Park

Located in Central America, Darien National Park became a World Heritage site in 1982. The site is 575,000 hectares and spans across Panama stopping at the Colombian border. Consisting of a range of terrains and habitats including sandy beaches, rocky coastlines, swamps and tropical rainforests, it’s really letting you experience the best a jungle has to offer. Within the National park you will get the chance to see a number of plants and wildlife, some of which has been spotted within the park include the Guatemalan Black Howler, Night Monkey, Black Headed Spider Monkey, Capybara, Harpy Eagle and the American Crocodile.

Unlike other jungles and national parks two Indian tribes reside in the park. The tribes are welcoming to visitors and enjoy sharing their way of life, so why not swing by and say hello.

Danum Valley

Located in Malaysia, Danum Valley has been a conservation area since 1995. The forest boasts a range of extraordinary wildlife including Orangutans, Gibbons, Mousedeer, Clouded Leopards and East Sumatran Rhinoceros. The jungle is perfect for those looking to get back to nature and really enjoy what the forest has to offer, some of the activities which can take place within the forest includes jungle treks, wild river swimming, tours of the jungle and watching the local birds and wildlife.

The Congo Jungle

There are many small jungles around Africa to visit, each one with their own unique charms. The Congo Jungle is by far the largest and most famous jungle within Africa. The Congo is relatively undisturbed by tourists receiving few visitors each year, making it perfect for those ready for an adventure of a life time and ready to venture to the unknown.

Love wildlife and getting close to what nature has to offer? The Congo is home to a number of exciting animals both large and small, including Elephants, Lions, Giraffe, Rhino, Gorillas, and Chimpanzees to name just a few.

*When visiting the Congo we recommend hiring a local guide to ensure you don’t get lost and keep safe during your trip.  

Things to remember when traveling to a jungle or rainforest:

  • Ensure you have the correct vaccinations before your travels
  • Speak with your healthcare provider about preventive mediation such a malaria tablets (this needs to be at least 3 weeks before your trip)
  • Hire a guide so you don’t get lost in the jungle!
  • Keep those pesky mosquitos away by packing insect repellent and sleeping nets
  • Carry a bottle of hand sanitiser and use it regularly
  • Wear a high factor sun cream
  • Stick together and always look out for your fellow travellers
  • If you are pregnant always check your travel plans with your health care provider
  • Always check FCO and government for updates and advice before traveling

Finally it is important to remember that rainforests and jungles are endangered therefore must be visited with care and compassion to the environment, by doing this you will get a lot more out of your trip.

Considering booking a jungle adventure? Make sure you and your friends are covered with comprehensive travel insurance that you can trust. Click here for your travel insurance quotation today or contact us on to speak to a member of the team.

Have you visited a jungle recently? Why not send us your holiday snaps to @Questorins

Source:

http://www.worldreviewer.com/travel-guides/rainforest/
https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

 

Pet Friendly Holiday Destinations

Date Created: 04 March 2016 by Kim Coppins

Dog Car ResizeAt Questor Insurance we know how important it is to choose the right holiday for the whole family, that’s right we mean your fury friends as well. For pet fanatics going on holiday without your beloved cat or dog can be heart breaking, and quite honestly it’s no fun without them. That’s why we have put together a list of pet perfect destinations.

UK

The UK is one of the best places to take a pet on holiday, there are no long flights, a selection of pet friendly accommodation and your pet won’t require extra inoculations or a passport. When it comes to holidaying with your pet in the UK there are a large range of accommodation options available including hotels, caravans, cottages and apartments. An example of a holiday company which welcomes dogs during your stay is Centre Parcs, you can choose from 5 locations around the UK all boasting a wide range of activities such as cycling, swimming, walking, clay pigeon shooting and tennis.

Source: http://www.centerparcs.co.uk/short-break-type/breaks-with-your-dog

Europe

Why should only you have all the fun travelling the world when there are many places across Europe which welcome holidaying pets? Choosing a destination in Europe can come with reduced travel stress, as the travel time is often shorter and there are many travel options available. If you or your pet aren’t keen on flying you can always choose to travel via ferry. Brittany Ferries help by packaging pet friendly holidays in France, Portugal and Spain.

Source: http://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/holidays/pet-friendly

America

Traveling to America? There are many pet friendly hotels which you can book while traveling around America. Our favourites are the Kimpton Hotels which welcome pets of all sizes for no extra charge in there boutique hotels across 32 city’s. When bringing a pet to a Kimpton Hotel a pet bed and feeding bowls are provided as standard, you will also be surprised to find pet snacks available around the hotel.

Source: https://www.kimptonhotels.com/blog/?s=pet

Camping

If you can’t find a pet friendly hotel at your desired destination you can always get back to nature and camp. This way you will be able to do all the fun activities you have planned without having to ditch your 4 legged friend.

 

Travelling with a pet can be rewarding but doesn’t come without its stresses, take a look below for our top pet travel tips.

Top pet travel tips:

  1. Ensure your pet meets all immigration and inoculation guidelines

  2. Skip your pets meal prior to any flights

  3. Exercise your pet prior to the flight – they will be more likely to relax and sleep

  4. Always check with a vet to ensure your pet is fit to travel

  5. Always have a list of emergency vets at your destination

If you are looking for pet a friendly holiday or day out within the UK or Europe, the below website offers great information on pet friendly holiday parks, pubs, days out and accommodation: http://www.dogpeople.co.uk/dog-friendly-map 

Questor Insurance standard travel insurance includes pet care up to the value of £300, covering injury, illness and additional boarding or kennelling expenses incurred due to a delay on your planned return home. For more information or a quote on our travel insurance click here or contact us on 0333 323 0090 to speak to a member of the team.

*Please note travelling pets must fully comply with immigration and inoculation guidelines.

 

Source:

https://www.ownersdirect.co.uk/info/dog-friendly-holidays

Carnival - The celebration of fancy dress costumes and parades worldwide

Date Created: 02 March 2016 by Vittoria Soddu

 

Carnival
image source: http://www.moodyscollectibles.us/new-orleans-louisiana-1947-mardi-gras-carnival-parade-vintage-linen-postcard/

Origins: The derivation of the word is uncertain, though it possibly can be traced to the medieval Latin carnem levare or carnelevarium, which means to take away or remove meat. This coincides with the fact that Carnival is the final festivity before the commencement of the 40 days of Lent, during which Roman Catholics in earlier times fasted and abstained from eating meat.
The first day of Carnival varies with both national and local traditions. In Munich in Bavaria the Carnival season, there called Fasching, begins the day of the Epiphany  (January 6), while in Cologne it begins on November 11 at 11:11 am (11th month, day, hour, and minute). In France the celebration is restricted to Shrove Tuesday (the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday) and to Mi-carème (the Thursday of the third week of Lent). More generally, the commencement date is the Quinquagesima Sunday (the Sunday before Ash Wednesday), and the termination is Shrove Tuesday.
source: http://www.britannica.com/topic/Carnival-pre-Lent-festival

10 Spectacular Carnivals Worldwide:

(USA) New Orleans Since its early days in New Orleans in the early 18th century, Mardi Gras has grown to colossal proportions and includes several familiar traditions, like bead throwing, mask wearing and coconut painting, that are widely practiced today but whose origins may have been forgotten. The tradition of bead throwing starts with their original colours. The color of the beads was determined by the king of the first daytime Carnival in 1872. He wanted the colours to be “royal” colours – purple for justice, gold for power and green for faith. The beads were originally made of glass, which, as you can imagine, weren’t the best for tossing around. It wasn’t until the beads were made of plastic that throwing them really became a staple of Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

source: http://www.ibtimes.com/mardi-gras-history-facts-real-meaning-behind-these-5-fat-tuesday-traditions-1558852

Basil(Switzerland) Basil The Morgenstreich is a major and spectacular event that starts the Basel Carnival: the Fasnacht. The Morgenstreich is a procession of lanterns held the Monday following Ash Wednesday with some 200 large lanterns forming the structure of the parade. True works of art, they evoke in a satirical and humorous way the major themes of the year. A peculiarity of Fasnacht is the badge named “Plakette”, a kind of ticket to the Carnival of Basel. It is not mandatory to buy it, but its acquisition is very popular because the money from the sale is used to pay a large share of the costs of the parades.
 
source: http://best-of-upper-rhine.com/2014/02/08/do-not-miss-basel-carnival-and-the-morgenstreich-update-2014/

(Brazil) Rio de Janeiro The birth of samba music in the city played a crucial role in the formation of what are considered contemporary Carnival celebrations in Rio. Over the years, the numbers of samba schools and spectators increased significantly. They grew so much that in 1983 the famous Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer was commissioned to build the Sambódromo as a permanent site for the competitive parade. The top twelve samba schools are known as the Special Group and they compete in the Sambódromo on the final two days of carnival for the championship. The competition is broadcast live in Brazil and is increasingly televised internationally.

sources: http://riotimesonline.com/brazil-news/rio-entertainment/carnival-in-rio-a-short-history/#

Venice(Italy) Venice The Venice Carnival is the most internationally known in Italy, as well as being one of the oldest. This congregation of masked people began in the 15th century, but the tradition can be traced back to the beginning of the 14th Century. During Carnival the streets of Venice were full of people in masks, and no differentiation could be made between nobility and the common people. Generally, the costume worn was a cloak with a long-nosed mask. Also popular were masked couples, where a man and a woman would dress as allegorical characters. Hiding personal identities was accepted by the "moral in kidding" of the aristocracy as well as by the interclassism Venice was founding its integrity of people on.

source: http://venicexplorer.net/carnevale-di-venezia/index.php?hlangs=en

(India) Goa Carnival was introduced by the Portuguese who ruled over Goa for over five hundred years, it is peculiar to Goa as it is not a celebrated festivity anywhere else in India. It saw a moment of decline in Goa in the last few years of Portuguese rule, but its revival with the Liberation of Goa provided a boost to its tourism. It is held in February for three days and nights, when the legendary King Momo takes over the state and the streets come alive with music and colours. Then begins the weeklong event, which is a time of unbridled festivity and merry-making, celebrated since the 18th Century.

source: http://www.goaholidayhomes.com/information/carnival-in-goa.html

(Trinidad and Tobago) Trinidad Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago is one of grandeur, colour, revelry, rhythm, and gaiety. Evolving over the past two centuries from an elegant, exclusive affair to a truly all-inclusive national festival, it is by far the most spectacular event on the nation’s calendar. Although a major part of the Trinidad Carnival mystique lies in its unique ability to bring people of diverse backgrounds together in harmonious circumstances, the festival was not born to such noble pursuits. From the inception of street parades in 1839 and for more than 100 years thereafter, the celebration flowed in two distinctly different social streams - upper and lower classes.

source: http://www.nalis.gov.tt/Research/SubjectGuide/Carnival/tabid/105/Default.aspx?PageContentMode=1

(Germany) Cologne The infamous Rose Monday Parade is the climax of Cologne’s Carnival celebrations. It’s a colourful festival that features 120 marching bands and 74 intricate floats, traditionally used to poke fun at current political and social issues. Over 1,000,000 people gather in costume to watch the parade. Expect to have many flowers and sweets (Strubjer and Kanelle) as they are tossed from the floats during the parade, be sure to arrive early and pick a good spot to watch the parade!

source: http://www.festivalwalker.com/4584/cologne-carnival-germany.html

Binche(Belgium) Binche Belgium's most famous carnival in the small town of Binche attracts thousands of visitors annually. This colourful event, named a UNESCO Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, is a must see event. Dating back to the 14th century, it is most famous for its parade of Gilles on Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday). The Gilles of Binche are performers disguised with masks, red costumes and wooden clogs and must conform to a set of rules: they must be born in Binche, can only come out on Mardi Gras, need to be guided by a drummer at all times and are not allowed to sit down or get drunk in public. On Mardi Gras, they meet on the Grand Place of Binche dancing with brooms to the sound of drums to chase away the cold and evil spirits, then march through the town throwing oranges at the public, a symbol of the coming of spring.

source: http://www.visitbelgium.com/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=10&cntnt01returnid=109

(Bolivia) Oruro Listed by Unesco as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, Bolivia’s largest annual celebration is a massive event said to draw in around 400,000 people. Its centrepiece is La Diablada, the ‘Dance of the Devils’, an extraordinary parade that showcases demonic dancers in extravagant costumes.

source: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/bolivia/the-southwest/oruro/travel-tips-and-articles/76305

(Spain) Tenerife The locals take their partying very seriously indeed - in Tenerife Carnival goes on for over a month, bookended by the presentation of the candidates to be Queen of the Carnival to the crowning of the winner. In between there are parades, dances, concerts, fireworks and lots of pretty people in crazy costumes. Every year more than half a million people travel to Tenerife to join in the party that closes in style with a 24-hour party...and setting fire to a giant papier maché sardine.

source: http://www.skyscanner.net/news/15-worlds-best-carnivals

Packing Fails and How to Avoid Them

Date Created: 18 August 2016 by Kim Coppins

PackingPacking fails can happen to the most experienced of travellers. Many of us have been unpacking our holiday suitcases to find an unexpected scene of shampoo or sun cream smeared across our luggage. Take a look below at our in-house top travel tips to help you have a perfectly packed holiday.

Remember The Key – Padlocking your luggage is often a great idea and gives you peace of mind that your luggage will stay secure throughout your journey. However, forgetting the key to your luggage will leave you frustrated and having to find a way of having the lock cut from your possessions.

Beer Bottles – Take care when packing beer bottles and cans within your luggage, the pressure of the flight can release the bottle caps and split cans (this has also been known to happen during car journeys where the luggage has been handled heavily). Opening your suitcase to be greeted with the smell of beer is not overly pleasant neither is finding your clothes and books bathed in beer. We recommend if you do chose to pack a tipple or two make sure they are packed in sealable freezer bags to reduce the amount of spillage.

Toiletries and Beauty Products – To avoid leakage of liquid items it is best to pack them in a sealable bag and in a separate compartment within your luggage, It’s surprising how many toiletry items can stain clothing!

Perfume – Pack your perfume with your toiletries as perfume bottles have a tendency of breaking and leaking during flights. The only upside to leaked perfume is your clothes and bag will smell great for the entire holiday and possibly longer.

Suitcase – Always check the structural integrity of your luggage – there is nothing worse than lost luggage due the suitcase breaking open or the handle falling off during the loading process (yes that actually happened to a Questor Insurance employee).

Sharp Items – Take care when packing sharp items, they can damage clothing and other items within your luggage.

Vitamins and Medication – Always pack your vitamins and medication with as much documentation as possible and with all your other medical supplies. Packing tablets in clever space saving locations such as in your shoes or in your glasses case may end up alerting authorities of suspicious items within your luggage.

Souvenirs- Finally if you’re planning to bring back a few souvenirs make sure you leave room in your luggage before jetting off!

Packing for your summer getaway? Make sure Travel Insurance is at the top of your packing list. With a Questor Insurance Travel policy, depending on your travel needs you can choose from either a daily or annual policy. For more information click here or contact us on 0333 323 0090

Have you experienced any packing fails this summer? Tweet them to us @Questorins

Easter Eggs - paint them, hide them, eat them, collect them!

Date Created: 21 March 2016 by Vittoria Soddu

easter egg

image source: http://glutopiagf.com/2015/03/31/which-easter-eggs-are-gluten-free/

Brightly decorated eggs, chocolate eggs and egg hunts have become integral to the celebration of Easter today. Eggs symbolise fertility and new life, and the ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and Persians all used dyed eggs in their spring celebrations. It was only natural that the tradition be incorporated into the Christian holiday, which also focuses on rebirth and renewal.

The long tradition of hand-painted eggs:

Decorating and colouring eggs for Easter was a common custom in England in the middle ages. Eggs were brightly coloured to mimic the new, fresh colours of spring. The practice of decorating eggs was made even more famous by King Edward Iof England who ordered 450 eggs to be gold-leafed and coloured for Easter gifts in 1290.

source: http://resources.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/customs/easter/eggs.html

The Easter egg hunt:

Easter Egg Hunting began in America when German immigrants brought their Osterhase tradition to Pennsylvania in the 1700s. The festivity soon spread across the nation, and baskets replaced nests. Eventually, the game evolved into a treasure hunt, and the prizes expanded from just hard-boiled eggs to include chocolate, candy, toys and coins. In many families it is the “Easter Bunny”that leaves a basket filled with gifts, not just eggs to find.

source: http://www.ehow.com/about_5209394_history-easter-egg-hunting.html

The first Easter eggs made of chocolate:

How did chocolate get involved? It's impossible to say who invented the chocolate egg, but these confections started appearing in France and Germany in the early 19th century. The first were solid dark chocolate eggs that tasted grainy, coarse and bitter.The truth is, chocolate wasn't really all that great back then, it contained around 50 percent fat, which made it incredibly hard to digest. Confectioners were forced to add various starches and other ingredients to make chocolate more palatable. In 1866, however, the Cadbury chocolate company imported a revolutionary press that cut out half the candy's fat content, making a smoother, better-tasting form of dark chocolate. In 1875, Cadbury released its first line of chocolate Easter eggs, which were hollow and filled with sugared almonds.

source: http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/menus/chocolate-egg.htm

The 50 Imperial Easter eggs of Russia: The first “Fabergé egg” - first of a limited number of jewelled eggs created by artist Peter Carl Fabergé - was presented by Tsar Alexander III to his wife, the Empress Maria Fedorovna, at Easter in 1885, an annual tradition which his son Nicholas II followed with eggs for his mother and wife each Easter Sunday.Of the approximately 50 eggs made for the Russian Imperial family between 1885 and 1916, 42 are known to have survived as precious collectable art works.

source: http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-22956394

8th of March - the celebration of women’s rights

Date Created: 08 March 2016 by Vittoria Soddu

Womens Day

International Women's Day is celebrated in many countries around the world. It is a day when women are recognised for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political.

It began as a massive protest by women who wanted better working conditions, better pay, and the right to vote. Since its origin as a form of protest by women requesting better working conditions, it has become an official holiday in over 25 countries. It has evolved into a day of awareness on women's progress in the ongoing fight for gender equality, and a day to address issues across the globe that directly affect women.

sources: http://www.bustle.com/articles/146195-what-is-international-womens-day-8-things-you-need-to-know

http://www.un.org/en/events/womensday/history.shtml

The history of International Women’s Day has many roots. It has been claimed that it began as a day of memory and protest following a tragic event in New York in 1908. In early March of that year, the workers (all women) at a textile factory went on strike to protest the substandard conditions in which they were forced to work. On the 8th, the owner blocked all of the exits to the factory and set the building on fire. The 129 factory workers trapped inside, for the most part Italian immigrants, all died.

In 1910, a woman called Clara Zetkin – leader of the ‘women’s office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany – tabled the idea of an International Women’s Day. She suggested that every country should celebrate women on one day every year to push for their demands.

A conference of more than 100 women from 17 countries agreed to her suggestion and IWD was formed. In 1911, it was celebrated for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on March 19th.

sources: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/international-womens-day-2016-everything-you-need-to-know-about/

http://www.charmingitaly.com/article/international-womens-day

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is: Pledge for Parity, as progress towards gender parity has slowed in many places. The World Economic Forum predicted in 2014 that it would take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity. Then one year later in 2015, they estimated that a slowdown in the already glacial pace of progress meant the gender gap wouldn’t close until 2133. This year’s 5 pledges:

  1. Help women and girls achieve their ambitions
  2. Challenge conscious and unconscious bias
  3. Call for gender-balanced leadership
  4. Value women and men's contributions equally
  5. Create inclusive, flexible cultures

sources: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/international-womens-day-2016-theme-history-everything-you-need-know-1546632

http://www.internationalwomensday.com/Pledge

 

Find An Official IWD Event Near You:

http://www.internationalwomensday.com/Explore

Leap Years - the reason behind February the 29th

Date Created: 29 February 2016 by Vittoria Soddu

Leap Year2016 is a “Leap Year”, which means that it has 366 days instead of the usual 365 days that an ordinary year has. An extra day is added in a leap year  - February 29 - which is called an intercalary day or a leap day.

Leap years are added to the calendar to keep it working properly. The 365 days of the annual calendar are meant to match up with the solar year. A solar year is the time it takes the Earth to complete its orbit around the Sun — about one year. But the actual time it takes for the Earth to travel around the Sun is in fact a little longer than that - about 365 ¼ days (365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds, to be precise). So the calendar and the solar year don't completely match. It may not seem like much of a difference, but after a few years those extra quarter days in the solar year begin to add up. After four years, for example, the four extra quarter days would make the calendar fall behind the solar year by about a day. Over the course of a century, the difference between the solar year and the calendar year would become 25 days! So every four years a leap day is added to the calendar to allow it to catch up to the solar year.

The Egyptians were the first to come up with the idea of adding a leap day once every four years to keep the calendar in sync with the solar year. Later, the Romans adopted this solution for their calendar, and they became the first to designate February 29th as the leap day.


source: http://www.infoplease.com/spot/leapyear2.html 
 

5 Interesting Facts about Leap Years:

1. Women can make a marriage proposition

Since the 19th century, tradition has stated that women have the right to propose to a man on February 29th. In times where gender roles were more concrete than today, this was considered a very unique and bold thing to do. The practice dates all the way back to 1288 where the tradition was first observed in Scotland. In recent years, the tradition has become more playful with the concept of the Sadie Hawkings Dance, where young girls ask boys to accompany them to the event.

source: http://www.vpcalendar.net/5-interesting-things-about-leap-years.html


2. The odds of being born a “leaper”

There is 1 in 1,461 chance of being born on February 29th and those special people are referred to as "leapers" and are said to possess unique talents and even special powers! If you are born on February 29th, then most countries consider either 28th February or March 1st as the official day. However, purists choose to stick to the 29th February and only celebrate once every 4 years, keeping young!

source: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/leap-year-2016-heres-what-it-means-all-you-need-know-1545038


3. The leap year capital of the world in Texas

In 1988, the town of Anthony, Texas, with a population of 8000, declared itself to be the  “Leap Year Capital of the World”. Its justification for this title was that two members of its Chamber of Commerce were born on leap year days. But in a moment of honesty a member of the Chamber also admitted that, "We just voted arbitrarily to name this as the leap year capital of the world because no one else has.”

source: http://weirdnews.about.com/od/eccentricalmanac/tp/5-Weird-Facts-About-Leap-Years.htm


4. La Bougie du Sapeur - a French newspaper for the 29th of February

At newsstands across France on February 29th, readers delight to a humorous broadsheet published every four years on leap day, they look forward to their copy of La Bougie du Sapeur, published since 1980. It is a satirical journal, now in its ninth edition. Its title, which translates as "sapper's candle," is taken from an old French comic-book figure who was born on the fateful last day of February.

source: http://www.npr.org/2012/02/29/147572689/for-leap-day-only-a-rare-newspaper-goes-to-print


5. Leap Year - superstitions and rhymes

In many southern European countries leap years are simply considered as harbingers of bad luck, particularly when it comes to farming and fertility. A whole host of Italian proverbs such as anno bisesto, anno funesto (literally leap year, doom year) warn against planning certain activities for a leap year, for example anno che bisesta non si sposa e non s’innesta (in a leap year you don’t get married and you don’t graft), since anno bisesto tutte le donne senza sesto (in a leap year, women are erratic). Oddly enough, however, coins minted during a leap year are considered to be lucky charms!

source: http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2012/02/leap-years-around-the-world/

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