Getting the right travel insurance is essential for a safe trip

It’s nearly the summer holidays where millions of us will be donning our t-shirts and shorts and heading somewhere warm with family and friends, but there is one travel accessory that is often overlooked and could save you a huge amount of money – travel insurance.

Travel insurers are notorious for picking apart a claim to find some reason to reject it, this leaves a lot of people each year thousands of pounds out of pocket and is why you should always make sure that your travel insurance is the right policy for you and protects you thoroughly in case the worst happens.

An extraordinary 6 out of 10 people don’t even read insurance policies terms and conditions before signing, and many of them don’t get the right cover or disclose all the relevant information.

Here is some information about why insurance companies reject claims and how to make sure that you are fully covered for your holiday.

Failure to disclose pre-existing medical conditions and current medication is one of the main reasons why a claim will be rejected. It is vital to disclose any medical condition however minor or you could be stranded abroad and have to pay your own medical bills which could run into thousands.

Check that your destination is covered by your policy, as some European polices include Turkey and some don’t. If you’re travelling to multiple countries during your holiday it is also important that your policy covers those areas too.

Checking that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to do during your holiday including hazardous sports is also important. Some insurer may also reject a claim if you hire a scooter so always check the small print.

Watch what you drink – your insurer may refuse to pay out if you are drunk and have an accident or lose your valuables, so drink in moderation and make sure your valuables are locked up safe when not in use.

If your belongings are lost or stolen during your trip then it is important to fill out a police report, your insurer will want to see a written report before they will pay out a claim.

So, as long as you take these tips into account when taking out a travel insurance policy you should be covered for your summer holiday.

family holidayPicture: Colin Bowern

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Skiing with some friends this winter

Me and my wife are into skiing and like to get away each winter to get out in the open and soak up the après-ski, so when our friends said that they wanted to get away this winter we thought it would be a great idea.

We’re thinking of heading to Austria this time as we’ve spent a lot of time in France and Switzerland before and fancied a change. Saalbach looks like a great resort and is only a 90 minute drive from Salzburg airport. It is primarily geared towards intermediate skiers, which is great for us and it seems to have lots of amenities at your fingertips.

We usually hire our skiing equipment when we get to our resort, but seen as we own our own (pretty expensive) skis now I thought we could use Send My Bag to courier them for us. I’m actually using this company for my golfing trip in June and they were really cheap compared to what the airline was charging to take my own clubs.

Send My Bag pick up your luggage from your house and deliver it to your hotel, which is great because you don’t have to faff about lugging it all to and from the airport and transferring it to the hotel yourself.

It should be a good trip and would be nice to spend it with my wife and friends.

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Golfing holiday with some old work colleagues

Not many people know this, but back when I worked in London I used to play a lot of golf (yes London has golf courses too!), we mainly used it as an excuse to get out of the office and entertain our clients, but I actually got quite good at it.

A few of my old work colleagues are heading to Portugal in June for a golfing getaway and have asked if I’d like to go. To be honest I haven’t played for a while, but my clubs are tucked away neatly in the attic for safe keeping.

Jeff, who is organising the trip, said that instead of paying the ludicrous prices the airline charges for taking golf clubs abroad, that we should use Send My Bag instead. Send My Bag transports your luggage from your door to your destination and is specially designed to take heavy or large items such as golf clubs, skiing equipment and musical instruments that would usually cost a fortune to take on the plane with you.

I think this is a great idea as all you need to take with you is your hand luggage, meaning that we don’t have to hire numerous taxis to get us to our hotel just to fit our golf clubs in. Prices are really reasonable too, costing just £30 for items up to 25Kgs. You can also send multiple bags and items making it perfect for holiday groups like ours.

The only thing I have to do now is dig out my golfs clubs and hit the local course because I don’t want to be shown up do I.


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A blast from a holiday past!

I came across a news article today about a survey of holiday home guest’s bad behaviour and it got me thinking about the time when me and my friends went on John’s stag do in Portugal.

We had booked a villa for the weekend just outside Lisbon and turned up at the holiday agent’s office to pick up the key. The girl behind the desk said that the villa wasn’t ready as they had had a hen group staying during the week and they had left it in a mess, but there was a team of cleaners cleaning it up as we spoke.

Understandably a bit peeved off that the villa wasn’t ready we decided to head to one of the local watering holes for a quick drink. That drink turned into a 4 hour drinking session until we were able to get the key and we stumbled down the road with our cases in tow to the villa.

No sooner than we had opened the door, the stag (John) decided that he wasn’t feeling too good and was sick on the floor. Not a big deal you say, although he had been drinking Vodka and Red Bull all afternoon and decided to choose a nice looking white rug to be sick on.

One of our more sober friends started to clean the mess up, but it soon became apparent that the Red Bull wasn’t going to go in a hurry. The next day we headed to the hypermarket and along with a healthy supply of alcohol and snacks we also bought some cleaning products, Marigold’s and some scrubbers.

Again we tried to remove the now dry Red Bull from the rug to no avail. We even made it into a drinking game where whoever lost had to scrub the rug for 5 minutes (as well as having a penalty drink).

The weekend came and went, and it was time to check out. We admitted that we’d stained the rug to the receptionist and headed home. We didn’t think anything of it for a month or so until the best man (James) got a bill for a new rug in the post. €80 wasn’t too bad between seven of us and we still laugh about that holiday today; John however, has not touched a drop of Red Bull since, lol.

All this talk about holidays has got me thinking about this years; we’re heading to the US to drive Route 66.

Have you got any funny holiday stories? Tell us below.

Vodka and Red Bull

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Busy Sundays

As its getting close to Christmas, the wife made me crawl about the dusty cold loft to find the Christmas decorations, drag them all down and move furniture around out living room to so we could put our tree up. I also had to help clean the house as my wife had so much on, so I couldn’t play on my Xbox. After spending most of the day doing things I didn’t like I was glad to get some rest bite last night.

As you know we are planning a big holiday next year. We are looking at getting it booked either just after Christmas or in the New Year when there are some offers on. I think we are decided on the US, just not sure where about (not an easy decision as it’s a huge country). I had a look last night at possible destinations. We will be doing a fly drive holiday as we want to see as much as possible and the best way to do that is with a car. We narrowed it down to The Atlantic Coast, The Pacific Coast and Route 66 last time, so we just have to decide when we are going to work out which area is best to visit.

Both my wife and I want to go different places (typical) she wants the Atlantic Coast and I want to do the Pacific Coast which leaves Route 66 as the compromise, that or we play rock, paper scissors or my wife bribes me with sex or lack of! On the plus side, it’s not looking overly expensive, because we are taking the fly drive option as hiring a car is fairly economical. I reckon over the next few years we could do all three routes and would make for a brilliant adventure. I’ve already been to the US once to Vegas with the boys and my wife and I had a stopover in Miami after the cruise.

We’ve both really enjoyed our tasters of the US and we are excited to go next year. I did have a cheeky look at seeing what it entails to live there. My preconceptions are that it’s pretty hard to get residency. In our favour we have some money to back us up, but really we would also have to be earning money out there as well to have the best chance at residency. I had a little look at the visa services offered by these guys to see how they can help you get residency in the US. They had some positive reviews but not sure if they could help, without filling out an assessment and as of yet it is all pie in the sky.

small-football.jpgOh and finally you may have thought I had forgot or didn’t notice the nice three nil win against Doncaster for Leeds! Brilliant game and fantastic result which now sees us in the playoff zone in 6th only a point behind Reading and nine behind leaders QPR. And finally our GD in up to 9 which is a pretty fantastic achievement for us. It’s filling me with confidence for the New Year, something many Leeds fans haven’t had for a long time.

We shinned throughout the whole game getting a goal in early thanks to Smith, and in the first half we had a number of good goes at the goal. The second half was slower, with Doncaster counter attacking, however that was for nothing, especially as one of their goals was decided to be rather dubiously off side. But never mind happens all the time even to us a good number! McCormack scored in the 76 minute to take his tally so far this season to 17. And then in the last few minutes Austin sealed the deal.

Our next game is on Saturday against Barnsley, they are bottom of the league however they have proved troublesome in the past. However they do seem to be struggling but then again that doesn’t mean they can’t get a win or draw past us. We are at home so that should help us a bit (crosses fingers).


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Getting in the Halloween Spirit

As it is the 31st October and Halloween, All Hallow’s Eve, Witching Hour, e.t.c. I thought I might add a playlist to get you in the frightening mood!


Tonight I will be mostly hiding out in our darkened house not answering the door to trick or treaters as I am a tight Yorkshire Man.

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