Travel Insurance Advice from the Experts

Good travel insurance is not a luxury for a few choice travellers; it is an absolute necessity for everyone. It is useful whether you need travel insurance for a worldwide trip, are a luxury tourist heading to Dubai or a family on a tour of the Caribbean. However, the specifics of insurance vary from one traveller to another depending on age, distance, area of visitation, and a host of other factors.

Travel insurance, and indeed insurance in general, is complicated. Here, the devil is in the details. Insurance companies seem to have perfected the art of impression, creating the impression that everything is simple and straightforward, only to be hit with surprises when you go to issue a claim. So make sure you always read the fine print, and ask as many questions as possible. It’s your hard earned money, so it’s your right to know.

Typically, you will get insurance divided into five major categories: medical, flight insurance, trip cancellation and interruption, baggage, and evacuation. Having several insurance covers may be an advantage or disadvantage. If, for example, you have a health cover that will take care of your health insurance even while on holiday, then you can reduce your travel insurance travel premium. However, the process of claiming and collection may be complicated. In such a case, you can opt to get a comprehensive travel insurance that will cover all the five categories. Better still, you can get this from a company that will cover and pay your claims without bothering about your other insurance covers.

Medical insurance varies largely with age. The older you are, the more expensive the insurance cover. For senior citizens, it may be better to get a comprehensive cover altogether since medical cover can be quite pricey. Also, if you have health insurance, find out if they cover you for international travel. Even if they do, you may still opt for a travel health insurance. With normal health insurance, you will most likely have to pay for your bills and claim later on, a problem if you are having a costly procedure abroad.

Flight insurance is sounds like a good idea. However, when you consider that only 1% of flights worldwide crash, the statistical probability is very low. My advice: don’t bother. Baggage insurance is best bought as part of the comprehensive insurance cover. Though, check whether your household cover also insures your items while on holiday. Also ensure that your baggage is covered while on rail. If you have extra valuable luggage, ensure that whatever insurance you are on comprehensively covers it. Evacuation is mostly covered only by travel insurance. Ensure that you read the fine print though, and find out whether it will cover your off-piste ski activity in the Alps.

Trip cancellation and interruption insurance is particularly useful if you have to pay large sums upfront for the trip beforehand. In such cases, you will end up with considerable financial loss if your trip is interrupted while on holiday or you have to cancel before you start. However, if you are backpacking without having to make any financial commitments beforehand, then this shouldn't bother you. Again, read the fine print to find out what consists of a valid reason for breaking the trip. 

Amazing Sights to See On a Tour of the UK

United Kingdom is blessed with an extra ordinary wealth of sights and its surprising landscapes keep thrilling. With vibrant cities, lush countryside, stoic castles, and beautiful beaches, it is indeed an amazing blend of the past and the present.

The Mysterious Ruined Castles of Wiltshire
The history of castles in the UK is amazing, they are not only historical but a presentation of a mysterious past that existed: a place where people lived and worshipped, banding together under the protection of powerful Lords and Kings.

Old Sarum is a monumental Iron Age hill fort that is spectacularly intriguing and believed to have been occupied by the Romans and the Saxons. Sarum rose to fame in a different era, when aristocrats controlled the number of parliamentarians. The amazing views around this place include the Salisbury Cathedral.

Another place of interest around this area is the iconic Stonehenge situated only a few meters from here. It is said to have been around for more than 5000 years. This mysterious monument has been named a UNESCO world heritage site. People visit the Stonehenge to view the sunrise and experience the times when the sun aligns systematically with it.

The Castles of Scotland And Wales
The Glamis Castles, which are well depicted by Shakespeare in his once censored book; “The Tragedy of Macbeth” show the true picture history and kings that ruled while in this castle.

Though it has a bloody history, it is the birth place of royalties such as Elizabeth Bowes the late queen mother.  A tour around the castle reveals the family chapel that witnessed the rebellious political act of 1715. The mystery of the Evil card location and the Duncan’s Hall are places that will rouse you curiosity. Enjoy the scenic nature trails, a stark contrast to the dark history of the Glamis castles.

Balmoral Castle in Scotland on the other hand is a fantasy medieval castle built for Queen Victoria and has since been passed down from royal generations to generations. It was the queen’s vacation destination and a complete opposite of the Glamis Castles. It is also indeed a beauty to behold, and is worth stopping over to enjoy a royal view.

The enduring image of well built cathedrals is a memory that lives with any tourist. Take for example the Norwich cathedral, second only in size to the Salisbury cathedral. It is huge and has stood since the 14th century, but still continues to awe present day crowds. It is largely un-spoilt built with flint rubble, mortal and limestone.

The Chester Cathedral is yet another richly historic cathedral in UK; it offers a spectacular view to anyone visiting. Relive history and experience the mysterious stories of the monks, kings and craftsmen. It has grand Norman arches, majestic gothic columns, fascinating woodcarvings from the 14th century and serene monk’s refectories’ where monks had their afternoon teas. The scrupulously neat newly replanted Cloister gardens create a relaxing atmosphere, perfect for unwinding after a busy day in the bustling city. Truly Chester is a hidden gem in the heart of the city. Enjoy its displays of modern art and its pleasant atmosphere.

 Organise your dream, tailor made UK tour with Great British Trips

3 of My Favourite Golf Holiday Resorts

Vilamoura in the Algarve
Nestled in Algarve, Portugual is one of Europe’s most popular holidaying circuits, the Vilamoura. Covering over 2,000 hectares, the scenic complex consists of beautiful pine forests, lovely swamp areas, long beach all set in a very environmentally conscious planned development. One of the features of this area is its lovely golfing scene.

Within this area are five beautiful courses, each with its own unique character and flavor. The Laguna course, designed by Joseph Lee in 1990, features a typical flat course, with lots of water hazards. Just when you think that you have got it right, another trick is poised in place. With 18 holes, you have a lot of challenges to overcome. The more recent addition, the Millennium Course was aptly built at the turn of the millennium, year 2000. It is here that you can take on a long 27 hole course, flanked by beautiful coastal pine trees. Alternatively, you can head over to the Old Course, built in 1969. This course provides timeless challenge. The first few holes are invitingly easy, before becoming more complicated as the course progresses to the 18th hole. Both Vila Sol and Pinhal present curious challenges, but it is the lengthy Victoria that aims to impress. The longest 18 hole course in Portugal, it promises to provide one of the most interesting experiences in Europe.

Gloria in Belek
Turkey’s golfing circuit comes to life at Belek. Within this short area you will find 15 golf courses, all waiting to be explored. In the Gloria Golf Resort alone, there are two world class championship 18 hole courses, as well as a smaller 9 hole course.

The courses at Gloria were designed by world renowned Michel Gayon. He devilishly set up 67 bunkers and 4 big lakes, just to add flavor to the course. Make sure your aim is straight and true, because the beautiful tree line will punish you for your errant swing. Once you have finished with your round of golf, relax at the resort’s luxurious pool. Alternatively, head over for a massage before enjoying a sumptuous round of Turkish delight. For the avid golfer, you can head down the road and sample the other 10 golf courses around the area.

Aphrodite hills in Paphos
The sunny tourist country of Cyprus is a land of myth and magic. Fall in love with the land of the goddess of love in her serene hill resort of Aphrodite Hills. Located overlooking the Mediterranean, this beautiful golf resort has attracted some of the biggest golfing names each year.

Indeed, her championship course set on a stunning 230 hectares is a beauty to behold. Experience tricky bunkers, confusing ravine areas, as well as fast greens at the resort area. Each hole opens a new chapter of challenge, as well as exciting views to reward you for you fortitude.

If you are not playing golf, head over to the resort’s world acclaimed spa, being crowned the world’s best spa in 2008. Wander about the Greco-Roman designed spa, lazying around the spacious Mediterranean resort. Alternatively, you can continue your golfing pursuits at the nearby Tsada golf course, or head over to the beautiful Secret Valley hidden between rugged red cliffs. 

Visiting Moscow: A City Full of Vitality

This is the heartbeat of Russia, a city full of creative energy where the past collides with future in a most peculiar way. Old buildings are being restored to great masterpieces, in a way that the old and deserted becomes the present and the future. It is a place known to have many billionaires, where cups of coffee are overwhelmingly expensive, and the nights are bursting with activities from the underground bars to the dynamic scenes of exclusive clubs and theaters.

The Kremlin
It is a fortified city within a city and dates back to 1147, the beginnings of Moscow itself. It is characterized by the dazzling sites of glistening onion domes, prestigious ancient churches and numerous palaces that depict the amazing history of the past eras and its rulers. Discover the hidden remnants of the Soviet era and the magnificent architecture of that regime.

The most recent building in Kremlin is the State Kremlin Palace, a magnificent glass and concrete structure with a prominent auditorium that is now used for ballet dances. The Terem Palace on the other hand is the oldest of the three Palaces at Kremlin. As earlier noted, the energetic creativity of Moscow is inevitably represented by the extraordinary interior decorations rather bellied by the remarkable exteriors.

The Red Square
The Red Square is a must see to all visitors to Russia, where are lot of Russia’s glorious history was once written. It is a historical site and has a panoramic view of the Basil Cathedral. It was used as a parading ground of the Soviet soldiers and their stone faced leaders. Though these gloomy sights no longer depict the Red Square, their places are gloriously taken by the vibrant world famous GUM departmental stores, what remains is the dominant Lenin Mausoleum .

The Basil Cathedral is a breathtaking profusion of vibrant colors and shapes. Its distinctive patterns of domes, arches, towers and cupolas each in its own hue all blend together into a dynamic work of art; it is fascinating to the eye. As you stroll round the perimeters of the Red Square, behold the beauty of this Cathedral.

The Pushkin Fine Arts Museum
Other great places to visit in Moscow are the museums; the Pushkin in Europe is only second to the Hermitage and bears collectors’ masterpieces of the Impressionist arts and Post Impressionists that won the audience of the Russians. Pushkin’s collections are also featured in other museums: The Museum of Private Collections and the Gallery of European and American Art of the 19th and 20th centuries respectively. Famous works are displayed with Rembrandts stealing the show, but Botticelli, Tiepolo and Veronese are also well represented.

Finally after enjoying the fascinating sites in Moscow enjoy the dynamic nightlife of the Muscovites, what the communists may have termed as “indecent or decadent”. The now happy moneyed Russians enjoy worldly pleasures like no other place in the world, from the less conspicuous places to the vibrant clubs. It has been termed as “a city without limits”: from dusk to dawn, anything is possible.
Book your holiday to Moscow with Exeter International

Culture and History on a Stay in a Berber Lodger: Marrakech, Morocco

Magical Morocco offers so much for everyone. One of the unique elements of Morocco can be found in its population of Berbers. Though not wholly native to Morocco, they have developed their own unique identity and culture. Having survived over several hundreds of years of invasions, wars, and harsh weather, the Berber culture is rich and ancient. It is no wonder such a joy and thrill to experience its realities when visiting Morocco.

In order to fully immerse yourself in Berber culture, consider staying at a Berber lodge in the Marrakech region. These amazing places are the perfect accommodation near Marrakech to get a true taste of Moroccan life. The facilities allow you to enjoy the beauty of the local culture, indulging in a culture that is hundreds of years old: ancient and fascinating.

The best of these lodging facilities has to be the Berber Cultural Center. This is the real, authentic definition of immersion. Here, you will meet with Mohamed’s warm and entertaining family. From the minute you step through the doors, you will experience authentic Berber hospitality from a real Berber family. Lose yourself as you learn to make authentic mint tea, and participate in normal family life, just like a real Berber. For those with families, this is a great opportunity to show your children how different cultures live. There is no Wi-Fi here, so the trappings of internet devices or world news won’t bind you. Instead, take long treks, go fetch water on a donkey, participate in making tajines for dinner and bread for breakfast, and unwind from a long day with an exciting game of cards. Make lifelong friends and experience the joys of friendly markets and neighbors.

For those keen on a little more luxury, the Maroc lodge has what you need. A short drive out of Marrakech, the lodge offers a premier Berber experience. Located on a beautiful 2 hectares, it features executive luxury pavilions, each with its own unique design. The overall design of the lodge merges Berber culture with “international objet d’art”. Unlike the Cultural Center, here you have the latest trappings of modernity: big screen TVs, heaters, large fireplaces, executive dining facilities, and high speed internet. Here, the chef conjures Berber culinary delights from freshly harvested vegetables from nearby villages and from the lodge’s own fruit and herb gardens. However, they can also whip up other world culinary selections, depending on your taste. The lodge is also strategically located to allow you explore the Berber Atlas countryside, venture into Marrakech, or even head for a ski adventure in the Oukaimden resort. More exciting is the weekly souk, a short trip from the lodge. Here you can shop for interesting and unusual souvenirs, enjoying the warmth of the local culture.

There are other beautiful Berber lodges inside the city. Like the Maroc, they feature up-scale accommodation, complete with luxury facilities, perfect for the luxury tourist. The beauty of Berber lodges is that they exhibit unique character; each room is never the same. As you are spellbound by the earthy tone structures, woody finish, and colorful mats characteristic of Berber homes, you will be in touch with an enduring culture. 

Coastal Delights on a Trip to Oban

Welcome to Oban, a popular seaside town in Scotland. With its unique geography, picturesque hill setting, and unusual history, Oban is truly a tourist’s delight. It is no wonder that every year thousands flock to the town for food, fun, and shopping.

Oban’s popularity as a seaside resort is first because of its sea food reputation. The “Seafood Capital of Scotland” offers you a gastronomic journey unrivalled in the UK. Drop by one of its many sea food restaurants and establishments for an epic experience. Book in advance where seafood is worshipped, the Seafood Temple. Here, enjoy the “Taste of Argyll”, a sample platter filled with a little bit of everything. For a stylish evening out, you can also drop by the Waterfront Fishouse Restaurant. The fresh seafood served at the establishment only rivals its open views. Alternatively, head to the Shellfish Bar for affordable seafood before dropping in at the O’Donnells Irish Pub for a feisty evening.

However, Oban is so much more than the food. A trip around the town reveals some interesting features and unusual histories. Check out McCaig’s Tower, also locally called McCaig’s folly. The structure is actually incomplete, but serves as a beautiful vantage point for romantic couples and photograph enthusiasts. Nearby lies the famous Oban BayBrewery, famous for its classic malt and scotch. I’m sure if you pop into Oban Inn you can get more than enough! Enjoy a trip to the nearby Inveraray Jail house, a unique “living” jailhouse, a must visit for family groups. Also nearby is the Dunollie Castle, a short brisk walk away from the main town. Get your blood pumping as you head on over to these famous ruins. You will be rewarded with unique views of the town, harbor, and even some of the neighboring isles.

Exploring Oban can be done in a variety of ways. You can decide to take a guided tour, or trek through the area armed with a map. Cycling is also a popular way of enjoying Oban’s sights and sounds. Ensure that you go sea diving, as well as explore the nearby Isles if you have a prolonged stay.

Oban has a lot of activity going on throughout the year. Its festivals are vibrant and memorable. The annual Argyllshire Gathering pits some of the world’s best pipers against each other, battling out for top honors. This is the highlight of the highland games, which includes the Cowal Highland Gathering, Mull Highland Games, Inveraray Highland Games, among others. Catch all this action between August and July. Also, catch the popular Oban Winter Festival, the Festival of the Sea, as well as the curious annual Highland Cattle Sale, all in Oban.

With all this activity and attractions, Oban’s hospitality industry has evolved to become very accommodative. It is much easier now to get quality accommodation in Oban. Pick between quaint B&Bs, large renovated Manors, beautiful hotels, and a host of outdoor camping options. For those that fancy, you can rent out a boat and live like a sailor throughout your stay. 

Discovering Jordan’s Hidden Beauty

Jordan is full of treasures and magical legends that will totally blow your mind. The history of Jordan includes the famous biblical sites, the brook where Jesus was baptized, and the fortress where Herod beheaded John the Baptist and the mountain top where Moses first cast his eyes to the Promised Land. It also incorporates ancient Arabic tales, as well as Roman and Crusader sights.

The beauty of Petra is stunning, from her long history to the fact that this ancient city was curved out of hard rock. It is in this place that Moses is said to have struck a rock and water gushed out. This miraculous site is known as Wadi Musa or the Valley of Moses. Over time, Wadi Musa has attracted the attention of many tourists each with a curiosity to discover or learn something from this small town.

You can describe Petra as a city in the wilderness, as it is surrounded by a massive rocky desert and many structures are curved out of the rock. These cave like structures were used by the Nabateans who were nomads and sheltered here from winds during their numerous travels.

The Dead Sea
The lifeless Dead Sea, the world’s lowest point, is another of Jordan’s most lively attraction. You need not be a swimmer to swim in the Dead Sea, the salinity of the sea is so high that no matter how much you weigh, you will remain solemnly on the surface. People flock here to rejuvenate their skin in the water’s famed mineral richness.

Choose a luxurious resort near the beach and take a dip, remember the temperatures are high and you need to carry fresh water to rehydrate your system. You can later head to the fresh water Herodus Spring to wash up the salty layer on your skin, it is absolutely free.
Bethany is a fascinating archeological site to visit while still in the Dead Sea area. Tour the River Jordan, famed for its life giving waters and also the site where Jesus was baptized.

Discover still in this area the amazing beauty of the collection of pavilions, lodges, caravanserais, forts and ruins now known as the desert castles. Some like the Al Azraq and Al Hallabat were richly decorated with marbles, frescoes and paintings and provided a comfortable haven for the Arabs in the harsh desert. The evenings in these palaces were filled with wild entertainment, festivities and wine drinking.

This is a modern Arab city and probably the greatest cultural centre in the Middle East. It is stripped between the poor down town in Eastern Amman to the exotic lifestyle of the Western Amman. With the arrival of a large number of Palestinian and Iraqi refugees, the local conservative culture has radically changed to embrace other cultures.

See the Citadel, the majestic fortress that dominates the highest hill in Amman, Jebel Al-Qalaa. Discover the spectacular sites of the Umayyad Palace, its long winding history, its strong walls and other buildings that make the Citadel. Visit the National Archeological Museum that houses a wide array of artifacts, from Dead Sea scrolls to a 6000years skull.  Jordan indeed has a lot for you to discover.

Book your holiday to Jordan with Corinthian Travel