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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Easter Holiday Rush

According to ABTA, around 1.6 million Brits will head abroad for the long Easter weekend this year instead of staying in the UK for the four day break.

The weather forecast is not looking great for the UK, so it would seem that Brits are heading abroad in search of some spring sunshine, with locations like the Canary and Balearic Islands proving most sought after. Other popular locations include Spain, Turkey, Tunisia and Florida. Travellers to these destinations will experience glorious temperatures of between 23C and 30C!

If you’re not a sun worshipper, other popular destinations include some fantastic city break locations, such as Paris, Dublin, Amsterdam, Rome and New York.

However, this mass exodus will of course have an effect on traffic and delays, for example Eurostar is predicting that 60,000 will be departing the UK over the weekend using their services, with the Channel Tunnel and ferry terminals also expecting to be very busy.

However, it would seem that air travel will be the most popular form of transportation, with over 350,000 expected to board flights at Heathrow, 200,000 from Gatwick. 120,000 from Stanstead, and 60,000 from Luton. Other regional airports are also expecting a large turnout of holidaymakers.

However, despite the number of people expected to leave the UK, staycations are remaining strong despite the weather forecast. Many who do choose to stay in the United Kingdom will apparently be heading to the sea side or to family holiday camps and parks.

Whether you’re heading abroad this Easter or planning a staycation, remember to purchase quality travel insurance to protect you and your trip over the four day weekend. For more information visit Holidaysafe.co.uk. 

Monday, 14 April 2014

What the Cow!?

At one point or another we have probably all scoffed at animal related excuses for travel delays and disruptions, for example my personal favourite was one particularly snowy day when all trains were cancelled until further notice, not because of heavy snow, but because a horse was ‘loose somewhere along the tracks’ – how does that even happen!

However, when animals cause your plane to make an emergency landing, this nuisance can become extremely distressing. 

A plane’s safety is always in the hands of the pilot, and therefore a pilot can make a May Day call at any time to request an emergency landing. The CAA record all may day calls, and some of the most serious have included low fuel reserves, terrorism, crew members falling ill and unfortunate birds being hit by the plane and potentially sucked into the engines. 

However, recently one plane was forced to make an emergency landing because of a completely different animal – a herd of cows. During a routine flight a fire alarm apparently started to sound from the deck where the group of bovines were being kept. Someone was sent to investigate and it was decided that the crew should put on their oxygen masks and head for an emergency landing at Heathrow. 

After investigation it was found that there was in fact no fire, but that the cows had probably produced so much heat and methane (a gas which traps heat), that this had started the fire alarm. 

Although we can’t protect you against overheated cows, we can step in if you face many other unforeseen holiday disasters. Visit Holidaysafe.co.uk for more information on quality travel insurance. 

Friday, 11 April 2014

What if Travel Insurance Covered…

When purchasing travel insurance, some people may laugh at the weird and wonderful things included in certain policies, for example ‘at least if I’m kidnapped I know I’ll be reimbursed for the bother!’ 

However, according to a recent survey by Go Compare it would seem that many travellers have a wish list of weird and wonderful things they wish were covered. In fact, over 40% of people wish they could claim for accommodation which didn't live up to expectations, over 1/3 wish they could claim for inedible food and around 15% would love to claim against rude hotel staff.

Some of the cover ideas which made the top ten most popular included;

Misleading descriptions of hotels and holiday accommodation, bad food plus rude staff
Bad weather
Annoying fellow guests including noise pollution and drunken guests
Delayed departure
Badly organised events

Unfortunately, travel insurance is not designed to protect against things like bad food, rude staff and bad events, unless they make you ill of course, as this is the kind of thing you would need to raise with the hotel or restaurant and try to arrange compensation. 

However, travel insurance can step in to cover things like annoying departure delay, by compensating you per 12 hours you are delayed with money to buy food and magazines etc. If you are delayed by 24 hours, there are also insurers who will cover you to abandon the trip entirely and reclaim the costs. 

Furthermore, if your accommodation is uninhabitable due to a natural disaster such as flooding, or if you need to cancel your trip due to ‘bad weather’ such as a natural disaster like ash cloud, some policies will step in to help you.

For more information on travel insurance to cover ‘most’ eventualities, visit Holidaysafe.co.uk. 

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Top Marathons in the World

 Marathons are something many of us may have considered in our slightly more active moments; however every year thousands of people run miles for charity, medals and personal satisfaction. To be officially a marathon, runners must complete a distance of over 42 kilometres or 26.2 Miles! A great distance which requires training, fitness, stamina and determination to complete. 

Marathons are actually one of the more original Olympic events, and the name comes from the legend of Pheidippides, a Greek Messenger who ran from the Battle of Marathon all the way to Athens. 

One of the most famous Marathons is The London Marathon, which is held in the Capital every April. Nearly 40,000 people compete in the gruelling road race, which takes them on a tour of London they will probably never forger – many in humorous but impractical costumes to raise great sums for charity.

If you’re looking for a new training goal and are considering competition in a marathon, we’ve listed our favourite events from around the World; 

• The New York City Marathon, November – extremely popular with international runners, New York is the perfect marathon if you want to combine big city feel with heartfelt motivation and support from the crowds. Why not extend your trip into a city break!

• The Berlin Marathon, September – if you’re a runner who needs to be engaged by his or her surroundings then Berlin is perfect for you. Run through historical sites which map Berlin’s interesting history while large crowds cheer you on.  This race is perfect for normal runners and record breakers.

• The Chicago Marathon, October – although not yet as large or popular as other US marathons, the Chicago Marathon offers a superbly fast course and great race management which focusses on novice runners as well as the experts. 

• The London Marathon, April – of course we can’t leave out the London Marathon! Perfect for disabled and able bodied runners looking for a new challenge close to home, plus the fantastic atmosphere and support will help when you hit those mental walls.

Whichever marathon you decided to partake in, just remember to invest in quality Marathon Travel Insurance before you depart. Without specialist cover you could find yourself vulnerable to holiday disasters like injuries which mean you have to cancel your trip, lost running kit and equipment, or medical emergencies during the race. For more information on running travel insurance visit Holidaysafe.co.uk. 

Monday, 7 April 2014

Airline Delays and Cancellations – Know your Rights

In the UK we are faced with union and employee strikes on a regular basis, from teachers marching in protest and closing schools for a day to train drivers delaying our journeys home from work. Whether you support their right to strike or not, these walk outs can cause a certain amount of annoyance for people who rely on these workforces. 

Recently airline staff at Lufthansa staged a three day walkout to strike against their employers, and this caused mayhem for passengers wanting to travel abroad. In preparation for the strike, Lufthansa cancelled nearly 4,000 flights affecting nearly half a million travellers.

Lufthansa worked to rearrange travel for their customers, with 20,000 taking a train instead, 25,000 rebooking their flight online and others finding seats on partner airlines. However, many customers struggled to get through to Lufhansa as their call centres were stretched to the limit – taking 80,000 in one day when their average is usually 5,000.

This strike is now over, however it serves as a serious reminder that travellers should know their rights, and what to do in these kinds of situations. 

• If strike action is called you should be alerted by your airline. As above, it is their job to get you on another flight (perhaps on a different day) or refund your tickets.  Try to be patient and polite, as the airline will most likely be dealing with thousands of passengers and becoming rude will not help. 

• If your flight is delayed, then try to find someone of authority who can keep you updated on the issues affecting your flight. Remember that if you have travel insurance, you will usually be entitled to benefits if your flight is delayed over 12 hours. This should be enough to get some food or magazines without eating into your holiday budget. 

• Also keep in mind that you can seek compensation from your airline if your flight is delayed over a few hours (the longer you are delayed, the more you may be entitled too). 

• If your flight is cancelled, it is the airline’s responsibility to get you on another flight or to refund your money. 

For more information on travel disruption insurance, visit Holidaysafe.co.uk. 

Friday, 4 April 2014

And the March Winner is...

At Holidaysafe HQ we are feeling optimistic that Spring has Sprung, so to celebrate we started April by giving on of our customers a £15 Amazon Voucher to say thank you for a fabulous review they left on our Trust Pilot Review page.

In fact, we do this every month as part of our Trust Pilot competition, to say a little thank you to all of our lovely customers who take time to leave us honest reviews. 

I am every pleased to announce that the lucky winner of the March Amazon Voucher is…

Mr Prideaux from Nottinghamshire!

Mr Prideaux awarded Holidaysafe a top 5/5 stars, and wrote the following review:

“WHICH and ME agree 5* Troublefree Insurance - I always look at the "Which" recommendations before purchasing travel insurance. Holidaysafe was 1 of their top recommendations. I compared 3 different companies and found this company the easiest to use (able to contact them by phone to answer any questions I may have.) The staff were helpful and not pushy. They sent a quotation very quickly and because my wife and 1 of my children have a pre-existing medical condition, helped me with this to. £60.97 for a 1 year Family multi-trip European Policy (covering the pre-existing medical conditions) is excellent value!!! I would recommend to anyone.”

If you’re a Holidaysafe customer who would be interested in winning an Amazon voucher then next month we could be revealing your name! All you need to do is leave us a quick review of your experience with Holidaysafe so far, for example our website, policies, prices or customer service. Then your name will automatically be entered into our monthly prize draw. Visit our Trust Pilot Evaluation page to leave your comments. 

Like reading T&Cs? Our full competition terms and conditions can be found on our original Win with Holidaysafe blog post.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Top April Fool's Travel Pranks

April Fool’s Day or All Fool’s Day has been around for centuries, probably stemming from the festival of ‘Hilaria’ celebrated by the Romans and the Medieval ‘Feast of Fools’.  Although society has changed greatly from these times, we have still continued the tradition of planning pranks on one another every year on the 1st April. 

Some view Aprils Fool’s day as a tedious annoyance, and wait for the inevitable prank, whereas others forget about the day and are easily tricked – and of course others plan the pranks!

Every year companies around the world decide to use the 1st April as a chance for a great story and media coverage, so they create elaborate lies and filter them out via press agencies and the internet. To celebrate April Fool’s Day, the Telegraph listed their favourite travel pranks, and our personal favourites included;

• Book your stay at M16 – apparently Lastminute.com were advertising a deal for spy enthusiasts to stay in a ‘top secret’ location on the Thames, which required guests to sign the Official Secrets Act on arrival!

•  The Mile High Club – one hotel teamed up with an airline to release a new kind of ‘couple’s experience’, where passengers can purchase a four posted bed or private area in which to celebrate their love during the trip.

• New Discoveries – one PR team in Florida tried to trick the World with the discovery of the ‘Manaphin’ – part manatee part dolphin. 

• Man’s Best Friend – Thorpe Park announced that it was the first theme park in the world to allow dogs on roller coasters!

• O Natural Adventures – one holiday company advertised a whole range of holidays where the travellers can be completed naked – you can image the puns! Optional extras included large supplies of sun tan lotion, wet wipes and hygienic seat covers for the cycle tours.  

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