Travelling to Europe is simply an exciting idea. There are so many things to see and do in this very progressive continent. The shared culture between the countries makes each destination very interesting and you also get a certain continuity of experiences as you hop from one country/city to the next. But one of the worst things that can happen to you while travelling in Europe are
- Falling ill
- Suffering injury, or
- Figuring in a road accident or breakdown.
When it comes to diseases and accidents there is just no way to prepare for every eventuality. Taking out travel insurance therefore is a must.
Peace of mind is synonymous to a great vacation
You have to face the reality that on every turn you make on foreign roads and every bite of street food you make in a land other than your own carries a risk that can send you to a hospital in just a few minutes. The most basic outpatient treatment for an insect bite can cost you £200 just about anywhere in Europe. When you are travelling on a shoestring budget, this kind of unanticipated expense can easily cut your vacation short. What about more complex medical interventions like a heart operation? In this case you need to prepare to shell out £12,500. In situations like these, travel insurance is not an unnecessary expense after all. It buys you peace of mind and the ability to just have fun and enjoy your trip.
Travel problems can hit you when you least expect it
Travelling is fun but it can also be hellish especially when you encounter problems in a country you barely know. You can lose some baggage, need to be flown back to the UK for some specialized medical treatment, or be rescued from a broken down car in the middle of nowhere. These travel setbacks can pop up in the least expected times and if you are not prepared, your problems can go from bad to worse in a very short time. This is one good reason why you should get a European Breakdown cover from the AA.
Every country has a different way of doing things
You have to realize that European countries have different ways of doing things. This can magnify and complicate your problems while travelling. However having travel insurance neutralizes these disparities. For example, if you have travel insurance you do not have to worry who is giving you medical care – if it is a private healthcare service provider or if it is state operated. You also do not have to worry about whose garage to go to when your car breaks down or what to do to get the needed processes rolling.
These are only some of the many things why a travel insurance coverage is important as you plan to tour around Europe. It is always better to take proactive steps in addressing common risks when travelling. Getting this right the first time will define your vacation experience big time.
Christmas is traditionally a time for family, but not everyone wants to do family things every year, and sometimes it’s nice to make a break with tradition. If you want to spend your time focusing on one special person, there’s nothing quite like a festive getaway.
Pick the perfect destination
The first thing you’ll need to decide is where to go. These are some of the most exciting Christmas destinations.
- Paris. The most romantic city in the world is especially lovely in winter, when snow glitters on rooftops and Christmas lights illuminate the Champs-Elysées. Explore the festive markets or go skating beneath the Eiffel Tower.
- Trømso. What more thrilling place to spend Christmas with your loved one than in the land of the northern lights? At this time of year, the sun barely rises in northern Norway, so you’ll find yourselves in a dreamy twilight world.
- Chicago. From the Winter Wonderland theme park on Navy Pier to the Christkindmarket where you can buy seasonal German foods and crafts, the Windy City is transformed at Christmastime, and its famous streets are alive with brilliant lights.
- Reykjavik. With active volcanoes, glaciers and geysers, Iceland is always an exciting place to spend time, but it’s even more exciting during Christmas, when Santas roam the streets and stunning traditional buffets are served with hot wine.
- Honolulu. If you fancy going somewhere warm for your romantic winter break, Christmas in Hawaii just might surprise you. Say Mele Kalikimaka, enjoy the grand parade of lights and watch Santa row up to the beach in a canoe.
Choose romantic activities
Festive dining with the one you love is always a pleasure, but there’s much more to enjoy at this time of year. If you’re visiting northern climes, why not take a sleigh ride? Further south in Europe, carriage rides through the icy streets are popular with couples. You can also enjoy sightseeing together, explore the local boutiques or enjoy the simple pleasures of a snowball fight.
Look your best
If you’ve chosen a wintery destination, you’ll have to wrap up to stay warm, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be stylish and romantic at the same time. If you have a thick woolen coat and a scarf, you can wear what you like underneath. Why not pick out some new clothes, and even underclothes, that you know your partner will love? You can browse lingerie deals for men online and perhaps pick up a present at the same time. Giving the perfect Christmas gift will make your romantic getaway all the better.
Make it special
The secret to a really special festive break is good planning. Take your time to find accommodation that’s perfect for your needs, and don’t be shy about splashing out a little. Research activities ahead of time and make sure you’re equipped for them, and pack some things secretly if you want to give your partner a surprise. Remember that this is a busy time for restaurants, so if you want to dine out at the best places, you’ll need to book ahead. Good organization will mean you can really relax when you’re at your holiday destination and make the most of your time together.
With its sunny climate, the island of Tenerife is the most popular of the Canary Islands. The sunshine and the beaches are one of the main attractions, in fact, for people looking to get away from cold temperatures and wet or windy weather. The island is full of golden and dark-sands offering both vibrant beaches and secluded beauty spots.
The southern hotspots
Most visitors tend to migrate to the island’s south western coast as this is where a great many of the resorts are located. You can some of these if you choose First Choice for your Tenerife holidays. The beaches are lively and expansive, featuring those famous volcanic black sands as seen at Costa Adeje, Los Cristianos and Playa de las Americas. These resorts are extremely busy during the summer months with holidaymakers who arrive to enjoy swimming in the warm Atlantic Ocean as well indulging in some water-sports. However, if you’re looking for a quieter stretch of sand, head to El Medano on the south east coast. There the cool trade winds drift across the unspoilt sands making this a favoured surfing location.
Spectacular beauty spot
Tenerife holidays can include the incredibly scenic west coast resort of Los Gigantes in Santiago del Teide. This highly picturesque area has small but clean black sand beaches sheltered by immense coastal cliffs. There is definitely an air of tranquillity and exclusivity at this area as opposed to the busier resorts. For another pretty beach near Los Gigantes head to the pristine, pale golden sands of El Puerito where you’ll find a relaxed atmosphere, painted fishing boats and traditional white-washed houses.
The hidden gem
In the northern areas you’ll find immense golden sands such as those at Playa Teresitas. This huge bay just north of San Andres is considered one of the best beaches in the Canary Islands and features over a mile of beautiful golden sand that shelves gently into the shallow waters of the Atlantic. The bonus with Teresitas is that it’s pretty much a hidden gem known to the locals and usually only gets busy during the summer weekends and public holidays. The surrounding hills provide shelter from the wind while the palm trees make a great place to shade from the high summer temperatures.
As remote as it gets
If you’re the kind of traveller who desires some solitude then the remote Roque Bermejo at the island’s eastern tip will be the place for you. This little stretch of black sand isn’t usually advertised in the all-inclusive holidays to Tenerife brochures, but it’s none the less an impressive place. It’s located just behind the fishing hamelt of Roque but you’ll need a boat to reach it unless you make the two hour trek from Chamorga. The surrounding cliffs provide a dramatic backdrop and you can easily enjoy that Robinson Crusoe experience while you take it easy on the deserted sands and swim in the warm ocean waters.
This Canary Island has around 70 Km of beaches to enjoy so it won’t too hard to find something to suit your taste. This is also an inexpensive vacation option and those last minute holidays to Tenerife deals are still one of the best ways to find great discounts in a resort of your choice.
Images by Eduardo Martínez, Mate Marschalko, vil.sandi and someone10x used under creative commons license.