A traveller’s list of New Year’s resolutions

At this time of year, many people’s thoughts turn to the things they ought to be doing and would like to do in the future, whether that’s joining the gym, giving up smoking or getting a new job. Though frankly, those are all boring clichés.

However, a great many of us do express a desire to travel a bit more and with that in mind, here are five New Year’s Resolutions that any travel lover should strive to achieve in the coming year. Read more

Top five ski resorts in the world for expert skiers

Best-selling author and journalist Malcolm Gladwell wrote in his book ‘Outliers’ about the ‘10,000-hour rule’; claiming that the only way to achieve world-class expertise in any skill is by practicing the correct way for a total of 10,000 hours.

That’s a long time to be on the slopes, but expert skiers will tell you that it’s not hard when you love what you’re doing. Skiers are as passionate as hobbyists come, and experts in particular take it very seriously. But when you’ve put in your hours and have gained expert status, where do you go from there? Literally? Where should you go to continue testing yourself? Read more

Top tips for first-time snowboarders

Skiing is great fun, but it’s snowboarders who manage to look cool and effortless on the mountain. Appearing to glide across the snow, however, takes a lot of hard work – many argue that learning to snowboard is tougher than getting to grips with skiing. Read more

Travelling with a mental health condition

Travelling is one of life’s perks and can be hugely enjoyable, but when you have a mental health condition, travel can add to the challenges of arranging a trip abroad.

With one in four of us expected to experience some form of mental health condition throughout our lifetimes, it’s common for people to travel with one disorder or another.

From depression, anxiety, eating disorders, or post-traumatic stress disorder, it’s important to remember that it’s all about planning well in order to ensure that your trip goes as smoothly as possible.

The team here at Insurancewith have compiled a handy travel checklist for you to read through before you embark on your trip:

  • Medication – As with any medical condition, if you’re on medication, make sure that you bring enough to cover the duration of your trip as well as extra just in case your transport is delayed, it becomes damaged or is lost. Also take into account the conditions that your medication will be travelling in i.e. humid climates or being on board a flight.
  • Doctor’s letter – If you’re travelling with medication, it’s important to also bring a doctor’s letter confirming the importance of the medicine and the consequences of not having them accessible or with you. Some medications are illegal in other countries without proof of prescription, so a doctor’s letter is essential should anything occur.
  • Doctor and prescription details – Make sure you include your doctor’s contact details and an explanation of your medical circumstances. This will come in useful should you need any treatment whilst abroad, as it can help any medical staff tending to you. If all of your medication becomes damaged or lost, having a copy of your prescription details will help you acquire further medication whilst abroad.
  • Identification – Having your hotel details, name and date of birth will come in useful should you find yourself lost or disorientated in an unfamiliar destination.
  • Travel insurance – Travel insurance is important for anyone thinking of travelling abroad. Your insurers will often specify that you notify them of any incident which occurs whilst on your trip, so having your documents packed will ensure you have contact and cover details to hand just in case you need to make a claim. To get a quote for travel insurance which can cover you for your mental health condition.
  • EHIC card – From 1st January 2021 rules around travel to Europe have changed, visit the Government website for up to date information on passports, EHIC, healthcare and more. We’ll update this page with more information as and when the Government release it.

Packing physical things isn’t the only thing you need to think about before travelling. Travel can be stressful at the best of times, so doing your research and preparing well can lower your stress levels and reduce the risk of any panic. Insurancewith recommends that you:

  • Talk to your doctor – seek advice from your doctor before you travel. They know both you and your condition better than most so will be able to give you travel advice, and extra medication if needs be.
  • Have a flexible itinerary – Rushing around sightseeing can be fun, especially if you’ve only got a tight window to do everything in, but often tiredness and stress can exacerbate mental health conditions. Make sure you take time to rest and do things at your own pace.
  • Avoid nasty surprises – knowing exactly what you’re doing with a well planned trip and itinerary is a sure way to avoid triggering stress. Going and doing familiar things can also help.
  • Research what you will do if something happens. Find out what the medical facilities are like abroad – not every country has the same level of mental health care as we do in the NHS. Factor this in when planning your trip and decide on an action plan for you and your companion should something happen. Research what mental health services are available in your destination, and decide who would help you if your mental health deteriorated abroad, and how would you contact them?

Two’s company: tips for travelling as a single parent

The idea of going on holiday alone with a child in tow can be scary, especially if it’s the first time you’ve taken your little one away. Just because you’re a single parent doesn’t mean you can’t have a holiday though; as long as you prepare for it, you’ll have a wonderful time together.

To ensure you and your child have the best time possible, here are some tips for travelling as a single parent.

Single Parent holiday

Ask flight attendants for help

You may be used to doing stuff by yourself, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask for help when you need it. Flight attendants are more than happy to cater to your child’s needs and keep an eye on them while you pop to the loo. Even if your child is asleep, it’s best to quietly ask them for help; if your child wakes up they may panic and disturb the other passengers on the flight. A friendly face will keep them entertained and relaxed.

Pack light

Remember that if you’re the only adult going on holiday, you will end up carrying all, or at least the vast majority, of the luggage. Therefore it’s unwise to pack absolutely everything you think you might need – carrying several bags and a sleepy child through an airport is not fun. Plus, you may find that a lot of the ‘essentials’ (such as formula) can be bought at your destination. Don’t make the mistake of taking too much carry-on luggage, either – you’ll need your hands free to access passports and boarding passes!

Invite someone along

If you’re planning a trip away with your child, don’t be afraid to open up your holiday invitation to friends and other family members. Your mum, brother or best friend could prove invaluable on your trip and could take some of the weight off your shoulders. Plus, it’s a great chance for your little one to bond with their uncle or grandma.

Make time for you

As it’s just you and your little monster, it can be easy to forget to ensure you’re having a good time. After all, this whole holiday is for them, right? Of course not! You may not be able to lounge by the pool without keeping one eye on them, but you can get some much needed ‘me time’ during their afternoon nap.

Get out a good book, put on a face mask, and lie back and relax. It’s a great way to spend a lazy afternoon in your hotel room, and it will mean you and your child will feel refreshed for dinner

Don’t eat out every night

While we’re on the subject of eating, it’s unwise to drag your child out for food every night, especially if they’re still quite young. They will have days where they’re grumpy and overtired by dinner time, which means they won’t sit still and will probably kick up a fuss. If you don’t have someone else at hand to help you, that nice meal of yours is going to go cold.

On those sour days, we recommend heading to the local market or shop instead, and grabbing some of your child’s favourite foods. You can then have a quiet, calm little picnic in the room. If they fall asleep in their half-eaten cheese sandwich, at least you don’t have to go far to put them to bed.

Take advantage of the kid’s club

Whichever destination you choose to travel to, there are bound to be some things you want to see and do that aren’t completely child friendly. But how can you visit that art museum or go sunbathing when you have small person who’s going to get bored very quickly with you? If your hotel runs a kid’s club or babysitting services, take advantage of them! You’ll get a much-needed day to yourself, and your child will get to know some of the other children staying at the resort.

Don’t feel guilty for wanting to spend time alone – you’ll feel much better for it and so will your little one.

We hope the above tips alleviate some of the stress that comes with taking a young child on holiday alone. The most important thing to remember is to not be afraid to ask for help. Wherever you decide to go, we are sure you’ll both have a fantastic time.

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