Taking Children to Paris: A Family-Friendly Holiday
Paris may be the city of love, but that doesn’t mean it’s just for couples. With a whole host of child-friendly activities and attractions, this sparkling location is perfect for young families, too. We’ve assembled some of the best examples of ways to keep both kids and parents happy whilst holidaying in the City of Lights.
The park’s name alludes to the Roman God of War and was formerly used as the drilling grounds of the French military, but that couldn’t be further from its peaceful greenery now. This grassy picnic spot arguably has the best view of the Eiffel Tower in all of Paris, and is much more appealing to children than the 1,700+ steps that are required to climb it. The park has pedal cars, a vintage merry-go-round, swings and a huge playground to keep the little ones entertained for hours. Take a picnic and sit in the sun, or visit La Bonbonnière in the north-east corner for snacks and drinks, as well as a great view of the tower.
Jardin du Luxembourg
Paris with the family would be incomplete without a visit to the heavenly gardens of Luxembourg, which Napoleon himself dedicated to the children of Paris. A big playground, Charles Garnier’s carousel, pony rides, puppet shows and sailboats for hire are just some of the activities on offer for the youngsters of the family, and there are plenty of beautiful sights for older members to discover, too.
The fantastic Palais du Luxembourg was a present from Henry IV to his wife Marie de’ Medici, and now houses the Upper House of French Parliament. Temporary art exhibitions take place in the Musée de Luxembourg, which has a beautiful little orangery at its rear that begs exploring. Finishing off the day with a pastry from Boulangerie Marc Rollot is an essential and delicious treat.
Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
This green space is one of the largest in all of Paris, boasting a magical wonderland of secret grottos, waterfalls and dense trees. The star of the show is the Temple de la Sibylle, perched on high in the middle of the lake. There are two bridges that grant access, one a lot higher than the other – the kids can decide how brave they’re feeling on the day! There are also several playgrounds, a carousel, a puppet theatre and many lawns that are ideal for picnics.
A great family holiday isn’t complete without comprehensive travel insurance for everyone. InsureMore offer a great package in which children go free when covered in the family policy, meaning you’ll have peace of mind in any eventuality. Our comprehensive travel insurance takes a load off your mind, allowing you to enjoy your holiday.
All-Out Opulence: The World’s Most Luxurious Hotels
There’s luxury hotels and then there’s all-out, outrageously opulent luxury hotels. Today I am diving into the playground of the rich and famous and am offering a glimpse into the globe’s most deluxe resorts. You have to be serious about luxury travel to stay at one of these locations: not only is the interior design second to none, but you’ll also be blown away by the level of the personal service that comes from having your own butlers and chauffeurs. Let’s take a look at my favourites!
Dubai’s Burj Al Arab Hotel
The iconic shape of Dubai’s Burj Al Arab Hotel has made it a firm fixture of the city’s skyline. Here you can find beautiful two-story suites, whose peerless views of Dubai are second only to the top-of-the-range amenities that guests enjoy. You might well find yourself mixing and mingling with royalty at one of the hotel’s range of wining and dining options, or at one of the five pools in the complex. If you ever want to venture into the outside world, you can do so in one of the chauffer-driven Rolls Royces that are owned by the hotel – or by jumping in a helicopter from its very own helipad.
Las Vegas Palms in Nevada
There is arguably no better place to indulge in a little opulence than in America’s Sin City. Invite new pals back to the Two Story Sky Villa, a rooftop suite that can accommodate up to 250 people. With a rooftop Jacuzzi, rotating bed, massage room, sauna, private balcony and a full bar, just remember – what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!
Turkey’s Mardan Palace Hotel
This $1.65-billion hotel is set around a ginormous swimming pool and is one of the most luxurious hotels in Europe. This venue really is outrageously luxurious: it has beautiful interiors crafted from Italian marble, shimmering crystal chandeliers, almost twenty bars, and an aquarium. And, as if the 1000-person capacity of the pristine pool weren’t impressive enough, thousands of tons of white, Egyptian sand were flown in to create a beach for the hotel’s guests. Butler service is included, of course.
The Plaza in New York City
You may know the Plaza from the film Bride Wars, in which Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson fight over the venue. But this New York institution offers the city’s richest so much more than a dream wedding venue. The hotel oozes old-school American style and retains much of its original charm from the 1900s. Its Royal Plaza Suite is the favourite choice for visiting VIPs, giving them a stunning view over the city. With a formal dining room, library, full kitchen, gym and butler service, all you’ve got to do is put your feet up and order a drink.
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is!
If you live and breathe for luxury voyages, – and I’ve tempted you enough to book a holiday to one of these stunning locations – don’t miss out on a comprehensive travel insurance package. No matter how beautiful the resort, you’ll want to know that you are covered in case of any eventuality – especially if you decide to venture out of the hotel. InsureMore understands the needs of luxury travellers, whether you’re sunbathing in Dubai or taking a bite of the Big Apple. So, if you’re planning a luxury vacation, make sure you travel safely with comprehensive travel insurance from InsureMore. I’ll see you at the Plaza!
4 American National Parks for Your Travel Bucket List
From snow-capped peaks to scorching gorges, American national parks give us the opportunity to experience some of the wildest scenery in the world. Here are four national parks that should be on your travel bucket list. Exploring the wilderness can be thrilling but risky, so don’t forget to invest in some USA travel insurance before you jet off!
I’m starting with one of the most iconic national parks in the country: Arizona’s Grand Canyon. Thanks to its pink and orange hues, the vast canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. At the base of the strikingly deep gorge, geologists have found stone that is billions of years old. And in human history, evidence of habitation even pre-dates Stonehenge.
- Every year, people suffer from Arizona’s extreme heat, making it somewhat dangerous to walk through and explore the area. Make sure you are well-prepared for the conditions by pacing yourself, staying hydrated and bringing sunscreen and protective hats with you.
- Plan far in advance. If you want to reach the bottom of the canyon – on the back of a mule or via a walking tour – you might need to book a whole year in advance. At least that’ll give you plenty of time to secure your USA travel insurance!
Tree-Huggers in California
If you can get your arms round California’s giant redwoods in Redwood National Park, I’ll be impressed. This park houses the decedents of an ancient forest, which once covered more than 2 million acres. The state of California has worked hard over the past decades to preserve what is left of this remnant of North America’s past, and has even replanted redwood seedlings in areas that were previously exposed to excessive logging.
- Although summer is a lovely time to visit, the area is inundated with migratory birds in spring and autumn – a nature lover’s dream.
It’s Hot in Wonderful Wyoming
Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming is home to hundreds of geysers and thousands of hot springs. We’ve all heard of the famous ‘Old Faithful’ geyser, but further away from the day trippers, you can explore just under 1,000 miles of trails and the beautiful Yellowstone River. The history of this region dates back to when Native Americans fished and hunted in the area a whopping 11,000 years ago.
- Don’t let the impressive thermal features distract you from the other geographical wonders and the impressive range of wildlife. I’m talking bears, moose, wolves, bison and more – Yellowstone has some pretty thrilling mammals roaming around.
The Rocky Mountain National Park is on my personal travel bucket list. In the late 1800s, towns in this area were established as settlers came searching for gold. Though they weren’t successful, they realised the aesthetic worth of this region, and it was turned into a national park in 1915. With challenging hikes, beautiful wilderness and interesting wildlife, the Rockies have something amazing in store for everyone. The scale of alpine wonders is breath-taking: the park boasts 72 peaks over 12,000 feet!
- Watch out for altitude sickness. This can afflict even the fittest hikers with nausea, headaches and more. To stay safe, pace yourself – not to mention that USA travel insurance will allow you to keep a cool head!
Let Loose in Les Menuires: A Pub Crawl to (Hopefully) Remember
Ski holidays aren’t just about zipping down slopes and eating fondue (although both are essential components). Equally important is the nightlife: going to bars, meeting new people and letting your hair down. In Les Menuires there are plenty of opportunities for a boogie, but with so many bars and pubs to choose from its hard to pick just one. I think it was for this very reason that pub crawls were invented. Thankfully for you, Les Menuires has a classic route. so put on your dancing shoes and get going.
Start at Crazy Bar
Pub crawls can often get off to a slow start… not at the Crazy Bar. As its name suggests, there is no room for slouching in this alpine pub with early happy hours starting between 4pm and 6pm. The bar is located in the La Croisette area of Les Menuires and gets very busy during happy hours as skiers and snowboarders make the most of the cut-price cocktails.
Also in the La Croisette area, Le Tilbury is a favourite destination for skiers and locals. With a pine wood interior and plenty of offers on spirits and beers, Le Tilbury is a welcome chance to have a breather after a heavy start to the crawl.
L’Oisans has built a reputation for its great cocktails. With plenty of classics as well as cocktails you won’t have seen anywhere else, you are bound to find one you like. If cocktails are not your thing, there is also a great selection of international beers to choose from. Located in La Croisette, it is easy to find and hard to go wrong.
Leeberty, égalité, fraternité, right? In the spirit of La France get in a round of jaegerbombs and report to the dance floor. Le Leeberty is best enjoyed later on in the bar crawl when it gets busy and everyone is in the party mood. Playing Euro pop hits, the great selection of DJs and high-quality sound system is bound to get you moving. You can find Le Leeberty in Les Bruyeres, just down the road from the other bars. The trip is definitely worth the effort.
Finish at Piano Bar Le Kube
A cosy little bar until 10pm, Le Kube is frequented by skiers looking for a less busy après scene. After 10pm, however, the atmosphere changes with live music and DJ sets bringing partygoing crowds flooding in. One the swankiest bars in the La Croisette area, it’s a great place to finish off your night with and sing and dance, and maybe even a kiss if you’re lucky.
Have Fun and Stay Protected
With all that fun on and off the slopes, it’s always worth investing in winter sports travel insurance. Whether you overstretch yourself on the skis or in the bars – we have all done both, let’s be honest – winter sports travel insurance will keep you covered and ease any holiday headaches. At InsureMore we offer comprehensive low-cost travel insurance with single and multi-trip options. So don’t fret when you are on holiday, go out and have fun – we’ve got you covered.
Say “Wow” to Winter Surfing: Top Tips for Carving Icy Waves
Winter surfing is the ultimate activity for adrenaline junkies. For those who are willing to brave the icy waves, it offers thrills like nothing else. Whether you want to face the powerful North Atlantic swells of Driftwood, Ireland, the rugged coastlines of Lapoint Surf Camp in Norway, or the uncrowded waves of Punta de Lobos, Chile, the sport has something for beginners and experienced surfers alike.
Whatever level you are and wherever you surf, you need to make sure that you are properly prepared. The icy temperatures of winter surfing can be a real risk to your health, so let’s take a look at some of the ways to keep safe and get the most out of the sport.
Get the Right Gear
No one goes winter surfing without a wetsuit. There are no prizes for cutting corners here, so get the very best that you can afford. A 5mm suit with liquid-sealed seams is an ideal option to keep out the cold – you’ll want a zipperless or chest-zipped model to minimise flushing. A wetsuit with a warm lining will keep your body insulated – go for quick drying if you’re planning to surf on several successive days. Don’t forget your boots, gloves and hood to complete the look, and – last but not least – check that your clothing doesn’t have any holes!
Where the board is concerned, opt for a bigger board with more volume than you’d normally use in summer. Winter waves mean colder, denser water and your wetsuit is heavier, so you’ll need something to give you a little more lift.
Preparation is Key
When you’re facing some of the harshest conditions the ocean can throw at you, it’s important to be physically and mentally prepared. This starts the day before, where you’ll need to fuel your body for the session ahead. Eat well and consider carb-loading to keep you going for as long as possible in the freezing temperatures. As if anyone needs an excuse to eat a load of pasta…
Right before the session, you’ll need to warm up on the beach before you enter the water. Stretch properly and get the blood flowing to your extremities before you plunge into those icy depths. What’s more, remember to protect your skin from chapping by applying moisturiser to exposed areas and then slathering them with Vaseline.
During the Session
When you’re in the water, keep paddling to stay warm. When you’re sitting on your board, tuck your hands into your armpits or put your arms by your sides and shrug your shoulders up and down to get the blood flowing to your hands. Be sensible and keep monitoring how you’re feeling: limit the session according to your heat and energy levels. Stop when you’ve still got something left in the tank.
Back On Dry Land
Everyone has their own post-surf ritual. With winter surfing, this becomes even more important, and getting warmed up is key. You could try taking a hot water bottle out with you to leave in the car. By the time you’ve finished your session, the water will have cooled down enough to give you a lovely warm shower. Standing on a cheap mat or piece of foam is a good way to keep your feet off the ground and it’s a good idea to get your clothes and towel sorted and ready before you hit the water.
Winter Sports Insurance: Keeping You Covered
Like any other extreme sport, winter surfing is not without risk. It’s really important to take out appropriate winter sports insurance to cover you in the case of an eventuality. So make sure that you’re prepared, grab your board and get the most out of this adrenaline-filled activity!