Top Travel Gadgets to Keep You Safe
Dare we say it? A few of our dedicated single trip travel insurance experts are quite the geeks. But we love it, because it means that everyone at InsureMore is kept up to date with the latest gizmos, gadgets and apps they’re always telling us about. Here are a few of the latest ones they’ve come across; not only are they clever, they’re valuable in terms of safety.
This gadget is only small but it does a mighty job. Very light and about the same size as an iPhone (so it won’t take up room in your luggage), the DoorJammer is simple to use and punches well above its own weight in security. You simply slip it into the door of your accommodation and, in the event of someone trying to break in, DoorJammer will prevent entry even if the lock is damaged. This is one way of making sure you won’t be claiming on the “theft” part of your single trip insurance policy.
Drink spiking, aka “slipping a mickey”, is no laughing matter and its prevalence is startling. If you’re living it up in the clubs of Ibiza or getting down with the crowds in a bar in Berlin, Drink Detective will give you the peace of mind that your drinks have not been tampered with. You simply use the dropper to take a sample of your drink and apply it to the card. The presence of any dangerous chemicals will instantly be identified.
While this one’s not for your physical safety, the safety of your digital footprint while travelling is pretty important too. The Stash Card is a miniature secret drawer that slides into the PC card slot of your laptop – and ok, it’s pretty small, but it’s just big enough to store sim cards, memory cards and folding cash. Of course, in the unfortunate event your entire laptop is lost or stolen it’s not really much help – that’s where your single trip travel insurance policy will need to come in.
No matter how much you want to “travel light”, or “disconnect”, when on a trip, safety is always paramount; these and a host of other clever gadgets easily justify the space they take up in your luggage.
How to Make Travel Pay – Becoming a Travel Writer
Here at InsureMore, several of our well-travelled single trip insurance experts have found an ingenious way to reduce the costs of their holiday adventures. If you have an imagination and a notebook, you too might be sitting on an untapped skill – that of travel writing. Here they share with you some tips on starting out in travel writing. (And they can also help with a single trip travel insurance policy – very versatile bunch!)
Find An Angle
Find the ‘angle’ in your story. It’s not enough to write about backpacking in Bolivia or a weekend in Paris and hope someone’s going to want to read it. To write an interesting, saleable story, you can’t just reel off the “top five” of a destination; it’s been done. To death. Don’t write a destination guide (unless you’re writing a destination guide); your job is to find something unusual and different. So, “Four Days in the Hidden Underground Caves of Bolivia”, and “Discovering the Best Chinese Restaurants in Paris” might be a good starting point. (By the way, if you really DO explore any hidden underground caves in Bolivia, make sure your policy covers you for that kind of activity!)
If It’s Perfect It’s Good Enough
If you really want to give your travel stories the very best chance of life your writing must cut it. If you send out stories to editors with poor grammar, bad spelling and crumbling sentence construction they won’t even get past the first paragraph, no matter how compelling your angle might be. If your writing skills are lacking, have someone else copy edit the article before you send it out.
Try Your Luck
Every editor of every magazine or online portal receives hundreds if not thousands of submissions every week from would-be Jack Kerouacs or Bill Brysons. But don’t let that put you off. If you think your travel writing has a future, find a home for it anywhere you can – even if it’s on someone else’s blog – in order to raise your profile and get some exposure. Offer your services for free until you have a decent portfolio and keep on knocking until a door opens. And if none open soon enough, build your own door! Many an aspiring travel writer has created a career on the back of their personal travel blog.
They say everyone has at least one book in them, so the chances are, if you travel, you’ll have at least one travel story in you. (Just don’t let it be one about the disasters that befell you when travelling without single trip travel insurance.)
Tried and True Tips for Travelling With Pets
Even though we don’t allow pets in the office (well, maybe on special occasions), several of our single trip travel insurance team are proud parents to fur children. They know that, sometimes, depending on the destination of course, it’s actually quite ok to take Fido or Fluffy along on their holidays. Travelling with pets is a learned skill, however, so they’re happy to share some tips here.
Use a Crate
Some people feel bad about putting their dog or cat in a crate to travel by car, but, in fact, most actually feel safer and more secure in one. (How do you know, you may ask? Cesar Milan. Enough said.) Cesar recommends a few practice runs (getting your pet used to the crate for 15 minutes at a time), and allowing them to walk in on their own, not force them in. Keeping your pet in a crate means not only will they be less of a distraction to you, they’ll also be safer should you be involved in an accident.
Let Calm Prevail
While some pet owners advocate medication before flying with a pet (err, that’s the pet not the owner), many vets say this is not a good idea. Instead, they recommend plenty of exercise beforehand, and a massage with a little lavender oil around the spine area in order to induce relaxation. This also works long car journeys as well as flights. If you do fly with your pet, your single trip travel insurance policy probably won’t cover them. Make sure you have a separate policy for your pet – and check that it covers travel.
Choose Pet Friendly Accommodation
You’d think this would go without saying, however there are plenty of people who think it would be better to simply sneak their pet in and hope for the best. This is a bad idea because, quite apart from the fact that any damage caused by your pet would not be covered under your single trip insurance policy, pet-friendly accommodation is just that – pet friendly – for a reason. A good one will have specific features especially to make your (and your pet’s) life easier, like a single level layout, appropriate floor coverings, and special exercise areas.
See? You really don’t have to leave a well-loved family member at home if you are travelling to a pet-friendly destination; you just have to adjust your plans slightly to accommodate them!
Making the Most of Duty Free Shopping
At InsureMore, we’re not so wrapped up in our own business that we don’t understand that, actually, there are far more interesting things to buy than travel cover. (But not many more important!) For some people, part of the joy of travel is undertaking a little retail therapy along the way. It’s truly a case of shopping smart not shopping hard when it comes to duty free, so our experts have put together a few tips to help you make the most out of those opportunities (err, right after they’ve mentioned you definitely should get single trip travel insurance).
Caveat emptor (“let the buyer beware”) indeed, and the clue’s in the name: “duty free”. It makes sense that the items you will make most savings on are the ones that attract the highest duty. The reason alcohol, perfume and cigarettes are so popular is because they carry a high percentage of tax. Other luxury goods like watches and jewellery don’t offer as big a saving, but the total dollar value off might be enough to tempt you. (If you plan on buying big-ticket items, it’s even more important to get single trip insurance in place before you leave.) Don’t get carried away in the moment and start buying things that actually aren’t very much cheaper at all.
Make sure you know what you plan on buying duty free ahead of time, so you can compare regular retail prices. You may be surprised how little difference there really is in some cases.
Make Sure You Qualify
Duty free rules are different everywhere you go, so make sure you are well aware of the rules of your destination before you go crazy on cheap booze and cigarettes. As well as checking your allowance, make sure you qualify in terms of other conditions: for example you usually need to be out of the country for at least 48 hours in order to claim duty free goods.
Keep Your Receipts
Yes, do it.
Download An App
Oh come on, you know there’s always “an app for that!” And yes, there’s one (or probably many!) for keeping track of your duty free allowance and making you stay within your limits. The one our single trip insurance experts love is called Simply Declare. You just enter your allowable limits and the amount of travellers in your party, then as you make a purchase, add them in and the app keeps track! There’s also a function to copy and store your receipts. Simple.
These few simple tips should have you shopping like a duty free pro in no time – but be warned, it’s addictive…
Three Handy Apps to Help You Travel Like a Pro
The InsureMore single trip travel insurance experts understand how precious every minute of your holiday downtime is. After much discussion and debate, they’ve agreed on these top three apps that will free you up to spend your time on the fun part of your trip rather than getting bogged down in the details.
When it comes to TripIt, for once you can actually believe the hype. It’s blindingly brilliant in its simplicity: forward all the confirmation emails for your holiday plans – including flights, accommodation, entry tickets, travel protection, car rental – and TripIt collates it all in one nifty little location to create a comprehensive snapshot of your holiday. Best of all, it’s free. Although if you’re a frequent traveller you might want to upgrade to the Pro version, which includes features like flight alerts and flight seat checkers. Android and iOS.
Here’s one specifically for the Thelmas and Louises out there who yearn for the open road but aren’t that great at reading maps! In fact, it’s so easy, if Thelma and Louise would have had access to it, their tale may have had a whole different ending. You simply key in your start and end location and Roadtrippers does everything else. And “everything else” means not only mapping the best route, but also recommending accommodation, attractions, restaurants and entertainment along the way. Android and iOS.
This app is the top recommendation from our single trip travel insurance team – and we’re guessing it’s because it’s about their favourite subject: saving money! It’s free and it displays a huge range of discounted deals and offers in whichever location you choose (as long as it’s on their database). It includes sightseeing, shopping and eating options, although you should be aware that sifting through the quality of the deals is left pretty much up to you. Android and iOS.
So there you have it: our single trip insurance team’s top three apps for travelling. Look out for the next instalment: “The InsureMore Team’s Next 3,000 Best Apps for Travel”. Sigh…they just keep on coming.