Mountaineering Holidays In Ibiza

Though the Balearic island of Ibiza is probably best known for its wild parties, there is a side to it that is less documented in the travel guides, though just as special. Mountaineering holidays provide a great getaway for those who enjoy the great outdoors, and Ibiza has plenty to offer in this respect.

If you’re considering booking a mountaineering holiday in Ibiza, this guide will tell you everything you need to know.

How to book

The very nature of mountaineering involves getting off the beaten track and exploring little known areas and nooks and crannies. As such, many travellers choose to simply book a hotel, take their equipment with them, and set off on their own route. Ibiza has plenty in the way of both luxury and budget accommodation options, so this approach is one that is often chosen.

For those who wish to use the services of a guide, booking a package deal may be the best option. Often including a place to stay, all the necessary equipment, and guided trips throughout the duration of your holiday, it’s a great way to save money and tap into some expert knowledge. If you’re travelling alone, this can also be a brilliant way to meet like-minded people who will often become friends during your break.

Whichever option you go for, always ensure that insurance is included in your deal, or that you purchase this separately. It often costs a very small amount, but will give you the peace of mind of knowing that you’ve covered in worst case scenarios.

Where to go

There are some very rocky outcrops in Ibiza that are great for climbing. As the island is so small, you’ll only ever be a short drive away from some excellent spots.

Key areas for mountaineering include Buda, Santa Agnes, and Jolibod. Though they’re popular during the summer months, there’s plenty of open space to explore, so overcrowding should never be a problem.

If you book a package mountaineering deal, you’re likely to explore several different sites over the duration of your stay.

Hints and tips

Ibiza has climbing opportunities for all skill levels, so even if you’re a beginner, you’ll be able to find a spot that’s best suited for you. Always research in advance, and take a mobile phone with you, just in case you encounter some difficulties. Make sure that you carry a map and regularly familiarise yourself with the surroundings. It can be all too easy to suddenly find that you’re lost.

As the island is so diverse, it’s likely that mountaineering won’t be the only aspect of your stay. If partying is your thing, take the time to visit one of the clubs that attract big name DJs from all over the world. Pacha is one of Ibiza’s most famous spots, and hosts nights from the likes of David Guetta. It’s highly advisable to hire a car to see everything the island has to offer, visit a site like erentals.co.uk

If relaxing is more your cup of tea after a hard day of activity, head down to Ibiza Town. A super stylish and sophisticated area, there’s an abundance of excellent gourmet restaurants, cafes and laidback bars.

Ibiza is the ideal location for mountaineering holidays. Offering plenty in the way of rugged terrain, as well as bouncing nightlife and fabulous restaurants, it will provide a holiday that you’ll never forget.

Ruth Johnson regularly writes travel articles and especially enjoys everything the Balearic Islands have to offer to visitors.

How To Keep Your Airport Experience Hassle-free

Airports can be a traveller’s worst nightmare. Long security queues, fights for the best overhead locker space on the plane and overpriced food just add to the stress when departing on a holiday. However, keeping a few simple tips in mind can make the airport experience much easier on the already stressed traveller.

1. Arrive early!

This point cannot be stressed enough – arrive early to the airport. Check-in and security queues get longer as travellers become more frantic when boarding announcements are made, so it is best to arrive as early as possible to provide some breathing room should a mishap occur. Security and airline personnel are usually very accommodating when it comes to long lines and fast approaching departure times, but it is best to be early just in case you encounter a not-so-helpful airport employee.

In addition, in the event of an overbooked flight, airlines sometimes provide preference in boarding to those who checked in early. Getting away on time can be especially important to those with connecting flights, so to avoid any issues later on in your journey, arrive early!

2. Know the security rules before you go

Airline security gets tighter every year, and it seems that every time we go away for a holiday there is a new security regulation to confuse travellers even more. A pet hate of many seasoned flyers is the liquids and gels rule; depending on the country of origin for your flight, security personnel are often required to confiscate liquids and gels over a certain volume from travellers proceeding through security checkpoints. Familiarising yourself with new security regulations before you go through security will not only allow you to save time at the security checkpoint but also hold on to your bottle of Chanel perfume.

3. Stay abreast of cancellations and delays

As with any business in the travel industry, airline schedules are often subject to change due to weather, strikes, operational requirements or safety concerns. In some cases, flights do need to be cancelled. Airlines are usually very efficient at notifying travellers of delays and cancellations, however the compensation provided to travellers affected by these is often minimal. A good way to reduce the impact of a cancellation while flying is to take out travel insurance. Most good policies will provide cover for additional accommodation, food and communications expenses in the event of a cancellation or extended delay. It is important, however, to keep receipts handy in the event of such an incident to prove to your insurance company that the expenses you are claiming for were indeed necessary.

A crowded and chaotic airport is any traveller’s least favourite way to start a holiday, but by planning well and keeping your eyes peeled for any issues while at the airport, it is very simple to reduce the effect of any incidents on your vacation. While wading through the masses of people at check-in, security and at the gate, keep in mind what awaits at the other end of your plane flight to keep you motivated!

Nickel Keat regularly blogs about business related issues. He works for DirectAsia Travel Insurance which is as one of the best online insurance firms.

10 Little Known Facts About the Balearic Islands

Have you heard about the Balearic Islands and want to know more about visiting them on your holiday? Chances are, you have finally figured out that you can run out of places to have a holiday. If you think that the only thing the Balearic Islands are famous for is Ibiza, think again.

There are four islands in this geographic grouping and each one is popping with uncanny facts. Below, there are 10 little known anecdotes about the Balearic Islands that will convince you to go there if you’ve got fed up with Holidays in Benidorm and want something different!

1. Another European Union bailout country

About 80% of the economy of the Balearic Islands revolves around the tourism industry. Sadly, like many other EU nations, the government of Spain requested a bailout to help with their struggling economy. Despite this, their financial situation is better than most and this should not distress travellers.

2. A hint of the British Empire

During the 18th century, the British Empire covered a lot of territory and the island of Minorca was one of them. From 1708 to 1757, British ships rested in the ports of this island. To see this part of their history, visit the Port of Mahon. In addition to great cheese and British architecture, the Port of Mahon has influence as the world’s second-deepest port.

3. Distinct Jewish ancestry

Recently, the island of Mallorca made the news due to affirmed claims that most of the island had Jewish heritage. DNA testing proved that the Chuetas were a small group of Jews that were forced to convert to Catholicism 600 years ago.

4. Monkeys go to retire in the Balearic Islands

After looking at pictures of the Balearic Islands, you might feel that you want to retire there permanently. Interestingly, Holland recently rescued a group of monkeys from a contraception testing laboratory. When deciding their fate, the Balearic Islands came into play. Now, there are 12 crab eating monkeys on one of the four Balearic Islands.

5. Foodie alerts

Naturally, many people will go to the Balearic Islands to attend a party or rave on Ibiza. While they are there, travellers have a chance to drink the local Palo and Hierbas carob liquors. However, one of the great things about the Balearic Islands is going to Majorca for the food. You cannot leave the islands without trying the dark red colored peppery pork pate called sobrasada or the ensaimada pumpkin jam cake. Foodies are also attracted to the ancient olive trees that produce some of the most acclaimed oils in the world.

6. An underrated European honeymoon spot

Do you want to enjoy a secluded Mediterranean Island without all of the silly ravers? If you are looking for peace and quiet, the Balearic Islands delights with Formentera. There you will be able to lay on the warm white sand beaches all day and a few tame parties at night. This is definitely one of the most underrated honeymoon spots in Europe.

7. The island for stretching your legs

After partying, swimming and going out on a boat for fishing, you can still include one more physical activity in a trip to the Balearic Islands. For a little bit of hiking, stick with the main island of Mallorca and wander through its mountain areas.

8. European pre history at its best

If you are interested in anthropology, you will not want to miss relics of ancient Phoenician culture and Megaliths found on the island of Menorca. It has romantic coves that open onto the beaches surrounded by evergreen oak groves. Near the center of the island is the 1500 BC Torre d’en Gaumés that has the Talaiotic monuments.

9. Travel on the island is a breeze

When people think of travelling to the Balearic Islands, they assume that they will arriving at one of the four islands and stay put. Instead, there are a network of ferries that take you from the mainland and another set of ferries for interconnecting you (and your car) to the other islands. If you decide to travel by air, it takes less than two hours to fly into the Balearic Islands from Paris or London. Nevertheless, be sure to book your tickets carefully since their “high season” is between July and October.

10. Bird watching is a Balearic Islands specialty

There are over 80 different species of birds on all four of the Balearic Islands and each has their exclusive species. Majorca is the leader of the birding spots and there are tour guides to assist you in finding the best areas. Top birds to watch for include the Common Firecrest songbird, the Egyptian Vulture, and the Thick-Billed Red Bunting.

Top 4 Ideas for a Cheap Holiday to Majorca

Most holidaymakers head for the largest Balearic Island for all the usual trappings that are expected with cheap holidays to Majorca, including plenty of sun, clean sandy beaches, cheap drinks and lots of tapas, yet there is more to Majorca than meets the eye. If you want a budget adventure holiday with more thrills and spills than you can shake a castanet at then Majorca is the place for you!

1. Watersports

As the island is surrounded by water the most common activities are watersports such as surfing, parasailing and water skiing. Surfing is usually best in spring or autumn when the conditions are right and the best surfing beaches in Majorca are considered to be Tora Beach in Paguera and Cala Mayor beach by Majorca’s capital, Palma. Water skis and other equipment can be hired from the shops scattered around the beaches.

Diving is another favourite pastime and the clear waters of the Balearic Sea make diving thoroughly enjoyable for both the beginner and the expert. If you know what you are doing, you can hire a boat and explore some of the many shallow coves dotted around the coast or you could join one of the diving centres in Majorca most of which will also be happy to loan you diving equipment should you wish to explore yourself.

2. Extreme Cycling in Majorca

You could hire a bike from one of the many bike hire shops scattered around Majorca and take a leisurely ride through the narrow and winding streets of Palma and along the coast. Or you could go extreme cycling – a craze that is currently growing in popularity! Try the Sa Colobra route that winds through the La Sierra de Tramuntana mountain range. It is here that some members of the Tour de France hone their skills and now you can join them, if you have the bottle! It’s an extreme route with steep drops down the sides of the mountain so just make sure you’ve got adequate travel insurance!

3. Walking and Rock Climbing in Mallorca

If you want to get up close and personal with the more rural side of Majorca then try your hand at scrambling, walking or rock climbing. The island’s rugged terrain caters for a wide range of abilities and can offer easy walking routes or challenging climbs that offer magnificent views at the top! Rocksport Mallorca has a guide to the main walking and climbing routes and often do organised climbs and walks with full use of guides and equipment.

4. Horseriding

Why not experience Majorca on horseback and take a tour around the mountains and valleys of the island or even on the beaches? Riding season is from April to October and again there are plenty of tour operators who can organise horse riding sessions anywhere on the island. Just ask your tour operator or pick up an information leaflet from the tourist guide.

It is possible to visit Majorca, and have completely different experiences to the majority of other tourists, you just need to look a little closer at this cheap holiday hotspot!

Written by DealChecker – Compare holiday prices fast.

5 Top Tips for Packing up and Moving Abroad

Moving abroad is different from simply moving home. There are extra levels of stress and preparation that comes into the count. However, by following some easy tips you can significantly reduce the stress levels of the move.

1.   Make a plan

The very first thing to do is to create a plan. Think about where you are moving to. What kind of country is it? What will you need when you are there? How long are you planning to move for, or is this for good? Is your passport up-to-date? Will you need additional documentation to live or work there? All these elements must be considered well in advance of your move so that you have enough time to apply for documentation that might be necessary as well as making other arrangements, including the regular moving elements such as cancelling phones, gym memberships, saying good bye to family and friends and setting up bank accounts in the new country. The last thing on this list is important to consider. When moving, it is normal to spend quite a bit of extra money while getting settled. If you cannot arrange for a bank account in your new country until you have a registered address, you might want to make special arrangements with your current bank to avoid expensive overdrafts or charges for using your card abroad.

2.   Decide on what to bring and what to leave

The difficult part of moving abroad is that you might have to leave a lot of your belongings. It is important to be critical as to what you will need once moved. If you are moving to a country where the weather is warmer all year around you can significantly reduce your moving load by selling or placing winter items in storage. By sorting these things into two separate piles ‘keep’ and ‘sell/store’ before you go out to buy your moving supplies you avoid spending money on boxes you will not need and too many meters of bubble wrap.

3.   Get supplies

Moving abroad often means that you are covering a larger travel distance on your moving day than a regular move. Therefore your boxes should be stronger, your items should be wrapped in more tissue or bubble wrap and your electronics are put at more risk of breaking. It is therefore very important that you get the right supplies before you move. A moving company can often help you with finding the best supplies for your items, and some will even go out and acquire it for you.

4.   Medicines

It can be easy to forget that you are packing for a move, and just pack the regular supplies that you bring for a holiday. Book an appointment with your doctor. This will help you make sure that you have all your prescriptions, and the doctor can often advice on what you should bring with you and what will be available where you are moving to. Ask your doctor to write a letter about any existing medical condition and health that you can take with you to your new doctor. This will help pass on medical information that might not be in your records.

5.   Bring a piece of home

When moving abroad you will experience homesickness at some point. It happens to everyone, no matter how nice your new home and life is. At these times it is nice to have a piece of home with you. This can be something edible, something you like to wear that represents your home country or perhaps photographs or music.  Having these things with you can make your new house or apartment a home away from home, and you will not feel as far away from your family and friends.

Ingunn is a Norwegian living in the UK and has experience with moving homes as well as moving abroad both on her own and with the help of removal companies.

Make English Work for You

When the travel bug bites it tends to bite hard. Unfortunately, travelling the world, or even small sections of it, is quite expensive. Even if you come from a country with a strong currency, it’s difficult to stretch your savings to several months of pure adventure. This gave rise to the working holiday, where youngsters (and the not so young) take short-term semi-menial jobs so that they can save up for the next leg of their trip. But rather than slaving over restaurant dishes, sweating in construction sites and smiling grimly at restaurant patrons, many people opt to take up teaching; specifically TEFL) Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) or TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).  Teaching English Courses  English is increasingly recognised as the global business language, which means that countries in which English is not the first language are clamouring for English teachers. In some cases, they aren’t too picky about the qualifications of these teachers, in which case you can get away with a relatively basic TEFL course. But as more TEFL teachers enter the market, countries have become pickier and some now only consider people who have more formal qualifications, such as CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).  CELTA courses are more in-depth than TEFL courses, although they cover similar topics. They are also more tightly regulated, as only Cambridge University registered and accredited course providers may teach CELTA courses. As an added advantage, CELTA courses have international recognition.  A basic outline of CELTA and TEFL courses includes:      Language skills     Teaching skills     Lesson planning     Setting tests     Creating learning materials     Navigating learning environments  Where Can I teach?  The answer is pretty much anywhere.  The most popular destinations for TEFL teachers include Korea, China, Czech Republic, Italy and Brazil (Kelly Lalonde, matadornetwork.com).  But you can also ply your trade in Russia, Turkey, Egypt, Dubai, Italy, Chile, Malaysia and Cyprus. Benefits of Teaching Abroad  The most obvious is the flexibility to travel. You don’t have to stay in one job for a particularly lengthy period of time – it depends on the contract. If you are bound to one country for six months to a year, you get to experience the culture on a much deeper and more personal level. After all, you need at least a year to see all that Thailand has to offer.  You grow as a person as you experience new cultures. Your mind broadens, your perception of people widens, you gain greater appreciation for all walks of life, you make lots of friends, you learn new languages and you learn skills that will stand you in good stead no matter what you decide to do with your life. Skills like patience, tolerance, resilience, determination and self-confidence. You also learn self-reliance as you usually don’t have anyone else to help you solve your problems. There Are Some Disadvantages      You won’t earn as much as a fully qualified teacher.     Depending on the country and on the school, you might have to teach on weekends – Saturdays at least.     Loneliness is always going to be a factor. You’ll eventually get over missing your family and friends back home, but if you move around a lot you’ll have to get over missing all the friends you make in each community that you’ve lived in.  How Do I Get Teaching Jobs?  You can just arrive in a country and search the classifieds or look online. But there is always the danger than you’ll end up in a dodgy school that exploits inexperienced foreign teachers.  It’s usually best to use an agency, at least for your first couple of jobs. Agencies will help you with things like work visas, accommodation and contracts. But, you need to choose your agency carefully, because there are also those out there looking to fleece inexperienced travellers.  Many people find that they enjoy teaching English so much that they make it a lifelong career, completely indulging their travel bug and, occasionally, applying their skills at home.  Photo credit  This guest post was written by Sandy Cosser on behalf of Now Learning, an education portal in Australia that promotes online education courses, including English for Specific Purposes (TESOL) and diplomas for teachers’ aides.When the travel bug bites it tends to bite hard. Unfortunately, travelling the world, or even small sections of it, is quite expensive. Even if you come from a country with a strong currency, it’s difficult to stretch your savings to several months of pure adventure. This gave rise to the working holiday, where youngsters (and the not so young) take short-term semi-menial jobs so that they can save up for the next leg of their trip. But rather than slaving over restaurant dishes, sweating in construction sites and smiling grimly at restaurant patrons, many people opt to take up teaching; specifically TEFL) Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) or TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).

Teaching English Courses

English is increasingly recognised as the global business language, which means that countries in which English is not the first language are clamouring for English teachers. In some cases, they aren’t too picky about the qualifications of these teachers, in which case you can get away with a relatively basic TEFL course. But as more TEFL teachers enter the market, countries have become pickier and some now only consider people who have more formal qualifications, such as CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).

CELTA courses are more in-depth than TEFL courses, although they cover similar topics. They are also more tightly regulated, as only Cambridge University registered and accredited course providers may teach CELTA courses. As an added advantage, CELTA courses have international recognition.

A basic outline of CELTA and TEFL courses includes:

  • Language skills
  • Teaching skills
  • Lesson planning
  • Setting tests
  • Creating learning materials
  • Navigating learning environments

Where Can I teach?

The answer is pretty much anywhere.

The most popular destinations for TEFL teachers include Korea, China, Czech Republic, Italy and Brazil (Kelly Lalonde, matadornetwork.com).

But you can also ply your trade in Russia, Turkey, Egypt, Dubai, Italy, Chile, Malaysia and Cyprus.

Benefits of Teaching Abroad

The most obvious is the flexibility to travel. You don’t have to stay in one job for a particularly lengthy period of time – it depends on the contract. If you are bound to one country for six months to a year, you get to experience the culture on a much deeper and more personal level. After all, you need at least a year to see all that Thailand has to offer.

You grow as a person as you experience new cultures. Your mind broadens, your perception of people widens, you gain greater appreciation for all walks of life, you make lots of friends, you learn new languages and you learn skills that will stand you in good stead no matter what you decide to do with your life. Skills like patience, tolerance, resilience, determination and self-confidence. You also learn self-reliance as you usually don’t have anyone else to help you solve your problems.

There Are Some Disadvantages

  • You won’t earn as much as a fully qualified teacher.
  • Depending on the country and on the school, you might have to teach on weekends – Saturdays at least.
  • Loneliness is always going to be a factor. You’ll eventually get over missing your family and friends back home, but if you move around a lot you’ll have to get over missing all the friends you make in each community that you’ve lived in.

How Do I Get Teaching Jobs?

You can just arrive in a country and search the classifieds or look online. But there is always the danger than you’ll end up in a dodgy school that exploits inexperienced foreign teachers.

It’s usually best to use an agency, at least for your first couple of jobs. Agencies will help you with things like work visas, accommodation and contracts. But, you need to choose your agency carefully, because there are also those out there looking to fleece inexperienced travellers.

Many people find that they enjoy teaching English so much that they make it a lifelong career, completely indulging their travel bug and, occasionally, applying their skills at home.

This guest post was written by Sandy Cosser on behalf of Now Learning, an education portal in Australia that promotes online education courses, including English for Specific Purposes (TESOL) and diplomas for teachers’ aides.

Factors to Consider Before You Book Your Next Vacation

Planning and preparing for a vacation can be just as exciting as the vacation itself. Often, the best part is picking out the actual destination you would like to visit. When planning a vacation, you will often be faced with a number of travel destinations to choose from. It would be too easy to make a decision by simply pointing to a destination. You need to undertake a certain amount of research to ensure that you make the right choice. Your shortlist of destinations may contain a number of places that you would like to visit very much. However, you have to be practical about making such decisions. Take the following factors into consideration before booking your next vacation:

Budget & Exchange Rate

managing the exchange rate when emigrating to spain

The most important factor that determines every aspect of a vacation is the available budget. Irrespective of whether you have saved up for a vacation or plan to pay later in installments, you will have to set a budget. For a memorable vacation, you should be able to make the most out of the available funds. If you opt for a vacation within the country, you already have a very good idea about what everything costs. It is international travel where a number of permutations and combinations come into the equation. Often, the biggest game changer in terms of budget is the currency exchange rate. Many a vacation plans have been dashed thanks to insufficient planning that did not take into account unfavorable exchange rates. If you really want to visit a destination, irrespective of the currency dilemma, you may have to make some sacrifices and modify your vacation plans.

spanish animal in colorful gear

Peak season or Off-season

Always take into consideration the time of the year that you intend to travel. If you are visiting a place the same time as every other tourist, you will find yourself smack in the middle of peak season; off-season travel entails visiting when the other tourists are staying away. Each kind of travel has its own advantages and disadvantages. For example, traveling during off-season means easily available and cheaper airfare, along with lower accommodation costs. On the other hand, many vacation destinations are in full swing only during peak season and off-season usually overlaps with the time of the year when the weather is not at its best. Once again, it is a question of choosing what fits your needs and requirements best.

Travel & Health Advisories

Although perhaps the most crucial part of the planning process, it is often overlooked by travelers. Always check to see if any travel or health advisories have been issued for a destination by your government. If so, the only sensible thing to do would be to avoid such spots. Also, look into the need for any specific vaccinations that may be required or recommended before departure. Those with allergy issues should do a proper amount of research before embarking to a new destination.

The planning stage is undoubtedly the most crucial part of the process to make a vacation successful. Take the mentioned factors into consideration and you should be able to plan a fantastic trip that you can cherish forever.

How to Plan Your Finances for Retirement Abroad

Many people approaching retirement age sometimes start to think about the idea of taking early retirement and getting away from their everyday life – with a move abroad becoming a more appealing option due to difference in weather and the cost of living that can be attained – cheaper countries will help people to use their retirement savings a lot more frugally.

If this is something that you would like to do then there are a few things that you should consider… and in fact many more things will need to be prepared if you want to retire abroad.  For example, should you find a small part-time job to keep you busy, and how are you going to integrate in terms of language and culture?

Look Into Taxation and Property Issues

When it comes to finances, there are some important considerations for retirement abroad.  For example, if you are planning on retirement abroad in low-cost countries such as Mexico, North Cyprus or Belize then your retirement money is always going to go much further. You will also find that tax on property will often be a lot less in many foreign countries – as well as property prices being a lot more affordable.  With reduced food and general living costs as well, it’s no surprise that so many people are opting to travel to hotter climes.

What are the Options Regarding Health Insurance?

If you are planning on retiring in a country that is not as well developed as your current residence, then there are some considerations that you should bear in mind.  For example, what provisions will you make for health care insurance and coverage?  Make sure you investigate this fully, as on occasions you might be surprised.  Using North Cyprus as an example again, the price of medical treatment is so low that the actual excess you would pay on an insurance policy is usually a lot more than what you would be paying anyway.  Of course, this is an exception to the rule, but it just goes to show that you need to fully research the country you are planning on retiring in.

Find Out the True Cost of Living Abroad

Also make sure that you look at what the true cost of living is when it comes to more everyday items.  Before you make any firm commitments to retire abroad, sign-up to a few online forums and ask questions.  If you are planning on moving to Switzerland there is an ex-pats website called the English Swiss Forum which is where English-speaking people can share experiences and help each other with advice.  A quick Google search should tell you if there is an equivalent forum in your country of choice.

Will You Be Able to Integrate Socially?

It’s not just about the financial implications of retiring abroad though.  You also need to consider any social considerations.  You will be far away from friends and family and those things that you take for granted which could make it very difficult to settle in a foreign country. This sense of movement is completely natural and will be known to a lesser degree or higher by all those who move abroad – but it’s a feeling that can be overcome by making an effort to meet new friends and establish new links with people – which means that sociable types who find it easy to make friends and meet a lot easier to retire abroad.

Make Sure You Have Money to Cover an Exit Plan

One final piece of advice: if you are planning on retirement abroad then make sure that you have an exit strategy planned.  Be sure to put some money aside that can bring you back home if things to do not go completely to plan.  There could be nothing worse than being in retirement and getting stuck abroad with no means to get home.  Obviously this is a last resort, but not everybody who moves abroad for their retirement will have a positive experience – so make sure that you are prepared for all eventualities.

Guest Post: Thanks to the Wall Street Journal Subscription Website

This guest post was written by the team at Wall Street Subscriptions.  They specialize in offering discounts and deals on many different financial planning publications including the MarketWatch Retirement Weekly newsletter, and of course a Wall Street Journal Subscription.  For more information you can visit their website on; www.wallstreetsubscriptions.com.

Getting Health Cover for European Trips

There is always something that you forget before going away, but that thing should not be health cover. Nobody plans on getting sick or injured while they are away from home, but it happens and if you are not properly covered then the cost can be very high.

Taking time to work out how you will cope should something go wrong is an essential part of preparing for any trip. Though you can expect to find a good quality of health care throughout Europe, and there are not many of the concerns that there are in other parts of the world, it is most certainly no exception.

European Health Insurance Card

For UK residents there is are some reciprocal health insurance arrangements with a number of European Union and EEC countries. The extent of what is covered varies by country, but having a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is essential.

Getting an EHIC is fairly straightforward.  As long as you have a National Insurance number the process can be done online or over the telephone. Temporary NI numbers are not valid. For those without a National Insurance Number a ‘NHS Number’ can be given instead.

If you are taking your family abroad it is essential that you get an EHIC for every member. The cards are only valid for individuals.

What the EHIC covers will depend on the country. In some it will cover only emergency treatment, and in other s it will cover a lot more. Typically the card just allows treatment to be delivered at a lower cost, and of course does not cover any costs such as repatriation. As such taking out insurance is the only way to avoid large bills for sure.

Checking the small print

There is no shortage of providers for travel insurance. It is even given away as a freebie with some credit cards and bank accounts. Unfortunately the sad truth is that a lot of these insurance policies turn out to be worthless when it comes to actually making a claim.

It is vital to read through all the terms and conditions of any travel insurance policy in order to know whether you and your family will be covered. Some policies will not actually cover all medical expenses, and other may not pay out if you are injured while taking part in sports such as skiing.

Even if you have travel insurance that is fairly good for covering things such as cancelled flights and stolen luggage it can be worthwhile signing up for a dedicated medical policy. This typically covers a much wider range of potential expenses – including hospital accommodation, which is often charged separately. Other things that can be covered can include emergency dental treatment and even cancer treatments, which a general policy will often not run to.

More to Malaga than meets the eye

Malaga is notorious for being one of the party capitals of the Costa del Sol and whilst there is a party element to the city, there is much more to Malaga. Generally in Europe car hire is very affordable so book ahead and collect at the airport when you arrive. Take the time to explore all that Malaga has to offer before hitting the roads to discover nearby cities.

Being one of the oldest cities in the world, Malaga has a wealth of places to visit before you set off for some scenic drives around the region. Most famously, it is the birthplace of Picasso and so any trip here must include a visit to the Picasso museum. It boasts an impressive collection of his work and if you feel inspired here to learn more about the man himself, you can take a short walk to Casa Natal in Plaza de la Merced, the actual birthplace of the great artist. You can use this as a base to begin exploring the rest of Malaga’s must see sights which are all close by. Begin at Malaga Cathedral, a stunning building which has a mix of architecture to delight due to how long it took to complete. From here, you have your choice of visiting many historic sites including the Roman Theatre, Gilbralfaro Castle and The Alcazaba, an 11th century fortress which also boasts the city’s Archaeological Museum. All will transport you back into another world.

Once you’ve seen all that Malaga has to offer, head out onto the open roads and begin drinking in the scenery. You’ll want to have any passenger armed with a camera to take some shots of the breathtaking beauty of the Spanish countryside you’ll drive through. Take a trip north-west to Seville and on the way, take a break by stopping in Ronda to see one of the most photographed sites in Spain.

El Tajo Gorge is a 1 hour drive from Malaga and it will amaze you. The gorge drops to almost 200m and is crossed via the Puente Nuevo Bridge, which is a stunning piece of architecture in itself – this is well worth the slight detour! Around 2 and a half hours from Malaga by road, Seville is the capital of Andalusia and is the fourth largest city in Spain. Begin in the main square by The Alcazar, the palace still used by the Spanish Royal Family today as their Seville residence. It is an absolute must see due to its intricate design and captivating ambiance.

The same can be said about the Plaza de Espana Panorama, a building so stunning that it has been used as scenery in many films, including Lawrence of Arabia. As well as a wealth of architecture and history, Seville also has a thriving cultural heart with many theatres and a strong music scene. Whilst here, you must also indulge in some tapas which is some of the best in Spain and try some Seville oranges, though be prepared for its uniquely sour taste!