When Holidays Go Wrong

We are all getting more adventurous – not only in the distances we are prepared to travel, but in the activities we indulge in once we get to our holiday destinations. Lying on a beach with a good book seems so passé when you can go bungee jumping, galloping a horse down a beach, skiing or paragliding. But with excitement comes danger, especially if you don’t ensure you’re sufficiently covered by your travel insurance.

American Express Travel Insurance recently issued a warning, stating that not all skiing-trip travel insurance will cover inexperienced skiers who go off-piste (even if accompanied by a guide). This has become a particular concern following an unusually mild winter with low snowfall across Europe. Many holidaymakers risked going off-piste to find the best snowfall, resulting in twice as many accidents in the French Alps compared to the year before. If you are thinking of going skiing in the next year, it is essential that you check your insurance policy before you leave – you could be liable for huge costs if you have an accident off-piste and you discover your policy does not cover you. Airlifting you from the French Alps, for instance, could cost as much as £2,000. Quite simply, you need to tell your insurers if you are planning any kind of activity that could put you at greater risk of injury.

According to recent research, 15% of British people risk going abroad without any kind of travel insurance, let alone ‘extreme sports’ cover. Consider some of the costs you might incur should you fall ill or have an accident abroad, and you might think twice before gambling with your health and finances. Even if you holiday in Europe where your medical treatment might be covered by a European Health Insurance Card, you may still have to cover the costs of getting home to the UK, following your accident.

Examples of typical medical costs abroad:

  • Air ambulance (East cost USA) – £30,000-£35,000
  • Air ambulance (Canaries) – £12,000-£16,000
  • Scheduled flight, stretcher and doctor escort (Australia) – £15,000-£20,000
  • Scheduled flight, seated economy with a doctor escort (Mediterranean) – £1,800-£4,000

Source: health and wellbeing provider, First Assist Tales of woe, however, shouldn’t put you off travelling far and wide, and enjoying all the activities on offer once you get there. The following guide provides some tips on how you can holiday, while gaining the best travel insurance at the best price for what you would like to do abroad:

  1. If you are going to do anything that will be seen as risky such as skiing, canoeing, scuba-diving or climbing – you must tell your insurers and ensure your policy covers you in the event of an accident. Some activities such as paragliding or ski jumping may require special policies.
  2. Do not skimp on your travel insurance. If the worst happens and you are injured abroad, you will want to know that you have the right insurance policy and company behind you to make the best of a bad situation. Check that the policy covers everything you need and choose one with a 24-hr international helpline.
  3. Beyond your potential holiday activities, make sure your travel insurance covers other basic essentials, such as medical and dental treatment, getting you back home, personal liability, missed departure, cancelled flights, theft and lost luggage.
  4. Shop around for the best deal. Don’t just assume that your travel agent is the best option for travel insurance – look at the different insurance options and choose one that works for you both financially and practically.
  5. Ensure you take all your travel insurance documents with you. If you need to make a claim, you will need all your details close at hand.

One final piece of advice: once you have your travel insurance secured, try and forget about the potential dangers and enjoy your break. After all, holidays are really meant to be about having fun…

8 Signs to Know You Are Addicted

Rose was a young intern at a financial agency. This was her first experience of working in corporate sector and she was pretty excited. She adjusted to the work culture soon and performed well to gain rewards and promotion. Long hours of work would often end with a glass of wine or two with her colleagues at a club or a café.

Soon, the occasional drinking sessions became regular as it made her feel happy and relaxed. Slowly, she got addicted. She needed alcohol to relieve her tense muscles and prepare her for the next day. As the work pressure increased, she started binge drinking. This resulted in night outs, hangovers, absence from work and the day came when she was fired. Her addiction cost her the job she loved and was so proud of.

Like Rose, many of us develop liking for something that causes more harm than benefit. One could be addicted to alcohol, drugs, sex, video games, gambling or even shopping. And when the matter goes out of hand, a person has to be encouraged to seek help from an addiction help center that treats the underlying problem in a holistic manner during recovery as well as through an aftercare program.

It is possible to control the situation and prevent it from worsening. All one needs is to watch out for the signs that signal an addiction and take action immediately. Some of the red flags could be:

  1. Continuing an addiction despite negative effects – When an addiction takes over, the affected person has the tendency to ignore the red flags and continue pursuing the substance or a habit regardless of the impact it might have on physical and psychological health, relationships or job.
  2. Quitting social events – Those addicted could become so obsessed with their addiction that over time, they may quit attending social gatherings they liked before as the events may not give them the opportunity or time to use their substance of abuse.
  3. Suffering from withdrawal symptoms – When a person tries to quit addiction, he/she may suffer from severe withdrawal symptoms. This is because the body gets so used to a substance that it gets distressed in its absence. The withdrawal symptoms could be physical as well as psychological, and in some case life-threatening too.
  4. Keeping addiction a secret – People tend to mask addiction by keeping it a secret. They fear being judged, so they try to hide their habit from friends and family.
  5. Increasing tolerance – When an addiction develops, over time, the body starts getting used to it and to produce the same high, it needs more amount of the substance, leading to tolerance. Addiction can take over mind and body completely.
  6. Not being able to stop – Addiction can be so overpowering that despite the best of intentions, a person is just not able to quit or taper off. One loses self-control and allows himself/herself to be swayed by it.
  7. Taking risks – An addicted brain has a tendency to take risks. Under the influence of a substance, one might lose his or her guard and indulge in risk-taking behavior. An addicted person might steal something, indulge in unsafe sexual practices, drive under the influence or pick up fights and get abusive.
  8. Making excuses – When a person develops an addiction, his/her life becomes a web of lies and excuses. When friends and loved ones express concern, he/she may resort to all the means to evade them and shut himself/herself in their own world.

Seek help before it’s late

Fortunately, it is possible to deal with alcohol or drug addiction if one agrees that he or she has a problem and is willing to take help for the same. Delaying the matter will worsen health and diminish chances of full recovery.

What is Online Sports Betting?

Online sports betting is just what the name suggests, you bet on a sport of your choice through any of the many sports betting websites on the Internet. The bet can be about any aspect of the game and the odds are provided by the website. Online sports betting has fast gained popularity among the global masses so much so that it is estimated that five times more money was poured into online sports betting than sports betting in the betting capital of the world – Las Vegas. Sports that attract a large number of online punters in the U.K include horse racing, greyhound racing, and football.

The way online sports betting works is basically the same across all betting portals and websites. Quite a few online sports betting offer online gambling and casino and you can bet and gamble using a single account. Many companies that offer online sports betting have been running bricks-and-mortar betting businesses for years.

If you’re above eighteen and decide to try your hand at online sports betting opt for a website that provides secure registration, offers up-to-date odds, preferably allows you to place bets without having to download any kind of software, offers enough variety in the types of wagers you can place and the site itself should be a registered one in the country in which it operates.

Secure registration and secure transactions are important because of the increasing threat of online frauds and identity theft. Be sure to read the Terms and Conditions to understand your liability in case of your account getting compromised. Also, ensure that there are no hidden and recurring fees that may catch you unawares. It is your responsibility to ensure that the online sports betting company you enroll with has a reputation for fair dealing, a quick and efficient payment system – some sites have a same-day payment system, a 24/7 helpline to cater to customer queries, etc. Check various online sports betting sites and visit relevant forums to get an idea of which site offers an experience best suited to your personality.

A lot of gambling sites offer free membership and bonus points to newcomers in a bid to attract them. They also have attractive referral programs that can lead to substantial bonus earnings. On making a deposit of a certain minimum value, you can have the transaction costs waived. These sites have almost no entry barriers and obtaining membership is a smooth process. You can open an account with as little as £ 2 and you can lay a wager of as low as 1p. You are not restricted by nationality in your choice of an online sports betting site. You can wager on a Championship football match between Liverpool and Chelsea while you sit in Canada. You are free to bet on sporting events from all over the world. What’s more, many sites offer customization to your language and your currency, so you know exactly what you’re betting on and how much to wager so that you enjoy responsibly.