A Review On Travel Insurance – Do You Need It Or Not?

Personally I think it would be very foolish not to have some sort of travel insurance, especially if you are flying abroad. People sometimes make the mistake in thinking that their local insurance policies will cover any losses and have a big shock when they come to make a claim. Besides, if you have the right policy, it takes all the worry out of your trip.

You should always be offered insurance, by your travel agent, when you arrange your trip. If not, ask, because it will be on your own head if anything goes wrong.

A Cheap Policy or Not?

When a travel insurance policy is issued there are a number of allocations if the premium, agents commissions, administrative costs, some goes towards profit and what’s left over goes towards the actual insurance coverage. So, you can see, if it’s a cheap travel insurance policy, something is going to miss out and you can bet it will be the level of coverage.

If you buy a regular travel insurance policy, that is, you fill out a form and send it to the insuarance company with your remittance there are a lot of costs involves. A better way would to get a wholesale policy (which travel agents do sell) where the administration costs are dramactically reduced, meaning more money is spent on the actual coverage.

Some tour operators and agents provide an “in-house” travel insurance policy and, often, all it covers is their own cancellation fees and little else. It may be cheaper but will not give you much travel insurance coverage.

Another way to reduce costs, which depends on the level of travel you are going to do, is to purhase an annual travel insurance policy. This is buying in bulk and is likely to be much less expensive than the one-off trip policy.

Primary or Secondry Travel Insurance Cover?

These 2 types of cover determine the way the payouts are made. The primary travel insurance cover means that the company will “Pay First”, that is the payment will be paid to the claim maker. The secondary travel insurance cover means they will pay only after you’ve have claimed as much as you can from other insurance cover that you may have. So, you can see that the primary cover is a lot better than the secondry cover.

What Type Of Coverage Will You Need?

It’s fair to say the 2 biggest risks that are covered by most travel insurance policies are the costs of changing your travel plans and and any medical care and emergency assistance that is required while you are away.

Most travel insurance policies will include a few hundred dollars for baggage/loss/damage/delay, loss of travel documents and other small sum for flight delay or interuption. Some will also cover for someone to fly out to you if you are to be hospitalised for more tha 2 or 3 days.

Another major cost, and I must admit I never thought of this one before, can be supplier bankruptcy. Many time the supplier of your travel insurance policy are unable to have the policy to cover thier own bankruptcy. This would be another good reason to have an independant policy from the company arranging your travel.

Most travel insurance policies include a large ammount of air death insurance, but surprisingly, it’s of very low value item about 25 cents for a $100,000 cover. I suppose this indicates how safe air travel is.

Some travel isurance policies will also cover car rental risks and this may be an important thing to consider as car rental insurance policies are extremely expensive.

Trip Cancellation/Change Coverage

To understand the possible costs that you may need if you have to change your itinery or cancel the trip, if you have pruchased an unrestricted first class ticket there may be not any costs associated with changing the ticket as this is usually covered in the purchase price.

It may seem strange but the the cheapest ticket has the most risk attached to it as far as cancellation/change is concerned. It can cost a heap more to change the cheap fare to return home on a different flight than the original purchase price of the ticket.

You will have to be aware that when some travel insurance policies state that they will cover ‘your total trip cost’ you may think that the full charges are covered, but this may not be so. Let’s say that your discounted fare cost $590 and you have a package that actually costs $895 and you have to change you may find the return trip will cost more than the whole package. Maybe you will have to pay another $1120 to get home on a no advanced one way return ticket.

I had this experience a few years ago when I had to rush home for my Father’s funeral. Because of time restrictions I had to buy a non-discounted ticket. After not feeling well all day, when I finally arrived at the airport I succumbed to a middle ear infection. So with all the vomitting and the different air pressures that come with flying there was no I could get on a aircraft. But, as I had purchased a full fare, there was problems in changing my flight to the next morning. Goes to show that you can’t always control your circumstances.

The more restictive travel insurance policies may exclude circumstances that are deemmed ‘under your own control’, and perhaps this may include work related issues. Let’s say you are about to leave work and you are told there is an issue that has to be solved and that you leave has to be deffered. There’s a very good chance that this type of travel insurance would no pay out because of this reason.

Medical Care and Emergency Assistance

Some people mistakenly think that their home medical insuarnce policy will cover all costs wherever they are in the world. They may find that that it doesn’t cover at all, or the deductions will be much higher or perhaps their medical costs are covered but not any related transport costs.

You may be on a cruise and you need some medical attention by the ship’s doctor. There is a good chance that their services are charged for as with any other doctor. You may have to be flown home on a stretcher and this will involve blocking out nine seats, can you imagine how much that would cost. You should make sure that you have travel insurance of at least $10,000 or more to cover these emergencies. Let’s imagine you are in a remote area and you break a leg and you need to be lifted out by a helicopter, this is what good travel insurance is all about.

To Summarise

Imagine your worst case travel mishap scenario and decide whether you need travel insurance. This may be the cancellation of the whole trip coupled with the associated cancellation costs or some emergency medical mishap that will require medivac and local care. I know these are horrible thoughts but if you can’t afford to self-insure the expenditure of around $100 on travel insurance will give you the piece of mind and one less thing to worry about.

Article provided by AndyPicks.com, AmyPicks.Today and WhatWeBuy.net.

Advantages and disadvantages of traveling with travel agency and by your own

When you decide to go somewhere on vacations the first question you are faced with is how to organize your trip. At least, you need tickets and accommodation. However, if you are going abroad, the situation becomes more complicated. You will need visa, foreign passport and a little bit of information about a country you are coming to. The citizens, living and traveling inside European Union borders are in better position. They are free to visit any EU country without any additional document and visas. But let’s imagine you have chosen a country where you need visa. Well, now it’s time to make some preparations for your trip. At first, whether you trust organizing your trip to a travel agency, or organize it by your own. If you choose the first variant:
Advantages
1) Convenience. You don’t have to besiege embassy and wait in long queues. You don’t need to worry about buying tickets and booking hotels.
2) Price. Sometimes travel agencies have special agreements with hotels and the price becomes cheaper. The same thing can be said about avia and train tickets.
3) Comfort in the country of destination – you are mostly provided with transfer to hotel and the representative of the agency can solve any of your problems.
4) Your vacation is organized. You have a choice of excursions; you’ll be shown the best shops and the most interesting attractions.

Disadvantages
1) Unfortunately, not all the agencies can be relied on, some of them disappear with the client’s money.
2) Some people don’t like to be limited – by excursions, by return tickets or by the necessity of staying in the hotel they’ve chosen.
3) It’s not always cheap – often the excursions, offered by the agency representatives are more expensive than in other places in the city.

If you choose the second variant, you should be prepared to some problems, but of course, this variant has its light sides too.

Advantages
1) You are free to choose there and when to go. You are free to change you hotel of your return ticket.
2) You are most likely to see the places, not shown to usual tourists.
3) It’s a kind of challenge. Can’t imagine your holyday without risk and adrenaline? So, this variant is for you!
4) You can seek and find a cheaper variant and not just accept what the agency offers.

Disadvantages
1) Once again – risk. You are not quite safe when traveling alone in the foreign country. Nowadays you are not quite safe anywhere, but still…
2) It causes some problems in the stage of organization – getting a visa can be a trouble. Interview, invitation and a lot of documents – all this can be inevitable. So, prepare to waste some time and nerves.

Anyway, the choice is yours.

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Taking Care of Your Health For Safe Travelling

Are you going to Paris? Trekking in Nepal? Cruising the Caribbean? Yes, you want to go and to spend some time enjoying the wonderful weather, view and just have a rest from everyday routine.

Whether you tramp through the rain forest or bask on a love boat—travel presents new and different health concerns mostly unknown at home.

We do not want to set on you with our lectures just, please, keep in mind some facts – that will be useful for you.
Preparing before you go is the best way to stay healthy while you’re traveling. See a doctor at least 6 weeks before you leave so that you’ll have time for immunizations that may need to be done in advance. Check with your doctor to see if there are medications or extra precautions that you should take. For example, people who have heart failure may need to take shorter flights with more stops to avoid long periods of sitting or they may need to adjust their medications.

Before you go, research local sanitation and other conditions so that you can take appropriate measures while you are traveling:
– Is the water safe to drink?
– Do insects, such as mosquitoes or ticks, carry disease?
– Is there air pollution?
– Will the altitude make you sick?
– Is it safe to swim in pools, lakes, or the ocean?
– Could you get heat exhaustion, sun stroke, or a sunburn?

Basic precautions, such as drinking bottled water or using insect repellent, can prevent some illnesses, ranging from an inconvenient bout of diarrhea to life-threatening malaria.

Preparing for a journey takes planning and time. Proper planning is the best way to stay healthy during your trip. See a doctor at least 6 weeks before you go so that you’ll have time for immunizations and other health precautions you may need to take in advance. There are several factors to consider in preparing for a trip.

Enjoy your trip.

Article by http://www.doctorpicks.org

An Escape From Real Wilderness

Living in a big city has its perks, but sometimes it gets so tiring that we are just craving for an escape. Life gets so busy sometimes that we would just want to get out, have some fun, lie down and do absolutely nothing at all. Come to think about it, during these times where we are really craving for that escape from the busy streets and stressful jobs that we have, is the best time that we go for an outdoor adventure trip.

Adventure travel = good outlet for stress

Being in the outdoors and do nothing at all can really take that stress away. Imagine living without the advantages of modern technology and by just relying on your own skills in order for you to survive. This experience will certainly bring back that sense of you being in charge of your life and you being important back to that cold and tired heart of yours. It is also a great opportunity for you to relax and bond with your family and friends. Plus going on the outdoors is a great adventure that you need and would want to experience. And the fun that it brings is priceless.

Planning is the key.

First of all, you must you must have at least an idea or a plan of what you are going to do I the outdoors. You must also have a checklist o the items and materials that you need and must bring so that you will not forget anything important such as home outdoor hot tub. Then after that, it is time for you to pick a place.

There are a lot of nature parks all around the US so it would not be difficult for you to choose a park near and accessible to you and your friends. If the park that you chose has its hunting season, time your visit during those months and experience a little hunting escapade. It would surely be a great addition to your outdoor adventure. When you are now done with your planning and packing, it is now time for you to go o your adventure. Remember that you are all alone out there and help could be not so near so bring lots of rations of food, first-aid kits and medicines.

Respect the outdoors.

When you arrive on the outdoors, pick a nice and clean spot for your camping site where you can set up your camps and tents. Always remember to pick your camp site carefully. It should not be disturbing to the wildlife around the area for their safety and of course also yours. You would not want to disturb them as much as they do not want to disturb you.

Explore your surroundings; you must be at least knowledgeable of what is around you. You should also know the different entry and exit points of your surroundings. In case of an emergency you would be able to know where to go. Be careful in putting up your fire; make sure that it is just as big as what you need. It should also be controllable. You would not want to forest fire, don’t you? Remember that in an outdoor adventure like camping and even in any other activities, safety comes first.

In having fun, we must not forget to be responsible. It is our own duty to respect our surroundings because we are the ones who live on it. With that in mind, you can now start to relax and experience the outdoor and have that adventure trip you deserve.

Air Purifiers and Air Filters for Travelers: Are They Worth the Money?

Do you do a lot of traveling? If you do, you may be concerned about the air that you are breathing inside your hotel room. This may especially be the case if you suffer from asthma or allergies. If you do, you may be curious about air purifiers and air filters that are designed for travelers. As nice as a concept as they do sound, you may be curious as to whether or not they work or if they are worth the money.

When it comes to determining if travel sized air purifiers are worth the money, you will find that it depends. With that said, typically, most are encouraged to save their money. For more information on why, please continue reading on.

When examining air purifiers, especially those that are considered high end home air purifiers, you will find that most are relatively large in size. Although air purifiers and filters are becoming more compact, you will find that most are still a decent size. For example, tower shaped air purifiers are thin, but they are still somewhat small. Desktop air purifiers are the same way, unless flat, so they do still take up a considerable amount of space. On the other hand, travel size air purifiers are extremely small in size. This impacts the size filter that can be used. Smaller filters can easily become clogged or not capture all particles in the air.

Despite the fact that air purifiers are on average a decent size, that hasn’t stopped some companies from selling small travel sized purifiers. As for what you will find, it will vary. For example, some are much smaller versions of desktop air purifiers or industrial floor cleaner that are lightweight and easy to transport. Also, did you know that you can actually wear some travel sized air purifiers like a necklace? You can, as there are some versions available for sale.

As for travel sized air purifiers that can be worn like a necklace, it does should like a pretty neat idea, although some say that there are dangers associated with certain brands, especially when they are worn too close. You can see this by reading reviews of these necklace-like air purifiers online. There are cases where some consumers felt ill after wearing them for extend periods of time. This is something that should cause you to be concerned.

Smaller, travel sized air purifiers that resemble desktop air purifiers are nice, but most cannot be considered high end. Typically, it depends on the brand and whether or not HEPA air filters are used. In all honesty, if you truly need to have cleaner air, it may be best to bring a high end compact air purifier from home with you. Of course, be cautious when doing so; be sure to pack well. Since high end home air purifiers are expensive, you will not want damage yours.

A great alternative to investing in travel sized air purifiers that may not work is by carefully choosing your hotel. First, ask if air purifiers are used in the hotel rooms. Some hotels do now use them, especially after being wished for by guest. If you cannot find a hotel that uses an air purifier, be sure to choose a room where pets and smoking are not allowed, as this often means that the room’s air is much more cleaner.

My Trip To Traveler’s Health Care Utopia

Everything was going swimmingly: I got my passport, found a cheap flight, and got my two weeks off of work. I was ready for the ultimate vacation. On a tip from a friend of mine, I decided on a package tour of Meditopia, an island nation often called the jewel of the South Pacific. The brochure sent to me by Meditopia Adventure Travel displayed pristine white sand beaches, lush jungle waterfalls, charming locals, and, strangely, a photograph of their brand new hospital. ‘Our health care is free to all,’ the caption under the photo read. An avid scuba diver and lover of nature, this obscure nation seemed to provide it all.

I connected to Meditopia Air flight number 13 from Bangkok, and after sixteen hours of travel, I arrived into Healthiopolis Airport. Customs was a pretty standard procedure, although it was strange when the official seemed disappointed that I did not have any pre-existing medical conditions.

As it turned out, I arrived in the middle of monsoon season. Despite securing a very quick and efficient taxi to the hotel, I was soaking wet and shivering by the time I reached the front desk. I wasn’t going to let some rains dampen my spirit: I celebrated the first night of my vacation with a couple pork dumplings known to be a local delicacy. Before long I was dreaming of the swimming, hiking, and diving I would be doing.

The next morning, I awoke to an intense, pounding headache, a severe sore throat, sweats, and a case of diarrhea the likes of which I never had before. It was terrible, and I wasn’t sure if it was the rain that soaked me or the dumplings I had eaten the night before. There was a knock on my door.

“Meditopia Adventure Travel! I am your guide! Good morning!” a bubbly voice called.
“I am sorry, I’m very sick,” I sputtered, opening the door.
“Sir, you are not well!” a portly, amiable looking local said.
“Yes, perhaps I should sleep it off,” I tried to close the door, but the guide would not let me.
“We must take you to our brand new hospital, sir,”
“No, no, I don’t have any insurance,” I said, “at least none that would be accepted here.”
“Sir, you must understand that here, in Meditopia, we pride ourselves in our free health care. Even Yankee travelers such as yourself can get access to our state of the art facilities.”

I did not believe him, but before long I found myself in an ambulance, on the way to the hospital. Wrapped in blankets, upon entry to the hospital, I tried to fish out my HMO card, but the exceedingly friendly nurse waved it away. I waited no more than ten minutes before a two Doctors waved me into an examination room. In my feverish delirium, I continued to wave around my insurance card, knowing full well that my plan had no coverage for foreign hospitals. The doctors diagnosed my acute food poisoning using gloves for arthritic hands and blood pressure apparatus, and set me up with a lavish hospital room, as well as a free prescription for the necessary antibiotics. Good lord, I tried to give the staff money every time they visited, but they refused.

I spent my entire vacation recovering in the hospital ward; it was amazing. There wasn’t even any paperwork for me to fill out. This land of Meditopia was the perfect place to get sick. Feeling refreshed, rested, and thankfully, in peak physical condition, I boarded the plane hoping to get sick here, again sometime.

 

7 Tips For Couples Before Travelling

In a life that is dictated by routines, vacations and travelling is a thing that helps keep us sane. The idea of taking annual leaves regularly makes a lot of sense. The last thing any of us want, on his or her travel, is a non-compatible travel partner. If you are on your own, traveling with a friend or looking for a travel companion, a few tips might help you from having a trip to hell. Here are seven tips for traveling as a couple:

• Decide upfront why you are going and what you want to get out of the trip.

• Money has the potential of destroying the best of friendships, let alone create problems if your travel companion is a mere acquaintance. Its best to decide what, where, and how much you will be spending on mutual expenses.

• Prepare a tentative itinerary; places you want to visit, things to do and time to be spent at each location.

• Travelling with some one has benefits, but even then, you should get sometime to yourself. Make allowance for time that each will be spending on their own.

• Every one enjoys different aspects of travel. It’s good to figure out each others preferences before getting stuck together on a rather costly trip. Some of us are night people while others can’t keep their eyes open after dark. Some like everything decided and planned, others are more spontaneous. Some like to indulge in the culture while others prefer to immerse in the sights only. Make sure you and your companion share some views, if not all, regarding travelling.

• Unless you are a 100% sure about the person you are travelling with, pack some earplugs, they can be a life line during an otherwise sleepless night.

• Have an open mind & a generous heart. Give the other person some space & make the most of your solo time as well. Have fun and keep it enjoyable for both.

Find place to stay in Asia.

Travel To Bali, Indonesia

Traveling to Indonesia is definitely a trip you will never forget.Plan for a long ride to get there, as it is a 31 hour flight from New York. Bali is a wonderful area with an array of fun filled activities to choose from. It is the main tourist area of Indonesia.

The people of Bali are very friendly, and enjoy having visitors come to their area. Many speak English to interact with tourists. They have chosen to preserve their culture for all to see rather than change it to become like other countries. The beaches are a main attraction with surfing being one of the most popular activities. Others enjoy renting a boat for the day to relax on the open waters.

Lodging in Bali ranges from small Bali bungalows to huge fancy hotels, all with basic accommodations to meet the needs of tourists. The view from your hotel will be wonderful because of the rich beauty of the area regardless of where you choose to stay.

The people of Bali are very artistic. They enjoy painting, weaving, carving, basket making, and other arts. Children are taught art from a very early age. They often display their makings to sell to the tourists.

Temples are a main attraction in Bali. They are called Pura. The temples provide an opportunity to explore religion and art of the culture. The people of Bali are still very religious, and it is very important that those visiting the Temples show respect for their religious beliefs.

Art galleries exhibit creative and attractive art work to view. Wildlife and nature reserves are popular in Bali. Many people go to get a glimpse of the very dangerous Komodo Dragon, a large lizard that is found only in the area and is extinct. The rare Java tiger is also displayed.

There are more than 400 volcanoes in Indonesia, 128 are still active. They offer a historical view of this natural creation to observe. Botanic Gardens are also a very popular attraction. Displaying flora and fauna as well as promoting conservation, people are drawn to the beauty of such attractions.

While Indonesia is a beautiful and serene place to visit, it is strongly advised at this time to be cautious with such visits due to the possibility of terrorist attacks. If you do choose to travel to the area do not travel alone and make sure you have registered with the US Embassy.

Romantic European Getaways – Famous Hotels In Europe

romantic-europeean-vacation-germany

Europe has a rich and romantic culture. You can find many museums there as well as palaces, great churches, cathedrals, chateaux, parks, and art galleries. As you can see, the places are indeed very historical and yet many modern people prefer to explore them rather than enjoying the modern attractions of other places. Because of the richness in culture and history of Europe, it provides a romantic atmosphere suitable for couples and lovers. When you’re in European countries, you will feel vibrant and alive once more. So why not arrange for a romantic vacation there?

Here are excellent places where you can have a very romantic vacation ever:

1.    Hotel Splendido – it is perched in exotic gardens and glamorous Portofino. This is a place for the rich couples and tourists where they can enjoy the beautiful sceneries such as cypress-dotted landscapes and colorful harbors. You will be able to see fishing boats and yachts jostling each other. If you’re after refinement and elegance, this is the hotel for you. It boasts of excellent service and hospitality that only a few hotels offer. The hotel overlooks a ravishing seascape and verdant woodlands. The hotel is truly unique and at the same time, it offers comfort and beauty.

2.    Hotel Cipriani – this hotel was created to let tourists experience the Venetian hospitality together with luxurious accommodations. It offers the finest cuisine and attentive service in the whole of Europe. If you want to enjoy seclusion and a very calm atmosphere, make your reservations at Cipriani.

3.    La Residencia – this is located in Deia Mallorca and is very popular for its spa resorts and luxury hotel. It is situated at the foot of the hill of Sierra Tramuntana at the northwest coast of the island. You will be able to get a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea from the hotel since it is very near the shore.

4.    Orient Express (Venice Simplon)- if you choose to stay in the Orient Express, you will have a very unique experience on wheels. This exciting ride explores the many alluring cities of Europe. You can take pleasure in the exciting rides and not only that, you will also have the grandest adventure of your life while having a romantic time with your love one.

5.    Villa San Michele – this used to be a monastery and is located at the hilltop. It is surrounded by terraced gardens and trees. It also overlooks Florence. The renaissance building of the villa in Europe will allow you to experience the unique culture of Italy and the solitude of galleries and cathedrals. When you’re a guest, you will have the privilege to explore the famous Italian gardens which boasts of beautiful roses and lemon trees; you will also have the chance to savor their Tuscan cuisine.  You can be accommodated in the private home-like alfresco loggia.

6.    Lapa Palace Hotel – this can be found in Lisbon. It is located at a hilltop and many artists, politicians, and international aristocracy often spend their time there. Room rates are reasonable and you will get inclusive breakfasts for the rest of your stay in the hotel.

These are the prominent hotels found in Europe. As you may have noticed, almost all hotels offer a romantic atmosphere which is a very unique characteristic of Europe. You can’t find that same romantic atmosphere in other countries.  Romantic European getaways are truly popular, so why spend your vacation elsewhere?

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China Transit Visa (G)

Chinese Transit visas are for persons who are staying for a short period while in transit between two other countries different from China visa service. You must have residency in the destination country or have a valid visa for it (if required).  The fee appears to be the same as for a tourist L, so check whether you might as well get a tourist L instead.

Some airports do not have an international transfer area and you might have to collect your baggage and exit into the main area so you would expect to need a visa. When you make bookings that look like you will not be checked straight through to your final destination, you are advised to ask the airline or the agent, or contact the embassy or consulate to check if a transit visa is required.
Requirements

1. Applicant’s valid passport must have at least six months of remaining validity with at least one blank visa page in it.
2. One accurately and truthfully completed Application Form.
3. One color passport standard photo (2X2 square inch) glued or stapled on the application form.
4. A valid visa to the country of destination if required.
5. An air/train/ship ticket to the final destination with confirmed departure date and seats.
How to Apply

1. You can personally submit the application to the consular office of the Chinese Embassies, Consulates and other Chinese diplomatic missions which hold consular jurisdiction over your residence.
2. Or you can entrust someone else, a travel agency or a visa agency to act on your behalf if you can’t come in person. Power of attorney is not required.
3. Mailed applications are not accepted by most of Chinese embassies or consulates in overseas.
4. No appointment is required.

Adventure Travel On Horseback

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When you think of “adventure travel,” what crosses your mind?

• Hiking?
• White water rafting?
• Scuba diving?
• Something as sedentary as a cruise ship or land rover safari?

Those ideas lose their “adventure” status when you compare them to galloping on a horse in Africa with a zebra and wildebeest racing along side you, or quietly observing the elephant and giraffe.

How can a traveler visit the remote parts of the world’s most beautiful and interesting places while…

• Practicing a fascinating sport
• Avoiding polluting
• Keeping in harmony with history and nature
• Being free to explore exotic locations
• Making friends in remote places, and
• Sharing the experience with a willing animal?

Have you ever considered the tremendous advantages of adventure travel on horseback? A horse can take you to beautiful and remote places which are difficult to reach in any other way. At the same time, you can practice a challenging sport which has been a favorite of mankind for millennia.

Destinations like Africa, Asia, Europe and South America offer a wonderful variety of adventure tours on horseback. Though comparatively little known to Americans, the British and particularly the French have highly developed the riding tour concept in many parts of the world. In many locations in the United States rights-of-way for horses have been lost, but many still exist in other countries.

Horses and horseback riding are deeply woven into the culture and history of most cultures from Argentina to Ireland. This is how our ancestors traveled and for those with a sense of history there is no more appropriate way to go. If you arrive in a foreign place on horseback, you will most likely be enthusiastically greeted by locals with waves and smiles which greatly facilitate meaningful contacts. Those who arrive by bus, on foot or on a bicycle are usually ignored. Horses are a great introduction and ice breaker almost anywhere.

If you seek a wilderness adventure, then horses are the way to go unless you want to walk and carry your equipment. Riding tours can take you from inn to inn, castle to castle, palace to palace or from one comfortable camp to another. Costs are very reasonably compared to biking or bus trips.

Horseback riding adventures vary widely in the skill and experience required to handle them safely. Most of these tours move out at all paces and include some good gallops so that one can cover 15 to 35 miles in a day. Beginners need several days of instruction before attempting even an easy trip, but those who are reasonably fit, not too overweight and have open minds can catch on very quickly. A week of intensive riding with good instruction can easily prepare most people for the less demanding adventures.

One of the enormous advantages of travel on horseback is that you are sharing the adventure with a willing animal who is also interested in the sights and sounds and who loves a brisk gallop on a beach or open plain as much as you do. A day in the saddle is also great exercise and riding is an excellent way to keep fit while having fun. It is far more interesting and satisfying than sitting confined in a bus or land rover all day which really isn’t adventure travel at all. Another dividend is the keen appetite you develop after a day in the saddle for the delicious food you will be served.

On an African ride, a good horse can outdistance an irate Cape buffalo or elephant and keep you safe. Comfortable camps are set up for you each night, the food is excellent and the service superb. Or try a horseback tour visiting the castles of the Loire Valley and ride into the courtyards on your horse like a knight of old. You can gallop along forest tracks where the French aristocracy once chased the wild stag. There is a broad spectrum of possibilities available for horseback riding vacations.

If it appeals to you to travel in harmony with nature without using polluting, noisy machines or an unresponsive bicycle, then you should look into horseback riding tours.