11 facts you didn’t know about your travel insurance policy || Are you protected?

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Travel insurance policy is super important. You should always book it at the same time as your holiday. This will ensure your holiday is protected in case you need to cancel your journey. But is your travel insurance covering everything you would expect it to cover? Is every policy the same? Which one insurance should you chose? Read on to find out.

Travel Warning

Check the Foreign Travel Advice website before you travel. When your travel destination has a travel warning in place, your policy will automatically become invalid. But If the travel warning was put in place after you booked your holiday, you will be able to claim it through your insurance. If you booked a package holiday, the travel agent most likely will be happy to re-book it to a different destinations.

Annual Travel Policy or one-off?

If you travel more than twice a year, is most likely annual travel insurance policy will work out cheaper. Sometimes you can get annual travel insurance policy together with your bank account. Talk to your bank, as sometimes you can get travel insurance policy, phone insurance policy and car breakdown cover for the same price as you would pay just for an annual travel policy with one of the insurance providers

Is every country covered?

If you traveling to Spain or Balearic Island, make sure you check you travel insurance policy. Some travel insurers exclude Spain and Spanish island from their European policy covers

It’s cocktail o’clock

You travel insurance policy might be invalid if you had a drink. Whhhhat? For most of us that’s a major part of our holiday.But yes. When you lose something or hurt yourself you might not be covered if you had a couple glasses of vino. Be aware! Some insurers might even request a blood test to verify if you consumed any alcohol.

What’s the difference?

Travel Insurance policy and travel accident insurance are two different things. Don’t get those two mixed up. Travel insurance policy covers you for any travel cancellations and medical treatments. Travel accident insurance ( comes with some credit cards) covers accidents on a plane, train or hire car you booked using that credit card.

Medical Conditions

Make sure you declare all the medical conditions, no matter how small they are. Your travel insurance policy can be invalid if you do not provide your insurer with the list of all pre-existing conditions for every traveller that is included in the policy.

Travel insurance policy vs EHIC

Your European Health insurance card is not a travel insurance policy. You should always have both when travelling around Europe. EHIC card is absolutely free. You can get one by applying online here. Your EHIC card gives you the state-run medical cover. So if the locals get certain treatment for free, you will get it as well. This mean you won’t have to claim it on your insurance.

What about private treatments?

Most of the travel insurance policy’s do not cover private hospital treatments. There are some exclusions such as: it was an emergency and there was not state-run hospital in the area.

Active holiday

If you planning on going on a active holiday such as skiing or wakeboarding, you will need to buy insurance that covers extreme sports. You will also need this type of insurance if you planning to ride a moped or go scuba diving. Even going go carting can be classified as a dangerous activity.

What else isn’t protected?

Your gadgets are most likely not covered. With many cheap travel insurance policy’s you need to request for your gadgets to be protected. Of course this can increase your premiums. Talk to your bank, as sometimes they might offer you travel insurance policy and phone insurance policy together with your bank account at a lower price to what you would pay for your annual travel insurance policy elsewhere.

Last day of holiday. You need to check out before lunchtime but your transfer is not till evening. But that’s not a problem as almost every hotel has a luggage storage room. Leaving your bags is the storage room will invalidate your policy as the insurer will classify this as leaving your bags unattended.

Thank you for reading my blog. If you like this post make sure you share it with the rest of the world! 🙂

Love, Natalia

Exploring Monaco on a budget || visiting Cote d’azur

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Monaco is one of the most beautiful places I have been to. No matter which part of the city you visit, you will be surrounded by stunning scenery, amazing architecture and super friendly people. Monaco is also very safe and clean which makes discovering the city even more enjoyable.

View of Monaco

View of Monaco

Monaco

Monaco

The Principality of Monaco is classified as one of the most luxurious holiday destinations where the rich & famous spend their summer. After visiting Monaco myself in June I have a few tips on how to have a great time without going bankrupt.

Below you will find a list of all the things I did in Monaco for free or a very small fee.

The ultimate guide on how to visit Monaco on a budget
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Monaco’s Japanese Gardens

Japanese gardens are located in the heart of Monaco. They are free to enter and they are absolutely stunning. The actual gardens are not very big and you could probably walk around in about half an hour, but you could easily spend an entire day there. Relaxing on the bench, watching the world go by.

Japanes Gardens in Monaco

Japanes Gardens in Monaco

Japanes gardens in Monaco

Japanes Gardens in Monaco

Japanes Gardens in Monaco

Monaco Marina

We had great time just walking around, looking at the crazy expensive boats and googling who they belong to. If you’re lucky enough, you might even spot some celebrities, but they are like vampires- only coming out at night 😉

For a €2 per person you can take short boat trip from one end of Marina to the other.

Monaco Marina full of boats and yachts

Lunch with a view

Yes, you can queue forever to get to a swanky restaurant with a beautiful view just so they can sit you in a dark corner right by the toilets and charge you a fortune for the pleasure or… You can go to the local supermarket, buy your lunch and eat it on a bench in the marina. Super markets in Monaco have delicious freshly made sandwiches, cakes and freshly squeeze orange juice for a fraction of the price. You can also buy small glasses of wine- you’re on holiday after all 😉

Delicious cakes in Monack

Delicious cakes in Monaco

Delicious cakes in Monaco

Monaco Old Town

There is so much to see in the old town. From beautiful panoramic views of the City, to changing of the guards in front of the Palace. You can spend hours walking around small, narrow streets looking around local shops and cafes.

Monaco old town

Monaco Royal Palace in Old town

Monaco old town

Monaco Old town

St Nicholas Cathedral

A short walk from the palace there is the beautiful St Nicholas Cathedral. Unfortunately for us there was a First Communion happening that day, so we could not go inside, but even from outside it was spectacular!

St Nicholas Cathedral in Monaco

St Nicholas Cathedral in Monaco

The Oceanographic Museum

Another spectacular building inside the walls of Monaco is The Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. Yes, you do have to pay to go inside but even walking around it is amazing. The building is surrounded by stunning gardens and amazing view of the coastline.

Octopus outside of Oceanographic Museum in Monaco

Oceanographic Museum in Monaco

Gardens in Monaco old town

The Train

There is a Monaco tour train. It leaves from outside of Oceanographin Museum and it costs only €10 per adult. In my opinion it’s worth doing. The Train goas round the old town, crossing the Grand Prix start line. You will be able to see all tbe major landmarks like Monte Carlo Casino and Hotel de Paris. It also goes past the exclusive, members only Yacht Club. Each seat is suppiled with headphones, so you can listen to a guide and learn some interesting facts.

Monaco Turist train

Church in Monaco

Grand Prix start line in Monaco

Hotel De Paris in Monaco

Monte Carlo Casino

You need to have quite a substantial amount of money to go inside and of course follow the dress code. But it is absolutely free to stand outside and watch all the super cars drive past. Monte Carlo Casino is where James Bond was filmed so you definitely can’t miss it.

You’ll notice that Monaco is full of red Ferraris driving around. That because for €180 You can rent one to live the high life for half an hour

Monte Carlo Cassino in Monaco

Monte Carlo Cassiono in Monaco

Monte Carlo Cassino in Monaco

Exotic Gardens of Monaco

At the top of town there is a beautiful cactus garden- Le Jardine Exotique. The entrance wasn’t very expensive- I think it was around €12 but you will definitely spend a couple of hours there. Included in the price of the ticket, is a tour around the caves. Plus the views of Monaco from the gardens are just stunning. Definitely a must!

Exotic Cactus garden in Monaco

Exotic cactus gardens in Monaco

Exotic gardens in Monaco

Exotic gardens in Monaco

view of Monaco

Cavew in Monaco

View of Monaco

Public Transport

If you don’t fancy walking around in the heat you can easly discover the City using the public transport. Buses cost only couple of euros per journey. Public transport is very punctual and clean.

Shop till you drop

Monaco is full of designer shops such as Gucci, Chanel and Hermes. Yes, you need to be super rich to buy anything, but if you are like me, it’s fun just to walk around and look at the beautiful creative windows. You can also have fun trying on things and just pretend you have all the intention to buy something. If you’re a good at pretending and don’t look completly like a tourist, most shops will over you a complimentary glass of bubbly. #livingthehighlife

Shopping in Monaco

Gucci Shop in Monaco

Get stamped

If you visit tourist office, you can get your passport stamped absolutely free. Nice little souvenir to remaind you of your holiday

Stampped passport

Walk the Walk

Spend time walking the streets and discovering the city. Each corner hides beautiful building’s, independent cafes and shops full of unique product. When you walking around all you can hear is super cars raving their engine’s.

Caffe in Monaco

The Square in Monaco

Accommodation

Hotels in Monaco can get booked up very fast, especially during summer. Plus, the prices are rocket high. Staying in the local villages can save you little fortune. On top of that, it will give you the opportunity to discover local area and get dinner in nice restaurant for much less that you would of paid in Monaco. We stayed in beautiful village of Roquerbrune-Cap-Martin only 5 mins train ride from Monaco that we booked through Booking.com. You can read more about our accommodation here.

To see more pictures from my travels head over to my Instagram and hit that follow button 🙂

Thanks for reading,

Love, Natalia

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La Bomboniere & Spa in South of France || Hotel Review

Since my husband Chris bought his BMW convertible he always wanted to drive to Monaco to do the Grand Prix driving rout. As Monaco is super expensive to stay in the summer we decided to book ourselves in to La Bomboniere & Spa located in the nearby village of Roquerbrune-Cap-Martin. As always I used my favourite site Booking.com to find and book the accommodation.

Location

The B&B was located in beautiful medieval village surrounded by breath-taking views of Monaco and nearby area. The hotel itself was located at the top of the heel and was pretty difficult to find. In my confirmation email there wasn’t any useful instruction on how to get there. We stopped to ask few locals for directions but even they were struggling to help us. Eventually after an hour of searching we managed to get there. The B&B was located in one of the small, narrow street of the village. There is not direct access by car so or you have to leave your car in one of the free public car parks and walk up the hundreds of stairs with your suitcases or you can pre-book yourself private garage space with your room. It costs €10 per day and is a bit closer to the hotel but you will still need to be prepared to drug your suitcase on the cobbles for about 5-10 mins.

South of France medieval village

La Bombonier & Spa

The Accommodation

We booked the La Bomboniere & Spa for 4 nights. It was a 3 star B&B style accommodation. We rent out 2 out of 3 available rooms as we were traveling with my parents in law. Our host Natalie showed us around the property and asked if we would like to book our continental breakfast for the next morning. Natalie was very friendly and helpful. She answered any questions we had. She recommended us lots of places we should visit, local restaurants and how we could explore the local area.

The COCO apartment

The first room was a family suit located on the first floor named after Coco Chanel. It was spread over 2 floors. Downstairs there was large modern kitchen, seating area with a huge plasma TV and dining room seating 4 people.

La Bombonire & Spa kitchen

La Bomboniere & Spa dining room

Upstairs there was a huge family bathroom with bath and separate shower, double bedroom, dressing area with washing machine that you could use free of charge and a wide hallway with a pull out bed.

La Bomboniere & Spa bedroom

The apartment was very clean and well looked after. It had lots of information about the local area and activities. There was also a Nespresso machine to use free of charge, but there was only one cup in the entire apartment.

The Brel apartment

The second apartment was located on the second floor and again, it was all it over 2 floors. Downstairs, there was a modern bathroom. It had large walking in wet room and mirror with docking station for your phone so you can listen to music.

La Bomboniere & Spa bathroom

Outside of the bathroom there was a double wardrobe and stairs to the bedroom and outside terrace with a hot tub. The room was ok. Pretty basic for the money we have paid.

La Bomboniere & Spa bedroom

There was kettle to make yourself coffee or tea, small fridge that suppose to be fully stocked with wine and juices, yet it only had water. I was disappointed that there wasn’t coffee machine like there was in the other apartment.

The other thing that we discovered on the first evening was the fact that there was no key for back door terrace which means we had to leave it unlocked. I really didn’t like the fact I had to leave my valuables unsecured in our room especially that there was no safe ether. Natalie was ensuring me that no one will break in but some how that didn’t put me at ease.

I guess the only good thing about this room was the terrace with an amazing wives and the Jacuzzi bath.

La Bomboniere & Spa jacuzzi

La Bomboniere & Spa tarrace

La Bomboniere & Spa view

The good and the bad points about La Bomboniere & Spa

Good

The family apartment was nice and spacious

Both rooms were supper clean

Having an Nespresso coffee machine in one of the apartments

Beautiful location with many fantastic restaurants near by

Jacuzzi bath on the terrace

The B&B had lots of character and cute small touches around such as old suitcases full of French novels, or Chanel Perfume bottles in COCO room

The not so good points

The Jacuzzi bath was taken forever to fill, probably about 2 hours and you had to fill it up each day as the water will go dirty very quickly.

I don’t think our host was entirely honest when it came to prices and charges. Outside of the hotel there was a price list with the room rates and extras. When it came to an end of our stay she charged us €40 for our continental breakfast we had one morning. On the price list it only said ” breakfast €10″. We assumed it was per room but as we find out later it was per person. In my opinion 4 croissants, 2 baguettes and yours are not worth €40.

La Bomboniere & Spa breakfast

La Bomboniere & Spa

The other thing she tried to charge us was using the Jacuzzi bath. Apparently it cost €35 per fill. Even so, in the room information pack was clearly stated that this was included in the package. After I challenged here on this and refused to pay extra €70 ( we used it twice) she said yes it’s inc in the package but we didn’t have a package. When I asked her about what package she had in mind as she never mentioned this before, she said you had to buy one of her. In the entire brochure, price list or even booking site we used there was no mention of any package so I blandly refused to pay.

This situation really put me off this place as I don’t like sneaky people that just trying to get extra cash from you.

Overall

Overall the La Bomboniere & Spa was nice and clean but I don’t think it was worth the money we paid for it. The whole situation with different price list and charged also put me off from staying there again. Not entirely sure why this hotel was awarded 9.4 out of 10 on booking.com as I don’t think it was special. I stayed in many more cooler places that had a lower score, but that’s my personal opinion.

If you have any more questions regarding La Bomboniere & Spa and my experience there, comment below and I will answers them all.

24 hours in Brighton & Hove || what to do when visiting Brighton

This post might contain affiliates links. This mean that if you buy anything by clicking on one of the links, I might earn small commission (for which I will be very grateful) with no extra cost to you

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I haven’t been to Brighton in years. When my husband told me he needs to go there for a business trip I was more than happy to pack my overnight bag and go with him. I’m really fortunate that my work can be done from any place in the world. Plus I have a cool boss that lets me working outside of the office quiet often. I guess this what you call the right work-life balance.

Brighton is only an hour and a half from where we leave yet, I never have time to actually go there. I was quiet excited to spend few days there and discover the city again, check out new cool places to eat and see what has change since my last visit.

I spend my morning working from a Café – I was surprised how many people actually work from coffee shops… anyways, after finishing my tasks I went to explore the area.

How to spend 24 hours in Brighton & Hove
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First stop Brighton West Pier

The first place I went was the beach by the West Pier. As it was still fairly early in the day, the area was pretty quiet. The weather was beautiful, around 23 degree Celsius and full sunshine. I sat on the stone beach and just watched world go by. Shops and restaurants just began to open. I sat there for about half hour before I made my way down towards Brighton Palace Pier.

„West Pier was built in 1860s. It was design by Eugenius Birch to attract more tourist and visitors to Brighton area. All the way to 1916 the West Pier had lots of contractual changes. The Pier closed down in 1975 and fall into disrepair. In 2002 major section of the pier collapsed, and two arson incidents left the English Heritage beyond repair. In 2010 majority of the structure was removed to make space for i360 observation tower

On my way I passed British Airways i360 observation tower- glass viewing pod that takes you up 450ft for an amazing 360 degree panoramic view of Brighton and the local area. I really regret not going on it to be honest, but I said to myself that next time my husband goes to Brighton for work I will go with him again just so I can go on it.

Brighton Palace Pier

Walking along the beach toward Palace Pier I went passed lots of in depended shops, restaurants and bars getting ready for the afternoon trade. If you fancy a little bit of history, you can pop in to Fishing Museum that if free to enter and is located right at the sea fronts. It really felt like am on holiday abroad.

After about 15 minuets of slow walk I made it to Brighton Palace Pier.

The pier was full of people, mainly kids on their school trips. I had wander around before I grabbed one of the free decking chairs to do a bit of sunbathing and listen to the local buskers. If sunbathing and chilling isn’t your thing, you can spend your day at the amusement park located at the end of the pier, spend few ££ at the arcades or have lunch at the Victoria Restaurant.

For all the brave people, outside of the pier there is a Brighton Zip– the longest zip in South coast measuring 300m with additional drop zone offering a 24m free-fall experience. Somehow I passed on this attraction lol

If you have a bit more time than I had, you can also visit Sea life- I did that on my first ever trip to Brighton many, many, many years ago. It was pretty amazing, but you will need to be prepare to spend good few hours there to see everything properly.

Royal Pavilion

Around 2pm I started making my way back towards the town centre so I can check in into our hotel and do some more work. I decided to take a little detour and visit the Royal Pavilion which you can’t miss when visiting Brighton. The Royal Pavilion are surrounded by beautiful gardens. As it was such a beautiful day, lots of people chose to have their lunch there, seating on the grass and chilling.

Just outside of the garden gates there is a Brighton Dome and Brighton Museum & Art gallery, which due to lack of time ( I was there only for one day) I could not visit, but I added them to my list of „places to visit on my next return“

If you planning on going inside the Royal Pavilion, I will recommend to do so first thing in the morning as later it can get super busy with all the school kids and other tourist.

„ The Royal Pavilion was built in 3 stages in 1787. It was a seaside residency for George, Prince of Wales. The Pavilion was then extended in 1815“

Brighton Town Centre

Brighton Town centre is very lively and colourful. Everyone is very chilled, but full of life at the same time. Somehow, it gives me that happy hippy Ibiza vibe. You can hear music almost everywhere.

A part from being sea site destination, Brighton is also a student town. As you can imagine, its full of shops and bars. There is always something going on here. From cultural festivals, gigs, art showcases to Circus or Lady Boys show. I can guarantee that no matter how long you planning on staying in Brighton, you not going to be bored.

There is also a wide choice of restaurants and cafes. Here, you will find your typical chain restaurants, but also lots of quirky independent ones, serving almost any type of food you might fancy.

The things I disliked

I guess, as every large town, Brighton comes with few minuses. First one being super expensive parking, so if you planning on traveling here, I would recommend to come on the train or do the Park and Ride. Both, Bus station and Train Station are located I the heart of town with around 10-15 min walk to the beach.

The other negative is homelessness. Brighton have very large problem with homeless people, especially around town centre area. They like to seat and beg around train station as this is where the highest number of footfall is. But on the other hand, none of them approached me asking for money, so I guess it’s not all bad.

If you visiting Brighton for longer…

If you visiting Brighton for longer than one day and looking for more places to visit here is a list of other attractions that I hope to see on my next trip.

Brighton Marina– slightly outside of town, so you will need to take a short bus ride, or if you decide to walk, make sure you wear comfortable shoes.

Volks Electric rail– located on the seafront, nearby Brighton Royal Pier. Being 134 year old, making it the oldest electric railway in the world

Choccywoccydoodah – famous chocolate  shop that serves delicious cakes and makes incredible things out of chocolate. They use to have their own TV show

Have lunch at Stanmer House- beautiful country house serving traditional British food

Visit The Victoria bar at The Grand Brighton for few cocktails and afternoon tea- that’s definitely a MUST for me 😉

My step count that day
My step count that day

Check out my other adventures here

 Thank you for reading my blog. If you enjoyed it feel free to share it with the rest of the world.

 Love, Natalia