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

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A 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 choose? 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 different destinations.

Annual Travel Policy or a 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 an 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 travelling to Spain or Balearic Island, make sure you check your travel insurance policy. Some travel insurers exclude Spain and the 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 aΒ couple of 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. The 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 doΒ 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 means 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 a state-run hospital in the area.

Active holiday

If you planning on going on an 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 cheaper 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 the 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! πŸ™‚

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 a 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 πŸ˜‰

For a €2 per person, you can take a 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. Supermarkets in Monaco have delicious freshly made sandwiches, cakes and freshly squeezed orange juice for a fraction of the price. You can also buy small glasses of wine- you’re on holiday after all πŸ˜‰

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 Oceanography Museum and it costs only €10 per adult. In my opinion, it’s worth doing. The Train goes around the old town, crossing the Grand Prix start line. You will be able to see all the major landmarks like the Monte Carlo Casino and Hotel de Paris. It also goes past the exclusive, members-only Yacht Club. Each seat is supplied 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 supercars 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 easily discover the City using public transport. Buses cost only a 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 good at pretending and don’t look completely 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 the tourist office, you can get your passport stamped absolutely free. Nice little souvenir to remind 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 supercars 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 a little fortune. On top of that, it will give you the opportunity to discover the local area and get dinner in a nice restaurant for much less than you would have paid in Monaco. We stayed in the beautiful village of Roquebrune-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 πŸ™‚

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 into La Bomboniere & Spa located in the nearby village of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. As always I used my favourite site Booking.com to find and book the accommodation.

Location

The B&B was located in a 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 a 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 streets of the village. There is no 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 drag your suitcase on the cobbles for about 5-10 mins.

South of France medieval village

La Bombonier & Spa

The Accommodation

We booked 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 travelling 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 suite located on the first floor named after Coco Chanel. It was spread over 2 floors. Downstairs there was a 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 a bath and separate shower, double bedroom, dressing area with a 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 a large walking in a 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 a kettle to make yourself coffee or tea, a small fridge that supposes to be fully stocked with wine and juices, yet it only had water. I was disappointed that there wasn’t a 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 the 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 either. Natalie was ensuring me that no one will break in but somehow that didn’t put me at ease.

I guess the only good thing about this room was the terrace with an amazing view 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 super clean

Having a Nespresso coffee machine in one of the apartments

Beautiful location with many fantastic restaurants nearby

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 a 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 answer them all.