Dangerous Travel Selfie Trend Sparks Fears for Safety

Three student travellers have hit headlines recently after taking the world’s ‘selfie’ craze to new heights, literally, by perching on top of an antenna at the peak of a 1,135 foot-tall Hong Kong skyscraper and videoing the view.

The clip, which can be viewed on YouTube, is the latest in a long string of travellers intent of wowing the world by snapping gravity-defying photos of themselves on top of tall buildings, cranes and iconic sites.

The ‘selfie’ trend is one which has completely dominated 2014 so far, with the word actually being entered into the dictionary and even a top 40 hit being made out of the popular slang word. Regular selfies are pretty common and almost every Facebook feed is smothered in them on a daily basis, but the sub-trend for people taking ‘dangerous selfies’ has reached new, and controversial extremes. What has started as a silly trend has got some people aiming for the potentially fatal snap.

The trend for taking ‘extreme’ selfies has become a sensational internet phenomena which has exploded recently, especially in Russia where ‘extreme’ versions of activities always seem popular. ‘Skywalkers’ as they are known (not to be confused with relatives of Luke) climb to death-defying heights without safety equipment in order to snap the next best photo.

In June, British travel company boss Lee Thompson convinced the Brazilian tourist board to let him climb to the top of Christ the Redeemer and take a selfie – a photo which later became another internet sensation. He said the 25-minute climb to the top of the statue was “extremely hot, eerily quiet and claustrophobic” but reported that the view he got from the top was ‘incredible’. Continue reading

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9 Strangest (but oddly useful) Travel Gadgets

Travelling can be a stressful time for anyone, no matter how much planning you have managed to squeeze in to those anticipative hours before you leave the UK. There’s always something you wished you had packed.

Helpfully, there is a huge abundance of gadgets and apps on the market specifically for this purpose (we suspect Candy Crush was invented just for the moment you discover your flight is delayed by another two hours). Some, make sense and are actually used every single day by millions of worldwide travellers and some are just plain weird. Alpha Travel Insurance have listed the definitive ten strangest travel gadgets:

#1 UpRight Sleeper
You may have seen this before, and the idea went viral a couple of months ago. Basically, this gadget holds your head up in a sort of neck brace/frame, allowing you to sleep whilst sat or even standing upright without doing that really annoying thing where you sleep with your dribbly-chin on your chest, swaying from side to side (and waking up to a really sore neck!) Continue reading

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Duck Joins Lads on Epic 1,000 Vietnamese Motorbike Adventure

When Dan McAllen, 21 from Northern Ireland, and his mates bought motorbikes in Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam at the beginning of their planned 1,000 mile journey around the country, he wasn’t bargaining on getting a free travel buddy in the form of a negotiation from the motorbike dealer.

Oh – the travel buddy was a duck.

“I came across this guy in Ho Chi Minh selling his bike and while we were negotiating, he said I could have a free duck. Obviously, I said yes. So I got Rab and a couple of small bowls to feed him with. He was with us the whole trip and I’ve got some great memories of him.” said Dan, upon his return to the UK. Continue reading

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Explore Florida Keys From Your Own Home: Google Maps Underwater Kingdoms

Have you always wanted to visit an exotic location, learn to scuba dive and explore the treats the underwater worlds in locations such as Florida Keys, the Great Barrier Reef and the Galapagos Islands have to offer?

Now, curious explorers can go underwater in these fascinating destinations for free, and from the comfort of their own home.

Scientists and researchers are developing a ‘Google Street View’ type programme to hold information and pictures of the world’s coral reefs and other incredible underwater scenes, using special cameras which capture the 360-degree photos. Continue reading

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Austrian Ski Resort on Sale For Just 82p!

Skiing may be universally seen as a hobby of those a lot better off than most of us, but a resort in Austria’s Carinthia skiing region has gone on sale for just one euro…the equivalent of 82p.

Have you ever heard of the ski resort of Petzen?

Located just on the border of Slovenia, just a mere few kilometres where alpine racer Tina Maze started her path to worldwide domination, the area has a steep and rich skiing heritage, but the resort is up for sale at a bargain price. The Petzenbahnen was bought by the local authority’s tourism company for a multi-million price tag, but it is now back on the market for just under a pound – a hugely discounted sum.

Group ski Austrian Ski Resort on Sale For Just 82p!

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Top Six ‘Bear’ Essentials

iStock 000017252900Small Top Six ‘Bear’ Essentials

So, you’re going backpacking. Whilst you might not be planning on becoming stranded in Outer Siberia, or aiming to pull a 127 Hours type-stunt in a narrow ridge, it’s good to know that should it come down to it, you have your bases covered. Below, we’ve detailed the top ten things survival expert Bear Grylls suggests you should know before heading out into the wild with just your backpack on your back. Continue reading

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Ice Bucket Challenge

If you’ve been active on your social media channels lately, you’ll have probably seen an array of scantily clad individuals in their cluttered back gardens throwing buckets of water over themselves in aid of charity. We’re all for a good cause here at Alpha Travel Insurance with previous charitable events including cake sales, three peaks challenge, pajama days and skydiving.

Last Friday was no exception to our list of charitable events with some of our staff members stepping up to the cold watery ice bucket challenge, with a bit of added oomph thrown in for good measure! Continue reading

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Our August Competition Winner

shutterstock 98504012 Our August Competition Winner

Every month we select one lucky customer at random to be the winner of an Amazon voucher. Customers have to write a review of us, our products and services on the independent review site Trust Pilot in order to be entered for the win.

We read every comment we receive and due to the amount of entries it’s always hard to choose a winner. However this month’s lucky entrant was Kieron Welsby from Glasgow! Continue reading

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Your Pack, Your Bump and You – Things to Take Backpacking Whilst Pregnant

Pregnant Traveller Your Pack, Your Bump and You – Things to Take Backpacking Whilst Pregnant

Travelling whilst you’re pregnant can be a stressful and concerning time, but it can be done safely and without complications so long as the right preparations are made before you depart for your little slice of bliss away from home.

So what should you pack?

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The Future of On-Flight Knee Defenders

Last week, a United Airlines flight was diverted back and two passengers were removed after one of them used a locking device to stop the seat in front of them from reclining. Glasses of water were thrown and the dispute escalated into such a fully-blown verbal fight that the pilot was forced to divert to Chicago’s O’Hare airport to have the two passengers removed from the plane before continuing to the original destination of Denver.

The event seems to have caused some controversy, stirring up mixed feelings from regular airline passengers who seem to have bottled-up this widespread issue until now. Continue reading

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