IEC Travel Insurance

Travel insurance will most probably be the biggest cost for your trip to Canada. 

We needed to find a company that covered the whole 2 years, offered winter sports cover and covered us going home if we need to.
The 2 big ones for UK based applicants are True Traveller and Alpha. 

True Traveller seems to be the one a lot of people go with but when I looked at their site it worked out to be over £700 each! Far too much.
So what I have done is go with Alpha Longstay cover and including winter sports the price ended up being around £300 each. Plus we booked via TopCashback so we will receive £101 back in 30 days! So £250 each, bargain!! Longstay allows you 2 trips home during your cover as well. 
 The catch with Alpha is that you need to have proof of ‘intent to return’ to the UK. This can include confirmation of University placement or employment start date, rental agreement, home insurance, court summons or return flights. 

What we are doing is getting some cheap return flights that we will be able to change later (we have no idea when we will be back) these will only been needed if we happen to claim from Alpha but it’s best to be covered. Plus the price of the return flights (which we will eventually use) and any fee we may incur from changing the flight date is still a lot cheaper than True Traveller. 

I have travelled a lot and have never ever had to claim on travel insurance but because it’s mandatory to get your visa and because we will be doing a lot of skiing I feel a lot better knowing I’m covered. I broke my arm last year so if I do have a big fall and injure that again I’ll be to get it treated as my hospital cover is something like £10million pounds! 
Whatever you do, you need the full 24 months insurance cover to get a 24 month visa. They will ask for this when you arrive so be prepared and have all your insurance documents printed out to show at the airport. 


A bit of luxury in Scotland….

As this is essentially a travel site I thought I’d do a post on my recent trip to Scotland as it was quite magical.

Cameron House Hotel

For Fergus’s Mother’s 70th she took us along with Fergus’s sister Zoe and her fiancee Mark to Cameron House on the shores of Loch Lomond. We weren’t in the main hotel which is huge and very grand, we had a stunning 3 bed Lodge set in a community of lodges overlooking the Loch down to the mighty Ben Lomond. The decor was right up my street, lots of browns, tans and natural colours with touches of green. And the view, well you have to see it to believe it, ever-changing, dramatic and picture postcard Scotland.


We spent a bit of time in The Great Scots Bar in the main hotel and if you like Whisky and cocktails this is the place for you. The bar overlooks the hotel grounds and the Loch and is a great place to relax.


The hotel offers a spa and fitness facilities, a pool and jacuzzi as well as golf, tennis and sea plane flights amongst other activities. The boys had a game of golf and we used the pool a few times but we mainly went out and about visiting the wee towns around the Loch and eating eating eating! All the meals we had (including the takeaway from Balloch) were really nice. Big portions and really tasty. The best meal by far, and probably the nicest meal I have ever had was the 8 course taster menu we had and the Michelin starred Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond restaurant in the hotel.


Our day trips included;

  • A trip to Luss, a lovely little village which was featured in the show Take The High Road where we later had a yummy dinner at The Village Rest
  • A drive North to a fantastic lookout and lunch at The Drovers Inn, a very eclectic haunted pub filled with taxidermy, funny signs and scary old photos in ancient frames. My kind of place but i’m not sure id like to go there at night though.
  • A climb up Dumbarton Rock to Dumbarton Castle where we had fantastic views over the town from this historic site that has links to William Wallace and Mary Queen of Scots. There are a lot of stairs, so be warned!
  • A leisurely boat cruise up the Loch from Balloch on the Astina run by Sweeney Cruise Co. It was a tad chilly but great to see the Hotel from the lake as well as hearing a bit of history about the surrounding castle and estates and learning about the local wildlife.


I love Scotland, it will always hold a spacial place in my heart as my family from both sides originated from there and my ancestor Kenneth McAlpin was one of the first Kings of this great land. Get up there soon if you get the chance.