flightThe “fasten your seatbelt” light has just lit up! You are now on your way to your destination. Isn’t it exciting traveling to different places? I’m sure it would be even more exciting if long flights didn’t take such a toll on you, mentally and physically. Long international flights can almost make it hard to enjoy your trip, with all the time being seated, and the long customs lines you must go through.

With all the things everyone dreads about international flights, it is all worth it when you get to experience new cultures and traditions, see sights you could never imagine, or relax on a beach for your vacation. Since long flights get a bad rep, use these 5 tips to help survive your next flight, and get you to your enjoyment with more peace of mind!

Request a Special Meal

It used to be customary for you to receive a free meal on all flights, domestic and international. Now you are lucky if you get a bag of peanuts. However, there are still many foreign airlines that may serve you a meal during an international flight. Look up airlines that still have this feature, or try requesting a special meal when you are booking. Having a substantial meal instead of snacking can give you energy and keep you from feeling drained.

Set Your Time

One of the harder things to get accustomed to when traveling internationally is the local time. Your body typically runs on its own clock. So if you are traveling somewhere that is 5 hours ahead, you could be in for a rough transition. Set the time of your destination when boarding the flight. This will give you better judgement of how much time you will have left in the day upon arrival, and also allow you to use the flight to adjust if needed.

Bring a Survival Kit

Don’t you hate sitting next to a screaming baby for 20 hours? One way to help prepare is by bringing a survival kit to help you get the rest you need, and keep you in the best mood possible. Pack ear plugs, an eye mask, snacks, toiletries, etc. It is also a good idea to freshen up halfway through the flight to give you your second wind. This will also give you an excuse to get up and move around.

Don’t Forget the Entertainment

A long international flight can sometimes feel like a lifetime, and if you don’t have things to keep you busy, it will feel like an eternity. Pack an iPod, iPad, tablet, laptop, etc. to keep your mind busy. You can also bring a book(s), word puzzles, Sudoku, and other items as well.

Take Care of Your Body

Did you know that flying can dehydrate you? Stay hydrated, and bring water to drink regularly throughout the flight. Also, try to get up and stretch regularly to keep your blood flowing and keep from getting stiff.

For more help when traveling overseas, read our previous blog, “Tips for Traveling Abroad.” We wish you safe travels along your journey. If you are interested in purchasing travel insurance, or have any questions or concerns, please contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0)1624 678668 or visit us at mhginsurance.com. Our insurance brokers have the experience to assist you in selecting the right plan for you, with the best value.

Since long flights get a bad rep, use these 5 tips to help survive your next flight, and get you to your enjoyment with more peace of mind!

Plane lands at an airfield at the sunsetDid you know that taking at least one trip a year, reduces your risk of heart disease by 30%? With a statistic like that, how can you not already have your bags packed?! Before you rush out to book your next trip, be sure to use our checklist below when making any decisions about travel insurance, as well as traveling abroad. Traveling abroad can create some of life’s greatest experiences. Seeing other countries, cultures, and people can create memories that can be shared for a lifetime. In order to ensure that those memories are happy ones, travel insurance should be on the top of your list before you book that flight.

Having an emergency while you’re abroad can be a scary experience for many reasons. You are far from home, in a country that you do not know much about, and may not know where to go in the event of an emergency. Maybe you don’t speak the language which could make it impossible to try and get assistance from a local. You don’t have the family/ friend support that you do at home. Travel Insurance should provide you with the proper coverage to protect from an array of unplanned events that can really ruin a trip.

Travel Insurance Checklist

A good travel insurance policy should include the following:

· Maximum plan limit of at least $1,000,000.

· Provide coverage in most countries around the world.

· Provide coverage for accidents, illness and the acute onset of a pre-existing condition.

· Emergency air/ground transportation to the nearest qualified hospital.

· 24-hour worldwide emergency assistance.

· Pre-trip health and safety advisories on your destination such as required vaccinations, health risks and travel restrictions, medical monitoring, provider referrals for Western-style medical facilities, medical and dental practices and pharmacies. Other useful services include travel document replacement, lost luggage assistance, emergency travel arrangements and translation services.

· Simple online enrollment.

· Easy claim submission.

Travel Insurance benefits can vary based on policy or company, so it’s best to review a few different options from a reputable company to see which plan is best for you. Also, using an Insurance Broker can provide with you benefits that you may truly value. An insurance broker will typically work for you, the client, and offer you advice and assistant to getting the best l plan possible according to your budget. One reason they may be able to get you better coverage is because they represent several companies as opposed to just one. So their best interest is in the customer rather than the company. They can also assist you in with any claims you make and work on your behalf.

What should I Bring?

Once you purchase your travel insurance, you can begin fully to enjoying yourself and look forward to your adventure without having to worry about the unknown. Packing is very important, , be sure to include the following to make it as hassle free as possible:

1. Travel insurance card

2. Passport and visa

· Make sure the expiration date is not during your trip, also bring a copy of your passport for back up purposes

3. Flight itinerary

4. Immunization documents

5. A Full list of all accommodations

· Including addresses and phone numbers from all the locations you will be staying. Also be sure to include this information with a friend or family member who will be staying home.

7. Contact information for your country’s embassy or consulate in your destination

8. Emergency contacts

· It is smart to keep in touch with loved ones during your trip, checking in every so often.

9. Money

· Never have all of your cash in one place. Cash, cards, checks, passport, if you include them all in your day bag, and it happens to be misplaced or stolen, you may be stranded.

10. Map of where you will be going, along with a translation dictionary.

Once you have completed these checklists, you can officially kick back and enjoy your time. Don’t forget to take lots of pictures!

MHG Insurance Brokers wishes you safe travels along your journey. If you are interested in purchasing travel insurance, or have any questions or concerns, please contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0)1624 678668 or visit us at mhginsurance.com. Our insurance brokers are experienced and can assist you in selecting the right plan for you, with the best value.

Traveling abroad can create some of life’s greatest experiences. Seeing other countries, cultures, and people can create memories that can be shared for a lifetime.

507498998Just picture it. Looking out the window of a plane, on your way to see some of the most breathtaking sites from 20,000 feet up. You then glance at your significant other to see if they are as excited as you to finally get away from the rat race, and begin planning what you guys will do next. Then, one of you finally remember that this isn’t exactly a honeymoon, the kids are tagging along!

Family vacations create some of our most cherished memories. Ones that we will one day try to create with our own children. From driving across the border, to flying across an ocean, traveling the world is one of life’s most exhilarating activities. Maybe even more so when traveling with children. Follow these do’s and don’ts when traveling with kids in order to make the trip as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Do’s

· Do take your time. Don’t stress out about trying to see and visit everything. Children can get tired quickly, and may not be cut out to be on their feet all day.

· Do keep track of your kids. If traveling with more than one child, regularly count them. Traveling can be very tiring, and easy for a child to run off without you paying attention. Especially if you are rushing to make a connecting flight. It may also be a good idea to “brand” them by writing your phone number on their arm.

· Do ask if the hotel is full. If not, try to reserve a room that doesn’t have any other rooms occupied on either side. This can allow your children to be themselves, and you won’t have to continue telling them to be quiet.

· Do plan for extended downtime. There could be lengthy layovers or delayed flights. Kids can get restless when sitting for an extended period of time. Bring snacks and be prepared to keep them busy with games, books, or other activities.

· Do ask for help. Many hotels and airlines are quite accommodating when it comes to making children comfortable. This can help make your trip more enjoyable, cutting your stress level.

· Do check your travel documents. Make sure your passport is still valid, you have the necessary visas, and that all of your booked dates for flights and hotels are aligned.

Don’ts

· Don’t wait until the last minute to pack. Waiting until the last minute can raise the chances of you forgetting something, or even missing your flight. Also, be prepared for the weather. Pack jackets if it is expected to be cold, raincoats and umbrellas for stormy weather, etc.

· Don’t forget to pack medicine. Getting sick with no relief in sight is a sure way to ruin a trip. Also, check with your pediatrician regarding inoculation and vaccination requirements.

· Don’t let your child roam the hallway of the hotel unattended. Being away from home can multiply the chances your child gets lost.

· Don’t pay for your kids to stay at a hotel. Try to find a hotel that doesn’t charge for kids that are under the age of 12.

· Don’t lose it. If your child has a security blanket, or a favorite stuffed animal, it is a good idea to leave it at home. Don’t risk it getting lost, unless it can be easily replaced.

· Don’t forget travel insurance! Having the proper coverage while on your travels can be the difference between having a great trip, and a major headache. Not only will you not have to worry about medical coverage if something happens to you or your children, but you will have a 24/7 assistance hotline to call in case you get lost, or need help with any other travel arrangements.

If you are interested in purchasing travel insurance, or have any questions or concerns, please contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0)1624 678668 or visit us at mhginsurance.com. Our insurance brokers have the experience to assist you in selecting the right plan for you, with the best value.

Family vacations create some of our most cherished memories. Follow these do’s and don’ts when traveling with kids in order to make the trip as smooth and stress-free as possible.

529081140Summer time is here, which means one thing for a lot of families, road trip! There are few better cross-country road trips in the United States than the world-famous Route 66. How many other roads do you know of that inspired songs and television shows? Often referred to as the “Main Street of America”, Route 66 was one of the original highway systems of the U.S. and a major path for those who migrated west. Constructed in 1926, U.S. Route 66 spans over 2,400 miles along across the heartland of America, crossing over 9 states in total, starting in Chicago, Illinois and ending in Santa Monica, California. While it was shut down in 1985, much of it remains to be driven via “Historic Route 66”, serving as the perfect route for an All-American road trip! So here are some destinations that you should consider stopping at along the way in each state.

Illinois

The Route 66 Arcade Museum is a must stop for anyone who has ever played a video game. It is home to many of the classic video games that people grew up playing in arcades, and features games from 1935 to 1980. Oh, and did I mention that many of these games are waiting to be played?!

Missouri

The Fantastic Caverns are one of the many natural marvels along Route 66. They were discovered by a farmer’s dog in 1862, and were further explored 5 years later by 12 women from Springfield. Today it is a great stop for the family along Route 66. Take a tram tour through the caves and see all the natural features that these caves have to offer. It is also a nice relaxing attraction that can help break up a road trip.

Kansas

Cars on the Route is an old school Kan-O-Tex gas station that has since been restored. It is a perfect place to stop for a snack and a photo opportunity. The kids will also love this place as they also have a few cars such as a tow truck and a fire engine dressed up like characters from the movie “Cars”!

Oklahoma

Ever watch the hit TV show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives? Then you will want to stop at this next place along Route 66 as it has been featured on the show! Rock Café is a great place to stop in for a meal while you are road tripping. They pride themselves on using the original grill from when they opened in 1939! Stop in for some All-American cuisine.

Texas

Texas is home to the midpoint of Route 66, and of course there is a place to commemorate crossing the midpoint. MidPoint Café is another great place to stop in for a meal and are the home of the famous MidPoint “Ugly” Pies! There are also great photo opportunities to add to your scrap book or photo album.

New Mexico

New Mexico is home to one of the more famous stops along Route 66, the Blue Hole. Located in Santa Rosa (also known as the “City of Natural Lakes”) this area is full of pristine bodies of water that are bright blue. The most famous is the Blue Hole! The Blue Hole is an 80-foot-deep artesian spring fed from an underwater aquifer. Visitors come from all around the world to take a dip, and you will want to stop here to refresh yourself for the home stretch of the road trip!

Arizona

When in Arizona, take a night to stay in the Wigwam Village! Staying at the Wigwam Village will take you back to the times when Route 66 was in it’s prime, and it is an iconic part of the Main Street of America. Wigwam Village. I mean where else can you spend the night in a giant concrete teepee?

California

Finally, you have made it to California, the last state along Route 66, and what better place to see then the world-famous Santa Monica Pier. There are restaurants, shopping, and an amusement park, all along the Pacific Ocean. Also enjoy live entertainment as there are always some kind of street performers from musicians to artists. Considering you were in America’s heartland when starting this trip, seeing the ocean shows you have far you have come. Before you decide to pack up, be sure to experience one on the best sunsets you will see along California’s coast.

For more help regarding working out while traveling, read our previous blog, “10 Different Workouts You Can Do in Your Hotel Room”. We wish you safe travels along your journey. If you are interested in purchasing travel insurance, or have any questions or concerns, please contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0)1624 678668 or visit us at mhginsurance.com. It is important to have proper travel insurance coverage in case of an unexpected emergency while traveling abroad. Our insurance brokers have the experience to assist you in selecting the right plan for you, with the best value.

Ready for an All-American road trip? Check out these stops along Route 66!

175545573Many people in the insurance industry work hard to avoid the bad reputation that insurance typically carries. However, people often jump to negative conclusions about anything involving insurance. Time and time again, we come across people who have the wrong idea of what an insurance broker is and why they are actually advantageous to the consumer. We have heard they are a waste of time, waste of money, and only care about making their commission. Being a dedicated group of insurance brokers, we can tell you that those descriptions are often false! Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but when we hear information that is incorrect, it encourages us to step in. Do you know what an insurance broker does?

If you know the answer to, then you are already aware of all the benefits of using an insurance broker. If not, learn why you should be using one. Take the time to find a quality, reputable broker to work with you in fulfilling your insurance needs. Not only will it be time well spent in the beginning, but it will also serve you well for the entire time that you have insurance needs, whether you are working on a yacht or wherever your travels may take you.

Brokers Can Offer More of a Selection

One benefit of an insurance broker is the selection of policies and plans. Typically, brokers can help you select insurance from a variety of different companies. Different insurance companies offer different plans, so having access to plans from multiple companies can afford you the opportunity to find the coverage that fits you best.

Also, depending on the insurance brokerage they may sell different types of insurance, allowing you to have a one stop solution for all your insurance needs.

Brokers Do Much More Than Sell Insurance

While brokers may act as the middle man between you and the insurance company, they can be so much more than that. An insurance broker will conduct research for you, file and assist you with the claims process, and work to get you the best coverage option for your situation. Often times a broker has direct connections with decision makers at the insurance companies so you may not have to sit on a 1-800 line for a long time, only to learn someone doesn’t have the authority to help you. Brokers also know which carriers provide consistent service, allowing you to avoid companies that may not deliver the level of care that you deserve at time of claim.

We Work for You

As brokers, we do not work for any insurance company, we work for you! Our goals are to please you, and make sure all you questions and concerns are handled. If you think about it, with all the benefits of using an insurance broker, it is certainly better than just going out and buying a policy from an insurance agent. Will an agent fight for you and your best interests?

Having proper insurance is important in every aspect of life. Whether you are at sea needing international coverage, looking for proper life insurance coverage, going on a vacation, etc. MHG is your specialized broker. Our insurance specialists have the knowledge and experience to find the policy that works best for you. If you are interested in purchasing, or have any questions about marine crew insurance, travel insurance, U.S. life and health, expatriate insurance, or property and casualty, please contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com. For more information on debunking insurance broker myths, read our previous blog, “Debunking 5 Myths About Insurance Brokers”.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but when we hear information that is incorrect, it encourages us to step in. Do you know what an insurance broker does?

492989930Monaco is a sovereign city-state located on the French Riviera in  Western Europe. It is the second smallest and the most densely populated country in the world! It is also considered to be a very luxurious destination, fit for celebrities and royalty. Which makes it a perfect location for a yacht show!

The Monaco Yacht Show is almost here, just a few weeks away. Will you be going to this year’s show? Whether you are flying in for the show, or you are already there preparing your vessel and have some time to kill over the coming weeks, Monaco is a place most people only dream about visiting, so why not make the most of your trip! Here are some things that you must see/do while you are in Monaco.

1. Larvotto Beach

beachLarvotto Beach is a public beach located near Monte Carlo. Like many other beaches along the French Riviera, Larvotto Beach has pebbles rather than sand, so be sure to wear sturdy shoes or sandals. The water is clear and clam, the beach is clean and well kept, and the hotels and mountains along the shoreline will make you feel like you are in paradise, just be sure to arrive early as spaces are sure to fill up. While this beach is great for visitors of all ages, it should be mentioned that some beachgoers lay out topless.

2. Princess Grace Rose Garden
This Rose Garden was created in 1984 as a memorial to Grace Kelly, who was the wife of Prince Rainier III. The garden includes a statue of Princess Grace and features 4,000 roses. There are also palm trees, olive trees, and other plants. Visitors say the park is a great place to walk and enjoy a peaceful oasis. While at the gardens, you should also tale the time to explore Fontveille Park.

3. Thermes Marins Monte Carlo
Thermes Marins Monte Carlo translates to “The Sea Baths of Monte Carlo”, and is one of Monaco’s most beloved spas. The spa includes gyms, salons, treatment rooms, and restaurants. Treatments that are offered include underwater massages, seaweed body wraps, and anti-aging sessions. Take a dip in the indoor heated pool, or in the Jacuzzi that overlooks the harbor.

4. Palais du Prince
prince palaceThe Palais du Prince (or Prince’s Palace) is home to, well you guessed it, the prince! This lavish royal residence has been home to many royal families over the years such as Prince Rainier III and his wife, Princess Grace. Today, it is the home of Rainier’s son, Prince Albert II. Visitors have said that the palace offers incredible views, and recommend a tour of the state rooms to see what royal living is really like!

5. Museums
476168634There are two museums to visit while you are in Monaco. The first is the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. This museum and aquarium was founded by Prince Albert I, who was a sea captain, in 1910. The museum includes many of the findings from his explorations. While the aquarium is often considered one of the best in all of Europe with more than 90 tanks. The second museum you should visit is the Museum of Antique Automobiles. This museum was gifted by Prince Rainier III with his personal collection of cars. There are about 100 vehicles including racing cars, carriages, even the Rolls Royce that Grace Kelly rode in on her wedding!

Bonus: Monte Carlo Casino
511850234A visit to Monaco really isn’t complete without a trip to its capital city’s casino, Monte Carlo Casino. This casino was the inspiration for the casino in Ian Fleming’s first James Bond book, “Casino Royale”. It was also in the Bond films, “Never Say Never Again” and “Goldeneye”. Many consider it a must visit because of its grand décor and tons of different gaming options. The Casino officially opens for gaming at 2 p.m. and you must be 18 or older to enter with proper attire.

Our Insurance Specialists have the knowledge and experience to offer advice or help select the best insurance plan for your needs. Whether you are in need of travel insurance, yacht crew insurance, or life insurance, visit mhginsurance.com or call +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 for help in selecting the plan that fits you best. Safe travels!

Monaco is a place most people only dream about visiting, so make the most of it while you are there for the show!

broker brokerIt seems as if every day we hear myths regarding insurance brokers. We often find ourselves debunking false statements and explaining to clients that they received inaccurate information. Sometimes, people or products get a bad reputation that is unwarranted, for whatever reason. So here are five common myths that may have given the term insurance brokers a bad name.

1. “Insurance brokers are more expensive”

Have you ever heard the saying, “brokers make you broker”? That saying could not be further from the truth. In contrast, working with a broker can actually save clients both time and money, in addition to frustration. Insurance brokers receive their compensation from insurers, but that does not (or should not) cloud the judgment of a good broker to recommend whatever policy is most appropriate to the situation as presented by you, the client.

2. “Insurance brokers work for the insurance company”

There are a lot of people who think that insurance brokers work for the insurance company, however again that is not correct. A broker advocates and works on your behalf. Basically, they work for you! Yes, they work with the insurance company in order to deliver proper coverage to people, however their concern should always be their clients.

3. “Insurance brokers are just a middle man”

While brokers may act as the middle man between you and the insurance company, they are so much more than just a middle man. In many cases, an insurance broker will conduct research for you, file and assist you with claims through the entire process, and work to get you the best coverage option for your situation. Often times a broker has direct connections with decision makers at insurance companies so you don’t have to sit on a 1-800 line for 20 minutes to talk to someone that doesn’t have the authority to help you.

4. “Insurance brokers can’t offer the best plans”

Insurance brokers can offer the same plans that an insurance company does, for the same premium as going straight to the insurance company. In fact, going through an insurance broker shouldy give you more value for your dollar simply because of all the added benefits that an insurance broker will perform for you.

5. “Insurance brokers aren’t as knowledgeable”

Insurance brokers are very knowledgeable. They spend all day, every day dealing with insurance. They know the industry, they live and breathe insurance, and they understand all the confusing terminology and phrases, which hopefully they can explain to you in a straightforward, no nonsense way. They also know the insurers, and the people who work there, which is a significant advantage over you calling a toll-free number and hoping for the best.

Having proper insurance is important whether you are at sea, or docked at a shipyard. MHG is your specialized broker when it comes to crew insurance. Our insurance specialists have the knowledge and experience to find the policy that works best for you. If you are interested in purchasing, or have any questions about yacht crew insurance or travel insurance, please contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com. For more information on preparing to work on a yacht, read our previous blog, “Yacht Crew Insurance Terms 101”.

Sometimes, people or products get a bad reputation that is unwarranted, for whatever reason. Insurance brokers are one of them, read more.

Getting ready to do my workoutSummer is upon us! Which means a couple things; people are ready to show off their summer body and will look to maintain their figure, and people will be taking summer vacations and traveling abroad over the next few months. Being healthy and traveling are two important aspects of life, however for some reason the two aren’t always synonymous. While traveling, many people may want to relax and kick their feet up, or eat delicious foods that may not be deemed “healthy”. Of course you could always go for a run or walk around the hotel grounds or the surrounding areas, or you could go for a swim in the hotel pool as swimming is one of the best exercises anyone can do. You could even do yoga to exercise the mind, body, and soul. But if you aren’t feeling any of those options, and there isn’t a gym in the hotel to work out in, try doing some non-weight exercises, or calisthenics, in your hotel room!

Calisthenics are a great way to get into or stay in shape. In fact, many people use calisthenics as their normal exercise routine and not just when in a hotel room. By using different exercises to target each muscle group, you can have a full body workout without leaving your hotel room in a short amount of time.

1. Upward and Downward Facing Dog- This is a common yoga exercise and is a great way to get your body warmed up before a work out or cooled down following one. Lay flat on the ground face down. Take a deep breath, push your hands against the ground to push your chest up while keeping your legs flat on the ground. Hold the pose for several breathes. On the last exhale, lift your bottom up to form a 90-degree angle with your body while keeping your feet and hands flat on the ground and your head between your arms. Stay in that pose for several breathes. On the last exhale, bend your knees to the floor so that your knees are under your hips and your hands are under your shoulders.

2. Planks- Planks are one of the best exercises you can do to work out your core. Lay face down on the floor. Prop yourself up with your forearms and keep your elbows directly below your shoulder. Remember to keep your body straight. For beginners, try using a straight arm with your hands directly underneath your shoulders.

3. Wall Sits- This is a great way to focus on your lower body as well as your core. Find a wall, then squat down into a sitting position with your back against the wall and your legs in 90 degree angles.

4. Mountain Climbers- Ready to get your heart rate pumping? Mountain climbers are a unique exercise that can get your heart rate up and work out your entire body without needing machinery or a large space to move around. Start in a push-up position and alternate bringing your knees to your chest.

5. Push-ups- This classic exercise focuses on your upper body strength and your core. To work out different muscles doing this exercise, try doing them on an incline and decline as well.

6. Sit-ups/ Crunches- This is another classic exercise that targets your abdominals. To increase difficulty try doing them with your legs up at a 90-degree angle. Or you could try air bike crunches where you alternate touching opposite elbows to knees.

7. Squats- This exercise really targets your thighs and your gluteal muscles. Remember to keep your feet shoulder width apart, and keep your heels flat on the ground when squatting.

8. Leg Lifts- As you may have already noticed, many of these workouts focus on your core, and leg lifts are one of the best ones you can do. Lay flat on your back and lift your feet 6 inches off the ground. For a change you could also try switching your feet from opened to closed every 10 seconds.

9. Lunges- Step forward with one leg lowering your hips until both legs are bend at 90 degree angles. Make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle and your back knee doesn’t touch the floor. Rotate legs.

10. Tables- Sit down with your hands and feet on the floor. With your arms behind you, prop yourself up by lifting your hips as high as you can, and squeezing your glutes and shoulder blades as hard as you can.

There are several different ways to approach these exercises, you could try doing each one until exhaustion, breaking them up into different repetitions and sets, or a mixture of both. There are a ton of other non-weight exercises you can do, however everyone is different and some may find other exercises more successful than others. Try looking up other exercises and make a work out guide that fits you and your needs best.

For more help when traveling overseas, read our previous blog, “Tips for Traveling Abroad.” We wish you safe travels along your journey. If you are interested in purchasing travel insurance, or have any questions or concerns, please contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0)1624 678668 or visit us at mhginsurance.com. It is important to have proper travel insurance coverage in case of an unexpected emergency while traveling abroad. Our insurance brokers have the experience to assist you in selecting the right plan for you, with the best value.

Being healthy and traveling are two important aspects of life, however for some reason the two aren’t always synonymous.

iStock_000086916863_LargeDo you have a trip planned this summer? Are you traveling to the tropics to kick your feet up on a beach somewhere with an umbrella in your drink?

Nothing beats a relaxing summer vacation to recharge you for the second half of the year. Depending on where you are going, there are some things that you need to be aware regarding the Zika Virus. The Zika Virus is a mosquito borne illness that is making headlines in the news all over the world. Since mosquitoes are most prevalent in warm tropical areas, you should be prepared and take any necessary precautions if you are traveling to or live in ones of the areas. It should also be noted, this virus is a mosquito borne illness but just because mosquitoes are in warmer areas, doesn’t mean those who live far away from the tropics can’t be at risk too.

The CDC has issued an alert for those who are traveling to areas where the Zika virus is spreading. Click here for more information.

Prevention

Pack proper repellant! There are several different steps you can take to protect yourself from being bitten by a mosquito. Some steps include using insect repellant sprays, wearing long sleeves and pants, using bug screens on windows and doors, sleeping under a mosquito bed net, etc. There are even children’s clothes with bug repellant in them.

For those already infected, the virus can be found in the blood and can be passed onto mosquitos who aren’t carrying the virus.

The Zika Virus can also be spread during intercourse by an infected male to his partner(s). Practice safe sex, as it is not known how long the virus can stay in the semen of men who have had the virus, although it is known that it can stay longer than in blood.

Symptoms

Common symptoms of the Zika Virus include fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis. Symptoms tend to remain mild, lasting several days to a couple of weeks, which is a reason many may not realize they are infected with the virus. This is a problem because becoming infected with the disease while pregnant can lead to serious birth defects including microcephaly.

Treatment

There is no vaccine or specific treatment. Focus on treating the symptoms such as getting rest, prevent dehydration, and taking acetaminophen for fever and pain. Aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) should not be taken due to risk of bleeding.

Don’t Leave Without Coverage

Getting sick or needing medical treatment while you are abroad is a situation which no one wants to find themselves. However, having travel insurance can alleviate any stress about costs, what steps to take, and what doctors you can trust. Our insurance specialists can assist you in finding the proper coverage you and your family may need for your trip.

For more help when traveling overseas, read our previous blog, “Tips for Traveling Abroad.” We wish you safe travels along your journey. If you are interested in purchasing travel insurance, or have any questions or concerns, please contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0)1624 678668 or visit us at mhginsurance.com. Our insurance brokers have the experience to assist you in selecting the right plan for you, with the best value.

The CDC has issued an alert for those who are traveling to areas where the Zika virus is spreading. Read more.

budapestAre you ready to explore a tale of two cities? No I’m not talking about the famed Charles Dickens novel, I’m talking about Budapest, Hungary!

Budapest, Hungary is a wonderful example of old world charm. Located in the heart of Europe, the city is split down the middle by Europe’s second longest river, the Danube. One reason this city is so scenic is because Buda is on one side and Pest is on the other. Buda has more of a “hilly” landscape and tends to be more rural. Here you can find some famous must-sees such as the Royal Castle and Fisherman’s Bastian. Pest on the other hand is more of an urban city area. It is on this side that you can find the Parliament Building which is the largest one in the world! While the two sides used to be separate, in 1873 they unified to become one of Europe’s most culturally diverse cities, Budapest.

While there are obvious stops to be made while visiting this historic area, getting involved and entrenched into the culture is the best way to get the most out of your trip. Walk the streets and take in the views, visit local restaurants and cafés to taste authentic goulash or sausages, talk to a local to find out where the best spots are located, and when you are done you can relax and unwind by having a roman bath in the Gellert Hotel; the list goes on and on.

For those that don’t remember, earlier this year we wrote a blog, “The Top 5 Places to Visit in 2016.” Number five on that list was Budapest, Hungary!

Danube River

danube riverOne of the best ways to see Budapest is by taking a cruise down the river. The Danube River splits both sides of the city, and offers some of the most scenic views of the city. Many would agree that there are few better ways to sit back and relax after a day of sightseeing than by floating down the river and taking in the views. Take your pick from a plethora of different river cruises to choose from depending on what you’re looking for, from a romantic dinner cruise to a wine tasting or cocktail cruise!

Chain Bridge

chain bridgeThe Chain Bridge is one of the most iconic and symbolic sights to see in Budapest. It was the first permanent stone bridge to be constructed which connected Pest and Buda. Built between 1839-1849 by William Tierney Clark, Chain Bridge has gone through a couple rebuilding periods in order to remain properly functional. The bridge is littered with photo opportunities, street vendors, and several stone statues. Try walking the bridge at night when it is all lit up for a nice romantic stroll!

Grand Market Hall

If you are looking to get lost in Hungarian culture, this is the place to be. The Grand Market Hall is one of the best places to find authentic Hungarian food, spices, folk, and art. That is probably because it is the oldest and largest indoor market in the city. Its architecture and design is quite unique as it is three stories tall and fit with colorful tiling, large windows, and open spaces. On the ground floor you can find everything from meats, to spices, to spirits. The second floor offers souvenir shops and eateries. And in the basement contains butcher shops and a fish market. The building is located on the Danube and is over 100 years old!

Fisherman’s Bastion

Budapest panorama from Fisherman's Bastion at sunsetLocated next door to the Royal Castle and St. Stephen’s Church (who was the first king of Hungary) is the iconic Fisherman’s Bastion. This terrace was built between 1895-1902 and includes a whopping 7 towers! Part of the attraction to Fisherman’s Bastion is its location. Located on the Buda side, this terrace offers magnificent views across the Danube, most notably one of the best views of the Parliament Building. Try going here at dusk to see the lights of the Parliament Building as well as the surrounding city.

Szechenyi Baths

budapest szechenyi bathNo matter what time of year you are visiting Budapest, a visit to the Szechenyi Baths should be on your itinerary. Known as the largest medicinal bath in Europe, the Szechenyi Baths are supplied water by two thermal springs below Hungary. Because of the natural chemicals in the water such as sulfate, calcium, magnesium, etc. it has been said that the waters can help degenerative joints, joint inflammation, and some orthopedic post treatments. These baths are not like anything you have ever seen, as they are from the Victorian Era with Neo-baroque styled architecture surrounding the “heated pools”. There are 18 pools in total, ranging from a large outdoor pool, to smaller indoor pools and spas all ranging in temperatures and characteristics such as different jets.

Now that you have some ideas of where you should be traveling in the upcoming year, don’t forget to protect yourself by getting Travel Insurance. As stated in a previous blog, “Tips Everyone Should Follow When Traveling Abroad”, it is important to have proper travel insurance coverage in case of an unexpected emergency while traveling abroad. Our Insurance Specialists have the knowledge and experience to offer advice or help select the best insurance plan for your needs. Visit mhginsurance.com or call +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 for help in selecting the plan that fits you best. Safe travels!

Are you ready to explore a tale of two cities? No I’m not talking about the famed Charles Dickens novel, I’m talking about Budapest, Hungary!