Monthly Archives: May 2023

What is the best travel kettle?

Best travel kettle.

A travel kettle is an indispensable part of holidays and road trips for many people. The need to be able to independently make a hot drink of tea or coffee is for many people a real freedom.

This applies not only to people who are doing some type of road trip, but people can go on camping holidays, and caravan holidays, as well as for many people who are using motels or quite cheap accommodation for their stay.

Many motels and other places will have a coffee maker, but not necessarily a kettle as well meaning that if the person wants a cup of tea they are not able to make it.

A travel kettle can also be really useful if you are travelling in an area where the water is of dubious quality, and being able to boil it makes it drinkable – this can be a real lifesaver, if not literally, then metaphorically.

The need for a travel kettle can be best served by a bit of planning and research. Many stores, both physical and online, sell travel kettles and so knowing what to look for is important.

Electric travel kettles

Travel kettles are nearly always electric, as opposed to kettles that can be used over a stove, which are normally full sized.

Weight and capacity

How much a kettle weighs and its size can be a major factor, especially if it is to be packed in a suitcase. Most travels tend to be around a third of the size of a normal kettle, and their capacity varies from about half a litre up to one litre.

Speed of boiling

The other really important thing is how fast it can boil. Manufacturers will make certain claims about the wattage and voltage of their kettle, often implying that this makes a difference as to how fast it can boil.

It is worth checking out any of these claims by reading reviews where possible, as this can give you practical feedback actually how fast and easy it is to use.

12v Travel Kettle – Car Travel Kettle

People looking for a 12v travel kettle do so because they want one that can be used in their car, 4×4, RV or motorhome. There are a number of these for sale and the above considerations should apply, both in terms of capacity and usage.

They are normally sold online as well as in-store by companies such as Asda and Argos.
Reviews can be found on Amazon as well as car and auto magazines such as Auto Express

Wilkinsons Travel Kettle

Often known as Wilco kettles, they have a very popular travel kettle, with a capacity of 400 ml, a height of 18 cm, a width of 9.5 cm and a depth of 15.5 cm.

Kettles are made from a combination of plastic and metal and generally have good reviews.
It is important with some kettles that are made purely from plastic to check the quality of the material as some plastic can give a very odd taste to the water when it is being boiled which affects the quality of the drink there after.

Travel Kettle b&m,
Travel Kettle Tesco
Travel Kettle Argos
Travel Kettle Asda

These are the main stores that specialize in selling travel kettles, and all can be relied upon to offer good value for money.
Some of the most popular kettles include :

Cookworks travel kettle,
DRBIT Foldable travel kettle,
Russell Hobbs 23840 travel kettle,
Quest 35690 travel kettle,
Quest 35440 travel kettle,



Can I get Travel Insurance with Asthma?

asthma travelAsthma Travel Insurance.

People who have asthma, often referred to as asthmatics,  generally manage the condition well on a daily basis, and as such shouldn’t have a problem getting travel insurance, although there are one or two additional factors that need to be taken into account.

What is Asthma

According to the CDC
‘Asthma is a disease that affects your lungs … it causes repeated episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and night time or early morning coughing’

They go on to say ‘Asthma can be controlled by taking medicine and avoiding the triggers that can cause an attack’
By medication, they are basically referring to the use of inhalers and tablets.

Pre-existing conditions

Asthma is considered a pre-existing condition by travel insurance companies, and as such needs to be declared when applying for any such insurance. This applies to any family member, who suffer from asthma, and are included in the insurance application including children.

The term pre-existing condition can seem a bit daunting, but in practice with asthma, it is usually a fairly straightforward process.

Medical Screening

The insurance company will want to know a certain amount of information that relates to the individual’s condition and will ask several questions, this is known as medical screening. This is usually done online, which some people like and other people find a bit impersonal. Insurance companies will often offer the alternative of speaking in person to someone if preferred.

The type of questions that an insurance company will ask will vary, but will generally be along the following lines :

  • Have you ever been diagnosed with any other type of lung condition, for example, bronchitis, emphysema, bronchiolitis as a child,
  • How old were you when you were diagnosed with asthma – was it diagnosed as a specific type of asthma such as severe, brittle or refractory, if so has that diagnosis changed at all over the years
  • What medications do you use to control the condition
  • Are nebulizers regularly used or have they ever been used to manage your asthma
  • Have you ever been hospitalized because of your asthma
  • Have you been in hospital recently because of any other condition, related to asthma or not
  • Has there been any recent change in the prescription of your medication for any reason
  • Is there a family history of asthma or lung-related illness or disease

The insurance company will also want confirmation from your GP or primary physician that it is safe for you to travel, and it is probably a good idea to do this first before applying for any travel insurance

Having an Asthma Plan

Many people when diagnosed or managing their condition create what has known as an asthma plan in conjunction with their doctor or specialist asthma nurse.

This is a general plan that covers day-to-day maintenance of the condition and what to do in an emergency. The insurance company is unlikely to make this a condition of your travel insurance, but they may advise it if one is not in place.

In any event, it is a really good idea to be aware of certain things that may be different when travelling abroad in terms of how to manage your asthma, both on a day-to-day basis and in the event of an emergency.

It is a good idea to check with the travel insurance company what emergency contact numbers or email addresses they have in the event of needing help whilst overseas.

Most insurance companies will use a third-party service for serious events such as hospitalizations and repatriations to your home country, but may also have contact details outside of normal office hours for other types of problems.

Travel Insurance Policy Conditions

Whether someone is taking out a single trip or an annual type of travel insurance policy, the insurance company will expect the applicant and their family to take normal common sense precautions concerning their trip.

While whilst common sense precautions can be difficult to define in certain instances, it is a good idea to read through the terms and conditions of the policy before going away to make sure that anything stated there is complied with whilst on holiday.

Travel Tips

Most travel companies will advise people to carry their medication in their hand baggage in case their other luggage gets lost.

It is also recommended to carry additional medication in case any does get lost, as well as a list of what medication they are on, both in their language and in the language of the country they are visiting or travelling to.

This can include other English-speaking countries where the medication they are on has a different name.

It is also a good idea to have all the medication and instructions in its original packaging, along with confirmation from your doctor of the asthma condition and any relevant information.

This can often help at customs where there is normally a high level of scrutiny of all types of medication, for fairly obvious reasons.

Asthma Triggers

People who suffer from asthma, asthmatics, are usually fairly well aware of what their triggers are and take precautions to manage their conditions accordingly.

When traveling overseas there are a few other things to be considered :

Check the weather conditions and pollen count of any areas you are visiting. Some people are more prone to having an asthma attack in a hot country than others in a cold country. Also, air pollution can be a major factor, and certain cities are notoriously bad in this respect.

Be aware of other triggers such as tobacco smoke, dust mites, pests i.e. cockroaches and mice, pets and mould.

Whilst these in a way are common asthma triggers, the level and intensity of them can be very high in certain areas of the world and worth being on your guard against.

This can be especially true if using Airbnb or similar accommodation agencies where you are staying in someone’s home, or accommodation that for whatever reason is pretty basic.

Can I get Travel Insurance with Angina?

travelAngina  Travel Insurance.

From an insurance point of view, Angina is classified as a medical condition or a pre-existing condition, and most travel insurance companies are happy to cover people who are or have been affected by it, although the policy might be slightly more expensive than otherwise would be the case.

What is Angina?

Most people who have a history of angina probably understand the condition better than many, but it is well worth checking out the current medical guidelines and advice.

The NHS website classifies angina as a ‘chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart muscles. It is not usually life-threatening but is a warning sign that you could be a risk of a heart attack or stroke’, and goes on to give practical advice about treatment and how to live with the condition.

The American Heart Association give a detailed breakdown of the two different types of Angina, stable and unstable Angina, as well as valuable information as to the major risk factors that make people susceptible to the condition

Applying for travel insurance

It is a standard port of any application for travel insurance that people will be asked about their medical history, specifically any pre-existing condition.

Concerning angina, anyone applying needs to give a complete medical background of their experience with this condition, whether they are currently suffering from it or not.

The questions asked by the insurance company are likely to be quite specific, but if there’s anything that is not covered, the onus is on the applicant to make a full declaration of everything that might be considered information that the insurance company is entitled to know to make a full risk assessment.

In insurance terms, this is known as utmost good faith and places the responsibility for providing information firmly on the applicant. It is also in the applicant’s best interest for the insurance company to know everything to make a valid judgment about what cover to provide and at what cost.

Application process

Giving medical information to a third party can be quite a daunting process, and for this reason, many people prefer not to use cost comparison sites, as it means their health information will be widely circulated to companies they are never going to use, although strict privacy policies should be in place.

Insurance companies tend to ask questions as part of an online application but often provide an alternative where the person can phone an agent and talk to them instead, which many people prefer.

What questions are asked?

Travel insurance companies will ask different questions, particularly will want to know some details about your past medical history with specific regard to angina and heart problems. This process is known as medical screening

The sort of questions they will ask our likely to include :

  • Have you ever had any surgery regarding heart problems, such as a heart bypass or a stent fitted :
  • Have you ever smoked, if so when and how many a day, if not when did you stop?
  • Do you live with someone or a family who smoke
  • Have you ever had a heart attack
  • Do you have or have you ever had high blood pressure, are you on or have you ever been on medication for it
  • Are you waiting to see a consultant or doctor regarding problems relating to your heart?
  • Have you ever had chest pains that have resulted in a visit to a doctor or hospital?

The travel insurance company may also ask questions commonly referred to as lifestyle questions, but which have an impact on someone’s health and stress levels such as their weight, diet, type of employment etc.

If the insurance company is happy with the information given they will normally go ahead and provide travel insurance as requested, but most likely with the conditional that the beckons GP or primary physician agrees in writing that it is safe for them to travel

It makes sense for the applicant to get this approval anyway, so this should not necessarily be a problem.

Most insurance companies provide some type of travel advice for people who have pre-existing medical conditions such as angina.

This advice normally includes things such as

  • Taking additional medication
  • Keeping lists of medication in online language and language used in the country where visiting
  • Avoiding extremes of temperature both hot and cold
  • Having a plan for dealing with any emergency

A more detailed guide to helpful tips is given on this travel insurance site site by a qualified medical doctor.





The Caribbean – travel news, information and resources

The Caribbean is one of the most beautiful areas in the world,  and contains many islands that are a magnet for people who want to travel,  including Jamaica,  Barbados,  Cayman Islands, Haiti, St Lucia to name but a few.

Below are a number of articles relating to different aspects of travel to different Islands in the Caribbean.


Travel Insurance

Do you need travel insurance for Jamaica?



Do you need travel insurance for Jamaica?

travelTravel Insurance for Jamaica.

Jamaica is often referred to as the crown jewel of the Caribbean and is a hugely popular tourist destination. For many people it is a once-in-a-lifetime holiday and having proper travel insurance is a key element in making sure of having a fantastic experience.


Most trips to Jamaica are likely to be for a few weeks and are likely to be family holidays as well.

The cost of these holidays, in terms of air travel and accommodation, as well as other spending on leisure activities can be significant. It is really important to have some travel insurance in place that can provide some degree of financial protection in the event the holiday is cancelled or cut short.

Most travel insurance policies have sections that cover the cost of cancellation, for a variety of different reasons, although there are normally quite strict terms and conditions.


Jamaica is well-serviced by all the major Airlines including Virgin Airways, American Airlines, Aer Lingus etc, and flights can come at a cost.

Return flights from the UK to Kingston come in at around £1000, from Berlin at around £1200/1300, and much cheaper from the USA where flights from New York come in at around £300/400. Prices as of June 2023 and in sterling to show comparison prices.

Airline delays and cancellations are frequent due to the poor weather conditions that can affect all airlines, again having proper travel insurance can help offset some of the financial and practical problems that can occur as a result of these delays.

Sports and Activities

Jamaica is famous for its range of sports and activities especially water sports, drawing many enthusiasts all year round to experience its fantastic beaches and seafronts.

Some other most common water sports include :

  • Banana boating
  • Canoeing
  • Jet skiing
  • Kite surfing
  • Scuba diving surfing
  • White water rafting

It’s important to remember that travel insurance policies will include and exclude certain specific types of sports and activities, and this varies across the industry.

Please check your travel insurance policy to make sure which are covered and which are not before taking part in any.
Some enthusiasts will also bring their sporting equipment, which can be quite valuable and may need specific insurance.

Many travel insurance companies will provide specific add-on policies or endorsements for specific activities such as kite surfing, which will need to be taken out before undertaking the holiday.

Valuables Travel Insurance

People take valuables with them on holiday, such as laptops, iPhones, cameras, jewellery etc.

Unfortunately, these are all the items that are targeted by thieves and tend to be the most common areas of crime in Jamaica.

Having travel insurance to cover this eventuality can help minimise the shock or trauma if this happens. A condition of the travel insurance policy would be that the policyholder or their family need to show responsible behaviour.

This can be a slightly contentious phrase, but it means that people have to show common sense and look after their belongings especially items of value that could be lost or stolen.

In this regard, it is a good idea for people to be aware of the local laws and customs, which can sometimes give rise to unintended disputes which can escalate into more serious problems

Medical Costs

One of the main benefits of all travel insurance policies is to provide a level of coverage for any medical treatment that may be needed during the trip.

Jamaica has good medical facilities, although like any country the quality can vary over the island.

One thing that is important to know is that several clinical providers including some hospitals requirement of cash up front, with the policyholder claiming the money back from the insurance company afterwards.

This can be quite a shock to people who may not realize that some countries have this approach, and expect that the insurance company will deal directly with the hospital or physician.

If concerned please talk to the travel insurance company when taking out the policy and check what their experience with these situations is.


Whilst Covid has ceased to be on the front page every day as it were, it remains a major health issue and Jamaica will have specific policies in terms of checking Covid symptoms, testing people and any possible potential quarantine measures if things start to get serious.

It is important to check actual travel insurance policy covers you in all these eventualities, and any other health concerns, such as vaccination requirements, especially for yellow fever. These may be a condition of entry to the country.


Jamaica is not necessarily on many people’s radar before they go, in terms of what is happening in the country, so it is a good idea to check what is happening in terms of safety issues and health risks

Like a lot of countries, Jamaica can have its dangerous areas, especially for tourists and it is a really good idea to check the current situation before you go.

Checking the advice on the national government websites is a really good place to start as it contains several different sections all these areas that are kept pretty much up to date.

This advice should include checking if a visa is needed and what passport requirements they may be in terms of length and validity. Countries have different requirements in these areas and it is important to check out what they are before travelling.

Jamaica Cares

The Jamaica Cares program is mandatory of all non-Jamaican passport holders, whether they have travel insurance or not.