Spain boasts some of the most unusual festivals in the world – adding to its bow of attractions for people looking to getaway. Here are three summer festivals bound to spice up Spain holidays for years to come:

La Tomatina Festival, Buñol

spain la tomatina festival tomatos

Festivals don’t come much wackier or messier than this one. Beginning in the last fortnight of August in the town of Buñol near Valencia, trucks full of tomatoes start arriving. This is because every year the inhabitants of the town have a massive tomato throwing fight. The origins of this bizarre event aren’t clear, although many think it dates back as far as 1945. The day of mayhem is held on the last Wednesday of August with the hour long battle coinciding with a fun filled street party. Because of its popularity (it can attract up to 50,000 people) the event is now ticketed with entry costing ten euros. Those taking part are advised to take goggles and a snorkel!

Baby Jumping festival, Castrillo de Murcia

This festival will make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck and give protective parents everywhere a shiver. Taking place on the first Sunday after the Catholic celebration of Corpus Christi (at some point in June) this combination of religious rite and Spanish folklore sees babies laid on the ground whilst grown men dressed as devils jump over them. The ritual is said to cleanse the babies’ spirits of evil and anyone with a newborn is allowed to take part. By any standards this centuries old tradition is a strange sight to behold and for those with a nervy disposition possibly one to avoid. The event has even caused controversy within Catholic circles with Pope Benedict XVI asking Spanish priests to distance themselves from the event. However, there have been no reports to date of baby’s being harmed so it follows that they must know what they’re doing.

Running of The Bulls, Pamplona

Forming the main attraction in the Spanish festival of San Fermin, The Running of the Bulls sees bulls charge behind a crowd of runners for 825 metres through the streets of Pamplona. The run began as a way for locals to get bulls from outside the city into the bullring but now draws around 20,000 runners each year from all over the world. This event is indeed as dangerous as it sounds with many injuries to participants recorded and even deaths! The risky run takes place from July 7th to 14th at eight o’clock each morning. The run usually last between three and four minutes although it can sometimes take over ten minutes, especially if one of the bulls becomes isolated. For those travelling just to witness the spectacle the atmosphere can be emotional, with passionate chants and songs ringing through the city.

These popular events draw thousands of international spectators every year, promising an authentic taste of Spain and in some cases, a pretty serious adrenaline rush. Stay safe and enjoy yourself!

Image by Flyheatherfly, used under the Creative Commons license.

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Vacations are all fun and games — until somebody loses an eye overseas. Most travelers don’t anticipate experiencing illness or injury when they are on vacation, but the very fact that these events are unpredictable and often accidental is the reason they should be planned for. But how can travelers prepare for unknown bodily harm so far from home?

One’s health isn’t the only thing that can cause surprises away from home; plans may shift making prepaid reservations moot, or important and expensive items may be lost or stolen. That’s why many insurance companies and travel agencies offer travel insurance. This simple, often one-time payment provides coverage for a variety of mishaps that may occur while travelers are on the move. Even when visiting Niagara Falls, just a few miles past the Canadian border, travelers are advised to consider travel insurance for the following reasons.

Medical Emergencies

Health care systems vary from country to country, and likely, the health insurance you possess at home will not cover you when traveling abroad. Most governments highly advocate that their citizens who wish to spend time overseas procure insurance that will cover them no matter where they go.

In the United States, only the best health insurance plans will cover traveling clients. Medicare, Medicaid, and all other government-provided health insurance only applies within the country, and in most cases, within the state it is issued. Then again, private policies that do insure clients abroad may only be willing to pay for service from in-network providers, which in a medical emergency might be difficult to procure.

In contrast, most traveler’s insurance plans will reimburse absolutely all medical expenses no matter what they are or where they take place. Plus, many plans will include emergency evacuation to one’s home country for around $40, when uninsured evacuees are looking at around $30,000 in costs. It is a good deal for assurance about one’s most precious possession: one’s health.

Itinerary Modification

Travelers come in all shapes and sizes, but generally, they can be divided into two groups: those who enjoy opulent, well-appointed vacations and those who would want a luxury suite like they’d want a hole in the head. Generally, the latter group doesn’t spend very much of their budget with reservations — but the former group does. Deluxe accommodations, meals, and activities generally require some sort of deposit which travelers will lose if they modify their itineraries in any way — unless they opt for travel protection, a regular part of travel insurance.

Plans change — the motto of frequent travelers — and reservations at fancy hotels or attractions can be expensive to simply cancel. Travel insurance allows travelers to be as flexible as possible while still being organized before their plane departs.

travel-insurance-documents

Luggage Coverage

Even though airlines are legally required to reimburse their customers for lost or delayed baggage, most travelers don’t have any form of luggage protection after they leave the airport.

Luddite nomads who move from place to place with naught but the clothes on their backs may not be concerned about theft or damage to their personal property, but most people nowadays travel with quite a few expensive items, including computers, smartphones, and designer clothing and accessories, that would be exceedingly costly to replace. Travel insurance can provide the security of coverage for not only travelers but their possessions as well.

Death and Dismemberment Settlement

Generally, life insurance is seen as a responsible and caring investment, while travel insurance is potentially a waste of hard-earned cash. Yet, when the future health and happiness of a traveler’s loved ones is at stake, travel insurance is as sensible as life insurance. Some travel insurance companies are so thorough as to offer limited life insurance packages to travelers. In the event a tourist is maimed or killed overseas, his or her family members will receive a specified amount in reparation for the loss of life (and potential income). This is beneficial because many life insurance policies do not extend to deaths occurring outside the country, which will make any unexpected passing even more painful to financially stressed family members.

If readers should take anything away from this article, it is that accidents can happen anywhere, and if Murphy’s Law is accurate at all, accidents are more likely to happen during travel. Thus, to ensure safety and security of one’s person and personal effects, travelers should always, always, always purchase a travel insurance package.

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Review of Demilitarized Zone/Joint Security Area (DMZ/JSA) Tour by Koridoor USO

by Zhiqiang & TingyiFebruary 22, 2015
DMZ JSA Tour Koridoor

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Moneysaving Tips for Holiday Planning

by Zhiqiang & TingyiFebruary 22, 2015
Save Money Travelling

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Ascott Raffles Place Finlayson Suite Staycation Review (2014 Singapore Experience Awards Best Hotel Experience Finalist)

by Zhiqiang & TingyiFebruary 17, 2015
ascott raffles place singapore staycation

We have reviewed quite a few hotel staycations in Singapore over the past years. Each staycation is unique because of the effort each hotel puts in to provide guests with a differentiated and personalised experience. To me, a hotel staycation is about what you can experience during this mini vacation from the perspective of a […]

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Review of Visondata Travel Pocket Wifi Rental (Overseas Mobile Wi-Fi Router Device Included)

by Zhiqiang & TingyiFebruary 15, 2015
Visondata Singapore Pocket Wi-Fi

There are a number of overseas mobile Wi-Fi router services rental services in Singapore so it is important to know what to look out for so that you get the most value for money deal. I look out for two things – coverage and cost, when renting these overseas Wi-Fi services. VisondataSG (VDS) is one […]

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7 Tips for Travelling Around the World on a Budget

by Zhiqiang & TingyiFebruary 5, 2015
Budget Travel

If you’ve dreamed of an international vacation, don’t give up because you think it’s too expensive. Overseas travel is possible on a budget, especially if you’ve got an adventurous spirit and practice a few money-saving tips. Besides, thrifty travel lets you live like a local and experience the culture of the cities you explore. So […]

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Exploring Langkawi Pantai Cenang with Costa Victoria Cruise – Tax-Free Shopping and Beach Walking

by Zhiqiang & TingyiJanuary 27, 2015
Costa Cruise

Our Costa Victoria cruise ship docked at Malaysia Pulau Langkawi port (beside Resorts World Langkawi) on Day 4 – cruise passengers can just alight at the dock without the need for tender boats so no need to make any special arrangements for the disembarkation (like queue early for tender boat tickets).  Unlike Resorts World Sentosa […]

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Be Entertained by Costa Victoria Musical Performances – Rich & Famous, Michael Jackson Impersonation, Viva Italia and Staff Performance

by Zhiqiang & TingyiJanuary 20, 2015
Costa Cruise Musical Performance

Onboard performances are a key part of a cruise experience – there are typically 2 performances at 7.15pm and 8.45pm in the evening (both are the same) catering to guests having the cruise dinner at the 2nd and 1st sitting respectively. On Costa Victoria, the performances are held at the Festival Theatre at Deck 6 […]

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Review of Cats – a Musical or rather “Mew-sical” at Singapore Marina Bay Sands Mastercard Theatre

by Zhiqiang & TingyiJanuary 17, 2015
cats musical singapore marina bay sands

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musical CATS is now showing in Singapore at Marina Bay Sands Mastercard theatre.  I heard of CATS because of its reputation as being one of the longest-running shows in West End and Broadway history and this musical also have been shown in over 300 cities since its premiere in London in […]

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