Vacation Insurance… Saves Your Money, Time And Frustrations!

Don’t forget your vacation insurance before you take off for any travel.I am very serious when it comes to insurance, I do not want to take any chances, I grew up in a family with my mother as a sole bread winner, my Dad passed away when I was 10 years old without any insurance. Life was very very difficult then.So the same goes with vacation insurance too!It can cost you an extra few thousands of dollars if the cruise or tour operator goes bankrupt, or if you need to shorten your vacation due to sickness or injury.Quick TipThe biggest myth would be that your normal health insurance covers you when you are away, or that since many travelers visit an area or region, access to medical care is easy or affordable.Here’s a quick guide to understanding what a good vacation insurance should cover for any travel.1. Travel CurtailmentIf you or an immediate family member becomes seriously ill or is injured during the vacation most vacation insurance companies would reimburse you for the unused portion of the vacation.2. Travel CancellationYou would be reimbursed if the cruise line or tour operator goes out of business. It would also reimburse you if you have to cancel the vacation due to sickness, a death in the family or other calamity listed in the insurance policy.Travel cancellation is very different from a Cancellation Waiver that many cruise and tour operators offer. Waivers are relatively inexpensive. They provide coverage if you have to cancel the trip, but they have many restrictions.They must be purchased when you book the trip and will usually not cover you immediately before departure. Most importantly, waiver is not insurance.2. Personal liabilityPersonal Liability is important in case of legal liability, arising out of one’s negligence in causing a third party injury (or death) and/or third party property damage.Some traveler insurance companies even insure against the loss or theft of golfing equipment and laptops.3. Luggage/Baggage/Flight DelayThis feature comes along with a “Time” excess, meaning that the traveler insurance companies only compensate when the delay exceeds a certain time frame. The limit for loss of luggage/baggage/flight varies, usually with a cap for individual items.4. Emergency & Medical Assistance and Information ServiceLook for those 24-hour services that offer information on visa requirements, foreign exchange, weather forecasts and medical advice et cetera.Emergency evacuation is very helpful indeed for inexperienced travelers or travelers with medical conditions or for those who are traveling to more remote and less traveled places.These service centers may also offer emergency assistance in the form of embassy, legal, interpreter and medical referrals.Most vacation insurance policies would compensate a couple of hundred dollars for each day of hospitalization up to the maximum limit indicated in their respective packages.This is solely to compensate the traveler for the number of days spent in a hospital overseas and should not be mistaken as hospital or medical reimbursement, which takes care of the hospital and ward charges.4. Accidental Death insurancePersonal accident coverage, which is to compensate the insured for permanent or temporary disablement or death as a result of an accident.2 Main Types of Vacation InsuranceAnnual PolicyMost traveler insurance companies offer vacation insurance on annual basis as well as per trip basis. Annual policies cover unlimited trips made by the insured during the entire year provided that each trip does not exceed a certain number of days, usually 90 days.No declaration is required.For frequent flyers, this type of cover would be most ideal in terms of cost and convenience.Family Vacation InsuranceFamily packages are also designed to cater for immediate families traveling together. Definition of immediate families would mean you, your spouse and your children.Family vacation insurance are usually priced lower premium than if individual insurance policies were to be taken up for the whole family.Special Features ALERT!Go for vacation insurance policies come with higher deductible and this translates into lower premium.The worst case scenario is you may end up having to bear the first $40 or $50 of every claim that you make.Deductible: (Also known as Excess in UK, NZ, AU) This is the amount that the insured must pay before the vacation insurance starts paying for your claim.This may be an annual amount, an amount for the duration of the policy, or an amount for each incident. Choose the latter.For those of you who intend to engage in water or winter sports during your vacation, it would be wise to take up your insurers who offer free coverage for such activities.Some traveler insurance companies may charge an additional premium for this extension, so it is better to check this point before you effect your cover.Unfortunately, the definition of water sports in the typical travel policy does not include scuba diving.Not surprisingly, bungee jumping is excluded from most policies. Watch out for age limits imposed by some traveler insurance companies, meaning that persons exceeding a certain age are excluded from their coverage. But if you belong to this elderly group, fret not.There are traveler insurance companies that do not impose any age limit and offer the same coverage at no additional premium loading.A unique coverage that is being offered in the traveler insurance market is the “Car Rental Excess”. This feature takes care of the excess amount that the insured normally has to bear (under the motor policy taken up at car rental companies) in the event of damage to the rented vehicle while driving overseas.Price of Vacation Insurance also known as Premium – Premium ComputationFor “per-trip” policies, the premium payable hinges considerably on the number of days of travel, the country of destination and choice of plan.For example, if you are from Europe, a vacation in USA warrants a much higher premium than a trip within Europe for the same number of days.Some traveler insurance companies provide the option of higher limits of coverage at of course, a higher premium.If price is of concern, it is advisable to keep on hand the premium schedule from a few traveler insurance companies for comparison before you activate your insurance before each trip.Claim ProcedureI consider this the most important aspect of buying a vacation insurance.All traveler insurance companies will require you to lodge your claims within a certain time frame. You would be required to complete and submit a claim form, which can be obtained from the traveler insurance company.In almost all instances, your claims must be accompanied by relevant documents, such as medical receipts for medical reimbursement or hospital cash; a police report for loss of money or personal documents; an official letter from the airline in cases of flight or lugguage delay and loss of lugguage if within custody of the airline.In all cases, call up and inform your traveler insurance company immediately for necessary advice.There you are… now with a basic knowledge of vacation insurance, you are equipped to choose the best suited to your travel needs and you are all set to fly!

Australia’s Fraser Island – Escape Forever

For all its conveniences, modern living leaves a lot to be desired. We spend our days enduring the ever-increasing pressures of work, the city’s oppressive unfriendliness, the daily commuter grind and the aggressive reality of impatient road-ragers.Is something missing?Unfortunately, work is a reality for most of us. So too is city and suburban living, dreary weather, pollution, traffic… But it doesn’t have to be all there is to life. Try something that puts you in touch with who you really are. Try something elemental. Try something that soothes your soul.Try Fraser Island.Fraser Island isn’t just an island paradise. It’s a unique and luxurious combination of Australia’s rich natural heritage, its earthy roots, its wholesome majesty, and its refreshingly simple essentials. It’s a chance to touch the fine sands, to drift in the temperate water, to bask in the sun that seems all yours… It’s your chance to partake of a life that most Australians have forgotten.Spend a week on and in turquoise waters, a week without shoes with the sand between your toes, a week fishing and perhaps living off your catch. Your perspective can’t help but change.It’s not a mere fleeting appreciation. It’s something you take with you.Fraser can help remind you that you’re not your job. How important are the forms and the filing, the meetings and memorandums? You can learn a lot about yourself when you take away all the things that don’t matter.And really… is there any better way to experience this epiphany than in paradise?Fraser Island certainly is a paradise, no matter which way you look at it. At the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, and a short boat ride from Hervey Bay in South-East Queensland, Fraser is 124 km from tip to toe and 16 km across the middle. At 163,000 hectares, it’s the world’s biggest sand island.Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s all just sand. Not by a long shot! The whole island is laced with crystal clear fresh water streams, and deep midnight blue fresh water lakes. In fact, with over 40 fresh water lakes – it’s home to half of the world’s known ‘perched’ lakes. It also boasts a dazzling diversity of plants and animals (including Australia’s purest strain of dingo), and an amazing variety of spectacular landscapes, from 120 km of non-stop tropical beach to dense and towering rainforest, weathered headland to ochre gorge, inspiring cliffs to wandering dunes, eerie mangroves to wind-blown salt pans.What’s more, you have your choice of accommodation, so you can choose your own level of ‘communion with nature’. From 4½ star luxury resorts to rental retreats to motels and units, right through to the good ‘ole campsite. Whether you’re a sucker for a bit of pampering, or you’re perfectly at home with a tent and a campfire on the beach, Fraser is a great provider.And great accommodation is just the start… The island boasts average temperatures of 29°c in summer and 22°c in winter, so it’s no surprise that outdoor activities feature prominently on the agenda. Adrenalin addicts and dedicated sunbathers alike will appreciate the vast range available. From sunrise to sunset (and beyond), there’s always something for everyone. The only problem is choosing! Fishing, 4-wheel-driving, eating, sailing, bird-watching, bush-walking, swimming, eating, whale & dolphin-watching, shipwreck exploration, eating, beauty therapy, massage, lazing in the sun, eating, beach volleyball, tennis, cricket, eating, canoeing, sailboarding, snorkelling, eating… And needless to say, a few quiet drinks might make their way onto the agenda as well…With so much to offer, it’s no surprise that the Fraser Island was originally known as K’gari – or ‘Paradise’ – by local Aboriginal peoples.Fraser Island certainly is “paradise for everyone”!Four Wheel DrivingBeing a sand island, the only mode of land transport is 4WD. Of course, for many visitors, that’s the main attraction. 4WD enthusiasts from all around the world visit Fraser Island to pit themselves and their vehicles against the rugged terrain found all over the island. From the hard-packed seashore to the shifting dune to the forests of the interior, Fraser Island is the ideal 4WD location.Don’t be scared though – it’s not all about extreme driving for experts! Whether you’re an novice, or you just prefer a more leisured pace of life, you’ll find a much more sedate satisfaction in one of the many organised 4WD tours offered around the island. Or if you just want to get out on your own, you can hire a 4WD for a day, and indulge in a bit of quiet exploring.No matter which option you choose, though, there are a few ‘ground rules’ you should observe. Remember the dangers of driving on the beach. The further you adventure from the shoreline, the softer the sand. The softer the sand, the more likely you are to get into trouble. Generally speaking, keep your speed down, and remember you’re in a World Heritage listed environment… so be careful.FishingNo island holiday would be complete without a lazy day or two spent fishing. Beach fishing is the big drawcard for Fraser Island. And with 150 km of ocean beach to choose from, why wouldn’t it be? Middle Rocks, Sandy Cape, Waddy Point, and Seventy Five Mile Beach are just a few of the choice locations available for you to finally get the better of ‘the one that got away’.The famed ‘tailor run’ occurs on the eastern (ocean) side of the island between July and October each year. In the angling world, this time – known as ‘tailor season’ – is a much anticipated event, with huge schools of big fish working the beaches. But if you can’t make it between late winter and early spring, rest assured, tailor season is just one date to mark in your calendar. The western side of Fraser has been known to reward the odd angler with a fine bag of bream, whiting and flathead.Angler’s AdvicePick the fish you’re after, and take advantage of the handy hints below to make the most of your fishing trip.Fish: TailorBait: Pilchard, 3 hook gang, lureTiming: Late July to OctoberLocation: Eastern BeachesFish: DartBait: Pippies or wormsTiming: All yearLocation: Eastern BeachesFish: BreamBait: Flesh strips, mullet gut, fowl gut, pippiesTiming: May to SeptemberLocation: Rocky outcrops on east coast or creeks on the westFish: WhitingBait: Worms, yabbies, pippies, prawnsTiming: All yearLocation: Low tide on the east, creeks on the westFish: FlatheadBait: Live baits, pilchards, luresTiming: All yearLocation: Rocky outcrops on east coast or creeks on the westFish: JewfishBait: Whole mullet, tailor fillets, beach wormsTiming: May to September at night on the full moon, low or high tideLocation: Deep gutters and rocky outcropsOf course, many more varieties are there for the taking, including mackerel, tuna, and reef fish. And if you’re not indisposed to a bit of sea fishing, you can book a berth on one of the larger boats launched to take advantage of the red emperor, coral trout, maori cod and parrot to be found off the Continental Shelf and local reefs.Water SportsAs you’d expect, Fraser Island plays host to a vast array of water sports. Whether you’re after a lazy drifting afternoon – cocktail in hand, or an invigorating workout, there’s a water sport for you. All fitness levels (and energy levels!) are catered for.Ease yourself into the aqua-life with a refreshing dip at one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Surrounded by pure white sandy beaches, the clear blue waters of Lake McKenzie are without doubt amongst the most idyllic to be found. Alternatively, exercise your imagination with a visit to the ghostly shipwreck of the “Maheno”, then submerge yourself in the crystal clear waters of Eli Creek.Fraser Island sits on a huge reservoir of fresh water, and is home to numerous spectacular fresh water lakes, including some perched high above sea level. You have your choice of over 40 lakes… Lake Wabby, Champagne Pools, Basin Lake… to name but a few. Clearly, Fraser Island is amply equipped to pamper even the fussiest fresh water connoisseur.For something a little more strenuous, why not hire paddle ski or canoe and paddle yourself up Dundonga Creek. It’s generally a 1 hour round trip, so by the time you return, you’ll be ready to settle back into some more relaxed pastimes.Whale and Dolphin WatchingEvery year from August to October, you can book a berth on a whale watch cruise. Enjoy a fantastic half day of sun, salt, and ocean breezes while keeping your eyes peeled for Fraser’s famous migrating humpbacks.The annual humpback migration is truly an awesome spectacle. Family pods take a well earned rest in the waters west of Fraser Island after travelling 5000 km from the icy waters of the Antarctic. The sight of a 15 tonne (that’s the weight of 11 elephants!) adult female humpback rearing out of the ocean is absolutely awe-inspiring.And don’t worry… if your holiday doesn’t coincide with the migration, you can still catch a cruise questing for dolphins, dugongs, turtles and the odd Indo Pacific Humpback.Speak to your hotel or resort for information about organising a whale or dolphin watching cruise. Alternatively, contact Kingfisher Bay Resort and ask about their tours.Tips & RemindersFor further information about all aspects of Fraser Island, including accommodation, hire guides, and barge booking details and timetables, see http://www.boxatrix.com/.How Much?

Riding the Rails of Milwaukee Road

I walked to the top of the hill to start the water pump. I could see farmers in the surrounding countryside working in their fields. I had wanted to get an early start in the field but Pa was sore at me for not helping with the morning nilking instead so he wouldn’t go into town to buy gas for the tractor!Now, for some reason, the water pump engine wouldn’t start. I cranked and cranked, to no avail. “To hell with it,” I said and walked down the other side of the hill. “Why fight it.”I walked to Whitehall and was standing by the railroad depot. I looked at the new leaves sprouting from the buds on the maple trees. The faint scent of spring flowers bursting from their buds mingled with fresh, growing grass tantalized the air. The warm May sun felt good on my cotton, plaid shirt.With its dynamic throb, the diesel engine appeared down the tracks, and pulled up to the station. The train slowed almost to a stop. The porter tossed the mail bag to the station agent. The engineer opened the throttle and the engine roared with a burst of power and the boxcars began rolling by with increasing momentum. The wheels made fast clicking sounds on the steel tracks.I waited for the train to gain enough speed so that the brakeman wouldn’t order me off. I didn’t want to miss my grip, I remembered someone had slipped as he tried to hook a train and he had fallen under it. I reached out and grabbed a rung of the steel ladder on the side of a boxcar. I strained to swing myself up off the ground and then climbed to the top and sat down on the narrow board catwalk. I turned my head and watched the town diminish behind in the distance. The train whizzed by trees and telegraph poles as the steel rains reflected the sunlight like long, silver threads streaming back into the horizon.Around hills and through valleys the train rolled and then climbed a grade that led toward the Mississippi bluffs. The train turned a bend, and there I could see the majestic Mississippi River shimmering in the sunset.It was getting colder now, and I wished that I had brought a jacket. Thousands of mayflies, that looked like huge mosquitoes, swarmed over the tops of the boxcar and I jumped up and ran along the catwalks leaping from car to car until I found one that was lower than the others. Then I laid down flat on my stomach as the mayflies, like drifting snow, blew past me from the higher car in front. I was getting hungry, but nothing could be done about that at the time so I took off my belt and tied my wrist securely to the catwalk, and in a short time I had fallen asleep.When I awakened, it was dark as the train was pulling into the Twin Cities. Off to either side as far as I could see were lights twinkling, and then with a deafening roar the train plunged into a tunnel. When the train had emerged on the other side, it began to slow down and then finally stop. The big diesel unhooked up ahead and left the train sitting still. I sat up and put my belt back on and then slowly climbed down the ladder onto the ground.In the darkness my feet tripped on the steel tracks and I tried to find my way out of the stockyards. I began to walk faster as the rumbling sound of moving trains grew louder. Suddenly, I was blinded by the glare of powerful headlights on trains coming from both directions toward me. The tracks were so close together that for a moment I became confused, but I stepped aside just in time as the two trains thundered past on either side.Soon another train rolled past where I was standing. I climbed aboard an open topped gondola car that was loaded with lumber. There was an empty space in the corner and I laid down. I listened to the rthythmical sound of the wheels clicking on the steel rails, and soon I was asleep.I awoke at daybreak, and the train had stopped. Standing up, I peered over the side of the gondola car and saw a town up ahead. I crawled over the side, dropped to the ground, and began walking along beside the train up to the station. There was a sign on the station printed in big letters. I read the words, “WILLMAR, MINNESOTA”, and then I sat down on a wooden bench on the station platform. A new adventure had begun.

How To Travel The World For Free

It sounds like a dream doesn’t it? Hopping onto a plane and taking a flight to the destination of your choice. Imagine collecting your flight tickets to New York, London, Goa – or wherever takes your fancy – and not having to pay a cent for them.For a few people, this dream is actually a reality. How? Simply put they have discovered a little travel secret – namely that a lot of companies will actually pay the travel expenses for you to oversee their package or document from one country to another. Now this may bring to mind images of having to smuggle a microfilm past some dodgy russian customs ala James Bond, but the reality is nowhere near as exciting or dangerous – which is great news for the budget traveller. The even better news is that with a little know how, any adult can act as a courier and score free and deeply discounted flight tickets to the destination of their choice.It’s completely legal and can save you thousands in saved airfare every year. Courier companies are continually on the lookout for willing travellers to carry their items overseas. There is nothing sinister about it and nothing is hidden from the authorities – the traveller is paid with a deeply discounted (and sometimes free) air ticket. According to a survey by the Air Courier Association the standard saving that travellers get when they act as a courier is 85% on the normal flight price. There isn’t a travel agent in the world that will match such a discount.So what are your responsibilities as a courier? Well it’s as simple as turning up to the airport on time and meeting the courier companys representative at the destination airport. As soon as you walk through the customs area at your destination, your job is over.What are the drawbacks of this deeply discounted travel? Well for a start you’re probably only going to be allowed one carry on bag as your luggage – so learning how to travel light & pack efficiently is essential. It’s also important to have some degree of flexibility in terms of when you’re able to fly, though usually you can get many flights comfortably in advance. You also need to be at least 18 and obviously have a valid passport.Assuming you’re OK with these drawbacks, you can really fly to just about any destination at incredibly low costs. You can learn more about how to be a courier at [http://www.global-ebooks.com/TravelFree.htm] or if you are looking for more budget travel tips check out http://www.my-online-powerpack.com/traveldiscount.htmReady to go? The whole world awaits you!

Secrets Of The London Tube

Although it’s many years since I left my home in London I still occasionally use The Tube, as the London Underground is affectionately known.Hold on. Affectionately? Does anybody actually hold any affection for the network of tunnels that run beneath the surface of our capital, or the rolling stock that runs through them?They’re over-crowded, far too warm and stuffy (the temperature in the tunnels is about 10 C higher than at ground level), and the views are pretty dire. In central London, all you’re likely to see is the dark walls of the tunnels, although if you’re lucky, you might just get a glimpse of another train passing in another tunnel through one of the gaps between them. Funnily enough, contrary to popular belief, the majority of The Tube is actually over ground. Not that there’s much scenic stimulation along those stretches either. You might see some fascinating factories, some interesting piles of rubbish that have mysteriously grown along the sidings and a few back gardens, but nothing much else.Anybody who’s ever regularly used The Tube during peak hours will tell you that using this particular form of transport can take great courage and will power. The platforms are crowded to the point where those at the front, closest to the lines, can find themselves fearing for their lives. We’re warned to stand behind the line, which is painted about three feet away from the platform edge, but with all those people behind you, all wanting to get forward and have a chance of getting on the next arriving train, the platform edge can quickly become dangerously close.Having a position at the front doesn’t necessarily guarantee you a place on the next train though. Oh, no. Whether or not you’ll actually get on it will depend largely upon where on the platform you’re positioned and whether or not the carriage doors will be in front of you when the train stops. If you happen to be standing between two doors, then you’re very unlucky indeed. One way around this is to look at those ‘stand behind’ lines. As the rolling stock on each line of the underground are generally of the same type (the trains differ from line to line) and stop at more or less the same point (note: more or less… this isn’t an exact science), the ‘stand behind’ lines will be more worn where the doors are likely to be. Find those spots and you’ll have a better change of boarding the next one, unless of course the lines are freshly painted, in which case, bad luck.This next point should be obvious to everybody but unfortunately, my experience tells me that this isn’t the case. When the train stops, even if you’re lucky enough to be standing in front of the doors, LET PASSENGERS OFF THE TRAIN FIRST! Don’t just push your way on, even if others are doing so. It’s bad manners and can cause nasty accidents.Once on the train, you’ll no doubt have to stand as there are few seats compared with the amount of passengers being transported during peak hours. It’s standard etiquette to offer your seat to elderly passengers and those carrying small children, whether still in the comfortable confines of the womb or otherwise. Anybody else will have little chance of finding a seat. The more experienced underground travellers have their strategies though; they’ll target a seat. Those reading are unlikely to be travelling just a few stops, and although they could have been travelling for ages already, they rarely make good targets. Study people’s faces. If they look bored, they’ve probably already been there a while so maybe they’ll be alighting soon? Mind you, people do get very bored very quickly on The Tube, so they could just as easily have joined the train at the station before yours.When it comes to seats that are vacated during the journey, there’s a general unwritten rule. Whoever is standing closest to a seat that becomes available has the greatest claim to the seat. He/she can choose to offer it to a fellow passenger, but it’s against etiquette to make a dash for a seat where the privilege of sitting obviously belongs to another.Speaking of unwritten rules, there are a few others that should be observed if you don’t want to unduly annoy your fellow passengers. The one that’s probably more annoying than any other, is the subject of occupying seats unnecessarily! Bags and other inanimate objects do not have the right to a seat. Sure, if the trains relatively empty, by all means pile them on a seat, but don’t imagine you can do this during peak times, even if you enter to train at its station of origin where seats are still aplenty. Rather than have a small child occupy a seat, you might consider holding your toddler on your lap, too. Mind you, the rush hour on The Tube isn’t the best place for small children to be, so your best bet would be to wait a couple of hours before making your journey.Getting back to those bags, another point worth thinking about is what to do with large bags if you have to stand. Do as seasoned tube travellers do, and put them between your legs. No, I don’t mean stuff it up your jacksy, I mean place your bag on the floor and straddle it, one foot on either side. It’ll take far less room this way than if you stood beside it, because your feet still won’t be much further apart that the width of your torso. Standing with your legs apart also make balancing easier, and when those trains are dashing through winding tunnels, swaying from side to side, you’ll need all the balance you can get. An added advantage is that should anybody decide to steal your bags, having body contact with it means you’ll be more likely to feel it being moved.Body contact. Yes, that’s another subject. I wish I knew how many times I’d felt a ‘lump’ being pushed against my backside on a crowded tube. Please…if anybody who’s guilty of this is reading, is it really necessary? I understand that the jiggling motion of the train whilst pressed closed to the body of a member of the opposite sex might cause a sensation that could lead to embarrassment, but it surely isn’t necessary to make a show of it?On some lines, and at certain stations, a voice will tell you to “mind the gap”. The posh female voice is known as Sonia, because she “gets on ya nerves” and “the gap” is a terrifyingly wide opening between the platform and the train door. Being of voluptuous proportions, I’ve never had a fear of disappearing down the gap, but the thought of getting my leg stuck down there has been pretty scary. For goodness sake pick up small children and carry them.The deepest part of the system is at Hampstead Heath (Northern Line), where the rails are approximately 220 feet below the surface. Being the deepest part of any line, you’d expect to find the longest escalator here wouldn’t you? But you’d be wrong, because of all the 409 escalators, the longest is actually at Angel station, where the escalator is 197 feet long with a vertical rise of 90 feet. That’s one awesome escalator!Whilst on the subject of moving stairways, I have to tell you that sometimes they don’t work and you have to walk up them, like it or not. There’s nothing quite like getting off a crowded tube train, feeling hot and sweaty and probably in need of murdering somebody, only to be presented with an out-of-order escalator that appears to be several miles long. Unless you’re ultra fit, it just isn’t funny. If they are moving, please remember to stand on the right hand side allowing those who want to walk up or down access to the left. You’ll find that passengers often feel the need to run down escalators, causing danger to not only themselves but others travelling the escalator with them. It’s a bad habit that you shouldn’t indulge in.Despite being uncomfortable at times, The Tube’s a relatively safe means of travelling around London. The most famous accident must surely be the Moorgate disaster, back in 1975, when 43 people were killed. The second disaster was in 1987 at King’s Cross, when a fire killed 31 people. There have been no other major disasters. There have been a few bombs placed on tube trains over the years, but none have actually exploded on packed trains. The 253 miles of railway is, however, renowned for its suicides. Jumping in front of a tube train seems to have been a fashionable way of killing oneself for quite some time now.Using the tube is relatively inexpensive with a trip for an adult costing anything from £1.00 to £3.60, depending on the length of the journey. This is measured by zones, with zone 1 being within central London. The more zones you travel through, the more they’ll charge you. Logical really. Child fares are available for those under 15, under five’s travel free.If you need to know which zone you’ll be starting from or how many zones you’ll be travelling though, ‘TubePlanner’ is a useful site to visit (www.tubeplanner.com). The journey planner here is actually easier to use than the one on the official London Underground site (www.thetube.com), although don’t tell them I said so. You’ll be able to access information such as quickest route, journey time and the fare. You can also look up tourist attractions and find out exactly how to get to them.Those who use the tube often will always complain about it, but the truth is, without it, London would come to a stand still. The streets of London are already chock-a-block with traffic as it is so any attempt at transporting 900 million passengers over ground each year would lead to nothing less than chaos.It may not be perfect, but it’s by far the quickest and most convenient way of travelling through London. And hey…. even the map’s easy to understand!