French ‘Kidnap Holiday’ Firm Offers the Ultimate Thrill

Most holidayers dream of a tropical beach or cosmopolitan city. But for customers of French travel firm Ultime Réalité, an ideal holiday could involve helicopter chases, kidnappings, and a simulated abduction and kidnapping. The firm is a one-of-a-kind ‘extreme’ holiday provider operating in east France, and it’s rapidly gaining attention throughout the world for its bizarre holiday packages.

One such package from Ultime Réalité’s website combined a harsh, unexpected kidnapping with a four-hour confinement and isolation package in one of France’s historic cellars. Customers have an obligation to purchase the packages during an extended period of holiday or work inactivity, as the company goes out of its way to research, follow, and track its customers before the kidnapping.

It’s part of a service that promises the ultimate thrill. While lawmakers have repeatedly questioned the company’s bizarre business model, adventure tourists appear to be eating it up. For just £1000, customers can experience a day in a simulate hostage situation, complete with armed guards and a set of so-tight-they-hurt handcuffs.

The company is popular amongst high-level executives and important business figures, who have used its services as both a preparatory and preventative measure against kidnappings. The extreme travel company reportedly receives two bookings daily, making it a reasonable cash cow for its 28-year-old founder and chief executive.

However, the unusual service has drawn a reasonable level of attention from local law enforcement agencies. With public kidnappings and other abductions a standard part of service, a number of calls to police have seen the company’s activities interrupted. Employees, however, insist that the service is not illegal, with the customer signing over all liability and consent before the kidnapping begins.

French police agree, adding that the service occupies an interesting area of the law. Given Réalité’s popularity and potential for cash generation, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see such a bizarre and unusual travel service offered internationally.

With Savings Intact, Over-50s Increase Their Travel Plans

While some of Britain’s biggest travel operators close shop, the number of adventure travel firms is increasing on a weekly basis. Offering skiing vacations, surfing, and mountain trekking holidays, a surge in bookings for high-end adventure holidays is changing the face of British travel. Even more strangely, the growth isn’t propelled by 20-somethings – it’s grandparents that are leading the way.

The amount of mature holidayers opting for slopes n’ slow on their holiday is increasingly at a rate few could have predicted, leaving adventure travel firms rushing to complete bookings and arrange trips. Over-fifty travellers are one of Britain’s high-growth markets – with a reasonable amount of income and a greater amount of free time than ever, they’re opting for exciting holidays in droves.

That means giving up the poolside lounger and picking up a snowboard, or even taking to the skies before leaping out of an aeroplane. Activities that were once reserved for those in their late teens are growing in popularity amongst fifty-somethings, with adrenaline the drug of choice for filling gaps left by redundancy. It’s not quite a mid-life crisis – for many it’s just a renewed appreciation of life.

Contradicting traditional travel industry trends, it seems as if poor economic performance is fuelling the boom in foreign adventure vacations. With many Britons expecting to remain out of work for an extended period of time, the career cost of an extended vacation is less of a strain than before. Many ‘adventure’ oldies have a reasonable amount of savings, making the financial cost fairly trivial.

Several UK and US-based travel agencies are researching the viability of a fifty-plus specialist firm, aiming to market to the demographic using targeted advertisements and special promotions. Should it succeed, Britain’s travel industry may find itself segmenting into a niche-style collection of small operators, with the current one-size-fits-all brands settling into the commercial background.

Buying Travel Insurance? Watch Out For Limited Coverage

There’s no shortage of confusing deals in the travel insurance industry. From partial coverage to completely rotten agreements, the number of potential loopholes and justifications is miles long, and loaded with negative incentives. Needlessly complicated travel insurance policies are such an annoyance for travellers that they’re a top query for travel magazines, often with no real answers.

Navigating a travel insurance agreement can be a nightmare, which is why so many travellers end up skimming over their agreement before signing. The most vital part of any insurance agreement isn’t simplicity or perceived coverage, but understanding. Spend time surveying your documents and ensure that you’re adequately covered. If not, revise the contract with a travel insurance rep.

Partial injury coverage is one of the most frequent missed arrangements in any travel insurance deal. After spending time in a foreign hospital, many travellers are met with the news that they won’t be covered under their current policy due to the nature of the injury. For some, it’s due to involvement in a casual sport while overseas; for others it could simply be riding a motorcycle.

These minor misunderstandings happen alarmingly often, particularly amongst inexperienced travellers and seasoned insurance companies. Few travellers realise that insurance isn’t a ticket which guarantees complete coverage – merely an agreement that provides coverage under the agreed circumstances. Prevent disagreements by thoroughly reading any insurance documents.

Few travel insurance policies are perfect, and even fewer are likely to be tailored exactly to your needs. But at the same time many insurance companies are happy to work with you to work out what’s essential to your holiday. When your health is an issue, don’t leave it to chance or consider arguing against your policy – speak directly with your provider to ensure that you are covered.