Your guide to the top sporting events of the year- guest post

Sports fans, 2012 is your lucky year. Not only is the UKhosting the biggest sporting event of all this summer – the Olympic Games – but around the world there are dozens of sporting treats to suit every passion.   And with comparison sites making it cheaper and easier to travel abroad than ever before, you no longer have to be a living room spectator: you can witness every shot, goal, lap and hole in one for yourself.

So, where should you go to experience the best sporting events first hand over the next 12 months?

Football fanatics need look no further than the European Football Championships taking place in June in Poland and the Ukraine. With Eastern Europe a long-term favourite of the low-cost airlines, there will be no excuses not to hop on a plane and cheer on the home team.

For golf lovers, the US will be the top destination this year. Augusta, Georgiaplays host to the Masters Tournament in April, while the Ryder Cup tees off on 28th September in Medinah, Illinois.

Adrenaline junkies should head to the Isle of Man in May to experience the excitement of the most prestigious road race in the world, the TT races. Or perhaps the legendary US race, the Indianapolis 500, in May, would be more of a buzz?

The Formula One industry has another packed agenda in 2012. As well as the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in July, other highlights include the China Grand Prix in April and the Monaco Grand Prix in May.
Fans of our four-legged friends can travel the world in pursuit of their passion. The annual Kentucky Derby in Louisville, US, in May, is a must, while the more adventurous may fancy Australia’s Melbourne Cup in November. Closer to home, and there is Le Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in Paris in October – or perhaps you’ll be tempted by a trip to the Dubai World Cup in March.

Once you have decided which event takes your fancy, do some research and you will find no shortage of attractive deals to get you to your chosen destination. But before you pack your suitcase and get ready to cheer on your favourite team, horse, or player, remember, it’s never a good idea to go abroad without holiday travel insurance, whether you choose the best single trip travel insurance or annual worldwide travel insurance.
According to a recent report by the Association of British Travel Agents, 20 per cent of Brits go on holiday without appropriate cover, perhaps because they are under the misapprehension that the UK government will jump to their rescue. Unfortunately, this could not be further from the truth. The reality is, medical bills can be very expensive, especially if you fall ill in the US.
It is even more important to make sure your trip insurance is up to date if you want to emulate your sporting heroes and take part in any activities yourself.
Another possible way to make some savings is by shopping around in advance for your travel money. Search online before you go to find the best exchange rates. Some providers even offer pre- paid currency cards which allow you to top up your cash whilst you’re abroad, and also lock-in your initial exchange rate on certain currencies.’