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Travel Travel Must-Haves Vacation Tips

5 Reasons You NEED Travel Insurance

I can see it now…you’re on your computer booking your flight/cruise/hotel and just  when your transaction is almost complete, the option to add travel protection, at an additional fee, pops up.  You think to yourself, “do I REALLY NEED this?  Nothing is going to keep me from going on this trip.”  Before you click the “decline” button let me explain to you why you ABSOLUTELY need travel protection every single time. Because we all know Murphy’s Law…anything that can go wrong will go wrong.  Better to be safe than sorry, right?

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Most often when we make travel plans, it’s typically not within the time frame of weather forecast predictions.  We all know what kind of travel challenges the weather can bring. Sometimes, especially when flights are involved, there are lots of people trying to rearrange their itineraries at the same time and that could spell trouble for your plans.  Weather delays and cancellations can lead to mis-connects and oversold flights and that can cause you to lose a whole day or more from your long awaited trip. In the meantime, you now need to pay for extra hotel nights (because airlines do NOT provide hotel vouchers due to weather) that you didn’t include in your initial budget and now this thunderstorm has caused a whole negative domino effect with your vacation.  You need travel insurance because most plans will reimburse you for out of pocket expenses due to trip interruption. Otherwise, you’re simply SOL…

Anybody that travels often knows to ONLY check a bag when absolutely NECESSARY.  Trust me, you don’t need all that stuff. However, in the event that you do check a bag, I sure hope you accepted the travel insurance when given the opportunity.  True story: I booked a cruise through my travel agent (before I became one) to which I actually did add travel insurance but decided to book some elements of the trip myself. Big mistake.  I did NOT add the insurance to those elements that I booked on my own, which were the flights and pre and post-cruise accommodations. Well, it was a Valentine’s Day cruise, so mid February, and my flights connected in Chicago.  Needless to say, there was a blizzard. I was rerouted through Charlotte. Unfortunately, my luggage was not. I arrived in Ft. Lauderdale and my bags did not. I hoped that they would arrive before my cruise departed the next afternoon.  They didn’t. I looked for them to arrive at the first port of call. They did not. In fact, I didn’t actually get my bags back until about two days after I returned from my trip. And unfortunately, back then I wasn’t the savvy traveller I am today and so I checked everything.  Had my flights been covered by my travel insurance, I would have been reimbursed for my out of pocket expenses of replacing, well, everything. Lesson learned.

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When the travel bug bites us, we feel all warm and fuzzy inside while making our travel plans.  And then just as the trip is on the horizon, BAM! Life happens. A lost job, death in the family, sudden illness, or any other unexpected life event that your rose colored lenses prevented you from foreseeing while booking your travel plans have now put you in a position to where you have to cancel your plans.  Depending on the cancellation policy of the vendor you booked with, you could be at risk for losing your entire investment. You absolutely need travel insurance to be prepared for the unexpected.

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Alright, so let’s say you make it to the trip and completely managed to avoid Murphy’s Law, thus far.  What happens if you are far away from home and you get sick or hurt? Or God forbid you actually die on the trip!  I know…I know, that’s NOT going to happen to you. But guess what. It happens every single day. Your health insurance may not cover you in another state, let alone another country.  What if you need to have an emergency surgery? What if there’s an accident and you need to be hospitalized? If you were to die while traveling, do you know the financial strain that would put on your loved ones to return your body back home?  These are all circumstances to consider before you decline travel insurance and why you absolutely need it.

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Did you know that at least two major travel related companies went out of business in the past year?  Yep, WOW Airline and Thomas Cook Travel Company both went belly up, leaving thousands of travellers stranded in foreign lands.  I actually had clients booked on WOW Air that were scheduled to depart eight days after it collapsed. Fortunately, we had time to recover but could you imagine finding out that the airline or tour agency that got you to point A has ceased to exist in the middle of your travels?  Well, while this isn’t an everyday occurrence, it does happen. Would you be prepared to handle a situation like this? As long as you have travel insurance, you certainly would be!

All of this is to say that your travel plans are an investment.  Give yourself the peace of mind that in the event that things don’t go the way you planned, your money doesn’t just go down the toilet.  So, yes…you absolutely NEED travel insurance. Spend the extra money to protect your investment. When (not if) you need it, you’ll be glad you did!

Until next time,

Stephanie J.

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