Top 3 Travel Safety Precautions to Save Your Life, Wallet, and Sanity

We seem to have our safety priorities turned around.  We choose a destination that seems “safe” these days – safe from terrorist attacks, natural disasters, etc.  Although the statistical likelihood of any of those happening on the trip we’re planning is SUPER low, we fixate on them and then ignore the safety precautions that will save us from all the things that are statically likely to happen.

To aid you in your travel savviness AND to keep you safe and traveling often, here are my top 3 super simple safety precautions that may just save your life, your wallet, and definitely your sanity:

  1. Learn the Local 911 Equivalent: We’ve all been taught to pick up the phone and dial 911 in an emergency – it’s one of the few numbers we’ve committed to memory. But you need to learn the emergency number for your destination AND keep in mind there may be different numbers based on whether you need police, fire, or ambulance.  Learn the numbers before you depart and store them in your phone.
  2. Don’t Always Have Your Phone Out – For one, you should be looking at the amazing destination you find yourself in rather than staring at your phone. But also, staring aimlessly at your phone tells pickpockets you are not paying attention to your surroundings and that you’re easy prey – you may have your phone snatched out of your hands or soon realize your wallet is no longer in your possession.
  3. Make a Copy of Your Passport – A U.S. passport is considered the highest form of identification in the land; overseas it’s your ONLY form of identification. If your passport is lost or stolen, proving your identity is not an easy task and you certainly won’t be allowed to board any planes home. Having a copy of your passport will help speed up the process for getting a new passport at a U.S. embassy or consulate.  Leave a copy at home and pack a copy to bring on your trip.  You can even scan your passport and email it to yourself.

Be smart, stay safe, but most importantly, have fun!

-Chad

Cancel-For-Any-Reason: 3 Reasons Why this Travel Insurance Option is Your New Best Friend

I’ve learned a lesson recently: in addition to getting travel insurance, always add the “cancel-for-any-reason” option – it’s going to save you time, money, and headache.

In October, during Hurricane Matthew, I had a client whose cruise was still scheduled to depart but the airline canceled her flights.  She purchased travel insurance, but because the cruise was going forward despite the flights being canceled, we had to hope (preferably not to our karmic detriment) that the airline would not operate flights into her destination for 24 consecutive hours in order for the full trip’s cancellation to fall under one of the insurance’s “covered reasons.”

Travel insurance is a necessary component for any vacation to protect your investment and plan for eventualities that hopefully won’t happen but will be darn expensive if they do.  Nevertheless, sifting through the policy to figure out if the unfortunate reason you have to cancel is covered can be a frustrating experience.

Cancel-for-any-reason is an AH-mazing option available as a “rider” on many travel insurance policies and it can really save your bacon when something comes up prior to departing that requires you to cancel your trip, but the reason doesn’t fall neatly into one of the insurance policy’s “cover reasons.”

Here are 3 things we LOVE about a cancel-for-any-reason insurance option:

  1. It’s EASY. “Cancel for any reason” means just that – ANY reason.  You got a bad haircut and don’t want to be ridiculed on the streets of Paris? Done.  Your beach bod wasn’t quite ready for Cancun?  Done.  Your smart phone died so you won’t be able to shamelessly Instagram your entire trip? Done.  You get the picture.  ANY reason.
  2. It covers up to 75% of the trip cost. No, that’s not 100%, which is what you typically get if you cancel for a “covered” reason under a standard travel insurance policy.  But 75% is darn good if the only reason you had to cancel was because of a bad hairdo.
  3. It’s reasonably priced. For the peace of mind to cancel for ANY reason, the additional cost for the option is a great deal.  For example: A full travel insurance policy with a cancel-for-any-reason option for a $4,000 vacation for two people on a week-long trip is about $280 total.

insurance-docThere are some minor prerequisites to cancel-for-any-reason policies.  For example, most require you to purchase it within 21 days of putting the initial deposit on your trip.  Others require your travel dates to take place at a minimum time in the near future, such as 90 days.  Small potatoes considered the huge coverage benefit you receive.

Always always ALWAYS get travel insurance – I recommend it to every client I book for.  It not only protects your financial investment if you need to cancel before you depart, but it also covers your personal health and safety for unfortunate events that may occur during your trip.  Part of the fun of travel is the planning phase and getting excited for all the amazing things you will see and do during your vacation.  Travel insurance is small component of that planning that can make a huge difference.

-Chad