It’s nearly summer time and as we all prepare for the longer, hotter days, we’re also contemplating our summer vacations. Unfortunately, this summer’s travel forecast will mean high airfares and an increase in fees from the major airlines.
Of course, summer is also the season for family reunions, weddings, graduation trips, and more. Since we can’t always avoid traveling altogether, many travelers are planning budget summer trips.
What’s the risk in a budget summer trip? Here are 6 budget trips you should insure and why.
1. Summer road trips
Ah, the road trip – the halcyon of summer vacations and a tradition across America. With the rising costs of airline tickets and their associated fees, many travelers of all ages are reviving the time-honored tradition of the summer road trip in their minivans.
How can travel insurance protect summer road trip travelers?
If you’re renting a vehicle for your trip – as many families do when their everyday vehicles simply aren’t big enough – rental car collision coverage is much cheaper with a travel insurance plan than it is at the rental counter. Plus, you’ll often have better roadside assistance than you’d get with a rental car company.
If you’re traveling far outside your health insurance network, then having travel medical coverage is an inexpensive way to avoid having to pay those very high out-of-network costs if you’re in a traffic accident, for example.
2. Family reunions
Many families plan their family reunions during the summer months when most of the school-age children across the nation are out on summer break. That means lots of families hitting the roads and the skies to get cousins together, see the grandparents, take pictures, and to catch up on the latest family stories.
If you’re hospitalized far from home, a travel insurance plan with return of minor children protection means unattended kids will be transported home or to a family member who can care for them as you recover.
If you had to kennel your pets and your return flights are delayed, some travel insurance plans include pet care coverage that reimburses you for extended kennel costs.
3. Beach vacations
The heat of summer drives many of us to the lakes, rivers, and oceans to cool off. Many summer travelers have standing reservations at the same beach house every summer. Of course, the beach houses along the east coast are also in the path of hurricanes and some travelers are disappointed to have to cancel their trip ahead of time or evacuate in the middle of their vacation.
If you’re traveling to an area that could be affected by the Atlantic hurricane season, a trip cancellation plan with coverage for hurricanes is a great way to protect your trip investment. If a hurricane destroys your vacation rental, you can get up to 100% of your investment back. If you want the ability to cancel ahead of the hurricane, you’ll need ‘cancel for any reason’ protection.
If you’re bringing sports equipment such as kayaks, SCUBA gear, golf clubs and more, consider covering that equipment with a little sports equipment coverage. You’ll be reimbursed (up to a maximum limit) for the value of lost or stolen equipment, and be able to rent equipment (up to a daily limit) should checked items be temporarily delayed by the airline.
4. Summer weddings
Brides and grooms often plan their weddings in the summer to take advantage of less expensive outdoor venues and the bright light – great for pictures. A summer wedding also draws a crowd as family members and friends come from near and far to attend the occasion.
Should you get travel insurance for a summer wedding trip?
If you’re concerned about travel delays due to summer hurricanes, having travel insurance means you’ll be reimbursed for unexpected expenses like extra overnights when flights are cancelled.
If you’re concerned that the wedding may be called off or cancelled, you’ll need ‘cancel for any reason’ protection to be reimbursed for your non-refundable trip costs.
5. Volunteer trips
Many folks use the summer months as their time to volunteer around the world. Often, entire families will devote a portion of their summer vacation time to helping others in need by building houses and schools, repairing hiking trails, and feeding the hungry.
If your volunteer destination is in need of significant levels of help, there is also the risk of infectious diseases and other disasters that could cause you to seek emergency medical treatment. If you’re outside your own health insurance network, your volunteer organization may pick up the bill, but it may not. Having travel medical insurance is widely recommended for volunteer travelers.
If you become seriously ill or are badly injured on your volunteer trip, and need a medical evacuation, a travel insurance plan is your best bet. Not only will the travel insurance company arrange and pay for your medical evacuation, but it will also pay to transport you home after your health is stabilized. Many plans also include coverage to bring a friend or family member to your bedside if you will be hospitalized far from home for more than a week – this can be a great comfort.
6. Summer internships abroad
One of the best ways for a new graduate to boost their resume’s power is by interning abroad and many graduates will be doing that this summer. An internship means working for a company on specific projects. Some internships are paid and others are not, but most lack the basic benefits awarded to employees, including health care.
What’s the risk of an internship abroad?
If your health care under your parents’ coverage has expired due to your age, you could be facing one of those health care gaps. Health care is expensive anywhere you go in the world, but travel medical is very inexpensive and many plans provide coverage for brief visits home as well.
If you have an emergency back home, a travel insurance plan with trip interruption coverage means you’ll be reimbursed for emergency travel if your home is burglarized, or your grandmother dies, or your sister is in a traffic accident for example.
Not every trip needs travel insurance, of course. Here are 3 trips where insurance (probably) isn’t necessary. See if your summer fits one of them before you consider travel insurance.