Vacations are important breaks in our lives, but they take planning, coordinating and a monetary investment. When a vacation takes a turn for the worse and you need support, having the right coverage in place can make all the difference.
What are the risks on vacation?
Some of the unexpected things that can go wrong on your vacation include the following:
- You have to cancel – travelers sometimes have to cancel their vacations due to an illness, concerns over terrorism, military deployment, work conflicts, job loss, and more. If you are forced to cancel your vacation, how will you recover the non refundable fees and payment you’ve already paid?
- You have to return home – vacation travelers are sometimes forced to abandon their trip and return home for any number of reasons: a sick child, a mandatory evacuation, a schedule change. If you are forced to end your trip and head home, can you recover your unused travel payments and pay for a new return airline ticket?
- Your flight is delayed – travel delays come in all forms, from severe weather, to booking mistakes, to strikes and the airlines don’t provide a lot of coverage for delays – especially those that are caused by natural forces (like a tornado). If you are delayed for hours, or even days, will you have the extra funds to pay for additional lodging and change fees? If you need to make alternative travel arrangements, who can you call?
- You need emergency medical aid – travelers can run into all kinds of medical emergencies while traveling. You could break an ankle hopping on a bus or get a bad case of salmonella just about anywhere. How will you pay for the medical care you need and also arrange for emergency transportation if you can’t get there yourself? How will you even know where the closest medical facility is?
- Your wallet is stolen – pickpockets are known to lurk in areas popular with tourists and they have lots of opportunity for practice. If your wallet is stolen, how will you recover your credit and bank cards? Will you have access to the cash you need while your bank cards are replaced? If your passport is also stolen, how will you replace it before you have to return?
- You need help or advice – anytime you are traveling in a new place, you could be in a situation where you need travel advice or emergency assistance. You may even need help communicating in a foreign language. If you need travel advice, legal advice, or foreign language assistance, who can you call?
What coverage do you need on a vacation?
While the following is not an exhaustive list of all the coverages available with travel insurance plans, it describes those that are most useful to those traveling on general vacations.
- Trip cancellation coverage provides reimbursement for pre-paid, non refundable trip costs if you have to cancel your trip for a covered reason. (Review the details of trip cancellation coverage.)
- Medical coverage provides for emergency medical and dental care in the case of a sudden illness or injury on your trip. (Review the details of medical/dental coverage.)
- Trip interruption coverage reimburses up to 150% of the unused trip costs and often provides additional money for return airfare if you have to end your trip and return home. (Review the details of trip interruption coverage.)
- Baggage coverage reimburses you replacement value (with maximum limits for single items) for the items you’ve lost as well as the luggage itself. (Review the details of baggage coverage.)
- Passport/Credit Card coverage provides reimbursement for unauthorized credit card charges, fees to replace passports, and emergency cash advances or transfers to stranded travelers. (Review the details of passport and credit card coverage.)
- Travel delay coverage reimburses you for crucial basic expenses such as rooms, meals, and transportation if your trip is delayed. (Review the details of travel delay coverage.)
When should you buy your vacation travel insurance?
When you purchase your travel insurance may be just as important as why you purchase it.
- When should I buy my travel insurance?
- What is the buying process?
- How much does travel insurance cost?
- What information do I need to buy it?
Remember that all travel insurance companies offer a free look period with a refund if you decide the plan is not what you need.
Where should you buy your travel insurance?
We recommend purchasing your travel insurance directly from a third-party company for a number of reasons.
- Buying Travel Insurance from a 3rd party company vs. through a travel agent
- Why buying Travel Insurance from a 3rd party company is better than buying from a Cruise Line
- Buying Travel Insurance Directly from the Company vs. Using a Comparison Site
Very briefly, you’ll have more choices and options in your travel insurance plan if you purchase from a third-party company using a comparison tool.
How can you be sure your travel insurance coverage is adequate?
These tips will help you determine whether you have enough coverage.
- 4 Steps to 100% confidence in your travel insurance plan
- Entering $0 Trip Cost is too risky
- Is ‘Cancel for any reason’ worth it?
What are the best vacation travel insurance plans?
We’ve done the research into which plans are best and our recommendations include:
- The important coverages for vacation travelers
- Our analysis of each plan
- Sample quotes