Too few holidaymakers add risk management to their itinerary. Here are some very good reasons why you should combine travel insurance with common sense.
Stress management is part of every vacation. From the cost and packing luggage to making sure everyone has their documents, it can feel like a race to relax. In an ideal world, you would be able to reach your destination and save all worries for the return trip.
For the most part, you can. When you combine a few commonsense steps (and even a few covert ops ones!) with awareness of possible dangers, you can help reduce risks to our relaxation.
Consider all medical angles
A major risk factor that can ground your vacation before it even begins. To prepare, ask yourself the following questions:
- Have I restocked any prescriptions sufficiently for my trip?
- If someone in my group becomes sick before or during the vacation, will a cancellation or early return mean I lose the price of the holiday?
- If I have an accident on foreign soil, will my health or travel insurance cover the cost?
- If I don’t speak the language, how can I arrange transportation and be certain of quality medical care when I get there?
If you’re willing to gamble on health and accidents and travel uninsured, consider some of the average costs of health hazards abroad. With over $400 for an ambulance trip, over $1,700 for a day in the hospital and $10,000 or more for an air ambulance, it pays to cover your bases and ask your insurer what you’re protected from.
Factor in the weather
Florida knows all too well the link between major tourist attractions and wild weather. Are the elements prone to misbehaving at your destination? If your port of call takes a severe hit from a storm, hurricane or another natural disaster, it could also wipe out the money you spent to get there.
Evacuations, washed out roads, or canceled or heavily delayed flights: any one of them could cost a small fortune or the whole of your vacation investment. Take a close look at your travel insurance policy and see how forgiving it is of harsh weather.
As a traveler, you should always familiarize yourself with your destination’s meteorology. You can also keep a real-time eye on the world with resources like the World Weather Information Service. Pack the sunscreen, too!
Some smart tips from the CIA
In an earlier blog, we examined the world crime figures that go into making kidnap and ransom insurance a worthwhile investment. It can happen anywhere to anyone and anticipating the spectrum of hazards will test the most travel-savvy tourist.
If that leaves you in need of some reassuring advice, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) fits the bill. The CIA has a list of good habits to follow in foreign territory, and they recommend tourists do the same. A few of their key recommendations are:
- Maintain a low profile and don’t draw attention to yourself as a tourist
- Research your destination, be aware of local customs, and blend in as much as possible
- Have contact details for every stage of your itinerary
- Know where to meet up if you and your travel group are separated
- Whenever you leave, make sure someone knows where you’re going and to take note if you miss checking in
- Finally, carry a doorstop! These little things can be great hotel room security providers while you sleep, even if locks fail or are tampered with.
Other sound steps are to note all emergency numbers at your destination before you travel. An emergency can be very stressful but knowing the right people to call will help you stay calm and get results. Having slash-proof luggage or backpacks can help you protect your valuables.
A great resource for more peace of mind is STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program). It’s free for all American citizens and lets our embassy in the region know you’re arriving. It’s an excellent provider of local information and an invaluable communication tool for you, the embassy, and your loved ones if there is an emergency.
We live in a digital world, and it’s common to want to tell everyone on social media that you’re on vacation. You should never do so. It advertises that your home will be empty and the routes you’ll be planning to take.
It’s okay to share these things privately with friends and family; just don’t make a public show of your travel arrangements. We also recommend letting your bank know where you’re headed. You don’t want to avoid all these risks than have them freeze your card because they think it isn’t you!
Avante Insurance is a South Florida family-owned and operated agency providing many services to meet customer’s individual needs. If you need insurance advice, call us at 305-648-7070, request an insurance quote, or contact us with any questions or comments.