Travel Insurance for Your Peace of Mind

Everyone has travelled at least once in their life. Whether it is by bus, train, boat, or plane, you know the inconveniences you can encounter. People travelling to long distances usually prefer travelling via an airplane because it is convenient and faster. It may mean long lines in the ticket booth, long waiting hours before boarding time, or a little excess baggage but you deal with them because in the end, you will be in a relaxing and stress-free vacation. Despite all those petty nuisances, what are the chances of getting a delayed flight? Is paying for travel insurance really necessary?

Travelling itself can already cost you and your family a lot of dollars. Some people do not want to go through the additional expense of paying for something which might now happen to them at all. What are the odds of a disaster happening to you on a trip, right? Sadly, many people think this way. It is only when they experience a travel difficulty that they wish they had purchased reliable cheap travel insurance. Planning ahead makes you prepared for the worst. Before you disregard buying insurance for your travel, read first then make the call.

You needed to cancel your trip for more important reasons

You get caught in a situation wherein you badly need to be somewhere than the airport. Unforeseen circumstances such as a death in the family or you got into an accident can cost you your trip. Many insurance providers for travellers offer trip cancellation coverage. This means that for whatever reason you cancelled your trip, you will not end up losing the money you paid beforehand for the ticket and hotel reservations. Your insurance policy will cover your expenses.

You need immediate medical attention

This may possibly be the worst case scenario. In case you needed medical attention because you got a heart attack in an exclusive vacation island, where would you go? If you have an insurance provider, then call them to assist you with your situation. Travel insurance policies can cover all your medical expenses and even ancillary expenses when you encounter such a situation. They can also point you to the nearest affiliated qualifying hospital to make sure you get the best service and care.

Your baggage is missing

Travellers might get this misfortune more often than anything else. In any case, lost, damaged, or stolen luggage of travellers can be reimbursed. In case of baggage delay, some insurance policy providers offer reimbursement of the essential contents if the baggage will be delayed for more than 24 hours.

Your travel documents were lost or your credit cards were stolen

While strolling around a historic city, you notice your bag has been emptied of your wallet and other essential documents. Travellers are easy targets for local thieves and swindlers. Purchasing travel cover can help coordinate with local resources to resolve your problem.

Purchasing travel coverage does not need to be over-the-top expensive. There are many companies online who provide cheap travel insurance because there are no middlemen or travel agents which add up the cost of travel coverage. Buying insurance eliminates more risks you can possibly encounter while travelling.

Travel Trends by Gender

As someone who takes a great deal of interest in general travel trends, I was intrigued by the concept of historical differences between men and women and whether or not those variants are still relevant today. The focus is not necessarily on couples who travel together, but more on the intrepid female traveler who feels free to go wherever her whims take her. Here’s a brief look at why the genders traveled differently and whether or not that disparity still exists.

Historical Trends

Perhaps the earliest recognizable female figure is the adventurous women who first explored such exotic locales as Egypt and Africa in the nineteenth century. Many of Agatha Christie’s mystery books featured such a globe-trotting heroine, who was likely modeled after real-life traveling icons such as Martha Gellhorn, an early war correspondent, and Gertrude Bell, an archeologist, writer and politician who traveled far and wide at the turn of the century. The famous anthropologist Margaret Meade is another truly courageous woman traveler or a century ago who comes to mind.

These women are unique in that they set aside any trepidations and focused, instead, on their thirst for travel and discovering new destinations. They were the exceptions, not the rule.

It’s Not the Destination, It’s the Journey

It seems there was never a difference between the sexes as far as the level of interest in travel. After all, who doesn’t want to go and see new places, eat new foods, experience new cultures? The only gender diversity is truly the level of adventure the traveler embarks upon. For instance, up until recent years few women were interested in – or brave enough to sign up for – mountain climbing trips or jungle clearing excursions.

As a general rule of thumb, men are often more concerned with the journey and not necessarily the destination while women dream of visiting far-off lands without having to go through a great deal of adventure to get there. Remember this is only a very general observation; certainly there have been and still are women who revel in exciting journeys to uncivilized locales.

Travel Trends Today

What’s different today? What’s happened since the nineteenth century to make globe-trotting more common among single women travelers?

For one thing, women are accepted in positions of power. “Allowing” wives and mothers from centuries past to travel unaccompanied meant that men were giving these women a certain power previously only allocated to the male of the species. Learning other cultures and meeting foreign peoples expands the mind and broadens a person’s horizons – things that were not acceptable for women ages ago. And now that there are a great deal more women in the workforce, travel is both necessary and usual for them.

For another thing, travel today is much safer (on the whole) than it was during the era of the highwayman or outlaw gang. There was a reason women didn’t travel alone and it was all about the concept of safety in numbers. Today, women can drive to the airport, find secured airport parking and get on board a plane to any destination around the world in a manner of travel that is much safer than sticking to the roadways.

The modern travel trends for women include adventure travel, learning travel, volunteerism, and a desire to check off items on a bucket list. Interestingly enough, these are the same types of trips that men are leaning toward, too. So, although there once was a great disparity in travel trends between men and women, today that gap is nonexistent. Buon voyage, ladies!

Travel Insurance – 5 Tips to Avoid Hefty Bills Abroad

Travellers are more aware nowadays than ever before of the importance of taking out travel insurance before a trip. Most travels are likely to go smoothly, but why take a chance and risk ruining that much-needed holiday.

A variety of travel mishaps and problems have dominated the news in the past few years and the importance of having travel insurance, as well as understanding your rights, has never been more in people’s minds. Here are a few tips to consider before planning your next trip:

Tip No. 1 – Check that your travel insurance policy covers all your planned activities

Not all activities are covered under all policies, so this is important. If you are on a package holiday and choose to engage in activities outside those included you may find they are not covered unless you have taken out separate travel insurance. However, beware of travel insurance that seems very cheap or is offered as an incentive as the levels of cover may have been reduced – or the excess (the amount you pay towards a claim) increased. Your travel insurance policy should include a list of covered activities, such as elephant rides, scuba diving, bungee jumps, etc. Never assume that everything is automatically covered!

Tip No. 2 – Check that your policy includes adequate medical cover, liability and legal expenses

If you pick up a nasty stomach bug it could potentially put you in hospital. If you trip and break a leg, or sustain a serious injury it could result in very high medical bills for hospital treatment. If you cause injury to another person you could be liable and incur legal costs. If an injury results in medical repatriation to bring you home by air ambulance the need for additional seats on the plane, and/or medical escort, could set you back many thousands of pounds. Your consulate or the airline does not cover these costs. Someone has to pay and – without insurance – that someone is you, or your unsuspecting family or loved ones.

As well as adequate travel and medical insurance, always check that your policy includes cover for air ambulance and medical repatriation. This is vital.

Air ambulance fees to bring you back to the UK from your holiday destination could potentially cost thousands of pounds alone, and up to a staggering £50,000 from the USA! If it is necessary to fly you home on a stretcher with a medical escort the fees from even closer holiday destinations could be almost as financially devastating.

Tip No. 3 – Obtain a European Health Insurance Card

If you live in a EU country and are travelling within the European Union apply for the free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and carry it with you. Depending on the country, it entitles you to free or reduced-cost emergency treatment on the same basis as a national of that country, in a state-run facility (not private). The EHIC should not be used instead of travel insurance, but will save you a lot of expense and inconvenience if you should sustain an injury or become sick while travelling. It is important to realise that the EHIC does not cover anything much other than emergency medical care. It does not cover repatriation to the UK or air ambulance costs. You will need travel insurance to cover an array of travel problems, such as non-urgent medical care, ongoing treatment, lost luggage, missed flights, scheduled airline failure, etc.

Tip No. 4 – Do Your Homework!

Research has shown that few people actually take the time to research the local laws and customs of their destination country before they set off. Awareness of potential pitfalls could save a lot of expense and grief. For example, do you know your destination country’s rules for a single adult travelling with a child? Do you know which over-the-counter medicines you can and cannot legally take into the country? Do you know the basic rules of the road before driving in another country? The purchase of a good travel guidebook, or time spent reviewing travel advice provided online, such as on the Foreign Office website could help you avoid becoming the victim of a scam, or being arrested or fined for violating a local law that you were not aware of.

Tip No.5 – Make a note of Consulate/Embassy and Emergency Numbers

Before you travel, why not programme emergency numbers into your mobile phone and also keep a note of them with your travel documents. Having the number for the local emergency services programmed into your mobile phone could save time in the event of a robbery or accident – and even save lives. Consider registering with the Foreign Office ‘Locate’ service (or your own government’s equivalent) to better enable the authorities to assist you if an emergency should arise. Their assistance in contacting friends and relatives would be a very welcome lifeline if needed and save you time, frustration, and expense.

Some Useful General Tips For Hiring Travel Agents

Whether you’re planning for a weekend getaway to escape from day to day schedule, a special holiday overseas with friends and family to relax, a trip to your favorite destination or a plan for a new adventure vacation, make sure to plan ahead. Do thorough research for planning your trip as it will help you in understanding the traveling requirements of the place where you want to visit.

For a hassle free planning, it is a good idea to take help of the services of an online travel city guide or a travel agent. A travel agent is one who understands the tour and travel industry and has good connection with travel service providers and help people in planning their trip or vacation. However, never assume that just hiring a travel agent means your task is over. You need to be sure that the travel agent is a good one and offering you valuable services. To help you out, here are some questions that your travel agent must tell you.

• Ask the travel agent about whether the hotel is in good condition and no renovation work is going on at the time of your visit. Plus, the agent must also inform you about the tourist spots that are located near the hotel. Also the total charges so that you don’t have to face with any hidden charges at the last moment.

• The travel agent must be aware of the traveling documents that might be essential while traveling to some particular destination such as your travel insurance papers, visa, passport, health papers, and your prescription and so on. Even you can check travel information online to find out the details.

• Your agent must help you in planning your itinerary. They must guide you and tell you about the pros and cons of any particular place. In case, you need to make changes in the itinerary while traveling, ensure that there are absolutely no charges. This is something that your travel agent must inform you in advance. Otherwise, it will be a good idea to ask your agent to fully explain the restrictions that may appear, on your ticket, to ensure that the planning meets your needs.

• While planning your trip, your travel agent must ask you about your preferences regarding airlines and what type of hotel you would like to stay during your vacation. This is also the most important amongst world travel tips. Most importantly, they must plan everything as per your budget and in case the budget needs to be adjusted, the agent must inform you in advance. It should be never like after doing all the bookings you came to realize that your budget has grown up.

• Also your travel agent must not nag you into anything. In fact they must ask your preferences and work out a customized travel plan for you. This way you can have your preferences and don’t have to compromise on anything that you might not like afterward.

The Travel Health and Safety Mistake That Could Cost Your Company Thousands

Introduction

Workplace health and safety has become commonplace for most companies globally. However, the same basic standards and compliance are conspicuously absent for those whose workplace includes travel. If you want to know more about this mistake that could cost your business thousands if not rectified, then read on. In this article we will look at workplace health and safety, travel hazard identification, travel health and safety in conjunction with the potential business losses. By the end of this article you will have the four basic steps to evaluate your risk and the correction steps to save your business from significant loss.

Workplace Health and Safety

All developed countries have very mature workplace, site or project health and safety regulations, many with stiff penalties for noncompliance. While the overarching legislation provides compliance and standards guidelines, companies are able to apply their own evaluation and measurement of foreseeable threats, following a standardized methodology. This enables companies to benchmark their final results and permits replicatable processes.

Due to this common approach and process maturity, many companies have ventured even further by creating self imposed higher standards such as “no harm”, “zero loss”, “100% safe” and other similar internal campaigns to reduce or eliminate any-and-all injury in the workplace, site or project.

Workplace health and safety is not just practiced in the country of origin but also applied to all their various projects and worksites around the world as a global health and safety standard.

Construction companies have taken this philosophy to the nth degree by displaying at the point of entry to their project, all incidents, days lost, days since last safety event and so on.

Why is none of this applied to travel health and safety?

Travel Hazard Identification

Following on from the workplace health and safety model, activity and location risk registers are typically made before commencement of works and maintained throughout the life of the work activity. When was the last time you saw a travel health and safety risk register or hazard identification register that used a standardized methodology?

If you already have a workplace risk register, documenting the foreseeable threats, naked threat levels, treatment solutions, control measures and residual risk level following all modifier actions, why don’t you have the same documentation for travel health and safety?

If you don’t apply the same process, maintain the same documentation and conduct the same degree of education and communication to reduce the risk, for travel health and safety then you don’t a travel safety program at all. This mistake will not only cost you from a productivity and efficiency perspective but expose you to legal recourse should it be proven you have failed to mitigate the travel health and safety threats of your extended workplace and travel activity.

Travel Health and Safety

Travel health and safety is not an unachievable task. All the steps have been exhibited above. The only reason it has not already been applied to any company travel management program is due to ignorance, laziness, lack of education, lack of resources, over confidence and avoidance. None of which are defensible for companies that suffer loss of life, reduction in people capital, decreased productivity and financial loss.

Due to the amount or time consumed in business travel, travel may actually constitute a majority component of your overall “workplace”. This is particularly acute for companies with high people capital business models, that sees a lot of consultants, academics, professionals or contractors traveling to the client’s physical business site/s from their respective city/country of residence.

Business Loss

You can’t improve what you can’t measure. Travel health and safety should be measured for loss to the business ranging from productivity to direct financial losses. The problem is that because the cumulative losses are rarely identified in a single cost centre or business unit and more likely spread across multiple functions and business units, businesses fail to identify or acknowledge these overall travel health and safety losses.

Tangible losses are one issue whereas the intangible losses are another matter entirely. Reputation, legal, market share, new business, training and development are all plausible losses from foreseeable risk.

Failure to implement a travel health and safety strategy will in time be discovered as a grave mistake and cost the company/business unit thousands of dollars (or more) in losses.