Often travelers dismiss travel insurance as an unnecessary additional cost, especially when they are in good health. But even the healthiest traveler can benefit from insurance when volcanic ash covers air space over half a continent, an earthquake hits your destination, or a region becomes politically unstable.
Here are a few items to think about when purchasing travel insurance:
-Would you benefit from comprehensive travel insurance (covering trip cancellation, interruption, and delays) or will medical-only insurance (medical evacuation, medication, and medical treatments) suffice?
-Will your US health insurance provider cover medical care outside of the US?
-If you are booking hotels or flights online, are the websites’ protection plans worthwhile?
-Read the fine print: know whether your plan covers items like pre-existing conditions, civil unrest, and natural disasters.
When packing, consider adding a small spray bottle to your bag. You can use it to smooth out wrinkles and to spray your face and body for instant “air conditioning.”
What other items do you find handy when traveling?
Concierges are full of helpful tips and insider’s knowledge, and can be a huge asset in scheduling activities and meals during your trip. For better service, give your concierge time to fulfill your request (remembering that they are probably the busiest during morning check-out), and don’t forget to tip!
FaceTime and Skype are two great video-calling alternatives to costly international phone calls. This simple service that allows users to chat, talk, or video chat over the internet, via your smart phone or computer. Best of all, Skype-to-Skype or FaceTime-to-FaceTime calls are free, though there may be a small fee to call a landline or mobile number.
And to avoid high rates for receiving voicemails and text messages while abroad, don’t forget to turn off international roaming on your phone before you arrive to avoid any unpleasant bills when you get home.
How do you communicate with friends and family while traveling?
If you have any food allergies or preferences, learn the names of those foods in the languages used in the countries you’ll be visiting. This way you’ll be better equipped to stay on the look out for them.
Do you have any travel tips you’d like to share?
Use your camera intelligently. Find a map of the local subway system and snap a picture of it. You can zoom in and out of it on your camera and will avoid being the stereotypical puzzled tourist holding a map. And, if you get lost, you can zoom in on your destination station and ask someone nearby for directions by pointing to it on the screen.
Do you use your camera in other creative ways?
Consider using ATMs rather than traveler’s checks, which have become difficult to exchange in many countries. This way you’ll get your cash more quickly and with less fees.
Do you have a travel tip you’d like to share?