Photo: M. Woodruff/Business Insider
For most travellers, it’s hard not to imagine the worst happening–just ask the Costa Concordia cruise ship survivors–whether it be a canceled flight or marketplace mugging.traveller’s insurance can be a great way to protect yourself from the unexpected, but for spring breakers planning on keeping their trips close to home this year, it’s not the only option.
“Travel insurance is typically purchased by those looking to cover trip cancellations and delays, as well as potential medical emergencies, or lost luggage,” says Warren Chang, VIP of Fly.com. “But the price tag can sometimes be high so consumers often rule it out for domestic travel.”
Before you pack up your bronzer and head to the nearest sandy shore, check out Chang’s tips on simple ways to protect your belongings–and yourself–from harm.
1. Don’t pack valuables in your checked luggage. Instead, carry them in your hand luggage.
2. Use your hotel safe for valuables or invest in a sturdy lockbox.
3. Carry your medical insurance card with you at all times. (If you’re prone to illness, think about looking up a list of well-reviewed doctors under your plan where you’ll be vacationing–just in case.)
4. Check your airline’s policy regarding flight changes. Some airlines offer credits or nominal flight change fees and taking out an extra flight protection plan may be unnecessary.
5. Make your checked luggage identifiable – use a luggage tag and include your name and cell phone number, as well as the address of where you are staying. Delta’s developed a great app that lets you track your bags from gate to gate.
“Also consider tying on a coloured ribbon to make your luggage different from the sea of black bags on the luggage belt,” Chang says. “And, if your airline loses your luggage, notify them immediately. They know that quickly reuniting passengers with their bags is an integral part of maintaining customer satisfaction.”
If you’re still set on traveller’s insurance–especially for extended stays overseas–take this advice from YM contributor U.S. News & World Report:
“It’s wise to compare costs before making a decision. While your travel agent will have options for you, they may not be the best or the least expensive. Some of the more well-known travel insurance companies include Access America, Travel Guard, and Travel Insured. And you can use sites like insuremytrip.com to compare travel insurance options.”‘