Confession: I traveled for 15 years before ever considering travel insurance. I was very lucky! Truth is, I was a young, broke backpacker, and travel insurance was the furthest thing on my mind. Besides, no one ever mentioned it to me, and I wouldn’t have even known how to go about buying travel insurance. Two things happened that made me start purchasing travel insurance before every trip I take.
1. I became a mom and life has certainly taught me that all insurance is important because anything can happen.
2. I stopped sleeping in youth hostels and started spending a significant amount of money on my travels, which means I had a lot more to lose if I was forced to cancel my trip.
Now that I am a travel adviser, I urge all of my clients to purchase travel insurance as soon as a deposit is made. In fact, if they decide against travel insurance, I ensure they sign a waiver understanding the risk they are taking. Let’s be honest Family Vacations are not cheap! And your investment should be protected!
Still, some clients are reluctant to purchase travel insurance because they think nothing will force them to cancel their trip. Life happens to all of us and as parents we should always expect the unexpected, especially while traveling and many thing are beyond our control.
Anything Can Happen
I have never been more relieved that I bought travel insurance than on my most recent family vacation to Portugal. This is my family’s story and why we sing the benefits of travel insurance.
Our flight from Boston to New York was delayed by 5 hours due to severe lightning storms along the coast. We missed our transatlantic flight to Lisbon and decided to spend the night at home rather than staying in New York. We left Boston 24 hours later.
If we had decided to get on our delayed flight in New York, our insurance would have covered our hotel for the night until we departed for Portugal but we preferred sleeping at home. Because we landed in Portugal a day late, we missed our first night in Lisbon at the hotel we had already paid for. Our insurance reimbursed us for the first night we missed. (Value $562).
We finally arrived in Portugal. Our luggage did not.
Can you imagine the dread of not knowing where our luggage was with three exhausted children in a brand new country. Luckily we had enough in our carry-on to get us through till the following morning until our luggage arrived. If we needed more or our luggage arrived later (or not at all), our travel insurance would have covered us for any essentials we needed without our luggage, or covered us for the amount of our lost luggage.
Later Day 2:
When we arrived at our gorgeous serviced apartment, there was a bowl of fresh fruit waiting for us. My very tired, hungry and determined 5 year old decided she couldn’t wait for her mother. She decided she could peel a clementine with a steak knife without asking for help.
Yup, you guessed it, within minutes of being in Lisbon, we were in a taxi rushing to the hospital. She was seen by a doctor and required a few stitches. The cost for the visit was lower than we expected but we were covered for it. (Value $231)
Finally On Our Way
Fortunately for us, the cost of our troubles were minimal compared to some horror stories I know of, but they were certainly higher than the amount we paid for travel insurance. However, the biggest benefit to me was the reassurance that we had it. The first few days of our travels were clouded by constant “what ifs”. We didn’t know how many days we would miss on our vacation, how long we would go without our luggage or how much that hospital visit was going to cost. I would have been a lot more worried and a lot more stressed had I not known we were covered. More stress is the last thing we parents need when traveling with our family!
If you book your travel with a travel professional, not only will you be urged to buy travel insurance, but you will also have some guidance and support when situations like this arise. This personal experience has not only made me appreciate travel insurance but I also realize the importance of the support we provide our clients when the need it most! Protect your Investment and your peace of mind!
Luckily for you, travel insurance is now readily available online and hopefully you are purchasing your travel through a travel professional who will guide you in the right direction.