Ebola Outbreak: How Travel Insurance Can Help

The Ebola outbreak According to the CDC, there have been a total of 1848 suspect and confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) and 1013 deaths, as of August 9, 2014.

If you are concerned about the Ebola outbreak affecting your next vacation, travel insurance can help. Our travel insurance plans provide coverage if you or your travel partner contract the Ebola virus before or during your travel. Coverage includes emergency medical treatment, medical evacuation and protection against quarantine. In fact, our policies do not include exclusions for epidemics or pandemics.

In addition, if you would like to cancel your trip due to a fear of contracting the virus, please consider purchasing our Classic Plus plan with Cancel For Any Reason coverage.

If you have any questions about travel insurance and how it can provide coverage for you, your travel plans and investment, call us at 1-800-555-9095 or email us at info@travelsafe.com. We look forward to speaking with you.

Tips to Travel Green

Are you planning an eco-friendly trip? Do you want to reduce your carbon footprint while you explore the world? Here are tips to help you do that while enjoying your vacation:

Turn it off!  If you will be gone for more than a few days, turn off your air conditioner and outdoor water supply. This can prevent possible flooding and unnecessary electricity usage.

Grab a bike or take a hike. While you’re on vacation, consider taking Earth-friendly transportation options like biking, walking or taking public transit. Another plus? These transportation options will be cheaper than taking a taxi or renting a car.

Recycle. Ask your hotel about their recycling policy. If the hotel recycles, make sure to sort your trash accordingly. If you typically use plastic water bottles, consider taking a reusable bottle with you on vacation to use as you travel.

Reuse your towels. Hotel hospitality is a great perk when traveling, but if you can reuse your towels or linens for a couple of days, it will save a lot of water and energy by saving on washing and drying time.

Tell us – what do you do to stay green while traveling? Leave a tip with your comment below. We can’t wait to hear your tips!

 

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Take Better Photos on Vacation

We all want a perfect photo to remember our vacation. Follow these tips for taking a great travel photo and make your memories last a lifetime.

1. Pay attention to the light. According to most photographers, the light is best when the sun is low in the sky. This means try to capture your photos in the first hour or so after the sun rises and the last hour or so before it sets. If you can’t take your photos during that time, don’t worry, you can still get a great photo. Just make sure the light is not directly behind your subject.

2. Communicate. If you’re taking a picture of a person you don’t know, ask for their permission first – especially if you’re in a foreign country. It can also help to get a sense of the person and capture their spirit in your photo.

3. Take in your scenery. Before you start snapping away, take a step back and get a sense for the scenery around you. It will help you get a sense of your surroundings and find the best shot.

4. Go for bright colors. Our eyes are naturally drawn to bright colors, so if the sky is especially bright or the grass is greener than usual, make sure to include that in your photo.

5. Angle the camera down. When taking a picture of people, it’s important that it’s a flattering picture. This especially rings true for selfies. Hold your phone at a 45 degree angle and snap away!

With these tips, you’ll be taking photos like a pro in no time! We want to see your favorite travel photo! Post it on our Facebook page or Tweet it. We can’t wait to see your vacation photos!

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Traveling Abroad: 5 Safety Tips


Do you have an international trip coming up? Are you wondering what you can do to stay safe and follow the cultural norms of the country you’re visiting? Follow these tips to make sure your trip is enjoyable and safe.

1. Stay on a well-lit path. Avoid shortcuts when walking in a new city – especially at night. Stay safe by staying on the main streets and ones that are well-lit.

2. Email a copy of your itinerary. Send a copy of all your travel documents – flights, hotel information, and a copy of your passport to a trusted person at home. This way, they will know exactly where you are and will have a copy in case you need it. In addition, send a quick email when you arrive in your destinations so that they know you made it safely.

3. Do your homework. It is important to learn about your destination. Learn about the general culture, rules, laws and people to avoid any faux pas or legal trouble. It is also smart to familiarize yourself with any current safety concerns. The U.S. Department of State’s list of  current travel warnings is a great resource to do just that.

4. Keep your friends close and money closer. It can be tempting, but don’t split up from your friends while abroad. It’s also important to keep your money close to you – either in a hidden arm wallet or something that can not easily be pulled out of a purse or backpack.

5. Protect yourself, your belongings and your travel arrangements with travel insurance. Your health insurance may provide no or little coverage once you leave the United States. If you or your travel companions have any medical issues, you want to make sure you are covered. Medical Emergency Evacuation is also important when traveling abroad. Should you or your travel companions need to be flown back to the United States for medical attention, you do not want that cost to be your responsibility. Let travel insurance take care of that.

Tell us – what’s the best tip you’ve ever gotten for staying safe while traveling abroad? Leave a comment with your tip below.

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How to Avoid Jet Lag While Traveling

How to Avoid Jet Lag While Traveling

Jet lag can put a real damper on your vacation. Well-seasoned travelers swear by a variety of practices to combat this common issue. We asked our travelers for their most effective ways to beat jet lag, and you answered with some great tips (thank you!). Read on to find out the best ways to avoid jet lag and be sure to share your tip in a comment below!

“Adjust your sleep schedule a week before the trip,” Betty B. says. “If it’s possible, try to become acclimated to your new time zone before you arrive, and you’ll be able to start your vacation with a running start!” Betty’s on to something here! Research has shown it takes a day for each time zone traveled for a person’s body clock to catch up to the local time, so if you adjust your sleeping times, it can help shorten the adjustment period.

“If you can’t sleep at night when you arrive, try taking a melatonin supplement,” shares Kathie C. Melatonin supplements are sometimes used to treat jet lag or insomnia. However, it’s important to note, that you should consult a doctor before taking any medication, especially ones that affect someone’s ability to drive or operate heavy machinery like melatonin.

“Try to schedule your flight to depart late at night,” advises Michael M. “That way, you can sleep overnight on the plane and get moving once you arrive at your destination.” Michael’s theory is proven useful! Not only does being exposed to light help convince your body it’s time to get going, but getting a full-night’s sleep can also help keep grogginess at bay.

Do you have a tip to beat jet lag? Share it in the comments below. We’d love to hear more great tips from our travelers!

How to Avoid Theft While Traveling

Europe is a very safe country when it comes to violent crimes, however theft is an unfortunate reality for travelers. Thieves tend to target American tourists when it comes to pickpocketing and purse snatching. However, most of these instances are avoidable if you follow these tips:

  1. Don’t bring along your valuables. You’ve heard it before, but leave your valuables at home when traveling. If you bring expensive equipment with you on vacation, like a laptop, keep them in a hotel safe when you’re out for the day.
  2. Don’t carry a backpack. Thieves can easily unzip or even worse, cut the bottom your backpack without your knowledge on a crowded metro. Instead, carry a cross-body bag underneath your jacket or wear a money belt.  If you must carry a backpack, wear it on the front of your body. You may look silly, but it will keep thieves from unzipping your backpack without your knowledge.
  3. Blend in. Avoid wearing anything that screams, “I’m a tourist!”. This includes your newly purchased “I love London” t-shirt, white athletic shoes and baseball caps. These items will most likely attract thieves as they are known to target Americans.
  4. Stay alert. Be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowds. Most thieves use a distraction or create commotion of some kind in order to distract you. If you stay vigilant and trust your instincts, it can save you from being a victim of theft.
  5. Get travel insurance. Sometimes theft is unavoidable. If your items are stolen, travel insurance can provide protection where your homeowner’s policy falls short. To find the plan that’s right for you, visit travelsafe.com or call us at 888-885-7233.

What your best tips are for staying safe while abroad? Leave your tips in a comment below, write on our Facebook wall or Tweet us. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Why Travel Insurance is Important

Travel insurance. It’s a topic that has been getting a lot of attention lately. Whether it’s an article questioning it’s worth or travel insurance tips, it’s a topic that deserves to be discussed. Travel insurance is important for a variety of reasons, and it is designed to protect you in three ways: 1) to reimburse you for your financial investment; 2) to protect you against the costs incurred during your trip for medical expenses, a medical evacuation, services to assist you in an emergency situation; and 3) to protect against loss, damage or destruction of your personal belongings.

Let’s face it. There’s a lot of things that are out of control when we travel. Flight delays, unexpected medical issues  and family issues are just a few of the things that can disrupt your vacation. With that being said, remember that many of your travel arrangements may be either non-refundable or subject to strict cancellation penalties. The lowest cost airfares, cruise and land packages generally include significant penalties if you are unable to actually take your trip. If you experience an unexpected hiccup in your vacation, travel insurance can provide the coverage you need to make sure your travel investment is covered.

Do you have further questions about how travel insurance can protect your next vacation? Leave a comment below, write on our Facebook page or Tweet us. Were here to answer your questions.

10 Tips for Solo Travelers

Solo travel can create the most exhilarating and proud moments of your life. In fact, solo travelers account for 11 percent of all American vacationers according to the U.S. Travel Association. So if you’re thinking about making your way across Europe solo or visiting the Virgin Islands by yourself, we’ve got the top 10 tips to keep you safe, happy and ready to hit the road … solo.

 

  1. Trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
  2. Avoid appearing like a tourist. Leave the “I LOVE NY” shirt at home and don’t walk around with your face in a local guidebook. You’ll save yourself from appearing vulnerable.
  3. Carry identification with you. It is also important to make copies of your driver’s license and passport and leave them in safe place with a trusted person.
  4. Walk in well-light, public places, especially at night.
  5. Double check your directions and public transportation routes before leaving your hotel.
  6. Send a copy of your itinerary with a friend or family member. It’s also important to stay in touch by email or phone.
  7. Talk up your travel plans on social media. You don’t have to giveaway your exact travel dates or any personal information, but sharing ideas and experiences with other solo travelers can provide important insight.
  8. You may be able to bargain room rates. Most hotels base their rates on double occupancy. Simply try asking if a discount is available since you’re the only person staying in the room and that you’ll be using less electricity and water and eating less breakfast than two guests. In the end, it can’t hurt to ask.
  9. Take lots of pictures. When you return home and want to show off all of the great places you traveled, you’ll be glad you have the pictures to go along with your stories. Don’t forget to share them with the people that helped you on #7, too!
  10. Safety should be your top priority. Traveling solo means you have to look out for yourself even more. Carry travel insurance to make sure your belongings, travel investment and medical needs are covered. If your bag is lost, travel insurance can cover your costs to replace the lost items. If you fall ill in a foreign country, travel insurance can make sure you are seen at an English-speaking hospital and cover the costs of your treatment.

Now it’s your turn to tell us – what’s your best tip for someone traveling solo? Share your tip in a comment below, Tweet us using the hashtag “#TravelSafeSolo” or post on our Facebook page. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Top 5 Labor Day Weekend Events

Labor Day Weekend is here! If you’re still looking for activities to fill your holiday weekend, we’ve got you covered. From hot air balloons festivals to historical walking tours, here are five events that will keep you busy this holiday weekend.

  1. Washington D.C.: On Sunday, Sept. 1, enjoy a free concert by the National Symphony Orchestra at 8 p.m. local time. The National Symphony Orchestra performs a free Labor Day Concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol each year, the Sunday before Labor Day. This year’s theme is Americana with works by John Williams, Mark Isham and other composers with the Wild West as the theme.
  2. Pine Mountain, Georgia: On Sunday, Sept. 1, the Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival will fill the skies in Pine Mountain. If the Hot Air Balloon Festival doesn’t do it for you, there’s also a classic car show, disc dog demonstrations, a pyrotechnic skydiving demonstration, and a 5K Race event. See the entire schedule of events here.

  3. Kansas City, Missouri: From Aug. 30 through Sept. 1, Kansas City celebrates Irish Fest. Irish music will be played on seven stages, and there are also workshops, exhibits and food throughout the festival. This year you’ll also be able to visit the Tourism Ireland Virtual Café, where you’ll be able to chat directly with someone in Ireland.
  4. New York City: Spend Monday, Sept. 2, getting some exercise and education at the same time. At the Labor Day Historical Walking Tour, you’ll learn about immigrant and labor history as you explore downtown NYC.
  5. San Fransisco: On Monday, Sept. 2, the Golden Gate Park Band will present a concert in Golden Gate Park. The concert will begin at 1:00pm. Special Labor Day Concert with great American and Patriotic music featuring Hall Goff, Trombone soloist along with music by Sousa, Jenkins, Victor Herbert and more!

Share your suggestion for a Labor Day Weekend activity by leaving a comment below, writing on our Facebook page or Tweeting us. We look forward to hearing from you!

34.1 Million Travelers Taking Off for Labor Day

Labor Day is right around the corner, and according to AAA Travel, 34.1 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the upcoming holiday. This is a 4.2 percent increase from the 32.7 million people who traveled last year. Holiday air travel is expected to increase as well by nearly three percent to 2.61 million.

What is the cause of this increase in Labor Day travel? AAA predicts it’s due to higher consumer spending and the improving housing market. The Labor Day holiday travel period, defined as Thursday, Aug. 29 to Monday, Sept. 2, is a popular time for travelers to take off because of the long weekend and typically nice weather.

How much do travelers usually spend on their long-weekend vacations? AAA reports the average traveler is expected to spend $804 and travel a round-trip distance of 594 miles.

In fact, more than 2.61 million leisure travelers will arrive at their destination by air. If those passengers experience flight delays or cancellations, or their luggage is damaged, lost or stolen, travel insurance can provide coverage.

If you’re one of these travelers heading out for Labor Day, make sure you’re protected against the unexpected of travel. It is important add travel insurance to your travel package because it protects your travel investment, provides medical coverage and can make the difference between a disaster and a great vacation.

If you have questions about how travel insurance can protect you and your family on your next vacation, please call us at 888-885-7233 or leave a comment below. We’d be happy to answer your questions.