When Should You Buy Travel Insurance?

Time is an important factor when purchasing travel insurance. We recommend purchasing travel insurance at the time you book your trip or soon after. This is important because travel insurance policies include time-sensitive provisions which can broaden your coverage if you purchase the insurance in a timely matter.

In fact, if you purchase travel insurance within 21 days of the date you make the initial payment for your trip, your coverage will provide coverage for bankruptcy or insolvency of your travel supplier, include the waiving of the Pre-Existing Conditions Exclusion, and allows you to qualify for the Cancel for Any Reason Benefit if it is included in your plan.

Remember, purchasing your travel insurance within 21 days of booking your trip will allow you to receive broader coverage at the same price if you purchase with final payment.

If you have any questions about these time-sensitive provisions or travel insurance in general, we can help. Leave a comment with your question below, Tweet us, write on our Facebook timeline or call us at 888-885-7233.

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!

 

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.

 

Why Travel Insurance is Important for Your Next Vacation

The Chicago Tribune recently highlighted the pros and cons of travel insurance. While the article raises great points about why travel insurance is important and how it can protect your vacation plans, we do want to provide more information about one part of the article.

The article’s author, Gregory Karp, warns travelers about having duplicate coverage. This means a person would have coverage for the same services under more than one benefit plan. In this case, it would homeowners insurance and travel insurance. While it is true that your homeowners insurance may cover you if you experience a loss while on vacation, your homeowners policy may only cover a portion of your total loss due to coinsurance and deductible requirements.

In the end, it is important to remember travel insurance is designed to protect you in three ways: 1) to reimburse you for your financial investment should a variety of unforeseeable reasons force you to cancel or interrupt your trip or delay you while traveling; 2) most importantly, 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.

Tell us, what questions do you have about travel insurance? Leave a comment below, write on our Facebook page or Tweet us. We’re happy to answer your questions – even if you’re not buying from us!

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WiFi-Enabled Planes Becoming Popular

Chances are if you’ve flown recently, you’ve been on a plane that’s WiFi-enabled. In a growing trend among airlines, WiFi is becoming a popular addition to your airs travels. Even though some travelers aren’t keen on the idea, most travelers are very excited about having internet access above 10,000 feet.

“I’m all for WiFi being available on planes. It’s great to be able to answer emails and stay connected even though you’re in the air,” said Carol S., a Southwest Airlines customer. “I usually check my work emails and watch movies. It makes the flight go by very quickly.”

Airlines are taking note of customers who share Carol’s sentiment. In fact, each Air Tran and Virgin America plane has WiFi access. Other airlines are following suit. According to RouteHappy.com, approximately 38 percent of domestic flights in the U.S. have WiFi.

Now it’s your turn to tell us – do you use WiFi while flying? Do you use it for business or pleasure? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment below, write on our Facebook page or Tweet us.

How to Avoid Making Popular Travel Mistakes

The most relaxing vacations can be ruined when common travel mistakes occur. Yes, we’ve all been there. One moment you’re dreaming about kicking back on the beach in the Bahamas and the next, you’re stressing because you forgot to order your passport.

If you follow the tips below, your next vacation will be stress-free and one to remember … for the right reasons.

  •  Make sure there is enough time between connecting flights. It is important to leave at least an hour and a half between connecting flights. This will decrease your changes of missing your flight, having your luggage lost and other travel mishaps. When in doubt, check with your travel agent. They are familiar with the airports and can provide a good estimate for you.
  • Apply for your passport early. Passport processing can take anywhere from four to six week. As soon as you start planning for your trip out of the country, you need to apply for a passport. Already have a passport? Make sure it hasn’t expired or isn’t close to expiring. Some countries require a minimum of six months’ validity remaining to enter.
  • Remember to relax. It is very tempting to fit in as much as you can when you’re traveling. However, it is important to give yourself enough time to see the sites and enjoy the city! Also make sure to factor in time for packing and traveling time. Besides, seeing the city by strolling around can lead to some of the best site seeing. Travel insurance can also help you relax. If you know you’re covered from the unexpected, you can enjoy the city without worry.
  • Do your research. Before taking off on vacation, take some time to research your destination – pick out restaurants, locations you’d like to visit, and accommodations that meet your needs. Although winging it can be fun, having an outline in mind, can ensure you have an enjoyable experience.
  • Protect your trip. Investing in travel insurance is important for any vacation. Travel insurance can protect you from flight delays, flight cancellations, bad weather, illness and more. With protection against the unexpected, you can kick back and relax.

Now it is your turn to tell us. What is one tip you wish you would have known before taking your last vacation? Leave a comment below with your answer. We look forward to hearing from you!
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Scheduled Maintenance Notice

Changes are coming to TravelSafe.com! In order to bring you these exciting updates, our website will be temporarily unavailable beginning July 16, 2013 at 9:00 pm CST.  The site will be unavailable for approximately 4 hours until July 17, 2013 at 1:00 am CST.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but we’re looking forward to providing these site improvements to travel agents and travelers.

Stay tuned for more information about the new and improved TravelSafe.com.

Summer Sand Sculptures

Summer vacations are filled with sunshine, salt water and sand castles. However, sand castles have been taken to another level. A bucket and a shovel will no longer do the trick to construct sand castles – or sand sculptures – like the ones in this article.

This sculpture in Fulong, Taiwan, celebrated the Sand Sculpture Festival in June 2013.

In fact, using only sand and water, sand sculptors or “carvers” shovel, stack and carve a sculpture to compete in sand sculpting competitions across the world. The competitions run from July 2013 until the same time next year, and they are everywhere from Florida to Taiwan.

This sand sculpture at Sea Sun's Greeting calls West Palm Beach, Florida home.

Don’t feel like competing? The events are just as entertaining for spectators, too. You can watch the experts build sand sculptors from the ground up – literally. The use butter knives, drinking straws and other tools to make their masterpieces.

If the masterpieces are deemed special enough to preserve, they are sprayed with a solution of water and glue. Then, the sculptures can be seen by travelers for months or even years.

Now, tell us – would you visit a sand sculpture competition? Leave a comment below, write on our Facebook page or Tweet us. We look forward to hearing from you!

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15 Questions to Ask Your Travel Insurance Company


How long has it been since you reviewed your travel insurer’s benefits? Chances are their coverage has changed since the last time you reviewed their Benefits. To make sure your clients are getting the most for their investment, ask these 15 questions to any travel insurer you’re considering:

  • Do they have Flat rates for children under 18? The advantage here is kids do not have to be family or related. Max 2 flat rates per paying adult in each enrollment.
  • Do they have Hurricane Warning Coverage for Trip Cancellation?  TravelSafe provides this coverage.  We offer it if within 24 hours of your clients Scheduled Departure Date and time their Trip destination is under a hurricane warning issued by NOAA instead of waiting for flights to be stopped or the Hurricane to actually hit!
  • How about revocation of previously approved time off from work as a covered reason for Trip Cancellation? This is a covered non-medical reason for us.  No need to add a work cancellation option, it’s already in there with Classic & Prestige plans.
  • Do they have Non-Medical Emergency Evacuation?  Up to $25,000 due to a formal recommendation from the appropriate local authorities, or the U.S. State Department, for customers to leave a country.
  • What’s their Missed Connection coverage? Do they have $2,500.00 in benefit coverage? Probably not, most have only $250 to $500.  At TravelSafe, that amount is included in our Basic program.
  • Is Unemployment covered as a valid reason for Trip Cancellation?  We only require that your client have been with the same company for 1 year, not the 3 to 5 years others require.
  • Do they protect your Commissions?  TravelSafe automatically includes Commission Protection without commission reduction in all of our Programs! We even cover CFAR cancellations for Classic Plus.
  • Do they offer Unrestricted Benefits for Terrorism?  TravelSafe has no restrictive lists that exclude coverage based on countries visited, times of travel, or State Department Warnings.
  • Do they offer Unrestricted Benefits for Financial Insolvency?  Again, we have no restrictive lists of approved suppliers or non-covered suppliers. Just have your clients buy within 21 days of deposit.
  • Do they offer a 12-hour Baggage Delay?  Most plans require your clients’ bag to be delayed 24 hours.  TravelSafe’s benefits begin after a 12-hour delay.
  • What’s their definition of a Pre-Existing Condition?  What’s their “Look back period”.  The language varies slightly but essentially any illness, disease or other condition that undergoes a change during the look back period is considered Pre-existing.  Ours is 60 days while other plans look back 90 or even 180 days. That means something your client was treated for 6 months ago could be an issue!
  • Do they have Deductibles? NO deductible for Medical, Baggage or any other coverage … even in our Basic plan! Only our optional Extended Personal Property Pac benefit has a deductible.
  • Do they offer Non- Emergency Medical Evacuation home or to Hospital of Choice?  It’s automatically included at no additional cost in all of our TravelSafe Plans!
  • Do they have Coverage for Frequent Flyer Rebanking Fees?  We do, for up to $150 for the cost of airline-imposed fees to rebank frequent flyer miles.
  • Do they offer Concierge & Business Services? TravelSafe offers these services Free in all of our plans except for our Basic plan.

 

To learn more about TravelSafe’s amazing benefits for travel agents, click here or call us at 1-888-885-7233. We look forward to hearing from you!
Your friends at TravelSafe

Popular Underground Accomodations


Window seats are coveted on airplanes. Ocean view rooms are considered an upgrade on cruises. A hotel room with a great view is a perk for most travelers. However, these rooms don’t have great views. In fact, there is no view at all.

We’re taking a look at a variety of underground accommodations from Arizona to Australia because sometimes travel is just about shutting out the rest of the world.

First up is the Grand Canyon Caverns Suite in Arizona. The caverns are described as the “darkest, deepest, quietest and largest suite room in the world.” Don’t believe it? The caverns are absent of any light and nothing lives in them, so the only thing moving or breathing in the caverns is you. To reach your quiet room, you take an elevator down 22 stories (yes, you read that right!). However, this suite comes at a price. The Cavern Suite is $700 per night as a double, $100 for each extra person. Call (928) 422-4565 for reservations.

Next on the list is the Desert Cave Hotel in South Australia. Subterranean isn’t anything new for Australia. The Outback gets so hot, that many people retreat underground to the shopping, dining, church and accommodation locations. This hotel was chiseled out of the sandstone. Rates start around $200 per night. Email reserve@desertcave.com.au for a reservation.

Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita in Matera, Italy is next on our list because the beautiful stone structures and charm cannot be missed. If you are in search of one-of-a-kind accommodations that allow you to spend time under ground and above ground, you are in luck. The hotel serves breakfast and other meals are served on their flower-filled patios (pictured left). Rates start at $265 per night. Email matera@sextantio.it for reservations.

Tell us, would you stay at in underground accommodations? Leave a comment below, write on our Facebook page or Tweet us. We look forward to hearing from you!

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