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.
Benefits of Travel Insurance
You've heard it before -- protect your vacation with travel insurance. But what does that protection mean for you and your travels?
- Our Cancel for ANY Reason benefit. This benefit allows you to cancel your trip for any reason not otherwise covered by the policy. You can be reimbursed for 75% of the unused, non-refundable prepaid expenses for travel arrangements paid for the trip. Just make sure to complete the following tasks:1. Pay the premium within 21 days of the date the initial deposit or payment for the trip is received.2. Insure the full cost of all travel arrangements that are subject to cancellation penalties or restrictions the full cost of all Travel Arrangements that are subject to cancellation penalties or restrictions by the Travel Supplier.
3. Cancel the trip 2 days or more before the scheduled trip departure date.
- No worries about the weather. With several, recent winter storms, coverage for inclement weather is at the top of all of our minds. Our travel insurance plans provide that coverage if your flight is delayed or cancelled.
- Your luggage is protected, too. If your luggage is lost, stolen or damaged while traveling, travel insurance can help. Your homeowner's policy may cover only a portion of the total loss due to coinsurance and deductible requirements, so additional coverage is important.
- Even more benefits.We're also happy to provide the following benefits that our travelers:1. Coverage against pre-existing medical conditions
2. Hospital of choice for an emergency medical evacuation
3. You'll receive 24-hour concierge services
4. Coverage against terrorist attacks
5. Coverage if your travel provider files bankruptcy or defaults
5. Highest coverage limits in the industry
To learn more about how travel insurance can provide coverage on your next vacation, click here. If you have questions, we're always here to help - leave a comment below, call us at 1-888-885-7233 or chat with us on Facebook or Twitter. We look forward to hearing from you!
6 Hotel Safety Tips
Are you concerned about safety on your next vacation? Wondering what you can do to prevent theft? While most hotels are safe and secure, it is important to be mindful of your surroundings and take the proper steps to protect yourself.
Here are 6 quick tips to keep you safe before and during your travels:
1. Do your homework before you book your hotel room. You want to make sure your hotel is located in a safe area and takes the proper security measures. In addition to looking at rates and amenities, it's important to ask key questions. For example, is the hotel in an upscale neighborhood or business district? Is there a police station nearby? Do they have a doorman or security guard? Is their front desk staffed 24 hours a day? These are questions that hotel should be happy to answer.
2. Don't take a room on the ground floor. These rooms are more likely to be burglarized. This is especially important if the doors and windows of the room are open to the outside.
3. Keep your door locked at all time. This may sound like a "gimme", but stay diligent about locking the door behind you. It's also important to lock the deadbolt.
4. When entering or leaving the hotel at night, make sure to use the front entrance. The front entrance is usually the most well-lit and usually under surveillance.
5. Don't leave valuables in your car. If you must leave items in your car, cover them with a blanket or put them in your trunk.
6. Include travel insurance in your vacations plans. Unfortunately, we can't Travel insurance can provide protection if your belongings are lost, damaged or stolen. To find out everything that travel insurance covers, click here.
Top Romantic Valentine's Day Getaways
Whether you enjoy getting lost in a big city or the great outdoors, there's a place for you and yours to escape for the weekend. Sweep your loved one off their feet with a surprise vacation to one of these domestic destinations:
Wine aficionados and beginners alike will appreciate California's wine country. With picturesque views, relaxing resorts and delicious wines, Valentine's Day travelers will not be disappointed. Stay at Bardesseno for a truly luxurious getaway.
A trip to the Big Apple can be exciting for Valentine's Day. You and yours can ice skate at Rockefeller Center, take a carriage ride through Central Park or visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art to celebrate the holiday.
Cape Cod is a favorite romantic weekend destination for Easterners. They flock to the city outside of Boston for its laid-back atmosphere and fresh seafood. Find out what the East Coast is buzzing about by making a weekend trip to Cape Cod.
If you travel just north of Phoenix, you'll see the Red Rocks of Sedona. The city is home to some world-class resorts such as L'Auberge and Amara. This location is perfect if you want to kick back, relax and enjoy the company of your loved one.
This Midwest city offers great food and exciting activities. During the week of February 11, the city will celebrate Chicago Theatre Week. More than 100 productions featuring the city's greatest talent will be showed at participating theaters. This year, area hotels will be offering a Chicago Theatre Week package that includes a hotel room and pair of tickets to a production.
And don't forget ... to make sure your vacation is stress-free, add travel insurance to your plans. The travel insurance will protect you against illness, flight delays, cancellations, lost luggage and much more.
8 Travel Trends Predicted for 2014
1. Domestic flight prices will drop (insert cheering here!). According to the American Express Global Business Travel Forecast 2014, "North American airfares are expected to decline in 2014 as a result of heightened competition from low cost carriers, challenging unemployment levels and corporate travel policies becoming more stringent in regard to business class travel." Stable oil prices will also help keep costs down. Don't hold your breath though. The pending consolidation of major U.S. airlines may offset these declines.
2. Brazil's World Cup will cause a buzz with travelers. According to Brazil's tourist board, the country is expecting approximately 10 million visitors for the World Cup - more than twice their normal amount of visitors. Why will this sporting event draw so many visitors? Soccer is growing in popularity in the United States and this World Cup will be the first global soccer championship held in South America in almost 40 years.
3. Multi-generational travel will grow. The family groups that started the trend have impressed their remaining kin with their Facebook postings and now everyone wants to join in the party. Watch for family reunions to reach upward toward 100 in the coming year; just be sure you’re booking every member of the clan, grab the whole piece of that pie.4. Fewer European cruises will be available. According to Fodor's, European ports will be much sleepier as soon as the summer season of 2014. Carnival, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean and Regent Seven Seas have either reduced their number of ships or pulled out of Europe all together. Fodor's sites dwindling passengers rates as the reason cruise lines made the tough decision.
5. Travelers will share even more on social media. While this trend probably doesn't surprise you, more travelers are turning to sites like Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter to not only plan their vacations, but to share their adventures and get tips from other travelers.
6. Free WiFi will be more readily available. In 2013, you saw WiFi offered in several hotels and airplanes. That number will continue to grow this year, with more airports, hotels and airlines offering free WiFi to their customers.
7. Renting homes will compete with hotels. Sites like airbnb offers travelers the opportunity to stay in people's spare room, apartment or even rent their entire home. Travelers enjoy this option because it can often save them money and offers the comforts of their own home.
It's your turn to tell us - what are your travel-related predictions for 2014? Leave a comment below, write on our Facebook page or Tweet us. We look forward to hearing your predictions and seeing if they come true!
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!
Lonely Planet Announces Top 10 US Travel Destinations for 2014
Are you having trouble deciding where to vacation next year? We've got just the list for you. And there's good news - you don't have to go far for an enjoyable vacation. For the fourth year, Lonely Planet has released their top 10 US travel destinations for 2014.
- Grand Rapids & Lake Michigan's Gold Coast
- Yosemite National Park, CA
- Boston, MA
- Central Coast, CA
- Jersey Shore
- Kansas City, MO
- Cumberland Island, GA
- Las Vegas, NV
- Sun Valley, ID
- Lana'i, Hawaii
To find out why these destinations were chosen, see Lonely Planet's complete list. And tell us, which of these locations would you like to visit? Leave a comment below, write on our Facebook page or Tweet us.
How to Avoid Theft While Traveling in Europe
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Best International Destinations for Solo Travelers
Ireland: Explore miles of rolling green hills, dramatic coastal cliffs, and mingle with the friendly locals and enjoy a lively pub culture while touring through Dublin and the Irish countryside. Travelers can take it easy while hopping from one pub and bed & breakfast to another, or rent a car and enjoy a tranquil coastal drive. The country's rich history and rural charm -- and of course, beautiful historic castles and churches -- will put you in a relaxed frame of mind.
Costa Rica: With some of the highest national rankings for happiness and safety in the world, Costa Rica is the perfect setting for a peaceful getaway that combines adventure travel and relaxation. If you're looking for relaxation, you'll have plenty of beaches to choose from - the country has dozens of Pacific beaches.
Stockholm, Sweden: Although Stockholm is definitely on the pricier side, the Swedish capital is one of the best cities in Europe for solo travelers. The city is safe and friendly for travelers who are looking to explore a European city. Also, if you get lost, most Swedes speak English and will be happy to help you find your way.
New Zealand: If you're looking to really get away, experience a new culture, and tour through some of the most breathtaking natural landscapes in the world, plan a trip trekking across New Zealand. Like the other destinations on this list, New Zealand people are really friendly and willing to help visitors to their country.
Now it's your turn to tell us. Where would you like to travel solo? No matter where you decide to go, make sure travel insurance is part of your vacation plans. With medical coverage, flight delay coverage, lost luggage coverage and much more, it can make a difference in your vacation.
Last-Minute Thanksgiving Travel Tips
If the holiday season is sneaking up you, we're here to help. Thanksgiving is just around the corner and if you haven't booked your travel yet, follow the tips below to make sure you get the best deal possible.
Book your flight as soon as possible. If you see an air deal within your budget, book it!
If you can, avoid traveling on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday afterward. These tend to be the most expensive days to travel. To ensure you get the best prices, try flying out early on Thanksgiving day and returning on Saturday or Monday after the holiday.
See if there are nearby airports with more inexpensive fares. For example, if you're wanting to head to Miami this Thanksgiving, consider flying into Ft. Lauderdale to save money.
Wait to book your hotel room. This may sound backwards, but trust us on this one. Since most travelers stay with family during the holidays, many hotels offer great last-minute deals. Orbitz, Expedia and Last Minute Travel all offer great last-minute options.
Invest in travel insurance. Holiday travel can be more important than just a "normal" vacation. To make sure you're covered against the unexpected, add travel insurance to your travel package. Just look at everything that it covers.
Happy Thanksgiving, travelers!