About Amanda Hand

I fell in love with travel, so I decided to work in the travel industry. You can catch me on the road, in the mountains, and sometimes in the office at TravelSafe. Wherever I am and wherever I'm going, I'll be sure to give you the goods.

Legal U.S. Travel Options To Cuba

Legal U.S. Travel Options To Cuba – Insure your Travel with TravelSafe

Photo by Magdalena Roeseler

While the U.S. Government is easing up on the travel restrictions to Cuba don’t forget to protect your wallet with Travel Insurance from TravelSafe.  There are still a lot you cannot do while legally traveling to the mysterious island of Cuba.

Travelers interested in working on their tan on the beaches of Cuba need not fly as the U.S. Government states visits to sea and sand resorts are off limits. Although learning about the various kinds of sand on the beaches of Cuba is not allowed, there are still parts of the Cuban culture travelers will not be disappointed in learning about when partaking.

Cuba hosts rum tastings to educate your palate on the various levels of the distilling process. Start with some of the youngest rums and work your way up the ladder to more complex varieties where you can potentially develop true appreciation for distillery art.

Don’t stop there. Be sure to take a class on rolling Cuban cigars. Maybe you can even leave knowing how to roll the complex Culebras which deserves an A in our cigar book. Just remember, you are only allowed to bring back up to $100 worth of those highly sought after Cuban Cigars.

Check Out the 12 Legal Reasons for Traveling to Cuba 

Best Travel Accessories – 2015


Frequent Flyers and Road-Junkies are always looking for the best travel accessories that help make traveling more convenient. Here at TravelSafe we understand traveling can be tough with long lines at airports and overly packed cars are not glamorous but traveling efficiently and chic is.  Here is a list of 2015’s Best Travel Accessories.

August Smart Lock

Have you ever left for vacation only to realize you forgot to leave the spare key under the mat? With August Smart Lock (compatible with iPhone and Android devices); you never have to worry about making spare keys again. Through August’s App, you can grant (even revoke) access to those you rely on while away.

Best Helpful Travel Apps 2015 – Protect your Vacation Expense with Travel Insurance

A lock that’s as smart as, well, your smart phone.


Ostrich Pillow

Napping and traveling go hand and hand. If it were only as easy and relaxing as it should be. With the Ostrich Pillow, you can nap in what would normally be an uncomfortable space with a real sense of privacy. Even better, you won’t wake up with the pesky neck cramp from resting your head on the cabin window inside of the plane!

When traveling, bury your head like an ostrich and snooze on.

Reservoir by Dark Energy

This Utah based company brings a portable charger to the market that is both sleek and compact. Able to charge most phones for up to one week, this accessory is a must have for those travel moments that keep you moving. Never again worry about your phone or tablet dying while taking a photo on your cruise or while touring Europe. For the more rugged travelers, keep your eye out for its sister product The Poseidon (available for pre-order now).

not sure you can beat this type of charge anywhere

Unisex Leather Cabin Bag by Vintage Child

Traveling with style and purpose, the Unisex Leather Cabin Bags by Vintage Child are at the top of the list in their category. This quality bag has enough room for a weekend’s worth of necessities while having the ability to hold it’s integrity and protect your items from the airport bustle. For those who only travel with a carry on, this is a must have.

be chic and efficient with this vintage cabin bag

iPad Air 2 by Apple

With an ultra-thin, lightweight design this is the perfect fit for your carry on items. You can choose up to 128 GB of storage, allowing you take your favorite movies, music, and books along with you on your travels. No more carrying around your chunky laptop, the iPad Air 2 can edit high quality photos and video, manage your business tasks, and keep you connected to the world around you.

no more pulling a bulky laptop out during your plane ride


There’s an Elephant in the Room

& We Are Happy to Announce it’s Us

Elephant's Tea Party, Robur Tea Room, 03/24/1939 by Sam Hood and the State Library of New South Wales

Elephant’s Tea Party, Robur Tea Room, 03/24/1939 by Sam Hood and the State Library of New South Wales

There isn’t much in this world that emanates freedom and excitement like travel. The positive vibes surrounding travel fill the halls of the industry and the hearts of those who work in it, but even with all of the positivity the industry has to offer, there is still an elephant in the room, and it isn’t what you think.

The negative implications normally associated with travel insurance are worth mention. When Travel Agents enter the booking process, our elephant stands in the far corner with its presence looming while the agent waits for the proper moment to say the words, “Would you like to purchase travel insurance?”

The thing is, insurance would not exist if unfortunate events never occurred. Yes, travel protection was invented because someone decided to stare calamity square in the eyes and attempt to limit its effect. No, we cannot stop a hurricane from knocking on any destination’s door and we can’t predict the future. What we can do is try, to the best of our ability, protecting your traveler’s investments and their future.

While there are travel agents who swear by travel protection, there are still those who continue to misunderstand its purpose. We are in the business of protecting. We protect an industry that creates irreplaceable happiness and experience. Safeguarding travel investments is about more than just the traveler; it encompasses the travel industry as a whole. And while we are not always perfect, we continuously strive to improve ourselves and the products we offer.

As a travel protection provider, we plan for the unexpected. We work together to prepare for events we all hope never happen. We should approach the future with practicality and realism. So remember, when you are sitting with your clients planning their next vacation, the elephant who sits in the corner does not represent negativity but, instead, represents preservation of the industry you love. Travel protection is the elephant in the room. For the industry, we are wearing steel armor.


Beers Of Ireland – Not Just Guinness


When you think of a good Irish beer the first one that comes to mind is Guinness Beer. Well, Guinness is good but, what if you discovered other favorite beers the Irish locals were keeping secret and that you have really been missing out? Here are four Irish beers that you must try. But, don’t forget to pack your Traveling Insurance from TravelSafe.

 Murphy’s Irish Stout (Cork, Ireland) 

Murphy’s  brew is considered outstanding amongst the beer snobs of Ireland and the United States alike. With an ABV of 4% this creamy stout gives a smooth, chocolate flavor to your palette.

Beamish Irish Stout by Heineken (Cork, Ireland)

This light, dry stout has an ABV of 4.1% with a flavor that delivers. There is a creamy head to top it off with light bitterness and cinnamon undertones, this beer is sure to put a smile on your face.

Smithwick’s Superior Irish Ale (Kilkenny, Ireland)

An earthy beer with an ABV of 4.5% and, it’s crisp and clean. This full-bodied beer takes it easy on the hops. So for those of you who like a crisp beer, this is the one with no bitter aftertaste of a more hoppy beer, this is for you!

Kilkenny’s Irish Cream Ale (Guinness Brewing Co., Dublin, Ireland)

This Irish Ale is of the Red Ale variety with an ABV of 4.3%. With strong legs and a creamy head, this beer delivers floral spices with a hint of fruit. It has a sweet scent but a crisp taste. For those who love red ale, this is a Irish must have.

The Truth About St. Patrick’s Day

Sometimes, only after our college years, do we begin to wonder the exact origin of St. Patrick’s Day. The true traditions and meaning behind the holiday come to the front of our minds as the need to heavily celebrate dulls. Chances are, if you are reading this, it is because you have already asked yourself the question, “What is St. Patrick’s Day really?” Well, you’re in luck (pun intended). Here are the truths of St. Patrick’s Day.

Saint Patrick was not from Ireland.

St. Patrick was born in Kilpatrick, Scotland in 387. Then, his family moved to Britain to care for Roman colonies. Around the age of sixteen, St. Patrick was kidnapped from his family’s estate in Britain during a raid conducted by Irishmen. He was later sold as a slave to herd sheep in Ireland.

Then how did St. Patrick become, well, a saint?

Although St. Patrick spent many years living with the “pagans” of Ireland, he strengethed his faith in Christianity. He prayed often. During prayer, he had a vision that it was time for him to escape Ireland. Fleeing to the docks, St. Patrick was able to escape to France where later he was reunited with his family in Britain.

St. Patrick felt as though his calling was to study Christianity. He spent just over 14 years studying Roman Catholicism. During a dream, St. Patrick heard the very people who captured and enslaved him calling him to walk amongst them once more. He had taken this as a sign to fill the people of Ireland’s hearts and minds with the love and knowledge of Christianity. After being ordained Bishop, St. Patrick went back to Ireland where he successfully built churches and spread the religion for 30 years until his death in the 5th century. He was believed to die on March 17th, which is why St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated this time every year.

Is the Shamrock Legend true?

One of the most well-known legends of St. Patrick is that of the shamrock. As a missionary, St. Patrick was known to explain The Trinity as the leaves of Ireland’s clover, the shamrock. While the leaves all look separate. Each having a strong individual presence, the closer you get to the stem, they are all one. Much like the Trinity, while all seen as different entities, they are all part of God. This held a lot of meaning to pagan Ireland as they were said to have many traditions and beliefs based around the number three (St. Patrick must have been a very smart man). However popular this story may be, there is little documentation to pose it as a fact. The first real mention is in 1675 where St. Patrick is depicted in the detail of a stained glass window holding a shamrock clover.

What about the legend of the snakes?

Another legend says that St. Patrick drove all of the snakes out of Ireland. Well, Ireland never really had many snakes and he had nothing to do with their snake-free status. Although, it could quite possibly have been a metaphor for his successful mission of spreading Christianity throughout Ireland and driving the “evil pagan” religions and beliefs out.

Well, why does anyone celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

St. Patrick’s Day was originally celebrated as the Feast of Saint Patrick in 17th century Ireland. It was a religious holiday that occurred during the Christian season of Lent. In the morning, Christians attended church to honor the saint. The afternoons were spent feasting, drinking, and celebrating. A free pass was given during the Feast of Saint Patrick and traditional Irish bacon and cabbage was a popular meal.

In 1762 Colonial NY hosted its first St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Irish immigrants who were part of the British colonial army marched down the streets of New York to honor the patron saint of Ireland.  Since then, it has been the US’s oldest, and most watched parade. Most identify St. Patrick’s Day as a drinking holiday. Many people did not know that until the 1960s, pubs in Ireland were closed on St. Patrick’s Day! Drinking all day and night would have been too sinful.

What’s with all the green?

Well, Ireland (also known as the Emerald Island), is associated with the shamrock, thanks to St. Patrick. What most people don’t know is that the pagan beliefs around the color green were very different than how we view them today. It used to be considered bad luck to wear green. It was the color of the faeries and if your children wore too much green, it was believed that the faeries would take you away.

As time progressed, Christianity debunked this theory and people began to associate the symbol with the luck of the Irish. In the 19th century Ireland even declared green as a symbol of Ireland (it was originally blue). Oh, and if you forget to wear green, expect to get pinched! It is now tradition for children to pinch those who forget to wear this lucky color on St. Patrick’s Day.

So there you have it, a quick look into the true history of St. Patrick’s Day and how it came to be. Now that you have done your research, you may go enjoy a Guinness or maybe one of those green beers they are serving these days.

Hotel Travel Safety – Six Security Tips


Hotel Safety Tips – Traveling Smart – TravelSafe InsuranceAre you concerned about safety on your next vacation? TravelSafe Travel Insurance Agency suggests the following Safety Traveling Tips. 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 holiday 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 the hotel management key security 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 predict the future. We don’t know whether our flight will be delayed or if we need to seek medical attention while traveling. Travel insurance can provide protection if your belongings are lost, damaged or stolen. To find out everything that travel insurance covers, click here.

Tell us, what steps do you take to stay safe while traveling? Leave a comment below, write on our Facebook page or Tweet us to share your suggestions with other travelers.

Read also…
8 Travel Predictions for 2014
How To Avoid Theft While Traveling
10 Tips for Solo Travelers

Travel Abroad Safely – Five Tips

Travel Abroad Safely – Tips For Being Safe – Insurance Protection
Do you have an international trip coming up? Consider Travel Insurance from TravelSafe and, consider the following safety tips. Here are some things 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.

Read also…
6 Hotel Safety Tips
Best International Destinations for Solo Travelers
How to Avoid Jet Lag While Traveling

Traveling Solo – 10 Helpful Tips – TravelSafe Insurance

Traveling Solo – 10 Helpful Tips – TravelSafe Insurance Wyomissing PATravelSafe recognizes that traveling Solo is often a rite of passage for young people becoming adults. However, depending on where you travel it can be dangerous and that’s why we offer the following Top 10 Tips to help keep you safe. 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!


Fall Travel Tips

Fall is just around the corner and that means it’s time to start thinking about your travel plans for the upcoming months.  Whether you’re taking a cruise, traveling abroad or staying closer to home, these travel tips will help make your trip a success:

Check the weather. Fall is a wonderful but fickle season. Weather during the fall can be unpredictable, so make sure to do your homework and be prepared by packing the right clothes. Packing layers is always a safe way to go. Don’t forget to include travel insurance so you can protect your vacation investment against unforeseen weather events, too.

Bring along the right shoes. If there’s rain in your forecast, make sure to bring along waterproof shoes. No matter what your forecast says, don’t forget comfortable shoes.

Wander around and relax. This is good advice in any season, but especially in the fall when the leaves have changed colors and there’s plenty of brisk air to be enjoyed. Find a local park or nice trail where you can enjoy the beauty of the city you’re visiting.

Tell us, what’s the best fall travel tip you’ve been told? Leave a comment below, reach out to us on Facebook or Tweet us. We can’t wait to hear your tips!




Travel Loss Insurance – Best Time To Buy

Travel Insurance – When Should You Buy Loss Protection Wyomissing, PA

Travel Insurance needs to be purchased at the right time to reap all of the benefits

TravelSafe Insurance agency would like to emphasize that time is a major factor when making a decision about purchasing travel insurance. That why we recommend purchasing travel insurance at the time you book your trip or very soon after. This is important because travel insurance policies include time-sensitive provisions which can broaden your coverage if you purchase the insurance very early during your travel plans.

In fact, if you purchase travel insurance within 21 days of the date you make the initial payment for your trip, your travel insurance coverage will provide protection 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. This simply means you will pay the same amount for the same plan, but qualify for things such as the Pre-Exisiting Conditions Waiver and Bankruptcy or Insolvency.

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.