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Monthly Archives: September 2017

Vacation Insurance

Here’s a quick guide to understanding what a good vacation insurance should cover for any travel.

Travel Curtailment

If you or an immediate family member becomes seriously ill or is injured during the vacation most vacation insurance companies would reimburse you for the unused portion of the vacation.

Travel Cancellation

You would be reimbursed if the cruise line or tour operator goes out of business. It would also reimburse you if you have to cancel the vacation due to sickness, a death in the family or other calamity listed in the insurance policy.

Travel cancellation is very different from a Cancellation Waiver that many cruise and tour operators offer. Waivers are relatively inexpensive. They provide coverage if you have to cancel the trip, but they have many restrictions.

They must be purchased when you book the trip and will usually not cover you immediately before departure. Most importantly, waiver is not insurance.

Personal liability

Personal Liability is important in case of legal liability, arising out of one’s negligence in causing a third party injury (or death) and/or third party property damage.

Some traveler insurance companies even insure against the loss or theft of golfing equipment and laptops.

Luggage/Baggage/Flight Delay

This feature comes along with a “Time” excess, meaning that the traveler insurance companies only compensate when the delay exceeds a certain time frame. The limit for loss of luggage/baggage/flight varies, usually with a cap for individual items.

Emergency & Medical Assistance and Information Service

Look for those 24-hour services that offer information on visa requirements, foreign exchange, weather forecasts and medical advice et cetera.

Emergency evacuation is very helpful indeed for inexperienced travelers or travelers with medical conditions or for those who are traveling to more remote and less traveled places.

These service centers may also offer emergency assistance in the form of embassy, legal, interpreter and medical referrals.

Most vacation insurance policies would compensate a couple of hundred dollars for each day of hospitalization up to the maximum limit indicated in their respective packages.

European Cruise

The European barge cruise is an intimate and personal experience as barges typically accommodate as few as 4 people up to as many as 24. Each barge is staffed with a personal chef who prepares gourmet meals from locally purchased ingredients to please guests as well as a captain who pilots the vessel and stateroom staff. A cruise with 6 people can be served by as many as 4 staff members.

Barge cruises are available on most of the rivers and canals in Europe. You can experience up-close the beauty and cultural sites of Belgium, England, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, or Scotland. The pace of a barge cruise is leisurely. The itinerary includes stopping at historic and cultural places of interest along the cruising route. You can sightsee on foot or on bicycles that are available onboard. On barge cruise operator even provides an air-conditioned touring bus to takes passengers to local points of interest at each stop along the way. What a change of pace from the hotel hopping of a bus trip! Just depart from the barge in the morning, enjoy a day of sightseeing and return to the quiet of a private dining room where a gourmet meal is waiting.

The price of a European barge cruise, like all other cruises, varies based upon the cruise line, the accommodations selected, the area visited, and the season (high or low). However, a quiet and personal barge cruise can be had for a price competitive with a Caribbean cruise, without airfare of course. The barge cruise price usually includes accommodations, 3 meals a day, beverage service that includes wines and spirits, and pre-arranged sightseeing tours. And these barge cruises cater to the American tourist by providing English speaking crew members.

Cheap Airfare Online

1. The day and time of purchase can have a significant impact on ticket prices. Every night at midnight, airlines reload their reservation databases with available seats that had been reserved but were not paid for. For that reason, it is best to conduct your search in the wee hours of the morning. This is one of the reasons that, in the past, travel agents had access to better airfares than the general public. Today, however, you can search for these tickets yourself on any of the major travel sites (Orbitz, Travelocity, Hotwire, etc.)

2. As with all service industries, convenience usually costs more. For example, a weekend getaway may be significantly cheaper if you are willing to fly on Saturday and return on Monday than if you needed to leave on Friday and return on Sunday.

3. A little flexibility can save you a lot of money. This is true with regard to travel dates and airports. For instance, at the date of this writing a ticket from Miami to Washington, DC purchased with 60 days advance notice currently costs $183 plus taxes; however, the price drops to $133 if you are willing to depart from nearby Ft. Lauderdale instead.

4. Frequent flyer programs can be an excellent way to save money, but redeeming your miles requires a little extra diligence. Most airlines set aside only a small percentage of their available seats for travelers redeeming miles, and they are usually available for reservation 330 days before the departure date. For these reasons, it is always advantageous to book reward program travel far in advance, and to be as flexible as possible about your travel plans. Also, many airlines charge more for telephone reservations for reward program travel, so it’s always best to book these arrangements online if possible.

Trip Packing List

Here’s a great packing list.

Clothes – Use a “mix-and-match” philosophy. Pick out two basic colors such as black and grey. Then pick out three colors with which to accessorize such as white, pink, and royal blue. Don’t forget a jacket and/or swimsuit (and related items) if needed.

Pajamas/Intimates

Shoes and Socks/Hosiery – You will need business shoes (if a business trip), sneakers for working out, walking shoes, and heels for evening. Also include house slippers for walking around the hotel room. Bring socks for your sneakers, and hosiery for others.

Accessories – Scarves and jewelry can make the same outfit look totally different the next time you wear it. Be sure to pack different looks.

Cosmetics/Toiletries – If you travel often, you may want to buy two of all your cosmetics and toiletries so that you never have to pack this again. Include makeup, hair products (including brush/comb), personal hygiene products, toothbrush/toothpaste, deodorant, razor, lotion, and perfume.

Medicines – A sleep aid is a good one to take along, as well as an antacid.