Archive for the “Travel Tips” Category

Traveling for pleasure or business, catastrophes can always arise; and while we all know the option for travelers insurance exists it’s not uncommon to still avoid it. For starters, there are always the horror stories, about how someone’s plan didn’t even pay out when it was needed, or it was only a waste of money (typically costing between 4-8% of the total trip cost) because nothing bad happened anyways! Yet the moment something does go wrong, having a good travelers insurance plan can make the whole ordeal much smoother, not to mention less expensive. Plus, picking your plan wisely can save you tons—granting you a suitable plan for a fraction of the cost.

1.     Types of Travelers Insurance

Travelers insurance is not a one-size-fits-all type deal; there are many different levels of coverage offered and depending on associated risks and circumstances, needs vary greatly.

lost_baggageTrip Cancellation, Interruption, Delay Insurance: This is the closest to all-inclusive travel insurance that you can get; if unable to go on the trip you will be refunded, and if calamity strikes while vacationing, you will have medical and evacuation coverage too.

Medical Insurance: Your health is of most importance, but most health insurance brands do not cover injuries or issues that occur overseas, therefore it can change your life, and future bills, to have medical travel coverage while you are vacationing.  Incredibly inexpensive, someone in their 50’s might pay $40 for 2-weeks of health coverage worth $50,000. One can also buy a separate policy for medical evacuation, such as an airlift home, which can cost $100,000+.

Baggage Insurance: Basic baggage insurance will protect your luggage in the instance it is lost or stolen, granting up to $2,5000 in reimbursements.

Before deciding on what type of coverage you need, check first with your priority insurance(s) to see which areas (if any) you are already covered on, that way you don’t double-pay for insurance.

2.     Look Out For Cancellation Waivers  

Look out for cancellation waivers, many of these sell for around only $50 but in the instance you have to cancel your trip at the last minute, say a few days before you are scheduled to leave, which is most often the case, it is unlikely you will be granted any money back. They also don’t return all pre-paid money; instead they simply stop any pending payments from going through and offer you a free trip voucher.

3. Don’t be Over-Insured 

Insurance plans offer a ‘cancel for any reason’ upgrade, allowing a traveler to cancel their trip at any time, for any reason, and still get their money back—this seems logical, if you’re going to pay for insurance might as well make sure you are covered for every reason there is—right? Think again; most comprehensive plans include cancelation insurance for nearly every reason you could think of, unless some very strange circumstances are suspected to arise it’s not worth the 50%-100% markup a ‘cancel for any reason’ plan comes with.

Often people pay too much for travel insurance by getting themselves over insured, prepared beyond what’s even necessary. For instance, the costs of medical aid or evacuation in an emergency might be high, but it’s unlikely to reach over $500,000; therefore having a plan that covers beyond that might only add unnecessary costs to your premiums.

4. Read, and Re-Read, Policy

Understand the policy in great detail before agreeing to anything. Going through third-party sights like Expedia might seem like the financially savvy thing to do but the policy details outlined on these sites tend to be vague, confusing, and presented in a way that turns people off from actually reading the terms. When buying insurance from an actual agency you are more likely to get what you need because it’s easier to understand the policies offered.

When reading over any policy, look carefully for loopholes and exclusions; if something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t. Being unable to cash out on insurance because of hidden exclusions one failed to notice is one of the worst, and most frustrating, realizations.  Also, make sure you actually need coverage on everything detailed within a policy, if it covers something you don’t need you can have the plan adjusted. Often, plans include car insurance but perhaps your regular auto insurance already covers you while traveling, or you don’t plan to be driving anyways, in which case, your premium will be reduced because you are decreasing your liability.

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Saving money is important when you are moving, no matter where you are moving to. It becomes a bit more important when you are moving abroad. In order to cut down a bit on the stress of moving, you need to learn ways of saving money and having fewer things to actually take with you when you go. Here are a few tips that will help you to make the most of your move while taking the least possible from your wallet:

  1. Robinsons RemovalsMinimize what you are taking with you when you move. This can help you to save money on the actual move and to reduce your stress of ensuring that all of your belongings make it safely abroad. You can also cut down significantly on the time that it takes to pack and unpack your belongings. Consider having a garage sale and get rid of anything that is not essential in your life. You can make a bit of money from selling off your old belongings and save on the cost of moving at the same time.
  2. Ship your belongings to your new location. By shipping several boxes ahead, you can save yourself the aggravation of actually travelling with them and you can track your shipments and ensure that they arrive safely. This will also help to cut down on moving expenses if you are planning to use a moving company.
  3. Do a bit of research to find the best rates. International moving companies are virtually everywhere and a quick online search will help you to find one that offers lower than average rates. When doing your research, be sure that you are choosing a legitimate and trustworthy company. Compare rates from companies that have good reviews and choose the one that offers the best price for your move.
  4. Talk with others who have made the same move. There should be people who have moved from your general location to a city abroad. Speak with them and learn what they spent on their moving costs and how they helped to bring those costs down. Someone with actual experience in a similar move could help you to determine the best way to handle your move with the least amount of money.
  5. If you are really looking to make a life change, you can sell all of your belongings and enjoy no moving costs whatsoever. Of course, many will disregard this tip simply because many people have items that they cannot part with for sentimental reasons. If you do not need your house full of furniture however, you can sell it all off and avoid moving costs. Once you arrive at your new destination you can purchase new furnishings that match your new home.

This article was written by Robinsons removals, one of the shipping companies in UK.

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Being Prepared Can Make All the Difference!

canyon walkerNo recreational activity in the world can surpass the thrill and excitement of travelling. Not that I want to kill the romanticised aspect of it, there are certain things that one needs to know before starting a trip. I have a lot of travelling experience and I keep learning new things, which help me in my prospective travel plans. My first foreign trip was a completely spontaneous plan, and was flawed to the core since it lacked planning. From catching flights to arranging itinerates, I was unfamiliar with a number of important aspects of travelling. These planning flaws cost me a lot of money, time and energy. I’m highlighting these factors below so you could learn and benefit from my experiences:

Deciding on what to carry luggage in

I have travelled more than six months in one go, and I really would have liked if somebody could have told me whether a suitcase or a backpack is a better option for me. In my experience, a backpack is much easier to get around with when I’m travelling for more than six months. It zips open easily and provides the kind of access that no suitcase can. However, when I’m travelling for just a month or two or perhaps even less, it is better to opt for the suitcase with wheels. Nonetheless, carrying an additional item itself feels like a burden to a lot of people, including myself, which is why my first priority is always a backpack.

Making health-related preparations

backpackerAfter my first travelling experience, I made a habit to check for travel health tips on Foreign and Commonwealth Office website since it provides a wealth of knowledge. I learned to get adequate travel insurance in order to avoid a huge medical bill in case I needed a treatment. I was eligible for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) of which I had no idea the first time I travelled. Using this card, I am entitled to get discounts or free healthcare services as long as I’m travelling to a European country.

Once I travelled to India during the summers, and caught malaria because of the great number of mosquitoes hovering around me in the evenings. I hadn’t had any vaccinations or preventive measures against any such disease so I could only thank God that it was just malaria. It very easily could have been dengue as well!

Every time I have to travel now, I visit my GP who updates me on all the diseases that are unfamiliar in the UK but are prevalent in other parts of the world. He then lets me know whether I need vaccinations or follow other preventive measures.

Doing Plenty of Research

It helps a huge deal when I do research on the do’s and don’ts of the particular place I am planning to visit. I explore the transportation options in advance as well as the culture and weather so I could pack my outfits accordingly. If I have to visit a slightly conservative country, I make sure I’m familiar with the local customs so I don’t offend the native people. I remember when I visited the Middle East once was frowned upon since I was not dressed appropriately according to the customs. You don’t want that happening to you!

Checking ATM Cards

The first time I booked a inexpensive flight abroad, I only took cash along, which I ran out of very quickly. I hadn’t planned well so I had to have my friend transfer me some money through a money transfer service, which was very expensive. Learning from this mistake, I always call my bank before leaving and let them know that I’m going to be travelling overseas for a certain period of time. The bank then advises me on which credit or debit card will work whilst I’m abroad. I usually take a mixture of money now including debit card, credit card as well as cash.

James Sampson wrote this post on behalf of cheap flights. For deals on flights from UK airports we recommend visiting cheap airline deal site cheapflights.co.uk

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You’ve saved your hard-earned cash. You’ve bought the Lonely Planet guide books. You’ve got a wish list of all the places you want to hit when you’re away on your great adventure. But now you have to make a big decision: do you go it alone? Do you buddy up with pals? Or do you take your partner?

This is no easy decision to make, and it’s one you should consider carefully as it will strongly affect the kind of holiday you have. Here are some pros and cons to consider for each option…

travelling aloneTravelling alone

Pros

Going it alone holds a certain allure for many. You’re unencumbered, pleasing no one but yourself. There are no arguments about who misread the itinerary, no negotiations about when or where to go. In the great tradition of finding yourself while on the road, the journey is yours to chase however you wish – popular choices for solo backpackers include treks across Europe, south-east Asia or South America.

Cons

Loneliness. The cold hard fact is, if you’re travelling solo, while you do have the opportunity to meet fellow travellers in hostels, none of these people know you like a friend, family member or partner does. Additionally, you’ll lack that second opinion that can sometimes be invaluable when travelling – making decisions that much easier.

Travelling with a partner

Pros

There’s no better way of getting to know your partner than going travelling with them. You’ll learn new things that you didn’t know before, even if you’ve spent a lot of time getting to know each other online dating or working together. The things that make you strong as a couple will also make you strong as travel buddies.

Couples might like to opt for romantic hotspots such as Paris, New York or Venice, but look for the lesser-known places that might bring some romantic magic too: for couples dating Adelaide, Edinburgh or Dubrovnik are often overlooked yet truly distinctive travel destinations.

Cons

Pressure can certainly be intensified on the road, especially in a backpacker situation. You might find that minor disagreements can be taken personally, or that competing interests (should we go to the museum? the beach? shopping? to the pub?) might cause tension. And if you’re staying in hostels, your ‘together time’ will be seriously reduced.

travel with friendsTravelling with friends

Pros

Your mates are the family you get to choose – they know you best and share your interests and activities, dreams and hopes. Backpacking with friends can be a 24-hour party – especially if you go to somewhere that likes to party hard, such as Berlin, Ibiza or LA.

Cons

No matter how well you get along with someone in daily life, travel can reveal surprising things. You may discover that you’re keen to be active but your travel buddy wants to lie on the beach – and that can lead to friction.

You might now have a clearer idea of what each travel route might bring you, but the main thing to remember is to have an open discussion with any travel companions about what you want from your trip and to be honest with yourself about whether you would prefer to travel alone, with a friend or with a partner – or a combination of all three!

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