A trip is like a marriage:
you don't go into it thinking you will have trouble.
But trouble can occur before your departure date
so that you will need to cancel or delay your
trip, perhaps with the loss of non-refundable
payments. You can become ill and need to return
early, or a family member at home may become ill
so that you must return early. Bags can be lost
or delayed. You may need emergency medical assistance
during your trip. Such things happen. A wise traveler
prepares for trouble by purchasing trip insurance
at the time of the first booking made. Having
insurance can save you money and inconvenience
and maybe even save your trip.
be sure to buy your insurance within 7 to 14 days
of your initial trip purchase to be
sure of getting the best possible protection against
loss of at-risk payments. Otherwise, you may not
be covered for cancellation due to pre-existing
conditions. The cost of the premium varies with
the insurance company used (they all differ in
their costs and benefits), the number and ages
of travelers, the trip duration, and the amount
of money at-risk of loss in the event of trip
The cost of the premium
varies with the insurance company used (they all
differ in their costs and benefits), the number
and ages of travelers, the trip duration, and
the amount of money at-risk of loss in the event
of trip cancellation.
Don't forget that travel
insurance is useful even if you are using frequent
flyer tickets to travel to your destination. Sure,
you don't have the high cost of non-refundable
tickets to protect, but what about the high cost
of getting emergency assistance if you become
ill while on your trip? Without insurance you
are on your own to pay for emergency medical evacuation,
and that can be very, very expensive indeed! Or
what happens if your luggage is stolen while you
are traveling? Are you prepared to replace the
contents and continue enjoying your trip? Travel
insurance can help with that, too.
For more information, see
should know about trip insurance.
When you are ready to book,
me for a quote on travel insurance.
places you might want to avoid
London's Daily Telegraph
has published a list of the top ten worst-rated
holiday destinations. The list was compiled by
Mercer Human Resource Consulting who does an annual
Personal Safety Survey. Their survey rates some
215 cities around the world. Cities whose ranking
might have been affected by war, terrorism or
SARS have not been included. The Daily Telegraph
used the list to come up with the worst cities
that are considered holiday destinations. Kingston,
the list as the city with the most crimes against
tourists followed by Rio
de Janeiro. Cape Town came in third
followed by Mexico
City, St. Petersburg, Russia, Buenos Aires, Bangkok,
Washington, Rome and Athens.
the safest city
and the last place was taken by Gangui
in the Central African Republic. (Source: ARTA,
June 23, 2003)
you are forewarned, you can avoid getting into
potentially dangerous situations. Good
sources of information are the travel warnings
issued by the US
government and the British
government. It can be very enlightening to
see the difference between the US and British
government warnings; they often are not at all
the same. For example, Britain's website may warn
about dangers to traveler in the US! A lesson
here: take warnings with a grain of salt and exercise
common sense and good judgment. There may well
be safe places to visit within generally unsafe
areas, and vice-versa. Just be sure you know which
is which before you go.
a place feels unsafe, don't go there.
For example, if a dark alley seems threatening,
it could be your instinct for self-preservation
warning you of an unseen danger. Go around the
alley if possible or pass through it with extra
vigilence and be prepared to run if the danger
turns out to be real. It's always better to be
safe than sorry.
is better than fight,
so dress so you can flee danger if necessary.
Wearing shoes you can run in is good for more
than just comfortable sightseeing. Good shoes
can help you extricate yourself from a bad situation.
Also, don't overload yourself with baggage; hauling
a large load will slow you down as well as limit
your travel options (e.g., do you really want
to take the underground to your hotel in London
if you are lugging so many heavy bags that you
need a porter to help?).
look like a victim.
If you look like an easy mark, you invite the
bad guys to try to take advantage of you. Standing
on the sidewalk trying to figure out where you
are on the map advertises that you are a helpless
tourist. There are many kind souls who will see
that as a sign to come to your rescue-- and you
will meet nice people that way. But it also signals
that you may have items on your person, such as
credit cards, tickets, and your passport, which
would be worth stealing. You don't want to look
like a tourist because that makes you look like
aware of your surroundings. It will
be harder for a pickpocket to creep up on you
if you are watching what is going on around you
and who might be lurking nearby.
be distracted. A clever scheme of pickpockets
is to divert your attention while an accomplice
cuts open your purse, fannypack, or knapsack or
picks your pockets. For example, a pickpocket
to have a crying child get your attention while
the child's mother or other children snatch your
valuables. Don't fall for it. If you are approached
by someone who is trying to get your interest,
move away and don't let yourself be distracted
from taking care of your belongings.
allow strangers to approach you too closely.
Pickpockets may look like a well-dressed businessman