Today’s travelers are informed travelers. Therefore, when captivated by the allure of world travel or mandated by business concerns, travelers need to be prepared for unforeseen events. Vacationers and business people need to be familiar with weather conditions, health alerts, political turmoil, or international threats related to their destinations. Although the U.S. Department of State provides travelers with safety and security information related to destinations, travelers should takes steps to help secure their own safety.
To help travelers make informed decisions regarding travel, the U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs offers a Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This program keeps travelers abreast of any threatening situations before they travel and also augments communications with travelers, the U.S. Embassy, and family members in cases of emergency.
Consider travel insurance as another layer of protection when traveling. The insured traveler may be covered for delayed or canceled travel, for a variety of reasons including terrorism that occurs within 30 days of travel at their destination city. Natural disasters such as typhoons, hurricanes, or earthquakes may mandate a delay or cancellation in travel plans that would not be reimbursed by the transportation company. Additionally, the destination may be uninhabitable due to flood, fire, burglary or vandalism. Travelers need not be held accountable for situations beyond their control if they purchase a policy that covers these events.
In the case of stolen or damaged property, travelers need to have the security of knowing they can receive reimbursement for financial losses related to these incidents. Unfortunately, illness or death of family members, whether they are at home or with the group, may alter travel plans. Trip cancellation coverage assuages the anxiety facing potential travelers and covers the travel costs if one needs to cancel a trip. Covered reasons vary by policy so make sure to verify the trip cancellation covered reasons before buying.
Package plans, the most popular type of insurance for travelers, generally cover canceled trips, interrupted trips, medical emergencies, evacuations, delays, and lost or damaged baggage. For those taking vacations, cruises, or tours, this coverage provides the protection travelers need. However, not all losses are covered through these packages. Although waivers for certain clauses may be available for an additional cost, each policy is different, so travelers must make sure it provides the travel protection needed.
Savvy travelers are cognizant of global conditions and take the necessary steps to insure a safe and comfortable journey.