By Austin Crowley
Who doesn’t love to travel? Leaving your routine behind can be thrilling, and taking a break from the day-to-day to experience what the world has to offer you can be life-changing for anyone. As much of a break as we need from the 9-to-5, the risks that travel holds can make us pause. It’s what makes us bust open our travel funds when the car breaks down or we otherwise meet a “rainy day,” and it’s why many of us wait to travel until we’re retired and completely free of financial and familial obligation.
When we travel, we prepare ourselves as thoroughly as possible: from packing an extra set of clothes, to putting on sunscreen, to bringing emergency supplies in case anything goes amiss. As crucial as these steps can be, they pale in comparison to the security offered to our personal and fiscal well-being by acquiring a good travel insurance policy.
I used to shy away from travel insurance myself, which I considered to be stodgy and against the free spirit that I regarded for travel. Admittedly, my decisions were led by my heart rather than my head.
To make a point, let’s think of travel insurance from a different standpoint. Consider it not as a piece of paper or financial obligations, but as a friendly hotline, ready and on-call for you when something goes wrong. While travelers safely see the world every day without any issues, incidents and accidents happen now and then. It’s impossible to guarantee any journey will be a safe one, so having a number to lean on if something happens can give you a feeling of security.
A Personal Example
Now imagine you’re walking through the crowded streets of Berlin on a chilly October, standing in line at a coffee shop to warm yourself up. When it’s your turn to pay for a tall cup of something sweet and aromatic, you reach for your wallet in your back pocket to realize it’s no longer there. To feel each of your pockets in a panic and begin looking around, while people in line look forward at you curiously. Someone pickpocketed you while you were in line—what do you do? A quick tip: don’t be like me and wait for something bad to happen to buy the insurance. Do it now and save yourself from this type of situation.
That exact scenario happened to me when I was traveling abroad last year, and ever since I’ve been traveling with traveler’s insurance.
While I had to cancel my credit cards and lost a few twenties, I got off fairly light all things considered. Travel insurance can help you in many more ways, ranging from:
- A flight is delayed and you miss your connection
- Your passport or wallet goes missing
- When your hotel has an unexpected cancellation due to hurricane season
- You need medical attention for illnesses or accidents
- A dependent minor goes missing and needs a return flight, and much more
Really—it’s better to be safe than sorry.
After “unexpected bump” in my journey, I immediately started my search for travel insurance companies. A lot of them do bundles (with auto, home and life) which can grant you a pretty good deal when it comes to making your final decision. Travel insurance not only helps you during your journey, but it helps you even if you can’t make it.
One of the worst feelings you can get is arriving at your airport to see that your flight has been delayed, and that you have the chance of missing your connecting flight because of it. On average, 70% of all flights are made on-time—not a very good number if you have several connecting flights. With your travel insurance, your agency will help accommodate you with any cancelled plans. Nobody likes fear-mongering or worrying when it comes to financial decisions, but there isn’t a “plan B” like travel insurance when you spend your life abroad.
Austin Crowley is a travel writer from the southern U.S. who writes in support of American tourism and Charlotte insurance agents. When he isn’t writing about his exploits abroad, he likes writing about finances and how he overcame his personal debt.