Ah, to travel is to live, they say! Can you disagree? Who doesn’t love a good ol’ vacation – whether you are headed to rejuvenate in the mountains or to relax by the beach? Vacations are food for the mind and soul, not to forget perfect way to get the break you have been looking for. But when a vacation means so much, you want it to be absolutely perfectly, right?
Honestly, I never thought one small step could make such a huge difference to my travels. The world of travelling has its own set of complexities. Just like everything in our lives, travelling too comes with a few challenges of its own. It does not mean that you should be wary of only troubles and stop travelling – after all, travelling is all about enjoying the unexpected and new. One of my European travels, especially, taught me a lot about how to be prepared for unexpected scenarios while travelling.
I would definitely say that it helps to be prepared against unforeseen circumstances for two major reasons – to avoid unnecessary expenses and any unwanted harassment or loss of time. Loss of passport, theft of valuables, flight cancellations, medical issues, accidental bodily injuries are problems that can happen to you anytime, even in your daily life; but nobody would want to face these while travelling. This is where I will tell you about that one step that can make all the difference – and that is to purchase travel insurance, regardless of where you are travelling.
Do such things happen? Yes, they do!
You might feel that these things don’t happen every day, but trust me they are pretty common and usually occur when you are least prepared for it. I do not mean to scare you, but these are commonplace problems that can come up anywhere. These incidents have actually happened to my close friends and family; not to mention, I’ve witnessed fellow travellers facing them too. And personally, I have faced major incidents of baggage damage while moving from one country to another.
Falling sick would be the last thing anyone wants while traveling, but you cannot always predict your health. Medical aid is one of the biggest reasons why travel insurance is extremely important. The cost of medical evacuation is quite exorbitant in most countries. Even besides evacuations, healthcare, on the whole, is pretty expensive in most countries and we also need to keep the currency difference in mind. Most insurances cover a range of health-related mishaps, including accidents, which can be a big plus. I’ve fallen sick once while travelling out of the country and had suffered quite a deep hole in my pocket because I was not insured.
Flight delays are pretty common too, especially in Europe during the winters. I had been in a similar situation and it was only my insurance company that could come to my rescue. I had connecting flights and I missed it because of the delay in my previous flight. The incident happened around 7 years back and unfortunately, till then, I had not yet understood the importance of travel insurance and did not have one with me. Honestly, I wish I at least had the Travel Insurance from Reliance General ,which would have not only covered my expenses in this particular scenario, but with a host of benefits which are specific to those countries. I picked it up recently, not just for that troublesome incident, but also because it covers any medical expenses I may incur on my travels and any losses I might face due to theft. Since I’ve had previous experience with baggage losses; getting insured took away a lot of my worries while travelling. And this particular insurance plan from Reliance is pretty economical too, for the amount of coverage they provide.
Presently, regardless of the destination, I insist on purchasing a travel insurance – but especially so for international vacations. I like the fact that Schengen countries make it mandatory for tourists to have an appropriate health insurance and I’m sure this has ended up helping a lot of travelers like me.
Honestly, after the flight delay and having to wait for almost a day at the airport, not to mention realizing the huge chunk of money I would have had to pay for fresh tickets, I have always ensured that I do not step out for any vacation without an insurance.
Let’s see how the need for an insurance can arise!
You can come across a range of issues, but the most common ones where an insurance can save the day are:
1. Losing baggage, money and documents due to theft or carrier losses or even misplacements
2. Unforeseen accidents or physical injuries from adventure sports
3. Unexpected illnesses or relapse of an existing illness
4. Flight delays and missing of connecting flights
But how do you select the best Insurance plan?
My first tip for buying an insurance – always compare policies from various services. My advice is that you should pick one that covers a wide range of possibilities and happenings. While purchasing travel insurance, make sure that you especially check for baggage/ document losses and medical coverage. In fact, it also helps to find yourself destination-specific insurances which provide diligent coverage of country-specific problems.
What, How, When?
Do make sure that you make a note of these details while travelling:
• What is included in a policy?
• What is not included in the policy?
• Which documents are required in order to avail the policy?
• What are different situations covered and what are the exclusions?
• How to seek help from your insurer during a crisis?
Insurance is a good deal!
You may not end up using your insurance on most of your trips, but trust me, it guarantees a peace of mind that is absolutely incomparable. It prevents you from getting harassed on a vacation, in case of a crisis, all the while without also burning a hole in your pocket. It gives you the required strength in an emergency and is a real plus, especially when you are travelling solo. Next time, don’t think – just go for it!