For many, one of the greatest gifts of travel is that it forces us out of our comfort zone and routine. Travel often makes us overcome challenges and difficulties not experienced in day-to-day life. While this is expected and welcomed by most travelers, events that disrupt or cancel a vacation are not. This is why travel insurance is a good idea and why we encourage all of our guests to get coverage. Read to the bottom to see which company we recommend.
During my 12+ years in the travel industry, I’ve seen and heard almost every imaginable scenario that causes someone to cancel a trip or cut it short. Below are just some examples. I’m sure you can come up with more, or maybe you have your own experience.
REASONS WHY A TRIP GETS CANCELLED OR SHORTENED (AND WHY TRAVEL INSURANCE IS NECESSARY)
Before the Tour
We often think of what can go wrong on the way to vacation or while there. In my experience, however, I have heard from just as many guests who have had to cancel because of something that happens long before they leave. It could be something they are personally going through or something that comes up with a close friend or family member.
Injury, accident or illness
I’ve had more than a few people cancel an active travel trip later in the year because of a ski accident during the winter. Other accidents or unexpected health issues can force someone to cancel or change their travel plans.
Unexpected event with family member: illness/pregnancy/engagement/death
We don ’t always have to cancel for a negative reason. Many of our guests have had to postpone or cancel a trip because of the news of a pregnancy with the due date near their original travel date. Whatever the reason, travel plans often get put on hold when you need to be there for a family member.
Illness or death of a pet
More and more people are talking about this issue, and some have been reluctant to confirm a trip because they were worried about the health of their pet.
New job, promotion or loss of job
When work responsibilities change, this can affect travel plans.
Divorce or breakup
Maybe you were planning on traveling with your now ex and at least one of you (if not both) need to cancel or find someone new to travel with.
Getting to your tour
Your bags are packed and you’re on your way. Before you arrive, many things can happen.
Bad Weather/natural disaster
Flights are cancelled or delayed all the time because of weather or other extreme events, either at your departure or arrival destination. These may cause you to miss a portion of your trip or force you to cancel altogether.
Flight cancellation or delay
Flights can be canceled or delayed for a variety of other reasons, up to and including an airline going out of business. One missed connection can cause a chain reaction of delays for your trip and add unexpected costs.
While on tour
On a Tourissimo tour, you’re in good hands and our guides can assist you with most problems. Travel insurance can help recover costs associated with emergencies and even provide support beyond what our staff can do.
Lost or delayed luggage
You arrived but your bags didn’t. You’ll probably need to buy some clothing and toiletries to last a few days. On tours where you are switching hotels almost every night, it can take longer than usual for your luggage to arrive where you are.
Stolen bag/passport/credit cards
It can happen in an instant, but can take a long time to resolve.
You should always carry any medication you need in your carryon and not in your checked bag. If you forgot to do this or you left something you need at home, you might need help finding it or having it delivered overseas.
Accident, Injury or evacuation
Luckily, accidents and serious injuries are rare occurrences on our tours, but they can happen. Our guides are trained to handle these emergency situations and will assist you with getting the care that you need. Insurance will help cover the cost.
Returning from tour
Your trip is over, but you still have to make it home in time to unpack, unwind and get back to "real life."
The same issues with weather and other problems at the beginning of your trip can cause a delay or cancellation during your travel home.
These are just a few examples based on anecdotes and observations after over a decade in the travel business. I have a couple of my own stories of times when a trip was almost interrupted or canceled and I wasn’t covered. There was the trip to Madrid I booked when I found an unbeatable (and non-refundable) flight deal, $350 round-trip. About a month before the trip, I was scheduled for jury duty and was seated on the jury for a trial that stretched on for days, then weeks. Luckily, the case ended just days before I was scheduled to leave and I did not lose the ticket or hotel cost. On the same trip my luggage was lost by the airline and not found until I was on my way back home. I had to buy a whole new wardrobe and toiletries for the trip. The airline did cover this cost, luckily.
While in Nicaragua I contracted salmonella about a week into the trip and was in bed for days. I missed several planned activities and, though I did manage to get home on my own power, had to go to the hospital for treatment a few days after my return. I missed work and had medical bills. I almost missed my flights.
In both of these cases, while I ended up not losing much time or money, I very easily could have, and proper travel insurance coverage could have helped to cover the costs. I also most likely would have made different decisions if I had coverage.
We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance to cover your tour with Tourissimo. We understand your vacation with us is a big purchase, often for a special occasion, and we want you to be protected. You might already have your go-to insurance provider, so feel free to use any company you know and trust.
If you are not happy with your current provide or not sure which one to go with, we have a recommendation.
I have worked with several providers throughout the years and there are many reputable companies, but one stands out above the rest. For our customers, we recommend Travel Guard. Travel Guard has a sterling reputation for providing insurance to its customers and they offer coverage for some events that other companies don’t at this time. They process claims quickly and offer attentive, friendly customer service. You can review their plans and purchase coverage here:
I do not sell insurance, and it is always best to speak with a licensed agent for specifics of what is covered in whatever plan you choose. If you have any questions, you can always contact Travel Guard directly.
Do you have your own story of travel mishaps or using travel insurance? Leave a comment below and tell us more.