I don’t know about you, but many of my fondest memories and unbelievable adventures come from holidays. A person who travels always has a funny anecdote to tell or a jaw-dropping story full of unusual events. It is always a pleasure to listen to such people. And the thing is, nowadays, travelling isn’t reserved for a privileged few but, with all the offers available, we all have the opportunity to travel anywhere at affordable prices. And when you are over 50 and retired, with so much time on your hands, there’s no reason to stay at home instead of going around the world.
Mark Twain said about travelling and adventure: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” It is clear from this evocative quote that exploring our wonderful world has so many advantages: you will enchant your friends with all the great stories; travelling is a photographer’s heaven, regardless if you are a professional one or an amateur; trying the local cuisine is a must; visiting many different countries, coming into contact with their culture and people will undoubtedly broaden your education; you will learn to keep your cool and to deal with tricky situations that may arise during any vacation, thus gaining confidence for life in general; and last but not least, to prove yourself that you can do it.
Can it happen to me?
As I said before, adventures make the best stories and when you say adventures what do you think about? Perhaps, your luggage got misplaced or you got completely lost in a big city. Maybe your wallet got snatched away from your pocket along with all your passport or you fell asleep on the beach, later waking up looking like a boiled lobster. These can all be major nuisances that could potentially get you in a bad mood on your holiday. But, if you think about it, that’s all they are… nuisances. Luggage can be recovered, passport replaced and a good moisturizer will calm down your sunburnt skin.
But what do you do when Mother Nature decides to mess with your vacation? Recently, there have been more and more reports of natural disasters hitting popular touristic resorts. Take Europe for example, generally regarded as a safe holiday destination, has been the scene of extreme weather in the last years, from earthquakes and floods to severe storms, heat waves and drought. I’m sure you remember the series of wildfires from the Attica region in Greece. The horrific event killed 100 people, injured many more and resulted in the complete destruction of a tourist resort. Portugal and Spain, two other popular holiday destinations, faced record breaking temperatures in the summer of 2018 (the highest was 46 °C). The Spanish island of Mallorca was also the scene of severe flash flooding caused by torrential rain, in which at least 12 people have died, including a British couple.
Unfortunately, no part of the world is immune to natural disasters and if you are an avid traveller, chances are you will witness one, hopefully without repercussions.
As for myself, I had “the pleasure” of meeting the famous Fuego Volcano in Guatemala, just a few weeks before the devastating eruption which barely left any evacuation time and claimed the lives of almost 200 people. Needless to say, I counted my blessings when I saw on the news the very places that I’ve visited not long ago, being obliterated by lahar, pyroclastic flows and clouds of volcanic ash.
And if natural disasters weren’t enough, take into consideration terrorist attacks. Destinations like Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia have been the scene of such attacks in the past, however, this didn’t seem to deter tourists from visiting these countries, as bookings to these places were significantly up in the summer of 2018.
As scary and unpredictable as these events can be, this shouldn’t be a reason to lock yourself in a high tower and never get out. Say hello to travel insurances, especially the one from Insure4Retirement dedicated to people over 50 years old! I remember that there was a time when I would go on holiday without an insurance and hope for the best. Needless to say, I’ve experienced a lot of grief (lost luggage a few times, flight cancellations, got extremely sick on a few occasions and even some injuries). Hence, for my peace of mind, I do not travel without an insurance.
You may think that instead of spending money buying a travel insurance, you might use it for a fancy dinner for example. But let me tell you, from my own experience, why it is so important to get one.
Your luggage is lost, delayed or damaged
This must’ve happened to most of us. Just take a second and remember the frustration you felt when you arrived to your destination but your bag hasn’t. I know how frustrated I felt when I landed in Cuba, at 35 degrees, with only my winter clothes on!
Of course, you will turn to the airline for help. Except, in most cases, the airline reimbursement for luggage is very limited and it can take months to sort out. Not much help when you have 2 weeks of vacation ahead with literally just the clothes on you and nothing else. A travel plan with baggage coverage reimburses you for replacement clothing and other necessary items, plus a new bag to take it all home. Not to mention that if this happens on your way home, the coverage protects the souvenirs you may have bought on your trip as well. Pretty cool, huh?
You get sick or injured
This is one of the most common occurrences during a trip. I remember my trip to Guatemala (the same trip where I narrowly missed the eruption of Fuego- yes, it was an eventful holiday) where I had planned to climb the stratovolcano Acatenango, but during the night before I got a really nasty flu so not only did I miss the opportunity but I also needed some medical attention. Luckily, I had medical coverage and I was fully reimbursed. Having a travel medical insurance means that you’ll have assistance services in your own language to locate a suitable medical facility and arrange transportation. Moreover, if you get sick before your planned trip and you have to cancel, or if you come home early because of a medical emergency, here’s where the medical insurance is a life saver.
Your flight is cancelled or you miss your connecting flight
There are so many reasons why a flight can be cancelled, but the result is the same: frustration and a ruined holiday. However, with a trip interruption coverage, you will get a refund for a new ticket or a stay in a comfortable hotel.
Equally, with a missed connection coverage you have assistance services to help you make arrangements for another flight and for all the travel changes.
Mother Nature has a word to say
Weather is so unpredictable and in a second it could potentially ruin your perfect holiday for which you have saved money all year. So it would be wise to get travel insurance protection for weather damage with which you’ll be able to recover your pre-paid costs. Plus, travel assistance services will help you arrange a vacation at a new location, hopefully one not hit by the force of nature.
A terrorist attack
Unfortunately, terrorism is a reality of our days and no country is completely safe. Let’s just remember Barcelona and Paris, 2 extremely popular holiday destinations. Luckily, the option of getting a terrorist coverage insurance is available, which means, in the event of an attack, you can cancel your trip without losing the money you’ve paid for the holiday.
You need to cancel your trip
Every now and again life throws you a curve ball with no consideration for the plans that you’ve made. Due to unforeseen events, you are forced to cancel your trip which generally means losing money. However, the trip cancellation coverage reimburses up to 100% of your pre-paid travel costs.
Oh no! Where is my passport?
What a nightmare losing the very thing that allows you to travel. It usually takes weeks before you can get an updated passport, which pretty much means it’s game over for your much awaited vacation. It is good to know that a lost or stolen passport or visa is one of the reasons listed under the trip cancellation or trip interruption coverage which enables you to get up to 100% of your pre-paid travel costs in the event of a lost or stolen passport.
The thought that whatever happens you’ve got a team of professionals a phone call away ready to help you no matter the problem, gives anyone great peace of mind. Trips are meant to be enjoyed to the fullest and a good travel insurance will help you do just that. So, what are you waiting for? Book that dream holiday and go make some fantastic memories! “Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Disclaimer: Please note that this post has been written in collaboration with Insure4Retirment. As always, all comments and opinions in this article are my own.
Some of the links on this website are “affiliate links.” This means that if you click on the link and do a purchase, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost for you. This helps me keep my website running and continue to share my traveling knowledge with you. I thank you for booking your flights or hotels using the links on my website. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.