• Travel Insurance Blog

  • Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Your vacation hotel can be your heaven but also your hell. Make sure you remember your accommodation for all the right reasons. While you can feel safe that you’re protected with international travel insurance, it’s far better to avoid any problems in the first place.

Use the hotel safe for valuables, not a locked suitcase or a pair of socks hidden under the bed. Use the lobby safe if your room doesn’t have one. Keep the door chain or door bolt locked whenever you’re inside.

Avoid ground-floor rooms. The best hotel room is one on the third to the fifth floor – you’re out of reach of street-level crime and can still be reached by fire truck ladders. Familiarize yourself with escape routes in the event of a fire or emergency.

Make sure you don’t leave your hotel keys unattended on restaurant tables or bars. And don’t discuss your room number when other people can overhear. If the worst happens and your hotel room is burgled, or you lose luggage from the hotel’s lobby, call on your international travel insurance plan.

Simple steps before you travel make you better prepared, more comfortable and better protected. The U.S. State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is one extra item on your travel planning list that could save you a lot of trouble on your vacation.

The STEP program is free and when you sign up you receive a compilation of the most current and important information on the country you are traveling to. Added to a comprehensive international travel insurance plan, STEP ensures you are covered for any eventuality.

STEP also provides updates, travel warnings and travel alerts to your inbox that you might otherwise miss. Possible security threats and natural disasters that may affect your travel plans are included so you can make informed decisions from abroad.

By signing up, the government will be able to assist you more easily in the event of an emergency by evacuating or helping with practical matters. Of course, the STEP program is no substitute for international travel insurance – both are necessary for travel, particularly to off-the-beaten-track destinations.

The U.S. Department of State has issued some important advice to help protect yourself when driving or as a car passenger abroad. Carjacking is on the increase in many countries. What can you do to make sure you’re safe inside your vehicle and never have to claim for theft or injury on your international travel Insurance?

Always keep all the doors locked when you are traveling in your car. If you hire a car, choose one with air-conditioning so you can keep all the windows up – this is particularly important when you need to slow down to drive through stop signs or areas with reduced speed.

Don’t ever stop, or roll down your windows, if you are approached by someone. Drive away quickly and if you are being followed or harassed find a public, safe space to park and get inside a building. Don’t lead them back to your home or hotel.

When parking, choose a spot with good lighting and in a populated area. If you have car trouble, stay in the car and raise the hood. Don’t get out if people offer to help, ask them instead to drive to the nearest service station to tell them what’s happened. Taking basic precautions means you’re less likely to have to call on that international travel insurance you purchased.

With all the excitement of a vacation or trip, it’s easy to forget what you leave behind until it’s too late. There’s nothing worse than remembering to lock the garage when you’re on a beach 1,000 miles away. Plan to protect your property and pick up the correct travel insurance so you have complete peace of mind on your travels.

Make it look like you’re still at home – get a friend to collect mail, purchase timers for inside and outside lights, and arrange for someone to mow the lawn or shovel snow in winter.

Turn off the ringer on your telephone or unplug the phone if you don’t have an answering machine. Check with your security provider about leaving the house alarm on for an extended period of time – some systems are negatively affected by power cuts.

Make sure your home and travel insurance is up to date and that you have enough coverage. Tell close friends and relatives your departure and return dates but don’t spread the news wider – posting your vacation plans on facebook could be an open invitation to opportunist thieves.

The better prepared you are, the smoother your travel. A bit of time spent in preparation for a trip abroad – from booking travel insurance to mapping your route – can pay dividends in stress reduction and time saved for enjoying yourself.

Check your insurance needs and purchase international travel insurance for your trip. Remember Medicare and Medicaid, and private insurers, do not usually cover you for trips abroad. Choose a plan including emergency assistance, prescription drugs and repatriation coverage.

Leave copies of your passport, insurance documents, credit cards and itinerary at home or with a trusted friend or relative. If something goes wrong it’s easier for them to help you out. Take all the phone numbers you need to cancel cards and claim on insurance from abroad.

Check your route and itinerary and plan where you will be at certain times. It can be a good idea to register your travel plans with the State Department , especially if you are travelling long-haul. This way you can be easily contacted in the event of a family emergency or crisis where you are vacationing.

Did you know that every year over one million people are killed in road accidents globally? Sobering statistics from the U.S. Department of State reveal hundreds of U.S citizens are injured or killed on the roads, either in a car or as a pedestrian. How do you stop being a statistic when abroad? What safety measures can you take behind the wheel?

Always buckle up – other drivers may not be paying attention to this safety feature but you should always use a seat belt. As well as helping prevent major injury or death, using a seat belt helps you avoid fines in some countries.

Stick to quieter roads while you get used to driving in a different place, particularly if drivers drive on the left side of the road. Make sure you’ve planned your route in advance and have a good road map or navigation system. Take note of local driving customs, like honking the horn before going round a sharp bend.

One essential for drivers to think about is international travel insurance. If the worst happens and you are involved in an auto accident, international travel insurance will take care of paying for emergency hospital treatment and medical bills that could be sky-high.

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