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3 Ways Travel Insurance Improved My Vacation Planning Process

Grace Lower | Feb 1, 2022

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Travel insurance is one of those purchases you hope you’ll never need to use.

But the truth is, insurance is more than just a way to cover yourself if something goes wrong. Solid coverage can add flexibility to your travel plans. At the same time, it can offer resources — like a 24/7 support team — to help protect your financial and personal wellbeing on-the-fly. 

In planning my upcoming summer vacation, I knew that travel insurance made sense for my situation. I’ll be traveling to Europe this summer, and although the countries I’m visiting are generally safe for Americans, the itinerary is a little complex. The combination of multiple stops and lots of hiking means that any snag in my plans could have serious consequences. 
I’ve already written in some detail about why I chose to purchase trip insurance, and how smooth the process was for me. As I continued finalizing my travels, I found that the act of buying insurance ultimately shaped my planning process for the better.

1. Documenting my costs

When I made the decision to purchase travel insurance, I opted for Seven Corners’ RoundTrip coverage. More than just a supplemental medical insurance plan, RoundTrip coverage supports everything from lost luggage to flight delays. Because of this broad array of benefits, I needed to carefully calculate my coverage needs. This process required me to read, document, and review all the nonrefundable costs for my trip. And what an eye-opening process that was!

No matter how meticulously you’ve budgeted for a trip, if you’re not keeping track of your purchases, it’s easy to lose track of exactly how much your trip is worth. Purchasing my insurance not only forced me to review my receipts and calculate how much I’ve spent, but it also prompted me to read and understand all cancellation policies for my bookings. 

I’m hoping that I won’t need to make any cancellations, but understanding which bookings will let me make last-minute changes can help me better prepare for unexpected obstacles. And, if a non-refundable expense catches me off-guard, there’s a good chance my Seven Corners insurance plan will have my back. 

2. Thinking through the “what-ifs”

Ever heard of Murphy’s Law? “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong” might not sound like a particularly inspirational travel quote, but it’s a helpful mindset to adopt when assessing travel risks. When deciding on how much coverage I should purchase, I had to think carefully through some scary what-ifs. 

What would happen if I twisted my ankle while hiking? Got my luggage stolen? Missed my flight? Got delayed by severe weather? This exercise wasn’t just helpful in narrowing down my insurance options — it allowed me to think through my options in the event of an emergency. I then used some of my planning time to identify nearby hospitals, police stations, and pharmacies in each of my destinations. I also looked into climate and safety information, and I even used Street View to “walk” through important routes on Google maps. 

It’s simply not possible to anticipate every travel mishap in advance. With that said, taking preventative measures, recognizing what my insurance covers, and making back-up plans has helped take some of the stress out of my upcoming trip. 

3. Building in wiggle-room

Travel insurance is a great buffer, but it doesn’t provide a 100% guarantee that you won’t still have to pay some expenses out-of-pocket. In reviewing my insurance policy, I started to consider some additional ways to protect myself and my financial investment. One easy step to take was to avoid cramming my schedule with time-sensitive activities. By building in down-time between activities and spacing out reservations and transportation times, I’m reducing the risk of a delay or a cancellation derailing the rest of my plans. 

Throughout this process, I was prompted to think through my trip’s costs more carefully. Having a well-padded travel budget isn’t just helpful during shopping trips. When something goes wrong on the road, having extra money to offset the unexpected expense can mean the difference between resuming your trip and packing your bags a few days early. Having logistical and financial wiggle-room will make it all the easier to roll with whatever punches come your way.

The world can feel a little scary these days, but a great insurance plan can reduce some of travel’s biggest risks. Remember: even the highest level of coverage isn’t a substitute for wise planning. With the right blend of common sense, foresight, and insurance, I’m feeling prepared for and confident about whatever lies ahead!

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