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Why College Spring Breakers Need Travel Insurance

Katherine Goens | Aug 4, 2021

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This blog post was updated March 1, 2021.


l'll be honest; I am very guilty of thinking “it won’t happen to me” when I travel. As I got ready for my college spring break to Cancun, travel medical insurance was the last thing on my mind … until I learned what can and does happen when people travel.

The Tuesday before my trip, I shadowed one of our customer service representatives who spends all day talking with our members who have travel problems. Talk about a game changer. Calls were coming in left and right: “I tripped and shattered my front teeth;” “I think my collarbone is dislocated;” “My son has pneumonia” — these types of calls came in for the entire hour.

After hearing all of that, I marched up to the nearest salesman and asked for travel medical insurance. I cringed when he emailed me the invoice, only to be shocked to see it was $11.08 ... with zero discount. That is a meal and a drink at Chipotle.

Thankfully, my trip went smoothly and without a hiccup. But here are 3 things I saw that made me so thankful I had travel medical insurance.

  1. On our way to the beach, we noticed a good amount of shattered glass on the walkway. Luckily, we spotted it and tried to warn the others behind us. I guess word didn’t circulate fast enough because twenty minutes later we saw a girl slice open her foot on that very glass. It was a gory sight followed by some understandable panic as the hotel concierge came relatively quickly to her side. They wheeled her off in a wheelchair presumably to a doctor. Later in the week we ran into her friends and found out she had to get seven stitches and go home.

  2. We had a few friends staying at the resort nearby. We didn’t get to see them too often, but just like us, they chronicled their trip via snapchat and Instagram. On the second day, we opened a snapchat from our friend Eric, but instead of seeing the classic picture of the ocean and palm trees, we saw Eric’s wrist swollen to the size of a softball. We immediately texted him to find out he slipped on some water by the pool and landed on it funny. He reluctantly went to the doctor where it turned out he needed a cast that set him back a couple hundred dollars.

  3. While the college-infested resort was a lot of fun, we eventually decided we needed a day away from the craziness, so we gave ourselves the day off and booked an excursion. There were a few familiar faces we saw around the resort who had the same idea as us, but one girl seemed particularly miserable. She sat slumped down with a hat and sunglasses the entire time. Once we arrived at the island, everyone went their separate ways, but when we returned we noticed the girl was missing. Apparently, she was so dehydrated that the intense sun caused her to faint. She had to be taken back on an emergency boat.

Each time I saw or heard of these events, I couldn’t help but wonder if they had travel medical insurance, and how happy I was that I did. These people were just like me, looking to have a good time in a tropical paradise with their friends. They probably also thought, “it won’t happen to me.” But it did, and it came at a price. If you’re curious about the magical $11-dollar travel medical plan I bought, you can check it out here.

P.S. The reason this blog is targeted to my fellow college peers is because while all vacations can be reckless, college spring break tends to pose a little more risk than others. I’m not just referring to alcohol consumption but other factors such as lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and risky decisions. Full Disclaimer: most travel medical insurance plans do not cover alcohol-related injuries.


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