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Trips like that can be as inexpensive as $399 per passenger for a week. Sometimes you’ll be starting out in cold weather, but a day later, it’s usually warm, he said.
If you’re more ambitious, you can fly to Florida and take off for a 68-day cruise through the Panama Canal and around Cape Horn. Those typically start as low as $10,000 per person, he said.
Or if you’re really ambitious, you can set out for a 115-day journey that will cost you $18,000 and up.
Having the time flexibility that comes with retirement can give you the chance to wait for good specials to pop up, usually close to the date of departure, Pruitt said.
Cruise lines don’t like to leave without being full, so they tend to release discounts late in the game, she said.
That said, it’s good to book early to get the best price, she said.
If it drops later and there’s still one available, she will grab it for you, she said.
For those looking for more relaxation than adventure, there’s always all-inclusive resorts, Pruitt said.
And for those who prefer plane nor boat, or those who have less money to spend, there are always drive trips like Myrtle Beach, New York or Washington.
Not that you’ll need one for Myrtle Beach, but remember to leave plenty of time to apply for a passport, typically four to six weeks, she said.
Should you wish for a more permanent arrangement, it’s a great time to buy a vacation home, said Chris Kavanagh, associate broker with Caldwell Banker residential brokerage in Bethany Beach.
Homes in communities in his area and elsewhere are selling for well below what they were a few years back, he said.
You can put less down and get a better financing rate on a single-family home rather than a condominium or town home, he said.
Luxury homes have been selling quite briskly, even as the middle end of the housing market has remained sluggish, he said.
“The people who have the money are definitely jumping in,” he said.
But for those who simply want to get away on a vacation, Sands recommends working with a travel agent, for more reasons than just a helping hand in the planning.
The agent has ideas and experience, she said. AAA provides a point of contact once the trip begins in case anything goes awry, she said.
That, Gravett said, is a good reason to take out travel insurance. Gravett said it usually covers you if you get sick and need treatment abroad, if you need to be evacuated, even if you simply miss your connection. Under some conditions, it will cover the cost of your trip if you have to cancel at the last minute, he said.
It doesn’t cost much more, he said.
Rottblatt, who works out of Lima, Peru, agreed travel insurance is a great idea.
“People dream for many years about finally getting to visit Machu Picchu or someplace else. You don’t want anything else to interfere with that,” he said.
If you take a trip outside Canada, it’s smart to buy travel health insurance to cover the costs of getting sick in a foreign country.
But it’s not enough just to buy travel health insurance. You have to fill out the application correctly and disclose any relevant information about your medical history.
Failure to disclose can lead to a nasty surprise when you make a claim.
Joe and Suzanne Lefebvre are struggling to pay $107,000 in medical bills. They want to tell their story to warn others about what can happen when an insurance claim is denied.
The retired couple bought a travel health policy from RBC Insurance Co. in October 2010, long before their planned Alaskan cruise in May of this year.
They filled out the forms at the travel agent’s office and didn’t consult with their doctors first.
On the fourth day of the cruise, 80-year-old Joe was taken off the ship and sent to a hospital in Fairbanks, Alaska. He was diagnosed with pneumonia, which led to complications. After he spent 15 days in the hospital, RBC arranged to fly him and his wife to a hospital in London, Ont. (near their home in Port Colbourne).
“I got a call while Joe was still in emergency to say, ‘You know you’re going to be denied coverage.’ Two or three times a day, the company would call to confirm, as if I didn’t understand English properly,” Suzanne says.
“RBC called again to say we were denied on the same day we came home. They could have waited until the next day.”
They were turned down because Joe had a heart condition, atrial fibrillation, which wasn’t disclosed on the insurance application.
The couple asked for a review. This led to another denial in October.
“The questionnaire warns of the importance of accuracy in the answers,” said a customer care adviser at RBC Insurance.
On a cover page that defines and lists heart conditions, the questionnaire says: “If you are unsure if you have ever had a heart condition, please consult your doctor.”
Joe had experienced a blood clot in his leg in January 2008, leading to irregular heartbeats, Suzanne told RBC Insurance. His doctor prescribed warfarin, an anticoagulant, and referred him to a cardiologist for tests
“My husband has not been referred back to the heart specialist or any other heart specialist. The only medication he has used since that time is warfarin, used as a blood thinner to prevent any future blood clots.”
Martha Turnbull, RBC head of travel claims, denied coverage after I asked for a review. She blamed the Lefebvres’ incorrect answer to the question: “Have you ever been diagnosed with any heart condition or been prescribed medication for any heart condition?”
Turnbull added: “This was not a last minute purchase. The travel agent gave them adequate time to do research. We make resources available to help, such as a toll-free number staffed by nurses who can answer questions.”
The Lefebvres have hired a lawyer, arguing it wasn’t clear they had to report Joe’s irregular heartbeat, which had been stable for three years.
The questionnaire says insurance is denied for pre-existing conditions that aren’t stable before a trip. That confused them and led to a wrong answer, Suzanne says.
“In hindsight, we would have done things differently,” she admits.
Milan Korcok, a travel insurance expert, says medical questionnaires can be quite daunting. He recommends consulting your doctors if you have chronic conditions requiring occasional treatment or you’re on medications.
Insurers should require higher-risk applicants to have their doctors sign off on the medical questionnaires, he adds. That would add a layer of protection, though it might slow down the application process.
My advice: Know your medical history and consult professionals, as needed. Don’t rush to fill out the forms. Take time to answer questions.
Thousands of dollars in health care expenses could rest on the results.
Ellen Roseman writes about personal finance and consumer issues. You can reach her at email@example.com.
Bikini Travel Insurance has announced that it has released a form of specialized travel insurance that was created by women, for female consumers.
This new Bikini Travel Insurance policy is now available for purchase online. This product is particularly unique because insurance products are typically considered to be the creation of men. This…
The Irish Times – Saturday, December 17, 2011Ayia Napa is a perennial favourite with school-leavers
ASK JOAN: Your travel questions answered
Myself and 17 other girls want to go to Ayia Napa for a week’s holiday after our Leaving Cert exams around June 24th. We want to get a cheap hotel or apartments where we are all in the same place near the clubs and bars.
– CW, Dublin
Ayia Napa is eternally popular for Leaving Cert holidays and all the flights for June 24th are full. It looks like you and the girls are going to have to go in the following weeks. Leavingcertholidays.com (tel: 0818-212515) has some availability for the week of June 30th at the Alphelandra Apartments, costing from €679pps based on four per apartment. The Green Bungalows, two-bedroom apartments, has some availability from €769pps. It also offers free travel insurance through Blue Insurances. You will need to make a decision as holidays are filling up fast. You can hold your holiday with a deposit and pay off the balance by instalments.
Club 18-30 has availability from July 1st in the Paloma Studios close to the beach and nightlife. Prices are from €695pps based on four and include a weekly pool party, goody bag and T-shirt. Pambos Magic Studios is also available that week from €685pps. Club 18-30 offers a free place for group bookings of 10 or more. Concorde Travel is full for June 24th but has subsequent weeks in Ayia Napa from €700 to €870pps.
If you really want to go around June 24th, you will find availability through London. I have had a look at lowcostholidays.com, and using Cyprus Airways from Heathrow and staying in Pambos Magic Studios, it will cost around €550pps plus the Dublin to London flight. Other apartments are available for a bit less.
Cheap fares to Vancouver
My partner and I are planning a trip in May 2012 from Dublin to Vancouver, Canada, for 16/17 days. We intend to travel midweek (Wednesday to Friday). We have checked the Aer Lingus website and see flights from Dublin via Chicago to Vancouver are €637 return. Could you suggest any other less expensive route or airline? We would like to get there as direct as possible.
– MK, Dublin
The Aer Lingus price is the cheapest on the market for a trip from Dublin to Vancouver. I have looked at other airlines and it would be hard to beat this price. Air Transat and Air Canada will be operating from Ireland again next summer season, but they fly only as far as Toronto and Montreal. Air Transat has a fare of around €449 return, but with the onward flight to Vancouver it will be more expensive than Aer Lingus. There will be an Aer Lingus sale in January and the fare may be less then, but I think it unlikely.
Honeymoon in Dubai
We’re getting married in April and want to honeymoon for a week in Dubai. We want to fly direct and stay in a nice hotel with good facilities near the beach. Have you any advice?
– DR, Dublin
The best thing about going to Dubai next April is that you will be able to fly there direct with Emirates and a lot of travel agents will have good package deals, although Dubai is not a cheap destination. April is a busy season, with Easter and the pleasant weather at that time.
There are dozens of quality hotels in Dubai and one of the longer established is the five-star Jumeirah Beach Hotel, designed in the shape of a breaking wave (jumeirah.com). A week here from the Thomas Cook
Far Away brochure costs from €2,500pps (tel: 0818-200300). The hotel is next to the Wild Wadi water park and guests have their own entrance. It is also close to downtown for shopping.
Travel Counsellors recently had a good deal of €1,440pps for four nights and flights, at Atlantis, The Palm, an extraordinary resort with a water park and aquarium. It also had one of the most expensive launch parties ever, estimated at €15 million, in 2008 (see atlantisthepalm.com). Find your nearest travel counsellor on travelcounsellors.ie (tel: 021-2309378). If you drop down to a four-star hotel, the prices are much better, but few of these are on the beach. Travelmood has a week at the Mövenpick Ibn Battuta Gate, near Jumeirah Beach, in April for about €1,400pps. Sunway.ie, Trailfinders.ie, WeTravel2.com and ClassicResorts.ie have programmes to Dubai.
Car rental in Portugal
I am hoping to holiday in western Spain next year but fly into Faro, as I would like to fly from Kerry and support local jobs. Do you know if any car hire companies based at Faro airport allow people to drive into Spain for the duration of their holidays? If so, is there an extra charge for doing so and would there be any restrictions?
– HJ, Kerry
It depends on which company you rent from whether it allows cross-border travel and charges a fee. The cost will also depend on the car size and the length of rental.
One of the biggest rental firms in Portugal, Auto-jardim.com, charges a fee at time of pick up. If you rent a car from this company and do not say you will be in Spain, it will charge you €3 per 1km driven over the border. Most of the big companies, like Avis and Hertz, will not charge a cross-border fee.
Argus Car Hire is a broker that hires on your behalf from a host of companies (you have to read the details on each rental). Go to arguscarhire.ie, put in your pick up location and dates, and a list of cars appears on the next page. Under each car are “rate details”. Click on this and scroll down to the cross-border rules. Most allow travel into Spain without an extra charge. For example, a Toyota Yaris for a week in May will cost around €180.
Email queries, with your name and address, to firstname.lastname@example.org
I recently missed a Ryanair flight to Bremen because the National Express coach from London to Stansted airport was late. I claimed the £220 flight change fee (for two passengers) through my HSBC travel insurance.
They responded that they would not be paying because I had not allowed sufficient time for my flight.
I was already checked in online and the National Express scheduled arrival at Stansted was an hour before my flight, which is what I usually allow without problems. Is there any way I can take this matter further? IS, London
We spent quite a lot of time back and forth with you and HSBC to determine exact timings and to be clear over the policy’s terms and conditions.
We were able to establish that your flight was due to depart Stansted at 6.40am and that the departure gate closed at 6.10am. Your coach was due to arrive into Stansted at 5.40am but was seven minutes late, meaning it got in at 5.47am.
HSBC then contacted airport information at Stansted to see whether you still should have had enough time to make your flight. Stansted advised that you would need, typically, a five-minute walk to the security point, so you would have been there at 5.52 at the earliest.
The advice from security at Stansted is that you should always allow up to two hours to pass through security (this information is on the boarding cards). However, they said that at this time of the morning, although it is quite busy, travellers should get through security within 15 mins. Therefore the time you would have got through would have been 6.07am. Assuming a five-minute walk to the boarding gate you would have arrived at the desk at 6.12am.
Your coach was only seven minutes late on this occasion and you missed the flight which does suggest that your schedule only works if there are no delays whatsoever. This also leads me to conclude that you may not be leaving sufficient time.
However, what later transpired was that HSBC had told you over the phone in the airport that you could go ahead and pay for new flights and it would cover this. As a result, HSBC has now agreed to refund the £220 fee.
I also think HSBC’s policy needs to be rewritten, as it simply states that you must do “everything you can to get to the point of international departure for the time specified on your ticket/itinerary”, which is wide open to interpretation.
We welcome letters but cannot answer individually. Email us at email@example.com or write to Bachelor Brignall, Money, the Guardian, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Please include a daytime phone number.
: While travelling abroad has become common — whether for leisure, on business, or for educational purposes — one should be adequately prepared to take care of any contingencies that may arise. There could be an illness or accident that may take out all the excitement as medical costs abroad are usually very quite high. Moreover, there could also be other eventualities like loss of baggage, passport or money due to pilferage, robbery, apart from natural and man-made calamities that can also affect your travel plans and finances.
Travel insurance provides you and your family medical, financial and other assistance in case of an emergency while travelling overseas. Though for countries like the UK, US, Austria, Greece, Portugal, Spain, France and Germany (Schengen), where travel insurance coverage is mandatory, we strongly recommend a travel insurance cover for a safe, worry-free and perfect memorable trip abroad.
With the range of travel insurance plans covering…
SYDNEY, Dec. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ –
In the last year, Southern Cross Travel Insurance’s highest paid claim for an individual Australian was in excess of $200,000 (AUD). The company paid one New Zealand claim costing over one million dollars. Both claims were for overseas medical expenses and repatriation.
Southern Cross Travel Insurance CEO, Craig Morrison said, “In the US and Europe, medical costs can be astronomical for travelers — and that’s before you take into account the cost of evacuation. In many countries around the world, if an accident or health problem strikes you may also be left with a hefty bill for air, boat or ambulance travel.
“Depending on the severity and type of injury or illness, travel back home may require the purchase of a first-class seat, as well as the travel costs of an accompanying medical professional or family member, or even chartering an air ambulance.
“What this highlights is, if you can’t afford travel insurance — you can’t afford to travel.”
Though Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI) only entered the Australian travel insurance market in April 2009, it has already emerged as a leader in consumer surveys.
Mr Morrison said SCTI’s ability to offer value for money was a result of its commitment to a “direct to consumer” online business model. 100% of SCTI policy sales are transacted through its website.
“Until recently the majority of consumers were still buying travel insurance through their travel agencies — and paying substantial commission costs. By transacting online, we can create cost efficiencies and pass these savings directly to consumers, who are buying from specialists in the field.”
For the third year running, SCTI received a five star rating for “outstanding value” in international travel insurance products by research house CANSTAR CANNEX. The survey compared 42 travel insurance brands and 233 insurance products to award ratings based on a combination of price and product.
SCTI was also the standout performer in consumer magazine Choice last year. A review of travel insurers for the Australian market rated SCTI “best buy” in each of the magazines four categories, based on a combination of policy features and price.
Aimee BourkeSouthern Cross Travel Insurance firstname.lastname@example.org+61-499-256-272
SOURCE Southern Cross Travel Insurance
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