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ABOUT OUR PLANS
For the budget-conscious traveler, we offer Global Alert Essentials with economical coverages:
- Trip Cancellation
- Trip Interruption
- Medical Expense / Emergency
- Travel Delay
- Baggage Loss & Delay
Adds increased levels of protection and:
- Optional Cancel For Any Reason
PREFERRED PLUS BENEFITS
Our most comprehensive program with the highest levels of coverage and benefits, including:
- Rental Car Damage
- Cancel For Any Reason Benefit
5 Tips for Packing Light
- Make a list. Planning ahead can really help when packing for a trip. Start the process of making a list of everything you'll need from sweaters and outfits all the way down to the number of socks you'll need. Being prepared is the key to successful packing.
- Go for a layered look. You can cut down on the amount of clothes you'll need my going for a layered look. If you bring 1 pair of pants, 2 shirts and 2 blazers sweaters, you have 4 outfits by mixing and matching the 4 items.
- Stick with basic colors. If you stick with basic colors and leave the patterns at home, you're able to mix and match and get more outfits out of what you've brought.
- Don't take more than 3 pairs of shoes. We recommend tennis shoes, a pair of dress shoes and flip flops. Tennis shoes can double as walking shoes and shoes if you want to grab some exercise on the road. Dress shoes will be useful when you head out for dinner or for a night on the town. Flip flops will come in handy if you hit the beach pool or even want to wear them in the hotel's shower.
- Take full advantage of your carry-on limit. It's always smart to pack at least one outfit in your carry-on luggage in case your luggage is lost, stolen or damaged. Don't forget travel insurancecan reimburse you if your luggage is lost, stolen, damaged or even delayed.
- Bring along detergent. A little goes a long way! Pack a small amount of hand-wash detergent so that you can wash your clothes during your vacation. You know what this means, you won't have to pack as many clothes! If you need a quick refresher on how to hand wash clothes, check out these instructions.
Lions and Tigers and Bears! Oh, my! National Parks and Preserves You Must See
Are you looking to add some adventure to your next vacation? National parks offer a great slice of wilderness and you probably don't have to travel too far to find one near you. Whether you're in search of hot springs or canyons, mountains or flat lands, our country's national parks have something to offer for everyone.
Bering Land Bridge National Preserve | Alaska
This National Preserve offers a true outdoorsy experience with hot springs, ancient lava flows and the largest maar lakes in the world. Many visitors are drawn to its remote location for hiking, bird watching, hot springs visits and much more. However, consider yourself warned that there are no roads leading into the preserve and no need for reservations, so travel opportunities into the rare frontier of BELA are limited.
Death Valley National Park | California
Death Valley is certainly a National Park of extremes. The steady drought and record heat combine with the snow-frosted peaks to provide a wide variety of wildlife. Adventure possibilities include hiking, bird watching, biking, mountain biking and camping.
Cumberland Gap National Park | Kentucky
The Cumberland Gap provides a great look at the wilderness of Kentucky. It was considered the first gateway into the west by the pioneers. Nowadays, visitors can visit the museum or the auditorium and spend their evenings camping.
How To Save Money When Traveling to Europe
An inexpensive European vacation sounds like a dream doesn't it? Our goal is to make that dream a reality with these tips to help you save and enjoy your vacation. With the combination of new air routes, affordable hotels and travel insurance, you'll be able to see what Europe has to offer without breaking the bank.
Travel in the "off season". As every seasoned traveler knows, summer is a great time for a European getaway. However, since it’s also high season, rates for travel and accommodation are at an all-time high. Think about traveling during a different time of year like March. It still may be a bit chilly and you might experience a few rain drops, but the sites will be the same and your flights will be much cheaper.
Travel within the continent using local airlines. Budget airlines like Ryan Air offer inexpensive, no thrills flights throughout Europe. According to WikiTravel, you can follow these steps to save further on your plane tickets:
- Fly mid-week
- Fly early in the morning or late at night
- Don't fly during public holidays
- Don't book your ticket less than two weeks in advance
- Opt for return tickets, but keep in mind, in most cases airlines will charge extra fees for changes of date or time.
Make a plan ahead of time. Build an itinerary well ahead of time and stick to it. Europe can get expensive quickly, but if you have a hotel and transportation reservations already in place, you'll be able to stick to your budget.
Eat like a local. Avoid popular tourist restaurants to save money. Buying food for sandwiches at grocery stores and having a picnic at a local park is great way to see the city while saving money.
Get travel insurance. Before traveling abroad, check with your health insurance supplier and see what is covered. In most cases, general health insurance plans offer little or no coverage for on-trip medical bills. Travel insurance can not only reimburse you for these bills, but offers 24/7 assistance that can find you an English-speaking doctor or transfer you home if need be. If you have any questions about travel insurance, we're here to help at 877-452-5378, and on Facebook or Twitter.
Now it's your turn to tell us - what's your best tip for saving money while traveling to Europe? Leave a comment below with your answer.
Tips for Baby Boomer Travelers
Baby boomer travelers, defined as those born from 1946 to 1954, are hitting the road in record numbers. In fact, according to the U.S. Travel Association, boomer travelers take an average of 4.4 leisure trips each year. They also represent 16 percent of all business travelers. So, baby boomers, take note. These tips will help make your trip enjoyable, memorable and safe.
- Enjoy travel destinations at your own pace. You may feel the need to fit in multiple sites in one trip, but take your time. By making sure you have plenty of time to see each city, your trip will be more memorable and you'll risk missing a connection due to rushing.
- Invest in travel insurance. By making a small investment in travel insurance, you can receive coverage on your lost or stolen belongings, your on-trip medical expenses and your travel arrangements.
- Ask for the senior discount. All businesses define a "senior" with a different age, but most senior discounts start at 55, so when in doubt, ask! It can't hurt to ask - especially if you receive a discount!
- Make extra copies of your travel documents. Remember to make copies of your itinerary, driver's license or ID card and passport, and leave them with a trusted friend or family member at home. That way, if any of your documents are lost or stolen, you'll have extra copies available.
Yosemite National Park Fears Rim Fire
Despite the Rim Fire, most tourist sites in Yosemite National Park are open as early as Monday, Aug, 26. The National Park Service (NPS) and InciWeb Incident Information System shared that most of the park "is not affected by the fire and is relatively smoke-free", and that hotels, campsites and other concessions have remained open.
Yosemite National Park is concerned about their entire park, but are especially worried about the sequoias.
"All of the plants and trees in Yosemite are important, but the giant sequoias are incredibly important both for what they are and as symbols of the National Park System," park spokesman Scott Gediman told the AP.
At this time, the fire has charred approximately 150,000 acres and is 20 percent contained.
UPDATE: PayPal Issues Resolved
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Tips for Traveling with Your Dog
Grab your four-legged friend and get ready for a great vacation! Sounds too easy doesn't it? If you're prepared and have the right equipment, traveling with Spot may be easier than you think. Follow these tips below to make your vacation with your four-legged friend a success.
- Check BringFido.com before booking your hotel room. Not only does the site provide a list dog-friendly hotels based on your destination, but you can also check to see if your attractions and restaurants are dog-friendly.
- Make sure your dog is familiar with the kennel, if they'll be in one on the plane. Don't just stick them in the kennel for the first time that day. Instead, they need to be able to stay in it for the entire length of the flight. For example, if you have a 6-hour flight ahead of you, gradually work your pooch up to be able to wait two, four, six hours.
- Review the customs laws if you're traveling abroad. Some countries don't allow foreign animals to enter and some do. Some countries require a quarantine process and others don't. Make sure to read up on the laws before booking Spot a flight to Spain.
- Pay the vet a visit. If your dog needs vaccinations or a general check up, this is a great time to take them to the vet. You can get your questions answered and make sure your dog is up to traveling.
5 Travel Apps You Can't Leave Home Without
Technology is an important part of travel. Let's face it - smartphones can come in very hand when you're stuck in a sticky situation or simply looking for the best restaurant in town. So next time you make your packing list for vacation, make sure to take these apps along with you.
- Foursquare:Wondering where your friends visited last time they were in Los Angeles? Want to get tips about which items to order off the menu? Use this app and join over 30 million people to find great places nearby and search for great deals - all for you. The more places you check-in, the more personalized your experience will be.Cost: Free
Availability: iOS and Android
- XE Currency Exchange:Are you traveling to multiple countries during your next vacation? This app will help you calculate currency conversions in a flash. XE.com is one of the most reliable currency-related sites and it's app follows suit. You can set your default currency and stay up to date on others.Cost: Free
Availability: iOS and Android
- Google Translate: Buenas días. おはようございます. Buongiorno. This app busts down language barriers by translating almost any phrase with ease. In fact, you can speak in any language into your phone and it will translate (and read) it in the language of your choice.Cost: Free
Availability: iOS and Android
- Yelp: In search of a restaurant that's still open when you're late night flight arrives? Looking for a nearby gas station? You can use Yelp to search for places to eat, drink, shop or relax. This app also allows you to browse reviews to find great places in your vacation spot. You can also make dinner reservations without leaving the app.Cost: Free
Availability: iOS and Android
- AccuWeather - Weather for Life: Wondering what the weather will be like in the next city you visit? Want to check the weather before your plane takes off? While there are many weather apps available, this app allows you do add multiple locations including your departure and destination cities. You can also browse the forecast by the hour.Cost: Free
Availability: iOS and Android
How To Beat Flight Delays
If you are traveling and get delayed:
RUN!—If you get stuck, push your airline to rebook you on another carrier. The higher your ticket price and the higher your elite status in your airline’s frequent-flier program, the higher your chances of success. Another way to improve your chances: Check other airlines flying the same route for available seats yourself. Knowing about another flight can save time and make it easier for an agent to rebook you. The best solution is to escape the chaos.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS—If flights are delayed by maintenance issues and you get stranded overnight away from home, the airline is responsible for providing a hotel for you. You can demand that your airline book you into a hotel and give you a voucher to pay for it. In some cases, passengers say American has been offering vouchers toward future flights—you don’t have to accept that.
In the U.S., airlines aren’t required to provide meals or amenities like toiletries, and aren’t required to provide compensation. Frequent fliers report American has been handing out extra miles and travel vouchers to customers on delayed flights who complain to the airline’s customer service department. In Europe, passengers on flights to the U.S. delayed more than four hours may be entitled to compensation, unless the delay was caused by an “extraordinary circumstance” that couldn’t be avoided.
TAKE THE MONEY—American is offering refunds if your flight is delayed two hours or more (one hour if you have top-level elite status) or canceled. (Normally the airline has to offer a refund for a canceled flight, but not a delayed flight.) If you no longer need to make the trip, or have missed your appointment or event, go for a cash refund. The airline may offer a refund in the form of a voucher giving you a discount on a future flight, but you can demand cash.
CARRY YOUR BAGS—Make double-sure you don’t have to check a bag when traveling during disruptions. If you have to move to another flight, you can only be sure your bag will move if you carry it. If you miss a connection, the odds of a lost bag increase. And please, please don’t ship your pet as checked baggage while delays are widespread.
BE KIND, AND BEG—Gate agents and ticket-counter workers face enormous stress from angry customers when flight schedules fall apart. But they have all kinds of power to reroute you and take care of you. Being nice will get you better treatment. Better strategy: Use the airline club. The most experienced, most-accommodating agents for an airline work at the front desk of airline clubs. Buy the $50 daily fee if you aren’t a member, and seek help there. Lines are shorter, too.
If you have a ticket and are worried:
SHOW UP EARLY—American has waived some of its prohibitions on getting on other flights through the standby list. If you get to the airport early and see a flight departing before your flight, try to get on it. If your flight ends up getting delayed, you’ll be very happy you hustled to get the early flight that did go on-time. (Caution: Make sure you’re not changing into a flight that’s delayed. Ask a gate agent about delays.)
BUY BACKUP TICKETS—If you absolutely, positively have to be there, buy a backup ticket on another airline. If your flight is delayed, take a refund and use your back-up ticket. If your original flight is on-time, remember to cancel your back-up. Buy either a fully refundable back-up ticket, or use Southwest, which doesn’t charge a change fee on non-refundable tickets. Virgin America and jetBlue, which charge $100 to change most non-refundable reservations, might also be an option. Other airlines charge $150 on domestic tickets.
STAY ALERT—Sign up for flight status alerts from your airline and from a flight-tracking service like FlightStats.com. Early warning of delays or cancellation can put you first in line at the counter for rebooking.
USE THE HOTEL PHONE—If you are making a connection at a hub, carry some phone numbers for airport-area hotels. If you arrive late, miss a connection and need to find a bed, you’ll be glad you had the ability to call the front desk directly to nab a room.
If you haven’t yet bought your ticket:
AVOID THE CROSSFIRE—Don’t put yourself in the middle of a nasty labor battle. If you have a choice, book another airline. Until the affected operation gets back to being dependable, travelers should protect themselves.
PLAN FOR DELAYS—If you have to fly an airline in the middle of a labor situation, or want to fly it for frequent-flier points and status, avoid booking flights with tight connections. Leave a day early if you can, especially if you are going to a specific event like a wedding, meeting or cruise-ship sailing. And fly early in the day: You have more time to recover before you’re left stranded overnight.
SEEK A STATUS MATCH—If you hate the thought of giving up your elite status when you fly another airline, pick a carrier that works for you and seek a “status match.’’ Most major airlines will temporarily give you elite status in order to win over your business. Often it comes with a challenge – you get status for three or four months and it continues if you make a certain number of trips or fly a certain number of miles. It’s a good way to keep the perks of elite status during the disruption, and avoid the mess by flying other airlines.
Travel Insurance Spotlight: Trip Interruption
An emergency that causes you to return home is the last thing you want to encounter on vacation. Unfortunately, it happens and we're to tell you how travel insurance can help.
Whether it is an unexpected death in your family, an illness or health emergency, these things can bring your vacation to an unfortunate halt. When that happens, travel insurance can help make a horrible situation easier to deal with.
Travel insurance offers trip interruption coverage that pays you for non-reiumbursable penalties and transportation to get you home. Imagine that you are on the third day of your 2-week European getaway. You receive news that a family member has fallen ill and you need to get home. In a case like this, trip interruption coverage can cover the associated costs.
If you have questions on trip interruption coverage, please leave a comment below or call us at 877-452-5378. We're happy to help.