Expecting the Unexpected

Rarely is that age old adage proven true as often as it is in the context of travel. But some surprises are not as cool as catching a glimpse of a mountain lion or seeing a pod of orcas on a hunt for a meal. Lost luggage, a health emergency, or flight cancellations due to weather are some of the most common mishaps that can sideline travelers and prevent you from enjoying your perfect vacation. That is why travel insurance can be a great investment, no matter what type of trip you are planning. Travel insurance premiums typically represent just a fraction of the cost of your trip, cover you for a wide range of emergencies, and let you rest a little easier both before and during your trip.

The best travel insurance policy for you is going to be the one that offers the specific coverage you need at a price you can readily afford. Here’s a rundown of the most common types of travel insurance, as well as some of the optional benefits you may want to look into.

Basic cancellation coverage, as its name implies, covers you for pre-paid, non-refundable expenses under a fixed set of circumstances outlined in your policy. You can make a claim when must cancel a trip due to a health emergency or illness, for example. Depending on the policy you choose, you may also be able to make a claim if you are laid off from work or you’re called for jury duty. Let’s say there’s a natural disaster in your destination city and one of your travel providers has to cancel your trip. Under cancellation coverage, you would be able to recoup your non-refundable expenses, too.

Trip delay insurance is usually included withcancellation coverage. With trip delay insurance, you will be reimbursed for normal expenses you incur as a result of your trip being delayed. Short departure delays are not covered; policies set a minimum number of hours for covered delays. Meals, hotel charges, and taxi fees are among the expenses covered.

Trip interruption coverage protects you in the event you must return home due to an emergency once you’ve already started your trip. It will pay for the cost of getting you home and getting you back to your destination once you are able to travel again.

If the list of covered cancellation reasons under basic cancellation coverage seems too limited to you, you might want to opt for CFAR, or Cancel For Any Reason. It offers the fullest coverage but may only make sense for you if your calendar is subject to change at a moment’s notice.

Lost, stolen, damaged and delayed luggage is one of the most common—and annoying—travel-related misfortunes. Pay attention to coverage limits and increase yours as necessary. If you are taking your new Maruman driver out for its first run in Scottsdale, you’re going to want coverage at the upper end of the scale! Even more mundane items like laptops and cell phones have replacement costs beyond the limits set by basic policies, so be careful to read your policy closely to be sure your most expensive possessions are fully protected.

Let’s say you’re a diehard Yankees fan. You have timed your trip to coincide with a double-header in the city that never sleeps and, lo and behold, the games get rained out. You might not feel so bad if you’ve purchased specialized event coverage that reimburses you the cost of your tickets.

While travel insurance isn’t terribly expensive when compared with the cost of your trip, there are ways to bring down the cost. If you’re a frequent enough traveler, an annual policy might make financial sense for you. And if you are traveling with a group—to take advantage of a terrific team-building event, for example—buying group insurance is a great way for all members of your party to get the same coverage for less.

Contact Leaps and Bounds Travel for a quote for travel insurance for your next trip!

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Cruising Alaska

Alaska can be considered a bucket list for many travelers, especially those who do not live on the west coast. The mix of passengers is everything from toddlers to the elderly. It is no longer considered a trip for just the elderly. Cruise ships and excursions have something for everyone. Alaska is intriguing, culturally diverse, and has so much Native Alaskan history. From the Gold Rush-era to the Russian influence, you will be amazed.

Many cruise lines offer cruises to Alaska. Norwegian, Princess, Disney, and Celebrity to name a few. Not every cruise line is a right fit for every cruiser. There are large ships, small ships, expedition ships. Each has its own personality. We would be more than happy to share insight on this.

What would one expect on a cruise to Alaska? Beautiful scenery unlike any other. From glaciers and fjords to mountains and forests. History. So much history in our 49 th state. So many influences from Russia, Norway, Asia and more.

You can cruise to Alaska from many ports on the west coast. Many ships leave and return to Seattle. Many leave from Vancouver and end in Anchorage or reverse. Some even start in Los Angeles or San Francisco and travel north or south.

The Alaska cruise season is from the end of April to October. July and August are peak season when the weather is the warmest. Spring time and late fall offers the better pricing however, weather might not be your friend. Snow could be on the ground, which makes for pretty pictures, but not so much fun for hiking. Weather could play a factor of your shore excursion being cancelled especially if it is a boat or helicopter tour. September offers the chance for cruisers to see the Northern Lights, and some great end-of-the season shopping.

Some ports you may visit:
Ketchikan – A great port to explore, hike through the forest, canoe around a lake and learn about the Native American past in the area. You can zipline in the rainforest.

Skagway – You can pan for gold here, while learning about the history of the gold rush era. How about a white water rafting trip for a more adventurous excursion? Take a train ride along the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad.

Sitka – A cultural melting pot for Alaska Natives and Russian decedents. Many remnants of heritage are here such as St. Michaels Cathedral and the Russian Bishop House.

Juneau – Alaska’s capital. You can kayak or canoe close to Mendanhall Glacier. Visit a viewing area where brown bears are protected to live in their natural habitat. Or see various sea animals such as seals and sea lions. Even go whale watching for the impressive Humpback Whales.

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Why use a travel agent?

We take the stress out of planning a trip. You do not lose control of the process. You still have the final decision. We help narrow down your options. Did you know that Orlando has about 122,000 hotels? Which one is right for your family?

Travel agents have been to many of the popular areas and hotels. If not, we know someone who has. Firsthand experience is better than any online review website.

We get to know you, the client. Not every hotel and destination is right for every person. And with that knowledge, they become more than just a client. A good travel agent will ask you how your children are, or how your parents are doing.

We have knowledge of upcoming sales and promotions. We also have the ability to add new promotions to your reservation if they benefit you.

We have tips to make your vacation better. From the little store on the corner that is a must visit, to the best little Italian restaurant off the beaten path, we make your vacation better.

We are your advocate. When things do not go just right, a travel professional knows whom to call to get it fixed on the spot. If your flight is canceled, just have a seat and pick up the phone while the rest of the passengers are lined up trying to rebook. Didn’t get the room category you booked? No need to argue with the front desk. One call will get it corrected.

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My First Blog Post

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

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