Vacation travel is back and booming, and Business Insider predicts Thanksgiving and Christmas travel in the United States this year could reach or even exceed pre-pandemic levels. Sadly, the days of short security lines, empty lounges and half-sold flights are now a thing of the past! As the industry copes with travel’s incredible comeback as the holiday season begins, a traveler preparing for their vacation trip might be thinking: will travel be crazy enough to justify travel insurance?
The answer is…possibly. A travel insurance policy which means purchasing an insurance plan that covers against mishaps such as massive flight delays, cancellations, overbooking, lost luggage, weather conditions etc. However, this depends on a variety of factors including departure location, destination, type of trip and booking method. So, coming back to the question, “Should a traveler get travel insurance for vacation trips this year?” Read the pros and cons below to see what may be the best answer depending on the circumstances!
What will vacation travel really look like in 2022?
Well, here’s good news. Although the number of travelers based on flight bookings and hotel stays appears to be surpassing vacation numbers for 2021, the tumultuous summer travel season actually prepared the industry for what is to come at the end of the year. Experts are “cautiously optimistic” that travel companies learned from their logistics and customer service challenges over the summer and that they’ve had enough time to “recover and regroup” to make the overall vacation travel boom more efficient and less painful for travelers to design.
Hopefully this prediction will come true. However, a continuing shortage of pilots and airport staff, along with the increasing likelihood of unpredictable winter weather, threaten to undo even the industry’s best precautions and preparations. However, there are some mitigating steps a traveler can take to minimize the headache (and heartache) of travel disruption and upheaval. Some industry analysts are encouraging passengers to carry carry-on baggage on board rather than checked bags. But what if there is no more space in the overhead compartment? Other experts suggest flying non-stop in the morning. Well, what if an evening flight after the work day is the only choice due to work obligations? Or is the destination too small for non-stop flights? Many experts also advise avoiding the day before Thanksgiving and the Friday before Christmas, but again, many vacationers simply don’t have a choice. So what can you do? This is where travel insurance comes in.
Ways to Get Your Money Back: Travel Insurance Pros
Travelers can buy insurance in a variety of ways — some companies, like Allianz Travel Insurance and AIG Travel Guard — allow customers to customize and create insurance plans that best suit their travel needs, while other insurance companies offer comprehensive, pre-packaged plans that work universally well . It is also often possible to add a plan to existing insurance that a traveler already has, e.g. B. AAA or health insurance. Sometimes credit card companies also include travel insurance as long as the traveler books all trips with that credit card.
Did you know that airlines don’t have to do “extras” if a flight is canceled or delayed, according to the US Department of Transportation? This means that an airline is under no obligation to refund or cover hotel rooms, meal vouchers, transportation to and from the airport, etc. In addition, passengers are entitled to a full refund, even for non-refundable tickets due to cancellations or delays, this does not mean that the refund is always efficient or sometimes at all.
So travelers can end up hooked for a hefty emergency-related bill. Travel insurance could reimburse the policyholder for these additional costs up to a certain amount. Canceled trains for domestic travel to the US are a little more murky than aviation rules and regulations, meaning train drivers are even more likely to be left stranded in the event of a delay or cancellation without recourse. Traveling during the holiday season, a time of unpredictable weather, means that delays or cancellations are entirely possible.
Travel insurance can cover delayed or lost luggage
While certain technologies like airline apps and air tags can help minimize the time it takes for a traveler to realize that their luggage was lost or didn’t make it onto the plane, what recourse is there for the inconvenience of the lost luggage? Pocket?
Again, airlines are not obliged to provide any sort of compensation for delayed baggage (some policies dictate that airlines must compensate for lost or damaged baggage, but again, this can be harder than it needs to be). So it’s possible that an aviator will either have to figure out how to live on what they took on board, or buy essentials.
Imagine also losing all the Christmas presents wrapped in a checked bag – although it can be heartbreaking, the presents are at least easier to replace with insurance coverage.
Accidents (and theft!) happen
Airline breakdowns aren’t the only reasons why it’s worth investing in travel insurance during the holiday season. Traveling during this time inevitably means that travelers carry things of value that they would not normally carry, such as nicer clothes for holiday celebrations, expensive gifts, or expensive cameras to take that once-in-a-lifetime family reunion picture.
Crowded places like airports or train stations during the holidays mean things can get lost or stolen and again, travel insurance can help offset the cost of replacing these items.
Perhaps a savvy traveler who knows that vacation travel is hectic manages to rent a car. Even the best intentions to avoid a headache can theoretically end in an accident (remember, winter driving can be dangerous!), a flat tire, or a stolen vehicle. Travel insurance will not solve everything to do with an accident, but it will certainly help in the event of financial damage.
Is it worth? Disadvantages of travel insurance
Sometimes travel insurance may not be worth the time it takes to choose a plan or build up coverage, or the added expense of a travel credit card or the plan itself. Travel insurance is expensive, and it takes some research to find the best configuration that suits individual needs. So the price combined with the time investment means a lot of work for something that might not be used.
Even the cheapest coverage can cost in the triple digits, well beyond what many budget travelers can afford. Speaking of costs, travel insurance also only covers certain things up to certain amounts, so while a traveler has a policy, it doesn’t cover 100% of everything they lose. While something is better than nothing, it can still be very frustrating, especially at the price of some of these plans, not getting a worthwhile return.
Additionally, getting reimbursed by travel insurance requires some forethought. In order to be compensated for any of the above, the policyholder must document the cost of whatever they are seeking money for. During a hectic travel season, it might not occur to anyone to save that tiny airport receipt for a toothbrush and toothpaste; It can be shoved in a pocket or buried in the bottom of a purse or backpack, making travel insurance a nuisance if the policyholder isn’t the kind of person who would keep records.