Traveling the world should not be hard, annoying or stressful. At InsureMyTrip we know this and sell a product that can help travelers with the unexpected stressors that may happen on their trip – travel insurance. We can go on for days about the importance of a third-party travel insurance plan (and, by the way, we do on our website), but there are other ways you can avoid unexpected fees when adjusting or canceling a trip.
Be very selective about travel brands
Not all travel brands are created equal these days. To ensure you are not going to pay extra money for change fees or cancellation, be selective with which brands you book for your trip. Some airlines (like American Airlines) have change fees upward of $200 if you need to change a flight, others (like United) can be changed easily without fees if you do so within their specified time frame. Then there are the special brands (like Southwest) have no change fees whatsoever!
Hotels vary even more than airlines. No matter how you book your hotel stay, ask about cancellation or change fees. Even rooms labeled as “refundable” could have a small cancellation fee for the convenience. Aggregators (like Expedia or Orbitz) are generally upfront about the cancellation policy, but some hotel brands you’ll need to ask for the information specifically.
Book extra cushion days/times when traveling
Traveling without insurance? Ok, we tried to talk you out of it – but here’s our second piece of advice: book extra time into your schedule! Arrive a day early for your cruise. Put hours between connecting flights. Arrive home on a day when you don’t need to be at work the next day. These are all good things to try and do.
If you travel without insurance, you are opening yourself up to some unexpected fees or your vacation ending earlier than intended. A bad storm in Chicago could ground flights around the country, not getting you to your cruise launch. A technical glitch with an airline can halt your trip before it starts! You could even get stuck between flights, forced to pay for a hotel room or sleep in the airport.
It’s not always easy to do this if you are traveling for a long period of time, but if possible, try to pack as little as possible. This way, you can carry everything you need for your trip on the plane. Ultimately, this will eliminate the possibility of the airline redirecting your bag or losing it all together. That also means you won’t be responsible for purchasing a set of clothes, toiletries or anything else you may need while waiting for your bag to arrive.