November 11, 2007 |
Here's a topic that inspires fear, loathing -- and boredom. Yes, we're talking travel insurance. We fear illness and accidents, loathe thinking about them when we plan a trip and are too bored to plow through 20 pages of fine print on an insurance certificate.
September 2, 2007 |
When Kathy Edmondson booked her second trip to Mexico for the summer, the deal seemed irresistible: $297 round-trip tickets from Portland, Ore., to Cancún. But Hurricane Dean taught the second-grade teacher and other tourists some lessons about traveling in hurricane season. As people around her were boarding up windows and talking about evacuation, Edmondson spent $800 in airfare to assure her family got out safely. On Aug.
July 8, 2007 |
Don't buy travel insurance, says Consumer Reports. Do buy travel insurance, say consumer advocates Clark Howard and Ed Perkins. Don't buy travel insurance, says the Consumer Federation of America. Do buy it, says your travel agent. In a database of news articles over the last year about travel insurance, many advised people to buy it, while many others said skip it. With such conflicting information, what should you do? It has become a big issue. More than $1.
June 10, 2007 |
NOBODY likes to be wrong. Nobody, that is, expect perhaps someone whose job it is to predict disaster. Still, it's hard to imagine the Champagne corks flying at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or at Colorado State University, which predicted last year that the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season would be a lion. Instead, it was a lamb.
September 24, 2006 |
IT'S been an unsettling season for tourists, who have contended with a foiled London terror plot, the Lebanon-Israel conflict and hurricanes. Troubled travelers who bought insurance have found help with rescheduling trips and recovering costs -- or they have found disappointment. Trip-cancellation policies typically exclude war; they may cover terrorist incidents but not conspiracies, hurricanes but not warnings. As with all insurance, there are exceptions.
September 17, 2006 |
TWENTY years ago, I wrote a dozen rules for improving a vacation trip. Though most of them haven't changed, all have been modified to reflect the lessons that 20 years of travel have taught me. Here's how I travel today: Jet lag: I combat transoceanic jet lag by going to sleep immediately on arrival. Time was when I would instantly hit the streets on my first full day in London or Seoul. That overexertion would turn me into a zombie for the rest of my first week abroad. No longer.
June 18, 2006 |
OCCASIONALLY, I piece together a column of travel odds and ends -- bits of information that I've gleaned from my mail or other sources. These tidbits might include valuable tips for your next trip. Take a look: Paper trail: Remember how strange it once seemed to arrive at the airport without a paper ticket for your flight? And how futuristic it felt to rely on an electronic confirmation? Well, much of the world still regards the idea of flying without a ticket unthinkable.
June 4, 2006 |
IT'S deja vu time for travelers. In a Travel Insider column in June 2005, I wrote, "If the forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are right, an ill wind will be blowing this hurricane season -- in fact, lots of ill winds." How right they were. Last hurricane season, which began June 1 and ran through Nov. 30, was the most active Atlantic tropical storm season on record -- 28 named storms, including 15 hurricanes. This season begins with another dire prediction.
January 22, 2006 |
MOST people wouldn't buy a $20,000 car without insurance to guard against loss or damage; why do travelers leave home without protecting a $10,000 family vacation? Mainly because they don't think they need trip insurance. But that's changing after an unprecedented trio of troubles -- airline bankruptcies, hurricanes and terrorism -- snarled travel plans for thousands last year. About one of every three travelers bought insurance in 2005, almost double the number who did before Sept.
January 15, 2006 |
OVER a little more than a year, the tsunami in Asia and hurricanes here and abroad killed thousands, including many travelers. These tragedies raise anew a question: What happens if you die far from home? More than 6,000 Americans died abroad last year, according to the State Department. Some were tourists, others business travelers, still others longtime expatriates. Ill health, of course, claimed many lives.