Ready to start planning your summer vacation? Even if you’re taking advantage of a seasonal rental, instead of hotel or other more traditional accommodations, you will want to keep these travel tips in mind and protect your investment with travel insurance. Here’s why:
TALK TO THE HOST
Before you book your next vacation rental, you will want to reach out to the host with any questions you might have and to get a handle on what to expect. Reviews sometimes don’t answer all your questions so contacting them before you book will give you added peace of mind. Your host may have some recommendations before you arrive but don’t be afraid to do your own research of the area, and find itinerary ideas beforehand. Will it be too far to walk to the nearest beach or restaurant, and closer to the highway than you thought? These are things to keep in mind and find out before you book.
Also like your travel insurance policy, you should be familiar with the procedures for checking in and out. If you’re traveling to a new place you may not have cell phone reception and you will want to coordinate with the host beforehand on how you will pick up the keys to your rental and ask if there are any tips to get there to avoid any mishaps!
What if you need to cancel? Be familiar with the policies of your rental. If it’s non-refundable, keep the next travel insurance tips in mind.
TRIP CANCELLATION AND INTERRUPTION
Travel insurance covers your trip cost meaning your prepaid and non-refundable expenses. With a vacation rental, Airbnb, or even VRBO, if the entire amount or even just the deposit is prepaid and nonrefundable, you will want to protect it. Many vacation rentals are non-refundable and do not have much flexibility on date changes or cancellations since their terms are normally set by the owner or host. Without travel insurance, if the unexpected happens, you could be left without a refund.
If something happens like an illness or another covered reason, causing you to need to cancel your trip, you’ll be happy your travel investment is protected with the right travel insurance plan. Comprehensive plans with Trip Cancellation have a variety of covered reasons which will need to be proven for 100% reimbursement. For the most flexibility look for a Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) benefit. This will allow you to cancel for any reason whatsoever, usually up to 48 hours prior to departure, for up to 75% reimbursement of your trip cost.
If the unexpected happens during your trip, and the situation causes you to cut your trip short, you may be entitled for reimbursement of the unused portion of your trip cost and additional costs to get home safely. Be familiar with your certificate of insurance and the covered reasons for cancellation, interruption, and what is required in terms of documentation.
Just like a book, don’t judge anything by its cover. Be sure to read reviews of your vacation rental and keep an eye on the date they were posted as you’ll want to pay close attention to the recent ones. Are they well written and supported by photos? A discerning eye can find legitimate reviews to make the best decision for your travel needs. After you trip, don’t forget to leave your own review for future travelers like you.
BE FLEXIBLE ON DATES FOR SAVINGS
You can sometimes find savings on any type of accommodation by being flexible on your travel dates. Booking during the shoulder season or the months between the peak and low season, can mean less crowds, and more savings. Keep in mind the savings can come at a cost though, especially if inclement weather is more of a threat during this time and you will want to consider the next travel insurance benefit.
HURRICANE AND WEATHER
If your vacation rental is impacted by adverse weather, you’ll be happy to have purchased travel insurance with the Hurricane and Weather benefit. If your home or your accommodations become inaccessible or uninhabitable due to fire, flood, earthquake, hurricane, or other natural disaster, you may be able to make a Trip Cancellation or Interruption claim. See your specific plan for coverage details.
DO YOU HAVE WHAT YOU NEED?
Don’t wait until check in to find out beach towels or a coffee maker is not provided. Check what amenities are offered by your host and plan accordingly. Do you have a special request? Don’t be afraid to communicate with them to see if they can provide it for you! They may even have a recommendation for you if they can’t meet your request.
Whether you are miles or oceans away from home, an emergency can happen anywhere. It’s important when you’re in an unfamiliar place to have an added layer of protection with the 24-Hour Assistance Service provided by most travel insurance companies. This service is a great resource while you’re on your trip and can help with medical referral services, emergency cash transfers, legal referral, locating lost or stolen items, pet and vehicle returns, and much more.
Travel Medical Plans can also fill the gap in coverage where your regular health insurance may provide only very little to no coverage while you are traveling. Without travel insurance, if an emergency occurs, you and your family could incur medical bills that you would need to pay for out of pocket.
PROTECT YOUR BELONGINGS
If your luggage or personal effects are lost, stolen, or damaged during your travels, the Baggage Loss benefit may reimburse you up to coverage limits. Some plans may even pay for loss due to unauthorized use of your credit cards. Be sure to review your plan to find out what you need to do in the event of a loss – normally reporting it to the police and or taking reasonable steps to prevent it from further damage.
PEACE OF MIND WITH YOUR CUSTOM RECOMMENDATION
Even if your short-term rental booking site offers some sort of protection, it may not be enough for your unique trip and traveler details. A travel insurance plan from Travel Insurance Master can cover more than just your rental, including other prepaid, non-refundable trip expenses like flights, cruises, rental cars, and tours. TravelInsuranceMaster.com will recommend the best plan and value for your unique trip in just 3 super easy steps. It’s easy to compare plans from the top providers all on one website and even filter by customizable options to find the benefits that best fit your needs. Don’t let an inadequate, one size fits all travel insurance plan make an unfortunate situation worse, let Travel Insurance Master find the best plan for you!
I totally agree about reviews too. I always find it useful if there are photos from reviewers, rather than the perfect professional photos provided by the place you are staying...