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Travel Insurance – Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer

Travel insurance - Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer, Travel Insurance – Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer

We often encounter discussions on social media travel sites about whether someone should buy travel insurance. In a way, it is perplexing why it is even a question. You insure your home, car, and electronics, and most people carry health insurance in some form. It is there for the what-ifs, especially the worst-case scenarios. Homes burning down is rare, but insurance is a lifesaver should you face such an event. Travel insurance is just as important, and we will teach you how to be a savvy travel insurance consumer.

Here is the nitty-gritty, Travel Insurance is, without a doubt, an essential element of any trip overseas. To leave home without it could result in financial losses that may be difficult to recover from. It could put substantial financial burdens on your loved ones. This is not being an alarmist; this is reality.

As a team and individually, we have never traveled overseas without travel insurance. It provides peace of mind and is a wise choice to protect our financial assets. In an emergency, it enables you to focus on what matters. It is a tiny portion of trip costs; in our case, it averages about 2-5% of our total trip cost. But don’t just trust us; we will show you the numbers.

Our Go-to Travel Insurance Site

We have used many companies to buy our insurance, closely assessing benefit levels, prices, and reviews. We compare and choose the best policy each time at a fair price. In the last several years we could not be more impressed with the travel insurance site Squaremouth.com. After we go into what you should know about travel insurance, we will provide detailed examples of how they compare to others.

Why should I worry about insurance if I am active and healthy?

Life is unpredictable; no one can argue that. Why would bad things be less likely to occur overseas if they occur at home? Do people plan to break their hip, get into a car accident, or have a heart attack? It is the opposite.

This is a new environment where you don’t know the roads or language. You are jetlagged, stressed, excited, and eating richer and unusual foods. You can walk on wet cobblestone streets, marble sidewalks, and many places without handrails or the safety measures you are accustomed to. In our case, climbing narrow stairs in castles or hiking in a gorgeous setting.

What can go wrong?

We can honestly report that we have seen multiple people take terrible falls on every one of our trips over the last eight years. Joelle had a patient who took a nasty fall while backing up to take a picture, fracturing her neck. Another fell downstairs in some catacombs, seriously injuring her leg and needing surgery. Sadly we have also come across car, ATV, and moped accidents. We have also been on beaches where drownings have occurred.

In our case, we have had a few as well, the most recent one in 2022. Joelle fell on the last step of a pyramid in Mexico. She was knocked unconscious, had a concussion, broke her ankle and wrist, and was badly cut up

When it comes to travel-related diseases, the gamut of possibilities is vast. Then there is a simple fact: things go wrong, such as heart attacks, strokes, pancreatitis, acute gall bladder attacks, blood clots, serious infections, COVID-19, food poisoning, etc. Your body doesn’t just save these events when safely in your home environment.

The Stats

According to the U.S. Travel Association, 1 in 6 Americans experience issues on their trips. British data shows that 15% of people on vacation fall ill, and 5% sustain some injury. Here is another statistic; 10 million people are hospitalized while traveling abroad each year, and two million require medical transport.

Then there are the events that are non-medical situations, such as a victim of theft, severe weather, trip cancellations, trip interruptions, lost luggage, flight delays, quarantines, a terrorist incident, damaged electronics, and even personal liability.

These are just some examples. The list of real-life stories goes on and on, with many first-hand accounts from ourselves, friends, and family. Joelle is in the medical field; she is well aware of how quickly even young people can get ill or injured and how medical costs can add up when hospitalized anywhere in the world.

Travel insurance - Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer, Travel Insurance – Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer
Travel insurance – Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer

What we will cover in this article

The goal here is to provide a detailed discussion so you can become an informed consumer. Insurance has many elements, and we will cover a lot of ground. If you are not interested in that aspect, move on to what interests you.

  1. How travel insurance works?
  2. What does travel insurance cover?
  3. How you can get excellent coverage for a reasonable cost. It could be only a few dollars a day for a young person.
  4. When to buy insurance, so you have preexisting conditions covered.
  5. Ensure you get the coverage you need, revealing how many policies short-change coverage.
  6. Which is the best travel insurance?
  7. What is the best travel insurance with COVID?
  8. What is the recommended amount for travel insurance?
  9. What to avoid and watch out for.

Start with the basics

A robust travel insurance policy should cover the following, at minimum

  • Covid 19 Cancellation Coverage (Cost of your trip)
  • Covid 19 Medical Covered (under the medical coverage limits)
  • Cancellation of the trip (cost of your trip)
  • The interruption coverage should be 1 ½ times or more than your trip cost.
  • Medical Evacuation and Repatriation at a minimum of $250,000, but we prefer $500,00
  • Medical PRIMARY minimum $100,000 but we prefer over $250,000 (Primary means it is the first to pay, never choose secondary medical)
  • Cancel for medical reasons.
  • Preexisting conditions (requires purchase usually within 14 days of first trip deposit.)
  • Repatriation of remains if death occurs during travel, is very expensive and a difficult process.
  • 24-hour assistance provided
  • Hurricane and weather (must be purchased before storm is named.)
  • Terrorism (reimburses travelers who need to cancel or interrupt their trip due to a terrorist attack.)
  • Financial default (will refund a traveler’s journey cost because there is a complete suspension of operations by the travel supplier.)
  • Employment Layoff (often requires that you have been employed for three years or more) or called to active duty military service.
  • No deductible

What most insurance does NOT cover

  • Alcohol and Drug-Related Injuries
  • High-risk activities and Sports. The majority of winter sports are excluded. Read the fine print. There are sports policies, but they are much more pricey.
  • Travel to Dangerous Countries

To ensure you have the coverage you need and select the best policy for your next trip, it’s essential to read each policy’s documentation to understand what benefits are included. They are not all the same.

What to look for in the ratings

Overall customer rating 4 and above

AM Best Rating Should be A-rated

The reviews by top travel sources such as Forbes, Travel Weekly

Chose a company that will mediate for you; the best ones do

A travel insurance website with exceptional customer service


The Numbers

Comparing the quotes and coverages from three travel insurance sites

*Please note that questions asked for travel insurance DO NOT ask about health, preexisting conditions, or financial status. *

The scenario for all the insurance quotes below

Travel in April 2024 for 17 days

The trip started and ended in Switzerland, so we entered Switzerland.


One person
(We live in different states, so we can’t be on the same policy if you are, that will help your cost)

The cost of the trip is $3000
(This covers only non-refundable costs; airfare, and only three nights of hotels)

Base country USA-Base state Illinois

Age 47

Keep in mind rates can change. This is part of an exercise we do each time. We suggest you do the same.

In all the examples below, look closely at three things;

  • Medical coverage for Covid
  • Medical Evacuation
  • Emergency Medical

Squaremouth

Travel insurance - Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer, Travel Insurance – Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer
Travel insurance – Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer

Insure My Trip

Travel insurance - Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer, Travel Insurance – Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer
Travel insurance – Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer

Allianz

Travel insurance - Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer, Travel Insurance – Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer
Travel insurance – Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer

As you see, the difference can be pretty stark. These are all top carriers with solid reputations. The coverages that are most essential vs. just price. Once you narrow it to a few, look at the “fine print” or the differences, and there can be big ones. Once in a while, you will find a policy that may cover evacuation for non-medical reasons like terrorism or natural disaster.

*Based on continued low coverages and cost, we would suggest avoiding Allianz. The examples above, we believe, establish that. They have excellent customer service, but that doesn’t do any good if you have a serious medical emergency. When they evacuate you it is to the “nearest appropriate facility following a covered illness or injury”. That is not the US, you are still overseas in most cases.*

Examining Different Ages

Now you may say, well, it is way more expensive in your sixties. True, because age is the most substantial factor for pricing a policy. Let’s run the model again at ages 25 and 65.

25 years old

Travel insurance - Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer, Travel Insurance – Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer
Travel insurance – Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer

65 years old

Travel insurance - Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer, Travel Insurance – Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer
Travel insurance – Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer

Quote for Vietnam trip

For argument’s sake, we will present another country outside Europe, VietNam. All factors above are the same.

Travel insurance - Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer, Travel Insurance – Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer
Travel insurance – Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer

Pricing out the big stuff

If your main interest is just the medical and evacuation pieces, get a policy with a trip cost of only $1000 or even zero. Here is a 47-year-old policy with all the same other factors.

Travel insurance - Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer, Travel Insurance – Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer
Travel insurance – Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer

Make sure to always pick Primary Medical coverage

Below is an example of what to look for. For a small difference in the cost of the policy, the coverage difference is substantial.

Travel insurance - Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer, Travel Insurance – Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer
Travel insurance – Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer
Travel insurance - Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer, Travel Insurance – Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer
Iceland to break up the policy images.

Our favorite travel insurance site Squaremouth.com

After many years of trying different sites, we are completely sold on Squaremouth. They have an excellent seamless, user-friendly interface that is simple and easy for even the most naïve computer consumer. The companies they use are some of the best, with an incredible guarantee of zero complaint tolerance.

Squaremouths Quality Standards

Travel Insurance Benefits

Most policies our their site are comprehensive, with coverage for the most important traveler concerns, such as cancellations, medical emergencies, travel delays, and luggage.

Covid-19 Information

They understand travelers face an entirely new layer of challenges and have more questions than ever before. Their Traveler’s Guide for COVID-19 explains available coverage and answers frequently asked questions.

Emergency Assistance

Every provider on Squaremouth has a 24-hour emergency assistance department that can help travelers 24/7 during their trip.

Zero Complaint Guarantee

Protect Yourself with our Zero Complaint Guarantee

The provider’s reputation in handling claims is as important as the price and coverage of a policy. They promise to only sell policies from financially stable, reputable companies who handle every claim fairly. If you feel your claim should have been handled differently, they are happy to mediate with your provider on your behalf.

Insurance Providers

They only offer policies from providers backed by financial stability, A.M. Best-rated companies, with a “Good” rating or higher.

Same Price as Purchasing Directly from the Provider

The price of every policy we sell is the same as it would be if you bought directly from the provider. This is regulated by federal law, and cannot be changed. By purchasing through Squaremouth, travelers can compare products with the entire market and utilize our Zero Complaint Guarantee services during a claim

Help Center

Squaremouth is well aware many travelers have questions about travel insurance. They feel it is their role to answer these questions to help every customer find the coverage they need. They have a lot of excellent education on the site and have a toll-free line to speak with a representative. Travel insurance education makes you an empowered consumer.

Their stats

We approached Squaremouth to learn more about the demographics and trends in travel insurance. Their historical data shows that their primary demographic has always been travelers aged 55-80, taking international and typically more expensive trips. During the pandemic, they have seen an increase in younger families purchasing insurance for domestic travel, with parents aged 25-40 and children under 18. Typically, younger travelers did not purchase insurance, especially for domestic trips. 

In 2019, approximately 43% of their sales were to travelers in the Baby Boomer generation, 18% to Gen X, and 16% to Millennials. For 2020, they saw a significant drop in older travelers due to COVID-19 concerns – 32% of travelers were Baby Boomers, with Gen X rising to 23% of our overall sales and Millennials rising to 20%.

In 2021, this shifted further, with Baby Boomers at approximately 27% of their overall sales, Gen X at 26%, and Millennials at 24%. They believe this will be the trend, where younger travelers are more inclined to protect their travel investments after potentially experiencing losses at the start of 2020. More countries are now requiring insurance for entry as well. 

How long does it take to buy an insurance policy at Squaremouth?

On average, we spend less than five minutes buying a policy. You don’t need to talk to anyone and it is all done online. All required documents are sent to you immediately via email. We always print out our documents to bring on the trip in case we need to show them during our travel. It is smart to leave a copy back home in case your family needs it in an emergency.

Check out Squaremouth.com for yourself. Set up a mock trip and play with the numbers to view the differences in coverage.

Travel insurance - Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer, Travel Insurance – Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer
Travel insurance – Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer

Travel insurance Q &A

Making you an empowered consumer

Single trip vs. Annual policy

We look at single and annual options on every trip, and the bottom line is the yearly policy does not provide adequate coverage, especially for the cost. Coverages are lower in the policies we have examined and, in some categories, non-existent. Instead of going into great detail, here is a visual for a 47-year-old. The medical coverages are very low, especially if this is someone who is overseas a lot.

If you are looking at long-term travel and travel most of the year, that is outside this article’s realm. Those cases are a bit unique, and there may be other options on the table. A combination of an annual insurance policy along with MedjetAssist (more on this later) might cover the bases well.

Travel insurance - Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer, Travel Insurance – Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer
Travel insurance – Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer

Why do I need travel insurance if medical care is less expensive overseas?

That is true for several European nations, but times are changing. Countries charge less for their citizens because they pay into the system via their taxes. Many nations are waking up. If a tourist is injured or ill in some countries, they now charge the actual cost of services, not what is subsidized for their citizens.

Can you break a hip and take on tens of thousands of medical bills out of pocket? Most of us can’t. Will you give up traveling for years as you pay off medical bills? All to save yourself $130? We have some friends with substantial financial means, but they never leave home without travel insurance and have used it for serious stuff.

When should you buy travel insurance?

Travel insurance - Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer, Travel Insurance – Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer
Travel insurance – Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer

This is very important, especially if you have any preexisting conditions. Many travelers think they can buy insurance anytime before their trip and assume they will be covered if anything impacts their travel plans. That is often not the case. The best time to buy a policy depends on the benefits and the type of coverage you are interested in.

Preexisting Condition coverage is for those interested in specific time-sensitive benefits. For example, Preexisting Condition coverage or Cancel For Any Reason must buy a policy within 14-21 days of making their initial trip deposit. This is always what we buy. Once we make our first purchase toward a trip the very next step is purchasing travel insurance. We do it all online and in less than 5 minutes.

Although Trip Cancellation policies can be purchased until the day before they leave, we recommend that travelers who want cancellation benefits buy as soon as possible because only unforeseen events can be covered. Travelers who primarily want medical coverage during their trip can buy anytime before the day before they leave unless they need Preexisting Condition coverage.

What never works is if you just found out you need major surgery and then want to buy a policy to get your trip costs back, you will be out of luck.

One is the biggest myths: Travel insurance is expensive for those on a budget.

That is one of the greatest misconceptions out there. Part of this draws from people who do not compare or use who their agent suggests. We often see people categorically say get Allianz. But when you compare their coverages to cost, as we did above, they are very costly for the low coverage. That may deter many people from seeking further options, but many are out there.

How much does an insurance policy usually cost?

The cost of a policy depends on four primary factors: the trip cost, the age of the travelers, the length of the trip, and the amount of coverage included within the policy. While the premium calculation varies between providers and coverage, a standard Trip Cancellation coverage policy typically costs between 5% and 10% of the total trip cost. A policy without an insured trip cost will likely be significantly less expensive.

The cost will vary by policy; we always suggest the least expensive policy with the necessary coverage. In other words, if your credit card provides adequate coverage for travel delays/interruptions and baggage loss, then the trip cost you put into a policy in which you seek significant medical and evacuation benefits is often relatively low or even zero. Refer back to the examples above.

Most people are unaware that you can enter a zero trip cost if your main reason for getting the policy is for medical and emergency evacuation. The cost goes down quite a bit if no trip cost is entered. A recent example, for one person in their 60s, going to Europe with zero trip cost coverage and only medical and evacuation the cost was in the $50s. Look closely before purchasing to ensure you understand what is and is not covered.

Why is travel insurance worth the cost?

Travelers today face more hurdles and uncertainty than ever before. Travel insurance can cover you for various events that may impact your trip and potentially cause a financial loss. Keep in mind that if you are seriously injured, your family will be the one to step in. This could cause severe financial and emotional stress, especially if they are unable to travel out of the country. Most policies will pay for a family member to fly out and for lodging if you are hospitalized.

I am young and healthy; why do I need travel insurance?

We dealt with this at the beginning of this article; however, an added element young people don’t consider is they may not have credit cards with significant credit limits. They also may not have access to large amounts of cash to cover things like flight changes, loss of luggage, being stuck in a city with no reservations because their AirBnB canceled on them, medical care, etc.

If you are out late into the evening or traveling solo, you may be more susceptible to being a victim of a crime. One of the top travel bloggers in the world tells the scary story of being stabbed during a trip.

I travel in the U.S. without extra travel insurance; why worry about it overseas?

When home, your regular insurance often covers you. Most car insurance companies will cover your rental car or injuries sustained in an accident by yourself for others if within the U.S. Your health coverage will cover medical care and medical evacuation within the U.S. Your family can be at your bedside very quickly, which may not be the case overseas. If they do not have a passport, it gets even more complicated.

Your home health insurance will not likely interact with a foreign facility to guarantee payment. Some plans say you are covered. That coverage is based on the limits set by your policy. It could take many months and even a year to complete that review. In the meantime, you have to pay, which could be devastating financially. There have been reports of foreign hospitals holding patients captive until full payment is made, or they require an enormous amount of money upfront to receive care. In a heart attack scenario, that time loss could be devastating and has been.

Why do I need more if my credit card has travel insurance?

This is where reading your policy becomes very important. We have the Chase Sapphire Reserve Visa card; we adore this card. It offers quite a bit of travel insurance coverage IF you use the card to pay for your bookings. There are good parts to this coverage. We are comfortable with their baggage delay, lost luggage, trip cancellation/interruption, trip delay, auto rental collision damage waiver, travel, emergency assistance line, and travel accident insurance coverages.

BUT, the emergency evacuation is much too low at $100,000. That would work well in the U.S. but not overseas, where an evacuation could easily be over $200,000. What is abysmal coverage is the emergency and medical benefits. They cover only $2500 for medical expenses in total. That is barely what an E.R. visit for stitches covers anymore. It must be an emergency too. There are quite a few exceptions.

Do I need to consider a Cancel for any Reason policy?

We do not ever get this level of insurance. Any reason we would cancel a trip would be covered. It usually only covers half the trip cost but is much costlier. We only cover non-refundable trip costs, which come to around $1500 a person as a norm since we use points for most of our hotels. Our non-refundable trip costs are usually airfare and a few days of the hotel if we interrupt the trip early. Everything else is cancellable at no cost. If we have a non-refundable AirBnB, which we do not often do, we would include that in our trip cost.

If cost is not a factor, then why not? It is only that much better coverage. Do take the time to look at the limitations.

Interested in the Best Travel Cards in the industry? It is how we get most of our hotels for FREE! Check out our post on Travel credit cards.

I am currently getting treated for cancer (or any other serious disease), and I thought I could not get coverage.

That is a huge misconception. Your health history and active disease are not part of what they assess to quote you a policy. It is age, trip cost, and destination. If you buy a policy as soon as you book a trip, you will have preexisting conditions covered.

Why is medical evacuation coverage so high?

The cost of medical evacuation has gotten prohibitive. Instead of going into detail here, check out this article on some of the prices to be returned home in the case of medical evacuation.

Cruises and tours

These will cost much more, often due to non-refundable trip costs. This becomes even more important to shop around. If your concern is more about the big stuff like medical evacuation and medical coverage, you can rely on credit card coverage for cases where you must cancel the trip. Many companies have cruise-specific insurance, and many cruise lines require insurance.

Joelle and her husband had a Hurtigruten cruise in 2019, which was quite costly. They purchased it on her Chase card, covering trip interruption and cancellation. She then got a policy through Squaremouth that covered hotels before the cruise, train tickets, and flights for $3000 for both but then had top coverages for medical emergencies, which covered all bases. 

Rental Cars

This is a bit more tricky. In our case, we never add it to our travel insurance policy. It is pretty pricey. Our Chase Preferred Sapphire covers collision insurance up to $75,000 of the vehicle damage; as long as your car is not worth more than that amount, you are fully protected. On our most recent trip, we submitted a claim for minor damages to Chase; it was handled quickly and easily.

Now here is a crucial element. Chase insurance does not carry liability. What we do is buy it from the rental car company. It averages about $2-5.00 a day in our last few rentals. Most countries require it now so it is already in the price you are paying.

Learn what are the Essential Medications for Long Flights: A Nurses Guide

Can I make changes once I purchase the policy?

We have had to make changes often, especially during Covid. We moved the dates for the whole trip, extended some, and shortened some. The process is simple. Email the policy company the info, and they respond quickly with an updated policy. Even when we extended the dates, no company charged us any additional cost.

Do we have a favorite carrier to use?

We are huge fans of Tin Leg. They have the highest rating on Squaremouth and often have some of the best prices. The coverage we get often is $500,000 for Primary Medical and $500,000 for Medical Evacuation per person. We shop based on coverage and price, so we switch carriers at times but rarely now. We each have separate insurance policies on our trips as we live in different states.

What countries require travel insurance?

There is a trend for countries to require travel insurance for all people who enter their borders. This is fluid, so check back often if you don’t plan to get insurance even after booking your reservations.

The list is growing of countries that mandate travel insurance. Here is the list as of June 2023.

Antarctica

Bermuda

Bhutan

Galapagos Islands

Cuba

Ecuador

Egypt

Myanmar

Qatar

Russia

Saudi Arabia

Schengen Visa countries in Europe for stays over 90 days

Sri Lanka

Turkey

Ukraine

It is still smart to make sure your policy covers COVID-19

Most of the travel insurance policies available through Squaremouth are comprehensive and are designed to cover the most common traveler concerns. This includes coverage for trip cancellations, medical emergencies, evacuations, travel delays, lost or delayed luggage, and other less commonly sought-after benefits. When it comes to Covid, look closely for that option.

*Avoid buying directly from the travel insurance company. If there are issues, it would be ideal to have a middleman mediate for you. If they want to keep their business relationship with the site, they may be more responsive to work with you.*

MedjetAssist

They are the premier global air medical transport. One caveat to travel insurance is that medical evacuation usually gets you to the closest facility to care for you. Medjet gets you back to the U.S. to the hospital of your choice once you are stable enough to fly. They cover COVID-related transport as well. Word is they have never been so busy.

They carry their own policies. The policy is only for transport and no other aspects of travel insurance. Their motto is you never think it will happen to you, but it is the best protection you can have when it does. They have individual trip policies starting at $99 and annual policies for $295. They have family plans as well. Most of their policies limit the age to 74 and younger. Prices are not based on age below that.

We have been buying this insurance for years and it is a valuable policy to have, and if you are going on multiple trips a year for many thousands of dollars, it is well worth the around $300 cost. We feel so strongly about MedJet that we wrote a blog post, Global Medical Evacuation Coverage for Travelers: A Frank Discussion.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, we encourage you to shop around and do your homework. Know what you are buying and study the coverage. You also need to be comfortable with what you are buying. Paying more does not mean you will get better coverage. It is about reputation and service quality. If a policy doesn’t feel right, move on.

The peace of mind of having travel insurance is worth its weight in gold and means happier traveling! Having made several claims over the years and knowing many who have it is invaluable. It has made our travels, when iffy situations arise, much less nerve-wracking. We can focus on our adventure and know we are protected from the evitable what-ifs that occur.

In conclusion, DO NOT LEAVE HOME WITHOUT TRAVEL INSURANCE.

Happy Wandering!

This page contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

Travel insurance - Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer, Travel Insurance – Learn how to be a Savvy Consumer
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Squaremouth.com

Our favorite travel insurance site!

If you book a trip, don’t forget to get travel insurance within 14 days of your first booking. We could not be stronger advocates of being well-insured. Not just for the little stuff but the big things like medical emergencies. We never leave home without it. Over the years, we have used many sites but have now found our go-to place. Squaremouth.com does a fantastic job; it has a user-friendly interface, uses top-rated and reputable insurance carriers, and most policies cover COVID-19 medical issues and cancellations. They also mediate on your behalf if you have problems with your policy.

To empower you as a consumer, we suggest you read our blog post on the importance of travel insurance and how to get the best coverage from top-rated companies for an affordable price.

MedjetAssist

Medical transport back home from anywhere in the world

They are the premier global air medical transport. One caveat to travel insurance is that medical evacuation usually gets you to the closest facility to care for you. Medjet gets you back to the U.S. to the hospital of your choice once you are stable enough to fly. They cover COVID-related transport as well.

Medjet carries its own policies. The policy is only for transport and no other aspects of travel insurance. They have individual trip policies starting at $99 and annual policies for around $300. Most of their policies limit the age to 74 and younger. Prices are not based on age below that.

To learn more about how Medical Evacuation membership with Medjet Assist works, check out our blog post for a more detailed review.  

Expedia.com 

Hotels, home rentals, BNBs, flights, and other transportation & tours 

Expedia is a US-based company whose mission is to power global travel for everyone and everywhere. Whether planning a family vacation, booking for business, or organizing the trip of a lifetime, they are a fantastic resource. Wanderers Compass focuses on independent travel, and using sites like Expedia makes that possible. Every aspect of travel you need, from airfare, accommodations, rental car, and cruises to activities to do at your destination, can be booked on Expedia.  

Booking.com

Hotels, Home rentals, BNBs, Flights, and other Transportation & Tours 

Booking.com connects millions of travelers to memorable experiences, various transportation options, and incredible places to stay – from homes to hotels and much more. It is one of the world’s largest travel marketplaces for established brands and entrepreneurs of all sizes.

We always check Expedia and Booking.com to verify prices. At times, one is sold out of rooms while another at the same place has rooms. As well we often find some European hotels, especially smaller ones, on Booking.com but not on Expedia. It could be they are a Europe-based company. Try both before booking accommodations.

Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO)

Are you traveling with a family or having an extended stay at your destination?

With over 2 million bookable vacation rentals, VRBO connects homeowners with families and vacationers looking for something more than a hotel for their trip. The VRBO community offers families or groups various rental property types such as condos, cabins, lake rentals, beach houses, etc.

VRBO is under the Expedia group ownership now, which many were worried about, but it hasn’t panned out to be a concern. It is a massive network with access to all lodging forms should issues arise. Joelle has used VRBO for many years with her family with no problems.

Viator

As the leading marketplace for travel experiences, Viator believes that making memories is what travel is all about. And with 300,000+ experiences to explore—everything from simple tours to extreme adventures (and all the niche, interesting stuff in between)—making memories that will last a lifetime has never been easier.

With industry-leading flexibility and last-minute availability, it’s never too late to make any day extraordinary. This one site has it all and has experiences throughout the world. We use them often during our travels, especially for food tours. We especially take the time to read the reviews provided.

Amazon.com

An excellent source for travel essentials and guides

We now have our own Amazon Storefront with all our favorite travel accessories and gear in one place. Check out our travel store at the link below.

Wanderers Compass Amazon Storefront

Amazon is one of the most comprehensive online shopping sources in the world. On behalf of their customers, teams worldwide provide lower prices, better selection, and rapid delivery. They offer a vast inventory, and their 1.7 million small and medium businesses worldwide selling on Amazon.com offer extensive options to customers.

We buy most of our travel books, accessories, and luggage from Amazon. We have ordered up to two days before travel and get what we need.

HYDAWAY

This is not your ordinary drinkware company. The HYDAWAY difference is what their products do when you’re not using them. Practical and portable, HYDAWAY doesn’t take up unnecessary space in your already-packed life or pile up in landfills. We all know that trying to pack light while being environmentally conscious can be difficult. Having the right items can make a world of difference. HYDAWAY provides that.

We have used their collapsible water bottle, carrying case for the water bottle, and collapsible insulated drink tumbler. They are all lightweight and durable. A conservation-focused product you can be proud to buy.

Use our Promo Code. WANCOM15, at checkout for 15% off your Hydaway order

Welcome Pick-ups
(Airport and sightseeing service)

A global leader in ground transportation for travelers. They help hundreds of companies worldwide enhance their services and boost their revenue with our 5-star ride experiences and hassle-free automation.

Founded in 2015 in Athens, Greece, Welcome Pick-ups goes above and beyond the standard transfer service as the first company to deliver a holistic, in-destination travel experience. From the moment a traveler arrives at a new destination until they return home, Welcome accommodates all their travel needs (transfers, travel products, things to do, information) as the easiest, friendliest, and most personalized solution.

PhotoAiD

Do you feel like you are wasting time visiting an on-site photographer only to be embarrassed by the photo? Would you like control of the final product? Get the perfect VISA or passport photo online with PhotoAID.

When traveling, you often need to apply for official documents such as a passport, ID, and different kinds of licenses or cards. Those applications require a picture that must meet specific conditions to be accepted, depending on the country. Now, it is possible to take this picture at home without the help of a professional photographer. PhotoAiD allows you to take the perfect biometric photo that will be approved by you without leaving your home.

This article contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

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