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Travel Insurance: Protecting You and Yours

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.

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 dramatic; this is reality.

As a team and individually, we have never traveled overseas without insurance. It provides peace of mind and is a wise choice to protect your 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 recent 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 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 cobblestones 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.

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, 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 of the non-medical situation, 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.

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, what it does and does not cover.
  2. How you can get excellent coverage for a reasonable cost. It could be only a few dollars a day for a young person.
  3. When to buy insurance, so you have preexisting conditions covered.
  4. Ensure you get the coverage you need, revealing how many policies short-change coverage.
  5. Where is the best place to buy travel insurance?
  6. Covid, there is excellent coverage out there if you know how to look for it.
  7. How to review the fine print, yes, it is very doable.
  8. 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 $250,000 (Primary means it is the first to pay, never chose other than primary)
  • Cancel for medical reasons
  • Preexisting conditions (requires purchase usually within 14 days of first trip deposit)
  • Repatriation of remains if death occurs during travel
  • 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)
  • 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

Have a Zero Complaint Guarantee

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

Chose a company that will mediate for you; the tops 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 quotes below

Travel in April 2022 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, three nights of hotels, and several days at a rental home.)

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

Squaremouth 47

Insure My Trip

Insuremytrip 47

Allianz

Allianz 47

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.

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

Always read the fine details of your policy.

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

Squaremouth 25

65 years old

Squaremouth 65

Quote for Vietnam trip

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

Squaremouth Vietnam

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. Here is a 47-year-old policy with all the same other factors.

Squaremouth big stuff
Squaremouth image
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

Every provider with policies on our website must comply with their Zero Complaint Guarantee – they promise the policy you buy through Squaremouth is from a trustworthy provider that will handle every claim fairly and honestly.

Insurance Providers

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

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. 

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


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.

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 aren’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?

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. A few days after buying our plane tickets, we always start booking a new trip and purchasing travel insurance.

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 should 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.

Travel insurance is expensive and prohibitive 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 costly for the low coverage. That may deter many people from seeking further options, but many are out there.

How much does a 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 the 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. 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. If your credit card insurance will cover aspects like baggage loss, trip delays, etc., to your satisfaction, then only add what you care about the most. The cost goes down quite a bit if no trip cost is entered. 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 in another country and can’t visit due to Covid. 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 abroad. 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 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 $250,000. 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 $2500 a person as a norm. 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.

I have active cancer (or any other severe disease), and I know they won’t cover me

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 current prices to be returned home in the case of medical evacuation.

Cruises and tours

These will cost much higher, 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 $1.00 a day in our last few rentals.

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 policy charged us any additional cost.

Do we have a favorite carrier to use?

The most crucial factor to remember about buying travel insurance is to match the policy to your personal needs and obtain the level of coverage that makes you feel comfortable.

We have not found a favorite insurance company yet as we work within a budget. We have been most impressed with Tin Leg but have used at least six others without issues. We shop based on coverage and price, so we switch carriers often. We sometimes each have separate insurance companies on the trip since we must purchase respective policies 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 December 2021:

Antarctica

Cuba

Ecuador

Egypt

Russia

Turkey

United Arab Emirates

Squaremouth Carriers that have Covid coverage

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.

Providers that at this time provide Covid-19 medical Coverage on Squaremouth.com are

  • Arch Roam Right
  • Azimuth Risk Solutions
  • AXA Assistance USA
  • Battleface
  • Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection
  • Cat 70
  • Cover More Travel Insurance
  • CSA Travel Protections
  • Dogtag
  • Generali Global Assistance
  • GeoBlue
  • Global Alert
  • Global Underwriters
  • Go Ready
  • HTH Travel Insurance
  • IMG
  • John Hancock Insurance Agency, Inc.
  • MedJet Assist
  • Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company
  • Seven Corners Inc
  • Tin Leg
  • Travel Insured International
  • Travelex Insurance Services
  • TravelSafe
  • Trawick International
  • Trip Assure
  • USA-ASSIST
  • USI Affinity Travel Insurance Services
  • WorldTrips

Other Insurance Options

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

A sharp consumer never stops shopping around. Here are some other places to review.

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 not bought this insurance, but we would get it if our budget weren’t a concern or if we traveled more per year. It is a valuable policy to have, and if you are going on multiple trips a year for many thousands of dollars, $295 a year is excellent for the coverage you are getting. Click HERE or the links above to reach MedJet Assist.

*Please note that this is also available through Squaremouth but we buy direct.*

Insuremytrip.com

Another website that you should look at is Insure my Trip. We look at it each time to compare and have bought from them in the past with no issues.

They are a popular site. In our analysis, the site is not as user-friendly; they are not transparent on the coverage for medical and evacuation. You have to go further into the policy to see limits. The prices seem somewhat close to Squaremouth. They don’t guarantee vigorous support as Squaremouth does, but consumer stories indicate they mediate for their customers. They also don’t provide as much education as Squaremouth does, so consumers genuinely understand what they buy.

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.

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!

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Squaremouth.com

Our favorite travel insurance site!

If you are booking 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 stuff 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, they use top-rated and reputable insurance carriers, and most policies cover Covid 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 transports 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 would 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 start with Expedia to check prices, but it sometimes says it is sold out. We then try Booking.com, and we find it lists plenty of rooms. 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 that has access to all forms of lodging 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.

Tripadvisor

Tripadvisor, the world’s largest travel guidance platform, helps hundreds of millions of people each month become better travelers, from planning to booking to taking a trip. Travelers worldwide use the Tripadvisor site and App to discover where to stay, what to do, and where to eat based on guidance from those who have been there before.

With more than 1 billion reviews and opinions from nearly 8 million businesses, travelers turn to Tripadvisor to find deals on accommodations, book experiences, reserve tables at popular restaurants, and discover great places to see nearby. We use them for guidance and research on every trip; it is a valuable app for the independent traveler.

Welcome Pick-ups
(Airport and sightseeing service)

A global leader in ground transportation for travelers. They help hundreds of companies around the world 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.

Rail Europe

Discover Europe by Train

Rail Europe sells train and bus tickets for travel across Europe. They cover 24 countries, 105 rail operations, and 20,000 stations. They are the official rail and bus operations agents in the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. Rail Europe continues to add coverage all the time.

It is a fast, easy, and economical way to purchase European train and bus tickets. Eurail passes are also available to buy through their site.

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.

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 provide 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.

Travelpro Luggage

Thoughtfully Designed | Meticulously Constructed | Quality Guaranteed.

We have used this luggage for years, left briefly to try others, and returned to Travelpro. Travelpro luggage is carried by crews from over 90 airlines worldwide.

Travelpro takes the time to learn what travelers want and need, then builds it. The key factor for us is that it must be lightweight upfront and resistant to rough handling. Their luggage is the best, and we could not recommend it enough. It is our go-to luggage.

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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