The zoo. Wrigley Field. Deep-dish pizza. Getting rerouted through Chicago with a family of four doesn’t sound all that bad — except when it adds up to thousands of dollars because your home airport is closed for a week due to extreme weather. It’s what happened to Stan Sandberg during Hurricane Sandy. He was inspired by that experience and another to help co-found insurance comparison website TravelInsurance.com.
“I took my family on a trip to Costa Rica, and the bag with the bathing suits, flip flops and SPF for the kids was missing. If you don’t have coverage for delayed luggage, it can cost you the hundreds of dollars it cost us to replace those things at a small local store, and the stress of not getting reimbursed can pierce that ‘vacation bubble.’”
Enter TravelInsurance.com, which includes a simple form with all of the ages of up to 10 travelers, date and duration of trip, and destination, and then quotes are aggregated with various coverages and prices.
Sandberg said not only is it easy to use, but meets a growing demand. “We’ve seen a lot of new customers come to market. With terrorism in Barcelona and Paris, and places you never expected it before, that’s covered as a standard reason for cancellation,” he said. “Car insurance spent millions to develop consumer-friendly brands but we haven’t really seen that in travel insurance. For the cost of a meal on your vacation, you can get interruption medical coverage and most comprehensive plans also come with emergency evacuation.”
Whether you’re planning on zipping down a ski hill or just chilling on a beach when your kid gets water in their ear and has to visit a local health clinic (which also happened to Sandberg’s son), medical coverage, lost-luggage claims or delays can all add up to stress and dollar signs, he says. Plans typically start at about 4 percent of the total trip cost.
Good news for families with kids? The younger the person insured, the less it costs. But for those bringing along Grandma or Granddad on that heritage trip to Israel, it’s worth a bigger investment, since Medicare doesn’t cover anyone overseas. And if you think your travel credit card will cover unexpected challenges, they’re not all created equal, says Sandberg. “That secondary coverage is subject to deductibles so if you have a medical claim, you’re required to make it with your existing health insurance first and then file paperwork for anything that’s not covered. It’ a lot of homework on the consumer’s end.”
Sandberg’s other tips for buying travel insurance:
Buy travel insurance quickly after booking a trip, so there’s pre-departure coverage (like trip cancellation coverage). Pre-existing conditions are often only covered if insurance is purchased within 14 days of booking a trip, as well.
Don’t buy trip insurance directly through the company offering the trip, since a “refund” may be offered in the form of a credit on a future trip, versus cash back.
Keep copies of trip insurance coverage and emergency numbers on hand at all times — not locked in a safe with your passport in a hotel.
Halloween is right around the corner, which means its time to start making plans for spooky and scary stops for having fun with the family this fall. New York’s Cayuga County is always a fun visit for family travelers, but if you plan on being in the area this October, you will definitely want to explore its haunted history with some choice spots along New York’s Haunted History Trail. This curated list of haunted and spooky stops throughout New York features incredible locations showcasing the perfect combination of the state’s beautiful charm and fascinating history.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
The next two seasons see Franklin, Tennessee, come alive with festive events, fun pop-ups and colorful lights. Family travelers planning a trip to Tennessee this fall or winter must make time for Franklin, a city just south of Nashville with plenty of history and festivities awaiting.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Mysterious glowing seas? Yes, actually! Through October, Florida’s Space Coast waters within Mosquito Lagoon, Banana River and Indian River Lagoon glow with blue-green bioluminescence — a phenomenon resulting from the presence of comb jellies and dinoflagellates (tiny, single-celled marine plankton that exist in some freshwater locations).