After three years of halted overseas vacations, it is not a wonder that many have promised themselves an entertaining summer 2022 and a fantastic holiday to go with it! The enthusiasm is definitely there, but latest news reports are highlighting utter confusion, never-ending queues and lost flights.
One might call this the after-effect of covid, as many are struggling to make it to the aircraft runway themselves in time, let alone their luggage and possessions. Continuous staff shortages at the airports have seen holiday makers swap their relaxing days at the beach to sleeping on airport floors as flight after flight is being cancelled.
There’s good news and bad news. The bad one is that this situation might prolong itself to more than a year. The good news is that with simple precautions, you might avoid some of the issues other holiday makers have had to encounter.
YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE IS MORE NECESSARY THAN EVER NOW
As your vacation departure dates get closer, it is easy to forget about getting travel insurance amongst the reminders of passport planning and outfit selections. In reality, it should be at the top of your list to enable it to save your day should anything occur when you’re abroad. Here’s what a well-planned travel policy can do for you.
- Issue a travel insurance policy the minute you make the first payment for your flights, accommodation etc. Insurance cover does not start from when you start your travels but the cancellation cover starts from the date you issue the travel insurance policy. Your insurer will guide you on the best course of action.
- Don’t just look for the cheapest price – read what’s included and what’s excluded from the cover you selected. It’s the benefits you’re getting for the money you’re investing that matters.
- Most insurance policies provide cover for cancellation charges due to specific occurrences. We recommend that you speak to your insurer to clear any misconceptions. At Thomas Smith, you’ll automatically be covered for cancellation due to covid.
- Should your luggage be delayed for more than 12 hours, you can purchase emergency replacement items which will be covered by your Thomas Smith policy.
- Just as you have a medical practitioner’s number saved on your phone, do the same with your insurer’s contact number. If travel chaos hits you, you’d need easy access to it without worrying about where it was placed. Keep a copy of your travel insurance policy number so you may get instant assistance.
- Keep a copy of every receipt should you wish to open a claim.
- Sports activities such as bungee jumping or water skiing aren’t automatically included in basic travel policies. Speak to your insurer to ensure your policy covers them.
- Should your luggage be damaged by the airline, make sure to lodge a damage report at the airport.
- Given it’s the main travel seasonal period, your car hire excess may be on the high side. Verify the amount before officially signing off on hiring the vehicle. Before riding away, inspect the car well and take photos of any damages that it might have prior to your rental. Our Travel Insurance does provide cover of this excess so speak to your Insurer to check the amounts covered.
- Leaving luggage or personal items unattended will automatically invalidate your policy.
Whilst a travel insurance policy offers an extensive security, you can pre-empt any issues that you might face at the airport just by being a bit proactive.
- When choosing your flight, pick one that is scheduled early as there might be less delays and disruptions compared to flights planned for during normal day hours.
- If you have the option, travel only with a hand luggage. It might not offer you enough space to go on a shopping haul when you land, but at least your main belongings will be within easy reach on the plane and you won’t have to rummage through piles of suitcases to find yours and make your way out of the airport – or worse, have to wait days for it to become available due to numerous flights using the same gates.
- Instinct might tell you to head to the airport super early to avoid missing your flight. Keep that thought at bay, as much earlier check-ins are causing longer queues. It is recommended you check with your airline; they are usually specific on how early you need to head to the airport.
- If you find yourself stuck in a security queue whilst the time-limit for boarding is getting too close, speak to a member of the check-in desk. Many would be willing to assist in the best way possible so as not to miss your flight.
- Have a filling snack before you head to the airport. Do not rely on purchasing food and drink from the airport due to queues, nor counting on getting refreshments on the plane due to shortages.
- Read all the terms listed on your insurance policy before heading to the airport. It will serve you well should anything happen and you’re unsure about what’s the best way forward.
After this prolonged hiatus on travel due to covid, many are busy planning numerous short breaks. Ever considered an annual travel policy instead of booking one for every trip? Avoid the hassle of having to contact your insurer after every holiday booking and get yourself covered for an unlimited number of trips during a 12-month period.
It’s ideal to be realistic and remember that August is the most popular month of travelling for many Maltese, so taking that extra step to ensure your vacation isn’t ruined in any way might save you a big headache. Speak to us to see how we can help should anything happen before, after or during your trip.