Travel fears and travel insurance

What’s the Worst Thing that Could Happen?

Sponsored post by InsureandGo Travel Insurance

Are you a worrier? If so it’s perfectly normal and nothing to be ashamed of.

Most of us are but for some reason travel fills us with more fear than anything else.

In fact, one of the reasons I started blogging about my travel adventures was because so many people got that far away, wistful look in their eye and said to me:

“I’d love to travel more.”

You see the thing is they can. You can. Anyone can. Travel is easy and accessible to all of us if you just overcome your fears and take the plunge.

Irrational Travel Fears

Of course there are many fears to be overcome and some of them are even real fears too.

Did I feel scared about going to live in rural Zimbabwe for a year?

Was I nervous about moving to New Zealand when I’d never even been there before?

Did we have sleepless nights about selling most of our belongings and house then moving to Central America with three kids?

Of course the answers are yes, yes and yes!

But it was worth it.

The vast majority of fears are completely irrational and when you look at all those travel experiences I mentioned above, the worst thing that could happen was probably that I didn’t like it and ended up coming back home.

Yes, I’d have wasted money. Sure I’d look like a fool when I came home early with my tail between my legs. Finally all those naysayer would be able to roll their eyes and say:

“I told you so!”

But I went on those trips anyway because if you never dare to try anything, if you never dare to shake the status quo then you’re more or less guaranteed to end up feeling dissatisfied, resentful and unhappy. To me that’s a much greater fear.

That’s why I’ve written before about giving fear the finger and why I try to do something scary every day.

But there is one proviso for travelers.

You have to prepare yourself for those travel disasters which you could never foresee. The times when you get sick, your bags get lost or stolen or your plans change through no fault of your own.

Overcoming Travel Fears

Travel is a huge expense. It’s not just the cost of air fares, accommodation and food. There’s also the loss of income when you’re not working.

Sometimes you can save money by taking a two day train ride instead of flying. If you do your homework you can often find great accommodation for a fraction of the cost you’d expect to pay for it. Simple things like making one meal a day a picnic will save you a small fortune.

But travel insurance is one thing you should never skimp on because sometimes bad things do happen to good travelers.

I’ve seen horrific things happen to other people on my trips.

Travelers who’ve knocked out all their front teeth when they were in a remote area of Africa.

Travelers who were walking down a road in Costa Rica when an all terrain motorbike careered on top of them giving them severe burns down their legs.

Travelers who suffered months of illness in India because they couldn’t afford to change their flights home.

The good thing is that although these things may ruin your trip they don’t have to ruin you financially.

I’ve been pretty lucky in my 25 years of travel. Of course I’ve had a few things stolen over the years but things are replaceable so that doesn’t matter.

The worst was when my sons ended up in hospital in Singapore and in Costa Rica. Not at the same time thank heavens.

Luke was six when he slipped at a water park in Singapore and ended up being hospitalized, tranquilized then stitched back together.

Our flight was the next day and it was touch and go if we’d make it. In the end we caught the flight but it really didn’t matter that much. We had travel insurance so we were covered if we’d needed to cancel our flights and stay longer.

So instead of worrying about money and unexpected costs we could concentrate on the real issue of looking after our son.

Max was five when he slipped by our pool in Costa Rica. I know what you’re thinking and trust me, I’ve told those Candy boys a zillion times not to run or jump around water but some people never listen do they?!

Max had a really nasty injury which needed x-rays, a dentist, a doctor and a nurse to attend to him. More stitches were involved in places you just don’t want to have stitches and we had to plug up his nose to stem the bleeding for a whole week afterwards.

That time we never even needed to use our travel insurance because the bill was just under the excess but I’d never waive my travel insurance.

How Travel Insurance Keeps Travel Fears At Bay

It’s having travel insurance that gives us peace of mind and allows us to take small risks because we know that if something terrible happened we’d be covered and looked after.

If you’re covered for all eventualities you can just be happy and enjoy your trip.

So just get some decent travel insurance before you leave and don’t worry about the things that could happen.

If you’re anything like me they”ll probably never happen anyway.

This blog post was kindly sponsored by InsureandGo Travel Insurance.

If you check out Insureandgo’s website you’ll see that kids get free insurance on single and family policies. Amazing really. Especially now you know what my kids are like.

Author: Annabel Candy

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Red Nomad OZ September 9, 2011 at 9:34 am

Haha! But does the insurance company now know what your kids are like??!!

I’m too paranoid NOT to take out travel insurance – even though my partner Pilchard (yes, that’s an internet name, not his real one!!) thinks it’s a waste of money. So I sneak off and get it anyway, and we’re both happy!! Even though we’ve never yet had to make a claim …

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Annabel Candy September 9, 2011 at 9:40 am

Hi Red, well, I think they might have just found out! Laughing so much about your husband’s name. I thought the Mucho Man was odd but that’s very fishy:)

I know that’s the thing about travel insurance. You hardly ever get to claim but you do need it for when you need it. Sounds like you’re sensible and Pilchard is lucky to have you!

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Sara at Saving For Someday September 9, 2011 at 10:03 am

Excellent timing, Annabel, as I have been researching travel insurance for a trip I’m soon taking with my daughter to Italy. The ‘kids insured free’ looks very enticing. I’ll have to get a close look. It doesn’t seem like you’re recommending this particular company, but if you feel they are on the up and up to allow their name on your blog then they’re at least worth looking in to.

Insurance is one of those things you’re happy you when when you need it but really hope you never do. It’s a gamble, but I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

Sara

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Annabel Candy September 9, 2011 at 10:19 am

Hi Sara, lol, so agree:

“I’d rather have travel insurance and not need it than need it and not have it.” Of course you have to do your reasearch when choosing travel insurance but I this should be a good starting point, esp. for families.

Ooooh Italia, that will be fantastic. Can’t wait to read about that:)

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Nikki @ Styling You September 9, 2011 at 10:09 am

Great post, Annabel – and I’m an insurance freak. Often think I have too much then think of the what ifs? Will definitely check out Insureandgo!

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Annabel Candy September 9, 2011 at 10:20 am

Hi Nikki, I’m quite well insured too but my husband always wants more. I play it safe, he’s super safe:) Maybe because he’s older!

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Barbara September 9, 2011 at 10:19 am

With everything being so tenuous now days I wouldn’t book another trip without travel insurance. We had a scare a few years ago when we booked a 13 day cruise and at the last minute there were terrorist threats that could have changed our plans. I’ve never regretted the money we spent for travel insurance, because losing all of our cruise deposit would have been, literally 10x worse!

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Annabel Candy September 9, 2011 at 11:23 am

Hi Barbara, so glad that worked out for you. As my gran would say, better safe than sorry:) I’ve never been on a cruise!

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Catherine White September 9, 2011 at 10:21 am

I would never travel without travel insurance, indeed I’ve actually needed to use it.

During my last trip to New York I suffered a nasty fall, which sent me to the emergency room, in a local hospital on Long Island.

I was grateful to have had it.

Cheers
Catherine

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Annabel Candy September 9, 2011 at 11:24 am

Hi Catherine, oh, the US is the most expensive place for medical treatment too. It would have been crazy not to have travel insurance there. Hope you have made a full recovery now:)

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Kiesha September 9, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Hi Annabel!
I share your fear of living a life of regret and dissatisfaction. I love to travel and while I’m certainly overdue for a vacation, I wouldn’t dare let fear keep me from it. But I do like the idea of having some insurance as a backup plan in case something goes wrong. I’ll be honest, I’d never thought about it before other than Traveler’s Checks, but now I think this will definitely be included in my next trip.
Thanks for sharing this, your posts are always amazing.

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Annabel Candy September 9, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Hi Kiesha, don’t worry, you’re not going to regret anything:) I think traveler’s checks are just about obsolete now but travel insurance never will be!

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Linda ~ Journey Jottings September 9, 2011 at 1:48 pm

I think people get sceptical about insuring when tales of when people have come to claim they discover everything was included bar this one eventuality that of course they’ve experienced :(

I think the policy should be simply check-listed into the points of what is included/excluded for the customer to see does it fit (or not) without having to read all the legal gumph which after clause 5 subsection 2b has a ‘can I really be bothered with this’ effect ;)

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Annabel Candy September 9, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Hi Linda, oh the small print. The trouble is you never really know what you’ll need to be covered for until you need it. Yes, legal gumph can be a pain but I guess there’s a reason for it and sometimes it can even work in our favor!

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Lina@MothersLoveLetters September 9, 2011 at 10:17 pm

I hope InsureandGo recognise and value what a bloody good post, this is! You tell’ em to read this comment, Annabel!

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Annabel Candy September 14, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Hi Lina, lol:) I’m sure they do, they seem to be highly intelligent. Guess that’s why they want to hang out here with us;)

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Miss Footloose | Life in the Expat Lane September 10, 2011 at 3:29 am

I can’t remember how many times people have asked us when we’re off to another new country, “But what if you don’t like it?” We have an answer ready: “Planes fly both ways.”

Terrible things can happen when you travel, and they can happen if you stay home, too. Being prepared is important.

Fortunately when your kids had their accidents you were in places with decent health care.

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Annabel Candy September 14, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Hi Miss F, love the planes fly both ways response. So true, there’s no harm in trying things:) Yes, good healthcare in Singapore and CR but we were a long way from the hospital in CR and it’s not always possible to get there due to the rains and road slips. But we did it!

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Harriet Cabelly September 10, 2011 at 3:38 am

Great post on an important subject, especially for us travel-lovers.
We actually lost our luggage for our entire hiking trip to the Dolomites. But we were determined not to let it ruin our dream vacation. I wrote a piece on it called How To Have A Good Vacation – Luggage-Free

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Annabel Candy September 14, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Hi Harriet, lol, no luggage is probably the best way to travel but I’m sure it didn’t feel like that when you lost it:(

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Helen Crozier September 10, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Lovely post Annabel. I get excited hearing of all your travel adventures and I must say although I’m not as seasoned as you I do always take out travel insurance just in case. I don’t think I’ve ever had to make a claim but would be terrified if something happened and I wasn’t covered!

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Annabel Candy September 14, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Hi Helen, great to see you back again and love the new gravatar!

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Cate September 10, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Hi Annabel,
weird things do happen. A friend I knew some years back was on her way to the US when she became unwell and the plane put down in Tahiti and left her there – for ten weeks. Never did find out what the mystery illness was, but it was an expensive unplanned stay in an exotic place (shame she didn’t get to enjoy it). Another friend recently flew back from Thailand with a broken leg – and you wouldn’t believe the trouble that caused. I also know of someone who swapped skis with a fellow traveller… I think he came out better off in the unintended deal, so I hope the other guy had decent insurance!

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Annabel Candy September 14, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Hi Cate, amazing stories there. I’m thinking upgrade to business class for the broken leg?!

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Madonna Robinson September 10, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Hi Annabel,
Haven’t really had many travel disasters, but one thing I did learn that if something gets stolen from your suitcase in transit, it’s too late to report it back home. A police report must be filed at the time. I decided not to do that when had I belongings stolen from my case in Rio de Janeiro and Santiago, but couldn’t face the prospect of trying to make a police report with such limited Spanish at my disposal.

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Annabel Candy September 14, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Hi Madonna, oh theft from bags at the airport is de rigeur! And a real pain. No travel disasters?! Maybe you need to travel more… although it sounds like you’ve been around a bit:) I’d love to visit South America.

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Seana Smith September 13, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Good timing Annabel, I need insurance as we are off to Bali in two weeks. My hubby, like lots of blokes, whinges about it, but I think it’s important. I will never forget hearing horrendous tales in West Africa from some priests about guys having motorbike accidents and being medi-vacced (!) back to the UK. Lucky them.

A doctor friend used to work on medical evacuation planes and had hair raising tales to tell.

We are lucky to be able to get out of dodgy spots if we need to, back here where the medical care is really good. Be daft not to use it.

My hubby may moan, but he can moan as much as he likes, I’ve got him insured too, he’s worth a fortune!

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Annabel Candy September 14, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Hi Seana, lol, oooh, is he the million dollar man?

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Leanne - Getaway Guru October 25, 2011 at 10:55 am

I have always been an advocate for travel insurance and even more so after some recent events.

My husband’s aunt (frequent and experienced traveller) rang this weekend (from England) very distraught that she had had a bag with all her important documents (passport, credit and debit cards, house keys, money) and her jewellery stolen on a small train platform where she was changing trains to get to Athens airport. Now you can make an argument about why you’d keep all your important documents in the one place and not keep the bag with you, but all that means nothing when you’ve lost it all and you’re standing in a foreign country and don’t know how you’re going to get home. She said the insurance company they are with has been very helpful.

And 2 years ago I was travelling with my mother in France when she received news that her mother was dying. She had to cancel all her travel plans, bring flights forward and was lucky to make it back home to Australia to be with her mum. Insurance company was excellent – all costs were covered.

It’s vital – you just never know what will happen. No matter how seasoned or how careful you are…s**t happens!

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