What can you do to protect your vacation investment?

... and should you purchase some form of trip insurance?

 

Don't let your vacation investment fly away...

The recent events of September 11, 2001 have changed our lives forever. In one day terrorists managed to destroy our comfortable way of life and changed the way we think about our freedom to travel. The events of September 11, 2001 were a shock and totally unexpected. Terrorism is never welcome like an accident, death, injury, illness that can strike us or our family at any time.

The purpose of this article is to try to explain the importance of protecting your vacation investment not only from unseen events, but also to explain the crucial role an experienced travel agency plays and how it effects your vacation.

In the past few years the travel consumer has seemed to have abandoned the knowledge, trust, service and personal relationship of a savvy travel agent. Most vacation shoppers believe they are going to save money by purchasing from a travel service, which appears to offer the "cheapest" price. Little does the shopper know that the cruise lines offer a usually consistent discounted price in which all consumers are supposed to be charged (sometimes rates discounted up to 60% and better). While most consumers think that these rates are unique to one agency, they are really available from any agency that sells that particular cruise line.

So shouldn't you be shopping for an agency that can offer help, follow-through, assistance, guarantees your payments are made directly to the cruise line and offers ways to protect your vacation investment?

In these topsy-turvy times choosing a knowledgeable and service oriented travel agent is your key to making your vacation a success rather than a possible bust. I'm amazed how many people call my agency and their main and only concern is price rather then learning the work ethics of my travel agency. For all they know, I could be a "fly by night" shyster who will run with their money. I know I can also play games with the customer's money and offer what seems to be or is the cheapest rate. If I did this, I'm almost certain that I would "win" more business. -- But my agency is too honest to play risky games with your money and vacation.

Since September 11, 2001 -- Renaissance Cruises declared bankruptcy followed by Delta Queen Steamboat Company (consisting of Delta Queen Coastal Voyages/American Hawaii/United States Line) then Royal Olympia Cruises, First European Cruises, Far and Wide. Also a few tour operators, hotels and airlines have gone out of business and yes, there are more than a few travel agencies that have closed their doors for good, and more in danger of closing. The names of some of these well-known companies may surprise you. Also, size does not matter, both mega-agencies and smaller agencies have found themselves in trouble.

Click here to read about one business's default and the effect it had on both agencies and customers.

-- So what can you do to protect yourself? --

Ask plenty of questions -- select a good agency by learning their policies and procedures.

-- Choosing the right travel agency is very important as no insurance policy that I'm aware of will cover your vacation if your travel agent defaults and runs with your money.

It is more important today than ever before to select a travel agent who will work with you in selecting a sound cruise line or vacation company. It is also important to choose an agency who will be around after you've deposited, paid for your vacation and you've traveled. Once a proper agency like PAK-N-GO Cruises and Tours is selected (We hope you will select us!) then you'll take the necessary steps to protect your vacation investment.

You deserve to be here

...not gambling with your vacation.

One of the most important things I always mention when a client finishes selecting a cruise/vacation is, "I strongly suggest the purchase of some form of trip insurance." You would be surprised at the number of responses I get to that statement. Some are, "I'm young, healthy and don't need it." "I don't want to spend any more money." "You're selling insurance to me now, I just bought a cruise!?" Or, "I already have insurance. I'm covered."

Although it is not mandatory, I highly recommend that the traveler purchase some form of trip insurance. I'll be up front with you here; I'm not speaking as an insurance salesman, because I am not one. Since I've been in the cruise business, I have never left home without some sort of coverage.

The following are true cases:

A young colleague/friend while enjoying a Caribbean cruise was hiking in the rainforest at St. Kitts when he slipped down an embankment and was severely injured. Forced to leave his cruise and stay in a local hospital, it was then necessary for him to have an air ambulance to get back home. His trip insurance paid for the medical expenses incurred and for his trip home. Could you imagine paying this out of your own pocket?

A customer of ours was stricken with pneumonia days before sailing and forced to forfeit his cruise. Because he purchased insurance he was able to get a full refund on his cruise. Otherwise he would have lost the full amount of his vacation.

Another customer was forced to cancel his vacation days before sailing, because a close family member became extremely ill. Because he had purchased insurance he collected a full refund.

This happened to me -- While a two-night pre-cruise stay in Florida. I took ill and ended up the emergency room. My trip insurance carrier reimbursed me for my hotel along with the taxi fares for all the running around involved due to this illness. This reimbursement more than made up for the cost of the insurance. When I boarded the ship I immediately went to the ship's Dr. and he made the decision based on my tests that I could stay onboard. Since I carried the insurance, I felt more comfortable on my vacation knowing that if I needed to be hospitalized, evacuated or abandon my vacation, I would have my expenses covered.

I could go on, but I think you get the Idea. You purchase insurance for most of your big investments like your car, so why not insure your vacation. Your vacation is also a big investment.

PAK-N-GO Cruises and Tours offers you the choice of a few different policies. Each has its own rules and benefits. Most cruise lines' offer their own policies, but may pay out their claims with a cruise credit rather than cash. If you don't want to be paid with credits, then there are two excellent policies we offer, "TravelSafe" and "Access America Travel With Ease or Navigator" The cost of both of these policies is based on the price of your vacation and your age.

These policies usually end up being the less expensive and in most cases offer more comprehensive coverage than the flat rate insurance policies offered by the cruise lines. In fact both Access America and TravelSafe underwrites some of the cruise lines policies yet you may pay more because they factor their rates on an average so they can offer flat rates. PAK-N-GO Cruises and Tours is there to help you learn about the value of insurance and the various options you have.

I can't force you to purchase trip insurance, but as a professional service oriented agency PAK-N-GO Cruises and Tours is looking out for the best interest of every client.

As an extra-added feature both "TravelSafe" and "Access America" offer special benefits and coverage, such as a preexisting condition exclusion waiver and financial default protection if you purchase your coverage within a certain period after you have made your deposit.

Today, TravelSafe will cover you for all supplier defaults (if purchased within 15-days of your deposit) and Access America will cover for supplier default (on most popular vacation suppliers.) and even now includes coverage for vacations effected by events of terrorism.

In most cases nothing is going to happen while you are on your vacation. However planning for the unexpected can put your mind at ease, so that extra snooze onboard will be well deserved. -- K. Krenz

TravelSafe Vacation Insurance

Price and purchase your TravelSafe insurance from PAK-N-GO Cruises and Tours online by Clicking on the above TravelSafe Logo or on TravelSafe.

 

Price and purchase your Allianz Travel Insurance (formally AccessAmerica) Insurance from PAK-N-GO Cruises and Tours

Allianz Global Assistance Travel Insurance Protection Products

Price and purchase Travel Guard Vacation Protection Directly

 

 

or Email us to request and we can mail insurance forms to your home:

info-request@cruisepakngo.com

Special note: Keep in mind even though you carry insurance here at home it may not cover you when you leave the country. It is always best to call your current health insurance provider to find out if you are covered while on a vacation outside of the USA.

If this article was of interest click here to learn more including questions you should ask your travel agent before you purchase your vacation.

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Midi: Dream of the Return by Franco Fabbrini written by Pat Metheny