photo RSMAtnWebAdRed13.jpg

Travel News

By Judy Newell

Mexico Travel News

Event for Foodies

The Market of Arts & Gastronomy (MAG) is taking place in San Miguel del Allende July 13–16, with Hotel Matilda as one of MAG’s lead sponsors. It’s a logical affiliation. Chef Enrique Olvera’s Moxi at the hotel is one of the city’s marquee dining spots.

This year’s inaugural event will include “The Trillar at Hacienda los Pichachos.” The word trillar is a coffee-growers term. It refers to a green coffee bean that has not yet matured or been classified. MAG’s Trillar event shines a spotlight on emerging chefs and their creative new ideas.

Also on the program is an “Edible Expositions” display. And “The Marché” is a market with 120 booths offering food, beverages, and art. It will take place at Parque Juárez.

 

International News

Trip-Cancellation Insurance: Essential Item or Total Rip–off?

Many experienced travelers tend to label trip-cancellation/trip-interruption travel insurance (TCI) as either “essential” or a “total rip–off.” And that’s too bad, because TCI can be either, depending on your circumstances.

Cancellation Happens

Getting a refund on canceled travel arrangements is by far the most frequent big-dollar traveler pain point. Travelers tend to look for the lowest price on airfare, hotels, resorts, cruises, and tour packages, and that almost always means they will make some nonrefundable buys.

That’s no surprise; most of the cheapest deals are nonrefundable, and nobody wants to pay more than they have to. And that works well most of the time.

But every once in a while something happens that forces you to postpone or cancel a trip completely. Sometimes an airline or cruise line will issue a refund to avoid bad publicity. But for the most part, travel companies take the attitude that nonrefundable is nonrefundable.

Airlines will let you keep the monetary value of a nonrefundable ticket, less a huge change fee; most other suppliers do not. They have a complete legal right to deny a refund no matter what. Even when they bend the rules, cash refunds are rare; more likely the best you can hope for is a credit toward a future trip.

TCI Covers a Lot

If you have to cancel a trip, TCI pays off whatever you can’t first recover from suppliers. In legalese, it satisfies the tort principle of making you “whole” again. But TCI is a “named peril” insurance, so it covers only those contingencies specified in the policy:

Perils named in most TCI include just about every medical or accident circumstance you can think of, when suffered by you, your traveling companion, or even a close relative who isn’t traveling. Many policies waive their usual exclusion for pre-existing medical conditions if you buy the insurance within a week or two of your first trip payment.

Most TCI does not cover work-related cancellations and cancellations due to pregnancy. If you want coverage for just about any contingency, you can buy “cancel for any reason” TCI.

The “Interruption” part of TCI covers problems that arise after you’ve already started your trip, including something that happens to you or your traveling companion or someone back home. It covers whatever extra costs you incur for an early return and covers single supplements for your traveling companion continuing on the trip.

It’s All About the Risk

Whether TCI is essential or a waste depends almost entirely on your financial exposure. If your nonrefundable prepayments and deposits or stiff cancellation penalties total more money than you can comfortably walk away from, TCI can be essential.

On the other hand, if you don’t have much at risk, TCI is a waste of money. If your trip to Italy is on frequent flyer miles, with fully refundable hotel and rental car reservations, you can ignore TCI.

Buying TCI

TCI costs 5 to 10 percent of your payment. And it usually comes in a bundle with useful medical benefits. But policies vary in the definitions of “covered” reasons, so you need to compare policies carefully.

Avoid the “not really insurance” waivers some cruise lines and tour operators sell. These options waive the supplier’s cancellation penalties, and they’re often cheaper than real insurance. But their coverage is much narrower, and many limit your recovery to credit toward future travel rather than cash refunds.

Prices for most policies increase with your age, so if you’re 70 or over, try to find a policy that is not age-based. If the rates are too stiff, you might even be better off taking the waiver option. It’s weaker coverage, but not usually age-rated.

Don’t lose protection by rounding coverage down to get into a lower cost bracket. Some policies require that you insure 100 percent of the prepayment value. If you want partial coverage, find a policy that allows partial coverage.

Don’t pay extra for low-risk contingencies such as lost baggage or flight delay. If they come with a bundle, fine, but they’re not big-dollar risks, and your credit card might cover them, anyhow.

Fortunately, the big online travel insurance agencies post websites that provide full explanations and allow easy comparisons of coverage and rates on dozens of policies from all major insurers.

Words of the Wise and Well-traveled

“It is not down in any map; true places never are.”—Herman Melville

 

Deal of the Week

Save Up to $2,100 on 11-Day Voyages to Antarctica

An expedition to Antarctica is the ultimate bucket-list item and if 2017 is your year, look no further than this deal from World Expeditions. Sail round-trip from Ushuaia in December 2017 and explore the Drake Passage, the Shetland Islands, and the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula for $5,750.

The deal is available now for travel in December and the sale ends when all cabins are booked.

The booking includes a quadruple porthole stateroom. Activity costs are extra.

Judy Newell, an international travel consultant for over 40 years, heads Perfect Journeys and specializes in unique travel experiences to destinations around the world. She designs journeys that are tailored to suit a client’s interests, abilities and budget. Please contact Judy for reservations or further information on any Travel News topics; cell phone 415 111 8765; Vonage 949 300-3682; email judynewell@perfectjourneys.net. Her office is in Rancho Los Labradores, Car. a Dolores Hidalgo. View the latest travel specials on the website perfectjourneys.net.

Sources: Travel Agent Central, Smarter Travel, World Expeditions

 

Comments are closed

 photo RSMAtnWebAdRed13.jpg

Photo Gallery

Log in | Designed by Gabfire themes All original content on these pages is fingerprinted and certified by Digiprove