Budget travel is awesome and we go to no ends to ensure we save that extra buck. Admit it, it does feel great when you come back from an awesome trip and realise you’ve spent just about half of what someone else did for the same trip.
But there are downsides to budget travel too. Non-refundable flights and non-refundable pre-booked tours are two of them. Plus, there are always the incredibly high booking change costs.
Consequently, you always need to have a Plan B in mind. And your Plan B, in most cases, can be your travel insurance.
Not too long ago in the second week of July, ash cloud following a volcanic eruption in Indonesia forced at least four airports to close. Among them was was the very busy Denspasar airport of Bali leaving thousands of vacationers stranded.
Bali is a very popular destination for holiday-makers, especially people from Australia (who, despite complaining of the infamous Bali belly, end up there frequently!)
All plans went to the drains for a large number of travellers, many of whom not only had their vacations ruined, but also ended up spending money for nothing.
Can you guess why? It’s because they did not have travel insurance.
In order to cut costs and getting the cheapest deals, travellers often miss the travel essentials, and travel insurance happens to be among them. This is the one expense you must bear.
It is important to understand that though travel insurance is mostly about medical emergencies, a good one also covers missed flights, delays and even a cancelled trip. I had written about this earlier, but I’ll just tell you the story again to emphasise on the point.
Several years ago, I had been on a trip to South-East Asia with my parents, who went with a tour group. In our group was a family of four — mother, father, brother and sister. The father got sick in Thailand and had to be admitted to a hospital. They did not have travel insurance.
Nearly all their money was spend on his treatment and I noticed how the brother and sister (the sister was nearly the same age as me) couldn’t go para-sailing like many others in the group.
I felt bad, but I couldn’t do much. The situation would have been similar for us if anyone from our family had got sick. We did not have travel insurance either on that trip.
But young as I was, that experience taught me the importance of being ready for unforeseen circumstances. Travel insurance is the one thing you don’t want to save money on.
For more details on travel insurance and how you should choose the perfect one, check out this post.