It’s always been a good policy to insure your trip—particularly if it’s a big-ticket purchase. Adventure travel to far-away countries with a higher risk of property loss, injury or cancellation, is an especially good candidate for travel coverage.
But the first step in planning an adventure vacation is to educate yourself. What this means, according to Wes Odom of the Ackerman Group, Chubb’s security services provider, is a layered system of organizing the components of your trip. His top tips:
- Educate yourself on the best way to plan your adventure trip. Is the adventure going to be a safari to eastern Africa, a visit to the rainforests of Costa Rica, a trek along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu? Most of these types of vacations are more secure if planned through a reputable travel agency than on your own.
- Learn if the destination is suffering from any terrorism or political instability issues (you can check this on the State Department’s travel website). “For instance, a safari to Kenya can be safe if planned properly but tourists should be aware of the risks involved with al-Shabaab, the Islamic terrorist group that attacked the affluent Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi in September 2013,” Odom explains. A rainforest eco-tourism adventure to Ecuador is amazing, “but tourists should be aware of instances of kidnapping for ransom along the border with Colombia,” he adds.
- Find out everything you can about the agency putting the trip together. What is their track record? Can they provide references?
- At the actual adventure destination, “many times there are excellent security arrangements in place at the resort, hotel or camp,” Odom says, but problems often occur when travelers “go wandering off into the hinterlands.”
- Finally, educate yourself about street crime risks in your destination, and also in stopover destinations.
There are key features you should look for in travel insurance. You’ll want good medical care and excess medical expense coverage when a U.S. health plan may be out of reach. Make sure your insurance representatives are available anytime of the day or night. Also, look for travel assistance services and travel benefits that include coverage for trip and baggage delays. Depending on your plans, you might need additional coverage.
If you’re planning an adventure trip, get in touch with your insurance provider to talk about the level of coverage you need. Plan for the unexpected so you can relax and enjoy your adventure.