Admittedly, I’ve never purchased travel insurance. I have always been the type of person that looked at it as an unnecessary expense that would only help me in the unlikely case that something really bad happened. Let’s just say things have changed.
I’m getting travel insurance.
I was really excited for my first ever trip to the Middle East. For once, I had packed perfectly. After over a year of continuous travel, I had finally found the formula to pack exactly what I needed. Not too much and without forgetting a thing. Except my little fur baby, Kiwi.
I packed all of my electronics, valuables and, of course, my passport in my carry-on bag in case anything were to ever happen to my checked baggage. Well, guess what.
Something happened to my checked baggage.
My flight from San Diego to Amman, Jordan included a six hour layover in New York at JFK International Airport. I was flying in just a few days after Hurricane Sandy and knew things would be a mess there. I decided not to leave the airport during my layover to avoid the risk of missing my flight in case there were any transportation issues. I also checked my bag all the way through from San Diego to Amman to ensure there were no problems re-checking it in NYC.
Turns out, playing it safe doesn’t always cut it.
After a seemingly endless layover in New York I boarded my eleven hour flight to Amman. I slept for all but the last two hours of the flight and woke up eager and anxious for my first footsteps in the Middle East. I got through customs without any issues and went to baggage claim to retrieve my bag. I watched as strangers removed their belongings from the luggage carousel as I waited to spot my bright blue suitcase. I waited and waited. The crowd had long dissipated when reality finally hit me.
My suitcase wasn’t coming.
Realizing I only had my camera bag in my possession for a two week long trip in Jordan and Dubai I began to panic. As I stood at the counter of the airline counter filling out a missing luggage claim, a million thoughts were running through my head as everything began to sink in.
“What if my bag was accidentally taken by someone at the airport and they don’t return it?” “What if it’s completely missing and I never see it again?” “What if it’s stuck in New York and they send it back to San Diego?” I spent that night tossing and turning in bed worrying.
“My trip is ruined.”
This isn’t the first time this has happened to me. I had my bag lost by an airline earlier this year on my way to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. (I basically flew into a snow storm with no luggage.) But regardless of past experiences, I tried my best to stay positive and kept my head up through my first day in Jordan. But, after not hearing back from the airline that morning, the weight of the situation was bearing down on me.
I had done a bit of research and realized just how little protection I had with the airline for an international flight. I might get a few hundred dollars, eventually, to replace my lost items. If I had the receipts and could show proof of the items that is. Oh, and jewelry and other “valuables” would not be covered. How was I going to afford to get all new stuff for my stay in the Middle East let alone replace all of my things?!
It would cost me over $1,500 to replace everything
That may sound like a high estimate. But a simple breakdown of everyday items shows just how quickly things add up:
- Travel bag $100
- Shoes $150
- Jewelry $300
- Jeans $100
- Jackets $100
- Misc. clothing $200
- Toiletries $100
- … you get the point.
That evening I got news that the airline found my bag in New York and that it would be in Jordan the following night.
So why did I go through that entire story just to tell you YES, you should get travel insurance? Because regardless of the value of the items lost/stolen/damaged the emotional stress of the situation just plain sucks. I was lucky and everything was returned to me. But that’s not always the case. Especially in a case of theft.
Most importantly, travel insurance will protect you in the case that (wort case scenario) you are injured abroad. This is especially important if you are taking an “adventure” trip or traveling somewhere where an emergency evacuation may be required.
So don’t take the risk. I know I will never travel again without it.
For more information on applying for an entry permit to the United States visit visum usa-ESTA
Where do I get travel insurance?
I have done a lot of research and I believe World Nomads travel insurance offers the best travel insurance. For as little as $69 I would have been covered for my two week trip in the Middle East.
I would have received $150 for each day my baggage was delayed to cover all of my expenses and necessary purchases. That alone would have been worth it. Yet, you get additional benefits like medical and flight delay/cancelation/interruption coverage.
Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from over 140 countries and is designed for adventurous travelers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
With travel insurance from WorldNomads.com you can:
- Buy online while traveling or away from home
- Extend and claim online
- Cover your adventure, including a range of sports and adventure activities
- Buy worldwide cover from specialist travel insurers, built for independent travelers from over 140 countries
- Give a little back to a local community
- Stay informed and safe when you travel
The choice is up to you!
But it’s a small price to pay to feel secure and reassured when planning a big trip internationally.