Travel insurance can “soothe” your worries

travel insuranceTravel Insurance to Protect Your Vacation

by Miriam Cross for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine

June, 2016

“You’ve finally booked a long-awaited Mediterranean cruise. Before cracking open your guidebook, make one more purchase to ensure that your dream vacation goes smoothly: travel insurance.

Nearly one-fourth of Americans had to cancel, delay or interrupt travel plans between spring 2013 and fall 2014, reports the U.S. Travel Insurance Association, mainly because of illness, severe weather or transportation delays. A comprehensive travel insurance policy includes coverage for those problems and others that might derail your trip, both before and during your vacation. As insurance goes, it’s relatively inexpensive—typically 5% of the cost of your trip. You can generally lock in coverage up to 24 hours before your departure. But the sooner you buy, the more key, time-sensitive benefits you get, including coverage for preexisting conditions.

Good reasons to buy. Most insurers’ package plans will reimburse your prepaid, nonrefundable trip expenses if you have to cancel or interrupt your travels because of a close family member’s death or illness, storm damage that makes your destination uninhabitable, or a layoff from work. They also typically reimburse you if your flight is delayed or your bags are lost or stolen. And you should get 24-hour phone support.”

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The Best Travel Discounts for Seniors, 2016

by Jane Bennett Clark for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine

December 2016

“Starting at age 62, you can get a lifetime parks pass from the U.S. National Park Service for as little as $10; the card gives you access to more than 2,000 national parks and federal recreation areas. At some sites, you can also use the pass to get discounts on parking, tours, boat launching, camping—even an ice cream cone at the concession stand.

If you’re 65 or older, you can get discounted fares on Southwest, United and American airlines. Discounts are off the standard fare and don’t necessarily deliver the lowest price for the seat. Still, senior fares have their privileges. For instance, unlike Southwest’s ‘Wanna Get Away’ fare, the senior fare is fully refundable and doesn’t require booking well in advance.

Travelers age 62 and older can get a couple of compelling discounts. Amtrak offers 15% off some fares and, better yet, at Washington, D.C.’s Union Station, you can go to the front of the line (along with business-class passengers), assuring you a seat in the often chaotic boarding process. At 62 you also qualify for a 15% discount or more at one of 4,000 Marriott hotels worldwide without having to book well in advance or forgoing full cancellation privileges.”

These picks are part of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s annual Best List, a roundup of the best values in all the areas we cover – from funds, stocks and ETFs to credit cards and bank accounts to cars, college, kid stuff, phone plans, travel and health. Discover all our Best List picks here.

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