The Dark Side of Travel

The Dark Side of Travel

Sure you've been told about the perks of travelling: everyone is up for adventure, the excitement of new things, escaping from a boring life, trying new food, meeting new people, getting new experiences, having freedom to decide your own life. But what about the downside of travelling for a long time? What about the feeling of never fully establishing yourself anywhere? Not feeling like you are ever home? How about meeting incredible people, soul mates even, but having to say goodbye because you are going separate ways? So you are prepared, here are the negative aspects of traveling:

One of the biggest disadvantages of travelling is loneliness. A lot of the time, you are alone. No friends, no family. Sometimes you are along on your bed with not enough motivation you get a meal outside and eat on your own. Sometimes you just long for a familiar face to share adventures with, to talk about what has happened so far and laugh about it.

Sometimes you meet someone at a hostel, or while having breakfast or share a few drinks, travel a bit together and share great memories. Suddenly in a couple days it feels like you guys have known each other since forever, but soon enough to have to part ways. You say you'll keep in touch but it is not the same as when you are together. And this happens over and over while you are backpacking for a long time. You make great friends and you might be lucky enough to meet them again if you are following the same route, but sometimes you are not so lucky.

Sometimes you meet that special person, and since you are backpackers, everything intensifies and you fall in love quickly, way faster than you normally would at home, and you wonder why you never met someone like that person back home, but then because you have different travel plans, you have to go separate ways... those are the most painful goodbyes. You try to make it work out but the distance makes it hard and being in constant movement meeting new people makes it even worse.

You start thinking of home as a comfort but it is hard to go back to a conventional life because you don't want to miss out on the world, you are afraid you won't get the opportunity to have this much freedom to just discover and travel as you like again. As Leonardo da Vinci stated: “Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”

There are other more practical problems of travelling. What about jet lag, insomnia due to flight anxiety and so on? Researchers argue in a new paper from the University of Surrey that the life of a traveler is not as glamorous as their Instagram photos show.

“It's quite interesting how certain issues are pushed aside (on social media),” Stefan Gössling, one of the paper's authors told The Huffington Post. “On Facebook, there are not discussions about all the problems with travel.”

The paper also exposes other medical problems of travel. For instance, big-time travelers risk increased radiation exposure and incessant jet lag, while other studies show that parents who are frequent fliers have a different relationship with their children. Gössling also stated that long-time backpackers may find it more difficult to relate to places and people after a while since they have been overexposed to new environments.

“We always talk about how travel is good, how it connects people,” he said. “But the problems should be discussed, too.”

And oh yeah, packing! Packing and unpacking every time you arrive and leave a destination is rather inconvenient.

Reasons not to buy Travel Insurance

Reasons not to buy Travel Insurance

From new models for car insurance to pet coverage, there are countless of types of insurance out there and it's not easy to keep track of which options are actually worth spending money on. In the case of travel insurance, the perk is that you just pay once for it instead of committing to a contract and making ongoing monthly payments. The downside of travel insurance is that like other insurance, you will mostly likely pay money for nothing, as you probably won't use it.

There are two major types of travel insurance: national and international. As the international one also covers medical expensive, this one is generally more expensive. According to the Insurance Information Institute, a typical international travel insurance package will include trip cancellation, travel delay, lost or delayed baggage, medical, dental, emergency evacuation, 24-hour traveler assistance, and accidental death, with some policies including rental car collision and damage coverage. Accordingly, the cost of travel insurance generally ranges from 5% to 7% of the price of the trip.

Consumer reports advise consumers not to buy policies from travel agents as they will most likely charge commissions from the sale of high-priced policies. The recommend an online broker such as InsureMyTrip and they also suggest the consumer should the insurer for a sample copy of the policy. Equally important, you should ask whether all of your particular concerns are covered and ask the representative to locate them for you in the fine print.

Study abroad students or professionals traveling for work can often receive travel insurance through their school or company, and organisations such as USAA, AAA or AARP can offer discounted insurance policies. Check the insurance exclusions and limitations because even at a discounted price, travel coverage may not be worth the cost. For instance, NerdWallet states that stolen baggage isn't covered if you've been “negligent” with it, mental health is frequently excluded, and you can lose coverage after having just one alcoholic drink. Therefore, even in the rare case that you might need the travel insurance, they might find those loopholes in the contract where they can get away with not covering you. Therefore, you invested for nothing.

Director of insurance at the Consumer Federation of America, Bob Hunter, says travel insurance is often not worth the price. “Don't buy insurance that covers small, manageable losses or only a slice of risk,” he explained. Consumer protection laws, in some cases, may help you if you are traveling without insurance or have gaps in coverage.

Here are some more reasons you might not need to buy travel insurance after all.

You are already covered by a different insurance policy. Travel insurance usually overlaps with other policies you have in motion already, such as homeowners, auto, life or health insurance.

You're already covered by your credit card: check the services provided by Visa Signature, World MasterCard, American Express and Discover Escape.

Medical travel insurance is all you need. If you are travelling abroad and your health insurance doesn't cover you, this might be useful so you can get some peace of mind. Just make sure you check the details of your coverage before you travel as Consumer Reports warns that with travel medical insurance, pre-existing conditions may be excluded.

All you want is life insurance. Some people get travel insurance because they are afraid of dying in a airplane travel but if that is the case, this might not be the best deal. “If you're worried about dying in a plane crash,” Hunter explained, “you should get term life insurance rather than flight insurance, because you might die in a car crash.”

You're only worried about lost bags. Consumer Reports advise not to purchase travel insurance just for small losses since it's not worth the high price of travel insurance premium. In some cases, the airline will compensate travelers for lost or damaged bags.

Trips of a Lifetime

Trips of a Lifetime

It is only one planet but it is filled with magical lands far and wide. Get out of your comfort zone and off the beaten track. Discover these incredible places with this bucket list:

Sudan: when you think of pyramids, you probably think of Egypt, but Sudan is also home to pyramids built two millennia ago. These ancient constructions are called ring Meroë, located in the onetime capital of Sudan's fabled Kush kingdom and keepers of ancient secrets.

Peru: Immerse yourself in the Latin American culture, between blue skies and wild landscapes. Here the oldest traditions meet the finest buildings and modern art. From frozen Andean peaks to the deep Amazon, Peru embarks you on a magical trip to the natural world. Aside from its natural beauty, Peruvians are also diverse and share an interesting culture in their diversity.

Croatia: get on a kayak and start paddling along Dubrovnik, one of seven world Heritage sites in Croatia. The city is well known for its Old Town, encircled with massive stone walls that date back to the 16th century. Its buildings range from baroque St. Blaise Church to Ranaissance Sponza Palace and Gothic Rector's Palace, now a history museum.

Tanzania: This is where you will find wildlife in its purest form. If you are touring, go to Serengeti National Park for the most exciting wildlife encounters. As the pastor Emanuel Cleaver has stated: “I have family in Tanzania. I can't even explain the joy of riding through the Tanzania national park and seeing giraffes run across the road and elephants over in a pond and baboons running.”

Bangkok: From rowers manning a ceremonial vessel rehearse for the Thai Royal Barge Procession along Bangkok's Chao Phraya River, discover Bangkok on a tour with Dragoman. Indulge yourself in some scrumptious Thai food, but remember that the food tends to be spicier than Thai food in the Western world. Bangkok is a city of contrasts, with climate-controlled megamalls stand side-by-side with 200-year-old village homes, gold-spired Buddhist temples share space with neon-lit strips of sleaze, and streets lined with food carts sit side by side with restaurants on top of skyscrapers.

New Zealand: There is no right way to explore this amazing country. Whether you choose to go on a road trip or a guided tour, you will take delight in the islands‘ dramatic natural beauty, the magical fantasy Middle Earth vibe, and the kindness of its people. From the the majestic views of the gigantic Mount Cook to the underground magic of glowworm-lit Waikomo Caves to the exhilarating adventures of Queenstown and the quirky vibe of Wellington, New Zealand will send you through the rook each step of the way. Start your trip in Auckland, get immersed in this hub so you can get ready to enter the natural realm. Head to Rotorua, visit the glaciers, get a hot bath in mud or thermal waters, hike the Tongariro crossing and make it to the mountain that served as Mount Doom in The Lord of the Rings, head to Taupo, hike there, swim in thermal waters or cycle the trail. Then in Taupo visit the craters of the moon. Then head to the South Island and get ready for a dramatic scenery filled with paradisiac mountains, unforgettable mountains, dreamy lakes and enchanted forests.

Is travel Insurance worth it

Is travel Insurance worth it

Although the odds that a natural disaster or medical emergency are going to damper on your vacation, some travellers prefer to be insured just in case, so they can have some peace of mind. The two main types of travel insurance are international and domestic.

Those who never travel with insurance will tell you: “Oh it doesn't matter if you lose your bags, just travel light with stuff you can afford to replace” or “Medical bills in South East Asia are pretty cheap if you get need to get over Bali belly” or “Travel insurance companies will just tell you the horror stories to get you to buy insurance”.

The last one is probably true. “We absolutely want you to know we've had to deal with thousands of emergencies and evacuations over the years. We want you to know that without travel insurance, an emergency evacuation can cost in excess of USD$100,000”

Although in most cases you won't experience the nightmare of being serious ill or injured in a foreign country, in the rare case it happens it can really hurt you financially. The last thing you want is not having the support or financial means by which to get treated and flown home. In the event of that happening, travel insurance is worth it. It protects your life and your pocket.

If you think of travel insurance, it is actually a legal contract that describes what it covers. There are 5 key parts of travel insurance.

First of all, there is medical emergencies and evacuation. This is the main reason to buy travel insurance. For instance, hospital costs in the USA can approach 10,000 per day, while emergency transport home for treatment can exceed $100,000. Read this details on the contract carefully, particularly the areas of cover for emergency evacuation, limits on medical expenses and cover for emergency dental work. Also note the general exclusions.

The trip cancellation covers you for costs if by chance you can't go on your trip for some unforeseen reason such as illness, accident or a death of a close relative. So you obviously don't need this cover if you are booking your trip one week before since the chances that something might happen are minimal. Also, read the description of coverage relevant to you since not all travel insurance plans cover cancellation.

Another section that your travel insurance covers is baggage and personal belongings. While most people buy travel insurance to be covered for the loss of personal belongings in particular, this is actually the least important. Most things can be replaced, but that's not the case with your health. Even though you might insure your belongings, if it gets stolen, the coverage might be denied if you didn't look after it. For instance, any irresponsible care of your camera like leaving it in a shared room at a hostel, or in your car overnight and it's stolen, they won't reimburse you. You can specify the valuables you carry to cover them, including laptops. As a contract, check carefully for the limits on this cover and exclusions, especially when it comes to cash, high value items and sporting equipment.

Insurance might cover your personal liability if you accidentally cause damage and are accountable for it. Insurance can cover your liability and legal expenses. But not always so you need to check.

Coming home early and resuming your trip. You need to check this part also, because if you cut your trip short, you might not be entitled to a refund, even if the trip was for one month and you went paid for 12.