Are you completely prepared for your next family holiday?
Travelling with kids is no easy feat. It's fun of course, but can also be unpredictable. A family holiday requires a high degree of preparedness, including mastering the art of time management and making sure that you have the right kind of travel insurance.
Having kids changes the way you travel. You can no longer just pack a couple of things into a bag, get onto a plane on a whim and head to a destination without prior bookings.
Kids turn adults into practical beings, especially when it comes to holidaying overseas.
Ask anyone who has travelled with a toddler or two in tow, and they will tell you that holidaying with kids is not easy. There are just too many things to think about and factors to consider, including:
- Destination – the place must have things to see and do for kids
- Hotel – it has to be family-friendly
- Flights – regulations about carry on luggage, kids’ meals, etc.
- Time management – when to leave home, factor in toilet breaks etc.
Every single thing needs to be meticulously planned, leaving nothing to chance.
This need for planning probably means that you will have to research, organise and book your holiday well in advance, leaving nothing to chance. All this time, effort and money on pre-booking should ideally mean that you have a smooth holiday right from your journey, through your stay and finally, returning home.
But travelling with kids can be unpredictable. There can be sudden and unforeseen illnesses and injuries, or missed flights which can either interrupt the holiday or lead to cancellation of the entire trip.
This where all your advance planning could actually backfire: If you have booked and paid for everything in advance, especially deals that are non-refundable, then you could very well see all your money go down the drain.
However, if you have travel insurance, it can help alleviate some of the financial burden that you may face as a result of the unforeseen mishaps before or during your trip.
So, why do you need travel insurance?
Only a handful of us really bother to find out what travel insurance is all about, and what it actually covers. Even fewer think about why we need travel insurance in the first place.
But mums and dads, you need to think about travel insurance seriously, especially when you are travelling with kids. This is because, not only will you be dealing with whatever emergency you have on hand, but also managing the little ones at the same time.
The things that could go wrong on a holiday range from being minor irritants to a full blown crisis. Some of the possibilities include:
Calling off the entire holiday
You or your child could fall seriously sick and may need to cancel your holiday. This means that if you have booked non-refundable flights and have non-refundable hotel bookings then the chances are that you will lose all the money you have spent.
Although there could be some bookings that might offer you a partial refund, having travel insurance could help you recover some of the money that you’ve spent.
Children can fall sick frequently and unexpectedly, so consider getting travel insurance cover as soon as you have booked your holiday. As your tickets and accommodation will be your biggest expense, you would want them recovered in case of an eventuality.
Flights getting cancelled
Your flights could be cancelled because of bad weather, airline bankruptcy or other factors. In such a situation, having no travel insurance means you might just have to head back home and cancel your holiday.
However, a good travel insurance plan would help recover some of the trip costs and/or deposits that cannot be recovered following the insolvency of an airline, licensed tour operator or travel agent.
How do you protect yourself against delayed or lost baggage, stolen passports and emergency medical care? Click on the next page to find out.
Delayed or lost baggage
Your bags could be delayed or lost in transit leaving you without your clothes, medicines and other necessities. While airlines do pay a compensation, it is usually very limited.
An insurance cover would pay a much higher payout per hour of delay or per baggage lost.
Stolen wallets and passports
Your wallet and passports could be stolen and you could require emergency paperwork. In such cases, a good travel insurance plan would take care of administrative and other associated costs for the replacement of your passport/travel documents.
Emergency medical care or hospitalisation
You or your child could fall sick or have a serious accident or injury during the holiday and require emergency medical treatment, hospitalisation or evacuation/repatriation to Singapore.
Some insurance policies, such as Aviva’s Travel Insurance also covers expenses for a friend or relative to fly in and take care of your child and accompany him/her home if you are hospitalised and unable to take care of your child.
If you take out an insurance policy with Aviva, you also have access to a 24×7 travel helpline which gives you useful advice when in a crisis such as helping you find the nearest hospital, or help arrange for evacuation back to your home country.
In case of an eventuality, it is extremely useful to have access not just to the helpline but also to something like Aviva’s Travel App which has a feature that guides users through what’s needed for a claim and how to log the incident. Such guidance is very useful when you’re away from home and not sure what to do.
Besides the emotional and mental stress, all of the above listed scenarios also include a financial element. However, majority of us do not factor in this financial element into our budgets while planning a holiday. So if one of these scenarios was to become a reality we would be looking at anything from hundreds to thousands of dollars of unplanned for expenditure.
That is unless we opt for comprehensive travel insurance.
One size does not fit all
The kind of policy that you choose to sign for will depend on your budget and the kind of holiday that you are going for.
Those who are on a budget or travelling to low-risk destinations might not want a very extensive cover and can opt for a travel policy that gives a basic but adequate cover, such as Aviva’s Travel Lite.
However, a basic package might not cover the needs of those travelers who might be more risk averse or be travelling to slightly more remote destinations. These travelers might want a more comprehensive offering such as Aviva’s Travel Plus.
Do remember that while you can do everything in your power to plan and prepare for a trip, you cannot discount the unknown.
The cost of dealing with an unexpected mishap, especially when away from home and unprepared, can be significant. If you do not have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place, a single unfortunate event could lead to a major financial payout.
In today’s global world, travel insurance should no longer be optional. It should be a travel essential that every smart traveler must pack, wherever they are headed!
What are some of the unexpected holiday crisis that you have had to deal with, and how did you cope? Share your story with us in the comments below.