Category Archives: Travel

Travel Insurance For Thailand – Land of Smiles and Unrest

Each year, tens of thousands of Australians travel to Thailand, which is known as the land of smiles. There are plenty of positives for tourists in Thailand – it has an amazingly warm and stable climate, the unique regional economy means that our dollar can buy much more in Thailand, the locals are generally friendly, and tourism is one of the backbones of the country. However, there is also plenty to be cautious of in Thailand. Threats that don’t exist at home, from bird flu to frequent and violent government demonstrations mean that travel insurance is a must for the region. We look at the considerations for travel insurance holders going to Thailand.

Terrorism threats

Some travel insurance policies will cover the costs of a change of plans for terrorist threats, and some will not. Some will only cover you if the suspicion has been confirmed by the local police authorities, and may require you to provide proof of this when you make a travel insurance claim. Australian consulates have received a number of terrorist threats for Thai regions, including ones relating to popular tourist spots.

Government demonstrations

These are more prevalent in some areas of Thailand than in others. Your travel insurance may cover you for any medical emergencies incurred by public anti-government demonstrations, and could also cover you for loss of personal belongings, or needing to change your travel plans due to demonstrations arising in Thailand if they started after you had bought your insurance. Usually comprehensive travel insurance will be cover all of these instances.

What travel insurance can’t cover

There are daily reports of bombings and violence in parts of Thailand bordering Malaysia, due to terrorist activity. More than 3,400 people have been killed in the Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and Songkhla provinces since January 2004. Travel insurance will not bring your life back if you lose it.

Insurance will usually not cover you for expenses incurred as a result of breaking the law – and in Thailand seemingly innocuous activities can be illegal. The possession of very small quantities of soft drugs can result in lengthy jail sentences, and defacing images of the monarch can result in sentences up to 15 years. This would include destroying bank notes with the king’s image on them.

Bird flu

The World Health Organisation has confirmed that there have been human deaths from bird flu in Thailand. You don’t necessarily have to eat raw chicken, handle bird droppings or touch a dead bird to get the disease, either. Improperly cooked meat from roadside stalls can be a source of bird flu, or you may pick up the bacteria form another person who has been in contact with infected birds. insurance will be a necessity if you contract bird flu, not only for the medical treatment but because you will usually be required to leave Thailand as soon as possible.

Activity-related risks

Diving and snorkeling are common in Thailand, and stings from jellyfish, rays and octopuses can be fatal. If you are some regions of Thailand, the expensive but very necessary Japanese encephalitis vaccination is recommended. Divers should also be aware of decompression facilities nearby their dive sites. Make sure you familiarize yourself with local customs – touching the top of someone’s head, and showing the soles of your feet, are taboo activities in Thailand.

Sites Designed For Questioning Travelers

Yes, if you are even an internet beginner, you should be able to find websites. And I’ve tracked down some websites that are just excellent for any traveler and any purpose. Some ezines don’t like too many websites listed in an article because they think the author is promoting her own company or an affiliate. So just add.com to terms below and you will get to the website.

” First, just to find out multitudes of details about various destinations, try Frommers or Fodors. Another wealth of info is the Tourist Office Worldwide Directory (TOWD). For scads of info about luxury cruises go to the Cruisemates site. ShawGuides and SpecTrav also offer lots of ideas for specialty travel packages.

” For maps to carry along on your trip check out the Multimap site. It contains fine quality, up-to-date maps.

” To compare rates and plans for travel insurance, check out the site QuoteTravelInsurance. It lists over a hundred companies and they are the better companies available.

” You can often find cheaper hotel, car rental, and airline rates online. One traveler was quoted a daily hotel rate over the phone for $129 and booked the same room online for $89. If you’re traveling through northern Europe, bedandbreakfast.dk offers rooms with breakfast for typically $50-$80 per night.

” Britain offers some nice housing options. Londonbb.com offers single rooms in Londoners’ homes starting at about $45 per night, and Travelodge.co.uk has a section for lodgings with rates beginning at $29 per room.

” Before you go to Japan, purchase a much cheaper Japan Rail Pass at Japanrailpass.net. Individual train tickets bought in Japan would cost a small fortune.

” If traveling to Hawaii, check out calendar.gohawaii.com. It lists specials and guided tours that most tourists have no knowledge of.

” Every Thursday and Saturday at noon, the Downtown Alliance (downtownny) offers free 90-minute walking tours of downtown New York. They even take you through the New York Stock Exchange and the U.S. Custom House.

It can be a lot of fun to explore travel and even make travel plans online. If you book travel or purchase rail passes or national park passes or whatever, make sure to print off a copy and bring it along. There’s nothing worse than arriving at a rail or bus station, a hotel, an airline gate, or a park or activity and discover that you have no admittance because you aren’t on their “list” or you don’t have proof for entrance.

By the way, it’s also actually quite easy and inexpensive to take agent training and become a certified travel agent. Then you will have added perks to already good deals. You receive travel discounts, you can book others’ travel for a commission, and your travel becomes a tax write-off because you promote yourself as you travel.