travel insurance


Should you buy travel insurance?

I don’t buy travel insurance for domestic flights, but I always buy travel insurance for international travel.

I have been wanting to tell you 3 stories from this summer’s travels, centering around travel insurance. This post will contain affiliate links to the travel insurance company I have used for years, Allianz. (See Disclosure)

3 Examples Why  You Should Buy Travel Insurance.

In each of these examples having or not having travel insurance was a trip altering factor. It should be noted that I emphatically recommend that my travelers buy travel insurance.

Not sure what travel insurance is? Read Travel Insurance 101 ~ How Travel Insurance Works

Story Number One:

One of my Glam Italia Tour travelers wasn’t paying attention at the airport and didn’t see her flight from her home airport to Charlotte had changed gates. She missed her flight. This meant that she couldn’t get to Charlotte in time to catch her flight to Rome, which set off a very expensive chain of events, and meant that she lost the first day of her 11 day tour.

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There is only one flight per day from Charlotte to Rome, and it leaves at 6pm. My traveler had to stay overnight in Charlotte, which meant hotel expenses, she had to buy food in Charlotte – 3 meals. When she arrived in Rome 24 hours late I wasn’t there to meet her because I was in Florence with the other ladies on her tour. Her tour price had included all internal travel in Italy, but now she had to buy a ticket from the airport to the main train station, then a last minute ticket from Termini train station in Rome to Florence at a little over double the price of the original ticket, and get to Florence by herself. All these expenses had to come out of the money she brought with her for her trip, which in turn meant that she couldn’t buy things that she wanted to and had to stick to a very tight budget on her once-in-a-lifetime trip to Italy.

She hadn’t purchased travel insurance, so it was all a complete loss. Had she bought a travel policy Allianz would have covered her under the missed connection portion of the policy, and she may have been able to recover the cost of the missed day of her tour.

Allianz Travel Insurance

Missed flights are a nuisance, but they are part of travel. Sometimes your flight arrives late and your connecting flight has departed. Travel insurance can help offset those costs, or completely cover them.

Get a Free 10-Day Look with Allianz Travel Insurance, the world leader in travel insurance. Make sure you’re covered!

Related Post: Everything You Need To Know About Travel Insurance

Story Number Two:

Another of my travelers had an issue this summer.

She flew to Rome from JFK airport in New York, but her suitcase went on a world tour of it’s own. Firstly it went to Boston, then it went missing for a while, then it popped up in Amsterdam, disappeared again, went back to New York, and finally came to Rome on day 8 of her 11 day tour.

Her first phone call was to Allianz. They got involved and were able to circumvent the endless hassles of being on hold with the airlines for an hour at a time (at international calling rates!) and got things moving with trying to locate the suitcase. They also covered my traveler for buying clothes, shoes, makeup and toiletries so that she could get on with enjoying her trip.

Her travel insurance policy had cost her under $100, and it paid for itself many times over!

Allianz Travel Insurance

Related Post: 7 Travel Essentials You Can’t Leave Home Without

Story Number Three:

This one is my personal story. A week prior to heading to Europe to lead 6 weeks of private tours, I went to Belize on a makeup job. While there I breathed in some kind of heinous spores (as did the photographer and the photo assistant), which incubated for about 10 days and then turned into the worst cough you can imagine. For almost all of the time I was in Europe I had to sleep sitting up. I coughed and coughed and coughed. I also had to go to multiple doctor visits and was given multiple medications. Steroids kept the coughing largely under control for the 2nd half of the time I was away.

Did you know that most private health insurance plans don’t cover you when you’re traveling abroad? Learn More.


Allianz was able to track down doctors for me in the various places across Italy that the tours traveled to, and took care of reimbursement for all expenses.

Getting sick while you are traveling can be a nightmare. Travel insurance not only offsets the costs of medical care, but a good travel insurance company will help you get English speaking doctors.

Related Post: 18 Travel Goals You Need In Your Life

In my opinion the main reason to buy travel insurance for an international trip is the medical coverage. Catching a bad cold or a sinus infection is a nuisance but not the end of the world. Getting hit by a car, getting appendicitis, having a heart attack or an aneurysm?? Major, major deal. When choosing a travel insurance policy look at the medical coverage. If something goes drastically wrong you need to make sure you have excellent medical cover and, depending on where you are traveling to, emergency evacuation back home.

For example, if I had to go to hospital in France or in Australia I know that I would be getting the very best medical care in the world and at realistic prices, so I would stay there. If I was in an under developed country or a country with sub-standard medical facilities I would want to get stabilized and then be flown back home, with a nurse, to be treated here in America at a bankrupting price point. For any traveler who is either coming to America, or who’s flight touches down in America en route to somewhere else, get the absolute maximum medical coverage. The cost of medical care here in America will bankrupt you.

I have filled this post with affiliate links (see disclosure) to Allianz Insurance – that’s who I use every time I travel overseas. I suggest you shop around and compare policies to see if someone else has a better fit for you.

Most travel insurance policies need to be purchased at least 14 days prior to travel in order to be effective as of day one of your trip. I recommend that travelers buy travel insurance the same day as they put down their deposit or purchase their airline tickets – whichever comes first. If anything medical happens to you tomorrow you will forfeit the money paid out so far.


This article just arrived in my inbox courtesy of Smarter Travel


Best and Worst airports in america

I have certain airports that I will not use, no matter what. My most loathed airport in the USA is Chicago O’Hare, largely because in all my years of flying I have never had a successful connection through O’Hare. On the occasions I have had to fly through O’Hare something always goes wrong, whether its delayed flights, planes not arriving, missed connections. Its a nightmare! (If you want to really screw up travel plans, fly United through O’Hare. They are the devil’s duo). No matter how many hundred dollars I can save by flying to Europe through O’Hare I never ever do it.

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I do disagree with Smarter Travel about some of the items on this list though. I think LAX Tom Bradley terminal is just fantastic. I am thrilled to route any flight through there,and often I start my international flights at LAX. One thing I always notice when using the Bradley terminal is that the workers smile at you. They are polite and friendly. A couple of years ago I flew from Rome to JFK, where everyone was rude and angry, shouting at travelers and being as difficult as humanly possible. Four days later I flew to Australia from LAX and thought I was in a different country! None of the TSA agents or airport workers were hostile, everyone had a smile, and I watched them being friendly and helpful to everyone.

Phoenix Sky Harbor should also be on the good list. Apart from the fact that its my home airport (I live in Phoenix), Sky Harbor is an incredibly efficient, easy to navigate, very well appointed, thoroughly modern airport. I always consider myself very lucky to have this as my home airport.

I do use Philly frequently too, routing out to Italy via Philadelphia, but unfortunately I usually get routed home via JFK. In my experience Philadelphia has a pretty modern facility, is functional, and I’ve never had a problem.

Related Post: 10 Totally Awesome Airport Hacks

If you do have travel on the horizon, especially international travel, check out this article before you book your flights. With international travel you often have options on which airports you want to route through, and having a little knowledge ahead of booking your flights can be incredibly helpful, and save you a massive headache. If you do have to use one of the bad airports when flying internationally make sure you have travel insurance to cover you for lost luggage and missed international connections. I use Allianz insurance for all my international travel.

Worry less about the unexpected. Get a Free 10-Day Look with Allianz Travel Insurance, the world leader in travel insurance. Make sure you’re covered!


The 10 Worst Airports In America

By Tim Winship for Smarter Travel

As any road warrior worth his or her rollaboard will tell you, the country’s airports are no friendlier than its skies. Ancient terminal buildings, threadbare carpets, stinky restrooms, poorly designed crowd control, sparse seating, unappetizing food concessions… the list of travelers’ gripes is a long one.

And that’s on top of last year’s results, which showed the average traveler-satisfaction score rising from 725 in 2015 (on a 1,000-point scale) to 731. Even that modest uptick was encouraging, given the 5 percent increase in airport traffic and the sky-high wait times at security checkpoints earlier that year.

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The study scored airports on a combination of six factors: terminal facilities, airport accessibility, security check, baggage claim, check-in/baggage check, and terminal shopping. Based on those criteria, the 10 highest-rated airports were as follows:

  1. Sacramento International Airport
  2. Indianapolis International Airport
  3. Anchorage International Airport
  4. Jacksonville International Airport
  5. Palm Beach International Airport
  6. John Wayne Airport
  7. Tampa International Airport
  8. Southwest Florida International Airport
  9. Raleigh-Durham International Airport
  10. Dallas Love Field

And the bottom 10 (worst first):

  1. LaGuardia Airport
  2. Newark Liberty International Airport
  3. Los Angeles International Airport
  4. Philadelphia International Airport
  5. Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
  6. Chicago O’Hare International Airport
  7. Honolulu International Airport
  8. JFK International Airport
  9. Boston Logan International Airport
  10. Lambert-St. Louis International Airport

It’s worth noting that the three lowest-ranked airports are currently undergoing massive construction projects, which can’t help but impede traffic and generally make navigating those airports a frustrating and time-consuming experience.

Of course, when the projects are completed, flying to or from those airports—and indeed most airports—will still be frustrating and time-consuming, just less so.


What are your best and worst airports? Tell me in the comment section below!

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This incredible post came to me via Pinterest, from

I so wholeheartedly agree with every item on this list, and although I have already accomplished many of these things it really made me stop and think about those that I haven’t. It also made me stop and think about several that I have done, but that I did a long time ago.

Egypt was forever ago, as was Russia. Should I go back? What about a long train ride? I read about a fantastic one that Bill Bryson took from Melbourne to Perth in his completely hilarious book In a Sunburned Country (linked here on Amazon). I always thought that would be an amazing travel experience to have.

Should I go on a Safari before it’s too late? Should I go to Antartica, even though I hate the cold?

One of my massive travel regrets, that is now undo-able, at least in my lifetime, is that I didn’t travel to Syria. A lifetime ago when I lived in London I met loads of fellow travelers who took trips to Syria. They came back with amazing stories of Damascus and the tiled buildings in Aleppo. Some found isolated villages and were able to stay for weeks teaching the local kids English. There stories were just mesmerizing! At the time I planned to one day go to Syria, but I missed the chance when I had it.

With that in mind, and with never knowing how quickly the world can change, I hope you will read this article, written by Julia Millay Walsh for, and act on it sooner than later.

This post contains affiliate links


18 Travel Goals Everyone Should Have

Life is long, and so is our travel bucket list. Oh, the places we’ll go! We’ve got plenty of destinations on our agenda, but in addition to the “wheres,” there are many activities we hope to take part in when we travel. Read on for 18 travel goals we think everyone should have on their list, from wandering through ancient ruins to speaking a foreign language.


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Related Post: 5 Things I Adore About Rome

Camp in a National Park

 Camp in a National Park

There’s a reason the government owns national parks: The land is truly something. Plan a camping trip, and get up close and personal with the landscape; take in all its untouched beauty. If you’re not into hiking Half Dome, you can just set up camp, have a cookout, and stargaze—no need to scale mountains if that’s not your thing.

See the Wonders of the World

See the Wonders of the World



Claire Thomas via National Geographic

Of the original ancient seven wonders of the world, there’s only one still standing: the Great Pyramid of Giza. But there are plenty of new lists to explore: the new seven wonders of the world (which include the Great Wall of China, the Colosseum, and the Taj Mahal) or the seven wonders of nature (which include Table Mountain, Halong Bay, the Amazon, etc.). Check a few off and you’re just getting started.

Improve Your Photography Skills

Improve Your Photography Skills

Travel is the ultimate opportunity to develop your photography skills. You don’t have to own a crazy-expensive DSLR camera (if you do, great!), but whatever kind of lens you’re working with, take it to the next level. Look out for patterns and colors. Be thoughtful about your composition. Wake up early to catch that gorgeous morning light.

See Wildlife You’ve Never Seen Before

See Wildlife You’ve Never Seen Before


Jonne Seijdel

Depending on where you live in the world, flamingos may seem everyday and rhinoceros might seem basic. Whatever creatures you haven’t laid eyes on, make a point to see them in their natural habitat. Visit the Falkland Islands and meet the rockhopper penguins. Travel to the Galapagos and say hello to a blue-footed booby.

Related Post: 5 Reasons Why You Should Visit Queensland Australia

Stay in a Luxurious Hotel

Stay in a Luxurious Hotel

As Plato put it (or maybe it was John Watson), we are all fighting a hard battle. Give yourself a break and do it up right for once. Save up for months and splurge a little so you can afford that five-star hotel room that costs nearly a month’s rent. And when you’re there, treat yourself to a proper experience. Order room service. Get a massage at the spa. Read the newspaper in the lobby. Enjoy every passing moment—you deserve it.

Related Post: 16 Luscious Italian Words And Phrases You Need In Your Life