SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s been a summer full of travel planning for many Americans as countries all over the world begin to ease COVID-related travel restrictions. But the ongoing concern over rising cases, variants and vaccination rates has many in the travel industry worried.
“Every time we hear about numbers going up or new strains, or any of those things, absolutely, I think about it every day. It’s a huge concern,” Travel Consultant Lorie Buus with All About Travel said.
Buus has had a very busy summer booking vacations for people in KELOLAND who are eager to travel.
“It has been very, very busy, some resorts are selling out, some planes are selling out,” Buus said.
But as all of these vacations are getting booked, Buus has one major recommendation for her clients.
“I would book trip insurance that has ‘cancel for any reason’,” Buus said.
She says travel insurance has become a completely different and much bigger business in the travel industry since the pandemic hit.
“It’s a lot more expensive,” Buus said. “I remember the days when trip insurance was $35 a person, now you’re talking $135, to $235, even $260 a person.”
But she says the added cost is worth it with so many covid considerations along with major delays in passports that are causing many people to have to reschedule trips. An issue many stand travel insurance plans won’t cover.
“If you get a policy that is what we would ‘call cancel for any reason’ or cancel for anytime, you could use a delayed passport as an excuse to cancel,” AAA Travel Consultant Terry Ten Cate said.
Ten Cate also recommends finding a trip insurance policy that includes cancel for any reason, as most traditional trip insurance plans generally only cover medical issues.
“You’ll find out that you don’t have a medical issue, you didn’t get your passport and your insurance only covers a medical condition, so now you’re out the whole tour,” Ten Cate said.
And the insurance is not only about whether you’ll need to cancel your trip, but also what could happen while you’re traveling.
“It’s going to cover if you have missed connects, travel delays… Trip insurance is going to help in covering some of those expenses,” Buus said. “Most importantly, a lot of medical coverage does not follow you out of the country.”
It’s also important to note that not all travel insurance meets the requirements these travel agents are recommending. Buus says read through the policy and make sure you understand what it’s going to cover;she suggests searching until you find a true ‘cancel for any reason policy.’