Students and parents have to think about a lot of things when planning a semester trip abroad. Here’s how travel insurance matters.19 November 2010
Travelers who are planning to make semester-long trips abroad face a lot of uncertainty. Whether they are traveling for business or leisure, they have to deal with things that they are not familiar with for an extended period of time. The unfamiliar weather and living conditions in their travel destinations as well as other unforeseen factors can cause them to fall ill or suffer financial losses during their trips. As such, travelers should be well prepared before they go on their trips.
Planning a semester-long trip abroad is very exciting. The opportunity to study abroad and experience new cultures is a once in a lifetime opportunity – enjoy it! The key to a successful trip abroad is proactive planning; before leaving for your trip, make sure you have covered the basic: food, shelter, transportation, etc. If you are taking the trip through an academic institution, it is important to confirm the flight and travel details. The following will also help you plan a successful trip abroad.
Find out what kind of visa is needed. Most countries offer travel visas that last for two or three months, and travelers who plan to stay longer have to apply for a special kind of visa or get an extension when their visas expire. Student travelers can apply for student visas, which allow them to stay for a longer period of time on the condition that they are enrolled in an academic or university program.
Some countries have immunization requirements, and they will not grant entry to foreigners who are not properly immunized. Travelers should get the required immunizations before they depart for their travel destinations. Staying abroad for three or four months also exposes travelers to higher risks of diseases that are prevalent in their travel destinations. Some underdeveloped countries are plagued by infectious diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis. Although these diseases are curable in the United States, many poorer countries do not have the medical resources to treat them. It is advisable that travelers get immunization for infectious diseases that are common in the places that they are visiting. They should also get a complete medical and dental checkup before they set off for their trips.
Staying in a hotel for a few months can cost a lot of money, and it is not a good option for those who are budget-constrained. By doing a little research on the Internet, travelers can find apartments, condominiums, or houses in their travel destinations that are available for rent to foreigners, and they can save a lot of money if they choose to stay in these accommodations. Another advantage of renting a private accommodation is that travelers can cook their own food and do their own laundry to save money, and they can create a home away from home.
Travelers also have to check the climate and weather conditions in the countries that they are visiting, so that they will know what types of clothes to bring. They should also consider the activities that they will be doing during their trips when they are packing their bags. Some countries in the world, such as Arabic countries, have a dress code for men and women, and travelers should dress appropriately when they are in these countries. It is also a good idea to bring a medical kit, which should include items such as adhesive bandages, antibiotic cream, pain relievers, insect repellant, water-purifying tablets, and others.
It is beneficial for travelers to read reviews about their travel destinations. They can find reviews on most countries in the world on the Internet; and travelers who have been to those countries write these reviews. They will find a lot of useful information in these reviews, such as places to visit and to avoid, safety precautions, accommodation, transportation, food, culture, dealing with the locals, and others. Before they leave, travelers have to find someone to look after their homes, gardens, cars, pets, and other things while they are abroad. They may also need a trusted person to take care of their bills and do banking for them.
Travelers should buy a good travel insurance policy. Many unfortunate things can happen when they are living for an extended period of time in a foreign country, such as illnesses, accidents, theft, and others, and these incidents can lead to great financial loss. Travel insurance offers reimbursement for many common travel-related misfortunes, and it ensures that travelers do not have to bear the full burden of their financial losses when emergencies occur. It is worthwhile investment, because it gives travelers adequate protection and peace of mind through their semester-long trips.
Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and is a licensed agent for travel insurance (MA 1883287). He believes travel insurance should be easier to understand, and started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.