With spring break just around the corner, concerns about traveling during the coronavirus outbreak are escalating. Many popular spring break spots are canceling large events and prepping medical centers for the worst. Does this mean you should cancel or postpone spring break plans? Maybe and maybe not.
International travel plans might be worth rescheduling – especially to destinations like Italy, South Korea, Iran, and the People’s Republic of China as the CDC highly discourages non-essential travel to these destinations. Some countries will be monitoring passengers for high body temperatures, sneezing, and coughing before boarding a plane, and if the disease is found, they might cancel transportation or quarantine passengers for days at a time. Plan accordingly for potential alterations to your travel plans.
In times like these, insurance can help cover the financial risks associated with pricey travel reservations. If you’re planning a relatively small spring break trip, you may opt to skip travel insurance. However, it would still be wise to get familiar with cancellation policies anywhere you made reservations (hotels, restaurants, excursions, etc.). Find out if you’re able to move travel dates without penalties due to an illness outbreak.
Before purchasing travel insurance, check whether your credit card company offers free travel coverage. Many credit card companies will reimburse you for canceled trips. Chase credit cards reimburse up to $10,000 per person if a trip is canceled or cut short due to sickness, severe weather, or other covered situations. This covers prepaid, non-refundable travel expenses such as airfare, tours, and hotels.
If your credit card company does not offer travel reimbursement, consider upgrading to a premium travel insurance policy. You can do this through your reservation site or travel agent.
If you’re lucky enough to keep your spring break plans intact, take precautions to stay healthy while you travel. The best way to prevent illness is to wash your hands. If you’re traveling by plane, disinfect your seating area and turn off the fan above your seat to keep air from circulating above you. Keep extra vitamins and medications on hand. It might be a good idea to take extra work materials with you and make back-up childcare plans in case you’re quarantined for longer than your original trip.
Travel is a great way to build memories with the ones you love, and we’re often in favor of exchanging financial assets for life experiences. However, make sure you understand the risks of traveling during disease outbreaks and take the necessary precautions to protect your health and finances.
Blog by Aaron Waters, Wealth Advisor
Category: Financial Service Team