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Do You Need Travel Health Insurance When Going Abroad?

Posted by on Mar 28, 2015 in Travel Tips | 0 comments

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Excited about your trip overseas? After looking up cheap hotels in Dubai, you have another task on your hands: figuring out whether or not you need travel health insurance. If you’re a regular traveler, you’re probably at least a little familiar with this type of insurance. You’ve probably also heard horror stories about an American who was hurt abroad and had to pay for the outrageously high medical bills out-of-pocket.

Whether you’re going on an adventurous trip or you’re just getting away from home to relax for a little while, there are a million things that can go wrong. That also means that there are a million ways for medical bills to pile up during your travels. What type of insurance you buy, or if you buy any at all, depends on a lot of things, including how risk-prone you are, your current health coverage, and where you’re traveling.

First, find out if you’re already covered. Your current health plan may already provide international coverage. Often, basic plans from most well-known insurance companies have urgent and emergency care abroad. However, Medicare does not cover any medical expenses that incur outside of the United States.

Figure out what your insurance provider’s definition of “emergency” is; it may differ from your own definition. A rash or toothache may put a damper on your trip, but it probably won’t be considered an emergency, and therefore it won’t be covered. A broken bone or life-threatening illness, on the other hand, is often considered a true emergency.

You’ll also want to read the fine print so that you’re prepared if an accident does happen. Even if you’re covered internationally, can you simply go to a hospital and use your insurance? Not always. Many providers require you to get authorization from your insurance provider before being treated.

If you’re worried about the medical system at your destination, you may want to buy travel health insurance even if your current provider offers international coverage. Travel health policies come with a lot of perks, including roadside assistance, a higher level of care, 24-hour help lines, and referrals for pre-screened doctors throughout the world, prescription assistant, and translation services. Many of them also offer emergency dental care reimbursement and treatment for problems that aren’t life-threatening, like that rash or toothache. Keep in mind that many major credit cards offer similar benefits, with the exception of health insurance.

If you decide that you’d feel more comfortable with a travel health insurance policy, you still have more choices to make. Do you want a stand-alone policy, which can run pretty cheap? Or, would you rather bundle health coverage with trip cancellation coverage?

What you plan to do on your vacation should be taken into consideration, too. If you’re planning on parasailing, scuba diving, bungee jumping, sky diving, or doing another risky activity, you may not be covered by basic health insurance or even by travel health insurance. Instead, you’ll want a policy that has a rider for adventure sports. Make sure to not get injured while drinking. If it turns out that you were hurt while you had alcohol in your system, no coverage of any kind will help you.

This article was contributed by Fiona Moriarty of Hipmunk, a complete travel platform that allows you to do everything from comparing charter flights and train rides, to finding the best resort hotels and Airbnb rentals.

 

Kites and Kids on Hua Hin Beach

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Bangkok: Cooking with Poo for Travel Photo Thursday

Posted by on Mar 26, 2015 in Bangkok, Destinations, Food, Thailand, Thailand, Travel Photo Thursday | 14 comments

Welcome to week 220 of Travel Photo Thursday. I spent this past Christmas in Bangkok doing one of my favorite things…cooking school! You may have done a double take at the title, but yes the name of the cooking school is Cooking with Poo, and the lovely owner and brilliant cook is Poo (short for “Chompoo” or rose apple). Poo takes any teasing about her name in good stride, and is always quick with a joke or a funny comment. Enjoy today’s tour of her cooking school and the delicious food that was made (some of it by me) last Christmas Day.

And…don’t forget to add your own link to the Travel Photo Thursday line-up…

Return here and place your link in the Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post.

Please post a link to a post featuring a travel photo, not simply a link to your blog.

The Twitter hashtag for Travel Photo Thursday is #TPThursday.

As a courtesy, please post a link to Budget Travelers Sandbox.

Please, don’t forget to leave a comment below. 

Finally, if you have a few minutes, do visit and enjoy the Travel Photo Thursday posts from those who have linked. Share the love!

 

Poo and her assistant waiting for the final students to arrive. We all met in the same place, so that kept any confusion to a minimum.

 

Poo Waiting for Students

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Chiang Mai: Delicious Ruam Mit for Travel Photo Thursday

Posted by on Mar 19, 2015 in Chiang Mai, Destinations, Featured, Food, Thailand, Thailand, Travel Photo Thursday | 38 comments

Welcome to week 219 (03/19/2015) of Travel Photo Thursday. Thais love their Khanom Wan Thai (dessert). This week I want to introduce you to one of my favorite Thai desserts, Ruam Mit. In fact, it could be my favorite! Sold from a family run stall in Chiang Mai’s Chinatown Wararot Market, I always make my way here every couple of weeks when I’m in Chiang Mai.

And…don’t forget to add your own link to the Travel Photo Thursday line-up…

Return here and place your link in the Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post.

Please post a link to a post featuring a travel photo, not simply a link to your blog.

The Twitter hashtag for Travel Photo Thursday is #TPThursday.

As a courtesy, please post a link to Budget Travelers Sandbox.

Please, don’t forget to leave a comment below. 

Finally, if you have a few minutes, do visit and enjoy the Travel Photo Thursday posts from those who have linked. Share the love!

Ruam Mit is a (delicious) mixture of a variety of different sweets, and (YES) vegetables. Floating in this delicious concoction, which has a faint flowery aroma, you will find tapioca balls (boba), corn, red beans, chunks of sweet potato, strips of shredded coconut, and (very sweet) gelatin strips. The mother and daughter team who run the stall, which is located just outside the entrance to Tom Lam Yai Market make huge stainless steel bowls of ruam mit everyday. I have never seen the stall empty of customers. I am sure it must be one of the most popular food stalls in the entire market, and rightly so!

Ton  Lam Yai Market

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