kayak snorkeling at glovers reef in belize

While reading the news online last week I came across an article near and dear to my heart: How (and Why) to Buy Travel Insurance in the New York Times. This is something we deal with all of the time. We highly recommend that our guests purchase a travel insurance policy for their Belize vacation, and as a result many of them do. However, if someone has a problem and they didn’t buy a policy, it’s really a bummer for both us and for them. People with insurance that call with a problem are calm and practical. People without insurance that call us with a problem are upset and emotional. The second set of callers are no fun to talk to. This is why we recommend it so strongly, both on the phone and on our website. We simply wish to avoid hysterical calls like the few we get, when someone is finding out they are going to miss the boat to the island and they neglected to buy insurance because “I have never needed it before”.

The peace of mind alone is worth the cost. I was in Australia in September of 2001. When the World Trade Center towers came down in the middle of the biggest (and most expensive) vacation of my life, I was of course freaked out like every other American was, but at least I wasn’t worried about unexpected costs if I got stranded over there. I had taken my own advice and purchased trip insurance.

This article lays out the top tips for buying travel insurance from a travel insurance expert. His advice is simple and no-nonsense. Please read the article and make a personal resolution to buy trip insurance on your next vacation, especially if you are paying for most of your vacation up-front.

[photo – Kim Finvers]

Belize airport arrival

Our Belize travel season is in full swing; we are on our 5th week of a 24-week season. Christmas is the craziest time of year for international travel and this season is definitely no exception. Already, with only 15% of our guests either in Belize or just returned home, we have experienced the following: a single traveler who arrived on the island 2 days late due to a cancelled flight, stranding her in San Salvador on the way to Belize (at a cost of about $900 extra to catch up with the trip!), one cancelled boat to the island due to extreme weather in Belize that left one group on the island a day extra and one group in Belize City an additional day, luggage that was so late that it didn’t even arrive in time for our day-late boat, a family of four stuck in San Salvador (but they arrived on time since they were coming a day early), and another family scheduled to arrive in Belize 2 days early that barely made it on time to our meeting, 2 days later. Whew!

Through all of this we are on the phone, giving advice, researching options, and providing a sounding board. But the best advice we can give everyone is BUY TRIP INSURANCE. I think the old adage is “[*Stuff] happens.”

We have blogged about this before, please visit this blog post and study up on why you too should protect yourself when you invest your hard-earned cash on a much-needed vacation! Why should you buy trip insurance?