When you become a parent, your world turns upside down, often in the best ways. Sure, you may be sleep-deprived and behind on the laundry, but that new center of your universe doesn’t care a whit. And all you care about is how to protect that new precious human in every way possible – is bubble-wrapping a baby a thing? No, but getting adequate travel insurance for when you finally venture beyond the front door is. It’s not just possible, it’s a must. Here are sound reasons why you need holiday travel insurance, whether you have a baby, toddler, child, tween or teen.
Why You Need Holiday Travel Insurance
Our camping trip across British Columbia was going so well. The kids loved sleeping and playing in our VW Westfalia campervan. We were enjoying family time and discovering new towns, cool cafes and attractions along Highway 3 through the southern part of the province. We reached Kootenay Lake a few days into our three-week road trip, and picked our quiet camping spot among giant trees, a short walk to the lakeshore.
After a tasty dinner, we set about building a campfire with newly purchased cedar wood. We felt safe setting up our chairs with a 15-foot distance from the crackling fire. And yet, somehow a flying ember found a landing spot on my four-year old son’s collarbone, resulting in a third-degree burn on his neck and shoulder. Nothing makes your blood run colder than your child’s screams of pain, trust me.
We drove him to the nearest hospital in Creston, where he was dealt with quickly and with minimal paperwork. Since our provincial health insurance program covered us, we did not have to add worrying about paying for his medical care to our list of woes.
The What If Scenario
But, if we had been in the United States or even another Canadian province, the uncovered, uninsured costs would have been in the hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. This is not the type of fun holiday expenditure anyone would wish for.
And yet accidents happen every day. If you’re planning to travel with your family, either over spring break or during the summer months, you want to ensure that everyone is covered for any medical emergencies. Getting a family travel insurance plan is a convenient option.
Murphy’s Law and Expect the Unexpected
Everyone can recite a scary travel story of a relative or friend. About cancelled travel plans, lost luggage, or unscheduled medical ‘holidays’ in the ER. These are cautionary tales – bad things happening to good people – which can happen to anyone, anywhere.
The key is to be prepared, and expect the unexpected. Our camping horror story changed how we travel. We don’t book a trip or go anywhere without purchasing adequate medical travel insurance coverage. While we do have some coverage through our credit cards, it’s not nearly enough, especially for frequent trips across the border into the United States. Getting saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills from an accident is not the kind of holiday keepsake you want.
Since we are frequent travellers, we maintain an annual travel insurance package. It’s cheaper than purchasing it on a trip-by-trip basis. It’s important to do your homework and figure out what coverage you have, and what you don’t, before you leave home. Many RBC Insurance plans include trip cancellation, baggage loss and travel accidents – important coverage even if travelling within Canada. You can go online and obtain a quote in less than two minutes. Plan and protect yourselves – don’t put your family at risk.
Tech Makes It Easy
You can also travel smarter when it comes to your family’s health and safety by using apps and technology. Whether you’re travelling south of the border or to another province, it’s important to have medical information at your fingertips.
The RBC Path app (available in Apple App Store and Google Play) provides local maps to help you find nearby medical facilities, and contacts for local medical experts who can provide emergency assistance. You can input medical information, and even set up and send notifications to family and friends. All on your smartphone.
Purchasing travel insurance before you depart on a road trip or plane ride abroad should be part of your ‘Travel To-Do’ Checklist. Right up there with getting a yellow fever shot for your trip to the Amazon jungle, or ensuring you’ve packed enough clean socks and underwear.
The reasons are simple, and really, they’re in your own selfish best interest. Don’t take a chance on being unprepared, for your children’s sake or your own. After all, planning for your next great family adventure is so much more exciting than paying the bills from your last trip’s misadventures.
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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by RBC Insurance. As always, all opinions and experiences are honest and my own.
Photo Credits: C Laroye, Shutterstock