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Are you traveling during Omicron? Do this when booking your tickets

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Traveling is precarious these days. Make a key move to protect yourself.

Key points

  • The COVID-19 outbreak is causing travel disruptions and forcing people to cancel plans.
  • If you’re booking travel, make sure you put the right protections in place.

Traveling during the pandemic has been an interesting process, to say the least. Depending on your destination, you may need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test and jump through other hurdles just to keep your plans.

Recently, travel has become even more complicated due to the increase in COVID-19 cases fueled by the omicron variant. Over the past few weeks, thousands of flights have been canceled due to staffing issues. Add in the weather-related delays that tend to crop up during the winter, and it’s certainly a tricky time to make travel plans. That’s why if you’re going to book travel during these tough times, there’s one important step you need to take: purchase travel insurance.

The importance of travel insurance

It’s a good idea to buy travel insurance whenever you’re spending a good amount of money on a trip. But these days, it’s even more crucial.

Today’s commuters face a number of disruptions. Not only may your flight be cancelled, but you may need to cancel your plans due to COVID-19 exposure or infection. Or, you may have difficulty obtaining proof within the time frame required by your airline. Having travel insurance gives you more options when it comes to changing or canceling your plans, so it’s well worth the modest cost.

In fact, many travel insurance plans allow you to cancel your itinerary for any reason. So let’s say you book a trip but then get scared by the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the area you’re traveling to. Fears of COVID-19 are not a valid reason to cancel a trip when it comes to airlines, meaning you may not get your money back. But with a travel insurance plan that allows you to cancel for any reason, you can pull the plug on your itinerary if you change your mind.

Do you need travel insurance if you have a travel rewards credit card?

A travel rewards credit card will generally provide you with some degree of protection against travel-related disruptions. And you’ll usually be covered for things like lost or stolen luggage. But your travel rewards card may not be able to come to the rescue if you decide to cancel your trip at the last minute for a reason that your airline or resort doesn’t consider valid.

Also, if you end up needing medical care abroad, your travel rewards card may only offer minimal coverage, if any. On the other hand, with travel insurance, you may be entitled to a generous benefit that covers the cost of emergency care abroad. And during a pandemic, that’s a good protection to have.

Although travel insurance can be interpreted as an additional expense, it is something that is worth insuring. You can pay between 3% and 10% of the value of your trip for travel insurance, so a $2,000 trip costs you between $60 and $200 to insure. But if paying that money saves you a possible $2,000 loss or a stack of overseas medical bills, then it’s more than justifiable.

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