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Tips for Staying Healthy While Taking a Vacation on a Cruise Ship Thumbnail

Tips for Staying Healthy While Taking a Vacation on a Cruise Ship

Contagious illnesses often spread among passengers on cruise ships. These tips will help you to stay healthy so that you can enjoy your vacation to the fullest extent possible.

Three Tips for Staying Healthy While Taking a Cruise

Many people enjoy the convenience, comfort and ambiance that a cruise ship vacation entails. From the on-site entertainment and activities to the spectacular views and endless dining options, you may be naturally drawn to taking a cruise for your next vacation. Before setting off on your trip, you’ll want to arrange for US citizen travel insurance and take a few other precautions to reduce your chances of getting sick while away from home.

Get Vaccinated

Many contagious illnesses that spread through cruise ships can be avoided by getting vaccinated before you leave home. Your physician, health department or a travel health clinic can determine which shots you need based upon your health history and the risk factors associated with your destination. Some common travel vaccinations include hepatitis A and yellow fever.

Taking Preventive Medications

If your cruise includes stops at certain destinations, you may want to get a prescription for preventive medications. Many of these medications need to be started in advance of your travels. Anti-malarial drugs may be needed if you’re visiting destinations in South America or Africa, while anti-parasitic medications may be needed for tropical ports of call. Your doctor can help you make an informed decision about whether or not you need these medications.

Hand Washing

Careful hand washing is the single most important action for you to take while aboard the ship. Wash your hands for 30 seconds in warm water with soap before and after eating, after using the bathroom and after returning to your state room when you have visited a public area of the ship, such as a game room or a lounge chair on the decks. In places such as the ship’s casinos or theaters, you may want to bring along a travel sized bottle of hand sanitizer, which can be used to kill germs on your skin when it isn’t convenient to go to the restroom to wash.

Helpful Tips for Long-Term Travel Thumbnail

Helpful Tips for Long-Term Travel

Traveling overseas for an extended period of time can be a rewarding experience as long as your health and finances are in order before you leave.

Long-Term Travel Trips for Those Headed Overseas

If your dream has always included living overseas, you have most likely researched ways you can fund your journey, such as teaching English or volunteering. No matter which country interests you the most, your trip can be as stress-free as possible, as long as you remember to take care of some important things before you leave.

Get Your Finances in Order

Protecting your finances is the most important aspect of your trip. You should look into purchasing long term travel insurance, developing a banking strategy and apply for an international debit and credit card. Search for cards that feature cash back rewards, do not charge for currency conversion and do not charge ATM fees.

Take Care of Your Health

If the country you are visiting requires immunizations, keep in mind that the process may take anywhere from one to six months. Some shots must be given days or even months apart from others, so plan accordingly. A great online resource is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, which regularly updates the immunization requirements for different countries. Depending on which shots you will need, you may also want to allow yourself a recovery period in case you experience any side effects. You might want to schedule dental and vision exams as well because it might be more difficult to take care of overseas.

Other Considerations

You should back up any important documents and either hire a service to securely store them, or leave them with close family or friends. Make copies of your credit cards, passport and immunization records, in case yours are lost or stolen during your trip. If you choose to use a service to maintain your documents, you can usually assign a beneficiary who will be able to access your files in case of an emergency. Don’t forget to forward your mail as well, and contact any financial organizations and ask them to switch you to electronic billing if preferred. Let your loved ones know how you will keep in touch with them, whether it is through email, Skype or Facetime. This will allow them to install any related apps and obtain your identification before you leave.

What Travel Coverage Do You Need For An International Trip? Thumbnail

What Travel Coverage Do You Need For An International Trip?

With so many types of travel insurance plans available, you might be struggling to determine which one will best fit your needs for traveling abroad. With these descriptions of the most beneficial types of international travel coverage, you can get a better idea of what you need.

Types of Travel Insurance Available When Going Abroad

While you plan for your next international trip to go smoothly and without a hitch, there’s always a chance that it won’t go as planned. Without international travel insurance, you could end up stranded in a foreign country because one leg of your trip was canceled or because there was some kind of catastrophe. You may even end up without your belongings or incur steep medical expenses if you don’t have the proper coverage. Having a travel insurance plan that covers all of these risks can save you stress and money.

Trip Cancellations

The biggest concern with a majority of travelers is that their trips or part of their travel could be canceled. When you prepay for a trip, you risk losing that money, becoming stranded or both if something bad happens. Travel insurance for trip cancellations reimburses the prepaid costs. The coverage typically applies when you are sick or injured, called for jury duty or have to work during your travel period. It is also usually applied if your travel supplier enters bankruptcy, a terrorist incident occurs in your destination, a hurricane results in flight cancellations or damage to your destination, and many other situations that are out of your control.

Medical Costs and Emergency Evacuations

While health insurance covers individuals for medical emergencies in the United States, this coverage isn’t extended abroad. Since there’s no way to ensure that an accident or emergency won’t arise, medical expense travel insurance covers the cost of any dental and medical care that you need while traveling in foreign countries or on foreign cruise ships. If an accident becomes serious enough for you to need emergency evacuation, such coverage is also available and pays for the cost of medically equipped airlifts to a hospital or home.

Lost Bags and Delayed Flights

Although not as big of a concern as travel cancellations and medical needs, there is a small risk that your bags become lost or that your flights are delayed. Coverage for lost bags will reimburse you for personal belongings if your luggage is damaged, lost or stolen. If there are flight delays that mean you have to pay for an extra hotel night or meals, travel delay coverage will typically reimburse you for these additional costs.

Adjusting to Normal Life after Taking a Life-Changing Vacation Thumbnail

Adjusting to Normal Life after Taking a Life-Changing Vacation

You may have had a checklist of things to do before you took your vacation, but here is a checklist of how to get back to your normal routine afterwards.

Getting over the Vacation Blues

If you are a planner, before you took your two week international vacation you most likely had a pre-made checklist of items to remember, ordered travel insurance for American citizens, lined up the perfect house-sitter and researched for the best deals before booking a hotel. Taking your dream vacation can be one of the most exciting experience of a lifetime, but you most likely did not plan for how to adapt to the drag of coming back home and settling back in to your everyday routine. Here are some simple tips that might help you replace your vacation checklist with a getting-back-to-life one.

Before You Return

Jet lag can be awful, especially if you have never recovered from it before. Use that last day overseas to take in the views, close your eyes and relax. If possible, enjoy some alone time. You can go to the countryside or the beach and listen to the sounds of nature. Try to get plenty of sleep that last night as well; chances are that you will find it difficult to sleep the entire plane ride home.

Find Unique Ways to Stay Connected

If you took a trip to Italy, play some Italian music or go out for an Italian dinner. Host an Italian-themed party for your friends, complete with the appropriate décor and ambience, and show them pictures from all the places you visited. Keep the memory alive by recreating the most memorable events from your trip throughout the year, then begin to proactively dream about where you might go next!

Prioritize Your Tasks

If you have been out of the country for a week or two, your email and texts will most likely be backed up. Prioritize, and only respond to the most important ones, and let all the others know you will contact them as soon as you can. Find ways of keeping yourself from being overwhelmed, and only focus on the things you can get done in a single day. If it’s possible, delegate any tasks you need additional help with. Take a deep breath, and realize that it will only take a little bit of time to adjust to normal life.

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How to Choose the Best Retirement Volunteering Program

Volunteering is a great way to explore the world and make an impact during retirement. Choosing the best volunteer program can be challenging.

Volunteering in Your Sunset Years

Volunteer programs for seniors are a great way to experience foreign countries and lend a helping hand to international aid groups.

Finding the Right Volunteer Opportunity

It’s easy to find causes that would value your help overseas. Many online resources help place prospective volunteers with organizations, but thinking about the best fit for you ahead of time will help you choose an exciting, rewarding experience.

How long do you want to spend abroad? Where do you want to go? What kind of professional experience or talents do you have that might be especially useful to a volunteer organization? Are you comfortable working with volunteers of all ages? Can you work with volunteers with different religious, political and philosophical backgrounds from your own? Considering these questions ahead of time will help you get the most enjoyment out of your volunteer experience.

Popular volunteer organizations include the Peace Corps, United Nations Volunteers and World Teach. Each offers a variety of programs and locations.

Preparing for Your Trip

You should know before you travel what expenses already covered by the organization or your volunteer fee. Some may arrange your transportation, provide housing in the country to which you’re traveling, or even offer a daily or monthly stipend. Other organizations require that you arrange your own travel and housing. Make sure you have adequate access to money for your expenses while you’re overseas, and you should make sure that your long term travel insurance will cover anything that happens on your trip.

If you want time to yourself for sightseeing, you may have to spend some extra time planning. Some volunteer programs have free time in their schedules for enjoying the locale, but others have schedules that are more demanding.

Quite a lot goes into choosing the best volunteer program. Make preparations ahead of time, and your trip is sure to go smoothly.

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Medical Care and Travel Health Insurance for Visitors to Australia

Travel Insurance for Worry-Free Australia Visits

Australia’s health insurance system provides basic medical care and emergency hospital treatment for those who belong to the national health insurance system called Medicare. Travelers get similar treatment if from one of the 11 countries with Reciprocal Healthcare agreements with Australia, which include New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland and Finland.

The basic system is subsidized costs; members pay a fee but receive reimbursement for much of the costs of consultation, hospital care and prescriptions. However, for nationals and other visitors from these and any other country, international travel insurance is one of the best investments overseas travelers can make.

Peace of Mind

Accidents, illness and injuries can occur at home or abroad. Insurance provides some peace of mind that if some unfortunate occurrence arises, one can easily arrange medical care. Australia provides coverage for foreign nationals under agreements with eleven countries, but the United States is not one of them. Private U.S. health carriers provide coverage, but there may be complicated procedures for using them. Peace of mind comes with knowing that coverage is in place for the places that one will travel in Australia and elsewhere.

Preparing for the Unexpected

World news and events remind us that unexpected events occur. Insurance coverage is broad and customizable. Australia is an advanced nation with generous provisions for reciprocal care for foreign nationals covered by agreements. For other nationals, they must provide insurance or accept the care that comes under emergency conditions. For visitors who can afford the costs, travel insurance is a step everyone should take; it is prudent and practical, like taking some extra cash as traveler’s checks.

Travelers Must Confirm Coverage

While it is low-cost and quite well regarded, health insurance is not free in Australia. Visitors are likely not covered unless by agreement between Australia and their home countries. If covered, users get rebates for much of the costs of medical care. Healthcare is widely available for emergency and other consultations, and a well-designed or customized travel insurance policy would provide significant benefits and the satisfaction of more worry-free travel.

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Ebola Risks Involved With Travel

Is Travel Safe During Ebola Outbreak?

First discovered in 1976 in the present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Ebola virus can be found across Africa, where outbreaks have occurred sporadically throughout the continent. Travelers may be relieved once they know more about Ebola and the outbreak. They might also be put at ease to know that some companies provide travel insurance for American citizens, protecting them if they become infected while traveling abroad.

A Deadly Virus

Ebola is a deadly, rare disease that spreads through direct contact with contaminated objects, infected animals such as primates and bats, and the bodily fluids or blood of infected patients. Those who are vulnerable to Ebola may be friends, family and health-care professionals. Symptoms of the virus include fever, severe headache, muscle pain, stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, or unexplained bruising or bleeding.

Ebola in West Africa

The Ebola outbreak started in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia in March 2014. This is the largest and most complex outbreak of the virus in history, and there have been reports of civil violence and unrest toward health-care workers as a result. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that Americans avoid all travel to these countries to help control and prevent the spread of the virus. For humanitarian aid workers and similar individuals who have to travel to West Africa, the CDC recommends following its advice for preventing infection.

Preventing Ebola

While the best way to prevent infection is to avoid traveling to Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, the CDC advises travelers to check their health insurance to determine whether they are covered in the event that they do become infected, including coverage for emergency evacuation. They should also avoid contact with bodily fluids and blood, potentially contaminated objects, animals, or raw and undercooked meat. Travelers also need to practice careful hygiene such as frequently washing their hands with water and soap or using alcohol-based hand sanitizers. If they come down with a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or other Ebola symptoms, they should immediately seek medical attention.

Practical Suggestions to Improve Your Trip to a Foreign Country Thumbnail

Practical Suggestions to Improve Your Trip to a Foreign Country

Whether you are a beginner or experienced traveler, chances are you probably feel slightly nervous about the thought of leaving the United States and experiencing a different country you might not be as familiar with. Even individuals who travel frequently for business find themselves losing sleep at night, going over their checklist again and again, hoping they haven’t forgotten something important. If you are planning a vacation and are experiencing feelings of anxiety, here are some simple suggestions for making the most of your trip, whether short-term or long-term.

Take in the Culture around You

Stop and smell the roses. Document your journey with plenty of photos. Walk to your destination whenever possible, and take advantage of local food. It may seem intimidating at first, but eat at the street vendors who have the longest lines or ask someone for a recommendation. You have spent time and money planning your trip, and you will not experience all the country has to offer if you cut corners. Take the opportunity to meet the locals, even if you are not a master of their language yet. If you go out of your way to smile and make eye contact with the locals and do not find them reciprocating, do a little research about body language. In some cultures, what we consider polite is considered anything but.

Remain Calm and Travel On

The world is not as scary as you might think, yet the news is full of events from different countries that may give us a perception about the region that simply is not true. Try to keep an open mind, use a little common sense and your trip should be worry-free. If the purpose of your travel is to volunteer in a region that seems like it might be dangerous, or there is a medical outbreak and you are concerned about your health, a US citizen travel insurance plan could help to ease your mind.

Slow Down and Take in the Moment

Take time to explore and try not to plan too many events within one trip. Many activities not featured in your guidebook are ones you can only discover if you keep your schedule flexible. Make room for those little unexpected moments that only come if you are not distracted by your own agenda.

Are There Opportunities for Seniors to Volunteer Overseas? Thumbnail

Are There Opportunities for Seniors to Volunteer Overseas?

Many seniors have years of active life ahead of them and would like to help in areas where they can be useful. There are several interesting opportunities that may require you to live overseas for an extended period. Long term travel insurance will protect you from health and travel risks.

Volunteer Vacations for Seniors

After retirement, many people look for opportunities to make a difference in underdeveloped countries. They may be participating in a volunteer program to teach English, or they may work in organic farms in Italy. Senior citizens often have a lot of knowledge and energy to devote to volunteerism abroad. Older volunteers generally favor altruistic projects such as care giving and teaching, which is extremely useful. There are also archaeological and nomad projects for those with historical or cultural interests. No one needs to take risks with their health or possessions if they have long-term travel insurance.

Volunteer Opportunities

Many organizations, such as NGOabroad, arrange volunteer programs for seniors. They match your skills to the needs. For example if you are good at sewing, car mechanics or IT, there are people who can learn from you. There are also many opportunities for people who are not doctors or teachers. Law, finance and business acumen are just a few of the skills people in underdeveloped countries need to get out of poverty.

What Can Be Covered?

Once you select the volunteer program you want, it’s important to check that the country or countries where you plan to live are covered in the policy. There are policies that only cover Europe and some that cover worldwide. Countries that the U.S. government considers dangerous to visit may not be covered. A pre-existing medical condition is not usually included in standard policies, but you can request it to be covered. It’s also recommended to cover possessions such as electronic items, because volunteer work requires an extended stay, so you may be taking more things than you would on an ordinary vacation.

Plan Ahead and Save Money

With a wide selection of volunteer programs available for seniors oversees, you’re sure to find one that suits your skills and interests. It is recommended to take the time to look into long-term travel insurance. Medical bills alone could cost you a small fortune if you are not covered.

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The Benefits of Travel Insurance


Travel insurance will not only cover you if you become ill or injured abroad; it will also cover any unexpected difficulties connected with your travel such as cancelled flights and lost luggage.

Travel Insurance Provides Peace of Mind When You Travel Abroad

When you take the vacation of your dreams, you hope that there won’t be any major problems along the way. After all, you have prepared well in advance for every eventuality. However, your safest option is to expect the unexpected so that you can relax and enjoy your trip.

Travel Health Insurance

Most traditional health insurance policies do not cover you when you are out of the country. However, statistically speaking, there are more chances for you to get sick, have an accident or theft during your travels than at home. Travelers take precautions such as wearing a money belt, dressing conservatively, avoiding unpopulated places at night and staying alert, but in spite of these precautions, disasters can happen. US citizen travel insurance can cover hospital and doctor charges, emergency evacuations and medical emergencies for accidents or illness. There is also coverage for disablement, accidental death and repatriation of remains.

Other Travel Risks

Along with health issues, there are also travel issues that can completely ruin a vacation. If these things are covered by insurance, it can go a long way towards mitigating the pain and inconvenience of a bad experience and may even make it possible to afford another vacation. Many insurers offer 24/7 worldwide telephone assistance if you need to re-book a flight after a cancellation or replace a lost passport. You could be mugged and have your money, travel documents and credit cards stolen, or an airline may lose your luggage. All of these risks can be covered by travel insurance, and you’ll be able to recoup some or all of your losses.

Check Your Policy

Travel insurance for U.S. citizens is available with a huge selection of options. If you’re spending a week on a Cote d’Azure beach or cave diving in Egypt, your requirements will be different. You can choose the areas where you want insurance and customize your policy.