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An Aardvark European Road Trip – Part Two

Posted on June 24th, 2017

An Aardvark European Road Trip – Part Two

An Aardvark European Road Trip – Part Two

At AardvarkCompare we love to travel; and sharing travel hacks and tips is just a part of what we like to write about.

In this, the second part of our two-part post, we continue to share with you an Aardvark European Road Trip that one of our Aardvark team recently enjoyed, traveling from London England to the Island of Menorca in the Mediterranean Sea.

When we left you last, our intrepid Aardvark Explorers had traveled from London England, to Dijon in France, and spent the night in the beautiful French city of Dijon which is well famed for its mustard, but perhaps lesser known for its stunning architecture and beautiful gothic buildings.

Day two of our Aardvark Adventurers trip took them from Dijon to Perpignan in the south of France. A distance of 641 kilometers, which is a similar distance to traveling from Miami to Lake City.

The city of Perpignan is a southern French city near the Mediterranean coast and the border with Spain. It was the capital of the Kingdom of Majorca during the 13th century, and a significant Catalan influence is evident in its medieval core.

Our explorers again opted to be spontaneous with their accommodation booking, and using a hotel and apartment booking app, found a simply stunning suit of apartment rooms in the centre of one of Perpignan’s squares. Two recently refurbished double apartments cost just 160 Euro’s, about $180.00.

Here’s one of the main squares in Perpignan, and this is the apartment block. The location was perfect as the main square has a secure car park beneath it which cost 20 Euros for 24 hours; around $22.00.

After a good night sleep, and breakfast in one of the cafes around the square, our Aardvark Explorers set off on the penultimate leg of their trip, with a short 120 mile trip across the French border into Spain, and on to Barcelona, where they were to take a car ferry for an 11 hour trip across the Mediterranean sea to Menorca.

Arriving in Barcelona at midday, our explorers had most of the day to walk through the city of Barcelona, including a stroll up the La Rambla, which is the tree-lined street in this picture. La Rambla is in central Barcelona and is popular with tourists and locals alike. La Rambla is a pedestrian tree-lined mall which stretches for over 1.2 kilometers.

After a delightful day in Barcelona, our Aardvark Explorers returned to the port of Barcelona ready to board the Trasmediterránea car ferry, which travel daily between Spain and both the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands.

The Trasmediterránea is a reasonably well equipped car ferry with over a hundred cabins. However if you’ve been on a cruise holiday before, you may be more familiar with a cabin which looks like this.  The cabins on the car ferry are not quite as opulent as on a cruise liner.  They are somewhat more compact in size, but they are clean and tidy, and will allow you to rest ready for the final leg of your European Road Trip.

When our explorers woke they were sailing into the port of Mahón. Mahón, or Maó as the local call it, is the capital of the Spanish island of Menorca. It’s known for its British-style Georgian houses and sheltered harbor, and is considered by many, including Wikipedia, to be the origin of certain condiment that many of us couldn’t do without.

So there we have it. Over 1100 miles, traveling for three days across England, France and Spain, by car, tunnel and ferry; similar in distance to a trip from Tampa Florida to Dallas Texas.

Our Aardvark European Road Trip ends with our explorers settling into their villa in the stunning resort of Cala Galdana, with is crystal clear waters, golden sands and idyllic horseshoe bay.

Let’s just hope they didn’t forget anything!

And remember, if you’re heading off for a European adventure of your own, or spending your holidays in the US, please remember to pack travel insurance, as you never know when you might need it. And at AardvarkCompare you can get an anonymous quote in seconds, and compare dozens of the tops travel plans from many of the largest US travel insurers, saving you time and money finding the right travel plan for your needs.

Safe Travels


An Aardvark European Road Trip – Part One

Posted on June 24th, 2017

An Aardvark European Road Trip – Part One

An Aardvark European Road Trip – Part One

At AardvarkCompare we love to travel; and sharing travel hacks and tips is just a part of what we like to write about.

In this two-part post, we also wanted to share with you an Aardvark European Road Trip that one of our Aardvark team recently enjoyed, to give you some great ideas for your own European Road Trip.

Our intrepid adventurer started out at 5am in London, England with a car full of luggage, fully fueled and with a number of sleepy family members, all set for a 1100-mile trip to the island of Menorca, one of Spain’s Balearic Islands which is in the Mediterranean sea.   

The first part of the trip was a gentle drive from London to Folkstone to travel across the English Channel to France.  Getting across the English Channel used to be a roll-on roll-off ferry from the white cliffs of Dover; however, since 1994 the Channel Tunnel has provided the British with a direct link to mainland Europe.

If you are traveling by car through the tunnel, you board a specially designed train which can carry over 120 cars per train for the 35-minute trip under the English Channel.

Although we talk of the Channel Tunnel, thankfully there is more than one tunnel, which helps to avoid congestion on the track. The Channel Tunnel is actually three tunnels combined. One for trains heading to France, one for trains heading to England and a final tunnel which is a service tunnel.

Once through the Tunnel, you are then in France. And for those of you who haven’t experienced the French motorway system, it is extensive. It is also some of the quietest motorways in Europe. To drive on the motorways in France you have pay a toll, the price of which is based on the distance you travel, which means the roads are peaceful and relaxing.

Our explorer traveled down the A26 motorway from Calais which runs down the east of France, and this is how much traffic is normally on this road. Let’s just say it is relaxing driving. Especially when you compare it to London’s M25 motorway, or even Interstate 405….which both resemble a parking lot.

Not only are the motorways in France great for driving on, the French have also perfected rest stops.  As well as the normal rest stop for fuel, food and coffee; the French also have hundreds of rest stops which have nothing more than picnic benches beautiful scenery and a toilet. Many French travelers take a French baguette, and some ham and cheese and stop for a picnic on their trip. And most of the picnic stops on the motorways also have play areas for the kids; which is a great way to let the little ones run around, let off some steam and use up some of that pent-up energy.

The first leg of the trip, and the first stop over for our Aardvark European Adventurers was the beautiful city of Dijon in France. About 450 miles from London. Which is a similar distance to a drive from Tampa Florida to Atlanta.

If you ask most people what they know about Dijon, most people will probably only know of their greatest export. However, Dijon has much more to offer than just great mustard. Dijon is the capital city of the historical Burgundy region of eastern France and one of the country’s principal wine-producing areas. It’s known for its vineyard tours, autumn gastronomic fair and building styles ranging from Gothic to art deco.  It is a truly beautiful city to visit.

Our explorers hadn’t pre-booked accommodation, choosing instead to be spontaneous and see where their journey led them. Making use of one of the plethora of hotel and apartment bookings apps, they found a very quaint and reasonably priced apartment hotel in the center of Dijon.

After a wonderful night sleep, and breakfast in one of the local cafes, bags were again packed and they headed off on the second day of their Aardvark European Road Trip which would take them from Dijon to Perpignan in the south of France.

Stay tuned for Part Two of the Aardvark European Road Trip which will be coming up next.

And remember, if you’re heading off for a European adventure of your own, or spending your holidays in the US, please remember to pack travel insurance, as you never know when you might need it. And at AardvarkCompare you can get an anonymous quote in seconds, and compare dozens of the tops travel plans from many of the largest US travel insurers, saving you time and money finding the right travel plan for your needs.

Safe Travels

 


Disneyland Locations – What Advice Can You Give?

Posted on June 22nd, 2017

Disneyland Locations – What Advice Can You Give?

Disneyland Locations – What Advice Can You Give?

Founded in 1971, the mighty Disney corporation has become the largest theme park company by volume of visitors worldwide. It employees a staggering 180,000 people, of which 130,000 are involved in the theme park empire. That is one impressive mouse!

The Disneyland Park and Resorts are spread across the globe.

The Walt Disney World Resort, near Orlando, Florida, offers four theme parks and two water parks, and are filled with attractions and activities to keep the entire family occupied. It is located on a plot of land the size of Manhattan. That’s a lot of fun!

In Southern California, the original Disneyland park can be found and it still has many of the original rides that has given Disneyland such an amazing reputation. The newest Disney park in North American is California Adventure. This provides holidaymakers with all the old-school favorites like the Ferris wheel and the stock roller coaster, not to mention traditional favorites like Soarin’ and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. And for those of you who love to shop, like Orlando, it also has its own shopping district known as Downtown Disney.

If you head further afield to Japan you will again find multiple parks. Tokyo has both Disneyland Tokyo and DisneySea. Disneyland Tokyo is set out in a very similar manner to the original Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom; and the attractions are also very similar.

If you are in Europe, the only Disney option available is Disneyland Paris. But don’t be mistaken for thinking this is in the heart of Paris. It’s not. So whilst you will definitely still be able to enjoy the Disney magic whilst in Europe, you will need to jump on a train for a short trip into the center of Paris to walk down the ChampsÉlysées or scale the Eiffel Tower.

Disneyland Paris has both the original Disneyland Paris and Disney Studios. Both offer many of the same attractions found elsewhere, Disneyland Paris includes some of the traditional Disney attractions, whilst Disney Studios is more for shows and the newer attractions.

The smallest of the Disney parks is found in Hong Kong.  Disneyland Hong Kong only has four of the major themed areas whereas most of the other parks have five or six. Because of the slightly limited size, you won’t find rides like Space Mountain, the Haunted Mansion or the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. However, there are plans in place to add Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain and we are told a Haunted Mansion; but you’ll have to wait until 2020 to experience these great rides.

If you’re planning a holiday to Disneyland. We certainly hope you enjoy it, and remember to take lots of pictures to keep those holidays memories alive for years to come.

It’s a great vacation for the whole family, and one the team at AardvarkCompare have experienced many times.

If you are heading off for a Disney adventure, please remember to pack travel insurance, as you never know when you might need it. And remember, at AardvarkCompare you can get an anonymous quote in seconds, and compare dozens of the tops travel plans from many of the largest US travel insurers, saving you time and money finding the right travel plan for your needs.

Safe Travels


Does My Plan Cover Terrorist Attacks In England?

Posted on June 20th, 2017

Does My Plan Cover Terrorist Attacks In England?

We have all see the shocking news from Great Britain with attacks in Manchester and London.

Understandably, some travelers may be worried about traveling to the UK and want to know whether the Terrorism coverage of their policy provides protection should they wish to cancel their trip.

The answer depends on when you bought your travel policy. If you purchased it months ago, before the spate of terrorist attacks in London and Manchester, then you would most likely be protected should you wish to cancel your trip if you are due to be visiting one of those cities.

Most of the policies we sell have pretty standard terms that allow you to cancel if an attack occurs in the city you are visiting up to 30 days before your scheduled departure date.  So, if you are planning to visit the breathtaking highlands of Scotland, or trek in the mountains of Wales, or take in the ancient Roman baths in majestic city of Bath – all locations that have thankfully seen no sign of terrorism acts, then terrorism coverage would not apply.

Most policies also require that an attack occur at least 30 days after you bought your policy. So, if you bought your policy one week before the UK attacks, then you would be unlikely to be covered for the terrorism events that occurred recently in the UK.

Please be aware that each travel insurance policy is slightly different and we would always recommend you read your policy carefully.

If you are planning a trip to the UK, or Europe with a possible stop off in the London, then you may be best to find a policy which provides Cancel for Any Reason. This would enable you to make the decision as to whether to cancel your plans up to a couple of days before you are due to travel, and recoup up to 75% of your non-refundable expenses.

Once again, plans do vary by provider, but generally speaking a policy which includes Cancel For Any Reason is a time sensitive benefit that will allow you to cancel your vacation up to 2-3 days before your departure, so long as all eligibility requirements are met.

Remember, at AardvarkCompare you can get an anonymous quote in seconds, and compare dozens of the tops travel plans from many of the largest US travel insurers, saving you time and money finding the right travel plan for your needs.

Safe Travels


Will Puerto Rico Become The 51st State?

Posted on June 12th, 2017

Will Puerto Rico Become The 51st State?

In June 2017, Puerto Rico, which is the US’s oldest and largest colony, returned an overwhelming vote in favor of becoming the 51st state of the United States of America.

The vote, which was rejected by opposition parties who boycotted the event, was backed by a staggering 97% of those who cast a ballot.

The ruling progressive party, the PNP, who control the Puerto Rican governorship and legislature organized the referendum, and have claimed the result marks a resounding victory for Puerto Rico’s statehood claims.

If Puerto Rico were to become the 51st state, this would end 119 years of colonization and bring Puerto Rico on board on an equal footing with the existing 50 US states.

Puerto Rico has 3.4 million inhabitants of which 2.3 million are registered voters. However, of those 2.3 million voters, just 23% cast their vote. The last time Puerto Ricans were asked in an election whether they wanted to become the 51st state, which was in 2012, 830,000 said yes; this time that number had dropped to about 500,000.

The Puerto Rico colonization started in 1898 when it was given to the US at the end of the Spanish-American war. More recently, over the past ten years the island has dealt with a prolonged recession and accumulated debts of over $120bn.

If Puerto Rico were to be allowed to join the United States, it would be the first to do so since Hawaii became the 50th state, which was in August 1959.

So what is the likelihood of Puerto Rico becoming the 51st state? Well currently there have been very few signs of interest on Capitol Hill. When the previous vote was held in 2012, when 61% of those who voted were in favor of becoming an official US state, the reaction from Washington was silence.

As to whether this time around the reaction will be any different, only time will tell.

Remember, if you are traveling to Puerto Rico on vacation, or anywhere else for that matter, at AardvarkCompare you can get an anonymous quote in seconds, and compare dozens of the tops travel plans from many of the largest US travel insurers, saving you time and money finding the right travel plan for your needs.

Safe Travels


What Is Driveway to Driveway Travel Insurance?

Posted on June 8th, 2017

What Is Driveway to Driveway Travel Insurance?

The first thing to be aware of with the insurance industry is we love our acronyms. Seriously, we can’t get enough of them. However in most insurance contracts these days, most firms are starting to use plain English, which is great. It allows us to better understand what it is we are actually buying…which is kind of helpful.

What we still often find in the Insurance market, is coverage terms which have been dreamt up buy a young marketing expert, to help us better understand what coverage we are buying, and to make something sound more snappy!

This is where we get “Driveway-to-driveway” coverage. It’s a term that sometimes gets used in the travel insurance industry but is really just another way of saying that we recommend that travelers get insurance to cover them from the moment they leave their home, right up to the moment they arrive home.

This mainly applies to people who are buying comprehensive plans, which offer coverage for many events, including trip cancellation, travel delay, baggage loss, and medical benefits. For instance, let’s say you have a cruise and you are traveling to get to your cruise port. Rather than just having insurance cover the actual period of your cruise, we would suggest you have a policy which covers you the day you leave your home, and continues to protect you right up to the moment you arrive back home at the end of your vacation, which might be a day or two after you disembark your cruise ship.

By protecting the entire period you are away from your home, you are helping to ensure that you have a relaxing and enjoyable vacation.

And remember, at AardvarkCompare you can run a completely anonymous quote in minutes and compare dozens of the top travel insurance plans to find the right plan for you. 

Safe Travels


Holidays Whilst Pregnant – What Advice Can You Give?

Posted on June 6th, 2017

Holidays Whilst Pregnant – What Advice Can You Give?

Travel insurance is a good idea for any holiday. It’s even more important if you or a family member take your trip whilst pregnant. No matter why you’re traveling, insuring your trip can give you the security and peace of mind you need when expecting a child.

As with any type of policy, be sure to examine your options carefully when running a travel insurance quote.

Traveling whilst pregnant is difficult enough without anguishing over how to insure your trip. Here are the answers to some of the most common questions pregnant women and their families have about how to pick the best policy.

Can I insure my unborn baby?

No, unfortunately not. Policies vary, but most require that a baby be at least 14 days old before they will insure them.

Does a Trip Cancellation Policy apply to pregnancy?

If you are pregnant at the time you purchase your policy, it will probably not cover a cancellation due to the pregnancy. Most policies exclude pregnancy as a reason for cancellation. Some policies will cover a cancellation because of pregnancy IF you become pregnant after purchasing it. Make sure to read the fine print when comparing travel insurance quotes.

Can I get travel insurance medical coverage while pregnant?

The medical coverage on your travel insurance policy will not apply to anything relating to your pregnancy. This exclusion applies to childbirth and any complications associated with it. Your medical coverage will of course apply to any illness or injury that is not related to your pregnancy.

What if I have to cancel my trip because the airline will not let me board while pregnant?

Each airline has different restrictions that apply to flying whilst pregnant. Most of these restrictions are related to how late you are in your term. Make sure to read your airline’s pregnancy requirements carefully when planning your trip. Your trip cancellation policy will not cover your losses if the airline will not allow you to board.

Does my pregnancy count as a preexisting medical condition?

With most travel insurance policies, you do not need to declare your pregnancy as a preexisting medical condition. However, if you have a condition that may lead to complications to your pregnancy, you will need to declare this as preexisting. As always, be sure to review your options very carefully before purchasing travel insurance and ask questions if you’re confused.

This all sounds very complicated. Should you risk traveling without insurance while pregnant? Simple answer is No, Never!

Pregnancy is a wonderful time for women and their families, but there can be high levels of cost and worry associated with it as well. This is especially true when traveling overseas. If you take ill whilst pregnant and do not have adequate coverage, the financial and emotional burden can be devastating.

There are plenty of great travel insurance options for pregnant women. Finding the one that fits your needs will require a bit of research and careful planning, but the risks of traveling without insurance during your pregnancy are simply too enormous to consider it. You deserve the security and peace of mind good travel insurance provides.

And remember, at AardvarkCompare you can run a completely anonymous quote in minutes and compare dozens of the top travel insurance plans to find the right plan for you. 

Safe Travels


To Buy Or Not To Buy – Travel Insurance From a Third Party?

Posted on June 5th, 2017

To Buy Or Not To Buy – Travel Insurance From a Third Party?

One decision you’ll have to make when purchasing travel insurance is the type of company you’re going to use. We’re going to discuss three of the main options you’ll encounter when searching out a policy. These options are cruise lines, travel agents, and third party sellers.

If you compare travel insurance plans that are available from these providers, you’ll see that they’re not all the same. There are major differences between policies you can buy from a third party seller and the coverage offered by your cruise line or travel agent. And don’t let the term “third party seller” throw you – in this scenario, it just means a company that specializes in travel insurance.

Here’s how the three types of companies stack up against one another.

3rd Party Seller Vs Cruise Line

In some ways, the protection cruise lines offer is travel insurance in name only. This is because their policies come with restrictions that third party coverage simply don’t have. A quick survey of these restrictions will show that a third party plan is clearly the better choice.

With cruise line protection, claims are often paid in the form of travel credits, whereas third party policies reimburse clients with U.S. dollars. And while a third party policy applies to all aspects of your trip, cruise line coverage only extends to the services you purchase from the company that operates the cruise line.

The medical coverage offered by cruise lines is severely limited as well, with most policies’ benefits topping out at less than $25,000. This is a far cry from the $1,000,000 worth of benefits the best third party plans offer. Also, a cruise line will rarely cover a pre-existing medical condition.

Third party sellers also offer trip cancellation coverage that the cruise line simply can’t match. Cruise lines don’t offer cancel for any reason coverage, while it is an available option on most third party policies. And the cancellation coverage they do offer typically ends 1-3 days before the cruise begins.

3rd Party Seller Vs Travel Agent

Purchasing your policy through a travel agent can be tempting, mostly because it offers the convenience of one-stop shopping. Unfortunately, it can be a case of buyer beware, because these policies typically have significant drawbacks.

First, travel agents typically work on commission. This means they are motivated to sell you whatever policy earns the highest commission, not the one that best suits your needs. Moreover, they typically offer a small number of plans from just one or two companies.

There can also be a lot of uncertainty when purchasing coverage from a travel agent. Many of them are not licensed insurance agents. So even with the best intentions, they might sell you a policy that’s not underwritten by a legitimate agency. This could be disastrous if you have to make a claim.

Lastly, the coverage you get through a travel agent has many of the same drawbacks you encounter with cruise line policies. This means severe limitations in trip cancellation and medical coverage.

There you have it. You can easily see why, in our opinion, third party sellers provide the most protection and peace of mind. This is because they specialize in travel insurance. Third party sellers simply have more insurance resources at their disposal than cruise lines or travel agents. With a reputable third party seller, you’ll have everything you need to focus on your vacation or business trip.

And remember, at AardvarkCompare you can run a completely anonymous quote in minutes and compare dozens of the top travel insurance plans to find the right plan for you.

Safe Travels


What Are The Hidden Treasures of Travel Insurance?

Posted on June 1st, 2017

What Are The Hidden Treasures of Travel Insurance?

Travel Insurance hidden treasures: Here’s the thing, there’s more than meets the eye with Travel Insurance.

Travel insurance provides protection and peace of mind when you go on vacation or important business trip. Like with any other type of financial protection, travel insurance is something you don’t want to have to use. But minor and major disasters do happen sometimes, and you’ll want to know that travel insurance is your silent partner just in case. It’s there to make you feel safe with a whole host of hidden treasures.

Seasoned travelers are very familiar with the typical benefits of travel insurance. They know that it provides protection for things like trip cancellations and interruptions, travel medical emergencies, evacuations, loss baggage, and stolen property etc. For many people, these benefits are sufficient to justify the cost of travel insurance. But a closer look will show that there are many “hidden” benefits of travel insurance as well, which will help make your vacation as relaxing as possible

Here are some of the lesser known benefits that knowledgeable travelers can take advantage of. As always, be sure to read your policy closely when considering your options. Otherwise, you might miss out on important benefits.

Simple travel medical coverage is a part of many policies. Similar to your health insurance at home, it reimburses you for standard medical care/emergencies while you’re away. But there are other health care protection options well, like Accidental Death & Dismemberment and Dental Care.

Whilst certainly not the most entertaining topic, Accidental Death & Dismemberment protects you in case the unthinkable happens. You can think of it as an addition to your life insurance plan.

Moving swiftly on, with Dental Care coverage where you can be reimbursed for the cost of emergency dental care you receive while traveling overseas. Like with any insurance, there are certain restrictions involved, so be sure to read your policy carefully before deciding on a plan.

You can also upgrade your travel insurance policy to include protection for your rental car. This can be a convenient way to cover any damage to the car, especially if you don’t have adequate coverage through other means. But make sure your rental company accepts travel insurance coverage before purchasing the upgrade. And be aware that the coverage only applies to the car itself, not to any other property that might be damaged because of the mishap.

Two other hidden benefits to consider are Missed Cruise Connection and Financial Default. With Missed Cruise Connection, you’re covered for the expenses that incur while traveling to your ship’s next port of call. Just keep in mind that the benefits only apply if you miss the connection for a covered reason.

Whilst Financial Default covers you if your travel provider goes out of business unexpectedly. Most aspects of Financial default coverage are time sensitive, so be sure that you understand your policy before deciding on the comprehensive plan you’re going to purchase.

And remember, at AardvarkCompare you can run a completely anonymous quote in minutes and compare dozens of the top travel insurance plans to find the right plan for you.

Safe Travels


Is The Cheapest Travel Insurance The Best?

Posted on June 1st, 2017

Is The Cheapest Travel Insurance The Best?

The Best Travel Insurance is Not Always The Cheapest

Sure, as consumers we want to pay as little as possible for the services we need. But just like with any other product, you get what you pay for with travel insurance. It can be a really bad idea to purchase a basement bargain policy, especially if the worst happens.

As we all know, anything can happen during your vacation or business trip. Even something as common as lost luggage can be extremely damaging if you’re not covered for it. And if you or a family gets seriously injured, the losses incurred can be catastrophic.

Of course, it’s impossible to predict what disasters or inconveniences might befall you whilst traveling. Your trip is subject to the whims of chance, just like your home, car, and health when you’re back at home. And just like your homeowner’s policy, travel insurance protects you from the enormous consequences that can ensue when disaster does strike.

That’s why it’s crucial to consider more than just the cost of a policy when going over travel insurance quotes. The last thing you want is to have something terrible happen and wish you’d spent a few dollars more when you still had the chance.

And here’s the thing. Comparison sites like AardvarkCompare are great tools for finding the best deals for your travel needs. They present policies and rates from a variety of companies in a way that makes comparison really easy.

You might be surprised by the price differences you’ll discover when comparing travel insurance quotes. This is one of the reasons that it’s important to explore a number of quotes before deciding what policy to purchase. By considering more than just price, you can find the ideal amount of protection and focus on enjoying your trip.

Safe Travels


Memorial Day: What Does A Coin On A Cemetery Headstone Mean?

Posted on May 29th, 2017

What Does A Coin On A Cemetery Headstone Mean?

As we remember the fallen this Memorial Day, we wanted to depart from our normal travel tips to share the meaning of something many of you may have seen in cemeteries up and down the country; coins laying on top of a tombstone.

Leaving a coin on a tombstone is the way we can honor those who have given their lives in the service of their country. It lets the family of the deceased soldiers know that somebody has stopped buy and paid their respects. But there is an equally important meaning to the denomination of the coin that has been left. So, leaving a penny simply means you visited and paid your respects and thank the veteran for their service.

A nickel means that you and the deceased soldier trained at boot camp together. A dime means you served with the soldier, and finally a quarter. This is very significant. This means that you were there when that soldier was killed.

Many people ask what happens to the coins after Memorial Day? Well, these coins are collected by the cemetery staff and the money is used to help maintain the cemetery, or with the cost of burial for fallen soldiers, or even to help ex-service personnel who have fallen on hard times.

In the US this tradition became popular during the Vietnam war. Some say it was used as a way to show respect without getting into an uncomfortable political discussion about a war that was very controversial.

However, the origins of leaving a coin for a fallen solider can be traced back as far as the Roman Empire. It was considered a way to give your fallen buddy some spending money for the hereafter.

At AardvarkCompare, through our Aardvark Kids of Heroes program, we are proud to support the Special Operations Warrior Foundation and their fantastic work for service personnel and their families.

Safe Travels


Can I Buy Travel Insurance If Someone Else Pays For My Trip

Posted on May 25th, 2017

Can I Buy Travel Insurance If Someone Else Pays For My Trip?

The simple answer is YES. You can still purchase travel insurance if someone else pays for your trip. This will give you protection when you travel.

Remember, travel insurance isn’t just to cover the costs of the trip due to cancellation and interruption.  Although these are really good reasons to have travel insurance, a travel insurance plan is also there to lend a hand in the event that you fall ill whilst you are away and need medical assistance, or if your bags are lost by the airline or for a whole host of other really important reasons.

If someone has paid for your trip, and you want trip cancellation insurance within the plan you buy, you need to insure the prepaid and non-refundable trip costs associated with yourself.

When running a quote on AardvarkCompare, make sure to use as the initial trip payment date, the first date a booking was made for your trip, even if it was booked by someone else.

If you were to have a problem with trip cancellation or trip interruption, you would be required to provide documentation showing the trip costs such as receipts, invoices, or credit card statements. If you do not have these, for a successful claim you would need to be able to obtain them from the person who paid for your trip.

Finally, not all travel insurance policies are alike.  It’s important to compare trip insurance options so you end up with the right policy for you.

At AardvarkCompare we offer policies from many of the largest travel providers, and with dozens of policies to choose from, we’re bound to have the right one for you.

And if you are traveling by plane, before you book a refundable flight, we suggest you check out our Trending Airline Ticket Hack to save a huge amount of money on the cost of your flights.

Safe Travels


Will Health & Home Insurance Be Enough When I Travel?

Posted on May 25th, 2017

Will Health & Home Insurance Be Enough When I Travel

Will Health & Home Insurance Be Enough When I Travel

While health & home insurance policies may sometimes cover a few very basic benefits for travel, they often don’t go far enough to be of any real value.

That probably comes as a surprise to many travelers, who make assumptions about being covered while traveling.

If you care about coverage while you’re jet-setting the world or slugging to the hinterlands for business, you’ll want to know the following.  It tells why your existing health insurance plus your home insurance policies probably won’t be enough to cover you for all that can happen while on the road.

Here’s why your health insurance will probably let you down if you travel.

It’s hard enough to know whether health insurance policies will cover you for basic procedures at home, much less when you’re away from home.  

Read your policy carefully to find out whether the benefits and deductibles are acceptable to you when you use out-of-network doctors.

Even if you have a great health insurance policy, those wonderful benefits you’re paying for might not apply when you’re traveling out of network.

Using out-of-network doctors is one sticky point in most health insurance plans, but using foreign doctors is even more of an issue.  If you’re on Medicaid, forget about it…you’re not covered abroad.

Travel insurance, on the other hand, will pay for a doctor no matter where you find yourself needing one around the globe.  You could fall and injure yourself anywhere from Morocco to Singapore and you’re covered.

Homeowners or Renters Insurance only go so far.

It’s true that many homeowners policies will cover some very basic concerns while you’re traveling, but they fall short of providing coverage that you probably want.

For example, if your luggage is lost, some travel insurance policies will help you track it down.  They’ll even cover buying a basic vacation wardrobe to keep you covered and decent while your own luggage is retrieved.  

Homeowners policies usually won’t touch that situation.

For travelers, there’s a huge gap in what homeowners and medical insurance policies cover.

Without travel insurance, you’ll be on your own if you need to see a foreign doctor or if your luggage goes MIA.  

But those aren’t the only reasons trip insurance is important.

If your trip gets delayed or canceled you’ll find that your homeowner policy is completely irrelevant in that situation.  If you have an emergency while on the road, travel insurance plans have your back.

Let’s say you’re about to embark on a vacation and (fingers crossed that this won’t happen to you) an immediate family member becomes seriously ill.  You can’t go.  A travel insurance policy will cover that scenario and more that are like it.

This also applies to death, illness or injury of immediate family members during your tip.  Trips that get interrupted for these reasons are also covered.  Again, homeowners or renters policies won’t touch that with a ten foot pole.

Finally, not all travel insurance policies are alike.  It’s important to compare trip insurance options so you end up with the right policy for you.  At AardvarkCompare we offer policies from many of the largest travel providers, and with dozens policies to choose from, we’re bound to have the right one for you.

Safe Travels


Frequent Flier Miles – Can I Insure Them?

Posted on May 24th, 2017

Is It Possible To Insure My Frequent Flyer Miles?

Is It Possible To Insure My Frequent Flier Miles?

The short answer is No. Unfortunately, frequent flyer miles cannot be insured on your travel insurance plan.

The reason air miles and rewards points are not insurable expenses is because there is no dollar value to associate with them.

However, our friends at AIG Travel Guard do offer a Trip Interruption – Return Air Only cover that will reimburse you for the additional airline transportation expenses incurred to reach your Return Destination if your Trip must be interrupted due to one of the protected unforeseen events. Maximum Limits apply.

Also remember that you can insure any other out-of-pocket taxes or fees which are related to air miles or reward points.

This information can vary based on the travel insurance policy so please check the policy carefully.

And remember, at AardvarkCompare you can run a completely anonymous quote in minutes and compare dozens of the top travel insurance plans to find the right plan for you.

Safe Travels


Travel Insurance: When Should I Buy My Travel Insurance Plan?

Posted on May 24th, 2017

When Should I Buy My Travel Insurance Plan?

When Should I Buy My Travel Insurance Plan?

This very much depends on what travel benefits you are looking to achieve.

Standard Trip Cancellation policies can be purchased up until the day before your departure, but be warned that some time-sensitive benefits included in Trip Cancellation policies must be purchased within 14-30 days of your initial booking date. This is normally the date you first paid out towards your trip.

In order to ensure you get the most out of your travel insurance plan, we always recommend that you purchase a plan as soon as you have paid out towards your trip, and remember, if you have yet to finalise your trip plans, don’t worry. You will be able to call your travel insurance provider and add on other parts of your trip as you book them.

The sooner you purchase a policy, the sooner the cancellation coverage within the policy can begin to protect you.

Also, some benefits, like Pre-Existing Condition coverage and Cancel For Any Reason, are also time-sensitive benefits which require the policy to be purchased within a prescribed number of days following your initial trip deposit date. Normally between 14 to 30 days. This information can vary based on the travel insurance policy you choose, so please check the policy carefully.

And remember, at AardvarkCompare you can run a completely anonymous quote in minutes and compare dozens of the top travel insurance plans to find the right plan for you.

Safe Travels


Schengen Visa – What Is It and Do I Need One?

Posted on May 24th, 2017

What Is A Schengen Visa and Do I Need One?

Before you embark on your vacation, you will want to check that all your papers are in order, and knowing whether you need a Schengen visa for your travels within Europe is essential.

A Schengen visa will allow a non-US citizen to travel throughout 26 countries within Europe. It requires a traveler to have an insurance plan with at least 30,000 Euros of Emergency Medical and Medical Evacuation coverage.

The US State Department offers some excellent advice; the link is provided here.

But not all US travelers need a visa in order to travel within the Schengen territory. If you are a US citizen, you can travel up to 90 days within a six-month period without the visa. However, if you are a non-US citizen, you may be required to obtain a visa before you are able to enter one of the Schengen countries.

And as to which countries are part of the Schengen territory; it is made up of the following European countries:

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

We would suggest you contact the embassy of your vacation destination country to find out if a visa is necessary.

And remember, at AardvarkCompare you can run a completely anonymous quote in minutes and compare dozens of the top travel insurance plans to find the right plan for you.

Schengen Process:

  • When you first cross any external border of the Schengen area, present your passport for an entry stamp.
  • Immigration officials will decide if you qualify for entry into the Schengen area.
  • Note: Be sure to ask the official to stamp your passport since you are responsible for proving you have legally entered the Schengen area.
  • When moving from one member country to another, you do not need to show your passport until you exit the Schengen area, which must be no more than three months after your initial entry.
  • During each six months period, you will have three months of visa-free travel within the Schengen area.
  • When you leave the Schengen area after three months, you must wait another three  months  before you can apply to enter the Schengen area again without a visa.
  • Ensure your passport is stamped upon exiting the Schengen area.

Safe Travels


Safari Travel Insurance – What Insurance Plan Do I Need?

Posted on May 23rd, 2017

What Travel Insurance Plan Do I Need If I’m Going On Safari?

Congratulations on booking your safari holiday. What an amazing trip you have coming up. For most people going on safari is a once in a lifetime event, and you will want to ensure that all your plans come off exactly as you have planned them. One of the most important things to remember is to travel insured. But the question is what type of insurance do you need to be protected on your safari?

The simple answer is that all comprehensive travel insurance policies are likely to cover you and your family going on safari.  We would however suggest you check that the country you are traveling to is not an excluded location. Also if you are intending to be skydiving or hot-air ballooning whilst on your vacation, you will want to check that these activities are not excluded. Once you have found the plan that is right for you, simply call the insurer and ask.

And whilst the AardvarkCompare site allows you to easily compare and contrast different insurance plans, so you can see different coverage levels verses price, when you are settled on the plan that is right for you, we would always recommend reading through your insurance policy certificate. Probably not quite as exciting as reading through the details for the vacation and excursions you have booked, but still, it is essential reading.

And remember, at AardvarkCompare you can run a completely anonymous quote in minutes and compare dozens of the top travel insurance plans to find the right plan for you.

Some other suggestions that we have for you…

Take enough camera memory to take great photos of the lions, tigers, elephants and other wildlife that you will see on your trip.

Kalahari
Learn to use your camera before your trip – take the time to be comfortable with your equipment; perhaps join a local photography club beforehand.

Break in your boots – you do not want to suffer blisters due to a lack of preparation.

Then – have a fantastic time; you are traveling to a place that is truly magical.

Safe Travels

botswana_map

 


When Is The Best Time To Buy An Airline Ticket?

Posted on May 16th, 2017

When Is The Best Time To Buy An Airline Ticket?

At AardvarkCompare we are frequently asked by our customers about the best time to buy an airline ticket.
Early or Late; Weekday or Weekend; Morning or Evening.
Our advice is straightforward – Buy your ticket as soon as is humanly possible.

It really is that simple.

Book Early.
Book Non-Refundable.
Travel Insure.

Airlines typically release their flight schedule around 11 months ahead of time – this is the earliest that a ticket can be purchased.
When they do, this is where tickets are generally at their absolute cheapest.
The airline is trying to fill some of the seats early on and their automatic pricing tools give out the best deals.

First Tip – Book Early
Using United as an example. 11 months out.
The flight is from New York to Lisbon, Portugal, but the same process will flow whichever city pair you choose.
If you have never been to Lisbon, do add it to your ‘bucket list’ – it is a beautiful, fascinating place.
United NYC - LIS

So, here we are, 11 months out, and the best price with United is $700.
United NYC - LIS $700

Let’s see what happens if we try the same flight, last-minute.
Here it is, in just a few days time..
United NYC - LIS - $2100

Yikes!
The least expensive seat is now $2,100 return.
Our flight price just went up by $1,400 in price; a 3x increase, because we booked late.
Who buys these tickets?
Desperate business travelers who have to travel.
We do not want to be competing for a seat with this type of price-insensitive customer.
Even if the aircraft is still relatively empty, the seat price will be very, very high.
The airline only has to catch one or two last minute business travelers to win in that particular game.

So, First Tip = Book Early..

Second Tip – Book Non-Refundable
If you ever wanted to see how much an airline loves a passenger then take a look at their booking rules.
These are United’s – all is upper-case, no formatting at all.
Very difficult to comprehend, which we assume was the point of the exercise.
United Booking Rules

What we can ascertain is that, in essence, there is a $300 charge to change our flight…
That’s $300 to change a $700 flight.
There is no point doing that at all.  Let’s find a cheaper way to get our money back..

So, Second Tip – Book Non-Refundable.

Third Tip – Get Decent Travel Insurance.
Not the airline insurance, that is not good value.
And never the Expedia insurance – that is really terrible.

Get something that has strong Cancel for Work and Cancel for Any Reason Coverage.
CWFR & CFAR Aardvark $700 NYC - LIS

So, let’s forget paying $300 to change a ticket.
Instead, let’s insure the $700 seat for around $80; then we will get 100% refund on ‘Cancel for Work’ and 75% for ‘Cancel for Any Reason’.

This way, we can book the earliest possible seats on an aircraft, and be confident that if our plans change, we can get our money back.

Book Early, Book Non-Refundable, Travel Insure.

Safe Travels!

Read more about getting value from the airlines here.


Is Expedia Travel Insurance Worth Buying? – Video

Posted on May 12th, 2017

Is Expedia Travel Insurance Worth Buying? – Video

In our opinion, Travel Insurance is often worth buying. You never know when you’re going to need it.
But, Is Expedia Travel Insurance Worth Buying?

You will no doubt have spent a good deal of time searching for the right holiday at the right price, and there you are on the Expedia purchase page, and all of a sudden, you are offered just one choice of travel insurance.
What do you do?

You don’t want to delay too long on the purchase page and risk it timing out, and you don’t want to risk not having any travel insurance at all.
So many people trust Expedia to give them a good insurance product at a good price.

Sadly that is not a great idea.

In our opinion the Expedia Travel Insurance is probably the worst Trip Insurance that we have seen across the US.
It is has limited benefits and is expensive – the absolute worst of both worlds.

But don’t take just our word for it. Here’s a worked example.
Our Expedia trip has a price of $4400.

Expedia $4400 Trip

Expedia then adds a little scary language to convince us to buy their insurance.

Expedia $180 Insurance $4400 Trip Scary Language

Now, if you didn’t know any better, you would just tick the box and buy the Expedia Insurance.
After all, over 35,000 other customers have done exactly that in the last 7 days, so it must be a smart move. 

Expedia wouldn’t let us down, would they?
Well, let’s have a quick look
How about paying 50% less and getting more coverage?
Expedia is offering $15,000 in Medical Evacuation benefit for $178 and yet, the least expensive insurance available on AardvarkCompare has $150,000 of Medical Evacuation benefit, plus a whole host of other same of better coverages for just $116.
Expedia Cheaper Option AardvarkCompare

But, what could we get for the same amount of money that Expedia wants to charge? 

Well, for $174 we can get $1m of Evacuation Cover, we get Hospital Of Choice Benefit, we also get $100k Medical Sickness Benefit and Cancel for Work Reasons Coverage.
These are all really significant benefits that a smart customer could buy for the same price that Expedia is trying to charge for a bare-bones policy.

Expedia Better Option CFWR AardvarkCompare

So, by all means use flight comparison sites like Expedia to shop when traveling.
But, if you are going to take out Travel Insurance, and we always recommend you consider this, then take a couple of minutes to run the numbers via a Travel Insurance Marketplace, like AardvarkCompare, and make the most of your money.

You really have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Safe Travels

 


What Is My Initial Trip Payment Date For Travel Insurance? – Video

Posted on May 10th, 2017

What Is My Initial Trip Payment Date For Travel Insurance? – Video

At AardvarkCompare we need to ask for some specific information from you when you run a Travel Insurance quote.

It really only takes 2 minutes, although we have seen quotes run in under a minute before.

However, some of the questions might cause confusion if you are not familiar with the terms themselves.
That is perfectly normal, which is why we created little pop-up question-mark bubbles throughout the site.

If you hover your cursor over any of the little question-mark bubbles you will then see a little script explaining the different terms.
We certainly hope that this helps.

Safe Travels.

Initial trip payment date:
Please tell us the very first date that you paid out towards your trip.

Information Needed For a Trip Insurance Quote