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Lifestyletravel

How Travel Insurance Works For Baggage

Baggage coverage is a very important benefit within travel insurance plans. It can provide monetary assistance when things go wrong with your luggage during a trip. There are two forms of baggage coverage: Baggage loss and baggage delay. Here’s how they work so you can make your travel insurance plans accordingly.

Understanding Baggage Loss Travel Insurance

Baggage loss insurance covers baggage that is lost, damaged or stolen during your trip. But not everything in your bags might fall under the insurance coverage.

“Depending on your insurance provider, certain items could be excluded, such as electronics, watches, silver, gold and platinum,” says Bailey Foster, a spokesperson with Trawick International, a travel insurance company. (Trawick’s policies do not exclude these items.)

If you travel with laptops, cameras and other electronic equipment, you want to make sure your travel insurance plan includes these items.

“So if your luggage was stolen or lost, you should have some protection for these items,” says Foster.

The best travel insurance plans provide $2,500 and higher for baggage loss. If your suitcase is full of flip-flops and T-shirts, this is likely much more coverage than you’ll need.

Understanding baggage reimbursement caps and benefits

The maximum coverage per person for baggage insurance on most travel insurance plans ranges from $250 to $3,000, says Steven Benna, a spokesperson for Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison provider.

Most travel insurance policies also have a per item coverage cap of $50 to $250 (such as one suitcase or piece of clothing). This is important to note because if you have very expensive items, such as a pricey suitcase, there may be a big gap between the amount you paid for it and what your insurance compensation would be. For example, if you have a $250 per item cap and you lose your $14,500 ridge black Fendi suitcase, you’d only be reimbursed $250 for that item.

Most policies also include a “specific items” limit for expensive items such as jewelry, cameras and electronics, among other things. Benna says this amount typically ranges from $250 to $500 per specific item, but some policies can reimburse between $1,000 and $2,500 for one item.

For example, the TripProtector Preferred plan from HTH Worldwide provides an overall baggage loss limit of $2,000.

“Each item is subject to a maximum amount of $500, with a combined maximum of $1,000 for valuable items such as jewelry and electronics equipment,” explains Don Van Scyoc, a vice president with GeoBlue, which administers HTH Worldwide travel insurance plans.

Baggage loss coverage is typically secondary to other claims you can make, such as reimbursement from the common carrier (like the airline) or from a homeowners insurance claim.

If you do file a travel insurance baggage claim, it’s important to know that reimbursement may not equal the amount to replace the item with a brand-new item. Reimbursement could be the cost for repair or replacement of the item, or the actual cash value of the item, whichever is less, says Van Scyoc.

Understanding Baggage Delay Insurance

Baggage delay insurance reimburses you for expenses you have to pay because your baggage is delayed. Check the policy for the rules on the baggage delay times and reimbursement maximums.

“For example, if your luggage is delayed for over 12 hours, you can submit a claim associated with your delayed baggage if you have a Trawick International travel insurance policy,” says Foster. “On certain Trawick International plans, our benefits allow travelers to submit a claim if their baggage is delayed for eight hours.”

Arriving at your destination without your bags can put a wrench in your vacation for sure. If you are without necessary personal items, you can be reimbursed for these expenses under baggage delay coverage.

For example, if you need toiletries, a change of clothes, shoes or other necessities while your baggage is vacationing somewhere else, you can make a claim under baggage delay coverage.

Typical daily allowances for baggage delay reimbursement are in the $200 range, per person, per day. This modest allowance is designed to help pay for necessities, not replace your entire bag’s contents.

As with baggage loss insurance, baggage delay coverage is often secondary to other claims you can make, such as a claim with the airline.

HTH Worldwide’s baggage delay coverage, though, is primary. “This plan offers primary coverage for all benefits, including baggage, which means you may submit your claim first under this plan and you’re not required to go to your other potential sources of insurance coverage such as a homeowners policy,” says Van Scyoc.

Read your policy to understand per-item limits, exclusions like pricey jewelry, and also limits on the amount you can file for the luggage itself.

Baggage Insurance Benefits for Carry-on vs. Checked Luggage

While carrying on bags is more convenient, the rules for travel insurance coverage for checked luggage and carry-ons are the same.

Carrying on your bags means there’s much less likelihood of a lost or damaged bag, so you don’t need to place priority on ample baggage insurance, points out Megan Moncrief, a spokesperson for Squaremouth.

She says that baggage coverage is a relatively small benefit in a comprehensive insurance policy compared to trip cancellation travel insurance and medical benefits. “Typically, they are not a huge premium driver,” Moncrief says. “Travelers may look at these benefits when deciding between policies, but we typically don’t see this as the main reason someone is buying insurance.”

How Much Baggage Insurance Do I Need?

The amount of baggage insurance you need depends on how much you stand to lose if your suitcases are lost, damaged or stolen. Assess the value of what you’re packing (plus the value of your actual luggage) to determine what amount of baggage loss coverage you might need.

If you’re looking for ample coverage, you can find travel insurance policies with $2,500 or $3,000 in baggage insurance benefits.

Filing a Baggage Insurance Claim

Documentation is very important when filing any type of insurance claim. Keep all receipts organized, such as the receipts for what you had to buy during the time your baggage was delayed. You will also typically be required to provide the original receipts or proof of purchase of the items you want to claim when you file a lost or stolen baggage claim.

If your bags are stolen, file a report with the local authorities. If your bags are lost, be sure to get a report from the airline or other transportation supplier.

You can file a travel insurance claim using your policy number through your company’s website, the customer assistance telephone number or through the company’s app.

When it comes to processing baggage delay claims faster, some travel insurance companies have upped their game. For example, the Allianz Travel SmartBenefits feature provides quicker fixed-amount payments for qualifying baggage delays. If your luggage is delayed on a trip, it will reimburse you for $100 per person, per day, with no receipts required. If you have receipts, it will pay up to the plan’s daily reimbursement limit.

Sports Equipment for Competition and Baggage Insurance

Traveling with sports equipment for competition can present its own insurance challenges. Moncrief says most travel insurance policies do not cover reimbursement for missing a competition due to lost equipment. In fact, some policies exclude coverage for professional competition altogether.

There are, however, some travel insurance plans specifically designed for sports travel. For example, the Tin Leg Adventure plan covers trip cancellation and interruption if “you are unable to participate in a scheduled hunting/fishing expedition due to a delay of the necessary personal sporting equipment by the common carrier.”

So if you’re traveling for a competition, make sure your travel insurance policy can compete as well.

Extra Help from Travel Insurance

Travel insurance not only protects your checked or carry-on luggage, it also extends to other types of belongings when they’re lost, stolen or damaged during a trip.

“Maybe you lose your backpack or your train ticket, or your passport gets wet, you get pickpocketed and lose your wallet, or your phone gets lost or stolen,” says Lisa Cheng, spokesperson with World Nomads. “Although travel insurance won’t cover credit cards or cash, travel insurance can support you in either getting replacements or reimbursements for these things, provided that you’ve taken reasonable care of them.”

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Lifestyletravel

Souvenirs Of Style: Unique Home Decor Ideas For Passionate Travel Lovers

You love to travel around the world and now you want to bring little pieces of each place to your home. The best way to do that is by adding travel souvenirs to your home decor. Here are the home decor ideas you can take inspiration from.

Are you a traveller? Does your home reflect the same? If not then we have got you some ideas that will help you incorporate your travel experiences into your house. Check out the ideas if you want to bring the world into your home.

Travel Themed Wall

Walls are the perfect place to display things. Being a traveller you can opt for a travel-themed wall. You can either get it customised by an interior designer or you can create it on your own by adding decor maps, or travel-themed wallpaper. You can add a large world map on the accent wall of your living room to create a travel theme wall. You can put push pins to the places you have been or you can attach your travel pictures on the world map.

Posters And Frames

Nothing can beat the essence of pictures you take while travelling. You can frame the best pictures from your travel trip in a large frame and place it on the wall. You can also frame pictures of the places that are yet to be explored and create a travel corner in your house that inspires you to plan your next trip.

Display Souvenirs

Travel Souvenirs are the best elements you can add to your house. While travelling you might have collected several pieces that add to your travel memory. You can display those pieces at several corners of your house or you can create a separate shelf that displays the entire collection of souvenirs from around the world.

Travel Collage

If you have a bunch of pictures from your travel experiences then you can use them to create a travel collage. Arrange the pictures in a polaroid form and print them out. You can arrange those pictures on the wall of your bedroom as a travel collage. Also, you can frame those pictures and arrange them likewise.

Use Vintage Items As Decor pieces

If you own an old suitcase then you can revamp and use it as a decor piece. You can add it in one corner and place vases, and books on the top for display. It will give you a travel vibe.

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Everything You Need to Know Before Traveling With a Drone

It’s possible, but there are a few rules you need to follow.

As of August 2021, there were more than 850,000 drones registered in the United States by the FAA. According to Philly By Air, more than 500,000 of those are registered for recreational purposes, meaning a whole lot of people are now having fun flying their new toys all over the place.

Ready to take your drone on the road? Here’s everything you need to know about traveling with a drone.

Yes, you can take a drone on a plane — but there are a few rules.

As DJI explains, yes you can take a drone on a plane as either a piece of carry-on luggage, or as a piece of checked luggage, depending on its size. But, no matter what, you must take out the drone’s batteries and put those in your carry-on bag.

“This is because bags aren’t stored in a pressurized environment, and temperatures won’t fluctuate as strongly in the passenger cabin,” DJI notes. “Also, with your bag in an overhead compartment, airline staff can respond quickly in an emergency.”

Be aware of your battery size.

While you can bring both your drone and batteries on a flight, the batteries need to be under a certain size. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, if your drone’s batteries come in below 100 Wh, you can carry as many as you want on the flight, however, if your batteries are between 101 and 160 Wh, you can only bring up to two per flight.

“These limits allow for nearly all types of lithium batteries used by the average person in their electronic devices,” the FAA’s website explains. “With airline approval, passengers may also carry up to two spare larger lithium-ion batteries (101–160 Wh) or Lithium metal batteries (2-8 grams). This size covers the larger after-market extended-life laptop computer batteries and some larger batteries used in professional audio/visual equipment.”

Check out all the local flying laws before you depart.

There’s nothing worse than diligently packing up all your gear, getting it on a plane, and arriving only to be told: “no flying allowed.” Before you depart on your trip with your drone in hand, make sure to research local flying and photography laws, and apply for any necessary permits before it’s too late.

For example, the Pilot Institute notes that the National Park Service does indeed allow people to fly drones in the park, but (and it’s a big but), only if “it is done in the aid of scientific studies or research.” Sorry, but you can’t legally fly one in a national park just to get a sick Instagram shot.

As the policy states, “Launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of [any park] is prohibited except as approved in writing by the superintendent.” So please, just don’t even try it.

And outside the U.S., things can get even more strict. For example, if you attempt to fly to the country of Morocco with a drone, it will be seized at the airport.

“Anyone caught in Morocco with a drone must expect the drone to be confiscated,” Drone Traveller explains. “In addition, a fine of 1,165 Dirhams (about 110 Euros) must be paid. If you declare your drone upon entering the country, you can hope that you will get it back when leaving it.”

Moral of the story: research, research, and research some more on your intended destination’s laws. The same goes for attractions and theme parks like Disney World, which absolutely does not allow the use of drones.

In the United States, FAA rules apply, too.

The Pilot Institute importantly adds, no matter where you fly in the U.S., there is still a set of rules put forth by the FAA that you must follow. This includes rules for both recreational flyers and commercial flyers.

“This means that drone flight over crowded areas is still prohibited, as well as over moving vehicles,” the Pilot Institute adds. “If you’re flying under Part 107 rules and don’t have the appropriate waiver, make sure to ground your drone once night-time comes around.”

And, regardless of if you’re a commercial or recreational flyer, make sure to carry any necessary credentials or permits at all times in case you’re asked for them by officials.

See all the FAA rules and regulations for flying a drone here.

Can you still have fun with a drone on your travels?

Though the above seems daunting, the answer is yes! You absolutely can still have fun and take fantastic images with a drone all over the globe. TL;DR: Look at your airline’s drone policy, pack your batteries correctly, and get a local permit if you need. Then, read up on a few drone photography tips and see a few photos for inspiration, then go forth and take the best images of your life.

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Lifestyletravel

How Much Should You Tip Room Service?

Experts weigh in on tipping etiquette.

Ask most travelers what they tip for room service, and chances are you’ll be met with a blank stare. Tipping is tricky, yet necessary, but the etiquette can vary depending on where you are.

“It’s the most awkward thing to tell someone what to tip because [expectations are] so different everywhere,” says Julie Danziger, managing partner of Embark Beyond in New York City. “Especially for Americans who are used to tipping in one way, which other countries might take as an insult.”

There are no hard and fast rules for tipping, so do what makes you most comfortable, and don’t be afraid to ask your host or travel advisor for guidance. Try not to stress over it — we’ve all gotten it wrong at times. Fortunately, there are some guidelines to keep you on top of the tipping trends at home and abroad. Read on for tipping advice from travel and etiquette experts.

When to Tip for Room Service

Tipping for room service is expected in destinations where tipping is customary and when a room service charge has not already been added to the bill. For those staying abroad, where tipping customs may not be as clearcut, do your homework, says Lizzie Post, co-president of the Emily Post Institute in Waterbury, Vermont. “Take the time to look up standards for the area,” she says.

Tipping is customary in Canada, for example, as it is in the U.S. It’s also customary in the Caribbean, the Middle East, Mexico, and parts of Europe and South America, but the standard tip amount in these regions is less than in the U.S. Places like the U.K., Australia, and much of Asia do not have as much of a tipping culture.

At top-tier hotels like the Ritz-Carlton, guests should expect to pay gratuity on top of a service charge, says Danziger, who rarely sees such fees omitted from bills. And if you’re unsure whether your hotel has a service charge, just ask.

If you’re paying with a card, Betty Jo Currie, founder of Currie & Co. Travels Unlimited in Atlanta, says to find out if tip is included. If you’re not paying by card, you may decide to leave a little cash. “I generally leave $5 or so,” she says, noting how little these workers are compensated. Just because there’s a service charge and gratuity included doesn’t mean the person who brought up your food will receive it.

“Ask whether the person is receiving tips from the actual bill,” says Danziger.

How Much to Tip for Room Service

Danziger finds applying the same mentality she uses when dining at American restaurants to be helpful. “As Americans, usually we’re trained to double the tax or pay 18% or 20% on top,” she says. Assuming the food came from the hotel, it should be fine to do the same for room service. (If it didn’t, you can pretend it did, Danziger says.)

The most recent “Gratuity Guide” from the American Hotel and Lodging Association, published in 2014, confirms that 15% to 20% is standard in the U.S. where a room service charge hasn’t already been added to the bill. In regions where tipping is expected but the amount is less, you might tip 5% to 15% — it’s important to do your research in advance.

That standard applies to full-service chains and boutique hotels all the same. “Logically, one would think motels would provide less service and thus require less in terms of tips,” Currie says, but that isn’t the case.

While Post stresses that tipping is a personal decision, she warns against tipping based on the type of establishment you’re staying in. “You want to make sure workers feel valued for the work they’re doing,” she says. “If it’s not as high class, don’t decrease your tip because of that.”

Currie agrees, saying, “if the service is good, my amount wouldn’t change — and I urge others to think the same way.”

How Much to Tip for Other Hotel Services

The standard tipping amount for hotel bartenders and waiters is the same as the rule of thumb for room service: 15% to 20%, depending on how satisfied you are with the service. The AHLA recommends tipping courtesy shuttle drivers and door staff $1 to $2 per person. It says you should tip housekeeping and bell staff $1 to $5 and adds that these workers should be tipped every time their services are used. Tip the same amount for parking attendants, but only when you retrieve your car.

Tip the concierge $5 to $10 “depending on how involved the service,” the AHLA says, and for “delivery of special items” the standard is $2 for a single item and $1 for each additional item.

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