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You may be ready to experience the nightlife in Las Vegas, lounge on the beaches in Fort Lauderdale or explore the famous San Antonio River Walk. You may even be booking a trip abroad to tour Italy or bask in the sun in Greece.

A comprehensive travel insurance policy can package together a number of great coverage types for trip cancellation, medical expenses, baggage and more. But how do you know if your trip is worth insuring?

Related: Compare Travel Insurance Quotes From Over 22 Providers

Do You Need Travel Insurance for a U.S. Trip?

If you’re traveling within the U.S. or its territories, and you have pre-paid significant non-refundable deposits for the trip, you should consider purchasing at least trip cancellation insurance, says Don Van Scyoc, a spokesperson for GeoBlue, a travel insurance company.

For example, if you have booked non-refundable plane tickets, an expensive resort and private excursions such as snorkeling, you may want insurance. Trip cancellation insurance will reimburse you 100% for what you lose in deposits if you have to cancel the trip for a reason listed in the policy. These reasons generally include:

  • Sickness of you or a family member
  • Injury or death
  • A job lay-off
  • Jury duty
  • Military deployment
  • Strikes by travel workers
  • Severe weather
  • Terrorist incident at your destination
  • And other reasons

There are some trips where travel insurance isn’t worth the cost. For example, if you’re driving to attend a college reunion in Philadelphia for a long weekend and have a refundable hotel room, you don’t need travel insurance because you aren’t facing a financial loss if you don’t go.

Even if some parts of your trip are non-refundable, if the potential loss is low, like a one-night hotel penalty, you’ll likely decide to skip travel insurance.

Do You Need Travel Insurance for an International Trip?

Travel insurance deserves serious consideration for international travel, even if trip cancellation insurance isn’t important to you.

Travel medical insurance is important for medical coverage outside of the U.S. Your domestic medical insurance provider will likely not cover you for medical care outside the U.S., or provide only limited coverage and/or a high deductible.

And because Medicare doesn’t cover health care outside the U.S., travel medical insurance is crucial for senior travelers.

“International travel medical insurance covers unexpected medical expenses and emergencies abroad,” says Jeremy Murchland, president of Seven Corners, a travel insurance company.

If you’re vacationing in France, for example, and twist your ankle in Paris on a cobblestone walkway, you will need medical attention. Your travel insurance plan can cover medical costs for doctor visits, medicine and transport to a local hospital.

Emergency medical evacuation coverage is another important benefit available with travel insurance, particularly if you are outside the U.S. If you suffer a serious injury or illness and need to be transported by

(CNN) — “We’re driving to Canada.”

That was the first thing I said last month after reading that the Canadian government would open its border to nonessential travel for fully vaccinated US citizens and permanent residents on August 9, without requiring quarantine.

“That sounds complicated,” my husband replied. He had a point: We have unvaccinated 4- and 7-year-old sons and an 11-year-old labradoodle. But after 18 months of pandemic-juggling and bracing for another Covid-affected school year, I needed a break.

I wanted to look at something besides the locust tree outside my window in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. I wanted to be in another country. One we could drive to, since we decided to not fly with our kids while they’re unvaccinated. I wanted nice people and respect for Covid precautions. All those wants pointed to one destination: Canada.

So, we went for it. And after a whirlwind planning stage rife with confusion, I’m happy to report that part was notably more stressful than any part of the actual trip.

The toughest things to figure out? What we needed to do to cross the border, and when we needed to do it.

The guidelines seemed to keep shifting and we found contradictory information from various sources, even on reputable media and government sites.

What we learned: The Canadian government website says all travelers, upon arrival, must show a negative Covid-19 molecular test taken in the last 72 hours. And only unvaccinated kids 5-11 need to get retested (once upon arrival and another one on day eight, if the stay is that long), along with anyone else chosen at random.

Some friends in the know warned that a test taken even 72 hours and 10 minutes beforehand would be rejected, so we worked backwards from when we wanted to arrive in Canada and then aimed for several hours earlier in case of border delays.

Border checks

Approaching the Canadian border at Buffalo.

Approaching the Canadian border at Buffalo.

Courtesy Rebecca Soffer

Our local PCR testing site informed us that results could take 24-36 hours, so that part was a bit tricky to plan for. Ironically, we got them within an hour but needed additional help to get printable reports detailing that they were PCR tests. Antigen tests are not accepted.

It hurt our heads trying to figure out how to bring our dog along on a road trip during which we might be in between lodgings on hot August days — our two Canadian hotels had strict 3 p.m. check-in policies, no earlier — so poor Ziggy was left Stateside (if you do bring yours, bring a signed rabies certificate from your vet).

The next step was to enter our information on ArriveCAN, the official Canadian government app, within 72 hours before arrival. (The info can also be submitted via the government website and receipt printed off).

I’d read that ArriveCAN hadn’t been working well and wasn’t properly updated. But I found it to be easy and straightforward. Each traveler’s passport and vaccination card needs to be scanned

That’s the route that Dr. Amber Schmidtke, 40, and her family, who live in Kansas City, took during the pandemic. Over the summer, for example, she and her family packed up their camper and traveled for three weeks through Colorado and Utah. Camping, she said, is “sort of pandemic-proof.”

In March, after she and her husband got vaccinated, they booked a Labor Day trip to Hawaii with their children, 10 and 12, with another family of mixed vaccination status.

“We fully expected that there would be a pediatric vaccine by now,” Dr. Schmidtke said. But a few weeks ago, as she saw cases rise in Hawaii and reflected on how the virus has disproportionately harmed people of color, including Native Hawaiians, she decided to cancel her trip.

Dr. Schmidtke is particularly attuned to the spread of the Delta variant because of her work as a Covid researcher at the University of St. Mary in Kansas.

“I may be a little more paranoid than some parents,” she said, but “especially with unvaccinated kids, it’s just a risk that we weren’t willing to take.” She added that she didn’t want to “be responsible for any sort of outbreak” in Hawaii.

Bookings have already started to pick up for next year. Gemma Jamieson, a spokeswoman for Skyscanner, a flight-booking app, said in an email that bookings for 2022 created in the last week were up 30 percent compared to the same time in July. The top bookings were to Cancún, London, Paris, Rome and Tokyo, indicating a continued demand for travel worldwide.

It’s too early to tell how these bookings will be affected by the European Union’s action this week. But, said Dia Adams, a travel expert at Forbes Advisor, “I do think the top line will scare some European travelers off booking their trips.”

It’s not too late to plan an amazing Labor Day vacation.

a group of people on a beach near a body of water: Gianfranco Vivi/Getty Images

© Provided by Travel + Leisure
Gianfranco Vivi/Getty Images

While Sept. 6 is coming up quickly, there are still some great deals to score if you’re looking for an end-of-summer getaway. And to help you get on your way, Skyscanner has compiled some data on some of the most popular and budget-friendly destinations that are still available to book a quick holiday.

For 2021, the most popular destinations include New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando, Denver, Chicago, Miami, London, Atlanta, and Seattle. But if you’re looking for the best deal, Fort Lauderdale is the cheapest destination for travel over Labor Day weekend 2021, averaging $106 for return trips.

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“It’s clear from our data that consumer interest in travel has been steadily growing but as American retail giants record increasing sales of travel gear and swimwear, it is clear that US travelers are planning their trips in earnest. Many vacationers are keen to squeeze more trips in before the end of summer, and with hot favorites like Florida and California welcoming tourists and competitive prices still available, it’s a great time to enjoy a last-minute deal,” said Mark Crossey, U.S. travel expert, in a statement. “Look out for reductions on flexible ticket options, which are a good option for smart vacationers looking to book a last-minute bargain with peace of mind. If you can afford to be flexible with your destination or dates, you could bag a great deal and miss the crowds using Skyscanner’s “Everywhere” search or monthly view for dates.”

a group of people on a beach near a body of water: Summer isn't over just yet.

© Gianfranco Vivi/Getty Images
Summer isn’t over just yet.

For beach-goers, the best flight deals include flights from Minneapolis to Orlando for $61 (return tickets), Chicago to Los Angeles for $101, and Detroit to Miami for $54. If you decide to go this route, Skyscanner suggests hotel stays at Orlando World Center Marriott for $159 per night, InterContinental – Los Angeles (Downtown) for $199 per night, or YVE Hotel, Miami for $143 per night.

Having fun in the city is also an option if sand really isn’t your thing. Skyscanner found flight deals from Boston to New York (direct) for $48 (return), San Diego to Las Vegas for $74, and Las Vegas to Seattle for $76. For hotel stays in those cities, the site suggests the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel for $185 per night and the MGM Grand, Las Vegas for $168 per night. If you plan on visiting the Windy City, the Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel Chicago for $173 per night.

Flight and hotel deals are subject to change and vary upon availability. Hotel prices are for two people sharing one room, and

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan chorus of members of Congress criticized Reps. Peter Meijer, R-Mich., and Seth Moulton, D-Mass., on Wednesday for making an undisclosed trip to Afghanistan to observe the U.S. military’s frenzied evacuation efforts.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she knew about the trip Tuesday shortly before it became public but didn’t say anything because it would have endangered the two members, both of whom served in Iraq before they were elected to Congress.

“This is deadly serious,” Pelosi said, reiterating that leadership does not want any more members to travel to Afghanistan because there is already a strain on resources. “There’s a real concern about members being in the region.”

A trip taken by lawmakers would normally require approval by congressional committees, and Pelosi said they did not have the green light from the Democratic side. Administration officials also indicated they were not made aware of the trip.

Pelosi sent a letter Tuesday night warning members not to travel to Afghanistan, saying such trips would “unnecessarily divert needed resources.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said in an interview on Fox News on Wednesday that he didn’t think the trip was the best decision because it “put people in jeopardy” but said he understood why the lawmakers wanted to go.

McCarthy told reporters he has tried to dissuade other lawmakers from traveling to Afghanistan.

“I explained to them that I don’t think they should,” he said at his weekly news conference. “I think it creates a greater risk. You’ve got enough Americans over there that could be held hostage. They’d make a point out of a member of Congress. I think you take military away from doing their job of getting as many Americans out we can.”

Rep. Peter Meijer speaks at a campaign rally on Oct. 14 in Grand Rapids, Mich.Carlos Osorio / AP file

Reacting to the visit, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said at a news briefing Wednesday that “they certainly took time away from what we had been planning to do that day” and the government is “not encouraging VIP visits” at this time.

The bipartisan criticism also poured in Wednesday from rank-and-file lawmakers, including from Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He told MSNBC he was “shocked” to hear about the trip.

“I actually think this is a pretty irresponsible thing for these two members to do,” Crow said. “The bottom line is we are just trying to secure our troops and soldiers, we’re trying to get as many people out as possible, and the only thing that I thought about when I heard this is how many Afghan women and children were not able to be evacuated yesterday because they had to pull Marines off the line or out of rest to provide security for VIPs? It shouldn’t have happened.”

In a separate interview on MSNBC, Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa., called the news “troubling,” especially given that a member of Congress “would come in, A, without telling

CALDWELL, Idaho — A local high school is planning an event to honor the lives lost on 9/11, but first, they’re raising money for a trip to New York City to learn about 9/11.

Elevate Academy is a career technical education charter school that won a grant to organize a 9/11 remembrance event. CJ Watson, the charter administrator at Elevate says one school from each state wins a couple thousand dollars through the grant.

“The students—our first responder students that are firefighting, EMT and criminal justice, will read the names of 55 victims and before that, they’re actually going to research each of their victims to really understand who they were,” Watson said.

Watson says they realized the students weren’t alive yet when 9/11 happened which is why they’re planning a trip for six seniors to visit New York City, hoping they’ll gain a sense of empathy they can share with the other students at Elevate.

“They’re going to spend one full day over by the freedom towers and they’re going to get some personalized tours and stories and really just kind of understand what happened in that moment, what led up to it and what’s happened since,” Watson said.

Victor Chabolla is one of the students going on the trip. He’s in the construction program at Elevate and said he felt like this trip was a calling.

“I think just being there where everything happened will help me understand better and feel what people feel,” Chabolla said.

Elevate Academy has a gofundme to raise money for food travel and lodging for the trip.

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April DeMuth and her partner, Warren Watson, had just finished what they described as the perfect vacation in Greece when they took a coronavirus test at the Athens airport. They had spent their days sipping coffee on their hotel balcony overlooking the Venetian windmills in Mykonos; driving buggies across red sand beaches in Santorini; watching the Parthenon turn shades of gold at sunset; and eating gyros at midnight.

Every detail of their trip ran seamlessly until they were waiting in line for their flight home to South Carolina on Aug. 3, when Mr. Watson, 51 — who, along with Ms. DeMuth, is fully vaccinated — received an email saying he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

“We were in total shock and didn’t know what to do,” Mr. Watson recalled. “Then 10 minutes later we received a call from the Greek authorities telling us they were going to get a van and take us to a quarantine hotel.”

When Europe reopened its borders to Americans in June after a 15-month ban, the highly contagious Delta coronavirus variant was not as prevalent as it is today, and breakthrough infections for the fully vaccinated were rare. But now, with the Delta strain making up more than 90 percent of the cases in Europe and the United States, stories of travelers catching the virus abroad — including those who are fully vaccinated — are beginning to surface. Their plans have been upended by mandatory quarantine requirements in different countries.

The Times spoke with 11 people who got sick with Covid-19 during recent vacations to Europe and were forced to extend their trips to recover. Among them were adults and children between 12 and 62 years old, who traveled to Britain, France, Italy, Spain, Greece and Cyprus.

In Athens, Ms. DeMuth and Mr. Watson were required to spend a minimum of seven days in a quarantine hotel that was paid for and provided by the Greek government. They were not allowed to leave their room until the seventh day and after they both tested negative for the virus.

“It was very well organized, and they were extremely nice to us,” Ms. DeMuth said of the first days of their quarantine. “They brought us three meals a day and anything we ordered on the internet was delivered to our door.”

“I mean we’re going a little stir-crazy,” Mr. Watson added during a recent telephone interview from the hotel where they were quarantining. “We aren’t allowed to leave our room and there is a major heat wave and fires in the area, but we can still poke our heads out the window.”

The couple suspect they caught the virus in South Carolina in July before they traveled to Greece. Ms. DeMuth had mild coldlike symptoms that passed quickly, and Mr. Watson said he felt some drainage at the back of his throat on the way to the airport, but he assumed it was allergy symptoms, which are common for him around

Despite hospital I.C.U.s once again buckling and death counts already surpassing 2020 numbers, public officials are hesitant to bring back lockdowns. The result is haphazard restrictions that vary by city: Chicago on Tuesday issued an indoor mask mandate, joining Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.; New York City will require proof of vaccination for indoor dining; while in Las Vegas, event organizers are excused from the state’s indoor masking requirement if they can prove all attendees are fully vaccinated.

But with sporting events forging ahead, restaurants continuing to seat diners both indoors and out, and music festivals, like the recent Lollapalooza in Chicago, deciding the shows will go on, the decision of whether or not to travel is now a personal one.

As a result, reactions in the face of the Delta variant are varied. Zeta Global, a marketing technology company that has been tracking American travel behavior, reports an inverse trend based on vaccination status: Hotel stays in states with high vaccination rates have dropped in recent months, and travel to hot spots like Florida has decreased among those who are inoculated against Covid-19 but has increased among those who are not.

Southwest and Frontier Airlines, meanwhile, have lowered their profit expectations this quarter as demand for flights diminishes. Many air carriers were banking on increased business travel this fall, which was only just beginning to rebound. But with companies, including Facebook and Coca-Cola, rolling back their return-to-office plans in the face of the variant, there is fear that business travel will return to a full-on stall.

“There are two distinct consumer behaviors that we’re observing. One is if you’re making a decision with your own dollars, and one is if you’re making a decision with your company’s dollars,” said Jan Freitag, senior vice president of lodging insights for STR, a hospitality analytics company.

Ron Bension, president and chief executive of ASM Global, the world’s largest event management company, said that since conventions and large-scale business events have such a long lead time, Delta simply extended the status quo created in March 2020. “Most everything had already been canceled. What we’re seeing is not a lot of rebooking yet,” he said.

For travel-starved Americans, the Delta variant has brought the return of a practice well-honed by the pandemic: waiting.

Thailand, now in the top five destinations customers of travel insurer Seven Corners are booking, requires visitors be insured for Covid treatment.

Saowakhon Brown | Moment | Getty Images

The ever-evolving Covid-19 pandemic is reshaping where Americans spend their travel dollars and how they protect that investment. That’s according to the latest findings from travel insurance firms and the industry experts that track them.

Airfare comparison site Next Vacay said it analyzed Google searches about travel insurance over the last 12 months and found a 233% jump in users asking whether coverage is worth the cost.

“The uncertainty of each country’s travel restrictions changing has left travelers looking for travel insurance options now more than ever,” said Naveen Dittakavi, founder and CEO of Alpharetta, Georgia-based Next Vacay, in a statement. “It’s no surprise that [Google] searches for ‘is travel insurance worth it’ have increased by 233% and searches for ‘[is] cancel for any reason travel insurance worth it’ have increased by 200%.” 

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Unsurprisingly, domestic travel remains tops with customers of travel insurer Seven Corners, which has seen 90% growth in trips within the U.S. this year compared with 2019. But the Carmel, Indiana-based company is seeing growing interest in travel abroad for 2022 — and a shift in preferred foreign destinations.

With international coverage outselling domestic plans by a factor of eight for trips next year, Seven Corners says Turks and Caicos is the No. 1 overseas destination among its clients, followed by Costa Rica, Mexico, Thailand and Israel. Mexico has always been popular among U.S. travelers, but Turks and Caicos had never before ranked among the top 100 destinations, according to Seven Corners.

Bookings among the insured to Costa Rica and Thailand have also grown amid the pandemic, while France, formerly the top spot, is now only No. 7. Other European destinations like Spain and the U.K. have also fallen in popularity with Seven Corners customers.

For its part, competing travel insurer Allianz Partners USA in Richmond, Virginia, has found that 55% of its clients plan travel within the continental U.S. for their next trips. Mexico, the Caribbean and Hawaii are collectively No. 2, at 24%, while 15% are planning journeys to Europe. (In July, the firm surveyed 1,362 customers who’d bought an Allianz policy through a retail partner from October through April.)  

“The major reasoning behind this change in destinations’ popularity appears to be directly related to the destination’s experience with Covid-19 and their requirements for visitors,” according to Seven Corners. In fact, four of the top five destinations popular with the firm’s clients do require proof of Covid-specific coverage for visitors upon arrival; Mexico alone has no such mandate.

Medical coverage abroad used to be an afterthought for many travelers but Seven Corners now reports that 80% of the travel medical plans

FRIDAY, July 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) — If you’re hitting the road with your infant this summer, you need to ensure your child’s safety and comfort, a pediatric expert says.

First, check your car safety seat to make sure it’s installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It needs to be rear-facing and at the correct angle to prevent your infant’s head from slumping and potentially blocking the airway, Dr. Dina DiMaggio said.

You also need to be sure the five-point harness system is correctly adjusted and pulled snug to your baby at all times while riding in the car, said DiMaggio, a pediatrician affiliated with NYU Langone Health in New York City.

Here are some other suggestions:

“It is always best to have an adult or responsible older child in the backseat with your baby to easily take care of their needs during the trip. This can help your baby stay on a schedule as much as possible,” DiMaggio said in an American Academy of Pediatrics news release.

“It allows you to feed them at their usual times, change diapers when needed, play with them, and keep an eye out for other issues such as car sickness. Being right by their side to sing, read, or even massage them, will help avoid tears and make for a smoother journey,” she added.

Unlike your pre-parent days, you may need to make more frequent stops.

It’s important for you and your baby to get out of the car every two to three hours on a day trip and every four to six hours at night to change diapers or soiled clothes, or to feed your baby. Never breastfeed in a moving car, DiMaggio warned.

“Before hitting the road, be prepared and know where gas stations and rest stops are on the way. In case you decide you need a longer break, it’s a good idea to know where baby-friendly hotels are located. If you aren’t sure there will be a safe sleep space at your destination, bring a bassinet or portable play yard with you, since it’s not safe for your baby to sleep in the car seat once you arrive,” she said.

If it’s just you and your baby on the trip, never leave your infant unattended in the car, even briefly. Children can suffer heat stroke very quickly in hot cars.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics has more travel safety tips.

SOURCE: American Academy of Pediatrics, news release, July 20, 2021