Buying a ticket
Travel insurance and buying a ticket
There is a lot of stories and advice about traveling. It is often hard to know what to believe and what to ignore. The world is a very different place and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Typically those traveling head to well-recognized destinations and regions.
It goes without saying that you'll need insurance, but it's something that you need to spend some time reading the small print so you make sure you don't overpay. There are hundreds of travel insurance companies. Not all are equal in price or policy. You will need to check if your cash or your valuables are covered and how much you may have to pay before you get anything back. Cheaper policies are for an important health aspect but don't expect to have your $500 camera covered. Conversely expensive policies might not also cover your thousand-dollar camera unless you have made special measures for it. One recommended company is Columbus, or Globelink and Atlas, World Nomads (a company set up for backpackers). These companies provide excellent and comprehensive coverage. But basic coverage is better than no coverage.
The four main areas of coverage are medical coverage, emergency evacuation in the case of a natural disaster, cancellation insurance that covers you for costs of flight and hotel in case of sickness, and theft insurance. Insurance is where insurance gets expensive and is full of loopholes. If you want to save money you can minimize this area but don't take anything you will cry about if stolen.
To make the best choice you need to shop around and compare the terms of the companies. With all policies make sure you read the small print. If you have any doubts and you want full coverage go with World Nomads.
Another thing to check is that geographic regions may vary the price and terms. Good insurance with lots of coverage is normally quite expensive. The cheaper policies do not cover personal possessions, only medical costs. So if you do take a number of valuable items it can make sense not to try to have them covered but instead opt for a special camera insurer. You can also find a specialist car-higher insurance policy that works out to be much cheaper than the one offered by the car hire firm.
Make sure you take your policy with you and keep all your receipts. You can never assume that all costs will be covered. If you happen to be the victim of a theft you need to cancel the card you lost immediately and have all those relevant numbers at hand to do so. Some card companies cover fraudulent use, but some don't. Again World Nomads have great global assistance.
Flight tickets and options come in many different guises. Many long-term travelers set off on a round the world trip. Round the world usually means Australia/Europe and back was stop offs in North or South America. If you break this mold you usually pay for it. The most popular types of tickets are based around the major airline alliances. Alliance is the biggest and is based on miles. They offer a round the world ticket and Circle Pacific ticket. Oneworld offers Oneworld explorer or a more versatile distance based fare Global Explorer.
No round the world ticket will cover budget airlines. But there is another third option and that is the SkyTeam Alliance. They offer various plans based on maximum miles with a limited 3 to 15 stops. The Great Escapade is mileage-based with unlimited stopovers and the option to buy up to 4500 miles more. This all needs to be confirmed with the travel agency as things change quickly in this industry. Worth knowing is that some round the world tickets don't require you to book all the flights before departing which gives you extra flexibility to book as you go.