Most travelers are probably aware of the inherent risks associated with travel: illness or injury, natural disasters, crime, and other emergencies could put a damper on your plans. Until recently, the possibility of your travel company or airline of choice folding may not have crossed your mind. But after Thomas Cook collapsed and stranded thousands of tourists, this risk may seem much more threatening. To give yourself extra confidence on your next trip, you can use the following strategies to safeguard your plans.
Book with Well-Established Companies
Part of what made the closure of Thomas Cook so shocking is that it was a major company and had been in business for a long time. Generally, well-established travel companies like this are less likely to fail, while smaller companies may come and go more abruptly.
Research Recent News on Your Travel Company
Some companies teeter for quite a while before they collapse. News reports detailing Thomas Cook’s financial difficulties go back to May. Further reports that hinted at the troubles to come came out in July. Paying attention to news reports like this could give you an opportunity to change your travel plans before disaster strikes.
Have Backup Plans
While you probably don’t need to plan a backup vacation, having backup plans for key elements of your vacation doesn’t hurt. Be aware of alternate hotels and airlines for your destination, just in case you need to use them. If you urgently need to get home on time, you may also want to research alternate modes of transportation, like trains.
Invest in Travel Insurance
Travel insurance can help protect your investment in your vacation against potential disasters. Depending on the policy you select, travel insurance may help in the case of a medical emergency, bad weather, and other unforeseen circumstances. Read policies carefully to find the best coverage for your specific concerns.
Some travel credit cards also offer insurance benefits when you book your trip through them. These cards often have a significant annual fee, but that fee may seem insignificant compared to the cost of canceling a trip. Additionally, if you travel often, it may be less expensive to pay the annual fee than to purchase insurance for your trips. Chase Sapphire is one of the most popular credit cards that offers travel insurance benefits, but there are several other credit cards with varying levels of travel insurance coverage.
Don’t Overextend Your Budget
Even if you purchase quality insurance, you may need to cover costs upfront and wait for reimbursement. Leaving extra room in your travel budget for unexpected expenses can give you the flexibility to adjust to changes.
No one can predict how your vacation will be, but with some preparation, you can be ready if things don’t go according to plan.