Have you been faithful to your budget template and finally saved up a nice chunk of change? If the answer is yes, it sounds like it’s totally time to treat yourself to an unforgettable vacation. Yas, girl! Whether you’re intrigued by the idea of taking your first solo trip or want to see one of the world’s top-pinned travel sites IRL, there’s tons to plan when mapping out your adventure. One of the trickiest? Travel insurance and if you really need it. You might think it’s a totally unnecessary expense, but we put together a quick cheat sheet you can use to identify when spending your hard-earned cash on extra coverage is *actually* worth it.

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Trip Protection

Trip protection is pretty common coverage that you can usually buy as you purchase plane tickets or book hotel rooms online. It covers reimbursement for reservations if your trip gets delayed, interrupted or canceled for a variety of reasons. Though this kind of protection is typically inexpensive and can be ultra-helpful if you think your itinerary is subject to change, you should always read the fine print to see which events actually warrant reimbursement. Not all trip protection plans are the same!

Also good to know: If you use a credit card designed for travelers, you probably already have some type of trip protection with your reservation. Check your benefits before shelling out extra cash.

Baggage Protection

Though admittedly less awful than other unfortunate things that can happen while traveling, delayed, lost or stolen bags are a major bummer. While airlines are required to reimburse you for bags that never show up, the amount of money you actually get might not cover the contents of your suitcase.

Before you snap up baggage protection, think about the value of what’s inside your suitcase. Next, check out your credit card benefits. Some card benefits also include lost bags, which means you could already be insured if you booked your trip with the right credit card. If you’re traveling with expensive stuff or making a long trip with lots of flight changes and don’t have any coverage yet, look over World Nomads’ plans to find a policy that will work for you — some even cover loss and damages after your flight!


Medical Insurance

If you already have a solid healthcare plan at home, you might be set when it comes to medical care while you’re away. Not sure? Check in with your carrier to get the specifics. If you learn that you WON’T be covered abroad or there are only few local places that will accept your current plan, buying simple medical insurance for the duration of your trip might be worth the money — especially if you have an emergency and no choice but to be treated at a hospital that’s outside of your network.

To make the best choice when it comes to additional medical coverage, think about what your trip plans actually entail. Will you be gone for a week or a month? Does your itinerary make you more prone to possible injuries or sickness? Be practical about your situation when you make a decision.

Emergency Evacuation

Emergency evacuations are likely the last thing you want to think about when dreaming about your upcoming trip, but they’re something you should seriously consider if you’re headed to a destination prone to nature’s wrath (think: Central America during hurricane season). Unfortunately, crazy disasters or unforeseen circumstances can happen anywhere, and if you’re caught in one and need to be medically evacuated, it could seriously cost you.

Since you can never be sure what might happen, use common sense when it comes to emergency evacuation insurance. If you think you’ll feel better having it as back up, scope out some reasonably priced plans at Insure My Trip, a travel insurance and trip protection company that also offers 24-hour support. Coverage for a month-long trip can be as low as $40, which is a small price to pay for a huge peace of mind.

Do you usually buy travel insurance or trip protection? Tell us which coverage you get and why on Twitter @BritandCo!

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