What is Lifestyle Recommendations?
This is the area of my website where I review products and services to recommend to you that may help you simplify or better your life in some way. (No guarantees, just suggestions)
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I love to hear comments and feedback too on whether you found a product or service helpful! Give me a shout out below in the comments section.
If you travel at least 2-3 times a year, you can save money with an annual plan instead of purchasing a plan per trip
First of all, why do you need travel insurance?
You might be thinking that once you buy any form of a travel product or service that you’re all set and if anything goes wrong it’ll be automatically covered, right? Wrong.
Let’s look at what is covered without “extra” travel insurance.
Airfare: Airlines all have what is called a “contract of carriage” built in to their airline tickets they sell. There is no industry standard, however, each will outline what their coverage is for lost or delayed baggage, being bumped off a flight, and so on. When you buy that ticket you are automatically bound by those fine-print rules.
Car Rental: The first thing you might want to check is your own auto insurance policy. Often you may have coverage when renting a car and therefore purchasing car rental insurance may not be necessary. It is also not mandatory that you buy insurance from a car rental agency in order to rent the car. There are 4 types of insurance coverage that a car rental company will offer; Collision Damage Waiver (or Loss Damage Waiver) if you have this type of comprehensive coverage you may already be covered. Liability insurance covers medical and damages caused by you to another car and people. Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) is optional and pays medical coverage when in an accident. Personal effects coverage is for theft of your items stolen from inside a rental car.
It should also be noted that credit card companies offer rental car insurance as part of their service to you but again, check the fine-print on the limits, amounts and coverages.
Hotels: Here are some key items to look for when booking a hotel room.
Tour Operators: The USTOA is the United States Tour Operators Association and was founded in 1972. USTOA has a $1 million traveler assistance policy to cover when a tour operator goes out of business, bankrupt or otherwise ceases operations. In the past, this has left travelers stranded and out-of-pocket putting them in a very stressful situation. Note that not all tour operators in the U.S. are members of the USTOA. This only applies to those companies that are in good standing membership with the USTOA. There is no extra charge for this type of extreme coverage. But if you decide on your own to cancel a travel trip provided by a tour operator then its best to have trip cancellation travel insurance purchased before hand to cover your expenses for the unforeseen change.
Resorts: Often times when you book an all-inclusive resort you are getting a great price as long as you book it in advance. Once its paid for and something comes up to alter your plans are you covered? It depends on the resort of course and the fine-print in your paid contract with them but if you have declined their insurance you could be left in the lurch and out of a lot of money. If the circumstances to change your stay were say, weather-related, like a hurricane, then you would be covered. Otherwise this is another example of needing to buy the “extra” protection of travel trip cancellation insurance. The peace-of-mind is worth it and the cost minimal compared to the cost without.
Cruises: Like a lot of other travel products, travel insurance can be offered separately by the cruise line. Sometimes this is a good idea if you only travel once-a-year on a cruise and want travel insurance protection specific to the cruise travel dates. But what if you decide to go on another cruise later in the same year? Would purchasing a separate policy again, exclusive to those travel dates be worth it? Or is it better to have an annual travel insurance plan in place already to cover you. You never know when that really great deal or travel special will come up offering you another chance to go see a place or experience a travel destination like never before.
Now you can see why it would benefit you to add travel insurance every time you travel. But if you travel a lot this cost can add up and you might eventually feel it’s not worth it if it’s unused thinking that your lucky to have not had to use it. But think again. There are always unknown factors that crop up in life whether health events, work-related events, worldwide events, anything can and will happen.
This is why you should consider purchasing an annual travel insurance plan to cover as many trips you take in a 1-year period.
There are several companies that specialize in travel trip insurance but to save you the time searching it out yourself, I’ve provided you with a link to a company that compares 120 companies for you. It’s easy and less time-consuming than reading through each company individually. Click on the button below.
So you can have peace-of-mind and relax to enjoy your travel vacation.
Afterall that is a good feeling!
What is Amazon Prime day and what's in it for you?
Amazon has a membership program that gives the user special discounts on products and services year round. The annual membership fee is $119 for 1 year or $12.99 month. If you choose the monthly payment of $12.99 it will end up costing you $155.88 for the year so the better price is the $119 up front.
You can get a 30-day free trial when signing up using this link.
There are many benefits to using Amazon Prime membership. Here is a list of what you'll get:
Yoga is a Way to Keep Yourself Healthy When Traveling
There are some things you can do before and after a flight to de-stress.
B-R-E-A-T-H-E. Breathe. Inhale. Exhale. Slowly. Feel yourself resetting internally
Doing this after the hectic beat of travel, whether by plane, train, or auto will help you align your body’s response to the stress. Breathing techniques are something you can learn with Yoga poses to calm and restore yourself. Yoga is also excellent for gentle stretching exercises to uncramp your body from the sometimes tightened up feeling we get when we are stuffed into a silver cylinder hurling at 600mph.
Of course it is not practical nor really possible to do Yoga poses on a plane, train or auto, but getting your mindset into a slow breathing mode during travel is. There is an easy way to learn it too.
How to do Yoga While Traveling through easy-to-use Video Instruction
YogaVibes is a company that has an extensive library of Yoga Videos you can do while on the road traveling. In particular, there is one video designed for the traveler but in order to view it fully you have to subscribe. So I've included a link below for you to get a discount subscription. Click on the link below to find out more.
Pull these videos up on your phone, tablet, or laptop and you’re good to go into relax mode. That is a great way to start an end a travel trip. It keeps you focused, healthy, aware and physically stronger.
Portable Pilates Exercise
Another way to get into stretching mode comfortably is through Pilates. Usually this requires going to a studio that has Pilates machines and classes with a knowledgeable instructor. There wasn’t really a way to make Pilates portable until now with the Pilates Wheel.
PilatesWheel.com makes two versions; the basic Pilates Wheel COR (center of room) and the Pilates Wheel DLX. Both of these lightweight devices comes with the following attachments;
The extras that come with the DLX package are
Pilates is very complimentary exercise to Yoga in that both are designed to focus on slow movements to stretch certain parts of the body at one time. Transitioning from one movement or pose to another creates a rhythmic flow. The great thing about this type of exercising is that it is useful to both beginners and advanced users. You don’t have to be a pumped-up athlete to enjoy the benefits.
Doing Pilates as a pre-travel exercise routine is another method to help keep yourself fit when on the go. However a caveat is that even though the Pilates Wheel is portable, it would take up too much room in your luggage and be rather impractical to bring along on a trip. Unless of course you are going somewhere for several months, then it would be something to consider bringing along. Especially if you are already deriving the benefits from using the system at home.
Lightweight, stretchable Yoga Clothing for Men and Women
As mentioned in another article about what to pack in your carry-on when traveling, it was suggested to bring non-bulky clothing.
Prana has some excellent choices in Yoga Exercise Wear, which can also double as pajamas or loungewear. I would be cautious about wearing Yoga leggings on flights as some airlines can restrict you based on attire. Bringing them as a back-up to change into once in the air, is usually acceptable.
Travel to Yoga Retreats
For absolute Yoga aficionados there is also a company that specializes in Yoga Travel Trips. Destinations include Baja, Bali, Bhutan, France, Galapagos, Iceland, Kenya, Mayan Riviera, Panama, Patagonia, Peru, Vietnam and Cambodia. Check out The TravelYogi
Is it risky to check luggage in?
The chances of an airline losing your checked-in luggage have increased for 2018.
Here is a 55-page document put out by the Government called the Air Travel Consumer Report. Scan to page 32 to see the statistics on consumer lost luggage by 13 domestic U.S. carriers comparing March 2017 to March 2018. It looks like lost, delayed, or damaged luggage was up a bit from the previous year.
Do you want your luggage to become a statistic?
Certainly not! I would think. No one wants to arrive somewhere without clothes, toiletries and other things needed on a daily basis. I’ve actually had that happen a few times in my life, most recently when I went to London in December 2017 for a 4-day trip. My luggage (a 22” spinner) didn’t get to me until the 3rd day when I was getting ready to leave. I had to go to the nearest Gap Store to buy some Pajamas, a sweater and a pair of jeans. They didn’t have everything I needed and since I didn’t know when/if my luggage was going to get to me, I stopped in at a TK Maxx (The UK version of TJ Maxx) to buy a few more inexpensive apparel items. The hotel was nice enough to give me a toothbrush kit and I used hotel shampoo & body wash. The reason I checked a 22” spinner is because the gate agents said the flight was fully booked which meant the overhead cabins were filling up fast with personal items and no more room was available for carry-ons.
That is always the risk we take when flying. You could carefully bring your appropriate sized carry-on and bypass the front desk check-in but when you get to the gate if more passengers have shown up for the flight, they could all be asked to voluntarily check their carry-on. As what happened with me.
What Defines a Personal Item?
So the second thing I recommend is to bring a personal item, such as a purse, backpack, or large tote, or something that fits under the seat appropriately-sized that contains your toothbrush, toothpaste, a change of underwear, some PJ’s that roll-up small, or an extra t-shirt, a pair of socks, and if it will fit a pair of pants preferably not bulky like jeans, but just in case. This way if your carry-on does get checked and lost along the way you will have this immediate back-up of clothing and small item toiletries.
I personally use the Travelon underseat tote because it has an outside pocket I can put a water bottle in, it’s easy to maneuver even with 1 hand sometimes, and it has the right amount of space for the basic necessities I need for at least 1 night. It fits perfectly under a coach economy seat too.
The problem sometimes, is that people get carried away with the amount of “personal item” carry-ons. I’ve seen people hauling 3 large size shopping bags (those rectangular ones) like as if they just went shopping in duty free and bought a bunch of stuff. This is in addition to the backpack and carry-on. Invariably the gate agents ask people to condense their items into their backpack/tote/carry-on so as to save space equally for all passengers. You don’t want to be one of those persons that gets dirty-looks from others standing in line waiting for you to condense your things together. It’s a hassle, it’s embarrassing, it’s a time-waster. So please think ahead the next time you stop to buy things last minute how much it will affect you in your effort to get to your airplane seat.
Condense and Condense Again
Also, keep in mind that even if you don’t make last-minute extra purchases, to still condense what you can into as little as 2 carry-ons as previously mentioned. Eliminate the unnecessary things like shopping bags even if they are pretty and unique and you want to bring it home to give as a gift to someone. Fold it up neatly and stash it in the flat outside pocket of your carry-on if possible. If you have a hard side carry-on, then you’ll have to open it up right there in the terminal. Not fun at all.
Ebags has this great set of a Professional looking slim back pack that goes with their wheeled 21” Mother Lode Carry-On. I got my husband this set in gray and it looks really nice, and has been durable through dozens of trips.
I remember once I was trying to get on a flight from (HNL) Honolulu to (OGG) Maui. The flights were delayed, oversold, and very crowded making it difficult for my stand-by status. This caused the gate agents to over scrutinize the size of luggage that people were trying to bring on the flights. My soft-sided luggage had an outside pocket that apparently looked like it was sticking out too much to the gate agent. I had only a pair of flip-flops smashed flat in that pocket. The gate agent wasn’t buying it, so she put my bag in the bag sizer and it was about ¼’ inch too much. She said if I wanted to get on the flight I’d have to remove the flip-flops. (Or throw them away) I would have had to open the already fully packed suitcase and smash everything down to add the flip flops. Fortunately my husband had the right amount of room in his backpack for my flip flops.
I came over with THIS MUCH and I’m leaving with THE SAME AMOUNT why didn’t my stuff fit correctly?
This is another issue when packing. Why did my things fit differently on the return?
A number of reasons for this; you were in a hurry so you just sort of mindlessly crammed everything back into your suitcase at the hotel and it fit and no worries or so you thought.
Your bulky pair of jeans weren’t rolled up properly or folded in such a way as to not minimize space. You put your extra pair of shoes in the suitcase in a different position than when you originally packed.
It makes sense at this point to create a specific routine for knowing what to pack and
HOW TO PACK these items every time you fly. Get into the right way to do it and save yourself a ton of time and/or hassle. And if you really hate packing, hand the chore over to someone who doesn’t mind it that you are flying with. But if you are flying solo, this is something you must learn to do correctly on your own.
Become the efficient suitcase packer by