Planning an epic Boomer adventure? Don’t forget these 5 pre-travel tips

By Neil Henderson

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

It’s no secret that many Canadians think about escaping the cold winter months for some place warmer. While some may like to spend their vacation days relaxing beside the beach or pool, boomers are increasingly seeking out unforgettable travel experiences.

While embracing bucket list travel might mean trying new things off the beaten path, like driving a Ferrari in Italy, hiking the Inca Trail or helping build clean water wells in Africa, there’s always a risk that adventure could turn into misadventure. A recent TD Insurance survey revealed more than a third of Canadian boomers who travel annually say they or someone they’ve travelled with has had a travel emergency, such as an injury that required a trip to the doctor.

The survey also revealed many boomer travellers report they don’t purchase travel insurance because they’re already covered under their work benefits or credit card. Although existing travel insurance plans may cover certain travel emergencies, it’s important to take the time to review them for any gaps in coverage, especially if you’re planning activities you haven’t tried before, and purchase supplementary coverage if needed.

For Boomer travellers setting out to check off their travel bucket list items, here are a few more pre-travel tips, so your epic adventure can be exactly that:

1.) Follow your interests

What’s on your travel bucket list is very personal and will vary widely depending on your interests. Do you want to test your physical limits by hiking along the Great Wall of China? Do you dream of seeing the annual migration on the Serengeti Plains? Bucket list travel are trips of a lifetime, so take the time to not only decide what you want to see or do, but also properly prepare in advance of your travels.

2.) Pre-departure prep

Proper preparation is key to making your bucket list trip terrific. Prepay or set up autopayments for bills that will be due while you are away. Verify whether you need any vaccinations for where you’re travelling to. Ensure you have enough prescriptions to last the trip. There’s lots to be done ahead of time so that your bucket travel is as dreamy as imagined. Check out TD Insurance’s Travel Checklist for more tips.

3.) Ensure your property is safe

Before you leave make sure your home and garage doors, and windows are locked and secured. Given that your house will be unoccupied for an extended period of time, consider putting measures in place so that it doesn’t appear vacant. For example, buy a light switch timer to turn lights on and off and ask a neighbour to collect your mail to prevent your mailbox from overflowing. Also, if you’re away from your home for more than seven consecutive days during the heating season, keep in mind that your water pipes may freeze. You’re required to take preventive steps, such as arranging for someone to ensure heating is maintained in your home. Make sure to check with your insurer on how this might affect your home insurance policy.

4.) Make sure you are covered

The last thing you want is to be saddled with an unforeseen medical bill while on vacation. If you travel frequently and for longer durations throughout the year, like boomers often do, you may want to consider annual travel emergency medical insurance plans which typically cover multiple trips of various durations (i.e., up to 9,17, 30 or 60 days) throughout the year. If you are unsure about what coverage best suits your particular needs, an advisor can provide options based on your situation.

5.) Make it affordable

Having the time to travel is one thing, but affordability is another. Contrary to popular belief, bucket list travel doesn’t have to be expensive. For example, with the most expensive part of travelling usually being airfare, make the most of that investment and take a longer vacation. You may even be able to negotiate a better per night accommodation price with a longer stay. Where it makes sense, think about combining multiple trips into one and cross two or more items off your travel bucket list.

Neil Henderson is an insurance professional with over 15 years of experience in the industry in a wide range of roles including Marketing, Strategy and Product Management.  As Manager, Acquisition & Partnerships at TD Insurance, he is responsible for expanding distribution of Travel insurance solutions and advice to TD customers.  Neil has a master’s degree in Business Administration.

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