Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
first Monday in September (Labor
Day), the second Monday in Octo-
ber (Columbus Day), November 11
(Veterans' Day/Armistice Day), the
fourth Thursday in November
(Thanksgiving Day), and December
25 (Christmas). Also, the Tuesday
following the first Monday in
November is Election Day and is a
federal government holiday in presi-
dential-election years held every
4 years (the next is in 2008).
INSURANCE For Domestic Visi-
tors: Trip-cancellation insurance
helps you get your money back if
you have to back out of a trip, if you
have to go home early, or if your
travel supplier goes bankrupt.
Allowed reasons for cancellation
can range from sickness to natural
disasters to the State Department
declaring your destination unsafe
for travel. (Insurers usually won't
cover vague fears, though, as many
travelers discovered who tried to
cancel their trips in Oct 2001
because they were wary of flying.) In
this unstable world, trip-cancellation
insurance is a good buy if you're
getting tickets well in advance—
who knows what the state of the
world, or of your airline, will be in
9 months! Insurance policy details
vary, so read the fine print—and
make sure that your airline or cruise
line is on the list of carriers covered
in case of bankruptcy. For informa-
tion, contact one of the following
insurers: Access America y 866/
Travel Guard International y 800/
Travel Insured International
y 800/243-3174; www.travelinsured.
com, or Travelex Insurance
Services y 888/457-4602; www. . Medical
Insurance: Insurance policies can
cover everything from the loss or
theft of your baggage to trip cancella-
tion to the guarantee of bail in case
you're arrested. Good policies will
also cover the costs of an accident,
repatriation, or death. Packages such
as Europ Assistance's “Worldwide
Healthcare Plan” are sold by Euro-
pean automobile clubs and travel
agencies at attractive rates. World-
wide Assistance Services, Inc.
y 800/821-2828; www.worldwide is the agent for Europ
Assistance in the United States.
Although it's not required of travelers,
health insurance is highly recom-
mended. Unlike many European coun-
tries, the United States does not
usually offer free or low-cost medical
care to its citizens or visitors. Doctors
and hospitals are expensive, and in
most cases will require advance pay-
ment or proof of coverage before
they render their services. Though
lack of health insurance may prevent
you from being admitted to a hospital
in nonemergencies, don't worry
about being left on a street corner to
die: The American way is to fix you
now and bill the living daylights out of
you later.
INSURANCE For British Travelers:
Most big travel agents offer their
own insurance and will probably try
to sell you their package when you
book a holiday. Think before you
sign. The Consumers' Associa-
tion recommends that you insist on
seeing the policy and reading the
fine print before buying travel insur-
ance. The Association of British
Insurers y 020/7600-3333; www. gives advice by phone
and publishes Holiday Insurance, a
free guide to policy provisions and
prices. You might also shop around
for better deals: Insurance for
Canadian Travelers: Canadians
should check with their provincial
health plan offices or call Health
Canada y 613/957-2991; www. to find out the extent
of your coverage and what docu-
mentation and receipts you must
take home in case you are treated in
the United States. Insurance for
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