Trip Interruption Insurance..most important!


You’re sitting in the travel agency and you plan this amazing trip, costing you a lot of money (or not) and your travel agent wants more money from you by asking “Do you want Travel Insurance”?  At this point most people say they have it on their credit card or through work.  BUt be warned, the credit cards may not offer what you need.  Most don’t carry cancellation and most importantly TRIP INTERRUPTION insurance.

After taking some extensive training on insurance, and recently on Trip cancellation and interruption I felt I had to share the Trip Interruption benefits with you.

Did you know:

  • trip cancellation only covers you BEFORE you leave on your vacation
  • trip interruption coverage kicks in the minute you open your door to head to the airport.
  • trip interruption covers what might stop you from going on your trip, getting to your destination, while at destination and on the way home
  • Before you get to the flight – things like missing your flight because of a flat tire, traffic, being held up in security or customs, flight cancellation, flight delay and the list goes on
  • When you get to destination – emergency at home and you have to leave, business conference is cancelled when you get there and that’s why you went, you or your travel companions passport or travel visa is stolen and you have to wait at destination until documents can be replaced, a death in the family, and the list goes on
  • on your way home – flight delay due to weather or mechanical issue or just because, etc.

What if you’re on a trip and you fall and break your leg?  Health insurance kicks in for the medical issue, but you miss the rest of your tour.  Trip interruption will pay for the remaining part of the tour and a flight.

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Trip interruption is there for you when the unthinkable happens.  Coverage kicks in as soon as something happens that interrupts your vacation.  You may not think this coverage is used very often, but realistically it’s used more than cancellation insurance.

All travel insurance is a necessity.  Most people are very aware they require health insurance because of the expense in another country to be in a hospital, but Cancellation and Trip interruption cover your investment in your trip.  Think about it before you go

What is a Wellness Vacation


Wellness Vacations come in many forms. It just depends on what you as an individual are looking for.  Some people may look at a Spa with several Spa Treatments and time at the beach as a wellness vacation.  others might want to incorporate yoga, spa and exercise programs.  Its definitely an individual preference.

There are many companies selling Wellness Vacations, so I did some checking into what they are saying are “Must Haves” for a wellness vacation.

Massages:  32 % of people polled in a survey said that Massages were their number one must have. In fact they wanted SEVERAL massages.  And I have to agree, there is nothing better than a good massage.

Culinary – 28% of people surveyed  said that a Must Have was great cuisine. They wanted healthy food, vegan food, nutrition advice, cooking classes and fine dining. And again I have to agree, I love my food!

Physical Activities: 24% of the people surveyed wanted exercise classes, walks, water activities, hiking, access to a physical trainer and yoga.

Nature:  23% wanted a beautiful location, fresh air, great views, beach, warm weather and hot springs.
Rest and Relaxation:  18% responded that they want downtime. They want to decompress and de-stree with total time out.

Peace and Quiet:  12% required a relaxed atmosphere, serenity, peaceful enviroment and quiet time away from everything.

So, whats on your “Must Have” list if you were going on a Wellness Vacation?  I know myself I would pretty much go with exactly what is listed and mostly in that order.  I would only add one thing, and that would be my best girlfriends to have some laughter as well!

From a really great website I have included this article.


When you’re looking to find a spa, finding the right spa really depends on what YOU are looking for and what YOU will feel comfortable and happy with.
Ask yourself these questions:

What is my most important objective in planning a spa or wellness holiday?
a) pampering b)bonding c)stress management d) kick start a healthier lifestyle
What kind of accommodations am I looking for?
a) an intimate country inn b) a city hotel c) a family resort d) a luxury golf resort

• What kind of food do I want?
a) international gourmet b) basic and nutritious c) lighter spa cuisine d) vegetarian

In addition to spa treatments what do I want to do during the day?
a) lounge by the pool b) physical and recreational activities c) take part in educational programs d) shopping or sightseeing

• How do I want to spend the evenings?
a) read and relax b) take part in educational workshops c) enjoy live in-house entertainment d) take in local theatre/nightclubs
• If I’m travelling with a partner, a family member, friends, what are their main interests?
a) relaxation and renewal b) recreational facilities and physical activities c) off-site shopping or sightseeing d) socializing and nightlife
• How much do I want to spend?
Budget will determine how far you travel from home, how long you stay and the type of accommodations you choose. Remember even if you can’t afford to stay at a resort spa, you can stay at a nearby hotel that is less expensive, then book spa facilities as a day guest.

The answers to your questions will help you determine your needs and objectives, and help you find a spa that’s right for you. Do keep in mind, however, that due to the continuing popularity of spas and wellness programs, facilities can book up quickly, so reserve treatments at the same time as you make a hotel booking. Other questions to keep in mind:

What is there to do other than spa?
• Is the restaurant licensed? Or, is it BYOB and if yes, is there a corkage fee for opening wine with dinner?
• What else should I bring?
• Do the rooms have TVs and telephones?
• What about Internet access?
• What else is there to do in the immediate area?
• How far is the inn/resort/hotel from the nearest town/city/airport?.

So keep all this in mind when dreaming of a Wellness Vacation!  Now…Relax!

Travel to make those memories happen!

I’m writing this blog today to remind people that you need to make memories…create them as much as you can, because pictures are great, but they don’t even begin to tell the story that a memory will…

Recently my husband Lorne, my son Josh, and myself took my parents to Toronto.  To give you a little history, my dad has MS and has had it for 10 years.  He’s fortunate that it’s not very progressive and he isn’t in any pain.  They used to love to travel and now they feel it’s too hard because he can’t get around very well.  He’s either in a wheelchair or using a walker.

Now my son used to plan baseball, right through College.  His grandma and grandpa were at every game they could possible get to and loved every minute of it.  And now that my dad is basically in a wheelchair he sits in front of the TV all day during baseball season and watches the ball games…its his life.

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Josh (my son) has been asking his grandpa to let him take him to a live game in Toronto to watch his favorite team, the Toronto Blue Jays.  He always said No because it would be to hard for him to get around.  I’m a travel agent and have endless suppliers that I can work with to make sure the trip is seamless for him to go, but he kept saying No.  UNTIL this last month… I decided to lay it on the line (and give him a guilt trip about his grandson wanting to take him), and he finally said YES!!  We were in shock, but by the next day I had booked the Flights, front row with wheel chair assistance, the hotel connected to the Blue Jays Stadium, and Handicap transfer from the airport.  We took his wheelchair and walker and also arranged for a wheelchair for my mom so that she wouldn’t have to walk that much.  And Blue Jays tickets on the first level.

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Shopping for gear to wear to the game!

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Home run by favorite player – Baptista

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Waiting for the game to start

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Happy to be at a live game! Favorite Players – Buerhle, Price and Donaldson

It went so amazing.  The 2 extras for my dad was that they were playing the New York Yankees (his least favorite team) and we got a picture of him and my son with Russell Martin’s dad (the catcher on the team).

Another dream..touching the Stanley cup!

Another dream..touching the Stanley cup!

So my advice out to everyone is DO IT!  Travel something to make memories with family and friends.  obstacles can be overcome if you truly want them to.  This trip will be forever in our memories..seeing my dad and mom enjoy themselves so much! Thanks to WestJet for their amazing help with the flights, Dignity Transportation Company, Toronto Blue Jays staff, the Renaissance Toronto Downtown.

And 3 days after we returned he said that he wanted to look into doing an Alaskan Cruise!  Something they both have wanted to do all their lives!

Traveling..where to go next

P1060622A traditional night in the desert having Dinner

Last year my husband Lorne and I were fortunate to travel extensively. We started January off with Dubai..what an amazing country and it really surprised me how safe I really felt there.  We checked out all the “must see and do’s” with my favorite being the Burj al Arab Hotel. This sail ship shaped Hotel is stunning inside and out.burj

Following Dubai we also visited Fiji. This was my second time in Fiji, but Lorne’s first.  The people in Fiji are amazing. Most exciting experience there was the Zip Lining.  The climb to the top almost did me in, but it was worth it to see the view and experience flying through the trees!

New Zealand, was my next get away with my daughter.  We went on a 9 day Familiarization trip with one of our suppliers, and I absolutely loved it.  I’m definitely going back to New Zealand and more specifically Queenstown!  Queenstown reminds me of Banff, a small mountain town in my home province of Alberta.  Lots to see and do and walking the Boardwalk area was so beautiful!

We then had a few months getting back to normal, and camping.  One of our passions!  Getting away from phones, TV, social media is a great down time activity for us! 

Next, my Ladies Travel Group headed to New Orleans!  This group is so much fun.  We have travelled 2 times to New York, and once to San Francisco, and we always have a great deal of fun, and the group just keeps growing!  New Orleans is a great place to celebrate music in the streets, friendly people and shopping!lori 

My final trip of the year was Peru, with one of my suppliers.  I have to be honest and say that I haven’t ever had any inclination to go to Peru. Sure I had heard of Machu Picchu, and how wonderful it is to climb it, but I always thought that was out of my reach anyway, so why go to Peru!  Let me tell you…Peru is amazing, so much to see and experience and I did climb to the Sun Gate on Machu Picchu!  What an exhilarating experience! The other amazing part was visiting a local village and having lunch with a family and giving gifts to the village children!                        And of course now I want to go back!!laurie539

Now the only problem with doing that much traveling in one year, is that the next year is going to be boring!  I sat down with my old passport (the old one expired this spring) and looked at all the amazing places I have had stamped in it…And now I have to start over!  Going to be fun trying to top that passport as I had stamps from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, New Zealand, Fiji, Bahamas, Turk n Caicos, Cuba, Mexico, Dubai, Peru, and so many places in the United States.

Hmmm…where to next!



Travel Insurance..the ongoing Dilemma

In my 20+ years of experience being a Travel Agent I am still baffled as to why people feel they don`t need Travel Insurance.  Come on people…not everyone is rich enough to pay a huge medical bill if while on holidays something happens.  And just because you are healthy doesn`t mean you might not get hit by a car, or fall down at a resort and break your leg!travel3

So I shake my head and start the process of telling them how very important it is to at least buy Health Insurance.  Cancellation is a whole other process to convince people to get.travel2

There are 3 plans that you can look at buying when purchasing Insurance for travel.  The Deluxe Plan, Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption and Health insurance.

Ideally the Deluxe plan is by far the best.  It covers you for Health, Cancellation/Trip Interruption, Air Accident, and Baggage.  Some insurance companies also cover Cancel for any reason.

The Cancellation/Trip Interruption plan will cover you for cancelling before you go on a trip, and if you are on your trip the trip interruption will cover you should something happen while on holidays and you have expenses like a first class ticket home because you need that, hotel and transportation expenses while down there.  When I am talking to people about the Cancellation I ask them one direct questions.  “Can you afford to lose all the money you put out for this vacation if you have to cancel”  Simple.  It’s a personal opinion on cancellation as a lot of people feel it’s a waste of money.  Well people, it’s a waste of money if you don’t have to cancel!travel1

Health Insurance Plan – This covers health issues while on holidays.  If you get ill while on holidays, it will be covered as long as it’s not a pre-existing condition.  If you are pregnant, and something happens pertaining to your pregnancy, it could be considered a pre-existing condition.  Just one example.

Examples of claims I have had – A young man went to a wedding in the Dominican.  He jumped into a pool and broken his leg VERY bad.  He had always told me he didn’t require travel insurance.  Lucky for him his dad was going on  he same trip and paid for his insurance to make sure he was covered.  Lucky his Dad had some sense.

Another example – a lady went on a cruise to Alaska.  She slipped on the deck and broke her hip.  Luckily she had insurance.

And just a little note regarding drinking alcohol or doing drugs on holidays.  Your travel insurance will NOT cover you if you are drunk or High.  Please remember that!

I will never stop stressing how important Travel Insurance is.  Please keep that in mind when you go to book a Vacation.

Be Safe!

Ladies enjoyed New York!

NY Group

Vulcan Vacations has several groups under our company.  We have branched off to Destination Weddings and Honeymoons, Ladies Only Travel, South Africa and we are looking at launching a Men’s Only Travel Group.

Our Ladies Only group just returned from a 5 day trip to New York City!  I just spoke with my agent that accompanied them and she said it was a fantastic group and New York has a lot to see!  I already knew that it’s a fantastic place to visit as I took a ladies group there 2 years and ago and can hardly wait to go back!

They left on a Wednesday morning and landed in New York at 5:30pm. After they were private transferred to their Hotel, Novatel Times Square, they got settled and then dined together at the fabulous “Boathouse” restaurant in Central Park. After a great evening to get to know each other they were ready to start the tours and shows in New York.  Everyone chose the tours they wanted to go on as well as Broadway shows.  Some of the more popular Tours were the 911 Workshop, 911 Memorial and Museum, Brooklyn Tour, New York Yankees Ball Game, and a few other ones.  All of the ladies went to Broadway shows including, Jersey Boys, Book of Mormons, Wicked, and Once.

And the comment that was most given was that it wasn’t enough time in New York!  Well Ladies, there is never enough time in New York!  It’s a fabulous city with so many fantastic things to see and do!

Interested in joining our group? or e-mail us at

DUBAI…An Amazing City

Dubai isn’t a place I thought I was dreaming of going to, or that I ever thought I would have the opportunity to visit, but my husband was fortunate enough to win a trip to Dubai compliments of Emirates Airline and Kompass Tours located in Dubai.

With a few bumps in the itinerary, with us having to fly from Toronto (where we were supposed to fly to Dubai from) to New York because the Toronto flight was oversold.  We arrived there and there is was a huge snow storm arriving in New York threatening that we may not make it out that day either.  BUT we were fortunate enough to be the only plane that took off. 

Emirates Airlines were so gracious in upgrading us to Business Class! And let me tell you…what an experience.  Neither Lorne or I ever thought we would be flying anywhere in business class. What a treat! Full lay down beds with duvet to out under you so its more comfy, all the drinks you want, food was amazing, a bar in the back of the place as this is the double-decker plane that Emirates owns where economy class is on the bottom and Business and First Class AND a bar are on the top-level.
Emirate Airlines is unbelievable. The service, was out of this world. And because I think the world is getting way to casual, it was such a treat to see the Flight attendants (men and woman) dressed in professional looking clothes, their hair was styled (womans up and neat and mens short and clean-cut). The woman’s makeup was impeccable. After talking to one of the attendants, said that Emirates is very specific about the type of people they want to represent their company. It was refreshing to see and hear!
After a very long flight we arrived at Dubai. The airport there is beautiful. Very streamlined and easy to get around in. We were met by a representative Arabian Adventures and taken to our hotel, The Ascot”.
This hotel is located in the middle of the city in the Computer area of the city. Apparently Dubai has different areas designated to different products like Computers, etc. There were small computers stores side by side everywhere with just boxes of computers and accessories in them.
Out hotel was okay, not one that I would send my clients to, but okay. The pool wasn’t heated at all, the food wasn’t great there, the rooms were small, but clean.
Our adventure began in Dubai and we were looking forward to it!