What is Travel Insurance and Do I Need it

Travel insurance is an option available for people planning a trip, for business or leisure, that will provide financial protection in the case of unexpected inconveniences. With most travel providers, it is an optional extra and not a necessary purchase. Just what does travel insurance cover, though, and do you need it?

Being injured while on vacation isn’t something that a lot of people would expect to happen to them. Many travelers may not even take the possibility into consideration. Frequent travelers who have had no experiences with injury or loss of belongings in the past may not consider travel insurance as they have never needed it before. Taking out a travel insurance policy can have many benefits, however, especially if the unexpected does occur.

Not only can it be scary to be injured and require medical attention while in a foreign country but, in some cases, it can be expensive, too. If you’re travelling to a country that does not have a free health service, the cost of a hospital stay or any type of treatment can amount to thousands and build up a debt that could have been avoided.

Travel insurance does not just protect you in the event of injury. Most travel insurance plans will cover you not only for medical expenses while abroad, but also for personal liability, legal expenses and any costs that may be incurred through missed or delayed departures. Some plans may also insure you for loss of personal belongings, documents or money. There are many options available when it comes to insuring yourself and your belongings while traveling and it is important to look around to see which plan suits you and your needs the best.

8 Typical Covered Reasons for Trip Cancellation

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There are different levels of travel insurance that you can purchase. If you’re just planning one vacation, you can buy insurance for a single trip, or if you’re somebody who travels frequently, there are annual options available from some travel insurance providers that will cover you for a full year, often at a discounted rate. There are also options to buy travel insurance for couples and families who travel together.

If you are traveling as part of an adventure holiday, or for a sporting activity that could be deemed dangerous, the cost of your insurance is likely to be higher than if the trip was just a general vacation. Some providers will not insure individuals who are at a higher risk of injury at all, so it is important to shop around and compare insurance plans before selecting one.

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Travel insurance is something that a lot of people overlook. When booking a trip with most providers, insurance is optional and not compulsory. It is common for people to assume that they are not going to need it and not add it to their travel expenses to save on some money. Covering yourself in case the unexpected does happen, however, is a small price to pay for what could happen should something occur when you’re not protected. As the saying goes, it is better to be safe than sorry.


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Guys, Need Gift Ideas for Women in Your Life? Find Them on Pinterest!

Valentines Blog headerby Colleen McMahon


The special day–birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day–is on the horizon. You are on the verge of panic mode at the thought of trying to find the perfect gift for your wife, girlfriend, mom, or other female relative. This article tells you how to find a site online that tells you exactly what they want, without having to ask them directly!

The secret is Pinterest (www.pinterest.com). Your first response may be “What’s Pinterest?” Pinterest is a social media site that is very popular with women. While browsing the web, you can bookmark something you like by “pinning” it to your Pinterest page. It is like an online version of tearing a page out of a magazine, and hanging it on an “inspiration” bulletin board with thumbtacks.

Pinterest lets “pinners” organize their pins into different boards by topic. Members can store their own pins in categories, and can browse and follow other users’ boards, repinning or liking their images.

Since it started, Pinterest has caught on with some male users, but the majority of users are women. Popular uses include pinning food and craft inspirations, desired clothing, shoes, purses and accessories, and travel destinations. Chances are excellent that your wife, girlfriend or other female gift recipient is on Pinterest, and if you find their page they can tell you exactly what they would love as a Christmas or birthday or anniversary gift.


Here is a step-by-step guide to tracking down someone’s Pinterest page:


  1. Go to Pinterest (www. pinterest.com).
  1. Join Pinterest as a new member.

Unfortunately, Pinterest requires you to join up before you can search for other members. You have two options: joining through Facebook or joining through setting up a login just for Pinterest.

Clicking the Facebook button is faster, but if you are trying to really surprise your gift recipient, don’t use it. When someone joins Pinterest, Pinterest notifies your Facebook friends that you have joined and they might want to “friend” you. So join via Pinterest login instead.

If you are trying to be super-stealthy, set up a separate address from one that might be part of your other social media information, so that Pinterest can’t helpfully notify the person you are want to surprise. Also, once you have started looking at shoes and lingerie and jewelry, Pinterest will start sending you emails every week about other shoes, lingerie and jewelry you might like, and who wants that popping up in your work email?


  1. Go to the search bar in the top left corner and type in your target’s name.

When you hit the Enter button, you will get an additional choice of searching “Pins”, “Boards” and “Pinners.” Click on “Pinners” and everyone with that person’s name will come up.

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  1. Figure out which Pinner is your gift recipient.

If she included a picture of herself, it will be easy. Otherwise you might have to do some searching through the people with the same name. Look for pinned items that seem to be her style, or clues in boards like “Places I’ve Lived” or “Where I’ve Traveled”. Or click on a board that might be hers, click on Followers and Following buttons in the upper right corner of the Pinterest navigation bars, and look for names you recognize.

  1. Browse her boards.

Sometimes it will be easy–since you can write a caption when you pin something, look for captions that say things like “I want this!” or “Must go here” and such. When you find a pin that looks like a good possibility, click on it and a larger version will open. Then click the picture to go to the website. If you are lucky, it will go to the website selling the item and you can go for there. Otherwise you may have to do a little more searching online. If you have to, you can print off a photo of something she likes, and use it as inspiration when you hit the stores. Or, if she is pinning a lot of items from the same shopping site, she should be thrilled to get a gift certificate for that site.

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  1. Found her board but can’t decide on anything? Try this…

If you went the super-stealth route, go ahead and login through Facebook instead, letting it notify her that you have joined Pinterest. Or let her “catch” you browsing the site, or even her page. If she asks why you are on Pinterest, look mysterious. She’ll figure it out, and, hopefully, start pinning strategically, knowing that you are watching her boards. And hey, now that she knows you are on Pinterest, you can always pin a few gift ideas for yourself, too!

One last thing–if you are shopping for a girlfriend, don’t freak out if you see boards about weddings. Lots of women like to daydream about weddings whether or not a prospective groom is in the picture. Just tiptoe past those, and get shopping for the perfect gift!

Read more tips for Valentine’s Day gifts.

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5 Tips on Motivating Kids With Rewards

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Whether it is a temper tantrum or forgetting to do their homework, kids know how to test the limits. Rewards and punishment are often used to keep kids motivated to control themselves and make good decisions. Research has shown that punishment may motivate some children to behave, but it can have the opposite effect on others. Rewards, on the other hand, get much better results. Here are 5 tips that can help parents use rewards to motivate their kids.

Give money and treats sparingly.

It’s not that parents should never use treats or money as a reward, but it should not be often. Kids don’t have a very good concept of money, so it isn’t very effective as a reward. Treats aren’t very motivating for most kids because parents or other adults will allow treats whether they behave or not. If the reward isn’t special, it loses its effectiveness.

Give them something special.

The trick is to give the something that is meaningful to them that they would not be given anyway. Stickers are a great alternative to snacks or money. It can be pictures of their favorite cartoon character, stars, or happy faces as long as it is special to the child. When they have a place to display their stickers, such as a poster board hanging on their wall, they can see their collection and may be even more motivated.


Give them time.

Instead of sending them to bed early as a punishment, give them some extra time before bed for good behavior. Let them know if they behave, they can go to bed 30 minutes later than usual. Another example of using time as a reward is to let them have some computer time. Most kids love playing on a computer. Download some age appropriate games or visit a game site for kids. You get bonus parent points if they are educational. Extra time on the playground or at a friend’s house can be used as well.

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Switch it up.

It’s important to use a variety of rewards with kids. Don’t use the same reward every time or they may feel entitled to it. For example, don’t have them going to bed thirty minutes later every night or it will lose its effectiveness. It should never feel like a punishment when they don’t get rewarded. Instead, come up with new rewards to keep them interested and motivated.

Stay calm and loving.

The goal of using creative discipline is for parents to eliminate negative interactions with their children. When a reward is earned, never take it away. That is considered punishment. Instead, remind them that they got their reward because of good behavior. If they want to earn more rewards, they have to make good decisions. Often kids’ anxieties or pride can get in the way of learning a lesson when they feel their parents are angry at them. Let the rewards system work on its own without yelling or scolding.

Rewards empower children to make their own decision to behave. This makes them more likely to continue the good behavior even when no rewards are given. Parents who use rewards are teaching kids how to choose to make good decisions. This lesson will be important for the rest of their lives.

Read more tips and things you can do during spring break

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