Travelling with the family: Here’s how to plan a family vacation smoothlyThey say a family that travels together, stays together. We tend to agree. When you travel as a family, you’re building new experiences and memories together, and in a different environment. It’s great. But, it also means you’ll have more to worry about because the chances of things going awry are greater. If you thought that travel insurance was optional for a solo travel trip (it’s not!), we hope we have convinced you otherwise (link to fuss free traveler story when link is out). With family — especially with children and elderlies in tow — you need to be even more prepared in protecting the people you love in a foreign country. You can’t possibly foresee or prevent mishaps, but you can mitigate the harm done and unpleasantness by making sure your entire family is sufficiently and properly insured — starting with good planning and asking the right questions.
Choosing Your Travel DestinationBefore you determine the kind of insurance plan that’s suitable for your family vacation, deciding on the travel destination is key. For starters, take into consideration if young children, a pregnant woman and/or grandparents are part of the trip. The destination should be easy and safe enough for them, ideally with enough rest stops. Versatility also helps in satisfying everyone’s interests — amusement parks for the kids, a scenic walk for the grandparents and shopping and museum tours for mum, for example — and how the group can stay together or split up into smaller groups.
What Could Possibly Go Wrong?Understanding the risks that can jeopardise the safety and well being of your loved ones is important. Here are a few (common) unexpected things that could go wrong on a family trip:
- Your child falls ill during the trip – this is every parent’s nightmare. Your child is down with food poisoning and is throwing up badly. Do you know where the nearest medical facility is, and whether it offers 24/7 medical assistance? If you require emergency medical care, where are you going to seek the help you need?
- Your rental car is damaged, or stolen – how will you pay for the cost of repair, or rental charges should such a situation arise?
- You (the parent) require emergency assistance – medical emergencies may arise at any moment, due to a prior condition, sudden illness or injury. Prior planning is necessary to ensure you have access to quality medical care while travelling abroad. For instance, if you were to experience severe chest pains in the middle of the trip, suggesting you need urgent and high-level of medical care, how are you going to locate a hospital that can provide such a service for you, given the limited time?
- The trip has to be cut short due to a family emergency – during your trip, you receive news that a family member is ill, and you have to return home immediately. Are you prepared to forgo the unused/paid portion of your family’s travel expenses, and/or accommodation?
How Can I Ensure That The Coverage Is Enough For My Family?Once you have decided on your trip destination and itinerary, the next step is to determine the kind of coverage needed for your family. While this may not be an exhaustive list of the kind of coverage available with travel insurance plans, it highlights what is most useful for families who travel:
- Overseas medical and accidental treatment expenses
- Trip cancellation
- Post-trip medical expense
- Car rental coverage
- Terrorism threat
- Coverage for leisure activities (hiking <3000m, snow/ice sports)
- Baggage loss / damage (including laptops and mobile phones)
What Are The Best Family Travel Insurance Plans?The best insurance plans are those that offer the coverage you need at wallet-friendly prices. Purchasing insurance is a small price to pay compared to paying the price when something goes wrong. So, be wise, protect yourself and your family. Another tip would be to purchase travel insurance in advance, preferably 30 to 60 days before your trip. At SingSaver, you can now compare some of the most affordable* plans for the family trip: *The prices indicated below are based on a 5-day trip to Japan, for a family of four (two adults and two children below 18 years of age). Feel free to change the fields, to find results that suit your trip’s needs.
|Insurer||Medical Coverage (Overseas)||Cancellation Coverage (before departure)||Emergency Medical Evacuation||Terrorism Cover||Price (For two adults & two children below 18 years old)|
|FWD Premium (ASIA)||S$200,000||S$7,500 (Family limit of S$18,750)||✓||✓||S$43.97|
|FWD Business (ASIA)||S$500,000||S$10,000 (Family limit of S$25,000)||✓||✓||S$65.95|
|Ergo TravelProtect Essential (ASIA)||S$250,000||S$6,000||✓||✓||S$70|
|FWD First (ASIA)||S$1,000,000||S$15,000 (Family limit of $37,500)||✓||✓||S$73.28|
Protected up to specified limits by SDIC. Note: This is only product information provided. You may wish to seek advice from a qualified adviser before buying the product. If you choose not to seek advice from a qualified adviser, you should consider whether the product is suitable for you. Buying an insurance product that are not suitable for you may impact your ability to finance your future healthcare needs. If you decide that the policy is not suitable after purchasing the policy, you may terminate the policy in accordance with the free-look provision, if any, and the insurer may recover from you any expense incurred by the insurer in underwriting the policy.
By Alexa Fang Alexa is a pop-culture vulture. She lives to read, write and travel, and decided long ago that life is stranger than fiction. When she’s having croissant, she thinks in French. “31 Rue Cambon” is her favourite address, and she believes that money one enjoyed spending is never money wasted.