Since having kids not much has changed in terms of how or where we travel. As mentioned previously, our itineraries have gotten a little less ambitious to allow time for naps and spontaneity. However, one thing that has changed is buying trip insurance. We never even considered purchasing trip insurance B.K. (before kids), but after canceling our first two trips with Finnegan and eating the cost of plane tickets to Florida and paying substantial change fees for a trip to Copenhagen, we’ve grown wiser.
The bottom line is that kids tend to get sick more often than adults – especially if they are in daycare or school – and no one wants to travel with a sick kid. Of course, now that we started buying trip insurance, we haven’t actually had to use it yet. Murphy’s Law – that’s a good enough reason in my mind to pay the small premium.
We haven’t done a lot of comparison shopping for insurance, but I’ve seen a few articles covering this topic recently. Up to this point, we have always purchased our insurance directly from the airline website at the same time we bought our tickets. It turns out this is probably not the smartest decision because this type of insurance typically has more restrictions compared to policies that are purchased directly through an insurance company.
A NY Times article from January and a recent blog post by Nomadic Matt both recommended using World Nomads to find a plan that’s best for you. I like that you can pick and choose what coverage you buy. Our family cares most about Trip Cancellation coverage since we have to buy three tickets (soon to be four) anytime we travel and the change fee for an international trip on United Airlines is $250/ticket and $150/ticket for a domestic flight. We also tend to book a lot of our hotels through discount websites, which means we pre-pay for our stays a lot of times. Given those factors, it’s an easy decision for our family to buy trip cancellation insurance. Especially when this can happen to one my kids just by trying to walk past a staircase.
Still unsure whether trip insurance makes sense for you? Here is another article from Outside magazine with some additional thoughts on the subject.