One single best investment you can give to yourself is personal insurance. May it be health insurance, travel insurance or life insurance, it will still give you enough leverage to confidently do your task everyday anywhere without worrying so much that in any moment, an accident might occur.However, these types of insurance have limited coverage that is not applicable on a particular situation. The situation I am talking about here is when you decide to live in another country. Sure, you have life insurance or health insurance. But these are only applicable within the boundaries of the United States. So if anything happens to you outside the country, these insurances cannot help you in any way. Same thing goes with travel insurances. Although they can be applicable outside of the country, the claim is only limited up to a certain extent such as medical evacuation, trip cancellation, and trip delays.The bottom line is, when you travel and decided to live outside the United States, these insurance policies you have invested in your life is no longer useful. Thus, you need a particular policy that would be about to give you the coverage you need for this particular situation. You need an international health insurance.In some way, international health insurance is just the same with other insurance policies available for you. But why get international health insurance?For those who have no desire or could not afford to travel internationally, there is no need to purchase international health insurance. But for those who are considering going abroad and staying there, this would come in handy.Of course there are prices to pay. While personal health insurance (valid locally) can cost you wealth, international health insurance costs even higher. But, the amount you pay is nothing compared to the benefits it will provide.In most cases, basic international health insurance can give you coverage on things such as hospital accommodation, local ambulances, in-patient or in-hospital care, anesthetists’, physicians’, and surgeons’ charges. Some provide you with radiotherapy, oncology, pathology, and radiology coverage.For wider coverage, a more upgraded international health insurance can answer primary care and primary consultations for outpatient visits. Therapies such as homeopathy, physiotherapy, acupuncture, osteopathy, and primary care and primary consultations including prescribed medicines are covered. For added options, emergency dentistry and at-home nursing care are available at your desire. Of course, the wider the coverage you ask, the more expensive it would be. Usually, the international health insurance with this broad coverage can cost twice as much as the basic.The coverage does not end here.You can get more with higher premiums. If you opt for this, you can add options such as organ transplants, psychiatry, childbirth, rehabilitation, general practitioners consultations, home delivery, and other specializations such as eye, ear, nose, and troth consultations. Other coverage can include visit to specialists such as chiropractors, psychotherapists, dietitians, and osteopaths. Scans, x-rays, lab works, and others can also be included in your coverage along with prescribed medicines.The bottom line for international health insurance is: if you need any medical attention whether here or abroad, you can always tap your insurance policy. After all, accidents strike at any given time, regardless of your location and situation you are into.
I do a lot of traveling and, when I can, I like to share whatever benefits my experience might offer.So it wasn’t surprising when my daughter asked for my advice, on behalf of a friend, about which credit card is the best for earning travel rewards. The question, however, wasn’t one to which I had given much thought in a while.There are a lot of rewards programs to choose from. I am not an expert on them. I mainly use two programs, offered through American Express and Chase, but these are not necessarily the best out there. Nor will they necessarily be suitable, or even available, for everyone. Though I am satisfied with the two programs I use, I did a bit of digging to see what would be around if I were to start over from scratch today.The primary card I use for travel rewards is an American Express Optima credit card. An important note about the distinction between credit cards and charge cards: A credit card does not have to be paid in full every month. I do pay the card off completely, and I strongly recommend doing so, even if it is not required. Credit card interest charges are exorbitantly expensive, and they can be especially so on rewards cards. If you end up paying large amounts of interest and fees, it can substantially undermine the benefit of your travel rewards.The nice thing about the Optima card is that it has no annual fee, yet it earns rewards. The bad thing about the Optima card is that American Express stopped offering it to new customers in 2009. Unless you are sent a targeted offer, you can no longer apply.For an American Express option with no annual fee that earns travel rewards, the Blue Sky card has garnered positive online reviews and word-of-mouth. For every 7,500 points you earn, you receive a $100 statement credit that can be used to cover travel expenses booked any way you like. The drawback of American Express is that the cards are not accepted everywhere that Visa and MasterCard are taken. On the other hand, if you already have a Visa or MasterCard-backed debit card (or one of their credit cards), you can probably get along just fine using that to cover the instances where you can’t use your American Express. If I were looking for a new travel rewards card today, Blue Sky is the one I would likely investigate.I also ran across the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard and the CapitalOne VentureOne Rewards card (a Visa offering) in my research. In the past, I carried a CapitalOne card with a rewards program that I used a lot. The card added a fee that I did not want to pay, and I had some other service issues with CapitalOne, so I dropped the card. But I would not rule out CapitalOne as an option, especially because the VentureOne Rewards does not have an annual fee.I have no personal experience with Barclays products, but the Barclaycard MasterCard may also be worth investigating. The card offers a relatively high reward rate and seems to come with a fair amount of flexibility. It does, however, have an $89 annual fee. Though the fee is waived in the first year, all else equal, I would stay away from cards with an annual fee.That said, I do pay a $29 annual fee for the travel rewards program on my Chase Visa card. I have had the Chase card for a long time, and it has a large credit limit. I also use it for large purchases for my business, so I tend to rack up a considerable number of points on a small number of transactions. I don’t know that a personal user, applying today, would get as good a deal or as much value for it. The Chase program is a little more cumbersome to use, since the travel has to be booked through Chase (either online or by phone), and in my experience, not every flight is available. Though I use the Chase card, it would likely not be my first recommendation to someone looking for a new travel rewards card.If you use almost exclusively one airline or hotel chain, nearly all the major carriers offer proprietary cards that come with a variety of bonuses. The Delta Skymiles American Express, for example, allows you to waive the fee for your first checked bag. The Starwood American Express gives you automatic gold status in the hotel’s rewards program if you spend $30,000 annually, and lets you convert your hotel points to airline miles on several major carriers. However, locking yourself into one major travel provider could backfire in the event of a route change or if you want to travel somewhere your card’s travel partner can’t take you. While you may earn miles a bit faster, you sacrifice flexibility in doing so.As when choosing any credit card, you will likely get a better deal and have more options if you have good credit. Do not be tempted to simply grab the card with the largest sign-up bonus. Pay attention to annual fee levels, APR, a low spending minimum before you’re eligible for rewards, restrictions on how you can book your travel and what travel you can book, and other “fine print” details. If you plan to travel internationally, it is also worth comparing the cards’ foreign currency conversion fees. The card that is right for you will ultimately depend on your personal travel habits and needs.If you do your homework and have the discipline not to dig yourself into a hole paying the high interest on a carried-forward balance, a travel rewards credit card can be a great way to defray travel costs. And making travel cheaper is a great way to make it a little more comfortable.
International travel is considered to be everywhere else that is not in the United States (or outside of the country you live in). The rest of the world is open as ideas and once again, a great place to look is 1,000 Places To See Before You Die. There are the 7 wonders of the world just for starters.
Whenever traveling internationally, make sure that you have checked all rules and regulations for being in that country. The requirements and laws change continually and you need to be sure to know the latest information. All international travel at least requires a passport and sometimes requires a visa. You should always have your passport and driver’s license or other valid ID with you at all times, you never know if you might need to show it for some reason. Also, making two copies of your ID’s and leaving one at home with a family member or friend and keeping the other one at your hotel or on the cruise ship (secured) is a good idea in case your passport gets lost or stolen. The copies will not be sufficient forms of ID, but may make the process of getting another passport quicker and easier. Also leaving a copy of your itinerary, hotel and flight numbers with a family member or friend back home is a good idea.
Keep up with current events and know what is going on in the country you are traveling to. While visiting other places, always be aware of your surroundings and be respectful of traditions and practices that may be different than your own. Generally speaking, be a well informed traveler and ‘Know before you go’.Next: Traveling Tips and Flying In General