Your Questions Answered About Traveling to the Bahamas

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Wondering where in the world to book your next trip? For many reasons, a Bahamas vacation is the perfect solution for your dilemma.  If this is your first departure to the Bahamas, here are a few key tidbits of information that will ensure smooth sailing at your destination.

Where is it?

The Bahamas are over 700 islands stretching from near the Florida coast across about 500 miles of the Caribbean Sea. Paradise Island and the Nassau area are the most heavily populated—and where you’ll find the major resorts. The low-key “Out Islands” are home to amazing beaches and the crystal clear turquoise waters that the Caribbean is known for.

What is there to do?

The Bahamas is a beach-lover’s paradise with Harbour Island’s spectacular pink beach, white sandy shores on Cat Island and a hundred other beautiful choices. The Atlantis resort is one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean. Their Aquaventure waterpark on Paradise Island has something for everyone no matter their age or ability.

What can I put on my Instagram?

Bring a waterproof camera—most of the Instagram-worthy Bahamian photo ops are in or near the water. Take a selfie at the top of the faux Mayan temple at the Atlantis resort; right before you slide into (OK, through) the shark tank! Thunderball Grotto is an otherworldly sight. Be sure to document your visit with a snap of your snorkeling adventure.

Are there unique eats?

You’ll want to sample some of the famous Bahamian dishes like conch fritters and stone crab claws.  Fresh local seafood is on most menus. And you might try the local lager, Kalik or the classic Bahamas original cocktail, the Goombay Smash, which is a mixture of dark rum, coconut rum, apricot brandy and pineapple and orange juices.

Where should I stay?

Finding accommodations is easy with a wide range of choices from family-run inns in Exuma to boutique hotels and mega-resorts on Paradise Island.  Whether you’re going on a Bahamas vacation as a romantic retreat, a family vacation or a gals or guys get-together, you are sure to find fabulous accommodations where you can kick back and relax.

What else is special about the Bahamas?

The annual Junkanoo festival sees thousands of people in colorful costumes and headdresses dancing in the streets to Bahamian music on December 26th and New Year’s Day. History buffs may trace the steps of explorer Christopher Columbus who landed in the Bahamas in 1492. Legendary pirate Blackbeard is said to have visited the Bahamas and many shipwrecks have become popular dive and snorkeling sites.

What’s the downside?

Bahamian driving on the left-hand side of the road can be a tricky adjustment for American visitors.  Don’t get yourself into a sticky situation with U.S. Customs. Tourists on a Bahamas vacation for less than 48 hours may bring home no more than $200 in purchases.

For many travelers, the Bahamas offers a very accessible vacation destination with numerous activities – whether you’re visiting a lively high-end resort or going completely off the grid on a tiny island. You’ll discover amazing world-class beaches and unique food and drinks, with a touch of Bahamian culture. And, when it comes to any vacation—whether domestic or abroad—we highly recommend you help protect your non-refundable, pre-paid trip costs with a travel insurance plan from CSA Travel Protection.

Travel insurance plans are administered by Customized Services Administrators, Inc., CA Lic. No. 0821931, located in San Diego, CA and doing business as CSA Travel Protection and Insurance Services.  Plans are available to residents of the U.S. but may not be available in all jurisdictions.  Benefits and services are described on a general basis; certain conditions and exclusions apply.

Travel insurance plans are underwritten by: Generali U.S. Branch, New York, NY; NAIC # 11231. Generali US Branch operates under the following names: Generali Assicurazioni Generali S.P.A. (U.S. Branch) in California, Assicurazioni Generali – U.S. Branch in Colorado, Generali U.S. Branch DBA The General Insurance Company of Trieste & Venice in Oregon, and The General Insurance Company of Trieste and Venice – U.S. Branch in Virginia. Generali US Branch is admitted or licensed to do business in all states and the District of Columbia.

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Timing is Everything: CSA Travel Protection Explains When You Should Really Buy Travel Insurance

Though some Americans may still be clearing remnants of New Year confetti out of furniture and carpets, many are already starting to make their summer vacation plans. In doing so, they are faced with a decision—when to buy travel insurance. CSA Travel Protection, dedicated for 25 years to providing full-service travel insurance solutions, offers its advice.

“The financially prudent thing to do is to buy insurance when you have money at risk. If you buy nonrefundable airfare, which most of us do, your money is at risk right away,” said Bob Chambers, vice president of operations at CSA Travel Protection. “For cruises and tours, it may not be an issue until cancellation penalties start to kick in. That could be at six months prior to departure.”

Trip Cancellation

When travelers can’t go on their trip due to a covered reason, Trip Cancellation pays for forfeited, pre-paid, non-refundable travel arrangements. Travelers can get maximum coverage for Trip Cancellation if they purchase their plan as soon as they make their first trip payment like airfare. Then, they can add coverage to the same plan for additional trip arrangements, such as hotel stays, tours, cruises and other forms of transportation.

Free Look Period

For travelers who have bought a plan but wish to cancel it and receive a full refund, they may do so within a designated number of days from the date of purchase as long as they haven’t left for their trip or filed a claim. This is referred to as a “free look” period and is available with all CSA Travel Protection plans. While the timeframe for the free look period varies from state to state, it is generally 10 days from purchase. Travelers should always refer to their Description of Coverage/Insurance Policy documents to determine the number of free look period days available in their state of residence.

Pre-Existing Conditions

Some travelers may need to look for plans that offer coverage for pre-existing conditions when they buy travel insurance. It’s important to know how pre-existing conditions are defined and the purchase window for covering pre-existing conditions. With CSA’s Custom Luxe plan, coverage must be bought prior to or within 24 hours of the final trip payment, travelers must be medically able to travel at the time the coverage is purchased and they must insure 100 percent of their pre-paid trip costs that would be subject to cancellation penalties or restrictions. Coverage for pre-existing conditions isn’t available with all CSA plans.

An important advantage offered by CSA plans is that the exclusion for pre-existing conditions does not apply to non-traveling family members. “In other words, if a family member who is not traveling with you has a pre-existing medical condition, and you have to cancel your trip because of their illness, you can still be covered. CSA is one of the few travel insurance providers to offer this,” Chambers added.

No matter when the policy is purchased, travelers should remember to consider travel insurance from a reputable provider such as CSA Travel Protection. With the right travel insurance plan and a summer vacation already in motion, travelers are poised to enjoy the rest of winter and spring looking forward to their next adventure.

 

About CSA Travel Protection

CSA Travel Protection is dedicated to providing valuable travel insurance and emergency assistance services to protect travelers’ vacation investments and provide the peace of mind one deserves while traveling. For 25 years CSA has developed a reputation for standing behind its customers and by offering products and services to meet their needs. Through award-winning customer service, extensive experience and industry-leading innovation, CSA is with its clients every step of the way, whenever and wherever they are needed.

 

Media Contact:

Linda Barger
Jay Bee PR for CSA Travel Protection
858-449-1355
linda@jaybeepr.com

Timing Matters: When to Offer Your Customers Travel Insurance

Though some Americans may still be clearing remnants of New Year confetti out of furniture and carpets, many are already starting to make their summer vacation plans. In doing so, they are faced with a decision that CSA partners can help them with—when to buy travel insurance.

When your customers are planning a trip it’s a good idea to inform them about the ideal time to protect their trip with travel insurance. When they buy a plan could affect the value of that plan. Some travel protection coverages and features might or might not be included, depending on whether the plan is purchased when a trip is first booked, at final payment or later.

We recommend that travelers don’t wait to buy travel insurance. Help them travel smarter and offer them travel protection to show you care about their overall trip experience. If they decide to wait, they may find that something could force them to cancel their trip and, since they didn’t protect their trip before the event that caused the cancellation, they could lose their prepaid, nonrefundable trip costs.

Here’s some language you can use when discussing this with your customers:

  • “The financially prudent thing to do is to buy insurance when you have money at risk.”
  • “If you buy nonrefundable airfare, your money is at risk right away.”
  • “For cruises and tours, it may not be an issue until cancellation penalties start to kick in. That could be at six months prior to departure.”

Here are some details about specific time-sensitive coverages and features related to CSA’s travel insurance plans:

Trip Cancellation

When travelers can’t go on their trip due to a covered reason, Trip Cancellation pays for forfeited, pre-paid, non-refundable travel arrangements. It is too late to be covered for Trip Cancellation if they purchase the policy the day before departure because the coverage doesn’t go into effect until 12:01am the next day. We suggest travelers buy a plan when they make the first trip payment, like airfare or a cruise. That way the insured has a long coverage period in case they need to cancel the trip. Then, they can add coverage to the same plan for additional trip arrangements, such as hotel stays, tours, cruises, and other forms of transportation.

Free Look Back Period

For travelers who have bought a plan but wish to cancel and receive a full refund, they may do so within a designated number of days from the date of purchase as long as they haven’t left for their trip or filed a claim. This is referred to as a “free look back” period and is available with all CSA Travel Protection plans. While the timeframe for the free look back varies from state to state, it is generally 10 days from purchase. Travelers should always refer to their Description of Coverage/Insurance Policy documents to determine the number of free look back days available in their state of residence.

Pre-existing Conditions

Some travelers may need to look for plans that offer coverage for pre-existing medical conditions when they buy travel insurance. It’s important to know the purchase window for covering pre-existing conditions in case that’s an important travel insurance feature for a client. Coverage must be bought prior to or within 24 hours of the final trip payment, travelers must be medically able to travel at the time the plan is purchased and all prepaid trip costs that are subject to cancellation penalties or restrictions must be insured. Also, remember that only some of our plans offer coverage for pre-existing medical condition.

If your customers have further questions about the timing of their travel protection purchase and how that might affect what’s included with the plan, please call our Customer Service representatives at 1-800-348-9505.

Travel insurance plans are administered by Customized Services Administrators, Inc., CA Lic. No. 821931, located in San Diego, CA and doing business as CSA Travel Protection and Insurance Services.  Plans are available to residents of the U.S. but may not be available in all jurisdictions. Benefits and services are described on a general basis; certain conditions and exclusions apply. Travel Retailers may not be licensed to sell insurance, in all states, and are not authorized to answer technical questions about the benefits, exclusions, and conditions of this insurance and cannot evaluate the adequacy of your existing insurance.  This plan provides insurance coverage for your trip that applies only during the covered trip. You may have coverage from other sources that provides you with similar benefits but may be subject to different restrictions depending upon your other coverages. You may wish to compare the terms of this policy with your existing life, health, home and automobile policies. The purchase of this plan is not required in order to purchase any other travel product or service offered to you by your travel retailers. If you have any questions about your current coverage, call your insurer, insurance agent or broker.  This notice provides general information on CSA’s products and services only. The information contained herein is not part of an insurance policy and may not be used to modify any insurance policy that might be issued. In the event the actual policy forms are inconsistent with any information provided herein, the language of the policy forms shall govern. 

Travel insurance plans are underwritten by: Generali U.S. Branch, New York, NY; NAIC # 11231. Generali US Branch operates under the following names: Generali Assicurazioni Generali S.P.A. (U.S. Branch) in California, Assicurazioni Generali – U.S. Branch in Colorado, Generali U.S. Branch DBA The General Insurance Company of Trieste & Venice in Oregon, and The General Insurance Company of Trieste and Venice – U.S. Branch in Virginia. Generali US Branch is admitted or licensed to do business in all states and the District of Columbia.

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Houston Travel Tips for Super Bowl 51

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More than 140,000 football fans are expected to visit Houston to take in 10 days of festivities surrounding Super Bowl 51, experience what the nation’s fourth largest city has to offer and, of course, watch the spectacle of the big game in person.

Texas likes to do things big, and Houston is a huge city! With more than 600 square miles within the city limits, there are a ton of things to do and see on any regular week in the city. These tips should be useful for anyone traveling to visit Houston, but with a huge number of events happening around Super Bowl 51 there are some specific things to know if you’re going there for the game.

Super Bowl Events

This time of year is normally rodeo season around Houston, but that’s being overshadowed by the largest sports event of the year and the slew of concerts, tailgates, watch parties, sports events and other entertainment related to the Super Bowl. To see what’s going on around Houston anytime of the year, check out Visit Houston’s calendar of events. Here are some of the more prominent events happening around Super Bowl 51:

Transportation and parking

Before you travel to a big event it’s a good idea to learn a bit about the transportation situation, especially when more than one million people are expected to take part in Super Bowl 51 events in Houston.

If you plan to drive, more than 62,000 parking spots are available around Downtown Houston during Super Bowl 51 events. You can guarantee your spot in and around downtown Houston by pre-paying for parking. Visit www.superbowl.parkmobile.com for information about parking at NRG Stadium on game day.

Ride sharing services and taxis will be in full force during Super Bowl 51 events and a designated drop off area will be set up at the game.

23 miles of light rail connect all of Houston to NRG Stadium—the recommended method of getting into Downtown Houston during Super Bowl 51 events. METRO schedules will be extended and frequency boosted. The Greelink is a free circulator, a bus on a short loop, which operates downtown and will connect parking lots, restaurants and other events to Super Bowl LIVE.

You might not be able to visit all 600 square miles of the city on a bicycle, but it’s a great way to see the sights and beat the traffic, or at least not sit in it. A bikeshare program is in place with free rides during the Super Bowl festivities and a bicycle valet will be available during Super Bowl LIVE between Clay and Dallas Streets.

Food and Drink

Houston is experiencing a culinary renaissance with a number of top chefs choosing the city to showcase all the deliciousness that Texas and the Gulf of Mexico have to offer. Food & Wine recently named the city the “newest capital of great food.” There are more than 10,000 restaurants in Houston, but you can find more than the usual Tex-Mex at these hot spots ordered by region:

Check out the Visit Houston’s lists of award-winning Houston restaurants and 20 awesome BBQ spots to find more great places to eat.

Where to Stay

There are some great rates for vacation rentals around Houston and more than 1,000 listings currently show up on HomeAway. There even seem to be some open rentals still available for Super Bowl 51 weekend. Here’s our favorite popular vacation rental in the heart of Houston, walking distance from many museums, restaurants and other hot spots and close to downtown.

If you prefer a hotel for your accommodations when you visit Houston, there are a number of four-star stays: St. Regis HoustonFour Seasons Hotel HoustonHotel Granduca, and the newest hotel that’s getting a lot of interest around the Super Bowl—Marriott Marquis Houston. But, don’t expect to find many open rooms for Super Bowl weekend at this point, you may have to stay farther outside the city center.

If you’re traveling to Houston for Super Bowl 51, or any large event, it’s a good idea to get travel insurance that has trip cancellation coverage so you can be reimbursed for your trip costs, including your expensive event tickets, if you end up needing to cancel your trip for a covered reason.

Whether you’re rooting for the Patriots or Falcons, these tips should help you get the most out of your trip to Houston.

Travel insurance plans are administered by Customized Services Administrators, Inc., CA Lic. No. 0821931, located in San Diego, CA and doing business as CSA Travel Protection and Insurance Services.  Plans are available to residents of the U.S. but may not be available in all jurisdictions.  Benefits and services are described on a general basis; certain conditions and exclusions apply.

Travel insurance plans are underwritten by: Generali U.S. Branch, New York, NY; NAIC # 11231. Generali US Branch operates under the following names: Generali Assicurazioni Generali S.P.A. (U.S. Branch) in California, Assicurazioni Generali – U.S. Branch in Colorado, Generali U.S. Branch DBA The General Insurance Company of Trieste & Venice in Oregon, and The General Insurance Company of Trieste and Venice – U.S. Branch in Virginia. Generali US Branch is admitted or licensed to do business in all states and the District of Columbia.

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