Popular Spring Break Destinations That Might Surprise You

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Sunset in Treasure Beach, JamaicaA record breaking 1.2 billion tourists travelled abroad in 2015, and 191 million of them arrived in the Americas. That’s about a 5% increase year over year according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in its latest World Tourism Barometer.

With more travelers come longer airport lines and more tourists, making it increasingly difficult to find peace and solitude while on vacation. It can be even more challenging to find a quiet vacation destination when traveling during a holiday.

Spring Break for students typically occurs the first two weeks in March and some traditional destinations include Cancun, South Beach and Lake Havasu. For travelers looking to vacation during the popular Spring Break timeframe but want to avoid crowds, there are alternatives. Here are a few suggestions.

Destin – In lieu of Panama City, South Beach or Ft. Lauderdale, try Destin located in Florida’s Panhandle. With its white sand beaches and emerald green waters, Destin offers plenty of activities (golf, water parks, fishing, shopping and dining) to keep vacationers entertained, but in a more remote setting.

Tulum – Looking for a Mexican destination that’s not Cancun or Cabo San Lucas? Try Tulum situated an hour drive south of Playa del Carmen and about a half an hour south of Akumal. White sandy beaches, jungles and Mayan ruins are a few of the attractions this quiet, serene setting offers vacationers.

Treasure Beach – Located on Jamaica’s South Coast, Treasure Beach is six miles long and provides a mix of private coves, coral or black sand beaches and rocky shores. In addition to beach activities (swimming, snorkeling and relaxing), it’s also common to see local fisherman displaying their catch of the day.

Tips Spring Breakers Should Know About Travel Insurance

While some travelers seek alternative destinations, there are still many who will gravitate toward popular Spring Break hot spots. This includes college students looking to experience Spring Break at its fullest.

“For many college-age students, this may be the first time they’ve traveled to a destination without their parents,” said Bob Chambers, travel insurance expert and vice president of operations at CSA Travel Protection. “It’s natural for parents to worry about their kids, and having travel insurance can give valuable peace of mind to both the students and their parents.”

So why buy travel insurance? Chambers added that, “Unfortunate things can happen to anyone while traveling, and even people in their 20s could become injured or ill, lose their passport or luggage, or face travel disruptions from weather events, flight delays, or other unforeseeable events.”

When asked about what travel insurance does and doesn’t cover, Chambers advised, “Policies vary in the coverages and benefits they offer, and the specific events or ‘perils’ covered. Typically, policies cover sickness and injury, weather disruptions, aircraft mechanical problems and terrorist events, to name a few. Also, most policies exclude losses due to drug or alcohol use, and many plans could exclude claims due to high-risk activities such as parasailing, bungee jumping, etc. It’s important to read the policy carefully and understand what is and is not covered.”

“In addition to the valuable insurance coverages, all travel insurance policies include 24-hour assistance services. These services can be invaluable for any traveler, but especially for students traveling on their own. Assistance services can provide help with situations such as making alternate travel arrangements, finding a local doctor, or replacing a lost passport,” Chambers concluded.

Whether college students, families or individuals are traveling during the popular Spring Break time frame, they should not only consider travel insurance from a reputable source, such as CSA Travel Protection, but also prepare for a busier travel experience. The UNWTO predicts worldwide travel will continue to grow in 2016 with Asia, the Pacific and the Americas leading the way. Planning for these scenarios before departing can reduce stress and make for a much more relaxing vacation.

With winter a fleeting memory and the mercury beginning to rise above freezing, March is a beautiful time of year to enjoy the outdoors. For vacationers who are lucky enough to have weeks or a few precious days off, Spring Break is the perfect time to pause, celebrate and refresh.

 

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.

Travel Agents: Where do your clients want to vacation in 2016? Should they consider travel insurance?

As 2015 comes to a close, travel agents might be noticing a few new trends taking shape for the New Year. “With the increase of recent security threats happening abroad, I wouldn’t be surprised if in 2016 we begin to see more U.S. travelers booking trips to domestic hotspots like Hawaii, Alaska and San Diego,” said Cassie McNab, marketing manager at CSA Travel Protection.

“Believe it or not, this is the time of year when travelers start booking spring break vacations, so Miami and Las Vegas could be other popular destinations,” McNab added.

However, there are always customers who have their hearts set on traveling to places on their bucket lists as well, no matter the political climate.

As a leading provider of full-service travel protection solutions to U.S. travelers for more than 20 years, CSA Travel Protection recommends educating customers about their travel insurance options. “Here’s a good rule of thumb for knowing when to purchase travel insurance. Ask yourself, ‘Can I afford to recoup the costs of my trip?’ If the answer is no, then you should consider travel protection. Look for policies that meet your specific needs. There are many different kinds of travel protection plans available and, most importantly, you want to purchase from a reputable source,” noted McNab.

According to CSA, a small percentage of its customers require medical evacuations or find themselves in dire emergency medical situations. In fact, the most common reasons for making travel insurance claims in 2015 are the following:

  1. Trip Cancellation
  2. Trip Interruption
  3. Medical and Dental

When looking to make your next travel protection purchase or recommending travel insurance to a customer, be sure to take these top reasons into consideration. You may want to look at the plan coverages to be sure that they include these elements.

Consumers should always review a sample insurance policy or description of coverage before purchasing a plan (e.g. CSA Custom Luxe Plan). “If one isn’t available prior to purchase, then we do not recommend buying that plan as it’s always wise to research up front and know what is covered before departing on a trip,” McNab said. “Travelers can download and save or print and carry their policies with them on their covered trips for easy reference.”

Travel agents, travel protection companies and credible online sources can be valuable resources for becoming more knowledgeable about travel insurance. “The more travel agents know about travel insurance and emergency services, the more they can educate their customers. Education is empowerment,” McNab said.

Learn more and sign up to offer CSA's travel insurance plans to your clients

CSA Travel Protection Offers Free Assistance Services to U.S. Travelers Hit by Hurricane Joaquin

CSA Travel Protection (CSA), owned by Europ Assistance Group—a global leader in emergency assistance products and services, announced today that Europ Assistance will offer help to all U.S. travelers and their families impacted by Hurricane Joaquin for free by making available its travel and medical assistance services.

Free services include flight and hotel booking, medical and legal referral, traveling companion assistance, emergency cash transfer and interpretation/translation services. Anyone seeking help can reach the assistance centers directly by calling (855) 806-1090.

In addition to offering free assistance services through their sister company, CSA has compiled a list of resources that are available for travelers during hurricane season.

1.     Weather forecasts: Storm Prediction Center and National Weather Service;

2.     Hurricane preparedness guides and tips: National Weather Service: National Hurricane CenterReady.govFEMAand CSA’s FAQ & Hurricane Tips;

3.     State emergency response team sites like Florida’s;

Travelers should consider consulting their travel agent, vacation rental owners, hotel management or travel insurance providers for additional resources. These resources can be used as a guide for preparing for a hurricane. Most importantly, travelers are urged to use common sense in an emergency situation. It’s impossible to predict when a hurricane will occur and the outcome, even when all precautionary measures have been taken. However, travelers should know what resources they have available to them.

About CSA Travel Protection

CSA Travel Protection, a Europ Assistance Group company, 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. With over 20 years of experience, 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.

Destinations for Nature’s Brightest Nighttime Activities

Destinations for Nature’s Brightest Nighttime Activities CSA Travel ProtectionIt’s September and temperatures are becoming milder. With the long hot summer days behind us, the crisper fall nights are an appealing time to be outdoors.

While London, Paris and New York City may be some of the most popular cities in the world when looking for great nightlife, how about some less traditional options. Night owls dreaming of their next vacations should consider places to visit where there’s plenty to see in the dark.

Southern Australia – Night hikers in Southern Australia just might find themselves immersed in natural illumination from the country’s most famous glow-in-the-dark fungus called Omphalotus nidiformis or ghost fungus. Though stunning to see, it’s poisonous, so be sure not to eat it.

Toyama Bay, Japan – From March through June, Firefly Squid light up the waters of Toyama Bay in the central Japan Sea. They’re only a few inches long, however gathered by the millions, their bioluminescent blue glow makes for a spectacular sight. In Japan, these squid are considered a delicacy. September may be a little too late to see these Firefly Squid, but there’s always next year.

Vaadhoo Island, Maldives – Though the next occurrence of a red tide is hard to predict, tiny, bioluminescent creatures have been known to make a magnificent nighttime display lighting the waves on Vaadhoo Island in the Maldives. With the starry night as a backdrop, it’s a natural occurrence that is truly inspirational.

When nature offers nighttime light shows, it’s time to pack up and take a trip to see these beautiful, luminescent sites firsthand. Not to mention, traveling to other parts of the world makes for memorable moments that last a lifetime.

As always, don’t forget to consider travel protection when planning a vacation. Be sure to choose coverage from a reputable source, such as CSA Travel Protection. To help travelers prepare before their departure, CSA also provides a list of Travel Tips.

No matter the destination, may the next vacation be the perfect combination of relaxing and adventure-filled, but above all, let it be luminous.