Category Archives: Travel

Travel Insurance FAQ

Travel Insurance is an essential part of any trip and is something that should not be put aside. Most soon-to-be travelers usually have heard about travel insurance, but might not know the specific reasons why they need travel insurance. This is an important article about frequently asked questions for travel insurance. This article also provides a link for further reading about travel insurance.

What is travel insurance protection?

Travel insurance is a type of insurance that covers you financial for any losses or illness that may unfortunate occur while you is on your trip. Travel insurance can be bought for international or national (within your country) trips.

Why should I buy travel insurance?

Since travel insurance protects you while traveling, this will help and provide the necessary protection you will need in the occurrence of a unfortunate event. Any individual traveling anywhere without travel insurance will be in a dangerous situation if an accident occur.

What is the coverage for travel insurance?

Travel insurance should provide coverage for medical cost, transportation to a medical facility, and reimburse you for certain or some nonrefundable costs due to a interrupted trip, and financial loss of funds.

How much does travel insurance cost?

How much the cost of your travel insurance will be depends on your insurance company provider and their policy. The cost of travel insurance usually will range up to 12 percent of the cost of your vacation/trip.

Is travel insurance really important and how many people actually get paid for their claims?

Travel insurance is highly recommended, there are usually about 10% of people who file claims. Sometimes some travelers make have taken a overly expensive trip that they would have to pay out of their own money if they have not bought travel insurance.

What is the medical care coverage?

When there is a case of illness or serious injury, medical transportation to an appropriate medical facility, and medical treatment will be covered. You should also have coverage for if it is deem necessary to bring you back home.

Does travel insurance cover business trips?

This will depend on the insurance company. Most insurance companies will provide travel insurance for a business trip, but the coverage may be separate from the standard coverage.

How long will travel insurance provide coverage for me?

You can often buy travel insurance starting from as little as two weeks, up to a year. Different insurance companies may vary with their service of coverage.

When is the best time to buy travel insurance coverage?

The best time to buy travel insurance is as soon as possible before you go on your trip or vacation. You want your travel insurance active during your whole trip.

What will happen if my money is lost or stolen?

If you can not receive traveler checks replacements many insurance companies provide a service where a travel agent can arrange a money transfer or traveler check for you to receive. You will have to ask more about this to your travel insurance provider.

Business Travel Insurance

Anyone that travels a lot should consider travel insurance, but those that travel for business often overlook the importance of this protection. Business travel insurance is simply a good idea because it can provide you with the protection that you need whether you are traveling just a short or long distance away from home. You never know when you are going to need the protection that insurance can provide, so you should look into business travel insurance before you go on your next trip.

The great thing about business travel insurance is that the individual can purchase it or a company can purchase it. Many companies are choosing to purchase the insurance for all of their employees that travel. This is a very economical way to buy the coverage as many companies can offer bulk buy discounts. This can be a particularly good idea for companies that host a lot of conferences, meetings, team building events, training courses, product launches, and the like. Many businesses offer corporate hospitality outings and the like, and even on these fun getaways employees should be protected and business travel insurance is a great way to get that protection.

If you happen to be an employee that travels to a lot of business oriented annual general meetings, exhibitions, seminars, or conventions and you aren’t provided with business travel insurance you can buy it yourself. The coverage is not at all expensive, and you may even be able to purchase the coverage at the same time that you plan an event or plan your travel, which will make it convenient to purchase. When you purchase this protection you can go on your business travels and not worry about what would happen if you were robbed, if your luggage was lost, or if you needed medical attention in an area where your usual medical or dental insurance was not valid.

Many of us think about travel insurance when we are going on vacation or visiting exotic vacations, but this is not the only time when you need the protection that this type of insurance can provide. Business travel insurance is just as important as the insurance that you would buy when flying across the world for an exotic vacation or honeymoon because there is just as much opportunity for you to encounter health problems or circumstances that you just did not plan for. Why should you be any less equipped to handle these problems on a business trip than you would be when you are on vacation? When you leave home you should feel safe, secure, and confident in your abilities to handle any situation and with business travel insurance you can do this.

If you don’t travel often or you only travel once a year you can opt to purchase your business travel insurance for just one trip. All you have to do is disclose when you will be travelling, where you will be going, and when you will be returning. This is generally very affordable and will offer you the protection that you should have on your one trip. If you travel all the time for work you can choose to buy your business travel insurance for the whole year. While this is more expensive in the beginning, it is cheaper over the course of the year than it would be to purchase the coverage every time you go away on travel. Many times there are also different levels of coverage to choose from, so you can choose from very basic coverage to very extensive coverage, based on your needs. When you purchase the travel business insurance you may want to consider the areas that you travel to as well as what sort of coverage your other insurance coverage may provide as this information will help you determine what sort of coverage you need.

It used to be more difficult to buy travel insurance, and that is why many people simply opted not to do it. In many cases you had to go right to an insurance agent and you had to fill out a ton of paperwork, or you could go to a travel agent and do the same thing. Now, you can purchase your business travel insurance right along with your other travel needs such as but not limited to your event planning services, your car rental services, lodging, transportation, and airfare. This is very convenient and allows for those that didn’t want to bother with the coverage before because of the hassle to purchase the benefits of travel insurance. Next time you receive notice that you have to travel for your job, why not look into travel business insurance and see what protection it can offer you? It’s better to have the protection and not need it than need it and not have it!

Train Travel

Train travel is an ideal means of transport in the UK and the rest of Europe. Rail travel is fast, practical and convenient in both urban and more rural areas. Railway stations often allow for car hire services if you need access to a car or perhaps need to venture to an area not accessible by train.

Rail travel is often convenient even if you have flown partway to your destination. Train travel works well for personal or corporate travel, and can be an economical way to transport staff to a conference, event venue, or meetings. It can also be a luxurious and comfortable way to transport clients quickly and efficiently. Train travel is a viable option for conferences, annual meetings and other events throughout Europe. You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that you can easily opt for rail travel to or from the UK and mainland Europe.

Booking rail travel is easy thanks to online interfaces that offer planning, scheduling and trip organisation services. Both personal and corporate travel arrangements can be made easily and practically online. Whether you need to simply book a rail ticket or opt for a full package, both can be done with little effort. Corporate travel to events including annual meetings, conferences, and other events can be planned quickly and easily. Many online trip organisers even allow you to book airline tickets, car hires, rail travel and accommodations in one step. A well planned trip can be especially important for group travel, or for corporate travel arrangements. Discount on rail fares are even available for groups of more than ten.

Eurostar services offer fast check in and a short trip between London and Paris or Brussels. Eurostar allows you to travel in high speed comfort, with champagne, drinks, and food available at your seat in Leisure Select and Business Premier Classes. Business Premier may be an ideal choice for corporate hospitality or business travel to general meetings, conferences and PR events. Business Premier offers even faster check in services as well as additional business amenities. Standard class offers affordable and practical travel between London and France. Eurotunnel can also offer those travelling by car a helpful and cost effective rail option as you simply drive your car onto the shuttle and make a short 35 minute trip via shuttle to Calais, France.

Train travel is ideal in many ways as a corporate travel option, or even for corporate hospitality events. Comfortable rail travel is convenient and practical, and some train travel routes even offer wireless internet access and charging capabilities for laptop computers. If you are transporting important clients for PR events, product launches or exhibitions, rail travel can be an excellent choice. Train travel is an ideal choice for corporate hospitality, allowing your clientele to use their travel time for business needs or work.

While train travel works well for shorter trips, it is also ideal for longer trips. Sleeper cars are available on some train routes, allowing for a comfortable night’s sleep. While train fares can be quite economical, first class seating in the UK and Europe will allow travellers an enjoyable and relaxing ride to their destination. Long distance train services are most apt to offer first class services. These may include more comfortable seating, tables, upgraded décor, meal services and more. Business travellers will also appreciate access to first class lounges in many train stations with wi-fi, power outlets for charging mobile phones, laptops and other electronics, comfortable spaces for meetings, and more.

Rail travel can be more convenient than air travel today, particularly in terms of check in times, and some travellers may simply prefer train travel. Passengers are allowed three pieces of luggage on trains in the UK, two larger items and a smaller piece of hand luggage. Excess luggage may be carried for an extra cost, as can some larger items. Check in via many rail travel companies is quite quick, with Eurostar and others estimating a less than 30 minute check in time. Business travellers in particular may find this speed and efficiency helpful.

If you are planning a corporate event, a product launch, PR events, an annual general meeting or perhaps a corporate conference, offering train travel as an option can be ideal. Train travel is both affordable and comfortable, and can offer the kind of luxury business travellers often prefer. Ample conveniences and accommodations for business travellers will appeal to your clientele. Online booking technology can allow you to schedule your event, book accommodations, rail travel, car hires, and air travel in one easy step. Consider consulting a corporate hospitality specialist to assist you in this sort of planning and make your event a true success. Your clients, employees and others will find train travel an ideal way to begin and end any event.

Travel Agents Event Management

It does not matter the size of the conference or where it is, travel agents can be a major help in their planning. Travel agents can be especially helpful if it is an international conference. Travel agents can have knowledge of the area as well as such things as transportation, accommodations, and hospitality issues. One of the main hassles when planning a conference is taking care of the needs of the people attending.

It doesn’t matter if it is a press release, convention, training seminar, or product launch, travel agents can take care of many of the needs of the attendees so that the people attending or the people running the conferences do not have to worry about those details. The larger the conference the more travel agents can be of service.

One of the main ways that travel agents can help with conferences is with transportation and travel needs. Many times if the conference is international the people attending the conference will need a way to get there. Travel agents can help with flight, train or bus information as well as procuring tickets. The larger the group traveling to a conference the more travel agents can be used and many times they can also get better deals. Travel agents are in direct contact with airlines, train lines, and bus services so they can find out if there is space available as well as the best price for the ticket. They can also contact charter services, as it may be cheaper to travel this way for larger groups. Another advantage of using travel agents is that they can be available to coordinate travel times so that it can be easier, once the people arrive, that they do so around the same time making it easier to either get to accommodations or to the conference itself.

Another beneficial aspect when using travel agents when dealing with conferences are accommodation issues. Much like travel issues the travel agent can have direct contact with hotels and inns as they can find accommodations for people that are travelling to the conference. Also much like travel they may be able to find better rates than if the people travelling to the conference booked accommodations themselves. One thing that travel agents have as well are information about package deals, which can save people, or a company, a lot of money as travel, accommodation, and transportation services can all be packaged in one deal.

When people travel out of town to go to a conference they will also have transportation needs so they can get to and from the conference itself. They can also help with such things as arranging for car rentals and taxi services to and from the conference. Travel agents can also find accommodations that are closest to the conference site. If a travel agent is working with one group of people there is also a better chance that they will be staying in one location, or, at least, close to each other. This is a crucial aspect of a conference if many people from one organization or company are in attendance.

While travel agents can be used for many types of conferences one of the most important ways in which they can be used is for companies that need to have many employees in attendance. For example, if the company is having a training seminar for hundreds of employees their main goal is to make sure that the seminar runs smoothly. The company needs to find a conference site and deal with the information that will be presented at a seminar. If the company uses travel agents there is a huge amount of time and resources that can be saved that can be used in areas of more importance. Any time that the company needs to take care of the travel needs of the people in attendance travel agents should be used.

Travel agents can also be of service when dealing with hospitality issues as well. If the conference runs more than one day they can find out information such as where to eat and what there is to do in the area that people are traveling to. If the people that attend the conference do everything for themselves they will not be as informed, as if a travel agents took care of them. Travel agents can find restaurants, make reservations, book lunches, and rent out halls, just to name a few things they can do.

The hassles that can arise when traveling to conventions can be great for the people traveling to them and the people running them. By using travel agents many of those hassles are taken care of. When dealing with conferences, especially international ones and ones where many people will be in attendance, the things that travel agents can take care can be invaluable to both the company and/or the traveler.

Details About Working With an Online Travel Agency

When you are looking to book your next vacation or your next business trip, you may be considering using an online travel agency. Before you decide to do so, however, you should be aware of what to expect from an online travel agency so you can determine how best to match that to your own unique needs. There are several different levels of service in which to classify online travel agencies, the level you need depends on your trip requirements as well as your personal travel and leisure preferences or desires.

Quite simply, you should be able to find an online travel agency that can fulfill any expectation you may have. Whether you prefer self-service travel plans where you do all of your own searching and booking, or a full-service online agency that handles every detail on your behalf, there are many options available. Depending on the type of travel you will be undertaking, there are also various options that you can consider among online travel agencies. Some specialize only in travel packages, while others offer a la carte menus of travel services for you to pick and choose.

There are several expectations, however, that are universal to all online travel agencies. These have to do with the minimum level of service provided and the quality and competitiveness of the types of travel being sold. It is best to qualify the online travel agency on all of these expectations before you choose to enter into partnership with them for the travel you are seeking to plan.

The first universal expectation that you should have for your online travel agency is having a variety of destinations and packages available to choose from. It does not matter what specialty the agency might have, from full-service travel to niche travel such as cruises or unusual destinations. No matter what is being sold, you always want to partner with an agency that provides options. While the first option you see may very well end up being the best choice or the best value, you will have no means of determining that unless other options are available for comparison. Good self-service travel sites will readily offer you comparison information. Full-service online travel agencies should compile that same information and present it to you when you are in the process of making a decision.

The second universal expectation you should have when using an online travel agency is that they offer the same basic types of vacations from more than one carrier or provider. For example, you can choose between two major airlines for the same New York-to-Miami flight leg of your trip. If an online travel agency represents only one brand, they are not truly a travel agency; instead, they are a representative of that brand. If only one brand were offered, customers would have no means of evaluating whether the services and products offered were of value or were worthless. Having a number of providers to choose from when selecting hotel or airfare or cruise line shows that the travel agency is actively updating its site with the best prices and options currently available.

The third universal expectation that you should have for your online travel agency is price competitiveness. Although travel agencies sometimes charge fees to travelers in order to off-set their cost of doing business, those fees must be fair. The charges for the actual travel services you see published through online travel agencies should be no more than what you would pay if you went directly through the provider, and, in fact, less if bundled with other services.

The final universal expectation that you should have for your online travel agency is a service-level guarantee that ensures you get what you pay for and are treated in a courteous and appropriate manner. Online travel agencies should also offer some form of a guarantee for your purchases that no foreseeable action on their part or the part of the service provider will interrupt your travel. They cannot warrant against freak or random occurrences, but they can ensure that their own offerings are solid before offered.

Perhaps the best thing about using an online agency is the availability of customer reviews and feedback you can read before making a final purchase. Another nice convenience, for repeat customers, is the ability to create your own customer profile that allows you to save certain options in your preferences that will streamline future vacation planning. You can save time and hassle by storing any corporate or membership discount numbers, frequent flyer numbers and other pertinent information on your customer profile.

The expectations you hold for the online travel agency you select as a partner may be varied. If they can uphold these four basic standards of quality, you can be assured that you are getting sound representation and the best deals available.

Jeremy Foster is a freelance writer who writes about vacations all over the world, often focusing on special deals and exclusive information one would receive through working with travel agencies.

Travel Website Dictionary

For the benefit and convenience of the traveler and adventure lover travel dictionary is compiled. This dictionary provided a complete guide to all the aspects of traveling. You might be a regular business traveler looking for some discount on travel cost or the wanderlust looking out for a vacation that many travelers do not take. For every kind of traveler with whatever their requirements, website dictionary is the solution.

There are a number of things that go into planning a vacation and without a good travel dictionary this is impossible on your own. The road map has to be conceptualized and the itinerary must be sorted out. While you can get a customized itinerary for you self you can also select one suitable to your travel destination from an array of great tours travel website dictionaries boast of.

Only a travel website dictionary will be able to get you the latest updates on prices of tours, discount packages and the umpteen frills all travelers look out for. You can get them right in your inbox by signing up with them. The latest fares and the festivals are all listed on travel website dictionaries.

Before spending your hard earned money on a lavished tour it’s always a good idea to sample its preview. And what better way to do that than through the eyes of experienced travelers and their travelogues. On a travel website dictionary you get the opportunity to communicate with there travelers who have been to the sites where you plan to go. Get the best tips and cultural information on the food habits, dress code and religious customs before you arrive.

A travel website directory is one that gives you the chance to sit back in your easy chair and book a travel guide over the net. Isn’t it a better proposition to have your travel guide waiting for you on arrival than to scout the alien city seeking one out. Travel agents who register on travel website dictionaries have a name for themselves, and can give you the right information which many guide books are unable off.

A travel website dictionary is also regularly updated and you will get all the latest information about new sites to visit, the recent change in hotel room tariffs and what is new in town. You can source contact numbers and get more information from their websites and agencies that have been listed. A Travel dictionary has a huge list of hotels, taxi services, insurance companies, travel guides and travel tips that you cannot expect to find any where else.

At The Best Travel Website you get to interact virtually with other travelers through their websites where travelers log on and submit their travel experience and stories. They review the adventures and the ways to travel amongst the best travel review websites of hotels and fares.

Deducting Travel As a Business Expense

As a general rule, travel expenses are deductible as a business expense as long as the expense is considered by the IRS to be an ordinary and necessary business expense under (IRC section 162). But when you incur a travel expense outside the United States, that is when the rules begin to change. Do not assume that 100% of your foreign travel expenses are tax deductible. And better yet, consult with your CPA during the planning phase of your foreign travel in order to maximize your opportunity for a tax deduction.

General Rules Regarding Travel Expenses:

Travel expenses traditionally includes the following categories of expenses associated with at least one overnight stay (i.e. where sleep is required while away from home):

1. Transportation Costs – Transportation includes airplane, train, bus, car, or ship between your home and business destination. It also includes commuter bus, taxi and limousine transportation.

2. Baggage and Shipping Costs- This category includes the cost of sending baggage, samples, display materials between regular and temporary work locations.

3. Lodging Costs – Such costs include overnight hotel stays and temporary housing costs.

4. Meals – Allowable meals expenses include food, beverage, tips and tax. If the meals qualify for a tax deduction they may be 50% or 100% deductible. Meals between employees/employers are generally not deductible unless a business purpose can be substantiated. In cases in which there is a business purpose, the meal is eligible for a 50% tax deduction. Meals also include customer-related meals in which business is discussed (50% deduction).

Also allowed are meals related to business-related travel that includes an overnight stay (50% deductible. If the overnight travel is related to an employer-sponsored social or recreational event the meals are 100% deductible. If the meal is related to promotional activities that are made available by the business to the public such costs are 100% deductible.

5. Cleaning – This category includes dry cleaning and laundry expenses incurred during your travel period.

6. Telephone – Business calls, fax costs or other communication costs associated with the business travel are deductible.

7. Tips paid for any travel expense category are allowed as a tax deduction

8. Other – Other costs related to the business travel might include internet fees, computer rental fees, equipment rental fees, supplies etc.

Travel expenses must be temporary in nature. What this means is that the travel period cannot last more than one year. If the travel lasts more than one year all of the travel expenses become non-deductible.

Special Rules:

1. Conventions – In order for travel costs associated with a convention to be tax deductible, such costs must be directly related to your company’s business and must benefit your company’s business. Conventions outside North America are allowed, however, there is reasonableness test that must be met. Reasonableness is based on the purpose of the meeting, activities taking place at the meeting, activities of any sponsors, homes of sponsors and other material facts and circumstances that the IRS will consider in determining eligibility for the tax deduction.

2. Cruise Ship Conventions – If the convention meets the ordinary and necessary business purpose test and the reasonableness test then the IRS will permit a tax deduction equal to $2,000 per person, per year for travel expenses incurred in connection with the cruise ship convention as long as the ship is a U.S. flagship and all ports of call are located within the United States or its possessions. In order to deduct cruise ship convention travel expenses the business must attach two written statements to their tax return. Statement #1 must be signed by the business owner. This statement specifies the number of hours each day that were devoted to business activities, total days of the trip and the program of business activities on the ship. Statement #2 must be signed by an officer of the cruise ship convention organization and provide detailed schedules of the meetings and the number of hours the taxpayer attended.

3. Travel Outside the United States – Only costs associated with the days in which business was conducted are allowed as a travel tax deduction. Business days include days spent traveling to and from the business destination. Days spent on non-business activities are not counted as business days. Weekends and holidays are considered business days if they fall between the business days. Where part of the foreign travel includes non-business days, travel costs must be prorated by dividing the number of business days by the number of total days. This
percentage is then applied to the total travel costs in arriving at the tax deductible travel expense deduction.

4. Non-Convention Cruise Ship Travel – The travel deduction allowed for this type of travel is determined by the IRS every year, so it changes every year. IRS publication 463 lists the daily deductible amounts allowed(called per diem rates). You multiply the per diem rate by the number of travel days in arriving at your tax deductible travel expense amount. If meals are a separate charge you are allowed to deduct 50% of the meal costs in addition to the per diem amount.

For more information please consult with a tax advisor or attorney.

Tom is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Financial Planner, CLTC (Certified Long-Term Care) and President of Cerefice & Company, the largest CPA firm in Rahway, New Jersey. Tom works with clients helping them manage their money, retirement planning, college savings, life insurance needs, IRAs and qualified plan rollovers with an eye towards maximizing tax benefits and minimizing taxes. Tom is founder of the Rich Habits Institute and author of “Rich Habits”.

Travel Insurance Options for Traveling Abroad

Travel insurance is just one of things that are necessary when traveling abroad. Travel insurance can be a very practical solution to providing protection for unexpected emergencies while traveling. This type of insurance protects your investment and allows individuals to travel with peace of mind. There are several options available for going abroad depending on the length and type of trip. Travelers can easily compare plans from leading providers, receive quotes and purchase a plan instantly. Travel insurance can insure against unexpected illness, injury, employment loss, luggage loss and more.

It can provide coverage for Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption. This insurance provides coverage due to unforeseen illnesses or death. Pre-departure trip cancellation insurance provides protection in the event of the traveler having to cancel flight or hotel reservations due to an immediate member of the family’s death or illness or other covered events. Trip interruption insurance provides benefits if the traveler is unable to continue the covered trip after departure due to covered events. As an option, there are companies that also provide policies that cover cancellation for any reason.

Another option available for travelers insurance is for medical emergencies. This type is beneficial particularly when visiting abroad. Insurance for medical emergencies will provide coverage for doctor visits, medication and even evacuation for medical emergencies. This is particularly important for individuals with chronic conditions or those traveling to underdeveloped countries. Travelers may also have the option of insurance that will provide coverage for tickets that are not refundable and the trip has to be cancelled. Some insurance will even cover missed flights, which can be, a life saver due to delays and overcrowding.

Baggage protection is another type of insurance available. This type of insurance covers direct loss, theft, and damage of your luggage during the covered trip. Travel Accident Protection is another insurance choice that is available. This type of insurance provides coverage for accidental death and dismemberment. This type of insurance provides protection if the traveler is injured in an accident and suffer a loss while covered under this type of plan. A comprehensive travel insurance plan is a great option and a very popular choice for vacationing abroad. This option can provide a wide range of insurance coverage and may even allow travelers to choose what options to incorporate which is why it such a popular choice.

There are several types of companies that offer insurance for travelers. Most travelers prefer to purchase this insurance directly from travel insurance agencies or companies. It is also offered by most companies that offer tours as they generally offer insurance to their clients. Major cruise lines as well offer the option to purchase travel insurance. Cruise line operators usually offer a host of plans to travelers when they schedule a cruise. Travelers can purchase insurance from a travel agent which is very convenient to purchase travel and insurance in one place.

Once you think about the high price of travel and the low price of insurance, this type of insurance is a very reasonable investment. There are plenty of things to worry about when traveling but by protecting your vacation plans with affordable traveling insurance, unforeseen events do not have to be one of them. Since it is not possible to foresee what may happen during travel, a insurance plan is a great value. Travel insurance can slash your losses in numerous situations.

Travel and Personal Growth

Set in the 1960s, the new Pan Am ABC drama series brings to life, the glamour of air travels, beautiful air stewardesses, and the possibilities of adventures and explorations of the big wide world we live in. My husband and I took one of the last flights on Pan Am in September 1991 from JFK Airport to San Francisco before it collapsed and closed on December 4th 1991.

Airlines come and go, Pan Am and Trans World Airlines are long gone…but we are still traveling. Air travel today is so different from yester years. For those who have traveled before 2001…air travel will never be the same.

Today, more than ever, even with the economic downturn, airports are still full of passengers and cruise ships are sold out…we are still traveling…

The U.S. Travel Association has interesting statistics about the tourism industry. Every minute in the U.S., $1.4 million is spent in the travel industry and the top 5 growth markets for visitors in the next few years are from the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and South Korea with the Chinese taking the lead.

1 out of 9 jobs in the U.S. depends on tourism and by 2020, the country plans to create 1.3 million jobs by increasing visitors to the United States. That will be one of the ways to have economic stimulus.

Apart from shopping, dining, city sightseeing, visiting historical sites and amusement/theme parks (those are main reasons why tourists come to the U.S.) – why do we travel?

I think travel experiences contribute to our personal growth. Let’s take a look at it:

According to an article in selfgrowth.com personal growth or self-improvement refers to self-guided improvement-economically, intellectually, or emotionally-most frequently with a substantial psychological or spiritual basis.

Here are 5 different areas of our lives that have changed because of travel experiences:

Travel improves our palette: Other than rice, beans and chicken, travel takes us to eateries that are out of this world. For some non-adventurous eaters, travel will make us move out from our usual staples of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch.

There are the crepes in Paris for lunch. My kids had no clue about the different types of crepes…all they knew were the ones they get from the International House of Pancakes. After a trip to Paris, they learned to make savory crepes au jambon et fromage and the sweet version crepes au chocolat with Nutella spread.

It also helps them add a variety to their food adventure and try new things. Most cultures appreciate guests to consume food served. It is a sign of impoliteness to reject food and to not eat it.

Travel helps us respect foods of all cultures.

Travel improves our appreciation of diversity in religion and culture: Before we travel, all information was from books and internet. Travel takes us to places that have different religions. For example, Malaysia is a Muslim country. At about 5 in the morning, every morning, the loudspeaker started broadcasting morning prayers to the neighborhood without fail and 4 more times throughout the day. You see most Muslim women having head coverings and wearing long skirts and long shirts to cover their body.

It helps us accept differences of cultures and religions…there are the Muslims, Buddhists, Christians and Hindus all living together in the same neighborhood. Travel helps us appreciate the freedom of worship in the United States.

Travel improves our language skills and helps us learn a new language: According to Biblica.com the bible has been translated to 2,287 languages. There are thousands of languages and dialects worldwide. Imagine what we can learn through traveling. Most Europeans speak more than one language.

Travel experiences in different countries allowed my children to hear English spoken in different accents…but they are all speaking the English language. They are different in Singapore, Australia, England and even Tennessee.

Having written and spoken knowledge of more than one language gives us more advantages in the business world and more job options.

Travel improves our understanding of people around the world: The world is created differently. Some of us live in arid lands with hardly any vegetation, some in the deltas surrounded by rice fields and some are in big metropolis like Sao Paulo or New York City. With diverse lands come diverse economic differences…some live in a modern developed land and some are still using a family motorcycle with 5 family members on it.

Traveling to Managua, Nicaragua, helped my daughter understand the needs outside of her comfort zone. Going to the deep eco resort of Northern Costa Rica helped me appreciate the street lights in the US.

We are creatures of habits…what we are not exposed to, we will not yearn for or feel at a lost. For example, to a Costa Rican living in non-street lights…walking in the dark is normal. They will not feel insecure in the dark. They are used to the environment. But one like me, who is used to street lights, did not feel comfortable walking in the dark.

Travel improves our understanding of our earthly possessions: When we see that many have little to live with, we understand the amount that we possess. Travel has led me to live a non-cluttered lifestyle and appreciate minimal possessions.

After all, we either choose to buy more stuff or choose to have the money to travel. The choices in life. For us, we chose travel experience as part of our personal growth and education for our children.

Mark Twain wrote a travel book in the 1860s called Innocents Abroad, an account of his trip to Europe and the Holy Land. He quoted, Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts….(you have to read the rest of the quote in Twain’s book).

Why You Should Travel Young

Traveling is simply a brutality of humanity, it is when we travel that we see things for what they truly are and not how we imagined them to be. Traveling also lets our imagination run wild without expectations, it lets us see things from a new perspective, without the alleged prejudice of the world. And while all of this seems to be an adequate reason to travel, many are still naïve to the idea of traveling.

But just as many are left in the dark to wonder and wander, some are out there exploring and enjoying what the world has to offer them, for it is in that brief moment of youth that we can truly experience life, as we know it.

Now the question of many remains, “Why Should I Travel Young”? Personally, I can give you a hundred, even a thousand reasons why you should travel when you’re young but if you’re desire to see the world begins and ends with your “Wish to See the World” then I’m afraid no amount of reasoning would suffice to convince you to go after what you want.

You see, traveling as much as it is a form of recreation is also a commitment, a vocation for some, but ultimately, it is a responsibility. A responsibility you should be willing to take onto yourself. Many people say that the young are lucky to have the health and the wealth to see the world but what they do not realize is that the young are often distracted, deceived and sometimes, deluded.

So if you’re one of the young’uns who wish to unearth the world’s greatest places and learn life’s most valuable lessons, but are afraid to make it happen, read along, maybe I can convince you to travel while you still have the gift of youth.

  1. Traveling teaches you a sense of adventure- Don’t quote me on this one but based on my experience, traveling allows you to have as much as fun as you want without having to worry of what other people will say about you. You don’t have your peers or parents to warn you and judge you, so you can be young, wild and free. Life is an adventure and traveling lets you experience that.
  2. Traveling teaches you to be compassionate- Other than the photos, the souvenir and the life-long memory that traveling gives you, it also edifies you of the real situation and teaches you to care for other people, sometimes not of your own kind.
  3. Traveling allows you to be culturally diverse- If you think traveling is all about sight-seeing and marveling at the wonders each country has, then you’re right. But there’s also something more important that traveling teaches us, it allows us to be culturally diverse. Whenever we travel, it is important that we follow the local practices of the country/destination we are going to. As the old saying goes, “Respect begets Respect” If we learn to respect and even appreciate the culture of other nationalities then we become more aware of our own. That’s the mutual benefit we get from traveling.
  4. Traveling makes you more attractive as a person- they say that the most attractive people in the world are those that have seen it. Do you agree? I do. It is because of the invaluable and immeasurable life experiences we have with our travels that make us a better person, and when you feel you’re better, you become more attractive.
  5. When you travel young, you travel more- let’s face it, we’re all bound to grow old and lose our health. But while we’re young and at the peak of everything, it’s best to take advantage of it and start traveling, after all, you’re only allowed until your 30s to hike a mountain or ride the rapids of the river.
  6. Traveling makes it easy to make friends- if back at your hometown you tend to cling to the same group of people bound by a circle of friendship, then maybe you should travel more often. Traveling has been proven as one of the best ways to gain friends and build bonds, after all, you are all strangers to one another at one point but because of your common interest to see the world, you are bound by it as well. And get this; wouldn’t it be nice to have friends in all parts of the world? That would be way cool, way cooler than your friends back home.
  7. Traveling makes you a better storyteller- You might not get this now but when you have kids or grandchildren, you will. Those who travel young have more opportunities to experience everything there is to traveling. With the many countries that you’ve visited and you’ll be traveling to is a story waiting to be told. Traveling gives you things to share over breakfast, lunch or dinner. When you travel, you will never have a hard time thinking of a topic to talk about; not to mention you’ll keep everyone with your story.

Now if for some strange reason, after citing all these reasons why you should travel young and you’re still not convinced; it’s pretty obvious that you have a fear inside you that you’re just trying to hide so everyone won’t think you’re a coward who can’t face it. Is it fear of heights? Fear of the unknown? Fear of being independent? Whatever it is, know that traveling, especially alone, will help you address that fear. You just have to take the big leap of faith and make the first step to make your traveling dreams a reality. You only live once; and you’re only young for a short period of time, if you don’t travel now, when?