Travel To Antarctica – What The Trip Will Be Like?

Definitely planning a trip to Antarctica is not the same as taking a couple of return tickets at Pricelne. When I need to move around Europe it takes me an hour to plan the route, get the flights, and find the adequate accommodation. If you want to travel to Antarctica, many of those things will not be necessary to plan, as they will come included in the package, but even more essential and more time consuming will be the fact that you need to select properly the kind of trip you are expecting to get.

Nothing can be more frustrating than spending a fortune to travel to Antarctica and discover later that you were not looking for this kind of trip. Probably you will not be able to allow yourself to come back again for economic reasons. Let’s take a look at what different possibilities are there, and which requisites you should look for before booking your trip.

First of all, do a large research. Do not worry about the time, and if you don’t have it, let an expert help you in it. The regulations in Antarctica are very different than the ones in any normal touristic destinations, and all the touristic tours operated there are regulated by the IAATO. Whichever vessel you choose to travel there, make sure they are members of the IAATO, and you will avoid strange surprises.

The kind of expeditions will be most of the times conditioned by the kind of transport you use to get there. If you choose to travel with a research vessel, you will find there many active programs and normally more younger customers are attracted. These vessels are not enormous, but are a good intermediate point. The ships are built for polar research and have the hulls strengthened to deal with the ice, but are not considered icebreakers. Many of them are Russian vessels that after the collapse of Russia were chartered to be used for adventure tour operators. You can’t expect luxury on board, but comfortable rooms and kind of a private environment to travel to Antarctica

Another kind of ship will be an expedition ship. Always larger than the research vessels, they are built to explore the remote waters of the planet. Normally they will include a large number of experts on board that will give classes during the whole trip in order to make your experience as cultural as possible. You will find a great source of knowledge there, and they are normally prepared for landings, so you will almost sure enjoy some land expeditions on the white continent. Normally they will offer a higher level of luxury than research vessels and more services will be offered to you.

Finally, an Icebreaker is directly designed to break through the ice. It is the biggest of the vessels discussed here, and they are nearly always leased by Russia to Adventure Tour Operators in a way that they can get some cash in the months where exploration in the North is not possible due to the winter conditions. These vessels are prepared to travel to the most remote and difficult parts of the Antarctica, so you will have the opportunity to land in the regions where all other vessels simply can’t make it safely. An extraordinary opportunity that normally will also involve a higher price and will get the most veteran travelers. Somehow, a trip with this boats feels like a true expedition!

In any case, there is one thing you must understand before booking with any operator. Even if it may seem that the larger the boat the most interesting the experience, regulations say that no more than 100 tourist can be in the Antarctica at the same time. This means that if the boat is very big, a large number of people will be there, and the turn taking to step on the continent will make the landings time reduced. That’s all up to you depending on the interest you have in walking on these remote lands.

Buying Travel Insurance? Then Read This Article

Travel insurance is not normally top of the priority list when planning holidays but it should be. Tour companies know that, and that’s why they normally insist travellers have insurance. Travel insurance typically covers cancellation and curtailment, personal liability, personal possessions, injury & illness and emergency assistance.

The most significant insured risk is the medical one. If you have a serious medical emergency whilst abroad, valid travel insurance could literally be the difference between life & death, and will cover the assistance costs – an air ambulance back to the UK from the East Coast of the USA could set you back £50,000 otherwise. Without travel insurance and faced with an emergency, your only option would be to contact the nearest UK consulate or embassy who will no doubt help as best they can, but will not pay for assistance.

Like most things in life you tend to get what you pay for with travel insurance, and the low cost options sometimes have limitations. Apart from the specifics of the cover, the variables that determine the price are the number of days and geography covered, the number of people on the policy and their age.

Some basics to consider when buying a policy….

Travel insurance is sold as an annual policy or single trip. If you are going abroad more than once a year then an annual policy may work out cheaper. If you insure a single trip, take the policy out as soon as you have committed to the cost so that you have cancellation cover immediately.

Typically three options are offered for geographic cover: Europe, Worldwide excluding USA & Canada, and Worldwide including USA & Canada, the latter, with widest coverage, being the most expensive. Remember though, the further away from home you are, the more expensive emergency costs are likely to be, so the more important it is to have travel insurance.

Individual, couples and family policies are normally offered as standard. Couples and family policies will normally be cheaper on a per head basis. Family policies typically cover two adults and their children, but they do not normally provide cover for minors travelling on their own.

The cost of travel insurance increases with age. Standard travel insurance policies would typically have an age cap of between 70 & 80, but it would be unusual for the older traveller not to be able to get insurance if they shop around. There are a number of insurers who offer travel insurance for the older travellers at a price that reflects the increased risk. That said, travel insurance for the older traveller with significant pre-existing medical conditions can get very expensive.

Always consider the policy exclusions. Cover for skiing is normally an extra. Standard annual policies typically provide a limited number of days cover in a year – if you need more, there are specialist policies that provide this. Undeclared pre-existing medical conditions are not normally covered, neither are alcohol or drug related medical costs.

And when you travel…..

Take a copy of your policy certificate with you and the travel insurer telephone numbers. The insurer may have three different numbers for customer services, claims and 24 hour assistance. If your travelling in Europe take your EHIC card.

In the event of a medical emergency, contact the 24 hour assistance number who will advise on a course of action. If you act unilaterally and without insurer authorisation, the assistance costs incurred may not be insured. In cases of theft, always report it to the local police and get a crime reference number or equivalent and call the insurer claims number as soon as possible. As a general rule, inform the insurer as soon as possible in the event of any potential claim to confirm cover and give the insurer the opportunity to mitigate the costs of the claim.

Travel Insurance – All One Needs to Know

Travel insurance might well be the last thing on the minds of most travellers when they are planning for their vacations. Factors like cheap airline tickets from UK, sightseeing schedules at the destination and baggage management are perhaps the ones that seem to be most important to the vacationers. However, a thoroughly planned holiday can turn out to the biggest disaster if and when any unpleasant situation arises. At that point, travel insurance may seem like the most important thing in the world!

An apt travel insurance plan is perhaps the best way to ensure that you have a lot of fun on your tour abroad. Some money spend on a comprehensive insurance plan will save the traveller a lot of jitters and hassles in case any unpleasant incident does indeed rock his vacations. Britons put in a lot of effort to get their hands on cheap airline tickets; they must to show the same kind of enthusiasm while looking for a travel insurance policy.

While finalising on a travel insurance plan, it is a must that tourists shop around and speak to different insurance agents. Policies can vary a lot and the travellers must choose the one that suits their holiday plans the most. One should be extra careful while reading insurance policy documents. Some policies might not offer coverage for certain adventurous activities that are risky and unsafe. Therefore, adventurers must be particularly careful while opting for an insurance plan.

Travel Insurance Coverage

There are a number of travel insurance plans that travellers buying flight tickets from UK can opt for. A standard travel insurance plan generally includes the following coverage.

Emergency Medical Treatment

This part of the insurance plan covers emergency medical treatment at hospitals. Prior authorization from the insurer is required if the medical bill is expected to go beyond the fixed amount specified in the plan.

Medical Assistance & Evacuation

Medical assistance mainly deals with the transportation of the injured to the hospital. It covers costs of road or air ambulance. Sea rescue is also covered if the provision is there in the policy. Medical evacuation covers costs incurred while transporting the patient from one medical facility to another if the patient cannot be treated locally.

Cancellation, Curtailment & Trip Interruption

This aspect of the plan covers financial losses that a passenger can recover through other means. Non-refundable deposits and transportation costs are covered in case a traveller needs to cancel or cut short his trip to return home urgently.

Personal Belongings

This clause of travel insurance covers the personal possessions of the traveller. Normally, there is an overall maximum limit for such claims as well as limits for individual type of property.

Travellers who are all ready with their flight tickets from UK can also modify plans as per their wish.