If you are going on an international trip and do not have health insurance that covers situations beyond national boundaries, then make sure your travel plan has extensive health cover.
By Animesh Das
Some travel to escape their busy lives while some wander about to find themselves. Different people might have different motivations to go on a vacation but the common thing with almost everyone is that travelling can be an enriching experience; consciously as well as subconsciously. This journey can be even more exciting and profound if you are a solo traveller.
Solo travel was perceived to be dominated by men. However, in the past few years, women from tier 1 cities are breaking out of chains and embracing their desire to travel. National and international travel and hotel websites such as Oyo, Unique Home Stays, Hostelworld, etc. have recorded a surge in bookings by solo women travellers in the recent past.
Here are some popular reasons for the rise in solo travel
- Technology has made things simpler and safer for travellers.
- There has been a shift from visiting attractions to enjoy experiences.
- Desire to travel out of self-motivation and not because of family obligation.
- Package tours are rigid and impersonal whereas solo trips are flexible and personalized.
- Drive to tell personal travel stories through social media channels.
Therefore, if you are a solo traveller and are in the process of planning a domestic or an international trip, you are not alone. Read ahead to acquaint yourself with some basics that will help you make the most of your trip.
1) Right Destination
Do you want to go hiking in the mountains or ride the waves by going surfing? Do you want an adrenaline-pumping trip with activities like skydiving or do you want to sit peacefully in a quaint café with a book and explore local culture? Or do you want a mix of all the above and a lot more? Ask these questions to yourself and you will be able to shortlist and select your solo travel destination.
2) Travel Time
Decide your travel time based on your health quotient. Assess your health condition and take measures to get fitter for your trip if it involves physical activities like hiking. Research about the weather conditions and get an overview of the political and social scenario of the place where you are about to travel. Speaking to friends and family who have been there, and browsing online travel forums can also give you actionable insights.
3) Tech Assistance
Usually, major concerns with respect to travelling are related to safety, deriving value for money, and meeting individual travel goals. Technology plays a major role in meeting these three objectives. For example, the internet has made it easy to book top and safe hotels, get flights at a cheaper rate, and conduct in-depth research about attractions and experiences in and around your preferred travel destination.
Some apps can enhance your travelling experience with respect to gaining more knowledge about the places you are visiting, getting to know local cultural highlights, etc. Enhanced connectivity enabled by smartphones and social media can be a major confidence booster for solo travellers and a way to tame the worry monster for concerned family members back home.
4) Safe Adventures
Solo travellers might not be satisfied with just a ‘happy journey’. Isn’t that for comfort-craving tourists? Daring travellers thrive on adventures, but it is your responsibility to ensure safety. Traveling can be about pushing your limits but there is a fine line between adventure and danger. Trust people but be alert. Focus on having safe adventures.
5) Travel Insurance
You might be ultra-safe but unfortunate incidents cannot be predicted. Situations resulting in lost baggage or misplaced passport are terrifying. This is where travel insurance is crucial as it can provide timely assistance and necessary support during emergencies. An active travel insurance policy is a must-have in order to visit certain countries as tourists. However, it is suggested to purchase a suitable travel insurance policy even if it is not a mandatory requirement.
If you are going on an international trip and do not have health insurance that covers situations beyond national boundaries, then make sure your travel plan has extensive health cover. Also, include an evacuation cover, as it can come in handy in case you need to be airlifted from your holiday destination due to a crisis.
New-age insurance for the new-age solo traveller
Apart from traditional travel insurance policies, new-age insurers also offer dedicated flight insurance, hotel insurance, cab ride insurance, etc. through their partners. You can spend some time online to find which policy suits you best.
There is no need to rely on a travel agent to buy a travel insurance policy. You can buy one online on your own as per your convenience. Purchase a policy that offers extensive coverage at a low price. Travel insurance can be your friend in need while on a solo trip. Have safe adventures and stay insured.
(The author is Head of Product Strategy – ACKO General Insurance)