Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Travel Insurance

If you are traveling internationally, particularly if it is an adventure and/or expensive trip, purchasing travel insurance is a worthwhile investment. Just think about the cost if you had to be airlifted out of the Andes, or the middle of Siberia or Antartica.

In most cases, basic cancellation/interruption policy will include medical evaculation along with coverage for baggage loss/delay, trip delay and trip cancellation for illness or death.

More expensive and also more complex coverage is available that will cover trip cancellation for any reason. Some plans (usually with a requirement to purchase within a specific time frame), will also cover you for trip cancellation due to pre-existing conditions.

Like all insurance plans, travel insurance plans are priced based upon the level of coverage. Some plans pricing is also dependent upon age.

An excellent resource for comparing policies is They have plans from eighteen insurers and is also an excellent resource tool with lots of travel tips.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

When Is The Best Time To Visit

For information on public holidays, weather patterns and daily cost estimates, a good site to check is

There is information on restaurant with links to the sites and menus. Also, you'll find information on hotels, hostels and B & B's.

The site also does advertising so be sure to do some research before making any purchases.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Eco-Friendly Lodges

I try to travel eco-friendly in any country I visit. I don't litter. When in a park or wilderness area I take only photographs and leave only footprints. I try not to disturb the wild animals I see.

Eco-friendly travel is becoming big business and accommodations are being built around the world to attract this type of tourist. These lodges are built using local building materials. They are staffed with local residents. Some of the lodges conserve water by using gray water for watering the landscape. Some conserve on electricity by generating their own with solar panels. And most are now also being built with an eye to the tourist who also wants to be comfortable.

I've included a brief list, below, of some eco-friendly lodges around the world. As you can see, these accommodations don't come cheap. The big exceptions list are the Maho Bay Camps on St. John, USVI and the Three Camel Lodge in Mongolia.

(in alphabetical order by location):

Bali - Nihiwatu Resort
Price: from $266 per person nightly

Brazil - Araras
Price: from $870 per person for four nights

Chile - EcoCamp Patagonia
Price: from $1,059 per person for four-day packages

Costa Rica - Pacuare Lodge
Price: from $326 per person for a two-day package

Easter Island - explora en Rapa Nui
Price: from $1,230 per person for three nights

Iceland - Hotel Hellnar
Price: from $198 per night

Mongolia - Three Camel Lodge
Price: from $80 per person per night

Namibia - Damaraland Camp
Price: from $354 per person per night

Peru - Mountain Lodges of Peru
Price: $2,500 per person for a six-night package

St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands - Maho Bay Camps
Price: from $80 per night

Monday, November 7, 2011

Travel With the Right Electrical Connection

Traveling with digital cameras, recharges, laptops and iPads, it is important to know the shape of electrical outlets we might encounter.

It is interesting that current isn't the issue it used to be. Reading the small print on most power supplies shows that they will work with either 110 or 220 current. That is great because I really hated carrying around that heavy convertor.

However, even though current is no longer an issue, it is still important to know the shape and size of the outlets you can expect to find in the countries you will be visiting. We have a 'travel pack' of adaptors that will handle just about anything we will find. To make sure you have the right one, a great resource is the Electrical Connection Wizard at Magellan's.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Changing Money at EZE

The international airport in Buenos Aires, Ministro Pistarini International Airport, uses the airport code EZE. Typically when we arrive in a country, we try to locate an ATM in the airport to get local currency.

Research gave me the information that the ATMs at EZE couldn't be counted on to work properly so I decided to use the exchange booth in the luggage area. The exchange rate wasn't great so I just changed enough to get us into Buenos Aires.

What my research did not tell me was that there was a bank right outside the luggage area. It was a big branch with several windows. So if you arrive at EZE during banking hours, and find the ATMs aren't working, leave the baggage area and do your currency exchange at the bank.