Tips for Purchasing Travel Insurance

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The potential of something going wrong and causing a negative financial impact on your life is why many people choose to protect themselves with travel insurance. There are a number of factors you will want to look into before getting any form of travel, health, or life insurance before you leave for your trip.

The good thing about most of these forms of short term insurance is that they are relatively inexpensive but knowing a few insider tips can save you big.

The first thing you should do is be aware of exactly what you’re looking for and what you want to be covered for. A lot of people get over-insured and end up paying too much.

Second, it’s usually not a good idea to buy travel insurance through a travel agency. This is not always the case but it can often be quite an expensive proposition so look at outside providers and see what kind of deal you can get.

Many consumers buy this form of insurance because it’s easy but it’s often better to look to independent providers instead.

Speaking to a trained insurance broker can help you answer any questions you might have regarding your policy. This smoothes out the entire process and will get you traveling easier and without having to worry about what you’re covered for.

The best part is that you can get a relatively inexpensive plan because you’re not being covered for an extensive period of time so for many people this is a great thing. Shop around and you’ll be on your way in no time.

Efficient Holiday Credit Card Management

Numbers And Finance

The best management strategy will largely depend on what your current financial situation is. For example, people who are building credit should use their credit cards differently than those who are aiming towards credit card debt elimination. Credit builders may want to show a revolving history of personal responsibility, so charging your entire holiday purchase may be appropriate.

However, those with a high debt load may be better served to use their debit card. If you do go that route, be sure to have it run as a credit card to ensure that all the fraud protections are in place. You could also use a standard credit card, keeping the cash on hand to pay the bill when it becomes due. If that isn’t an option, make a budget that accounts for eliminating the holiday debt completely within four to six months.

There are other things that you may be a factor in your lifestyle and situation that you can take into consideration when managing your holiday credit card debt in an efficient manner. The first thing to look at is what type of credit cards you own. If you have several, you might want to favor the one that offers rewards.

Because holiday debt usually adds a large chunk to the balance at one time, you can earn significant rewards. Keep in mind that many rewards cards give users a bonus for shopping with affiliated retailers, so be sure to favor those stores when you are out and about. Also, don’t forget that your rewards won’t post to your account until the balance is paid, so work that into your financial plan.

Another type of card to consider for holiday shopping is the store-issued credit card. You can usually receive a discount or cash back just for signing up for these and can save on each purchase made as well. However, don’t take advantage of these offers unless you are in a sound position. These should be paid in full every single month, as the interest charged is generally excessive. They can, however, be a good idea if you manage them efficiently.

The holidays are a time when many people are traveling. What better time to catch up with family and friends, after all? If you are leaving home, you need to keep a close eye on your credit cards and use smart strategies. It is recommended that travelers always use credit cards.

Debit cards just don’t have the same protections in place, and it could be weeks before you are keeping a closer eye on the accounts that you have left at home. In addition, using a debit card to book hotels or rent cars can cause your bank balance to be held for a period of time. When using a credit card, it’s your credit limit that is affected and not your personal cash.

10 Ways to “Be Green” While Visiting San Francisco…

1. Stay at a green hotel: San Francisco offers a growing selection of green-conscious hotels, with the LEED-certified Orchard Garden Hotel and the newly opened Good Hotel leading the way. When choosing a green hotel, look specifically at the hotel’s recycle/reuse programs, conservation efforts, and overall best practices.

2. Remember to “reduce, recycle, reuse”: Even if your hotel isn’t certified “green,” you can take it upon yourself to make a difference. Let the cleaning service know it’s not necessary to change your linens; bring your own water and toiletries; take shorter showers; turn off all lights when not in the room; and recycle/reuse on your own.

3. Use public transportation: San Francisco is served by a well-connected public-transportation system. Via Muni buses, light rail, cable cars, and BART, you’ll be able to reach most every destination on your list. Tip: Keep HopStop on your laptop/phone to help with directions and trip-planning.

4. Go walking: In addition to public-transit, there’s also walking in San Francisco. Even with its steep hills, this city was made for walking tours, with interesting sights, architecture, and people to see along the way. Before leaving for the city, look into self-guided audio tours like City Story Walks or Stroll San Francisco. Also, check out local guides, like the comprehensive Stairway Walks in San Francisco. As for the carbon emissions: zero.

5. Immerse in greenery: San Francisco has lovely greenery to experience year-round thanks to its immense Golden Gate Park (GGP), home to summer concerts, two major museums, a tea garden, an arboretum, two windmills, and the oldest existing public conservatory in North America.

6. The California Academy of Sciences: One of those major museums in GGP happens to be the green icon California Academy of Sciences, the only place in the world to have a planetarium, aquarium, and natural history museum all under one roof. The “living roof” is a marvel to be seen and the building itself stands a symbol in a green-conscious world, blending sustainable features seamlessly into a beautiful, natural setting.

7. Buy local: If you’re visiting the city over the weekend, definitely try and visit the Farmer’s Market at the historic Ferry Building. In addition, San Francisco is famed for its unique culinary style and most of the restaurants make it a point to buy local. By dining out, you’ll be supporting this too (as well as cutting down on the plastic used by hotels for room service).

8. Take a segway: San Francisco offers fun segway and bike tours for those who wish to cover a greater amount of the city in less time. Experience the waterfront, Palace of Fine Arts, and the marina all on a three-hour guided tour. Bring your camera!

9. Take (lots of) photographs: Yes, in San Francisco, you’ll no doubt find opportunity to take photos. This city is beautiful, from its vistas and hills, monuments and bridges, Victorians and cafes. What’s more, photo-taking paired with sightseeing is a totally green thing to do. Remember: “Take only pictures, leave only footprints.”

10. Speaking of footprints, try and reduce yours. Your carbon footprint that is: Likely the biggest environmental impact you’ll make is how you reach San Francisco. The amount of carbon emissions from a cross-country flight will be more than a month’s worth of driving. However, this aspect of the trip is pretty essential and as of now, an airborne alternative hasn’t yet been found. With this said, a lot of good can be done by minimizing your “footprint” while in-town and as you can see from the above, San Francisco offers plenty of ways to go about doing just that. Good luck!