Traveling is my life, travel insurance? not so much.
I have to admit, I’ve been traveling quite excessively in the past decade and if I could choose whether or not purchasing a travel insurance, I always chose not to. And it’s not about the traveling budget. Some CC company provides a complimentary travel insurance without you needing to buy extra from the airlines or third party, so I mostly stick with that.
To start with, whether I am a backpack or suitcase type of traveler; suitcase ftw. Never in my life I go travel with a huge backpack to carry. I used backpack to go hiking and camping back in school days and that’s about it.
Now, how about my traveling budget? I should say varied. When I was living in South East Asia, there were heaps deals to grab to go to another South East Asian country. I was once scored 70 bucks ticket roundtrip to Singapore from my hometown Bandung, pretty good deal huh?
I don’t mind flying budget for flight up to 3 hours max, and picked full services airlines if it’s a longer haul. I got a friend in Uni that took budget airlines when he went to South Korea for the exchange students to save some bucks, meanwhile I took full services airlines one. And once we got there he told us how he was squeezed for the 7 hours flight, and then said the bucks he intended to save was not worth the experience. So guys, there’s that to think about.
Honestly it was always easier to escape when I was in Uni. A little money in my pocket but so much time to go. Then when I started to work full time, I got the money but never got the time.
For the past two years I haven’t been traveling too far, mainly were always around Australia as I haven’t even explore every parts of it.
So considering I haven’t been anywhere too far, I was kinda ‘splurged’ on this trip. 8 countries on the list to visit for 10 weeks, with another two countries possibly added to it. Well, Neal and I were kinda thinking of Egypt. Yeah, we were kinda talk about it.
So on this trip, I bought tickets from an Australian web ticket agency, based on the price recommendation from Skyscanner, that cost me, say, $3k, which consist of 6 connection flights via Dubai’s airport with their national airlines Emirates. Before I purchased the ticket, I checked with Emirates official website and found the price would have been nearly 5 grands if I buy directly with them. So the price gap was no brainer. And after that, I checked the review of the ticket agency to see if it was a credible and reputable one, it was, long story short, I bought it. And did I purchased a travel insurance with them? no. The rests of the trip I purchased the ticket directly on the website, Turkish Airlines and Anadolu Jet, which was Turkish Airlines subsidiaries.
Fast forward to my day of travel, it was so smooth with no problem at all. Fun facts; in my 15hrs flight from Sydney to Dubai I was the only one seated in the window seat of a 3 economy seaters, so I fitted on my sleeping position on those seats quite nicely.
After spending a birthday week in Dubai, the second country to visit was Oman to see my sis and my newly born baby nephew. The nightmare started as soon as I touched down in the Sultanate, with many countries in the world started to implement the lockdown.
Soon after, I started to receives email of flights cancellation, nearly on daily basis considering I booked so many flights for the 10 weeks travel time.
Did I get a refund for these cancelled flights? Absolutely not. I tried to though. And I was furious at first.
I was gonna dispute my transactions and noticed that it took forever and so much to do it by phone from my overseas location, and no, it can’t be done online. I also realised that I actually purchased them with my debit card and there was no such a thing as complimentary travel insurance. Double boom.
I know every sector in the world are suffering equally, financial wise, and just basically trying to get their business afloat in this uncertain period of time. But offering a year valid credits to purchase on the same airlines and the travel area was not gravy for me. I don’t even know if I got another 10 weeks time to travel to those places I listed.
Funnily, my credits hold by the ticketing agent was the full amount of the ticket I purchased on the first place, which I already been on the 2/6 flights booked with them. Hence it just does not make any sense if my two flights I had were free, it couldn’t be, right? Yet the full amount credits? I don’t know mate.
I just wished I purchased it with the CC instead of my debit card, or at least bought the travel insurance. And i know it’s not even worth it to cry over the spilt milk.
So at this point, I am just waiting for the border to reopen in every countries I needed to go to head back home to Sydney. I have a little to no interest to visit the rests of the places anytime soon though.. Not until I know it is really safe to do so.