How travel insurance could have helped avoid a holiday disaster in Vietnam
Planning for a Vietnam trip shouldn't just involve having clothes tailored and eating plenty of pho. There's something else that should be planned for...
- August 2019
There's every chance author Ernest Hemingway had it wrong when he described Paris as a “moveable feast”. If he’d visited Vietnam's coastal town of Nha Trang, with its bustling markets, seaside resorts and colourful locals with chickens tucked underarm, would he have reconsidered?
I'm deep in thought about this as I amble through the local market where my senses come alive with the various colours, sounds and aromas in the air, particularly of the regional culinary delicacies. An orchestra of motorbike horns, bartering and the gentle lap of waves from the distance, where the white sand meets the sea, plays in the background, as we relish the hot, humid atmosphere.
“Wow, this is a little more energetic than I was expecting,” I say to my husband as we bounce – pinball-like – off shoppers carrying all manner of fresh produce.
People are pressed close, but there's no reason to suspect anything is wrong until we get to the hotel and I discover a gaping hole in my backpack where my purse should be.
That moment when you realise you're missing hundreds of dollars and some bank cards is different for everyone but for me, it involved waving goodbye to the clothes we'd planned to get tailor-made in Hoi An, our next stop.
Surely our travel insurance would cover the theft? Yes, it certainly would have, but over a tense "conversation" with my husband, we realise there'd been a miscommunication, with each of us believing the other had organised it.
The upshot? Rather than enjoying the last days of our holiday, we spend them stressed and I come back without the new wardrobe I had planned. In hindsight, I should have spent more time pre-holiday focusing on stuff that matters – like making sure we were insured, to enjoy peace of mind in case of any unexpected incidents.
The experience hasn’t been without one vital benefit, though. We agree that I’ll be the one to arrange all travel insurance from now on. And once that’s done, I’m going back to Vietnam, where there’s a dress with my name on it.
Insurance helps with more than petty theft; it’s important for more serious travel mishaps, too.
When Kate Fitzsimons’ sister Nicole died because of a split-second decision not to wear a helmet while riding a motorbike in Thailand, it spurred her to help prevent similar tragedies from happening to others. The Nicole Fitzsimons Foundation (nicolefitzsimons.com), established in 2012, raises awareness among young Australians about the importance of travel insurance as well as the dangers of flouting safety rules when overseas, and also offers financial assistance to young performing artists and sportspeople. “Travel insurance isn’t a waste of money; it’s the best investment you can make towards your trip,” says Kate. “Aside from absolute heartache, our family would’ve been AUD $50,000 out of pocket had Nicole not had travel insurance.”
Jetstar Travel Insurance makes it easy
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