Travel reminders for snowbirds

(NC)—With fall just around the corner, many snowbirds are itching to finalize their travel plans to warmer climes. If you count yourself among these lucky-ducks, make sure you've made the all necessary arrangements before heading to Florida, Mexico or the Caribbean.

Here's a quick checklistto help you get organized:

• Tell a trusted friend or family-member about your plans and ask them to keep an eye on your place while you're away.

• Secure your home and turn off the water.

• Cancel the newspapers.

• Forward or stop mail delivery.

• Make photocopies of your travel and personal documents for yourself and the trusted friend or family-member as a precaution.

• If you're driving to your destination, find out if you need supplemental car insurance.

• Find out if you need to update your shots.

• Let your bank and credit card company know about your travel plans to avoid any confusion or service disruption.

• Most important, buy travel insurance.

While most people know that travel insurance is important, many people may not be aware that it is now a prerequisite for entering Cuba.

"Since May 1, 2010, Cuban authorities require visitors to provide proof that they can cover their own medical costs," said François Morel, a sales consultant at Desjardins Financial Security. "Subsequently, the Cuba Tourist Board advised that Canadians could present their provincial health insurance cards as proof of medical insurance. But, supplemental travel insurance is necessary because the provincial health insurance plans only offer minimum medical coverage abroad."

"Regardless of whether you're out of the country for a day or for several weeks, accidents or illnesses happen all the time and it's best to be prepared," said Morel. "Hospital stays abroad can reach into the tens of thousands of dollars. So, it's best to take a few minutes to buy reliable travel insurance coverage."

Here are some things to remember when buying travel insurance:

• It's convenient: It can be bought on the internet or by phone.

• It's flexible: You'll find the right policy that suits your needs based on your age, health situation and trip duration.

• It's reliable: Coverage provides 24/7 medical assistance support so you know you can count on someone in case of an emergency.

Consult your insurance provider to learn more. Or, for more immediate answers visit the Going on a Trip section at

Carol Ireland

Carol Ireland

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Millennium Inc., Brokerage*
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