Monday, May 23, 2011

Volcano Deja Vu!

Just over a year ago we, along with my sister Louise and Brother in Law John, had planned for the greatest of vacations aboard the Silver Seas Silver Wind.

They got stuck in Montreal on the way while Rae and I got waylaid in Toronto for 4 days before we were transported back home.

Together we all vowed to try to complete the dream. We booked the similar itinerary and for the better part of a year talked and planned over many dinners and bottles of wine.

But my sister always had a fear. That we would not make the trip. That something similar would happen to prevent the holiday.

Since she also will not step onto a small aircraft I shrugged it all off considering her anxiety level to be much higher than mine, and took a more positive approach.

Well thinking that way clearly worked since we had one of the best vacations ever, with more laughter than I ever thought possible.

We visited the great sites in Florence, Venice, Split, Dubrovnik, Toaramina, Sorrento, and Rome...and even did an automobile side trip to Pompei to end our part of the journey.

John and Louise stayed on for another week. And guess what. Volcanic action is once more threatening to erupt into somewhat more than an observation from scientists.

With only two days to go before their departure they are really hoping for stability so they can get home after what has now been a very long holiday.

The emails keep saying she is praying and hoping. But nature pays little heed to human pleadins so we shall see.

In the meantime my mind goes back to a great vacation. Te first week Rae and I had alone was in the Ticino district of Switzerland around Lugano.

What an absolutely beautiful part of the world. It is scenic peaceful and tranquill, yet with all the tourist services you would expect.

For the entire vacation it was hotter than we expected. I wore my wide brimmed Tilley Hat and was really happy I brought it along.

I wore Exofficio underwear and Tilley Socks every day, saving packing space by washing those I brought every few days. They dry completely very quickly.

I had a couple of Royal Robbins Shirts and a pair of Exofficio walking shorts I was able to wash as quickly one evening.

We usually don't bring wine back home or I definitely would have taken the Vinnibag along. Wine lovers and those who go on winery tours need to look at this great breakthrough product to protect glass in transit in you checked baggage.

If you want to ask about any of the places we visited and have me help you plan your next trip, email me at askjourneys@journeystravel.com

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posted by That Travel Guy @ 9:36 AM  |  1 Comments

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Home Again...Gone Again!

I really feel that the product No Jet Lag works. Both Rae and I took these homeopathic tablets going to Europe and coming back again.

She swears by them and so do I. Especially going East through time zones people seem to have little or no effect from Jet Lag.

Coming back, while tired as we adjusted to new time zones, those that know that horrible jet lag feeling that makes you feel horrible for days, with No Jet Lag it just doesn't seem to happen.

As a result I was back in the office working as per normal the day after our return.

And notwithstanding the tremendous time we had in Lugago and the Ticino district of Switzerland followed by our Silver Seas Silver Wind cruise with my sister and brother-in-law, it is good to be back.

But it is the long weekend, and like many cottage owners the weekend to 'open up'.

We are in Sioux Narrows, truly one of the most beautiful areas in Lake of the Woods. I wrote a story about it in the Winnipeg Free Press last year which you can read on our website directly @ http://www.journeystravelgear.com/destination_stories/SiouxNarrows.cfm .

While today is opening day for walleye fishing and I would prefer to be on the water, the rain has meant that I am doing a lot more of the things Rae would like me to do that she usually does.

I have been the dishwasher king all day since Rae insists that every single plate, pot, square inch of cubboard and piece of furniture needs to be washed, wiped, scrubbed, vacuumed, and other wise sanitized.

God I was doing well until I went through all that.

Tomorrow after a couple of weeks not hosting the show, I am back on the Journeys Travel Show at noon CST.

I will be talking about the trip, what we learned and some pretty serious tips you may find helpful.

Join me tomorrow at noon CST on http://www.cjob.com/ CJOB68 live.

I hope it clears because right after the show Wally Walleye is waiting and I am ready for a fresh meal of fresh caught fish.

All the best until tomorrow...and as always, Safe Journeys

Ron Pradinuk

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posted by That Travel Guy @ 5:23 PM  |  0 Comments

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Great Trip...But I Wanna Go Home!

It has been an exceptional 17 days of travel.

Four days in Lugano touring the Swiss Canton of Ticino, a day and a half in Florence (not enough), a couple of days in Venice (not enough here either), and a week aboard the Silver Seas Silver Wind with stops in Split, Dubrovnik, Sicily, Sorrento, and Rome,  then a day trip by car to Pompei with my sister and brother-in-law. They were all wonderful.

And the trip home would have been uneventful but for one obstacle.

I knew we had a short time to catch our connecting flight from Montreal to Winnipeg after Air Canada changed the departure time from Montreal as part of their fall schedule.

Since it was the last opportunity to get out of Montreal and get home Tuesday night I left it as is hoping our overseas flight just might arrive early while the Montreal Winnipeg leg left late.

Since neither of these occured we are now bunkered in at the Comfort Inn in Dorval and not on a flight until 1:30 PM...And now I really want to get home.

When it's over, it should be over.

There will be no tours or dining here in the city I love a lot, just the wait to catch the flight to begin another great Manitoba summer.

In the meantime I am up early, feeling fine because of my No Jet Lag pills, but still adjusting to our new life in a Canadian time zone.

Safe Journeys and a safe summer to all.

Ron Pradinuk

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posted by That Travel Guy @ 4:28 AM  |  5 Comments

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

On the Way Home...With Memories.

We are in the final couple of hours in the Hilton Hotel connected to the Rome airport.

It is time to go home but there was a definite sadness as we parted company with my sister Louise and Brother In Law John after spending the last 10 days with them on this Journeys.

After Rae and I visited the Ticino/Lugano district of Switzerland from May 2 to 6 we joined them in Florence on May 7.

We spent only one day in Florence, 2 in Venice, and then visited Dubrovnik and Split in Croatia, Sicily (where Louse took an all day Italian cooking class while the rest of us went up Mount Etna, which is still active and spewing), visited Sorrento and the Isle of Capri, and closed with a visited to Pompei by car with John and Louise before they dropped us off at the Naples train station.

Silverseas is a classy cruise line and we were continually impressed.

I look forward to writing more about the experiences and talking about them on the radio show.

Some of the products we used that really came in handy were both the PacSafe wallet and Neck Safe.

Rae carried her Ameribag all the time and travelled with her new Lug on wheels.

I wore Exofficio shirts a lot, wore my wide brimmed Tilley Hat all the time and was glad I did because it was hot.

We both wear Exofficio underwear and Tilley socks, which I did  quick washes on since we kept down the numbers to keep down the weight.

There was more but it is time to close this off and head to the airport for our return flight. We are on British Air so I can't say I am looking forward to the layover in London but that airport is a virtual shopping centre so the time goes by quickly.

Arrividerchi!

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posted by That Travel Guy @ 12:21 AM  |  3 Comments

Monday, May 16, 2011

It Doesn't Get Much Better Than Dubrovnik!

Even from a distance you can feel it. There is something special about the walled city of Dubrovnik.

Inside the city walls lay a fortress of history, past and present, to be discovered.

As another UNESCO Heritage site,it carries with it all that we have come to expect out of these areas designated as such.

Wondering up and down the narrowest of streets you can feel the past. And then listening to the devastation wrote on the city in its most recent war with its neighbours, and what they had to do to rebuild the city is heartbreaking.

But Dubrovnik will have a strong tourism future again. Firstly as its prime industry the residents recognize the importance of the industry and take pains to make you feel welcome.

Beyond the gates, on a tour of the countryside the panoramic beauty is wondrous to behold.

We have just spent a most amazing day on a tour of the city and the area, and I cannot help but want to send thousands here.

Likewise we are on the Silver Seas Silver Wind vessel and if you make a Silver Seas trip your first you will never be able to go back to anything else again.

Quality is defined in this brand. And while it is my first trip on one of their fine ships, I cannot believe that the same quality of performance is anything else but standard with them.

From a product perspective I have been using my Pacsafe wallet and love it while Rae doesn't part from her Ameribag when going ashore.

I bought an ExOfficio short sleeve shirt before I left and it has been exceptional, as all their products tend to be.

Tomorrow we are at sea with our next port of call being in Sicily the day after tomorrow.

Look for the products we are using at http://www.journeystravelgear.com/ and I will try to keep up with the blog daily as well.
posted by That Travel Guy @ 7:25 AM  |  0 Comments

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

From Florence to Venice Then Split!

The days have gone quickly.

We met my sister Louise and Brother in Law John in Florence and had a couple of days of non stop laughs.

We travelled by train to Venice and enjoyed the canals and shopping at the glass factories.

Then we set sail from Venice and arrived in Split Croatia this morning.

The weather has been absolutely wonderful. We have walked a lot, eaten more, and it's fair to say, had a few bottles of wines.

Tomorrow we will land in Dubrovnik, which is another destination I have wanted to go to for a very long time.

When I get back I will write more about the places we stayed and recommend, the better restaurants where we ate, and try to provide some helpful travel tips.

But here it seems we are always on the go. Tonight is formal night on board the Silver Seas Silver Wind with lobster apparently the dining feature of the evening.

I'll write soon but I do need to head to the gym to try and burn off a few of these calories. This ship makes it difficult to not eat...especially when will power is at a premium at the best of times.

Remember you can still enter to win the 2 wine bottle protector Vinnibags in our current Facebook Draw.

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posted by That Travel Guy @ 7:54 AM  |  0 Comments

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Man Leaves Wife At Train Station. It Really Happened And I Was To Blame!

Here is a BIG tip for rail travellers in Europe. Do not waste time getting on your rail car or it will pull away from the station without you.

Rae and I have more luggage with us than anyone should have on a trip. For me it is a case of 'Physician, Heal Thyself'.

I tell people to travel light and here we are with 5 pieces, 2 huge overladden Victorinox suitcases, a backpack full of camera equipment, a rolling laptop bag, and Rae's rather big carry-on.

So with all that bulk and weight it takes us time to get on the train, and until today we never had a good sense of figuring out where our assigned car will actually be.

We were at the station early enough this morning for the journey from Lugano to Florence but we were one of the last to board...the second last to be exact.

I load the two heavy pieces on the train, grab the next two and hear the signal, which I have no idea how I intuitively knew that it was for the doors of the train to close.

Rae is outside the train with her carry-on.

As I hear the sound I throw myself against the door to prevent it from closing. It is pushing me strongly. Rae doesn't realize what is going on but does step on board as fast as she can with her sore knee slowing her a bit.

Behind her is the wife of the older gentleman standing behind me waiting for me to clear my bags.

As Rae steps in I am forced to step away from the door. It instantly closes behind her even as I reach to grab it.

Rae tries to push the door open buttons in vein. The train starts to move. The women's eyes grow wider and wider in a look of panic. The man pushes us aside and starts hammering on the window as though it would help.

His wife disappears from sight as he swears, first in German 'Sheis and a few other words I know are choice German gutter expressions. As though recognizing it was likely my tardiness that caused his wife to be left behind he switches to English swear words. "Shit F--k, F--k!"

He is yelling and still banging on the door as the train really gains speed. He must be almost crying by now.

We take our seats. And as much as we felt for him, and in the tension we also felt, we started laughing and replaying the scene. Then we would get really serious and concerned...and then start laughing again.

We were worried that we were on a non stop all the way to Milan, the stop we need to change trains at. But the story does have an ending that is not entirely tragic.

The first stop is Chiasso only about 15 minutes away. We see him on the platform and know that the story will end will if the delay does not force the couple to miss a plane or something more important.

Lessons learned. When we arrived in Milan we were the first off and I think the first on.

We moved quickly so as not to hold up people behind us.

And through it all, we had another crazy tale to tell.

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posted by That Travel Guy @ 1:13 PM  |  0 Comments

Castles, Dinner and Then the Train

We left Lugano this morning on our way to Florence.

But before we did we had a chance to visit the three UNESCO Castles in Bellinzona, a really lovely small city less than a half hour out of Lugano.

These castles are in great shape, and they have to be to gain the UNESCO approval.

We got back to our hotel after a big pizza lunch and couldn't eat again until very late.

It was our last night so we decided to try to find something a little different in a restaurant. There was something about the Cafe Retro Restaurant that attracted us, and we were both glad it did.

A live piano player created the mood, on the ball service helped the satisfaction of the experience, and the food was absolutely delicious.

Rae had onion soup, I had a pasta soup, and we both raved over our lasagne. This was better than any lasagne either of us could remember eating.

The days here went by quickly, but it was time to greet a new adventure. And my sister and brother in law in Florence.

We celebrated with a bottle of wine (or was it two) and then walked to the nearby market.

Perhaps it was the wine, perhaps it was the perception of quality Florence has for a number of things but especially leather goods.

After a few purchases we are back in our hotel room ready for a siesta and then a nice dinner together.

We only have a day and a half in Florence so there is no question we will really be on the go to try to take in David and a lot more of what Florence is all about in art and history.

If you have been here before I would love to have your comments.
posted by That Travel Guy @ 11:45 AM  |  0 Comments

Friday, May 6, 2011

I Can't Believe I Ate The Whole Thing!

I remember the commercial. The guy's heartburn gets cured by some indigestion tablet after he complains of eating an entire pizza the night before.

But here in Lugano Switzerland, in the Italian Canton of Ticino, seeing people eating an entire pizza is common.

Men, women, and children of all ages, they all seem to consume the entire pizza pie placed in front of them. As did we.

That's because an Italian pizza is different than we tend to find in most pizza places and Italian restaurants at home.

Here the pizzas are made with an extremely thin crust. So thin that it simple folds if you try to pick it up.

No deep dish versions here so you are not filling yourself up with bread.

And the cheese is not loaded on top of the pizza shell, while the super special with a multitude of fillings is also a rarity. But taste. My gosh they do know how to create a tasty pizza.

So yes. I can believe I ate the whole thing. Twice. And perhaps one more time before we continue our journey tomorrow.

And I don't even need indigestion tablets.

A nice bottle of Ticino Merlot wine with dinner shared between Rae and I was a perfect accompaniment.

We might buy a bottle and take it back in our wine bottle protector the Vinnibag. If you want to win your own Vinnibag go to the home page and click the Enter to Win icon.

Like us on Facebook and you could be the winner of the current draw for two of them.

Today its castles, the real ones, and tomorrow its on to Florence for a new adventure.

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posted by That Travel Guy @ 12:09 AM  |  0 Comments

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Today we saw125 Castles in an hour...Tomorrow only 3 will take a long time.

It's called the SwissMiniaitur. Yes they were all miniature replicas of real castles and major sights around Switzerland.

But it truly is an amazing display.

Patterned after a similar park in Holland this one opened in 1959 and is now in its third generation as a family business.

Every building is designed exactly as the original, all of them at 1/25 of the originals as well.

Miniature trains, ski hills, and airports round out the castle display. It is worth seeing by children of all ages.

For lunch, and it was the best one so far, we dined at the Grotto del Parco in the small village of Morcote.

Starting with an anti-pasto of agnolotti with spinach, which was as tasty as any pasta either Rae or I have ever eaten, it is a specialty made on sight with freshly make pasta.

We then had fish again this time Lucio Perca with Artichokes. The best translation seems to be Pike Perch but nothing like we have at home.

I never would have thought of mixing the artichokes with the fish but it was tremendous.

We were full but our host insisted on serving a gelati topped with a regional Ticini liquer, just what we needed after having a glass of wine with the meal as well.

Then we were off to Monte San Salvatore, known as Lugano's mountain.

We took a Funicular up most of the mountain but I was determined to take phots from the roof of the San Salvatore church to capture the panoramic view of the entire surrounding Canton.

Just before leaving we saw the 39 steps at MTC.

Today I think I did about 339 straight up carrying a pile of camera equipment with me. It was well worth the effort and I will be posting photos for all to see when I get back.

For some crazy reason even though I have been able to send photos home as and attachment, the system won't allow me to put them onto this blog.

Tomorrow we see the UNESCO castles of Bellinzona. These are the real things and I will let you know what they were like tomorrow.

In the meantime do enter to win the pair of Vinnibag wine bottle protectors we are giving away on our facebook contest. Go to the home page and then the Enter to Win icon.

These are great and wine lovers who travel really have taken to them.

Until tomorrow...arrivederchi !

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posted by That Travel Guy @ 11:04 AM  |  0 Comments

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Horse Meat...I Never Thought I would order Horse Meat Again!

I grew up in a farming community so eating horse meat was no big deal in those days.

There was no kind of meat not eaten and no part of an animal that went to waste. It's just the way it was. And as time went by prime rib beef and pork tenderloin took the dining spotlight.

No one I know, and no restaurant I know serves horse meat.

So here we are in Ticino, the Italian Canton of Switzerland that is only a few kilometres from the Italian border.

Lugano, where we are staying and using as our base, is a beautiful city, with exceptional shops and restaurants.

Wages are higher here than in most other European countries and the region attracts a very wealthy clientelle. So wealthy I assume that the demand for a different dining experience is strong.

Our guide recommends an excellent restaurant to us call La Tinera. It is off a side street that looks like no one would go there.

On top of that it is in a basement of a building when most of the popular restaurants are out door option venues.

As we climb down the steep stairs I wonder if we have made the right decision in following her recommendation.

Entering the restaurant we find we are lucky to find a table without having made a reservation.

Our guide has told us that one of their specialties is horse meat...and that we might like to try it.

I am pretty daring but my wife Rae is sometimes less so. But not tonight.

We both order the horse meat steak, hoping like heck we have not condemned ourselves to a slow and painful death.

The plates are delivered and the meat looks like any other steak that we get served at restaurants often. Except for one thing.

As tender as beef can be this U.S. grade horse steak is more tender than most beef cuts we have eaten.

Don't blanch at this but it does have a faint odor of actual horse. But the taste is great.

It will be a while before I am likely to order it again but I ate every last bite. Rae left a bit when she confessed to thinking about National Velvet...but Liz is gone and so was the pony on my plate.

The Ticino wine did not hurt in erasing any sense of movie memories and the side was an excellent compliment.

Tomorrow we will return to Pizza and Pasta. But for today we have had another travel experience worth remembering.

Back to business for a moment. Do like us on Facebook and enter to win the 2 Vinnibag travel wine bottle protectors we are giving away during our current contest.

Enter at http://www.journeystravelgear.com/ and click the enter to win icon.

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posted by That Travel Guy @ 4:01 PM  |  0 Comments

Lugano...A Sight To BeHold

Driving from the railway station by taxi the first impressions of Lugano were quickly formed.

I kept thinking kelowna, Lake Louise and all those other beautiful destinations that are formed by a beautiful lake framed by mountains and hills in the background.

After we rested we walded along Via Nassa street.

This is where money, and big money, gets left behind. Bulgari and all the biggest names you can think of have lined up there stores along this pedestrian street.

Beyond the street lie dozens of outdoor restaurants marketing pizza but featuring everything else in addition.

We enjoyed a bottle of wine and a nice meal before retiring, knowing today was going to be a big day.

The wine we selected was a regional Ticino one and it was outstanding.

Rae's knee prevented here from joining me but after a big pizza and earlier train food I needed to burn off some calories.

For over an hour I walked the perimeter of the lake and can hardly wait to do so again in full daylight.

Adorned with sculptures throughout the shoreline sidewalk it really is an idylic atmosphore which needs to be seen to be appreciated.

Remember to enter for the two Vinnibag wine bottle/glass protectors by liking Journeys on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Journeys-Travel-and-Leisure-Supercentre/361250796001
posted by That Travel Guy @ 12:22 AM  |  1 Comments

Monday, May 2, 2011

Day One...We Arrive In Rome.

It could have been an easier route but it worked out well all the same.

When we started planning this trip most of it was based around the cruise we were hosting on the Silver Seas Silver Wind and some travel around Italy with my sister and brother in law.

They were leaving April 30 business class on Air Canada. We had the points to do the same but Aeroplan didn't have that many seats allocated for those flights.

So I booked business class to Rome on points I was able to transfer from my RBC Avion account to British Airways. We were leaving one day later than them on May 1 but we quickly agreed that would not be a problem.

Then, after taking in the Europe Media Exchange in November the people of Switzerland's Ticino region suggested that since I was so close I should experience this Swiss Canton which borders Italy and is, for the most part entirely Italian speaking and influenced.

My sister and brother in law, not having been to Italy, decided to stay the course and travel around Tuscany until we plan to meet on May 7 in Florence.

Today we landed in Rome. Had I known I would be going to Ticino we could have saved considerable time and travel hours flying into Milan.

Tomorrow, thanks to Italy Rail we will take the speed train to Milan, and then get to Lugano soon after on Swiss Rail.

We are currently staying at a small bed and breakfast cal la Casa di Amy.

While the room is sparse, it is clean and quite nice. And the people seemed extremely friendly.

We will have a nice breadfast here and then head to the rail terminal, which is only two short walking blocks away.

On our last trip here we stayed at a hotel only about 50 yards away. Rae was tired so I walked around the area for about 3/4 of an hour.  It brought back fond memories of the trip with my ex brother in law (good friend) and ex mother in law (who will forever be my mother in law, an amazing woman)

On our last trip, the Western Caribbean Cruise, last month for some reason the right knee of my wife went out on her.

She is still suffering so it makes it tough for her...but she is toughing it out.

I will let you know how things go in Ticino

I had Patrick Lardi, head of communications for the region on the Journeys Travel Show this past Sunday. It should be posted on our website http://www.journeystravelgear.com/ in a couple of days.

Take a listen and I will keep blogging,

Safe Journeys to All

Ron Pradinuk

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posted by That Travel Guy @ 3:45 PM  |  0 Comments

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Important Advice For Women Travellers!

The other question I received last week dealt with security concerns for women who travel alone. I found a really good site with excellent advice.

I hope this column is helpful for those of you who must travel on business regularly and share some of the concerns about your personal security.

QUESTION: As a woman who travels for business there are two things that are important to me. Firstly, is security. While I am always careful, are there any tips you can offer.


Secondly, I wish more attention were paid to women's needs by hoteliers. It seems to me business hotels are designed for the male traveller. However, the balance has shifted dramatically since I first started travelling.

ANSWER: While I don't have Canadian figures, in the United States, statistics suggest it is very close to a 50-50 split between male and female business travellers.

American female business travellers spend $200 million annually. And yes, while there have been some dramatic shifts in trying to concentrate services on the needs and wants of female business people, the reality is that change has been slow in coming.

However, a number of hotels internationally now have women-only floors that feature controlled access.

Progressive hotels are even stocking bar fridges differently, recognizing hard liquors are not as popular with women.

They are putting in better mirrors and hair dryers, and even organic beauty supplies.

From a security perspective, I found an excellent website that is worth a review by women who spend time on the road, staying at different hotel properties, and navigating cities or country sides on their own.

The website -- http://www.womenstraveltips.com/ -- offers the following suggestions to name a few.

Place the "do not disturb" sign on your door to discourage anyone from entering your room while you are away. You may want to mention the fact to the housekeeping staff. The sign could prevent someone from trying to access your room knowing you are alone and away at the time, then breaking in to await your return.

At check-in, or at other times for that matter, if the desk clerk mentions your room number out loud and there are other guests around to overhear, request that you be given a different room and that the clerk not mention the number.

If it's very late and you're alone, do not be reluctant to go to the front desk and ask security to walk you to your room.

Especially in male-dominated foreign countries, to ward off unwanted male attention, carry fake engagement and wedding rings to be used as necessary; and make hotel reservations as if you are married.

If there is a sliding door in your hotel room, check to make sure it is locked.

There are a number of other tips on the site worth reviewing even for experienced travellers.

If you have travel question forward them to askjourneys@journeystravel.com.

Ron Pradinuk is president of Journeys Travel & Leisure SuperCentre and can be heard Sundays at noon on CJOB.

Previous columns and tips can be found on www.journeystravelgear.com or read Ron's travel blog at www.thattravelguy.ca
posted by That Travel Guy @ 8:17 AM  |  0 Comments

Travel health insurance: Read the fine print!

By: Ron Pradinuk


Questions that caught my attention this week dealt with travel health coverage, particularly relating to credit card and similar coverages. I hope the advice contained in this column addresses some of those concerns.

QUESTION: We make several trips to the U.S. and an international trip annually and have been purchasing an annual medical/trip cancellation policy through a local provider. What is your opinion of the medical/trip cancellation policies offered through credit card companies? The cost of the annual fee for the credit card is much lower than our annual policy, but is the medical/ trip cancellation coverage comparable?

ANSWER: I get asked this question often.

In addition to many different variations of credit card programs there are also corporate staff programs that provide travel health coverage.

To understand the complexities of each you have to be a lawyer! But you can still get an idea about what's covered, along with any limitations, by reviewing the policy. A good bank account manager may also be able to help you.

Most of these programs provide excellent overall basic coverage but usually have some limitations.

At the same time, the banking industry often has its own travel insurance companies as a division so the available options may be expanded.

Also, you need to look at the method of payment if you needed to file a claim. Some policies force you to bear the costs up front. Then the wait to get reimbursed can be lengthy.

The larger focused health insurance providers frequently have world contract arrangements that can approve the payment to the hospital or physicians on the phone after a verbal assessment.

While you may find good travel health coverage on your policy, be sure to check if cancellation insurance is included, and whether it is a sufficient amount and for all the reasons you'd normally expect to be addressed in a policy.

In my case, I have both company and credit card coverage. Yet, I have chosen to carry an annual policy because of the amount I travel. I buy the highest level of travel insurance because I recognize people who travel frequently face an increased risk.

I have seen too many instances where people who wanted to get away with the minimum have been stuck with significant costs.

For more travel tips visit us at http://www.journeystravelgear.com/
posted by That Travel Guy @ 8:10 AM  |  0 Comments

Travel Can Be Stressful...Before you go!

In a few hours we will be boarding our aircraft on our way to an incredible journey.

We visit the Swiss Canton of Ticino, the region that includes Lugano and borders Italy, before boarding the Silver Seas Silver Wind in Venice for a Mediterranean Cruise.

This is a trip most would likely look forward to, as do I.

But, like many, trying to get ahead in the office so things don't fall apart over two weeks away builds up a barrel full of tension and stress.

I am fortunate. I do have a great staff on both the travel agency (Renaissance Travel http://www.renaissancetravel.ca/ ) and store side (Journeys Travel & Leisure superCentre http://www.journeystravelgear.com/ ).

That fact does not make it any easier.

There are things that, no matter what, most executives cannot delegate. And if you were feeling like you were falling behind before your day of departure, getting caught up and dealing with the issues you know you must going forward creates a definite sense of panic in many.

But as the days progress somehow we at least come close to completing all our tasks. And the anticipation of the upcoming trip starts to overshadow the fear of not finishing everything that needs to be done before you head to the airport.

Once in the air it's too late to worry. Don't worry Mon...Be Happy.

So as the hour approaches I will think of a nice glass of wine, a meal on the overseas flight, the first sight of Lake Lugano and the mountains in the distance, and I will relax.

Aren't we all a little the same.

Some passing worries may go through me on the trip, and I will deal with any genuine emergencies on the trip should they arise. But for the most part I will look forward to seeing the sights and experiencing the history, culture, and ambiance of a destination I have looked forward to visiting for several months.

As in other Journeys I will look forward to testing a number of travel products we sell in the store.

This time I will have Deb Peters, who will host my radio show in my absence, call me on  Roam Mobility phone next Sunday while I am in Florence ready to depart for Venice.

We sell Roam Mobility phones which in this case means Deb will call me on the United States assigned number and she will pay only the U.S. long distance rate and there will be no roaming fees attached to either of us.

I will also call in on the broadcast line and pay very low fees because of the Roam Mobility Low rates they have negotiated.

This is a excellent travel option for keeping in touch around the world. Se http://www.roammobility.com/ and you can buy a Roam Mobility phone on line at http://www.journeytravelgear.com/

We will again use our No Jet Lag homeopathic pills to ward off the effects of jet lag as we have in the past, and we both have all kinds of new travel clothing from Journeys.

Tilley Socks and ExOfficio Underwear are just the very best and the shirts of both brands wick moisture for me to stay cool, are crease resistant like crazy, and dry overnight if we chose to wash them.

These we have tested before and have always been thrilled with the performance.

If you have travel questions email me at askjourneys@journeystravel.com

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posted by That Travel Guy @ 6:01 AM  |  0 Comments