Enjoy Your Journey To The Fullest With A Travel Cover

Traveling helps you gain new experiences of life, it displays the tradition and custom across the world. It refreshes you from the everyday hectic schedule. The trip will surely give you a new dimension of life. Obliviously, whether you travel with family or alone, business trip or government job purpose, you want the trip to be fun filled and with ease. What wants to encounter trouble while travelling distant countries, cut off from your familiar surroundings? For a moment there will a panic button pressed in your minds. However, unexpected situations do come up and you have to be prepared for them. Accidents, illness, theft, an emergency situation like flight delays, riots, terrorist attacks at the airport might erupt anytime and so you have to be planned to face such situations. To avoid such as unwanted situation and stay financially equipped to combat it, owning best travel insurance would be the masterstroke.
The article discusses some situation that will make you realize how travel insurance can be handy:
Accident/Illness
While nothing may go wrong, but if something bad were to happen you may suffer an injury else fall critically ill due to bad weather as such and needs to be hospitalized. Imagine the costs that would incur on medical treatment in the foreign country. It will make a huge hole in your pockets. A good travel plan will just help you to take care of such contingency and a major portion of your medical expenses will be covered.
Financial Emergency
In case your hotel room gets burglarized, wherein you get robbed or baggage is stolen, then obviously you cannot travel as your passport important documents were kept inside. The result would be you would have to stay for few extra days. Naturally, it will incur costs to protect you from this unexpected financial hit, your policy will provide assistance for these incidents. Your financial emergency assistance will also help you during a loss of travel funds.

Personal Liability
Many times accident happen unexpectedly, you may not be the victim but could help liable for damage or injury caused, in that situation. The mishap is as such that resulted in injury to someone or damage to someone’s property. At such point of time, your Best travel insurance will come to your rescue. It will take care of third party liability cover and make your free from any form of tension during your journey giving a peaceful and enjoying experience.
These day online sites offer travel insurance policies with varied benefits and features. You can visit the comparison sites and compare them in terms of benefits & features, claim settlement ratio, terms, and conditions, etc. and then go for suitable purchase.
Purchasing Best travel insurance online is all about providing travellers an ideal cover against financial emergencies and uncertainties right from the comfort of your home or offices. However, certain factors which one should look for while zeroing the policy would be:
Covers entire patient hospitalization along with daily allowance
Personal accident covers in case of permanent disability/death
Cover for contingencies related to personal possession
Cover baggage, documentation visa or passport loss
Covers Expenses related to trip delays/ hotel accommodation, trip cancellation
So, buy your Best travel insurance policy today for creating happy memories in while traveling abroad!

Before Choosing Health Insurance, Here is Critical Information You Should Know

Understanding Health Insurance

This article is written to assist consumers sift through multiple options, plans, exclusions and summaries of benefits and understand what Critical questions you should ask when researching health coverage. Finding the most beneficial health insurance plan to meet your unique and individual needs is difficult. This guide will help consumers understand the basics of health insurance and what to look for when comparing plans.

14 Costy Mistakes You’ll Want To Avoid

1-FREE – Do You Have a “30 Day FREE Look Period?” Can you get your $ back if you are not happy?

2- DEDUCTIBLES: How many deductibles do I have per year? Some plans will have more than 1 deductible per person per year!

3- NETWORK RATES: Prior to your deductible being met, will your insurance company extend their discounted network rates to you? Example: Insurance Company A – 5 stitches to finger – Total cost $2000, patient responsibility, $800, or Insurance Company B – 5 stitches to finger – Total cost $2000, patient responsibility, $2000. (no network break).

4- NEGOTIATED RATE: What is the AVERAGE negotiated rate? (Sometimes referred to Network Rate – very very important!)

5- UNCLEAR TERMS Is your $100 “co-pay” for an Emergency Room visit REALLY $100? Some companies the $100 copay is more like a fee AFTER your deductible, and you’ll still pay the co-insurance and the $100.

6- LIMITS on benefits, for example: $500 limit or $250 limit on Emergency Room expenses. $50 limit on Dr. Visits. Once the Limit is reached, YOU pay everything else out of pocket. $500 limit on hospital expenses per day (quick way to bankruptcy!)

7- PREVENTATIVE – Will you have to meet your deductible, or do you have a 1 year waiting period for preventative? Do you want to wait 1 year before you can have your female exam, or a mammogram?

8- TRAVEL – If you are out of state, are you covered for illnesses? If you eat something that doesn’t agree with you and become very sick and need a doctor, will you be covered? (Not just life threatening emergencies.)

9- RATE INCREASES – I am buying a “fixed rate”. Ask yourself if it makes sense to pay extra over the next 2 – 3 years for a fixed rate? Make sure your rate is set for at least 12 months but does it make sense to pay in advance for a fixed rate? Sometimes plans will naturally go down in price, so does it make sense to pay extra to have a fixed rate?

10- SUPPORT – After I buy this plan, MAY I CALL MY AGENT’S DIRECT LINE with billing issues, or plan questions, or technical problems, or claims questions or concerns of any kind?

11- EXCLUSIONS – Read the “Exclusions” in your plan. Are the exclusions available for you to read? Is there an exclusion that you cannot live with? For example: exclude well baby visits. Is this an exclusion that you didn’t catch in the plan details?

12- MAJOR MEDICAL plans are designed to pay for MOST of your medical expenses when you become ill or injured. You’ll want a Major Medical plan from a reputable company that has “Credible Coverage.” Discount plans or Limited Medical Plans are NOT designed to protect your losses like Major Medical plans are. They are marketed as “Insurance,” but you MUST ask, is it a Credible Coverage Major Medical plan?

13 – MATERNITY – Maternity plans. Do your homework. Does your plan have an outrageous deductible for maternity? Do you have a waiting period of 12 months, 24 months, or more? How many doctors do you get to choose from “In Network” that can deliver your baby? Are you happy with the choices of Doctors in the network that will deliver your baby? What if your doctor is not on-call the night you go in for delivery?

14- MEDICATIONS – Is there a limit on how much the insurance company will pay for medications. If you become very ill, this could be a very big problem. Do your research, ask questions. Do you have a deductible on medications?

*Did you know that key information about how coverage works is not always disclosed? *When comparing plans, is the language confusing? Why is the language confusing? *Did you know that many consumers compare prices of health insurance plans, but cannot always tell if they are comparing “apples to apples.”

How to avoid Medical Bankruptcy!

According to a Harvard Law and Harvard Medical School study, they found that ½ of all bankruptcies are caused by illnesses and medical expenses. If you are a breadwinner for yourself, or breadwinner for a family or spouse, and the breadwinner gets sick, you may loose your medical coverage, and a way to pay for your day to day expenses.

When you are shopping for a health plan to protect yourself financially from medical bills and bankruptcy, there are many things to consider. Probably the most important thing is to consider is what “Type” of plan you are getting. There are several types of health plans that are available. If you buy a plan that is not “Underwritten” and is “Guaranteed Issue” you are not buying a Major Medical Plan. Major Medical plans will go through a process called “underwriting.”

Some plans will pay a certain dollar amount for a procedure, or a certain dollar amount per day while in the hospital. IT IS CRITICAL you understand the implications financially if choosing a non Major Medical plan. Your chance for greater personal losses including Bankruptcy exist with non-Major Medical plans. If you are shopping price with health insurance, and you decide on a discount or limited liability plan, YOU HAD BETTER UNDERSTAND WHAT YOUR RISKS ARE if you end up needing to use that “insurance.”

Major medical plans are designed to cover most of your hospital expenses if you become hospitalized.

Do you have a disability plan? This type of plan will pay your day to day expenses if you loose your job due to an injury or illness. This should be a very important consideration when getting health insurance. If the breadwinner loses his/her income while injured or ill, how will the day to day expenses be paid for?

The 6 costly misconceptions about Health Insurance

1 – I don’t need medical insurance, I’m a healthy person, I eat right, exercise and take care of myself. This is risk-taking. You are gambling your financial future.

2- I’m not getting insurance because There is no benefit before my deductible. Some Major Medical Plans will A) extend their network rates to you before the deductible is met, but not all. Another benefit before your deductible is met is B) the copays for Dr. Visits and C) Copays for Prescription coverage. Again, check the individual plan.

3- If I get sick, or now that I’m pregnant I’ll get insurance. Once you are ill or pregnant, depending on the illness, you may or may not be eligible for health insurance. Certainly once pregnant, you will not be eligible for an individual plan. The insurance company will always reserve the right to underwrite your medical condition and elect to take you on as a risk, or not. You wouldn’t expect to run out and get auto insurance after you’ve banged up your car and have them pay for it. For this reason, it is important to not let your Major Medical insurance lapse for more than 63 days.

4 – I will get stuck with a bill that I thought should have been paid for, or the insurance company should have paid. Here again, you must do your homework on the plan you intend to purchase. Look for Limits, deductibles, exclusions, co-pays, and understand these details. Also, if you come into a plan with pre-existing conditions and did not have continuous “credible coverage,’ you can expect to pay for your pre-existing conditions for 1 full year.

5- I want excellent care at a cheap price. If you want Major Medical, shop between the competitors, and get the most for your money, but don’t expect the same benefits in a discount plan as in a Major Medical Plan.

6- I’m waiting for the President to take care of this mess. It is not a good idea to wait to purchase medical insurance ever!

Important to Know:

Many People Feel That Health Insurance Companies are Greedy and Corrupt According to the Wellpoint Institute of Health Care Knowledge:

“Popular theories suggest that health insurance premiums are driven by an aging population, excessive insurer profits or medical malpractice. Objective research, however, clearly indicates that these factors have a minimal impact on the high price of health insurance premiums.

If meaningful health care reform, including health care cost containment, is to occur, emphasis must be placed on the real drivers of increased health care costs and concomitantly, health care premiums. These include the following key factors: such as

* Advances in medical technology and subsequent increases in utilization

* Price inflation for medical services that exceeds inflation in other sectors of the economy

* Cost-shifting from people who are uninsured and those receiving Medicaid to the private sector

* High cost of regulatory compliance

* Patient lifestyles, such as physical inactivity and increases in obesity.”

Other Important Facts

Will they check my credit score. NO

Will they require a physical or blood work? In most cases, NO.

All insurance companies are the same. No they are not.

My Premiums keep going up. You can do very little about increases in health care costs. You may want to change plans or increase your deductible to try and save money. Try and find a company that will guarantee their rates for at least 1 year. No need to pre-pay for future rate increases.

Definitions:

DEDUCTIBLES (Phase 1)- Money that you pay out of your pocket before traditional insurance begins. Ranging traditionally from $0 to $10,000. Usually if you choose a lower deductible, your premiums will cost more, if you have a higher deductible, your premiums will be lower (you are assuming a higher risk in exchange for lower premiums).

CO-INSURANCE – (Phase 2) – After you meet your deductible, you’ll pay a “co-insurance.” “Co” meaning 2, two entities will share the burden of the bill; usually you’ll see “co-insurance” as a 70/30, 80/20, 50/50, 60/40, 90/10. The larger portion of the co-insurance the insurance company will pay, the lesser portion you will pay.

MAXIMUM OUT OF POCKET – (Phase 3) – After you’ve paid your deductible, and then your portion of the co-insurance, you finally reach your maximum out of pocket. From this point on, the insurance company will pay the rest of the bill. (Major Medical Plan.)

CO-PAY – A flat dollar amount to be paid at the Doctors office. Sometimes referred to as a “first dollar benefit” (before deductible). Meaning, you pay a flat $30 or $20 or $40 dollar copay, or whatever the copay is, and the visit is paid in full. WATCH FOR LIMITS! Make certain the copay is a flat dollar amount paid BEFORE your deductible.

HMO is Health Maintenance Organization, usually a limited regional/geographical area, with a certain number of providers in the HMO. You will select 1 Dr to manage your care, and your Dr. will “help you decide” if you need a referral or not. HMO’s usually have very low deductibles and copays.

PPO Insurance is Preferred Provider Organization. You may visit anyone you wish in the network, still you must know the geographical area of your Network, even with a PPO plan. If you are on vacation and become ill, will your plan out of state cover you (in network)?

CREDIBLE COVERAGE In order to cover your pre-existing conditions when moving from one plan to another, you must have a Credible Coverage Major Medical plan. It is a document given to you from your insurance company as proof that you had a Major Medical plan protecting you from a start date to an end date. You must not go further than 63 days from one Major Medical Insurance coverage to the next, if you do go beyond the 63 days, you will have a pre-existing condition clause in your new policy that states you will not be covered for any of your pre-existing conditions for 1 full year (at a minimum.)

If you go beyond 63 days without “Credible Coverage,” the new insurer will look to your previous 6 months (average) health history and condition, and not cover you for any ailment you have (pre-existing.)

Now don’t be mistaken, that when you want to go from one insurer to the next, if you were covered with “credible coverage” that you are automatically guaranteed a plan. This is not true. You will still need to be underwritten, and the new company is not obligated to take you on as an insured if you don’t fit their underwriting guidelines.

Please Note: This Free Consumers Guide is meant to be used as informational only. The author herein will not accept liability for any circumstances in which an outside company may define their features and benefits differently than in this document. Consumers will accept this document as informational only, and not a legal document. Consumers will be held responsible for their own purchases, and not hold the authors in this document liable for any actions taken by any consumer. Consumers must verify the plan in which they purchase, and will not hold the information in this document as a specific reason to take or not to take a certain action. This document is produced by a licensed health agent. The 14 Costly mistakes you should avoid when selecting your health plan.

Shelly Rogers is a Retired Nurse and Licensed Health Insurance Agent In Nevada. Her desire is that those that are seeking for a Health Plan KNOW what questions to ask BEFORE they buy. This article deals with understanding deductibles, what happens before your deductible has been met, and know what important questions you should ask about deductibles.

Economic Solution for the US Health Insurance and Health Care Crisis the American Way

The health care and health insurance dilemma in the United States penetrates and corrodes the very core of the quality of the American life. Our politicians and legislators are falling all over each other to produce both State and Federally mandated solutions for one of the most expensive problem facing our nation today. Documentaries such as “Sicko” with Michael Moore, and countless television stories and newspaper articles scream the need for change. As the never-ending inflation of medical services and prescription drugs rises, the bureaucracy of the insurance providers keeps pace by increasing premiums, and lowering quality of coverage for most Americans in their health plans. Drug companies are under constant scrutiny to offer more competitive pricing, but face little regulation compared to the foreign countries who have elected to impose cost controls endemic to their individual society’s perceived needs.

So in the face of such a negative equation, how does a capital-driven society like the United States of America re-vamp its health care system, and still maintain the theology of “choice” and “capital market competition”? And how do we do it without killing more Americans?

To answer these questions it is necessary to take in to account what works and what doesn’t in both American society and other societies where socialized medicine is the norm. The problem that Uncle Sam and many self-made American business folks have with socialized programs is the ability of such programs to denigrate a societies progress, and step away from our independent roots, both financially and health-wise. In order to continue to allow health insurance providers to shore up their billions of investment dollars ( a key pillar in our financial framework) and still take care of every American who is sick requires us to radically change the way the risk of such health problems is transferred, but to still collect regular premiums from taxpayers to fund the collective system. My proposed solution will be spelled out in this article in relatively simple terms forming a base architecture which will allow independent insurance providers to remain, independent hospitals and doctors to remain independent, and drug companies to remain competitively profitable while still insuring every American.

Proposal Architecture

I would propose a three-tiered system for Health Insurance, Prescription Drugs, and Medical Providers of all types:

I. Insurance Method

In order to keep insurance companies profitable and provide 100% base health coverage to all Americans at the same time, you need a combination of the net effect of socialized medicine and American free trade. A fund must be created by the federal government which closely mimics a Re-Insurance Company. Most insurance companies whether in the health field or commercial insurers have large re-insurance agreements and policies with major funds. A classic example is Berkshire Hathaway’s “General RE” which underwrites some of the largest global policies in the world in their niche. For description purposes, the federal government needs to take the opposite approach of a non-profit, heavily taxed medicare and insurance system by creating the world’s largest re-insurance vehicle. The re-insurance department is funded by A) a percentage of all health care premiums from all health insurance companies, and B) a 1.5% federal income tax increase across the board for all Americans. From this point forward, all health insurance providers are required to have a BASE INSURANCE LEVEL on all policies which will include a) full prescription coverage included, b) all doctor visits covered, and c) full major medical coverage with no deductible.

From an actuarial standpoint, what you are doing is not eliminating health insurance premiums for Americans. All working Americans who earn more than $16,000.00 per year must pay a scale-adjusted premium of the same category and type for the “base policy”. The scale for premium is driven by total income per individual or household based on their current employment. However, you have just turned the entire insurance industry in to one big “group plan” where the risk is spread out over the entire country. Using the proportion of healthy Americans to those requiring services at any given point, this simplistic approach lowers the premium for the base policy to affordable levels for all wage earners, and gives the base policy for free to low income individuals and families. Those people who meet the low income standards get the same base insurance as everybody else, and are required to file with a private insurance company of their choice for insurance. The federal RE fund pays all insurers a minimum base amount equivalent to what they would get from a paying client. The “Federal RE” model receives 30 to 35% of the private insurance company’s base premiums for all policies. The base premiums and the amount each individual must pay is determined by an actuarial committee of the new federal RE fund, but should be adjusted very rarely. Once the percentage is set, it becomes law, and the 1.5% tax increase across the board is primarily a cushion for the low income and poor.

Insurance companies then endeavor to differentiate themselves by adding features to the base policy for their clients for their marketing and packaging. They do NOT differentiate themselves by providing sub-standard insurance, as it is not optional. The base policy for all is a major medical insurance policy based on California Standards, and covers all co-pays and deductibles 100%. In order to make additional insured dollars, the health insurer must provide more elite services to guarantee a client who is willing to pay for additional features an even better position than the base position. This enables the following to occur in logical order:

* The federal government actually makes money on investing insurance premiums the way insurance companies do by their re-insurance department. Risk is spread out over each American that can afford to pay premiums. Premiums are minimal because of the inflated group size and reduced insurance company risk. The combination of a small federal tax increase to hedge dollar volume and beef up the account combines with receiving the RE premiums and investing them makes this federal program slightly profitable, and with the ability to adjust policy when needed.

* Insurance companies lower their risk, and are able to simplify and streamline their base coverage for major medical. Since all rules apply to all insurers (new or old) they can compete based on important but “ancillary” products to improve the insurance quality of those that can afford extra benefits. Major payouts will be largely reduced due to automatic RE participation on the policy’s base components.

II. Prescription Drug Costs

By making Federal RE the “co-payer” in most medical transactions for both medicine and medical services, you have also created a need for a private-style approach to controlling the cost of drugs and other prescriptions. This is a sticky area, because development costs for drugs are hyped as being out of control if they cannot be later recouped with high prices.

Since the federal government in the form of Federal RE is now a payer/customer of the pharmaceutical companies, prices for medications must find a happy medium to allow for development and free trade, but with sane maximums for purchase. It is the job of the federal government to prevent monopolies. A monopoly is not defined as a single producer of a product (or drug) being the only source for a given product. A monopoly is defined as that single-source-producer charging an amount which hurts our society, and potentially prevents competition. (generic drugs) Standards must be developed for the maximum payment amount allowed for each category of medicine and medical supply. This will be an ever-changing exhaustive piece of work, done on a very ongoing basis by employees of Federal RE. The purpose is never to set prices, but to determine the maximum the fund will allow an insurance company or itself to collectively spend on a medication, taking into consideration all aspects of the newness of a product by using fluctuating actuarial and monetary scales. If a Pharmaceutical supplier will not meet these maximums, then unfortunately, the medicine will not be available until they are willing to bend. This is a flaw in the ointment than cannot be fixed any other way due to the way drugs are really developed in the United States. Americans who add to their “base policy’ with supplemental insurance that covers expensive cutting-edge medicine could receive the medicine, but not the base-only policy holders. Drug companies will therefore be forced by demand to reduce their charges at least to the point of scale, in most normal scenarios. This portion of the plan cannot be altered to appease any particular party, because if you do the entire buying system falls apart. However, groups currently involved in assisting low-income victims could shift their focus to those precious few who are not able to get the most cutting edge product in time. The money simply cannot be covered by Federal RE. That does not mean another vehicle cannot be refocused, whether private or public, to assist in those few cases percentage-wise which require the latest cutting edge medications not charted as buy able.

III. Medical Treatment under Federal RE conditions

Medical treatment at this juncture is now available for all Americans, and in almost all cases their prescriptions are covered also. But now that we are prepared to fill up every clinic and major hospital with patients, how do we control the clinically insane costs of running that clinic or hospital? We can stave off socialized prescriptions via creating a powerful buyer in the market Through Federal RE, and having simple cost-overrun standards that are non-negotiable and consistent. But the clinics, hospitals, and emergency rooms didn’t get any cheaper. Since all Americans (at a minimum) are covered by the best type of major medical insurance money could previously buy, the billing systems and related bureaucracies are naturally streamlined over time. But sadly, medical charges have very little to do with the actual cost of a procedure, and everything to do with what the various hospital and clinical administrations CAN charge in each situation. If we govern the pricing of each procedure too closely, then we are mimicking the socialized policies of countries who we do not wish to be.

I would argue that the same way maximums were set in item #B above, a geographically mapped system to avoid over-charges could be applied. What constitutes an overcharge is again decided by committee at Federal RE in much the same way that pharmaceuticals are banned when costs are unreasonable to both the insurers and the government. Because 100% of the American population is insured with Basic (unless they foolishly “opt out”) the CUSTOMER is now the dual processors of Federal RE and the private insurance company involved in each case. If cost controls are unreasonable by today’s standards to any given clinic, the quality of health care will suffer tremendously when the operating units do not get to charge whatever they want, or whatever they used to feel an insurer will pay. But when medical organizations get 100% continuity in payments through a single-payer style system with few errant delays in the simplified processing, they will actually make far more money than they do now in the world of constant claim disputes, and zero consistency. The monitoring committee, as with the prescription committees, are comprised of qualified professionals at Federal RE who understand the true economics of a hospital or clinic. Severe overcharges that are way beyond scale cannot and will not be honored. Plenty of money will still be spent for procedures (especially at the onset when the system is brand new) but the whole key to controlling price is actually not price controls as the system matures…but rather the lower cost of running a hospital and clinic when the payments are made for services with lightening speed. That’s right..there is no reason to hold up funds under the new program once the services are provided. Medical billing will be a snap, and the incredible amounts of money spent on corrective systems can be lessened for each institution. Speed of payment to medical facilities is a major factor for overall success. So is having a fairly large and very intimate accounting system to track abuses. Frequent audits will replace much of the former aggravation of charging insurance companies, and will be a much more regular event at hospitals. A strong governmental role in auditing each facility regularly is actually a pillar of this plan, and will be gone in to more detail in later articles as to who and how this occurs, and how frequently.

The American dream is still a wonderful thing. We do not have to take away the profit motive from professionals who seek their fortune through honorable health industries, medical jobs, and insurance work. We simply need to define the rules of a new system that uses the age old insurance RULE OF LARGE NUMBERS to create a national group. The same talent required to be a preferred doctor, dentist, or insurance provider still exists in a more comprehensive form. State programs and the endless bureaucracy that encompasses them are eliminated and replaced by the new system. Welfare mothers and low-income households are fully sponsored for the coverage they really need, and the investments of Federal RE: over long period of time pay for most of the built-in deficiency. Hospitals, clinics, insurers, and drug companies all have to compete on the basis of quality and product provided instead of what HMO or PPO they belong to, or what “level of care” is minimally chosen. You will find that in practice it is an absolute fact that Federal RE will actually show a small profit when the smoke clears away, and medical care will improve through TRUE COMPETITION, not the bureaucratic version of it most of us suffer with today.

How A Travel Agent Can Save You Money On Your Next Trip

These days, many families have their put their vacation plans toward the bottom of their list of priorities. During tougher times, a vacation can seem to simply cost too much money. However, if you are thinking about going on a vacation, you might want to look into working with a travel agent to save money on vacation expenses. Working with a travel agent to plan your vacation means you might be able to afford the trip you thought you would have to put off until next year. For this reason alone it is definitely worth exploring the possibility. So how can working with a travel agent save you money?

Your travel agent will help you get the most out of your budget

Whether your travel budget is $500 or $5,000, working with a travel agent is probably the best way to make the most of your money. Especially if you’re traveling on a tight budget, the skills, knowledge, and experience of a travel agent can be invaluable.

Just make sure when you’re discussing travel plans with your agent, you are absolutely clear about how much money you have to spend. If you want to travel as cheaply as possible, make sure your travel agent understands this so that they have a good idea of the types of travel and accommodation they should be finding for you.

Your travel agent can quickly access a number of providers

Travel agents typically have access to a large network of travel, accommodation, and activity providers. With computer systems that provide access to travel agents all over the world, they can quickly locate details of discount travel providers in many countries. This is one of the main reasons why working with a travel agent is a good idea when you’re on a strict budget. They have access to a large number of different resources, software, and industry contacts, all of which they can use when hunting down the best bargains.

Your travel agent knows the cheapest times to travel

Some days are less expensive to travel on than other days. Red-eye flights and stand-by flights can be less expensive, but direct flights can cost more than taking a circuitous route that involves several different connections. Your travel agent should be very knowledgeable on the process of all this and knows that flights booked on Friday, Sunday, and Monday are generally more expensive. You stand a better chance of saving money on flights if you’re flexible about your travel dates.

In addition, your travel agent can quickly tell you if your vacation plans fall within a peak season during which flights to your destination are significantly more expensive. This means that you can modify your travel plans if you wish. Changing plans may include a cheaper destination or traveling during the offseason to save money on your flight.

Advanced booking is another factor that your travel agent can use to help you get cheaper flights. You should be booking at least six months ahead to get the most affordable tickets. Your agent should tell you that the holiday season is always a relatively expensive time to travel, no matter how far in advance you book.

Your travel agent has access to bulk discounts and consolidated tickets

If you’re willing to travel as part of an organized tour, your travel agent can help you access travel and accommodation. There are also specials for activities that are significantly cheaper than what you would spend if you did the same activities alone. This is because as part of a tour you can take advantage of bulk discounts. You can even organize your own tour through your travel agent, and the organizer might get to travel for free!

Consolidated tickets provide you with the chance to save on your air travel costs. A consolidated ticket is simply a ticket which was purchased by the agent as part of a large group of tickets sold by the same airline. The agent gets a bulk discount on the tickets and can pass that discount on to their clients.

Your travel agent has industry contacts and experience

This translates into money being put back into your pocket. Your travel agent may be in regular contact with many industry professionals, and might be able to get you a great deal on a tour being planned by another agent. If you’re flexible with travel times, your agent may advise you to adjust your trip dates to travel during a cheaper part of the week, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars in travel costs. An experienced agent should have expert knowledge of your travel destination and can provide advice on budget accommodation and activities. The agent may often be able to provide discount coupons, free passes, and other incentives.

Best of all, none of these advantages come at a price! You can take full advantage of the wealth of knowledge and experience that your travel agent provides, and can potentially save a great deal of money in the process.