Booked trip to S. Africa & Botswana

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Aug 17th, 2004, 02:57 PM
  #1
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Booked trip to S. Africa & Botswana

It took about a month, but we booked our trip. The information I acqired from this website was invaluable.

I am a comparison shopper by nature, so I submitted our itinerary to a few travel agents. I received different quotes from everyone, and some of the price differentials were amazing. Everyone is entitled to make a profit but thousands of dollars difference for tne same itinerary is just not right. I was surprised to find out that you can negotiate. I planned the whole trip,and determined the hotels and safari camps, so all that was required was to quote prices.
I guess some agencies work on a higher profit than others.

Now that that phase is over, I am working on travel insurance. I can't believe how expensive that is. Any suggestions would be welcome.

I am so excited after reading all of the trip reports, that I wish I were leaving tomorrow instead of next April.
mollybee is offline  
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Aug 17th, 2004, 03:32 PM
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www.insuremytrip.com gives you multiple quotes you can choose from. I found it based on someone's rec here (sandi?) and felt it was money well spent (although fortunately we didn't need it!)
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Aug 17th, 2004, 04:25 PM
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sandi
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thanks uhoh_busted -

mollybee - yes, check www.insuremytrip.com where on average insurance for cancellation & interruption runs about $6-$6.50/per $100 cost of your trip. If flyng on FF miles, you cannot insure air, only the land portion of your trip which has been prepaid.

In addition the the above and if your land package does not already include the premium for Flying Doctors Service, you should seriously consider obtaining this also at:

http://www.amref.org/

it's inexpensive ($25-$50), based on length of time in Kenya or Tanzania. This will cover emegency airlift back to hospital (usually in Nairobi) should you need medical treatment for any reason.

In relation to the cost of your entire trip, the premium paid for Trip Insurance is well worth the outlay. We've never left home without it, and thankfully, have never had to use it.

 
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Aug 17th, 2004, 06:22 PM
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Congratuations Mollybee
I know what you mean about the info on this sight, I couldn't agree more. There is so many countries, and then camps to choose from. I won't ask what agencies you didn't use, but, shhhh ....who did get your business? I'm just curious
Thanks, Marilyn
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Aug 17th, 2004, 07:17 PM
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mollybee, i am curious which travel agent turned out to have the best price. i am trying to booka trip for jan so i'm in the selection process now. thx in advance.
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Aug 18th, 2004, 12:16 AM
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Woo Hoo Mollybee! Congrats!

I'd be interested in a) your final itinerary, b) which agents you chose to submit to and c) which one you booked with. If you'd be willing to share!

Re insurance, my main problem was that most policies cancellation sections stipulated a maximum of only £5000 should we need to cancel because of emergency at short notice. That didn't cover our trip remotely. In the end we just had to go with it.
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Aug 18th, 2004, 04:33 AM
  #7
sandi
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What was I thinking when I posted:

>>Flying Doctors Service, you should seriously consider obtaining this also at:

http://www.amref.org/

it's inexpensive ($25-$50), based on length of time in Kenya or Tanzania. This will cover emegency airlift back to hospital (usually in Nairobi) should you need medical treatment for any reason.<<

you're going to Southern Africa where the above doesn't apply.

Since it's already posted, for those interested, do keep this on file for when you schedule your trip to East Africa.

 
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Aug 18th, 2004, 07:38 PM
  #8
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We booked our trip with Premier Tours out of Philadelphia- 800 545-1910. Lisa was our agent and she was first-rate. We basically gave her our itinerary, but, in all fairness, she did make helpful suggestions. She followed through with everything in a timely fashion.

I don't want to rehash the A & K situation, but their price was tremendously above anything else for a bit less than we actually got.

I would also recommend Maxim Tours.

We will be away for 21 days-Apr.20-May 11. Here is our itinerary:
3 nights in Mala Mala
4 nights in Capetown
2 nights in the Winelands
2 nights at Chitabe
2 nights at Xigera
3 nights at Jack's Camp
2 nights in Livingstone

I'm still working on the insurance. I wonder if we really need it. Amex covers emergency evacuation, lost luggage and car rental. My health insurance covers medical. The big issues are trip interruption, trip cancellation for which we would like to be insured, but this coverage is not sold separately. Since we are traveling on FF mileage, there is no insurance needed.
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Aug 18th, 2004, 08:10 PM
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mollybee, you are in for an incredible trip! Itinerary looks...incredible. I think MM is a perfect place to start--you might see the big 5 in one day, and having got that out of your system can sit back and enjoy the more subtle pleasures of the bush.

Now you have lots of time to think about binoculars and polish up your photo skills!

Re insurance: I was told that WS requires that you have medical evacuation insurance. This alone-- and even some extra medical coverage, if desired should be pretty cheap-- certainly less than $100 per person.
(insuremytrip is a good place to check)

The rest of the stuff-- cancellation, etc.-- is up to you. IT really depends on your circumstances-- take a look at what it covers, and see if you are likely to need that coverage. Also, remember that you dont' have to insure the whole trip cost in the event that you do want some cancellation coverage. I also found this so expensive that I'd rather take my chances...
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Aug 19th, 2004, 12:36 AM
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Oooooh perfect! You're going to have such a good time!
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Aug 19th, 2004, 03:50 AM
  #11
sandi
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mollybee - so great that you got what you wanted and Premier Tours is a good company.

About the insurance - when you consider the investment you've made in your trip, it's always a good idea to get interruption/cancellation insurance, just to be safe. The rates may seem high, but should you need to use the policy and not have it, the costs will all come out of your own pocket. And sometimes it doesn't have to be an occurence which away. You can get caught up before even getting to the airport - missed flight! Someone in the family might take ill or even die - need to cancel. If you or travel department take ill or have an accident while on your trip and have to return home - while Amex will cover this, how about getting back the remainder of money for portion of trip you miss. And it's possible anything else can happen. Though not wishing any of these on you.

Go to www.insuremytrip.com - enter your information and compare a few policies. I'd rather have insurance and not have to use it (which I haven't on any trip), then not have insurance and be in need of help and assistance should someting occur.

Happy travels.
 
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Aug 19th, 2004, 09:00 AM
  #12
 
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Mollybee, there is a site with insurance info that is for travelers to Southern Africa that deals with medical only. Could be worth a look as I was led to understand that even with my personal medical coverage and extra travel policy medevac etc. the problem can be finding facilities that will accept these without payment as these policies are 'after the fact'. Much of this I guess would depend on your health etc, and ability to produce large sums of cash if needed. This being my first trip to Southern Africa and knowing accidents happen etc, I may be opting for this additional med coverage. The site is www.sa-tourmed.com. Might be worth a look for your 'peace of mind factor'. Enjoy your travels ;-)
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