We’ve received a handful of emails and comments from consumers worried about the swine flu and their upcoming travel plans. Here are a few we’ll try to answer.
Dear TravelingMamas –
I’m 73 and I’m going to PVR in a couple of weeks with my 45 year old daughter…staying at a time-share. Should we be overly concerned? Both of us are in excellent health and have been there before. Thanks for your help
–An American Red Cross Disaster worker (so I’ve pretty much seen it all)
My thoughts are to keep up with current events regarding travel information through official sources. We’re not doctors nor do we give medical advice and suggest that if you are overly concerned about your health then you should visit your personal physician. The Department of Homeland Security suggests that only necessary travel to Mexico should be undertaken at this time. We have no way of predicting how swine flu will affect the next few weeks.
“We are planning a 50th wedding anniv. party in Club Med Ixtapa in June – we are taking our whole family 5 grandchildren – youngest being 8 mos. old. Should we go?” –Lorrie
“My Ph.D. and Dean at Univ of Houston husband and other profs are taking 23 students to TURKEY on May 19. Should they get travel insurance, or cancel trip? I am scheduled to fly into Burbank, CA. from Houston Hobby on May 22, for 18 days. Should I cancel? I was traveling to San Diego in CA. Should I stay away? My husband is 66 and has lung problems, was hospitalized and treated for 30 days last fall, having contracted flu and lung infection in Sicily. I am 66 with bronchial problems.” –Sybil
As a frequent traveler, both domestic and international, I highly suggest that travelers check their insurance policies through their current health provider before undertaking any travel. You should be prepared for an illness regardless of current events. Also, securing trip insurance for unexpected accidents or illness is probably a good idea, especially if leaving the US.
I’ve used TravelGuard in the past for international travel, but fortunately didn’t need to use the policy. There are many trip insurance providers available, but Travel Guard is the only one I have experience with.
Carol Mueller, a spokesperson for Travel Guard, explained that if a traveler secures an insurance policy with the “cancellation for any reason” option, then their trip should be covered even if it is affected by the current swine flu epidemic. She also noted that having a travel insurance policy not only protects your trip should you have to cancel, but it also takes care of the insured should they become ill while out of town. TravelGuard has operators on call 24/7 to answer any questions or to help the insured find an English speaking doctor or in the instance he or she needs to be evacuated.
Regarding travel from Houston to California, as far as we are aware, there aren’t any domestic travel restrictions. However, use your own judgment and realize that if you are sick or show signs of illness, the airline is within their rights to protect the other passengers and may deny you boarding. Again, stay in tune with current events and official updates from the CDC.