INSURANCE & SAFETY GUIDE
Things can happen when you’re travelling that are out of your control, so insurance comes in handy. Considering the unpredictable nature, remote destinations and conditions encountered on tours it is required to have travel medical insurance, and trip cancellation insurance is highly recommended. If you’re going to spend your hard-earned money to enjoy your holiday – why not spend a bit more to its safeguard?
Upon starting your tour, AZOTOUR Vietnam leader or guide will ask everyone to provide a copy of their insurance details to keep on record. Failure to provide this information can, and has, resulted in travellers being unable to continue on tour so don’t leave home without it.
Where can I purchase travel insurance?
Let’s find out the nearby travel insurance agency where you are living or the most convenient way is to purchase insurance online.
What insurance is required?
Travel medical insurance is mandatory. With a wide variety of company, credit card and travel policies out there, how do you know if your coverage is sufficient for our style of adventure travel? Our minimum insurance policy coverage for medical emergency evacuation and repatriation is USD$200,000 (or equivalent in other currency). If your pre-existing coverage does not meet these needs, you will be required to purchase travel medical insurance.
Why should I get cancellation insurance?
Adding cancellation insurance to your medical insurance is optional, but always recommended. By having ‘all-inclusive’ coverage you do not need to worry about emergencies that can happen anytime, anywhere, before or during your travels. Including the cost of your airfare, as well as your tour(s), ensures that you do not have to worry about any unforeseen situations such as having to rush home to a family member or having a tour changed or cancelled because of a natural disaster.
How much does it cost?
Less than you’d expect! Travel medical insurance is based on the number of days of coverage – so how long you will be away. All-inclusive insurance, which adds cancellation to your medical insurance, is based on the dollar value of the tours, airfare, hotel nights and other services being covered. Typical costs, in USD, on a 10-day tour valued at $1000 with airfare coverage at $1000 as well would be:
- Medical insurance only for 10 days ~ around $50
- All-inclusive insurance (medical + cancellation) for $2000 (tour + airfare) ~ around $130
Who should we buy from?
We believe that your safety and enjoyment when travelling with us is prior important. To purchase chase travel insurance online, we suggest the following insurers:
- Cover-More: Choose Cover-More Travel Insurance and benefit from top quality cover, affordable rates, professional service and fair claims handling. www.covermore.co.au
- World Nomads: Travel insurance is available to people from over 150 countries and is designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage. www.worldnomads.com
- Travel Guard: More than 12,000 travel companies through virtually every distribution channel in the travel industry sell Travel Guard.www.travelguard.com
A holiday with AZOTOUR.Vietnam opens up a world of excitements, wonders and opportunities. With that, there are inherent risks and rewards beyond which you could reasonably expect by staying at home. Some of the reasons you may be exposed to different and broader experiences and risks include:
- Different countries having different laws and regulations governing transport, infrastructure, safety…, and may be lacking when compared to laws you may have at home.
- The itineraries we operate often times include strenuous activities and physical demands beyond which you may usually partake in at home. In addition, these activities are on occasion undertaken in remote and isolated areas.
- Natural events such as hurricanes, earthquakes, storms, flooding… can happen in the world over. Sometimes they strike in locations in which we operate a tour. The remote location of some of our tours may compound the impacts beyond the natural event itself.
- Most of the people you meet on your travels will be genuine, welcoming and honest. However, as anywhere, there is a small element preying on the unsuspecting tourist.
- The remote locations of some of our tours mean support and assistance is not always readily available.
- The infrastructure (hospitals, transport, emergency services…) of some of the countries we visit may be lacking when compared to the ones you may have at home.
AZOTOUR.Vietnam takes all reasonable measures to ensure your safety and enjoyment while traveling with us. The aim of this document is to give you an insight into ways you may further enhance your own personal safety while abroad. “The door to safety swings on the hinges of common sense”.
1. First things first
There are a number of things that you may do before even leaving home that will help you to have a safe and enjoyable travel experience:
- Take copies of your passport and other important documents with you. This way, if you lose your documents, you can at least present a copy to your embassy or consulate while abroad and have replacement or temporary travel documents issued. A tip we received from one of our seasoned travelers was to scan the documents, and send them to your email. That way you have additional access to them online.
- We suggest registering your travel plans with your embassy or consulate before leaving home. Should a serious event occur, your Government will be able to make contact and account for you.
- Take out appropriate insurance. No one ever expects an injury or accident to happen. However, we have a number of unfortunate stories from travelers and they usually start with: “I never expected…”
- Leave a copy of your itinerary with friends or family. Health information
Some of our trips may lead you to some exciting off the beaten tracks. With that, comes exposure to new and unfamiliar bugs, viruses and infections. Consult your local medical professional well before leaving home. You may need injections to prevent against common diseases’, and they may need some time to incubate before they are effective. Your medical professional or travel clinic will advise on what is needed.
We also ask you to complete our online medical questionnaire. This will help us to give you the facilities you need while with us, and allow us to give special attention to those who need it.
The travel experience will expose you to many different types and forms of transport, and many risks and rewards. Some of these may be familiar to you and just a matter of commonsense, and some may not. Take note of the top 5 below tips received from experienced AZOTOUR.Vietnam travelers:
3. Air travel
- Pay attention to the inflight briefing. It may seem monotonous or boring to those who travel often, but in the event of an emergency, you will need to know it instantly.
- Count the rows to the emergency exit. In an emergency, lighting may be reduced.
- Do not drink too much alcohol. Cabins are pressurized so the effect of alcohol is h4er than normal.
- Listen to the flight attendants. They are primarily there for your safety.
- Keep your seatbelt fastened. Turbulence can occur at any time.
4. Buses and trains
- Keep your personal belongings in your sight, or preferably on you.
- A lock placed on zippers is a good deterrent to a would¬ be thief.
- Watch for uneven, slippery surfaces or other obstacles as you enter and exit the vehicle.
- Remain alert to surroundings. Be aware of distractions, as they may be opportunities for pickpockets.
- Know your stop.
- If you are staying at a hotel, have them call you a taxi, rather than waive one down on the street.
- Use taxies from a taxi stand where possible. Typically only registered operators may use a taxi stand.
- Keep your belongings at your side or feet. If you need to exit quickly they will be easily accessible.
- If in an emergency situation, leave the bags. You can run faster without it and items can be replaced.
- Check the Identification of the driver before getting in. It should be prominently displayed in the vehicle if it is a legitimate taxi.
6. Water transport
- Listen to the safety briefing. You will need to know what to do in an emergency.
- If lifejackets are supplied – use them.
- Always have at least one hand free to hold onto something to help with your balance.
- The sun reflects up off the water. Ensure you have adequate sunscreen protection.
- Take medication for seasickness prior to boarding – it may take some time to become effective.
Accommodation is generally considered a safe haven for weary travelers. However the reality is it is often the most likely place that accidents and thefts occur. The following things can be done to increase your personal safety as told to us by fellow travelers:
- When arriving, stay with your bags until they are transferred from the taxi or bus to the Lobby.
- Lobby can be a chaotic place with many people coming and going. Keep an eye on your bags at all times when checking in and out. The busy atmosphere is a welcome distraction to opportunists.
- When you enter your hotel room, make sure the door closes firmly behind you and it locks.
- When in your room lock the door, use the security latch, lock windows, and connecting room doors.
- Always use the ‘spy hole’ to see who is at the door before opening it.
- Know the emergency assistance number, and how to operate the phone system.
- Store all unneeded personal items, cash, valuables and travel documents in the in¬ room safe.
- Take note of the emergency plan on the back of the hotel door. You will need to know it in an emergency.
- Place your room key in the same place each time. It avoids losing it, and you will know where it is in an emergency situation.
- Use the nonslip mats in the showers if provided.
8. Out and about
One of the great ways to experience a new destination is to simply immerse yourself into it! However, as with anywhere, there are select elements of the local community who prey on the vulnerable. We have received many tips and advices from our travelers on the best way to do reduce vulnerability, protect safety at the same time enjoy the amazing sights. Some of these ideas may be simple commonsense, while others you may not have thought about. These are the top 10 ways to enhance your personal safety while out and about:
- Blend in as much as possible, especially in your dress and appearance. Try to avoid an obvious tourist appearance.
- View maps discreetly. A map identifies you as a tourist, and unfortunately, a target.
- If disorientated, only ask for directions from uniformed officers or persons of obvious authority.
- Stay on well lit or well trafficked areas and roads. Danger often lurks in dark and less populated areas.
- Photos are a must when traveling. However, keep the camera discrete. Many ‘point and shoot’ cameras will fit in your pocket out of sight when not in use. Do not leave larger ones dangling around your neck, or other places in plain view.
- When withdraw money from ATM’s try to do so during daylight, in well trafficked areas and use machines that are associated with a recognized bank where possible. As with anywhere, protect your personal pin number by covering the keypad from prying eyes with your other hand. Once the cash is withdrawn, take time to ensure it is stashed away safely. Do not do so while walking down the street advertising the fact you are carrying amounts of cash with you. Leave excess cash, travel documents, jewelry in the hotel safe, or better yet at home if you don’t need it while away.
- An experienced pickpocket can usually pick a tourist out in a crowd. Wear your purse over one shoulder with the opening flap against your stomach so that it’s impossible to get into. If you’re carrying a daypack wear it in front, kangaroo style.
- Where possible avoid walking alone – especially at night. Traveling with friends makes you a much less of target.
- Take something with the hotel name and address on it with you like a notepad or matchbox. This way, even if you do not speak the language, a taxi will be able to take you back to the hotel.
You can also contact us by email if you have any other questions about travel safety issues and booking a trip. Direct customers: firstname.lastname@example.org
When you are traveling in Vietnam and Southeast Asia and if you need medical assistance, AZOTOUR.Vietnam always recommends SOS emergency evacuation service to include in a travel package beside Travel insurance service. International SOS emergency air evacuation service is different from Travel insurance. When any accident happens, SOS international system will be accessed immediately by AZOTOUR.Vietnam.
- Scope Of Service We (SOS) Supply:
1. Travelers are under 75 years old
2. Travelers travel in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand & Myanmar.
3. Medical Assistance
International SOS shall provide Traveler, upon request, with name, address, telephone number and, if available, office hours of physicians, hospitals, clinics, dentists and dental clinics during traveling. International SOS shall not be responsible for providing medical diagnosis or treatment.
- Arrangement of Hospital Admission
If the medical condition of traveler is of such gravity as to require hospitalization, International SOS will assist hospital admission.
- Arrangement and Payment of Emergency Medical Evacuation
International SOS will arrange for the air and/or surface transportation and communication for moving the traveler when in a Serious Medical Condition to the nearest hospital where appropriate medical care is available. International SOS shall pay for the medically necessary expenses of such transportation and communications and all usual and customary ancillary charges incurred in such services arranged by International SOS.
International SOS retains the absolute right to decide whether the traveler’s medical condition is sufficiently serious to warrant Emergency Medical Evacuation. International SOS further reserves the right to decide the place to which the traveler shall be evacuated and the means or method by which such evacuation will be carried out having regard to all the assessed facts and circumstances of which International SOS is aware at the relevant time.
- Guarantee of Medical Expenses Incurred during Hospitalization
Monitoring of Medical Condition During and After Hospitalization International SOS will, when authorized by Traveler/Sisters Tours, assist the traveler by guaranteeing on behalf of the traveler medical expenses incurred during hospitalization.
- Access with Travel Insurance Company to get reimbursement
International SOS will, on behalf of the traveler, access with Travel insurance company who signs a travel insurance contract with the traveler to get reimbursement for the traveler’s lost.
- Delivery of Essential Medicine
International SOS will arrange to deliver to the traveler essential medicine, drugs and medical supplies that are necessary for a traveler’s care and/or treatment but which are not available at the traveler’s location. The delivery of such medicine, drugs and medical supplies will be subject to the laws and regulations applicable locally. International SOS will not pay for the costs of such medicine, drugs or medical supplies and any delivery costs thereof.
- Arrangement and Payment of Emergency Medical Repatriation
International SOS will arrange and pay for the return of the traveler to the Home Country by air and/or surface transportation after hospitalization. International SOS reserves the right to decide the means or method by which such repatriation will be carried out having regard to all the assessed facts and circumstances of which International SOS is aware at the relevant time.
- Arrangement and Payment of Transportation of Mortal Remains
International SOS will arrange for transporting the traveler’s mortal remains from the place of death to the Home Country and pay for all expenses reasonably and unavoidably incurred in the air and/or surface transportation so arranged by International SOS or alternatively pay the cost of burial at the place of death as approved by International SOS, subject t to any governmental regulations.
- Arrangement and Payment of Compassionate Visit
International SOS will arrange and pay for one economy class return airfare for a relative or a friend of the traveler to join the traveler who, when travelling alone, is hospitalized outside the Home Country for a period in excess of 7 consecutive days, subject to International SOS’ prior approval and only when judged necessary by International SOS on medical and compassionate grounds.
- Arrangement and Payment of Return of Minor Child
International SOS will arrange and pay for one economy class one-way airfare for the return of minor child [aged 18 years old and below, unmarried and in school] to the Home Country if he/she is left unattended as a result of the accompanying traveler’s illness, accident or Emergency Medical Evacuation. Escort will be provided, when required, at no charge.