Hoping Travel Insurance Will Be the Antidote to the Chronic Case of Foiled Travel

My girlfriends and I have been planning to go to Vietnam for what feels like an eternity already. We love “Miss Saigon” (although the story took place during the very sad part of the country’s history) and pho — we definitely want to try authentic local fare, and our other friends who had been to the country informed us that shopping’s great, too, especially in Hanoi — definitely so much cheaper than shopping in Hong Kong. Well, I really just want to get me an ao dai to expand my very slowly growing collection of traditional garbs for women; my brain went “Yay!” at the idea of cheap shopping. We found great deals online that will allow us to travel on a budget because that’s the kind of people we are — “frugal try-hards.”

We initially targeted to go to during the first quarter of the year, but that plan was foiled because my travel buddy, Ali, dealt with the medical expenses and the death of her father. Her financial pool became shallow so she requested for our trip to be moved. That was completely understandable.

After that, we decided we would go in May even if the travel deal we found was not as nice as the provision we originally wanted. That didn’t push through either, because Ali’s refrigerator door finally detached itself from the rest of the unit so she had to buy an all-new fridge, and she decided it was time to get a big and high-tech one! Now, her financial pool is a mere puddle…but at least she got a free microwave oven when she bought the fridge!

May came and left with us not going anywhere — we didn’t even get to try the new restaurant in my sister’s neighborhood.

I thought of just going alone in June, but my parents discouraged me because it’s so hot in Southeast Asia. I have a severe case of heat intolerance; my nose usually bleeds when it’s incredibly hot and I’m also known to pass out. My parents were firm with their “No, you’re not going off alone to a distant country where you can get a heat stroke!” and this is also understandable. I can’t go while the heat is on in Saigon — yes, this is a line from the musicale.

The weather’s slowly getting cooler; Ali and I are thinking that perhaps August would be the perfect time for our Vietnam getaway since she’ll be turning 40 then, but now she insists on getting travel insurance, which basically means we’ll be spending so much more for the trip. “Maybe this is the reason why we couldn’t go before…maybe because we weren’t protective of ourselves yet,” she said.

Asia’s kind of in a volatile situation these days due to territorial disputes; Ali wants to make sure that we’ll have some protection should trouble erupt in Vietnam. Therefore, now we’re looking at policies offered by various providers such as Travel Insurance Plus and we’re saving extra to accommodate insurance in our budget. Since we’re making the effort to do things right, hopefully, we’ll finally be able to go — reach our budget goals, have the weather cooperate and our prayers heard that China will leave Vietnam alone, especially in time for Ali’s birthday.

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