View Full Version : Six "Rules" for Leisure Travel

08-09-2001, 12:59 PM
Joe Brancatelli, a columnist at <a href="http://www.biztravel.com">biztravel.com</a> whose work I regularly read, offers a column this week with six "rules" for leisure tourists. His advice would be well taken by DCL cruisers. Here's an excerpt:

<a href="http://misc.biztravel.com/content/Brancatelli.htm">http://misc.biztravel.com/content/Brancatelli.htm

<b><font color=red>Rule #1: Half the Clothes, Twice the Money</font></b>
Leisure travelers, even leisure travelers who spend most of their lives as savvy business travelers, seem to forget there are dry cleaners, washing machines and clothing shops everywhere in the world. You can always launder your clothes--or buy new some new togs--almost anywhere you travel. But acquiring cash on the road, even in these days of credit cards, bank cards and automated teller machines, isn't nearly as easy. So ditch that extra sports jacket or blouse and bring a couple of extra $20 bills.

<b><font color=red>Rule #2: Pay Now, Argue Later</font></b>
Quick remedial action is the key to getting the airline seat, cruise-ship cabin, rental car, or hotel room you expected. He or she who hesitates is not only lost, but uncomfortable and unhappy, too. If you must, pay for the privilege of getting what you want, but get it on the spot. When you get home, write a letter of complaint demanding restitution for the inconvenience and/or the extra money you paid.

<b><font color=red>Rule #3: Sleep Sound, Get Insurance</font></b>
Prevention really is the best medicine. Check your homeowner's policy to make sure it covers theft and other losses while you're traveling. Look at the fine print of your automobile policy to be certain it covers car rentals. (Your corporate car-rental rate and insurance probably won't apply.) Then purchase trip-cancellation and trip-interruption insurance. Most important of all: get medical-evacuation coverage, which covers the cost of getting you to your preferred hospital in an emergency. I use <a href="http://www.medjetassistance.com">MedJet</a>, a top-notch annual program.

<b><font color=red>Rule #4: Get Lost</font></b>
Everyone, especially business travelers with frequent-flyer miles to burn, eventually sees the Eiffel Tower. We all take tea in London. Anyone who has ever traveled has gawked at Sugarloaf in Rio and the lights of Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong. But don't be a prisoner of the guidebooks: Explore a twisty side street or poke your head into a little shop. Drive down a road that's not on the map. Business travel is about getting work done in the most efficient manner. Leisure travel is not, so start exploring and start relaxing. You'll be surprised how much fun travel is when you're doing it of your free will.

<b><font color=red>Rule #5: Forget the Checklist</font></b>
Travelers attack popular tourist destinations like Hawaii or Tuscany as if they will never return. They have a checklist of "must see" sights and obsessively try to see and do "everything." They march from sight to sight as if there's a prize for visiting the most attractions. But when they get home, they remember nothing because all the sights have run together in their minds. Do it the other way: Assume you'll be back and have time to burn. Want to linger at a café in Pienza rather than driving to Pisa to see the Leaning Tower? Do it. Want to sun on the beach at Waikiki one more day rather than fly to another Hawaiian island? Go ahead. Leisure travel is supposed to be fun, not a sightseeing marathon.

<b><font color=red>Rule #6: Common Sense Doesn't Get a Vacation</font></b>
Leisure travelers have no special immunity against crime. Rule #4 notwithstanding, don't take unnecessary or ill-advised risks. Be streetwise, do your homework, and learn the local pitfalls. Exercise the same precautions on vacation as you do at home--or on a business trip.

08-09-2001, 02:01 PM
Everyone who thinks this won't happen or they can "swing it"?

My business partner, his DW, DS10, and DD6 were on a RCI cruise in the Western Carib - she became VERY sick on board - Ship doctor told them she MUST leave the ship in Cozumel. Ambulance in Cozumel takes her to "hospital", which was dirty, crawling with ants, etc. He and the kids leave all luggage on ship, arrive at "hospital" wher "doctor" (who came in the room SMOKING) informs him she has appendicitis/perotinitis and must be operated on IMMEDIATELY or she will die! One look at the facilities convinced him to call an air ambulance service to evac'ed her (but not him and kids) to San Antonio (where she was diagnosed with FOOD POISONING!). He had to arrange his own flights (to Houston, then drive to SA) on his own. Charged everything to his American Express card. TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS. He fought with his med insurance company, RCI, and Amex for 2 years over this.

08-09-2001, 02:12 PM
Point taken!!!

08-09-2001, 03:23 PM
BigLou - So what happened? Did he win?

08-09-2001, 05:50 PM
When the bill came, he tried to reason with Amex - they said "tought luck, pay us". He did pay them, then started the fight with RCI and insurance co. He contended that the only place she could have gotten food poisoning was on the ship, RCI denied it was from their food, said she must have gotten sick by eating something on one of the port excursions. Read your ticket contract carefully they told him. Tough luck.

The bottom line was that the insurance company ended up remitting about $1,000 for the medical care on the ship and in Cozumel, and he was stuck for $9,000.

05-29-2002, 08:22 PM
Thanks Dave. I found this interesting, think others who haven't read it, may think so also.

05-29-2002, 09:16 PM
Thanks. I especially like #5.

05-30-2002, 11:34 AM
Like Dave I like number 5 too and we can honestly say that in all our visits at WDW, we have seen it all. We take a really slow leasuire pace.

05-30-2002, 12:09 PM
Great advice! Thanks for the info.

05-30-2002, 01:15 PM
As always, your posts and advice are the best!