Independent travel benefits young explorers in a number of ways:
1. Direct contact with foreign cultures brings a wider understanding of the diversity that the citizens of the world have devised to deal with life’s problems and concerns.
2. Having to conduct daily interactions in a foreign language encourages flexibility in communication, and in utilizing the linguistic resources every person has. There is no shame in being a stranger who is trying to fit in.
3. Young people need to know, firsthand, that the world is larger than what they are accustomed to. Being able to empathize with other viewpoints is a negotiating tool that serves everyone involved in business, art, or public service.
4. A broad perspective allows a person to consider all available options, and all possible consequences.
Of course, every parent worries when their child travels around the block out of sight, let alone to a foreign country. Travel insurance provides peace of mind that pitfalls and emergencies have been considered, and that there is a mechanism in place during the journey to deal with mishaps or misadventures.
Travel insurance for younger travelers embarking on long-distance trips can cover a number of contingencies that threaten to derail what should be an educational experience. In worst-case scenarios, a medical emergency can put a traveler in an unfamiliar environment, and entail costly bills in foreign currency. Travel insurance guarantees that medically necessary services will be reimbursed according to local provisions and statutes. In the unlikely event that a medical emergency occurs, travel insurance acts as a go-between for patients and their families, and the medical providers who bring events to a satisfactory conclusion for the trip to continue uninterrupted.
Likewise, travel insurance can provide trip protection in the event of missed connections, vehicle break down, or other unforeseen circumstances that prevent a traveler from reaching his or her destination when intended. In these situations, travel insurance will cover the cost of replacement tickets for transportation, or for hotel accommodations that will be needed until the trip resumes.
Special contributor: Robbie Wilson