Category Archives: Travel Tips

Considering Travel Insurance

With Covid 19 still confronting us, airlines canceling and delaying flights, not to mention losing luggage, travel insurance appears to be necessary. But coverage is confusing, and your needs may change from trip to trip. 

Passenger Luggage

In the August 2022 issue of Money Magazine, a reputable publication,  they list by category the 9 Best Travel Insurance Companies.

Top Picks for the Best Travel Insurance

Many of these companies offer single-trip insurance or annual coverage. The difficult part is anticipating your needs. Do you desire to cover the cost of your trip or tour, get coverage for canceled or delayed flights, reimbursement for lost luggage, theft or loss of items, and Covid or injury coverage if needed for medical assistance and extended stays? I recommend starting to compare policies at Then, depending on your needs and time, continue your research. 

From personal experience, I can tell you some unexpected events do occur. In 2016, I took a six-month trip to Europe that included adventure activities like hot air ballooning, rafting, boating, hiking, sledding, and whatever else we found along the way. We planned to use public transportation, including planes, trains, rental automobiles, buses, and taxis (but no Tok-Toks on this trip)! As a travel writer, I needed to bring my computer and camera gear. Therefore, I needed as complete coverage as I could get.

After much investigation and debate, my travel buddy and I purchased a policy with World Nomads. In retrospect,  I certainly am glad I made that choice.

During the six months. we never got sick or had any medical issues, but I did encounter a strange loss: a theft while I was wearing the item. 

While in St. Petersburg, Russia, we were walking with the crowds of morning pedestrians to catch a bus. I had my camera strapped across my body, not in a camera bag, and my travel purse included a slash-proof wire in the strap over my other shoulder. The wired strap prevents thieves from cutting the handle and running off with the bag. Many backpacks include such straps.

The incident must have happened while waiting at a congested stop light. A very talented thief unscrewed the lens from my DSLR camera without my noticing or feeling. How that happened still confounds me, but it did. As I entered the bus, within the next half block, I looked down and saw the lens missing. I was aghast. 

Judy and I turned around but saw nothing, and we didn’t speak Russian, so no one understood us. Befuddled, we returned to our lodging to regroup. We thought about reporting the crime to the police, but then again, we were Americans in Russia without proficiency in the language. And what was the likelihood of ever recovering the gear?

The next thought was to contact the US Embassy. I did this online by filling out a report. The Embassy later notified me of a time to come in person. Thankfully, we were staying in the city for a few more days.

I went to the US Embassy, passed through their stringent security checks, and was required to leave my phone and passport with them while I went upstairs to wait for a meeting. The meeting was surprisingly a standing affair, me on one side of bulletproof glass and the embassy official on the other. The officer was very understanding, and we completed a form explaining my loss and how it had happened. The Embassy signed and sealed the document, and I took it home. 

Once I returned, I filed the report with World Nomads (I may have reported the loss online but did not send the paperwork until back in the states.) I am pleased to report that World Nomads covered the cost of the lens. It wasn’t brand new, so I got the resale price- the exact amount I spent to replace the lens. 

I have since been on trips, including a 3-day camel trek in South Sinai, Egypt, riding camels again in Morocco, driving ATVs in Iceland and West Virginia, and taking a deep underground tour in a salt mine in Poland. World Nomads covers these kinds of adventures as well as typical tourist travel. 

Since the loss of my lens, thankfully, nothing out of the ordinary has happened to me. But I have been on tours where others have suffered injuries. Getting medical attention abroad can be tricky, but some insurance companies will help with medical issues. Be sure to read the fine print, and do get insurance.  

Debi’s Travel Advice for Boomer Women

In February 2018, I gave a speech for the Sawgrass Women’s Club and an interview for Big Blend Radio in March, 2018, concerning travel tips for Boomer women.  Many of these ideas came from lessons learned while traveling in Europe for six months in 2016.

Debi at Nikka Whisky Distillery in Japan
Debi at Nikka Whisky Distillery in Japan

Please use this link to see my article and listen to my radio interview:

What to for Pack for Africa: The Extreme Ultralite Towel

Traveling to Africa isn’t something you do on the spur of the moment. Visas, shots and some special equipment are needed. I applied for my visa early and received my passport back quidkly. Sigh of relief and check.

Herd of Elephants in Tanzania.
Herd of Elephants in Tanzania.

Once I received my Visa, I could book my flight. Since I am a Delta Gold flier, I chose Delta.

I went to the Travel Clinic and got my second Hepatitis A shot. The practitioner said I didn’t need to get a Yellow Fever shot. She also gave me a prescription for Malaria medication which I took and Cipro in case I got bad case of diarrhea. Thankfully, I did not. Hooray and check 2.

A stack of Discovery Trekking Towels
A stack of Discovery Trekking Towels

Next came the equipment I didn’t have. Since power often goes out in Tanzania, I was told to bring a headlight as well as flashlight. I also needed to get 30% Deet bug spray. Since this is rather difficult to come by, I ordered it and the headlight from Check again.

Work gloves were needed for our volunteer work and I picked up a pair in the local hardware store along with extra batteries. I also needed two water bottles and a lock for in-room storage of valuables.

I reviewed my camera gear and purchased any missing items.

Now for clothing. I needed safari pants (well they weren’t required) but I knew they would be best as they are lightweight, quick drying and have many useful pockets. Travel Smith to the rescue – check again.

I had a Tilley hat purchased for my trip to the Galapagos and my travel vest that also contains multiple pockets. I’d need water shoes or sandals- already had Teva’s and a Gore-Tex rain jacket that I purchased before going to Machu Picchu. I planned to take an old pair of sneakers and leave them behind.

I don’t normally travel with towels but on this trip I would need to bring my own. Lucky me, I received an offer from Discovery Trekking Outfitters to try theirs. Discovery Trekking is an award-winning small business, having won the award for top 5 Small Businesses in British Columbia twice, as well as an award by Scotiabank for innovation in marketing.

The Discovery Trekking Extreme Ultralite Towel is indeed super light weight and baby soft. It dries almost instantly and also works as a bathing suit/shower cover-up since you can’t see through it. The Extreme Ultralight is 34″ x 28″ and weighs under 3 ounces. These pack into very small spaces.  Honestly, this towel was one of the best things I brought on my trip.


I’ve also learned that thanks to high-tech silver treatment, the towel discourages the bacteria that cause odors. The special odor-control fabric ensures you can use it several times with no musty smells. This attribute was very important because it was all I would use for two weeks!

Should I go to the beach, I do live nearby one, this towel does not attract sand. How cool. And should I get back to yoga as I plan, it will be the ideal moisture-wicking towel.

Thanks, Discovery Trekking. Your Ultralite Towel gets a five-star rating.
For more information, please visit