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Travel Precautions Critical During Swine Flu Season
Date:9/21/2009

BOSTON, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- SmarterTravel(R), a comprehensive travel advice resource for the budget-conscious traveler, today released a checklist of strategies for staying safe while traveling during this highly anticipated flu season.

Travel Checklist:

  • Check your health insurance: Before you depart, check your healthcare provider's coverage plans in your destination as a precaution in case you develop the swine flu, or any illness, while traveling.

  • Consider travel insurance: With so many options out there, travelers are often confused when it comes to policy coverage. Read the fine print and be sure you understand what your policy covers when booking.

  • Do your research: Sites such as the Center for Disease Control or your final destination's local tourism board will have the most up to date information. It may help shape your travel plans when you arrive, so log on before you go.

  • Know your rights: If you are refused plane entrance and do not have swine flu, travel insurance may not protect you, so seek compensation from the airline. This depends upon your policy, so read carefully.

  • Understand cancellation policies: If there's an outbreak in the destination prior to travel, check with your chosen airline or cruise line on its most updated cancellation policy. See past examples from last spring's outbreak.

  • Avoid crowds: If you are traveling in a country where swine flu is prevalent, avoid large gatherings and public transportation if possible.

  • Utilize the U.S. consulate or embassy: If you become ill while traveling, they can help in finding health care. Be sure to have addresses and phone numbers handy before you go.

"As far as cancellations, there's no guarantee how airlines will handle things, but from what we are seeing now they are taking extra steps to keep passengers healthy," said Anne Banas, executive editor of SmarterTravel. "Many have removed pillows and blankets from flights, some are offering antibacterial hand wipes and masks and Continental recently announced mandatory flu shots and clinics for employees in hub cities.

"But, if Swine Flu erupts in a single country or region, as it did last time in Mexico, airlines will likely cancel flights and wave change fees for that destination. My biggest piece of advice to travelers nervous about canceling due to illness is: consider travel insurance."

Related Link: Get Ready: Swine Flu Could Make a Comeback

About SmarterTravel

SmarterTravel provides independent advice and analysis that helps travelers find the best deals and get the most value from their trips. SmarterTravel has an unbiased team of travel experts who analyze travel trends and offer money-saving strategies and travel tips. For more information and travel advice, visit http://www.smartertravel.com.

SmarterTravel is a division of Smarter Travel Media LLC.

Smarter Travel Media operates http://www.bookingbuddy.com, http://www.smartertravel.com, http://www.airfarewatchdog.com, http://www.frequentflier.com, http://www.seatguru.com and sites in the U.K.

SmarterTravel is a trademark of Smarter Travel Media LLC in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other logos or product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners.


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