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What I never leave home without and why

Hubby and I once won a holiday to Hawaii.  It was really exciting as neither of us had been to Hawaii.  Winning a trip seemed exceptionally lucky.
Landing in Hawaii it was not the tropical scene I had seen in brochures.  The palm trees were not gently swaying, they were nearly snapping.  The drive to the hotel revealed a disturbing scene of queues outside supermarkets, sand bagging and windows being taped.
Taped windows and sandbagging at The Sheraton Hotel, Waikiki
The hotel lobby was in chaos.  At the check-in counter we were given news that a hurricane was due to hit Oahu in the next few hours and our flight was the last to land.  No flights were arriving or departing until the hurricane passed.
I felt trapped and the worst part was we had no travel insurance.
It was unnerving watching CNN news and seeing the vision of people arriving at evacuation centres.  Things looked very bad and we had no choice but to stay put.
We were given an ocean front room.  It was the one time in my life that I would have been happy NOT to receive an upgrade to oceanfront.  We were told they expected the hotel to lose power and water supply.  Being trapped in the room with nothing but the news on a permanent loop about the expected worst case scenario gave me plenty of time to panic.  Working in the travel industry I knew the costs associated with hospitalisation in a foreign country. It was money we did not have.
The view from our ocean front room
The hurricane detoured and devastated the island of Kauai which was our next stop.  It was horrifying to see what the locals had lost on the island.  We were immensely grateful that we came through the hurricane unscathed.
Waikiki Beach back to normal
We were impressed by the speed with which Hawaiian’s had everything back to normal on Oahu.  We had a wonderful holiday despite the dramatic start but the experience left a big impression.  You never know what can happen when you travel either domestically or abroad.
If you think this is a one off experience then I should  tell you I have also been stranded in a typhoon in the Philippines.  You may think “well she is just an unlucky traveller” but having worked in travel for many years I have seen young and old people affected by illness prior to travel resulting in travel cancellation.  I have had phone calls from clients who have had accidents and lost luggage.  Everyone hopes for the perfect holiday and if that happens, it is fantastic.
Hawaii isn’t all beaches.
When you travel there is a financial investment but also an emotional one as you plan and anticipate the ‘perfect’ holiday.  It is a sickening feeling when things go wrong and you find yourself without insurance cover.  That is why I now never leave home without it.
P.S. If you are wanting a recommendation I normally use and recommend Cover-More Travel Insurance – www.covermore.com.au .



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