4 Tips for Making Group Travel Easier during the Holidays

SAN DIEGO, 2013-12-20 - According to a PhoCusWright study*, more than two thirds of vacation rental guests' most recent stay involved a party of three or more, including children. When the whole family travels together, things can get confusing fast. From steps to strollers, grandparents and grandchildren both have special needs that should be addressed, especially if they're traveling to the top New Year's Eve party destinations like Las Vegas or New York City where lots of walking is a must.

There are so many things to consider before hitting the road. Here are some tips for reducing inconveniences and making group travel a bit easier. Make some group decisions before you go: Discuss what everyone wants to do during the trip, how much they can spend and what they simply can't live without doing while they're there. This will make it easier to pack too because you'll have a general idea of what you'll be doing. There are websites, including Travelstormer.com and TripORama.com, designed to answer these types of questions and help organize your trip too.

Know airport and airline regulations: If you're flying, is everyone checking baggage? Or carrying on? Here is a link to the TSA website where you can find details about what can be carried on or checked, advice about bringing wrapped gifts and what food you can take on the plane. Be sure to read TSA's special screening procedures for children 12 and under as well as adults 75 and older. There are also mobile apps that will forecast security line wait times and find out what's on the agency's prohibited items list. Additionally, you should check with your airline to find out its policies for carry on and checked luggage size, fees, etc.

Ask a travel agent: Despite popular belief, travel agents don't charge you fees for booking travel arrangements. They get paid by the companies they work with. That said, it might make sense to book your next family vacation through a travel agent. They have access to the latest information and can get great deals (even better than online). Also, they can be a wealth of knowledge when it comes to group travel, so be sure to pick their brains in the process.

Take advantage of travel insurance services: A reputable travel insurance provider, such as CSA Travel Protection, can offer concierge services to help find appropriate activities for your group and make reservations ahead of time. Travel protection plans can offer medical services like connecting with a network of physicians for information, advice and treatments, including prescription medication as well. Whether your destination is a vacation rental, hotel or a cabin in the mountains, these simple tips can help reduce stress and increase your chances of having a family filled fun time during your winter vacation. With the planning behind you, you can spend less time thinking about travel arrangements and more time on where you're going to get your next cup of hot chocolate. Happy holidays!

Notes:
*2012 PhoCusWright Vacation Rental Study
CSA Travel Protection's insurance coverages are underwritten by Generali U.S. Branch. Non-insurance services are through CSA's designated providers.


50 Years of Innovation in the Care Services

Inventor of the assistance concept in 1963, the Europ Assistance Group celebrates its 50th anniversary this year

SAN DIEGO, 2013-11-17 - Founded in France in 1963 by Pierre Desnos, a visionary French entrepreneur, the Europ Assistance Group--whose subsidiary CSA Travel Protection has been in the United States since 1991--celebrates this year its 50th anniversary and that of assistance, a business activity he created.

It also marks five decades of a Group that now covers the United States and 32 other countries

50 years of being attuned to customers and tracking trends in society This admirably sums up Europ Assistance's history. The story of Europ Assistance begins back in 1963, at the initiative of Pierre Desnos: he was the first to identify the emerging needs of vacationers back then, fully appreciating the scale of the changes underway and the unprecedented growth in tourism and travel. He invented the assistance concept, which in turn gave rise to the Group. This new business activity quickly came to play an important role in the day-to-day life of consumers wishing to enjoy maximum protection during their trips, whether in the air or on the road.

After the 1980s, a time of international expansion for the Europe Assistance Group, a pivotal moment came in the 2000s with the creation of two new activities: Health and Home & Family services. This was in response to the "Care Revolution" concept conceived by Europ Assistance in 2003. It was an unprecedented revolution characterized by an ever-growing need for personalized services, the significant growth in demand for care, increasing urbanization, greater mobility as well as rising life expectancy.

Over the past 10 years, the Europ Assistance Group has grown threefold, reporting worldwide revenue of 1.417 billion euros in 2012.

68% of Europeans and Americans believe that medical repatriation is a major improvement when it comes to saving lives, 53% to travelling as a family and 44% to discovering far away and less well-known countries. (Source: Health & Society barometer - Europ Assistance / CSA 2013)

Read the full release


Daylight Saving Time Ends Nov. 3

Places Where You Can Travel to Avoid the Time Change

SAN DIEGO, 2013-10-31 - Often times, Americans may feel as though there is not enough time in a day. For those who can relate, there's good news. There is one day a year that actually has 25 hours, when Daylight Saving Time ends and Daylight Standard Time begins. This year, that bonus hour occurs Nov. 3, 2013 at 2 a.m., and most of the nation gains an extra hour. The time will change again March 9, 2014 at 2 a.m. when the clock turns back one hour, and Daylight Saving Time starts all over again. While the "fall back, spring forward" practice is designed to take advantage of daylight hours and conserve energy, it wasn't always an American tradition.

It all started during World War I when the federal government wanted to conserve energy and make better use of daylight hours for the war effort. It wasn't until 1966 with the Uniform Time Act that Daylight Saving Time in the U.S was standardized. It's changed several times since then. In 2007, Daylight Saving Time was extended one month with the Energy Policy Act. There has always been opposition, and this year, there have been efforts to try to eliminate Daylight Saving Time all together.

Those who are looking for a place to avoid the time change may want to plan a last-minute trip to one of the following locations. These places stay in one time zone all 365 days.

Arizona: Most of Arizona hasn't practiced Daylight Saving Time since 1967 and stays on MST. However the Navaho Nation lands observe Daylight Saving Time because of its large size. It expands across three states including Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

Hawaii, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa: In general, the closer a state or country is to the equator, the less likely it is to practice Daylight Saving Time because the sun rises and sets at nearly the same time year round.

Traveling to one of these places or even planning a trip for the holidays can be an investment. It's important to be prepared for unexpected circumstances. Reputable travel insurance providers, such as CSA Travel Protection, can safeguard travelers against some of the most common insurance claims, including trip cancellations and trip interruptions. CSA Travel Protection's Travel Insurance Plans are underwritten by Generali U.S. Branch.

For those traveling this month, investigate your travel insurance options, know when to set your clocks back or do nothing at all. Most importantly, enjoy your extra hour thanks to Daylight Saving Time.


Europ Assistance USA and CSA Travel Protection Appoint Donald Vetal Jr. as Chief Financial Officer

Financial operations veteran will provide fiscal leadership and vision for both organizations

SAN DIEGO, 2013-10-21 - Europ Assistance USA (EA USA) and CSA Travel Protection (CSA), both owned by Europ Assistance Group, a global leader in assistance and insurance products and services, is pleased to announce its new CFO, Donald Vetal Jr.

Vetal will deliver executive fiscal leadership and vision for both companies, leading their financial and accounting activities around development of relevant business information, accurate accounting systems and financial plans. He will also support the Europ Assistance Group by continuing to grow profitability in North America.

"Donald's more than two decades of prowess in driving financial operations for organizations in the insurance, medical and travel services fields make him the perfect candidate to help strengthen Europ Assistance's financial health moving forward," said Guillaume Deybach, CEO of EA USA and CSA. "He's proven to be a vital member of successful organizations, and we are genuinely pleased and enthusiastic to have him on board."

Prior to EA USA and CSA, Vetal most recently served as CFO and group vice president of FrontierMEDEX Group. He was also president, and before that CFO, of CPM Holdings, and held fiscal leadership roles at Ocwen Financial Corporation, LifeDesign and US Assist, Inc. and Rowan Capital.

About Europ Assistance USA
Europ Assistance USA takes care of consumers, corporate customers and their employees when the unexpected happens, anywhere in the world, providing immediate support and assistance to individuals in times of emergency and distress. Leveraging its worldwide network of 40 always-open multilingual assistance centers and 420,000 partners in 208 countries and territories, EA USA services more than half of the Fortune 100, including insurance companies, financial institutions, corporations and government organizations, providing personalized medical travel assistance, identity theft resolution, data breach response and beneficiary assistance services.

About CSA Travel Protection
CSA Travel Protection, a Europ Assistance company, is dedicated to providing affordable travel insurance and emergency assistance services to protect travelers' valuable investments and provide the peace of mind one deserves while traveling. For 20 years CSA has developed a reputation for standing behind its customers and by offering products and services to meet their needs. Through superior customer service, extensive experience and industry-leading innovation, CSA is with its clients every step of the way, whenever and wherever they are needed.


CSA Travel Protection selected as 2013 Travel Weekly Magellan award recipient

CSA Personalized Reporting Wins Silver in the Online Travel Services: Travel Agent Only Website Category

SAN DIEGO, 2013-09-19 - CSA Travel Protection (CSA), dedicated for the past 20 years to providing affordable travel insurance and emergency assistance services, announced today that its personalized reporting earned a Silver 2013 Magellan Award by Travel Weekly magazine. With entries from across the U.S. and around the world, the Magellan Award winners represent the best in the travel industry and salute the outstanding travel professionals behind it all.

CSA personalized reporting was designed to enable travel insurance agents to control their policy business hands-on through a self-service portal where they can view and modify all their policies in one place as well as check commission reports on the fly. Agents can double check the referral payments provided by CSA, determine if a client purchased a policy without the need to go back to CSA or the client and they can also check in on the status of a claim. Agents report this saves on average two days a month of productivity time.

The Magellan awards is the premier awards program honoring a broad range of industry segments including Hotels and Resorts, Travel Destinations, Cruise Lines, Online Travel Services, Airlines and Airports, Travel Agents and Agencies, Tour Operators and Car Rental Companies, the Magellan is the award to win if you are in the business of travel.

"Once again, the bar was raised by Magellan entrants," said Arnie Weissmann, editor in chief of Travel Weekly. "The creativity that travel industry marketers and designers display to inspire travel and enhance the travel experience continues to impress our expert judges and readers. The winners are not just the most talented and creative people in the travel industry - they are among the most creative and talented of any industry."

The Magellan Awards are judged and overseen by a one-of-a-kind panel of top travel professionals representing the best names and most accomplished leaders from the industry. In determining winners, entries do not compete with one another, instead they are judged against a standard of excellence based on the long experience of Travel Weekly. To uphold this high standard of excellence, a category may have multiple winners, or may have no winners at all.

For a complete list of silver and gold winners, please visit www.travelweeklyawards.com

About Travel Weekly (www.travelweekly.com)
Online or in print, Travel Weekly brings depth, context and perspective to events in the industry. By providing news, research, opinion, analysis and information found nowhere else, Travel Weekly maintains its position as the most important and influential source of news, data and commentary to the travel industry.

In addition to a weekly print publication, TravelWeekly.com is updated multiple times every day and is the most-visited industry website. (It was recently honored as one of the "10 Greatest Business Media Websites" by Media Business magazine). Additionally, TravelWeekly.com's Hotel Search - powered by HTI - includes more than 130,000 hotel listings and the Cruise Search features over 18,000 cruise sailings.


Top 15 States Vacation Rental Guests Want to Visit

Traveling to top tourist destinations can be crowded and expensive, but waiting until fall can help

SAN DIEGO, 2013-08-28 - Vacation rental guests who want a relaxing vacation without summer crowds but still want to enjoy mild temperatures are booking their vacations now for late September and October. Traveling this time of year means the kids are back in school, summer travel crowds are gone and Labor Day has passed. Travelers want to save money on off-season deals, choose the best destination and protect themselves from unexpected weather and expenses--all important factors for creating any great fall vacation.

Choosing the right destination is important. Florida is the number one state in the country where vacation rental guests want to go according to PhoCusWright's A Market Reinvented: The U.S. Vacation Rental Landscape. Following the Sunshine State, North Carolina is the second most popular U.S. destination and California and South Carolina tied for third. Looking for a less crowded spot? Check out the top 15 states where Vacation Rental Guests want to go year round.

  1. Florida
  2. North Carolina
  3. California
  4. South Carolina
  5. Tennessee
  6. Texas
  7. Colorado
  8. Michigan
  9. Virginia
  10. New Jersey
  11. Wisconsin
  12. Hawaii
  13. Oregon
  14. New York
  15. Nevada

These popular destinations may come at an off-season price. Most off-season rates start in October, so travelers should check online for any deals before making a final decision.

From Florida to Oregon and in most major North American cities, the weather is comfortable in September and relatively mild during October. However, it's still hurricane season through November according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Keeping an eye on the weather and checking for hurricane warnings this time of year is important. If this is a factor at your destination, then travel insurance may be a wise investment.

Besides hurricanes, trip cancellations and trip interruptions are some of the most common travel insurance claims. Reputable travel insurance providers such as CSA Travel Protection can safeguard travelers against these unexpected circumstances so they can relax when they're on vacation.

Check for off-season rates and deals online and prepare for unexpected weather and expenses with a travel insurance policy to make that fall vacation a memorable one.


EUROP ASSISTANCE USA WINS TWO SILVER STEVIEŽ AWARDS IN 2013 INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AWARDS

Company Prevails in Customer Service Team and Department of the Year Categories

SAN DIEGO, 2013-08-19 - Europ Assistance USA, the largest individual crisis protection provider, unveiled today that it was named the winner of two Silver StevieŽ Awards in The 10th Annual International Business Awards.

Recognized for its outstanding banking, financial services and business services, Europ Assistance USA's Identity Theft Protection team took silver in the Customer Service Team of the Year category. The company's Travel Assistance team scored silver in the Customer Service Department of the Year--All Other Industries category.

The International Business Awards are the world's premier business awards program. All individuals and organizations worldwide - public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small - are eligible to submit nominations. The 2013 IBAs received entries from more than 50 nations and territories.

More than 3,300 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted this year for consideration in a wide range of categories.

"Genuine interest in the well-being of our customers and high-touch customer service is in our DNA, and congratulations are in order for the Identity Theft Protection and Travel Assistance teams because they exemplify these qualities," said Paige Schaffer, vice president of operations at Europ Assistance USA. "Whether our customers are in dire circumstances and are in need of emergent medical support or political evacuation during their travels, or have become victims of identity theft personally or as part of a greater corporate data breach, both centers of excellence are there to support with empathy, expertise and care."

Stevie Award winners were selected by more than 250 executives worldwide who participated in the judging process this year.

"The 2013 International Business Awards are noteworthy for featuring the best collection of entries we have ever received," said Michael Gallagher, president and founder of the Stevie Awards. "The judges have been unanimous in their comments about the quality of achievements, and the expertise with which they were portrayed, in the nominations we received this year. We extend our most heartfelt congratulations to all of this year's Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award winners."

Details about The International Business Awards and the lists of Stevie Award winners are available at www.StevieAwards.com/IBA.

About Europ Assistance USA
As the largest individual crisis protection provider, Europ Assistance USA takes care of customers and corporate clients when the unexpected happens, anywhere in the world, providing immediate support and assistance in times of emergency and distress. Leveraging its worldwide network of 35 always-open multilingual assistance centers and 423,000 partners in 208 countries and territories, EA USA services more than half of the Fortune 100, including insurance companies, financial institutions, corporations and government organizations, providing personalized medical travel assistance, identity theft protection and beneficiary assistance services. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., EA USA is part of the Europ Assistance Group, which is owned by Global 500 insurance conglomerate Generali Group.

About the Stevie Awards
Stevie Awards are conferred in five programs: The International Business Awards, The American Business Awards, the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at www.StevieAwards.com.


Europ Assistance USA Becomes Associate Members of the International Air Ambulance Alliance (IAAA)

SAN DIEGO, 2013-08-14 - Europ Assistance USA, the largest individual crisis protection provider, announced today that it is joining the International Air Ambulance Alliance. The IAAA is, an organization devoted to raising the professional standards of fixed wing air ambulance providers, while also creating business transparency for insurers, medical assistance companies and individual payers of air ambulance services.

"We are looking forward to playing a vital role in building a community of experts and participating in global industry discussion around fixed wing services," said Paige Schaffer, vice president of operations at Europ Assistance USA. "Globally we conduct 10,000 medical evacuations annually, so we place a high value on ensuring a consistent, safe and efficient experience for our customers who utilize these services and believe the ambitions and values of the IAAA align well with ours."

In addition to its membership, Europ Assistance USA will bring a high level of credentialing expertise and best practices to the IAAA. As a major buyer of fixed wing air ambulance services, Europ Assistance has developed rigorous compliance standards and proprietary technology that facilitates the sourcing of credentialed air ambulance providers worldwide.

"We are delighted that Europ Assistance USA has become a major advocate for industry change. We are also looking forward to its IAAA board membership participation, as we value independent and constructive advice from a payers' perspective to ensure that we are challenged to stay industry and patient focused, in the very fickle and diverse air ambulance industry," said Gary Andrews, president of the IAAA. "It is clear that Europ Assistance USA shares the same values as the IAAA, and we are delighted that the company's fixed-wing partners are aware of its commitment to the values of operating with business transparency and patient care improvement, globally."

About the International Air Ambulance Alliance (IAAA)
The IAAA is the only not for profit organization dedicated to the fixed wing air ambulance industry, with the commitment of not only raising standards of care, but also working with NAAMTA for exclusive medical transport accreditation and acts as an advocate for fixed wing operators in a global niche industry.

About Europ Assistance USA
As the largest individual crisis protection provider, Europ Assistance USA takes care of customers and corporate clients when the unexpected happens, anywhere in the world, providing immediate support and assistance in times of emergency and distress. Leveraging its worldwide network of 35 always-open multilingual assistance centers and 423,000 partners in 208 countries and territories, EA USA services more than half of the Fortune 100, including insurance companies, financial institutions, corporations and government organizations, providing personalized medical travel assistance, identity theft resolution and beneficiary assistance services. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., EA USA is part of the Europ Assistance Group, which is owned by Global 500 insurance conglomerate Generali Group.


First Atlantic Storm of 2013, Andrea, Tips For Staying Safe This Season

CSA Travel Protection Offers Hurricane Safety Precautions & Tips

SAN DIEGO, 2013-06-05 - With the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season officially underway only four days ago, Tropical Storm Andrea is brewing in the Gulf of Mexico. To help travelers stay safe this season, CSA Travel Protection (CSA), dedicated for the past 20 years to providing affordable travel insurance and emergency assistance services, offers preventative measures and tips for staying safe during and after a major storm.

Preventative measures go a long way in staying secure in the event a storm is approaching:

  • Prepare an evacuation plan and be ready to leave accommodations if necessary.
  • Ask property management upon arrival about possible safe places.
  • Monitor local media and prepare to leave in the event of an evacuation order.
  • When a hurricane is approaching, store food and water for a few days.
  • Bear in mind that some roads, airports and hotels may close if a hurricane approaches.

When finding oneself in the middle of a hurricane:

  • First and foremost, remain calm.
  • If communications systems are working, continue monitoring local media for up-to-the-minute information.
  • If asked to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • If not, remain in place keeping away from windows and doors. Go to an interior room on the lowest level of the building (winds are stronger at higher altitudes) and do not move.
  • The "eye" (center) of a hurricane results in no winds and near silence. If the wind stops, wait for official confirmation that the storm is over as the wind may resume blowing in the opposite direction as the second half approaches.

Once the storm has passed:

  • If indoors, stay inside until officially informed that the hurricane has ended.
  • If evacuated, wait for official orders before returning to accommodations.
  • Wait for official clearance before drinking tap water. One may need to use boiled water, as hurricanes can destroy water supplies and sanitation infrastructures.
  • Check to ensure there are no gas leaks. If the smell of gas is detected, open windows and leave the premises. If possible, turn off the gas and call special services.
  • Check electrical installations. When experiencing sparks, stripped wires or a burnt smell, turn off electricity and call special services.
  • Check for any damage to water or sewage pipes. If damage is suspected, do not use the bathrooms or tap water and call a plumber.

Travelers must remember to plan early for protection from an unforeseen hurricane disruption. Storms are full of surprises, and while experts predict above-average activity this season, there are potential mishaps that can happen even if a storm doesn't make an appearance on a trip. Anticipating the unexpected - such as medical emergencies, flight delays, identity theft or a natural disaster at home before leaving - and covering it with travel insurance will protect travelers from surprises. Travelers can find out more about CSA and travel insurance by contacting their travel agent, vacation rental management company or visiting www.csatravelprotection.com.


Strategies to Save Money and Avoid Additional Costs When Traveling with Children

Family travel can be expensive, but it doesn't have to be

SAN DIEGO, 2013-05-29 - Vacation rental guests that want to get the best value for their vacation dollar are planning their trips now through early June, as properties ask for top-dollar rates during the high summer season. For those traveling with children, saving money on the front end - and protecting themselves from unexpected expenses on the backend - are important aspects of a great vacation.

Guests of vacation rentals are more likely to travel with children, and 55 percent of older (age 55 and above) vacation rental guests are parties of three or more, according to a recent PhoCusWright study. In addition, approximately one-quarter of leisure travelers are grandparents, and nearly one-third have traveled with grandchildren on one or more leisure trips in the past year (Ypartnership/Harrison Group Portrait of American Travelers).

Traveling with children means additional costs for meals, attraction tickets and other per-person fees, but it also means a higher chance of an accident causing injury or damage to the vacation property.

In addition to traveling off-season, vacationers can save money early on by looking for discount tickets, cooking at the property versus eating out at restaurants and visiting family-friendly travel websites for additional tips. Discount rates on the vacation property, activities and food can add up to hefty savings with proper planning.

Many travelers know that a reputable travel protection plan can help prevent unplanned expenses due to injury, sickness or other unforeseen circumstances. In fact, Americans spent nearly $1.8 billion on all types of travel insurance and assistance services in 2010, according to the US Travel Insurance Association.

Some travel insurance companies also offer plans to protect against loss of deposit or other fees associated with accidental property damage. Traveling with kids, the chances of accidental damage rises dramatically. One of the most common claims is a broken glass table. What a shame to lose a deposit (or be charged even more) over an unfortunate outcome of innocent horseplay. For pennies of the dollar, vacation rental guests don't need to worry about what might happen when the family travels together.

Book early, travel off-season, search online for discounts, cook on-property and protecting yourself from unforeseen expenses are all ways to make that family vacation a fond memory.


CSA Travel Protection Presented 2012 Travel Weekly Magellan Award

CSA University Wins Silver In Travel Agent Organizations: Travel Insurance Category

SAN DIEGO, 2012-09-19 - CSA Travel Protection (CSA), dedicated for the past 20 years to providing affordable travel insurance and emergency assistance services, announces its CSA University program earned a Silver 2012 Magellan Award by Travel Weekly magazine. With entries from across the U.S. and around the world, the Magellan Award winners represent the best in the travel industry and salute the outstanding travel professionals behind it all.

CSA University was designed to help partners educate their staff on the benefits of travel insurance, as well as share techniques for selling the right plan for each trip. Consisting of three levels/modules, the CSA University site provides detailed plan information, then assesses the student on their understanding of the information. This allows our partner travel agents to recommend the plan best suited for their traveler.

Receiving over 550 entries, the Magellan awards is the premier awards program honoring a broad range of industry segments including Hotels and Resorts, Travel Destinations, Cruise Lines, Online Travel Services, Airlines and Airports, Travel Agents and Agencies, Tour Operators and Car Rental Companies, the Magellan is the award to win if you are in the business of travel.

"In 2012, creativity reached new heights among marketers and designers in the travel industry," said Arnie Weissmann, editor in chief of Travel Weekly. "This year's Magellan entries were inspiring overall, and those who ended up in the winner's circle truly represent the best of the best."

The Magellan Awards are judged and overseen by a one-of-a-kind panel of top travel professionals representing the best names and most accomplished leaders from the industry. In determining winners, entries do not compete with one another, instead they are judged against a standard of excellence based on the long experience of Travel Weekly. To uphold this high standard of excellence, a category may have multiple winners, or may have no winners at all.

For a complete list of silver and gold winners, please visit travelweeklyawards.com.

About Travel Weekly
Online or in print, Travel Weekly brings depth, context and perspective to events in the industry. By providing news, research, opinion, analysis and information found nowhere else, Travel Weekly maintains its position as the most important and influential source of news, data and commentary to the travel industry.


Fourth 2012 Storm, Tropical Storm Debby, Reminder For Staying Safe This Season

CSA Travel Protection Offers Hurricane Safety Precautions & Tips

SAN DIEGO, 2012-06-24 - This year's official hurricane season arrived early, and is well underway, with the naming of the fourth Atlantic storm, Tropical Storm Debby, moving in on the Gulf Coast. To help travelers stay safe this season, CSA Travel Protection (CSA), dedicated for the past 20 years to providing affordable travel insurance and emergency assistance services, offers preventative measures and tips for staying safe during and after a major storm.

Preventative measures go a long way in staying secure in the event a storm is approaching:

  • Prepare an evacuation plan and be ready to leave accommodations if necessary.
  • Ask property management upon arrival about possible safe places.
  • Monitor local media and prepare to leave in the event of an evacuation order.
  • When a hurricane is approaching, store food and water for a few days.
  • Bear in mind that some roads, airports and hotels may close if a hurricane approaches.

When finding oneself in the middle of a hurricane:

  • First and foremost, remain calm.
  • If communications systems are working, continue monitoring local media for up-to-the-minute information.
  • If asked to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • If not, remain in place keeping away from windows and doors. Go to an interior room on the lowest level of the building (winds are stronger at higher altitudes) and do not move.
  • The "eye" (center) of a hurricane results in no winds and near silence. If the wind stops, wait for official confirmation that the storm is over as the wind may resume blowing in the opposite direction as the second half approaches.

Once the storm has passed:

  • If indoors, stay inside until officially informed that the hurricane has ended.
  • If evacuated, wait for official orders before returning to accommodations.
  • Wait for official clearance before drinking tap water. One may need to use boiled water, as hurricanes can destroy water supplies and sanitation infrastructures.
  • Check to ensure there are no gas leaks. If the smell of gas is detected, open windows and leave the premises. If possible, turn off the gas and call special services.
  • Check electrical installations. When experiencing sparks, stripped wires or a burnt smell, turn off electricity and call special services.
  • Check for any damage to water or sewage pipes. If damage is suspected, do not use the bathrooms or tap water and call a plumber.

Travelers must remember to plan early for protection from an unforeseen hurricane disruption. Once the World Meteorological Association names a storm you can no longer obtain coverage for that storm.

Storms are full of surprises, and while experts predict above-average activity this season, there are potential mishaps that can happen even if a storm doesn't make an appearance on a trip. Anticipating the unexpected - such as medical emergencies, flight delays, identity theft or a natural disaster at home before leaving - and covering it with travel insurance will protect travelers from surprises. Travelers can find out more about CSA and travel insurance by contacting their travel agent, vacation rental management company or visiting www.csatravelprotection.com.


CONTACT
Linda Barger
(858) 449-1355
PR@csatravelprotection.com

About CSA Travel Protection®

Headquartered in San Diego, California, CSA Travel Protection provides an extensive array of comprehensive and competitively priced guest cancellation, travel insurance and travel assistance services designed to meet every vacation traveler's needs. CSA continuously reinforces its innovative leadership position with the introduction of innovative product enhancements that set the industry standard. Founded in 1991, CSA's retail and custom products and services are offered nationwide by more than 200 resort and property managers, and 7,000 travel-related outlets. For more information, visit www.csatravelprotection.com or call toll-free, (800) 348-9505.

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