As Sue Scanlon prepares to visit northern Greece this summer, she is keeping a close eye on the crippling financial crisis that has enveloped the historic Mediterranean nation.
“We have completely rethought our spending options, ” said Scanlon, who lives in Worcester, Massachusetts, and works for student travel company Teach by Travel. “We will take it day-to-day and adjust our plans accordingly.”
For honeymooners, vacationers and business travelers alike, Greece’s problems have added an unexpected kink that requires some additional thought and planning.
Not many are canceling or altering their plans now, said Gabe Saglie, senior editor of travel deal site Travelzoo.com, but there are some precautions to take.
Normally when there is reason to believe a trip might be interrupted, experts would suggest travel insurance. But these policies mainly deal with routine snafus like lost luggage rather than a nation’s economic woes.
“Probably the only trip insurance that would cover you is ‘cancel for any reason, ’ which pays back a percentage, ” said Christopher Elliott, author of the book “How to be the World’s Smartest Traveler.”
These policies average around $500 and reimburse you for 50 percent of nonrefundable expenses.
AIG, for instance, offers insurance that would cover a couple’s trip next month from New York to Greece. The price, which ranges from $362 to $756, includes coverage for a trip operator going defunct.
British insurer John Lewis Travel Insurance said it would double its coverage on traveler’s cash in Greece this month at its Plus and Premier level of services.
Elliott says he does not feel people need to cancel a trip to Greece or even avoid taking one. “The bottom line on Greece is people are still going, ” he said.
Manage Your Cash
To avoid an immediate cash flow crunch, Frommers.com Editor Jason Cochran suggests avoiding banks in Greece, which have rationed money and drastically reduced their hours. That means carrying enough euros with you and relying on credit cards.