By Miranda Massie on April 2, 2019
Travelling is top of mind for me right now. On spring break, I spent two weeks chaperoning teenagers across Italy and Greece. And though the dust hasn’t even had time to settle on my suitcase, I’m already dreaming of my next adventure and my next destination. Unfortunately, a major barrier to my wanderlust is always the associated costs. Travelling is expensive and requires discipline both prior to and during a trip.
This month, I’m sharing some money-savvy hacks to support your frugal and fruitful travel.
Keep your eye on the deals
Take breakfast to go
Book hotel stays that include breakfast. Start your day with a big meal and pack extra snacks so you can save money on food throughout the day.
Avoid on-the-road prices
Pack your own food on travel days so you can avoid paying for pricey food on flights and trains or in airports. With healthy options on hand, you’ll be able to avoid the drive-through.
Find the free days
Many museums and galleries have free days or visiting times throughout the week. Some also offer discounts for students, children and families. Check their websites in advance.
Double check your coverage
Be sure to check your travel insurance coverage, or the coverage of a spouse or dependent. If you’re already covered through work or a credit card, you can avoid paying additional insurance costs. If you are enrolled in UBC’s extended health befits, be familiar with your coverage while travelling outside BC or Canada. Visit the UBC travel benefits site.
Take a staycation!
A vacation does not always need to involve travel. Take advantage of the amazing sights, eats and activities available locally. This will also allow you to save your dollars for a future trip. Read more about staycation ideas for Metro Vancouver on Daily Hive and Miss604.
Wherever your travels take you, I encourage you to prioritize taking time off. Breaks are important for building resilience and promoting mental and physical health. Allow yourself time to breathe, relax and be present without the threat of an incoming credit card bill looming in your head. Have any savvy travel hacks of your own? Share in the comments below!
All my best,
Photo credit: Miranda Massie
By Melissa Lafrance on June 8, 2016
Guest contribution from UBC Benefits Specialist Stephanie Mah
Summer vacation is right around the corner. Before you leave, there are several things you should know about your health and wellbeing travel benefits coverage through UBC, including:
- What documentation to take with you; and
- What to do in the event of a medical emergency.
It is important to plan ahead and understand the associated risks when travelling to other parts of the world, so that you can prepare for events that may occur.
You are invited to learn more at the Understanding Your Travel Benefits Info Session
June 21, 2016 @ 12-1pm – For more info and to register, click here.
Summer is here, and you may be preparing for vacations both at home and abroad. This information session will be useful for anyone wanting to know more about travel benefits and how to be prepared in a medical emergency. Join UBC Benefits Specialist, Stephanie Mah, in this one-hour session on understanding your travel benefits and ensure that your well-earned vacation is as stress free as possible.
For Coverage while travelling outside BC or Canada: Reimbursement depends on the expense.
Physician and hospital expenses covered by the Medical Services Plan of BC:
Medically necessary expenses that are typically covered by the Medical Services Plan of BC (MSP), are covered only in the event of an emergency only, if incurred outside of BC or Canada, such as:
- out-patient and physician’s services
- services and supplies while in hospital
- a hospital room (shared)
These services are not covered in non-emergency situations.
MSP is the first payor of these expenses and they will pay up to the BC rate. If you are covered under UBC’s Extended Health plan, Sun Life will pay the difference, up to 100% and up to your overall lifetime maximum of $1-million per person.
Medical expenses covered by UBC’s Extended Health Plan:
Also covered are expenses incurred outside BC or Canada that are typically covered by UBC’s Extended Health plan with Sun Life (e.g., ambulance, prescription drugs, medical equipment and supplies, paramedical services (only covered in North America) and vision care benefits), subject to the conditions outlined in your plan. These are covered in a medical emergency as well as non-emergency situations.
Payment for these expenses will be limited to the reasonable & customary charge within BC, and in Canadian funds.
How much is covered?
- Eligible expenses are covered at 100% less the deductible, up to your overall extended health lifetime maximum. Your overall extended health lifetime maximum at any point in time is $1-million, less any amount Sun Life has reimbursed since you were enrolled in the plan.
- To determine the extended health plan balance for you and/or each of your covered dependents, contact Sun Life at 1-800-361-6212 or 1-800-661-7334.
- You are covered for a period of 365 days of absence per trip. If you are hospitalized during this period as a result of a medical emergency, in-patient services are covered for up to 90 days.
Are there exclusions/limitations under the Plan?
Yes. For more information, please visit: http://www.hr.ubc.ca/benefits/travel/exclusions/.
What documentation should you take with you?
- Sun Life Coverage Card (downloadable from the Sun Life website)
- BC Care Card/BC Services Card
- Letter from UBC Human Resources confirming medical coverage while travelling (if required for tour company)
- Medi-Passport information
- Family doctor’s contact information
What should you do in a medical emergency?
Seek medical attention as necessary and contact Europ Assistance, Sun Life’s travel benefits provider as soon as possible. Europ Assistance will set up a file for you and monitor your progress. In some instances, Europ Assistance may remit payment directly to the hospital.
- In the USA and Canada, call: 1-800-511-4610
- In Mexico, call: 001-800-368-7878
- Elsewhere, call: * 202-296-7493 (call collect if available)
- E-mail: email@example.com
Should I purchase additional insurance?
UBC is able to provide information about your coverage while travelling outside of BC; however, the decision to purchase additional medical or other insurance is yours to make. Prior to travel, we recommend that you visit the UBC Travel Benefits page (www.hr.ubc.ca/benefits/travel) to understand your coverage as well as the exclusions and limitations to the plan. If you are satisfied with the level of UBC coverage, you may not need to purchase additional insurance.
Want to know more?