Things to Consider When Traveling in a Wheel Chair

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Traveling in a Wheel Chair

People who live in a wheel chair know very well the difficulties of traveling in a world that isn’t always handicapped friendly.  For the able-bodied travelers, there are many things we can do make it easier for our fellow passengers. In order to be a global citizen and aware of other travelers, check out this list of ways you can help–or at least be aware.


Go to the head of the line

People with disabilities are allowed, through the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), to board an airline first, exit first and have certain accommodations.

Traveling can be frustrating for everyone, especially with delayed flights, layovers, and other problems. However, it doesn’t help anyone, most of all you, if you get upset because someone who needs accommodations is allowed to go the front of the line. Hold the door, step aside, and smile.

Acknowledge People Traveling in a Wheelchair

One of the biggest frustrations reported by people with disabilities, is when people ask other people questions about them as if they aren’t there. This happens when they are traveling solo or with other people. At all times, address the person directly.

In addition, don’t project additional disabilities on them. For example, someone in a wheelchair is not necessary hard of hearing. Be sure you talk to them in a normal voice.  Also, don’t assume they have any less of an intellect or understanding of the world than you do.  They are equal, so be sure you are treating them that way.

It is very easy to be condescending by accident when you think you are being helpful.

Related: What it’s really like to fly as a wheelchair user

Don’t forget…

There are always risks with traveling. Set your mind at ease with an Emergency Medical Plan. In case of illness or injury, we bring you home. For less than the cost of one plane ticket, you and your family can be covered for a year. Corporate plans are also available.

Don’t have a plan?



Destinations for Spring Break 2019 – We’ll Tell You Where to Go!

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Posted in Travel Tips

Where are you going for Spring Break 2019? 

Let’s start by examining some popular destinations, some of which you might not have considered. We’ll look at:

  • Saint Kitts, the Caribbean
  • The Catskills, New York
  • Hilton Head, South Carolina
  • South Padre Island, Texas
  • London, United Kingdom

Saint Kitts

Saint Kitts, the larger of two Caribbean islands comprising the nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, offers mountains, rain forests and beaches. Prefer your coffee and your sand black? No problem; you’ll find plenty of black sand beaches in Saint Kitt and gray and white sand as well. Other things to look for in Saint Kitt include Georgian style buildings and the Circus, a plaza inspired by London’s Piccadilly Circus.

Spring Break 2019

The Catskills

You should probably forget what we said about that taste of summer if you go to the Catskill Mountains for Spring Break 2019, but who needs summer when you have mountains, gorgeous views, hiking, skiing and crackling fires? The Catskills lie northwest of New York City and the area is home to the Catskill Forest Preserve. Popular places to stay include the Red Rose Motel + Tavern, established in 1938 and the DeBruce which overlooks the DeBruce river and the Willowwemoc Valley in New York’s Catskill Park.

Spring Break 2019

Hilton Head

Hilton Head, in the Lowcountry region of South Carolina, sits smack on the Atlantic Ocean. If you golf or like walks along the beach, Hilton Head is a great choice. It can still be a little chilly during Spring Break, but often, donning a sweater is the only bundling up you’ll need to do. Hilton Head is a relaxed coastal town just 20 miles north of the hauntingly beautiful Savannah, Georgia.

Spring Break 2019

South Padre Island

A resort town located on the barrier island that shares its name, South Padre Island is just off the southern coast of Texas. Places of interest include Gravity Park with go-karts and other fun family activities, Sea Turtle, Inc, a temporary home for rescued sea turtles, South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center with its five-story watchtower and the South Padre Island Dolphin Research & Sealife Nature Center. Looking for something faster and looser? South Padre Island has been known to offer a booze cruise or two and some ultra-peppy beachside parties.

Spring Break 2019

London, United Kingdom

Did you know that London’s history stretches all the way back to Roman times? While it’s mostly modern now, London keeps a dainty pinky dipped in the rich traditions stemming from such iconic attractions as Big Ben, the Thames River and Westminster Abbey. You can even enjoy panoramic views from the London Eye observation wheel. Like Hilton Head and the Catskills, you probably won’t slip into your swimsuit in springtime London, unless it’s for a dip in your hotel’s indoor pool, but a trip to London can be a great idea during Spring Break.

Spring Break 2019

Don’t forget…

There are always risks with traveling. Set your mind at ease with an Emergency Medical Plan. In case of illness or injury, we bring you home. For less than the cost of one plane ticket, you and your family can be covered for a year. Corporate plans are also available.

Don’t have a plan?


Valentine’s Day Around the World!

Posted in Travel Tips

Valentine’s Day is on the way, and how to better anticipate its arrival than by reading up on Valentine’s Day traditions, past and present, from all around the world! We’ll look at:

  • England
  • Wales
  • South Africa
  • Philippines
  • France

Valentine’s Day in England

In the East Anglia county of Norfolk, Jack Valentine leaves candies and little gifts on porches. He drops the treasures, knocks and disappears before even the speediest of children – and adults – can get to the door. Traditionally, these visits occur on Valentine’s Eve. As far as we know, Jack has never been caught in the act unless it’s for a PR photo op, and on those rare occasions when he is spotted, he is sporting a top hat and tails.  

valentines day france


Valentine’s Day in Wales

Who cares about Jack Valentine in Wales when you’ve got Saint Dwynwen, patron saint of lovers. And the Welsh get a head start by celebrating their special day of love on January 25th. Historically, one way that Welsh men showed women they cared was by making a love spoon. Love spoons were made of wood, intricately carved and included symbols such as horseshoes for luck, bells for marriage and locks for security. The spoons were also a way for men to show a woman’s father that he could support a wife and was skilled at woodworking.

valentines day whales

Valentine’s Day in South Africa

On February 14th, South African women have been known to pin the names of their beloved on their sleeves. This tradition has presented women a unique opportunity to let men know they like them – if that man doesn’t know already. The custom is said to originate with the holiday, Lupercalia which dates back to ancient Rome.

valentines day south africa

Valentine’s Day in the Philippines

Filipinos go all out on Valentine’s Day with thousands opting to make February 14th their wedding day.  The weddings often take place en masse in parking lots and malls. It’s also considered a great day for the happily married to renew their vows.

valentines day Philippines

Valentine’s Day in France

Many will tell you that there’s no better place on Valentine’s Day than France, especially Paris. It is thought that the first Valentine cards originated in the 1400s when Charles, Duke of Orleans, sent love letters to his wife while he was a prisoner of the English.

Today, Valentine’s Day in France is all about chocolates, champagne and pastries. The French have yet to tire of sipping wine on the Seine or smooching beneath the Eiffel Tower, and of course, the French still send their loved ones plenty of Valentines.

Related: Read our recent post from on Valentine’s Day in Japan 

valentine's day england

Don’t forget…

There are always risks with traveling. Set your mind at ease with an Emergency Medical Plan. In case of illness or injury, we bring you home. For less than the cost of one plane ticket, you and your family can be covered for a year. Corporate plans are also available.

Don’t have a plan?



Japanese Valentine’s Day Traditions

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valentine's day

The United States is not the only country to celebrate Valentine’s day!

As February 14 comes around the corner, many thoughts turn to love, romance, and special celebrations. In Japan, the feelings are similar. Valentine’s day is celebrated all over the world, and it’s no different in the Land of the Rising Sun.

For the Japanese, Valentine’s day is for women to show appreciation for all the men in their life, not just lovers. For male friends, co-workers, and bosses, women give chocolates called “giri-choco”. This means “obligation chocolate” and has no romantic feeling behind them.

These simple gifts are usually store-bought chocolates or other small gifts. As you could probably guess, this can sometimes cause stress and pressure, which is probably what lead to the term “cho-giri-choco,” meaning “very obligatory chocolate.”

That’s for the guy who really gets on your nerves!

A More Popular Valentine’s Day Tradition

A more recent type of this chocolate, called “tomo-choco,” is becoming quite popular with schoolgirls. This is a simple gift for female friends, and is a nice way to include everyone.

The other type of chocolate, “honmei-choco,” is for a boyfriend, love-interest, or husband. These chocolates and baked goods are usually handmade to show how much the woman really cares.

Around this time of year, Japanese stores are packed with baking supplies, decorations, wrapping papers, and all sorts of other goodies to make your gifts extra special. Often, the amount of effort and love put into “honmei-choco” is a symbol for how much a woman cares for and loves the recipient.

Women get a special day too!

That may seem a bit unfair, but the women have a special day, too! One month later, on March 14, men give chocolates and gifts to the women in their lives. The chocolate is often white, giving this holiday the name “White Day.” The men give women chocolates, flowers, jewelry, and other small gifts.Valentine's Day traditions

Just like the Valentine’s Day Gifts, the White Day gifts have more meaning if more effort and love are put into them. When giving a “giri-choco” gift on White Day,” it is usually about the same value as the one they received a month prior.

However, White Day “honmei-choco” is a bit more elaborate. Some men practice the idea of “sanbai gaeshi,” which means “three times return.” For this, the men give their girlfriend, love interest, or wife a gift with a value triple the one they gave him.

Cultures all over the world celebrate this holiday a little differently. What do you do for this special day?

How to Keep Norovirus from Wrecking Your Vacation

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Posted in Miscellaneous, Travel Safety

Norovirus, also known as “that stomach bug that goes around every winter,” is not something you want to deal with at all, especially on vacation.  

Symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, cramps and headaches are bad enough when you’re in your own bed, but can seem worse in a strange place such as a hotel or a cruise ship or a vacation rental. When you’ve spent who knows how long scrimping and saving for this time away, only to have it ruined by flu symptoms, you’re in a pretty sad state in more ways than one.

Keep in mind that norovirus spreads – fast. In January, Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas cruise ship headed home early with 475 passengers and crew ill with norovirus, a textbook case of what has been dubbed “cruise ship illness.”

In fairness, people catch norovirus anywhere spaces are confined – schools, movie theaters, hospitals, etc. – and your chance of contracting norovirus on a cruise is said to be a mere “one in 5,500” compared with “one in 15” on land. But because it’s such a gigantic and dramatic occurrence when played out against the splashy, sexy backdrop of a cruise ship, cases of norovirus on cruises get a lot of attention. Still, why take chances whether you’re on a cruise, flying, or on a land-based vacation?

How to protect yourself and prevent the spread of norovirus

  • Don’t shake hands – even with the captain of a cruise ship.
  • Put a napkin between you and the handles and utensils at self-serves and buffets.
  • Flush using toilet tissue as a barrier between you and flush handles.
  • Exit public bathrooms using a paper towel, or worst case, your sleeve, to grip the door handle.
  • Turn faucets in public bathrooms on and off with your elbow.
  • Push elevator buttons with your knuckle.
  • Avoid banisters, and keep a tissue handy to protect you should you need to use a railing.
  • Wash your hands frequently using lots of soap and warm water, especially when returning to your cabin or hotel room.
  • Don’t rely on hand sanitizers to protect you from norovirus, because experts say they won’t.

If you do get sick:

  • Don’t be a “trouper” and try to get out and about; doing that is unfair to others and in the case of elderly people, very young children and anyone with compromised immune systems, it could be deadly.
  • Arrange for meals to be brought to your room – or cabin if you’re on a cruise.
  • Avoid dehydration by drinking as much water as possible.

Unfortunately, no amount of caution can guarantee you won’t get sick, but the silver lining in this dark and nauseating cloud is that most people recover within three days.

Related: What to do if norovirus strikes your cruise ship

Don’t forget…

There are always risks with traveling. Set your mind at ease with an Emergency Medical Plan. In case of illness or injury, we bring you home. For less than the cost of one plane ticket, you and your family can be covered for a year. Corporate plans are also available.

Don’t have a plan?



Super Bowl 2019: Are you ready for Atlanta?

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super bowl 2019

Are you one of the lucky people attending Super Bowl 2019?

If you have never been to Atlanta, GA before, there is plenty to check out while you are there. It would be a shame if all you did was cheer on the New England Patriots or the Los Angeles Rams and then go home.

Make it an extended stay and take advantage of the many things The Big Peach has to offer.

Atlanta Restaurants to Visit During Super Bowl Weekend

The following restaurants are close to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, so you won’t have too far to go.

Smoke Ring BBQ

Brought to you by the guys behind 101 Concepts (Food 101, 101 Steak and Meehan’s Public House), Smoke Ring opened its doors in the Castleberry Hill neighborhood of Downtown Atlanta in November of 2013. Establishing an authentic creation of Georgia-style barbecue, Smoke Ring offers a unique twist on typical barbecue dishes along with a seasonally driven menu. Signature starters include our BBQ Deviled Eggs and Smoked and Fried Gator Tail. The BBQ joint offers a seasonally driven menu and a drink menu featuring Southern elixirs, Georgia wines, a wide variety local and domestic beers, and moonshine.

No Mas Cantina

No Mas! is downtown Atlanta’s answer to amazing Dining + Shopping in the Castleberry Hill Historic + Art district.  The owners of No Mas! have taken their work so seriously that you may not even see them working…in Atlanta!  This duo, permanent residents of Mexico, have been working with artisan and culinary communities throughout Mexico for nearly 25 years, curating the “Best of Mexico” to take back to Atlanta.  They are in Mexico nearly half the year to ensure the most authentic experience possible. No Mas! has become a cultural oasis, with several businesses revolving around Mexico, all under one roof.

Molly B’s Cookhouse

A southern inspired chophouse with a chef-driven menu, Molly B’s is a destination restaurant and private club located in Mercedez-Benz stadium, boasting an outstanding view of the field.


Paschal’s Restaurant, an historic and soulful dining experience, features southern specialties such as fried chicken, braised short ribs, smothered pork chops and our famous peach cobbler.

Park Bar

Great food, fine bourbon and many craft beers. Park Bar is known for being THE after event spot and the official US Soccer bar.

Atlanta Attractions to Visit During Super Bowl Weekend

 Georgia Aquarium

Tens of thousands of animals swimming in over 10 million gallons of water call Georgia Aquarium home. See them for yourself through some of the largest viewing windows in the world.

Zoo Atlanta

Whether you’re looking for behind-the-scenes Wild Encounters, a leisurely stroll through The Ford African Rain Forest or a Scaly Slimy Spectacular experience, Zoo Atlanta offers something for everyone.

LegoLand Discovery Center

The ultimate indoor Lego playground. Family fun with 2 rides, 10 LEGO build & play zones, a 4D cinema & much more!

Inside CNN Studio Tour

Get exclusive, behind-the-scenes access to the world headquarters of CNN with this tour experience. You will take a 50-minute walking tour with your very own guide through the halls of CNN Center and get an inside look at how a live broadcast is produced and sent to viewers all over the world. You will also get a more in-depth look at how the world’s largest news organization operates. From the historic first newscast to the now living legacy, learn how CNN became the worldwide leader in news.
There you have it! Some of the best places to eat and things to do. What would you add to the list? 
Don’t forget…

There are always risks with traveling, even if you are traveling in-state or in country. Once you are more than 150 miles away from home, your medical insurance coverage does not work the same.  Set your mind at ease with an Emergency Medical Plan. In case of illness or injury, we bring you home. For less than the cost of one plane ticket, you and your family can be covered for a year. Corporate plans are also available.

Don’t have a plan?


Important Things to Know about Airplane Seats

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airplane seats

How much do you know about airplane seats and where you choose to sit?

Aisle seat, window seat, over the wing or near the tail; those are just some of the options people consider when it comes to where to sit on a plane. If you’re anything taller than Lilliputian-size, you might also want to know what your best bets are for leg room and comfort.   

According to an article on, the U.S. government might soon require minimum seat dimensions. In addition, an audit by the Transportation Inspection General is underway to determine whether it is still feasible for passengers deplaning in an emergency to do so within the 90-second window established back when airline cabins tended to run bigger.

When it comes to airplane seats, is fewer better?

In an era where the numbers of seats on planes has grown and personal space for passengers has shrunk, there is a possibility that an audit would show that passengers cannot be expected to deplane quickly enough in an emergency. Consider this: the number of seats on domestic planes in the U.S. has increased on average by almost eight percent in the last 15 years. According to, the average Airbus A321 has gained 19 seats in that same period, with an increase from 169 to 188 seats. The article goes on to say that, “the average Airbus A321 has gained 19 seats in that period, rising from 169 to 188 seats. The average Boeing 737-8 has squeezed in another 13 seats during that time, going from 152 to 165 seats.”

Personal space for passengers impacts safety, not just comfort.

The airline industry is one in which customers have increasingly complained about service and comfort for a number of years. However, the issue of seats and how jammed they are into any given plane is not just a matter of comfort and quality; it’s a matter of safety.

In addition to emergency evacuations, there are other concerns that come with cramped passenger spaces such as blood clots and deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Increasing legroom and freeing up more space to move around could help prevent those kinds of medical problems, and less jamming and cramming of passengers might reduce incidents of air rage.  

What if safety is your main concern?

So, what else should you keep in mind when choosing a seat on a plane if safety is at the top of your list?

It turns out that the old joke about being safest at the back of the plane because planes don’t back into mountains, might have some basis in fact. According to, research suggests that the safest place on a plane is probably a middle seat toward the rear.

In 2012, researchers filled an un-crewed Boeing 727 with test dummies and cameras and flew it into the sands of a desert in Mexico, mimicking an emergency landing. The cockpit snapped off, sending some seats near the front flying. Injuries caused by whiplash, impact and destruction of the plane would most likely seriously injure and kill the passengers near the front.  These seats are in first class or other higher priced areas of the plane. While it was no joyride for the dummies in the rear, who if they were human, would probably suffer head injuries, overall, they fared much better.

The science of crash analysis, however, isn’t an exact one. Results vary depending on a number of factors, including what part of the plane connects with the ground first and who is most likely to access the emergency exits. For an interesting take on emergency exits and who can sit near them, read here.

If all this sounds scary, remember that flying is still far safer overall than riding in a car. Your lifetime odds of dying in a car crash are said to be 1 in 112, whereas in a plane, your odds are 1 in 8,000.

Other things might be important too!

While few of us want to take dumb risks when flying, most of us assume we’ll live to fly another day. Therefore, look at factors other than safety when choosing a seat. Turbulence, faster service, less noise and speedier (non-emergency) exits, can all be affected by where your seat is located. For a look at the pros and cons of seat locations based not only on safety, but other factors as well, check this out.

And some of us are larger than the average passenger and need to factor in for that, too. If that sounds like you or someone you know, here is an article that might help.

Don’t forget…

There are always risks with traveling. Set your mind at ease with an Emergency Medical Plan. In case of illness or injury, we bring you home. For less than the cost of one plane ticket, you and your family can be covered for a year. Corporate plans are also available.

Don’t have a plan?


Will the Government Shutdown Affect Your Vacation Plans?

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People all over the world are watching and waiting to see how the US Government Shutdown will affect them. However, US citizens should consider their vacation plans if you traveling anytime soon.

According to a recent article on, here are the top ways your vacation could be interrupted:

National ParksPerson standing at overlook view of lake and mountains in the Rockies

While many parks are currently still open, that could change as this drags out. You may still find the gates open, but workers will be scarce. There have been complaints that parks are understaffed as it is, and the government shutdown will add to that problem.

Things like the trash, cleaning the restrooms, and emergency services (think getting lost or hurt while in a park), are seriously limited. Many are worried about maintaining the integrity of the parks by allowing people to attend them without the proper staff to ensure people don’t damage or destroy the property.

Visitors should go to and select “Find a Park” for additional information on access to specific parks and sites.

Smithsonian Museums and National Zoogovernment shutdown

The 19 Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo in Washington, DC, closed their doors Wednesday to the public as the government shutdown continues. However, zoo staff will continue feeding and caring for the animals at the zoo. The live cameras will not be operational.

Air Travel, TSA Screening and Passport Processing

So far, airline travel is continuing as usual. However, travelers may experience more flight delays as airports are short staffed. TSA workers are continuing to work as usual with the understanding that they will be paid when funds are made available.

For Visas and passports: “In an advisory released at the start of the shutdown, the Bureau of Consular Affairs said that “scheduled passport and visa services in the United States and at our U.S. Embassies and Consulates overseas will continue during the lapse in appropriations as the situation permits.”
A US State Department official said facilities “will remain open as long as there are sufficient fees to support operations.”
Domestic passport agencies located in government buildings affected by a lapse in appropriations may be closed to the public, the official said.”

Global Entry

Don’t forget…

There are always risks with traveling. Set your mind at ease with an Emergency Medical Plan. In case of illness or injury, we bring you home. For less than the cost of one plane ticket, you and your family can be covered for a year. Corporate plans are also available.

Don’t have a plan?



Five of the Best Places to Buy Vacation Rentals

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Posted in Vacation
vacation rentals

With the advent of AirBNB and other companies for vacation rentals, people have a greater opportunity to expand not only their travel choices but their investment options. Here are some interesting possibilities to consider. But remember, you should always get the advice of experts before diving in to any kind of property investment.

We’re going to look at:

  • Panama City, Florida, USA
  • Paris, France
  • London, England
  • Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • Traverse City, Michigan, USA

Vacation Rentals: Panama City, Florida

According to, this location is the number one top performer based on potential return on investment. With its sunny beaches and year-round warm weather, Panama City is a terrific location to consider. Serviced by Delta, American Airlines and United, it’s possible to book your research trips online. However, a better option would be working with a travel agent who makes money from sources other than you and knows more about accommodations and restaurants you should avoid.

vacation rentals

Vacation Rentals: Paris, France 

Paris has a lot going for it in terms of investment potential, or so says, whose blogger Lief Simon has owned there for roughly 15 years. Like most cities, prices fluctuate, but Simon feels Paris real estate is “one of the surest imaginable stores of wealth long-term.” Another feature of buying French, according to Simon, is that France is a country where foreigners qualify for in-country financing.

vacation rentals

Vacation Rentals: London, England

This has always been a popular travel destination for people all over the globe. Close by for many Europeans and even more appealing to Americans since the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, London has a lot to offer. Think in terms of low crime rates and access to public transportation. Also avoid four-bedroom, one bath properties and those without ample storage.

Vacation Rentals: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Here’s one expert’s logic for investing in Santo Domingo: The Dominican Republic is experiencing an economic boom which means more business travelers having to pass through its capital, Santo Domingo, before going elsewhere in the country. So why shouldn’t you own a place where those weary travelers can lay their heads? reported in July 2018 that tourism was looking good, “with more than 6.5 million tourists in 2017, up from 5.9 million in 2016.”  

Related: 10 Best Places To Buy Real Estate Overseas In 2018

vacation rentals

Vacation Rentals: Traverse City, Michigan, USA

While some might be surprised to see a small town in Northern Michigan mentioned here, consider this: Traverse City was number one on’s list of 10 Most Profitable Markets for Vacation Homes. With an annualized rate of return of 14 percent and a median home list price of $315K, Traverse City is a big draw because vacationers from all over the Midwest are crazy about it. With the recent boost in the Midwest economy, cottages dating back to the forties are being bought up even as new housing is being built.

Related: 2018: The 10 Best Places to Buy a Vacation Rental

vacation rentals

Some things to consider…

Keep in mind, however, that homes like these are not all warm beds and cold cash. Often, higher down payments and pricier insurance is part of the game, and that can slow profit potential – especially in places prone to tsunamis, earthquakes and wildfires. And what about landslides, beach erosion and flooding?

If you decide to visit some of these places, remember to line up all your travel documentation ahead of time, such as passports and visas. Americans visiting London are encouraged to register any overseas travel with the US Department of State. Research housing options, where to eat and the weather, especially in places with rainy seasons and other dramatic weather potential.

It’s a lot to think about, but also a lot of fun to think about. And buying vacation rentals and second homes can be well worth some careful investigation – especially if you’d like a place to stay where you’ve got connections to the owner!

Don’t forget…

There are always risks with traveling. Set your mind at ease with an Emergency Medical Plan. In case of illness or injury, we bring you home. For less than the cost of one plane ticket, you and your family can be covered for a year. Corporate plans are also available.

Don’t have a plan?


Five Classic Desserts to Watch for During Your Holiday Travels

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Posted in Travel Food

When someone says they hope you get your just desserts, it’s supposed to be a threat, but it sounds like a great opportunity to us. When we decided to write this article, we began to better appreciate how varied and amazing desserts can be. And since we’re all about travel, we thought we’d compile a list of five scrumptious classic desserts to watch for as you go about your holiday travel adventures.

We’re going to look at:

  • Tarts
  • Macarons
  • Strawberry short cake
  • Ice cream
  • Waffles

Related: Travel Hacks that Will Save You MONEY

Desserts: Tarts

There are conflicting opinions as to the origins of tarts, but they have similarities to pies and quiches, particularly quiches, since both are open-face dishes. Tart origins vary from those of pies in that pies were devised to minimize waste and were often made with scraps left around the kitchen. Tarts were enjoyed by nobility, so we’re basically talking peasant fare versus rich people cuisine. Tarts might be topped with fruit or custard and can be sweet, savory or a combination of the two.


Desserts: Macarons

Our research tells us that macarons originated in Italy.  They are adored by the French, particularly Parisians. Sometimes called gerbers or madeleines, the traditional versions are small, round cookies made from almond flour, sugar and egg whites. Although you’ll find variations, the classic macaron is a muted color – often pink, yellow or green. Believe it or not, macarons are related to macaroni; macaroni and macaron translated mean “fine dough.”


Desserts: Strawberry shortcake

This sweet yet satisfying dessert is a classic mainly in America and according to Wikipedia, the earliest recipe for this amazing dish was found in an English cookbook from 1588. It consists of a biscuit (the shortcake) covered with strawberries. A popular variation uses sponge cake in place of the biscuit. One horrifyingly fattening but no doubt tasty version we’ve heard about buttered the biscuits before applying the toppings. The best made strawberry shortcakes are made by allowing sugared strawberry slices to sit for about an hour before adding them to the dessert to make the most of the juices. A little whipped cream or ice cream thrown into the mix never hurt anybody either. Strawberry shortcake using sponge cakes are popular in Japan around Christmastime.


Desserts: Ice cream

Most of us know what ice cream is, so we’ll cut to the chase. According to the International Dairy Foods Association, ice cream dates back to the second century B.C. They go on to say that Alexander the Great ate ice and snow flavored with honey and nectar – at least when weather conditions permitted. These days, ice cream is a lot easier to find year-round and without scraping up any outdoor elements. In India, a popular dessert is kulfi (or qulfi) which has similarities to ice cream with the main difference being consistency. More traditional kulfi flavors include mango, rose and cardamom but have expanded to include flavors such as apple, peanut, avocado and orange.


Desserts: Waffles

Not just for breakfast, waffles can be a terrific dessert. People have been known to top their waffles with all kinds of things including whipped cream, chocolate and fruit. Waffles are made from leavened batter or dough and are consumed by foodies all over the globe. Belgium, where they are probably most popular, has a number of regional varieties.


So, there you have it. No matter where your travels take you, there are always great desserts available. You just have to narrow down all the possibilities.

Don’t forget…

There are always risks with traveling. Set your mind at ease with an Emergency Medical Plan. In case of illness or injury, we bring you home. For less than the cost of one plane ticket, you and your family can be covered for a year. Corporate plans are also available.

Don’t have a plan?


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Past Posts


Broken in Brazil

"We were in a third-world country. You do not want to have that kind of surgery in those conditions, especially when you don´t speak the language. You need to be close to home, close to your doctors, not only for surgery, but for the recovery. I am forever grateful that there is a service like this out there. If I didn´t have it, I would still be in Brazil recovering." Read More

Barbara Leutwiler Boulder, CO

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