Advice for spring break abroad

<p>Ds1 has been saving for two years to go to Italy next year on a class trip. He's so excited.</p>

<p>He brought home the paperwork. I admit I don't have a legal mind, and all the mumbojumbo about what fees will and won't be returned and the upcharge for the Total Surety Plan have my head spinning. Sounds like if my son loses his head during gladiator training they may allow him to go home but he will be charged additional fees because he didn't actually die in combat.</p>

<p>Anyone have any words of wisdom on this? His teacher has been doing this for years, and I really love and trust him. But I feel squeamish. Maybe it's just that I hate the thought of my son losing almost $3K on some technicality. What should I be looking for?</p>

<p>The company is NETC. Experience anyone?</p>

<p>When D traveled with NETC, we also opted for the Total Surety Plan. It seemed to cover all potential bad scenarios, before and during the trip. Fortunately, we didn't need to test its application.</p>

<p>I'm afraid it's like worthless warrantys or insurance on rental cars. Do I really need it, ya know?</p>

<p>Did she enjoy her trip? Any surprises? I'm concerned that the fees on the website for supplemental trips differ from what the teacher handed out, and from each other (I find a $10 difference between two places on the website). I suppose he's locked in prices ...</p>

<p>Even I, had S buy emergency travel insurance for this internship with Microsoft in India. And so far, MS has paid for Everything except weekend and evening meals; But I'm not taking chances for such a small premium.</p>

<p>" Spring break abroad "</p>

<p>Wow. And here I am struggling to pay my to kids way through state schools! And I make them pay for their own cars and auto insurance. Which means they have to work over summer AND winter break.</p>

<p>Bad Daddy I.</p>

<p>We wanted to cover the unanticipated illness, death in family pre-trip, as well as any need to interrupt travel. (I had a college friend who had an emergency appendectomy on the first day of a high school spring break trip.) Normally, the untoward insurance needs are covered by the credit card purchase of the ticket. I believe we needed to submit a check for this trip, so we opted for their insurance.</p>

<p>As I said, everything proceeded without a glitch. Our lead teacher had a parent meeting and offered maybe 1 optional outing. Mostly everything was included in the package she set up.
The surprises I remember was one student could not get cash from her debit card at the ATM. Make sure the debit card has a Visa logo and tell your bank about the trip, +/or send a credit card.
Double the estimated spending money. D's trip was during a European heat wave and the tourist spots were selling bottled water for about 2 Euros ($3.50-4.00) each.</p>

<p>D traveled twice with NETC, once to France and once to Italy. Both trips were great - smoothly handled at every turn (and she and her friends truly enjoyed themselves). We talked to tons of other parents, and to our accountant and other insurance people, and ended up feeling that the TSP wasn't necessary.<br>
The fact that you love and trust the teacher says a lot. Have you asked him about how things have played out in years past, if/when any unpleasant circumstances or surprises arose? (You probably already have.) Has there been a Q&A meeting for kids and parents? We were fortunate that our school held a couple of those and made sure that there were families whose kids had done the trips before in attendance, so there were lots of experiences to draw on.</p>

<p>
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Wow. And here I am struggling to pay my to kids way through state schools! And I make them pay for their own cars and auto insurance. Which means they have to work over summer AND winter break.

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</p>

<p>Why the attitude? The first sentence clearly says the son has saved up for two years. No need to be rude.</p>

<p>toblin, not sure whether you were being self-depracating or snarky, but you'll see my first sentence states that MY SON has been saving for two years specifically for this trip. He's worked since he was 12. :)</p>

<p>The reason I'm feeling a little panicked about the trip is that ds brings home some paper work about the trip and says if we put down an early deposit, like by the end of the month, he'll get $100 off. But on the paper work there is no discussion of price, except that the excursion to Pompeii is $139, but the website lists it at $179 and $189. The teacher talked about the trip at back to school night but in very general terms. He has since told me a story about how he arrived at this company, which is new for him, but he was unhappy with the service at previous companies and decided to go with this more "Cadillac" agency. My main concern is cost, what with the prices of oil not looking to drop.</p>

<p>I'm definitely going to suggest a parent mtg, but it's doubtful it will happen before the price-break deadline.</p>

<p>A parental meeting, or even email group so all parents and the teacher can discuss these features of the trip can do much to allay this sort of anxiety. I'd think other parents would have similar questions and concerns, and the teacher would have opinions based on past experience. If the teacher seems totally comfortable with your son going without the plan, so much the better. </p>

<p>Cost guarantees with the sinking dollar and rising oil prices seem essential, if they'll offer such a thing.</p>

<p>If I remember correctly, we had a November sign-up deadline for a June trip. Costs were given in a range with final amount dependent on number of participants.
Without estimated costs, I might splurge for the $100, and have my child hold off on the early signup. You are still a year out.</p>

<p>If it's travel insurance you're after, check Travel Guard. They have been insuring my friend's parents for years, and have never balked at covering, even when:</p>

<ol>
<li>The dad had emergency open-heart surgery 3 days before a trip</li>
<li>An expensive camera was broken during a trip</li>
<li>The mom got ill during a trip & missed on 3 pre-paid excursions</li>
<li>The dad lost a hearing aid in the ocean (what?)</li>
</ol>

<p>That family swears by this company. I am unaffiliated, but did purchase their insurance when D did her internship abroad last year - fortunately we didn't have to file a claim, but their cost is well worth it, especially when booking so far in advance.</p>

<p>Travel</a> Insurance: Travel Guard - Trip, Medical/Health & Accident Coverage</p>