In a High-Risk World, Do Travel Insurers and Agents Have a Duty to Advise?

Increasingly, media have been reporting on travel trouble spots around the globe, emphasizing that bad things can happen in even the nicest places. What, then, can vacationers or business travellers expect their agents or insurers to tell them about the destinations they’ve chosen? What if they just discovered that there have been unexplained deaths at a resort where they booked a stay (as occurred this past summer in the Dominican Republic), and when they tried to cancel, the resort refused to return their deposits? Or what if they suddenly found themselves in the middle of an anti-government demonstration in Chile and were injured and needed hospital care, but their insurer denied their claims because they had been warned against involvement in demonstrations by their government? Who do they go to? Why didn’t their travel agent, or travel insurance brokers, tell them these were potential trouble spots? After all, didn’t they…

Travelling to South America? Heed the Warnings

Though much of the world’s media is focused on riots in Hong Kong and the Middle East, business, leisure, and adventure travellers need to stay on high alert in the face of rampaging civil disturbances, government upheavals, and outbreaks of crime throughout South America. Just in recent months, riot police throughout Ecuador were struggling to hold back protestors furious about fuel price increases many just couldn’t afford, and the protests grew so violent that government officials deserted the capital city, Quito. In Chile, violence and looting repeatedly broke out in protest against severe public transportation price hikes, forcing the government to declare states of emergency in and around the capital city of Santiago. In Peru, the president was forced to dissolve Congress amid repeated charges of flagrant corruption as angry crowds took to the streets. The past four presidents have all been charged with corruption and all have denied the…

Travel Remains Robust, But Stay on Your Guard

OK. So you don’t need a calendar to tell you it’s time to head south. Well, if that’s what you’re planning—be assured that you’re going have plenty of company if 2019 travel patterns to date are any guide. Though some of Canada’s TV networks were questioning the dearth of snowbird migrations just a few months ago, the truth is that southbound leisure travel—by all age groups, including snowbirds—is healthy and growing. According to the Conference Board of Canada (CBoC), which tracks inbound and outbound migrations using data from Statistics Canada and its own predictive models, during the first eight months of 2019 Canadians made 14.2 million overnight trips to the US (that means at least one overnight stay—but doesn’t count day trips), 2 per cent more than the comparable period of 2018. And though auto trips during that period declined by an estimated 1 per cent, travel by other modes…

5 Reasons Travelling With MSH Navigator Keeps You Safe

What is MSH Navigator? You can find everything you need in one place with MSH Navigator! MSH Navigator is a mobile app that saves time and gives travellers quick access to their most needed medical and emergency resources while travelling abroad! MSH Navigator allows travellers to feel safe and travel with confidence wherever they are in the world. Top 5 Reasons To Travel With MSH Navigator 1 – One-touch quick access to our emergency assistance number in case of medical and security emergencies. 2 – Find a nearby medical facility. Some of our providers can direct bill for you so you don’t have to pay out of pocket. 3 – Submit a claim on your phone quickly. 4 – Access to wallet card with policy information 5 – Real-time geo-targeted notifications for travel warnings and alerts How To Get MSH Navigator Any MSH policy you purchase from us will give…

Guillaume Deybach Joins MSH International (Americas) As Chief Operating Officer

MSH International (Americas) has appointed Guillaume Deybach as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of its North America division and General Manager for the United States market. With extensive management experience spanning over 20 years, Deybach brings valuable leadership to the MSH executive team during a crucial period of growth. As COO, Deybach will lead the company’s operations as well as its expansion into the United States. Having served most recently as President and CEO of GeoBlue, he transformed the company’s strategic growth and increased customer satisfaction and profitability. Prior to his role with GeoBlue, he served as President and CEO of Europ Assistance North America for 14 years, transforming its assistance offerings and client portfolio, and growing revenue through organic growth and acquisitions. “Deybach will oversee the operations team as well as the distribution process and development life cycles for MSH International (Americas) products,” said Robin Ingle, CEO of MSH International…

Ecotourism – Not Just A Trend

As the world comes together in the fight for climate change, human rights, improving food industry standards, and more…we want to ask, what can travellers do to help? Ecotourism. As per the International Ecotourism Society in 1990, ecotourism is responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people. Ecotourism focuses on ecological conservation, responsible travel, and educating travellers on their destination’s local environment. By stressing renewable energy, recycling, protecting the natural land, and improving waste management, ecotourism helps sustain the environment and conserve natural resources, benefiting the local inhabitants as well as visiting travellers. With an emphasis on understanding local customs and natural history, ecotourism helps travellers learn about tradition, culture, and ecosystems while engaging in adventures that provide employment to locals. Ecotourist travel shows respect to nature by not contributing to the degradation of the environment. Ecotourism helps travellers learn about sustainability…

The World Gets More Dangerous. But You Don’t Have to Stop Travelling

Just in the month of October, we have witnessed public demonstrations in Spain, Ecuador, Chile, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Mexico, even Britain—some of which have turned ugly. And that’s not even counting the areas in which innocent people have been killed in regional wars. Whether you’re a tourist, a student, or are travelling on business—it has never been more important to have quick and reliable information about new or impending dangers, how to avoid them, and what to do in case they erupt in the city or country you’re visiting or through which you’re planning transit. Let’s face it: life-threatening disruptions can occur in even the most benign travel itinerary. Who would have thought that the UK and France, so highly favoured by Canadian and American travellers, would have been designated by the Canadian Government Travel advisory site as places in which to “Exercise a High Degree of Caution,” the same…

A Health Insurance Primer for International Students Applying to Canadian Schools

In 2018, more than 572,000 students from 168 countries were enrolled in Canadian schools ranging from secondary to postgraduate levels—16 per cent more than the previous year and 154 per cent more than in 2010. And there are more to come. The reason for such phenomenal increases: Canada’s highly regarded, quality educational system; its reputation as a tolerant and non-discriminatory society; and the lure of Canada as a permanent home after graduation. In fact, 60 per cent of international students surveyed by the Canadian Bureau of International Education (CBIE) plan to pursue permanent residency in Canada upon graduation. And there is every reason to welcome them, as in 2018 Canada’s GDP benefited by an estimated $21.6 billion from international student tuitions and fees, living costs, family visits, entertainment, and so on. (Aside from survey data collected by CBIE, all other figures cited are from official Canadian government sources). But if…

Agents – Sell Snowbird Insurance & You Could Win!

Until December 31, 2019, every Snowbird policy you sell is a ballot entry for a chance to WIN 1 of 2 $100 Amazon Gift card! Don’t miss out! As the weather cools off in the Great North, Snowbirds get ready to set off to warmer destinations. Whether your Snowbirds are headed to Florida, California, Central America, Europe or Southeast Asia — we have the plans to cover it all. MSH International offers a variety of different plans for Snowbirds.Easily reach out to a member of our Insurance Solutions Team and find the plan that best fits your client’s travelling needs today!We’re here to help you find the best coverage for your clients! Call us now!Toll Free 1 800 360 3234Worldwide 416 730 8488 Log in to your agent portal to find more information, make a quote/sale, and view your commission statements.

Canadians More Savvy about Travel Insurance than Their American Peers

Recently, the US Travel Insurance Association (USTIA), representing American travel insurance companies, announced that in 2018, Americans spent nearly US$3.8 billion on all types of travel insurance products—up 41 per cent since 2016. Pretty impressive figures—until you look at comparable data from Canada, which shows that Canadians (who represent but one-tenth the population of the US) are now approaching CA$1 billion in premiums spent for travel protection products in 2018 (CA$990 million, to be more precise), according to the Conference Board of Canada. Moreover, the USTIA survey has shown that the $3.8 billion covered only 66 million travellers (one-fifth of the US population), while Canadian data show that among 18- to 34-year-olds, 64 per cent were covered by travel insurance on their last trip out of the country, and 89 per cent of Canadians 55 and older buy insurance when travelling beyond Canada’s borders.  What we can glean from this…

The Road to Ending Human Trafficking

Travelling is usually synonymous with vacation, holiday, relaxation, and good times. We encourage travelling to relieve stress, boost mental health, broaden the mind, give you new experiences to remember for a lifetime, and learn about other cultures and improve your understanding of the world.On the other hand, travelling can also expose you to some of the negative parts of the world we live in, like human trafficking. Human trafficking is the act of holding another person hostage and controlling them through threats or coercion to exploit them for forced labor and/or sex– and it is more common than you think. FACTSHuman trafficking is a multi-billion dollar business and one of the fastest-growing illegal industries in the world. It operates within countries and across international borders. And it relies on the travel industry to operate.We believe it is vitally important for travellers to be aware that human trafficking can happen anywhere– and…

More Brits Stranded, Victims of Airline Cancellations

The stunning collapse of UK’s giant tour operator Thomas Cook, which left more than 600,000 holidayers stranded in some 18 countries (150,000 from Britain alone) shows just how vulnerable travellers have become to circumstances beyond their control. That’s almost twice the number of travellers stranded when Monarch airlines went under in 2017, and an additional million more that lost their future bookings. The liquidation of the 178-year old tour company whose logo has become a familiar sight worldwide propelled the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to mobilize its “biggest peacetime repatriation” since the second world war to get its holidayers home—within the next two weeks and free of charge. The repatriation is being funded largely by the government-run Air Travel Organizer’s Licence (ATOL) system which requires travel companies who sell air holiday packages to meet certain licensing requirements and contribute to a trust fund protecting travellers in case one of…

SUNx & Ingle International Announce SDG-17 Climate Resilience Partnership

KATOWICE, Poland and TORONTO, Dec. 11, 2018 /CNW/ – A Climate Resilience partnership, focussed on creating 100,000 Strong Climate Champions by 2030 was announced today at COP 24 in Katowice, Poland. The partnership, which was made in the spirit of SDG-17, is between leading Canadian-based global travel risk management and travel insurance provider Ingle International Inc., and SUNx (Strong Universal Network), which focusses on Climate Friendly Travel. The partnership is founded on a shared commitment to develop the Maurice Strong Legacy Scholarship Program, with Ingle International as its first global sponsor. Speaking from COP 24 – the United Nations Climate Change Conference, Professor Geoffrey Lipman, Co-founder of SUNx, said: “We are honoured to announce our partnership with Ingle International to launch the global rollout of the Maurice Strong Legacy Scholarship Program. This will create 100,000 “Strong Climate Champions” by 2030, in every UN State, to help to drive the behavioural change and influence the fundamental government and industry actions needed to tackle Climate…

Canadians to Require European Travel Authorizations in 2021

Due to heightening concerns about illegal immigration and terrorist attacks, Canadians, Americans, and citizens of 60 other countries will need electronic travel authorizations linked to their passports to enter any of the 26 European countries in the Schengen* zone starting January 2021. Under the European Travel Immigration and Authorization System (ETIAS) established by the European Travel Commission, citizens of countries who are normally allowed to travel to Schengen zone nations visa-free for tourism or business purposes for up to 90 days will have to pass background checks ensuring that they are not security risks to the host countries. In effect, the ETIAS have a purpose similar to Canada’s eTA (electronic Travel Authorization) or the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) in the US. When announcing the introduction of the system in 2016, Jean Claude Juncker, European Commission president, said, “We need to know who is crossing our borders. This way…

“Back to School” Low Season Travels

As “regular hours” resume and it’s back to school for students and families, low season starts where there will be less crowds, still great temperatures, and cheaper travel packages. Here are the best spots to visit in September: Take in the sights of Asia’s third-largest country on the Deccan Odyssey luxury train. This train travels the Maharashtra route through the southern part of the country, stopping at both popular and off-the-beaten path locations such as World Heritage Sites and palaces. Take this luxury train on one of six possible itineraries to different destinations. All meals, snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, and excursions including entrance fees and camera permits are included. Each cabin also provides a private butler, an in-suite bathroom and closet and even HDTV. If you prefer to venture on your own without a set itinerary, stay at the Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat and Spa in India to indulge in an…

Thinking about your Fall and Winter travel plans as Summer closes in? Know your rights!

Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance – and make sure you pack the right one! We have a dedicated team to help you choose the perfect plan fit for your travels. MSH Americas is dedicated to honoring our leading position in the travel insurance industry by providing exceptional service, up-to-date news, and support for our clients. Whether you are going abroad for leisure, to study, or to work, we want you to be able to travel with confidence. As part of our ongoing commitment to you, we promise to adhere to the newly updated THIA Traveler’s Bill of Rights. The Traveler’s Bill of Rights reads: The Travel Insurance Bill of Rights and Responsibilities builds upon the following key elements of travel health insurance: • Understand your travel insurance policy – Insurance providers have staff available to answer any questions related to policies.• Know your health and consult a health…

Hurricane Season is Here. Stay Alert

It’s the peak of hurricane season in Atlantic and Caribbean waters and the first major storm of the season, Dorian, has switched on the alert for residents on the southeast coast of the US, the Maritimes, and Newfoundland, as well as the highly susceptible island countries in the Caribbean and the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. If you have travels planned to any of these areas, you need to carefully read your travel documents, airline travel rules, hotel/resort contracts, and especially your travel insurance trip cancellation and interruption benefits and limitations, and you must monitor the official government travel advisories. Travel Canada has already issued advisories for many of the islands in the Caribbean, warning of the need to either practice extreme caution if you’re already in the path of the storm, or avoid travelling altogether. These warnings will change from day to day, but you need to be…

Family Vacation Destinations

Looking for the perfect family vacation for summer break? Make the most of your yearly trip with these family-friendly destinations – perfect for all ages, with fun activities for everyone in your group! Although Las Vegas may be known as an adult playground, there is a large mix of activities available for families with children as well. Picking a family-friendly hotel will be the make-or-break decision, as some hotels cater to children: For example, Mandalay Bay boasts a giant Shark Reef aquarium and multiple pools with a lazy river and an actual sandy beach. The Circus Circus hotel, true to its name, includes an actual circus with world-class jugglers and a variety of performers—as well as indoor roller coaster rides, a 50 foot waterslide tower with 3 slides, and a Splash Pad with waterfalls. Other must-see attractions you and your children will love include M&M World where they have different…

Stay Alert: Flesh-Eating Disease Expands through Warming Beach Waters

With the summer vacation season in full swing, news reports of bacterial disease in the warming waters of Florida’s Gulf of Mexico up to the east coast of Chesapeake Bay are becoming too frequent to ignore. We’ll note right off the top: this has nothing to do with the infamous red or green tides that have blemished Florida’s western shores the past couple of years. The disease—necrotizing fasciitis, also known as “flesh-eating disease”—has been claiming increasing  numbers in these areas, and Florida’s Department of Health and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued advisories warning of risks primarily to the elderly with compromised immune conditions, chronic kidney disease, or cancer; people of any age with cuts, scrapes, burns, insect bites, skin punctures or surgical wounds; and—most sadly—perfectly healthy kids with scraped or bruised toes or knees just playing in the ocean. Vicious and virulent In Florida,…

10 Things I have Learned About Human Trafficking Since Launching Our Task Force

In the run up to 30 July – World Day against Trafficked Persons, which is calling for governments to take more stringent action to fight Human Trafficking, I took the opportunity to reflect on what I have learned about the issue since WTTC launched its Human Trafficking Task Force at the 2019 Global Summit in Seville, April this year. Human Trafficking is a big money ‘business’. According to the International Labour Organization, Human Trafficking is an illicit industry worth more than $150 billion annually, which is equivalent to the entire tourism economy of Brazil ($152.5 billion). 2. Human Trafficking affects everyone, everywhere. Victims of Human Trafficking are men, women and children, and they can be found in every country in the world. An estimated 24.9 million people are trapped in forced labour: 16 million of which are exploited in the private sector, 4.8 million in forced sexual exploitation, and 4…

Ingle & MSH join task force to halt human trafficking

We are proud to team up with the WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council) to bring awareness and work towards halting the spread of human trafficking around the globe. Our industry has a unique opportunity to educate our partners and clients on activities that can make a real difference. For immediate release… To mark World Day Against Trafficking in Persons (July 30th), the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) today calls on governments across the globe to adopt more stringent measures in the fight against human trafficking, and specifically to support Travel & Tourism initiatives that aim to curb this illicit activity. Human trafficking generates an estimated $150 billion in illegal profits annually. In comparative terms, that’s the equivalent of the entire tourism economy of Brazil ($152.5bn). Trafficking relies on the travel industry to operate – not only across borders, but also within – using legitimate operations to illegally move…

New Season for Travel Insurance Products Coming Up—Stay Alert

With travel insurance premiums expected to rise significantly this fall—partly due to the Ontario government’s decision to eliminate all payments for out-of-country medical fees—it’s understandable that travellers, particularly longer-term snowbirds, will be looking for ways to economize. Comparing prices between several insurance providers has always been the first option for making sure you get the best price available—but that only works if you’re comparing similar products. And that’s hard, given the differences in benefits, exclusion requirements, medical underwriting, age limitations, and a score of other factors offered in the travel insurance marketplace. One stratagem that seems to have caught on is using a free credit card or employer/retiree group plan to cover the first 15, 30, or 60 days of a trip, then “topping up” with an individual single-trip plan for the bulk of it. Sometimes that can work to save you a lot of money. But there are also…

Best Places to Travel to Escape the Heat!

Can’t stand melting at 40°C? Need an escape from the scorching sun? Travel with us to cooler climates and enjoy a break from the soaring temperatures. 8 great places to visit comfortably this summer! If you want to visit Canada in the summer, Alberta is one of the best provinces to explore. With the most daily sunshine hours of the year and comfortable weather at a high of 24°C, you can trek the mountains, visit historical sites and museums, enjoy restaurants and do shopping. What brings most visitors to Alberta is nature: the jaw-dropping Rocky Mountains and other beautiful national parks are sights to behold. Travel to Dinosaur Provincial Park near Drumheller to see the Alberta Badlands and visit the Tyrell Museum to see real dinosaur skeletons up close. For those who are extremely fit and active, head to the Rockies and hike the challenging Cory Pass – it’s one…

StudyInsured: Your One-Stop Shop for International Student Insurance

Looking for the best travel insurance coverage for your international student(s)? Look no further – StudyInsured has it all! From protecting a student’s medical needs, to the accessibility of 24/7 multilingual emergency assistance services, and even a Stay Healthy at School Program. Read our latest press release on why StudyInsured is your one-stop shop for International Student Insurance. Are you an international student? Let us help you feel at home while you study abroad. We cover all your health insurance needs, give you easily accessible resources for navigating the healthcare systems, provide physical and mental wellness support through the Stay Healthy at School program, 24/7 claim services should you need assistance, and much more. For more information, visit https://www.inglestudents.com/studyinsured/, call us at 1-855-649-4182 or email us at studentteam@studyinsured.com.

Recent News in the Dominican Republic Calls For Extra Precaution When Travelling At All Times

It was the shooting of baseball legend David “Big Papi” Ortiz outside a bar in Santo Domingo that brought the issue of mysterious deaths in the Dominican Republic to worldwide attention, but it remains the recent spate of mostly-unsolved and unexplained deaths of American tourists at popular resort hotels that has tourism officials worried about what comes next. (Big Papi is recovering well in a Boston hospital) Though the issue has not captured much attention of Canadian media—which is mystifying as Canadians provide the second largest pool of tourism to the DR next to Americans—print and broadcast media in the US have been asking tough questions about what local tourism officials have characterized as a series of unfortunate coincidences. In one published report, however, the DR’s attorney general Jean Alain Rodriguez told local journalists that the nation is “secure but definitely has many challenges.” Indeed it has. So far this…

MSH International Boosts Its Global Expansion With New Health and Travel Insurance Products and Services

MSH International (Americas) is accelerating its international expansion and services to meet the growing demand for its comprehensive, global health insurance products. Adding to the company’s great products and services a new suite of offerings addresses up-to-the-minute needs of leisure and business travelers alike and includes: LivExpat, a new generation of flexible and cost-efficient international health insurance plans MSH Navigator, a mobile application, with geo-tracking capabilities, security warnings, travel and city guides, two-way communication and single-touch access to emergency and provider networks MSH ASSISTANCE, a comprehensive product offering with round-the-clock multilingual medical assistance, emergency evacuation, repatriation and risk management to travellers, worldwide. Born of a 2017 merger between MSH International and Ingle International, a supplier of international insurance solutions for travellers, students and expatriates since 1946, MSH International continues to experience rapid international growth. Together with its continuous product innovation, tailored facilities, global capabilities, customized web and mobile sales/information portals…

How to Prepare for Emergency Situations at Home or Abroad

In April 2018, Toronto was shaken after an attack with a rented van in the North York area has left 10 dead and 15 others wounded. In a city that is generally known to be safe, this tragic event feels particularly jarring. It’s difficult to predict senseless attacks such as this. And while Toronto is in mourning today, one horrific act of violence will not alter the character of the city: at large, Toronto is still a safe place. For travellers heading to Toronto or anywhere else around the globe, it’s important not to let events like this deter you from getting out there and exploring the world. Rather than avoid making plans, the best thing that you can do is be prepared in the event you encounter an emergency at home or abroad. Measures for keeping safe Be prepared: If you are heading abroad, make sure to remain…

StudyInsured™ Partners with ILAC and ILAC International College

StudyInsured™ is thrilled to announce its partnership with ILAC and ILAC International College in offering international student coverage. By providing on-the-job experience in Canada through its co-op programs, ILAC opens doors to a promising future for international students. StudyInsured™ is eager to do its part to shield students from high health care costs as they focus on hitting the books. Since 1946, StudyInsured™ has supported international students during their studies abroad. As a one-stop-shop we raise the bar by providing flexible insurance plans that evolve with student needs, offering overall peace of mind to our partners. We are delighted to continue our proud tradition of international student support through this partnership. As of this June, ILAC students in need of medical insurance will be covered under our new Essential Plan. Customized especially for ILAC students, the Essential Plan provides superior coverage and access to superlative and round-the-clock assistance services. Studyinsured™…

Taking the Family Abroad this Summer? Here’s Your Checklist

Now that summer is in full flight, family travel is priority number one, and so it should be. But if your plans involve trips to foreign countries, and especially if you’re taking along young children (your own or those of friends or relatives), you need to be sure your documentation covers them just as it covers you. Passports All Canadian children, from newborns on up, need their own passports to travel to a foreign country. So plan well ahead. At this time of year passport offices are overloaded and travelling on parents’ documents is no longer acceptable. Passports remain the most valuable and acceptable form of identification in nations the world over. And it’s your assurance that no matter where you go, you will be allowed back into Canada. In the globalized world, no one, including a child, should be without one. Travel medical insurance You may have your travel…

Mental Health: Where can students find support?

Hundreds of students from the University of Waterloo walked out of their class to demand better mental health services on campus. Holding placards and chanting, the students each took it in turns to speak about their experiences with the university’s mental health services. Some spoke of long wait times to see a counsellor, while others said they felt “unheard” after meeting them. The protest, organized by the students themselves, was in response to the recent suicide death of a 22-year-old student who took his life at the university’s student residence at the beginning of March. It’s clear that there is a need for increased mental health support, and that applies to all walks of life – not just schools. School can be a difficult time for anyone, especially those travelling abroad to study. A young person is forced out of their comfort zone, away from their home comforts, with the…

Travellers’ Alerts Raised for Measles Outbreaks in Europe and the USA

If you’re heading for Europe this summer, and especially if you’re travelling with children who have not been vaccinated for measles, see your doctor or a travel health clinic immediately and have yourselves and your children properly immunized against this dangerous and potentially deadly disease. Most of us thought measles had been eliminated many years ago. But the epidemic raging across Europe shows just how resilient this highly contagious disease can really be. According to Canada’s Travel Health website, as of the end of May 2019, large measles outbreaks (exceeding 1,000 cases) are currently ongoing in Albania, France, Georgia, Italy, Romania, Russia, Serbia, and Ukraine; and since the beginning of 2019, serious outbreaks have also been reported in virtually all other European nations, including such highly developed countries as Germany, the UK, Spain, and Switzerland. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDPC), 35,000 cases of measles…

Dark Tourism – Do You Dare?

What Is Dark Tourism? Travel to places historically associated with death and tragedy. Morbid right? But here’s the reasons tourists visit Dark Tourism sites 1 – Curiosity 2 – Step back into history & feel the impact of the events 3 – Understand what happened first-hand 4 – Pay respects & visit memorials 5 – Experience the creation of reflective memories 6 – Remember what it is to be human People go for many reasons, but ultimately, it just means you are interested in learning about life and history. If you dare to go…here are some of the top Dark Tourism destinations & most Haunted places in the world Bran Castle, Romania The home of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” seems to be based on this Romanian castle on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia. The former seat of the infamous Vlad the Impaler, Bran Castle is now a museum for…

Tour Canada From Coast to Coast – Part 2

If you haven’t seen Part 1 of our Coast to Coast Tour, click here! Now is the perfect time to visit the Great White North! Ready to dive in and find your next Canadian destination? Home to Toronto, Canada’s largest and most populated city and main economic hub, Ontario not only has a vibrant city life, but many outdoor beauties to see including the world-famous Niagara Falls, a multitude of provincial parks, and the Great Lakes. With popular landmarks like the CN Tower and Canada’s parliament buildings, Ontario is Canada’ most visited province, and offers a panoply of multicultural foods and festivals for your delight. Quebec is where you will find the descendants of French settlers known as French Canadians. Besides the French language, you can find European influences in the local culture, food, and architecture, all of which combine with historic charm. Iconic landmarks like the Chateau Frontenac, Notre…

Is Relief in Sight for Medical Student Debt?

For many of Canada’s best and brightest, the prospect of a career in medicine is dampened by the reality of mounting student debt, into the six figures in many cases. And it’s not just obtaining the MD that’s challenging: it’s the years beyond, working toward the specialty accreditation that generates the fees needed to pay off that debt—a need that often diverts graduates away from lesser-paying fields like family medicine. It’s a vicious cycle. But a recent announcement from New York University School of Medicine that it will begin offering free tuition to all current and future students—regardless of need—sparks some hope that new ways of funding medical education may be taking root. NYU, one of America’s top 10 medical schools (where the average annual cost is $55,018 USD), is taking the step thanks to an endowment from private sources that is currently valued at $450 million and is aiming…

Tour Canada From Coast to Coast – Part 1

Now is the perfect time to visit the Great White North! It may be heating up everywhere else in the world, but in Canada, the weather is just warming up, offering the most comfortable temperatures for you to explore the jaw-dropping wilderness or bask in the city multicultural city life. Low season lasts until late June and offers great pricing options for travellers. July and August are high season, but if you book at least 3 weeks before your departure, you can still find below-average pricing for your getaway! Dive in and find your next Canadian destination! Armed with miles of picturesque coastlines, British Columbia offers the popular Stanley Park seawall where you can go for a scenic leisure walk or try cycling for a good workout. Challenging hikes up the Rocky Mountains are perfect if you crave adventure. The Capilano Suspension Bridge also offers great photo ops and an…

Ontario Travel Health Cutback Confirmed. Now What?

Now that the Ontario government has confirmed its decision to terminate all emergency medical costs for its residents travelling out of the country—effective October 1, 2019—we must ask what’s next for the millions of Ontarians who are accustomed to cross-border day trips for shopping, sporting events, regular family reunions, or in some cases even work. (Ontario’s action does not affect health coverage while visiting other provinces.) Recent surveys confirm that over 76 per cent of Canadians surveyed in 2018 said they had some form of travel insurance on their last trip out of the country—with older groups (boomers and snowbirds) having the highest rates of coverage. They know, they have the experience. They have heard the horror stories about what can happen without it. Younger groups, not so much: there’s still a reasonable amount of “invincibility” thinking out there. Multi-trip policies come into their own But there’s also some good…