Nina Hoeschele

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Nina is a freelance writer, editor, and serial comma enthusiast. She also enjoys travelling off the beaten path and promptly getting lost there. After ripping the last pair of pants she ever owned on a livestock fence in the Outer Hebrides, she is proof positive that you can hike any trail in a dress.

Insurance and Consumer Resources: Why Ingle Believes in the Power of Content

The Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada has released a “Bill of Rights” for consumers of travel insurance. This document essentially outlines the basics of what consumers can expect from travel insurers, as well as their own responsibilities when they apply for coverage. This is the kind of clear content we believe consumers of travel insurance need to have. And that’s why we’ve been dedicated to producing such content from the very beginning. Here at Ingle, we strongly believe in the importance of consumer education—and that starts with providing clear, accessible information. We strive to be open and authentic, to empower consumers to ask questions about the insurance products they buy. We want consumers to understand their coverage, to know their own responsibilities when it comes to purchasing insurance, and to know what they have a right to expect back from their insurer. That’s why Ingle has a dedicated content…

Visitors to Thailand Could Soon Require Proof of Travel Insurance

Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Ministry has put forth a proposal that would require all visitors to present proof of travel insurance coverage upon entering the country. With tourism on the rise in Thailand, the ministry says these measures will protect hospitals from being on the hook for the cost of medical care provided to travellers with no way to pay. Thailand would not be the first country to enact rules like this. A number of European countries already require proof of adequate travel insurance coverage before you enter their borders. And it’s not only the country’s hospitals that would be protected under this plan. For travellers headed abroad, travel insurance coverage is vitally important, as the cost of medical care outside one’s home country can be frighteningly expensive. And should you require transportation back home for continuing medical care, an air evacuation can cost tens of thousands of dollars—which is…

Spending the Summer in Canada? Get Moving with These Activities

Canada is a beautiful, vast country with a wealth of natural wonders—and an abundance of fun activities through which to discover them. And, contrary to the stereotypical image of Canadians constantly being buried in 10 feet of snow, summer in Canada is a great time to get outdoors and enjoy the sun! If this is the first summer you will be passing in Canada—or even if you’ve just got some well-earned vacation time to spend inside our country’s borders—here are some of the best ways to take advantage of the summer weather, Canadian-style. Camping With so many scenic forests and sprawling national parks stretching across the country, camping is one of the quintessential ways to enjoy a Canadian summer. Grab a tent and some sleeping bags, locate your ideal campsite, and get your journey started! Best of all, spending your days directly in nature will put you in easy…

Can US Border Agents Look at My Phone?

Would you hand your cellphone over to a friend and let them scroll through your messages, photos, and social media accounts? If that doesn’t sound ideal—then what about handing it over to a stranger at the US border? Recent reports of travellers being asked to unlock their phones for inspection when crossing into the US are raising fears about invasions of privacy at the border—and bringing up questions for Canadians who are planning to travel south. If there’s a trip to America in your future, what do you need to know about the potential for your phone or your laptop to be examined by border agents? And if you are asked to hand over your devices and your passwords, do you have to comply? Is it actually legal for border agents to search my phone? The short answer is yes. US border agents are legally allowed to request access…

Add Proof of Insurance to Your Travel Checklist

Your travel plans are set and you’ve purchased your insurance. You may feel like everything is in place. But there’s one vital detail that some travellers can forget: you need to physically have that insurance information. Copied. And in multiple locations. Yes, that’s right. When you buy insurance for a trip, it’s imperative that you carry your policy information with you—and, equally importantly, that you make a backup copy to leave at home. Why should I bring my insurance information along? If you require medical care abroad, you’ll want access to your travel insurance details right away. Bringing along documentation that includes your insurance provider and policy number will mean there’s no delay in getting your medical bills sorted, should such a situation arise. In fact, in some cases, doctors abroad may not even be willing to treat you until they know you’re insured. What’s more, some countries are…

Canada Has Eased the Visa Requirements for Mexican Travellers

Planning to visit Canada from Mexico? Good news! The Canadian government has lifted some of the visa requirements that were previously in place, making it easier for Mexican travellers to take trips up north. Here’s what you need to know about the new rules: As of December 1, 2016, Mexican travellers no longer require a visa for visits to Canada of up to six months. That said, Mexicans planning to travel to or transit through Canada will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (or eTA). Fortunately, this process can be completed in just a few minutes online for a cost of $7 CAD. You can take care of your eTA right here. Coming to study in Canada? If your study program will be shorter than six months, you’re good to go. For programs longer than that, however, you will still need to apply for a student visa. As well, work permits…

What Type of Travel Insurance Do I Need?

You’ve heard it here before: travel insurance is not a one-size-fits-all sort of purchase. That’s why Ingle carries an extensive list of insurance products to cover all sorts of travelling scenarios. But if you’re not familiar with all the ins and outs of travel insurance, looking at the long list of available options out there can feel a little daunting—like having too many brands to choose from in the grocery store. So, what exactly are all these different plan categories? And which one is right for you? With a few quick questions, we can help you figure that out.   1. ARE YOU CANADIAN? Yes, I’m Canadian. For most travelling Canadians, however, Canadian Travellers Insurance offers extensive coverage for a wide range of scenarios. In addition to travel medical coverage for illness and injury abroad, there are also non-medical coverage options for things like cancelled and delayed transport, lost…

Flying with Medical Marijuana? Here’s What to Expect

If you have a prescription for cannabis, you may be hoping to bring some along the next time you travel—but this can be much more complicated than travelling with your average prescription drug. The good news is that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) has recently released clarification on the procedures around flying with medical cannabis, as long as you’re travelling within Canada. The bad news? If you’re heading anywhere else in the world, you may have to leave your prescription at home—at least for now. Travelling within Canada It is legal to travel with medical marijuana within Canada, according to CATSA. However, there are a few important caveats to note: You must bring medical documentation to prove that you have a prescription. And CATSA notes that, in airports where police are present, they will be called in to check this documentation. As well, your bags will…

4 Reasons Your Insurance Claim Might Be Denied

When you buy travel insurance, the hope is that you are purchasing some peace of mind for your trip. However, every once in a while, a high-profile case hits the news about a claim that was denied, leaving the claimants with huge medical bills. This understandably has some travellers concerned about how much they can actually rely on their insurance policy. The good news is: as long as you fully understand the workings of your insurance policy, there’s no need to fear an unexpected surprise from your insurer. To help you gain that confidence, let us explain the four main reasons why someone’s insurance claim might be denied. Why could my claim be denied?  1. Because your claim was related to a pre-existing condition. This is a term one hears often when it comes to travel medical insurance, and there can be some confusion around what it really means.…

Travelling with Pets on a Plane

In our last post on this topic, we shared some tips for travelling long distances with your pets in the car. But what about when you’re making the trip by air? Flying with your pets is, of course, a quicker solution than taking the car, but you also have less control over the situation from start to finish. If you’re trying to decide between flying or driving, try to weigh the overall stress it will place on your pet. Is yours the kind of pet who would easily sleep through a few hours in a cargo hold? Or would they rather stick close to you, but be stuck in a car for a longer period? If you and your pet are going airborne, here are a few things to note. You’ll need to get in touch with the airline well in advance, as your booking won’t be as flexible as usual.…

Travelling with Pets in a Car

Whether you’re a cat or a dog person, you can agree: our beloved pets are like family members. So, when a new adventure has you moving across the country, of course you’re going to want to take your little buddies along. This is easier said than done, however. Whether by car or by plane, a long trip is a scary and stressful thing for pets to go through. Preparation is key to making sure your trip goes as smoothly as possible—which means your pet can get out of the car or plane sooner. Here are some important things to know while planning a long drive with your furry friends. If you don’t often drive with your pet, start out by taking them on short car trips for practice. If you have a new harness or cage you’re planning to use, do test runs with that as well so your pets…

4 Tips To Start Your School Year Abroad

September is “back to school” season—time to gear up for another fresh year of learning. As you move into the start of a new school year, it’s natural to have hopes and expectations for a fulfilling experience. So we’ve put together a few tips to help you start off on the right foot. Here at Ingle, we believe that if you want to have a rewarding school year, it’s important to take good care of yourself—because health concerns are the last thing you want on your mind while you study for exams! With that in mind, here are four tips for a happy and healthy school year, along with some handy resources to see you through. 1. Make yourself a priority. There can be a lot of pressure to stay on top of your coursework while also enjoying extracurricular activities and maybe, possibly, having some semblance of a social life…

Travel in the Age of Social Media

It seems like yesterday that Facebook was just a fledging network for college students—and Twitter was a shorter version of Facebook that no one quite understood yet. Now, these and other social networks seem to have become inseparable parts of our everyday lives. If anything of note is happening in the world, social media is probably the first place you’re going to hear about it. But news isn’t the only thing that’s travelling differently in the age of social media. In fact, social media is reshaping the world of travel for savvy jet-setters everywhere. Research and preparation The most obvious benefit of social media is the way it connects you to the thoughts of so many people around the globe. As you’re making your vacation plans, you have endless reviews, ratings, and opinions to consider, and it’s all right at your fingertips. How’s that hotel you’re eyeing? If any…

Earthquake in Nepal: How Climbers and Backpackers Can Prepare Their Travel Safety Net

After a devastating earthquake followed by frightening aftershocks in the south Asian country of Nepal, many travellers have found themselves unexpectedly stranded, injured, or even worse.  For those who have survived, widespread damage means that resources to help them are in short supply. In the event of natural disasters like this, we are often asked what travellers can do to prepare and keep themselves safe. While, of course, there’s no way to avert an earthquake—and often no way to see it coming—there are numerous steps you can take that will help you stay safe or get access to the care you need. How can travel medical insurance help in the event of a disaster abroad? We’ve written many times about the reasons why travel insurance is a necessity for any trip. But what will travel insurance actually do for you in the event that you’re in an area affected…

Travel Insurance and Pre-existing Conditions: What You Need to Know

Since the recent “million dollar baby” incident in Hawaii, travellers have come to us with many questions around pre-existing conditions: What are they? Who should be concerned? Are there any grey areas? What do I do if I think I have one, or I’m not sure? This guide is intended to answer your questions and concerns about travel insurance and pre-existing conditions—so that, rather than feeling afraid, you can have peace of mind when booking your next trip. Related: Pregnant and Travelling? 5 Things You Need to Know What is a pre-existing condition? Any medical condition you have been diagnosed with or treated for prior to the effective date of your insurance policy. Pre-existing conditions can affect any traveller. There is no age minimum or maximum when it comes to pre-existing conditions. What happens if I develop a medical problem after purchasing travel insurance, but before leaving on…

Studying Abroad in a World of Unrest: What Parents Should Know

When you’re preparing to study abroad for a year (or more!), your parents can be understandably nervous—especially if you’ve never lived far from home before. They’ll want to know that you’ll be safe and in good hands while you’re outside their care. With the number of recent headlines about terrorist acts and civil unrest across the globe, your parents may be particularly nervous about letting you head out into the world right about now. But that’s no reason to put off your study-abroad adventure! If your parents are feeling reluctant about the risks of studying abroad, here’s what you can tell them. The risk of being affected by terrorist incidents is extremely low. Studies have pinned the odds of death by terrorist attack at about 20 million to one. (To give you some perspective: 20 million is more than the entire population of Chile.) Those are some extremely low…

Survival Tips for the Holiday Traveller

As this year’s holiday festivities close in, many of us find ourselves in transit, navigating airport crowds and winter storms as we try to get to our loved ones. Holiday travel is a bit of a stressful balancing act. For instance, while flights on Christmas Day can be a terrific bargain, they also come with a slim margin of error—one poorly placed winter storm can collapse all of your plans. To those who will spend part of their holidays in an airport lounge: We feel your pain. Here are a few survival tips to get you through the season. Get comfortable with the airport It’s common knowledge that airports are busy this time of year. Still, considering the long lines and waiting rooms that inevitably await you at the terminal, it can be tempting to procrastinate when it comes time to leave the house. Especially if you’ve also left packing to the very last second.…

Unique Holiday Traditions from Around the World

While some holiday traditions are widespread, it seems every community—and, indeed, every family—tends to develop their own spin on the festivities. And some of those traditions are stranger than others! We took a look around the world for some of the most unique holiday traditions we could find. Here are a few of our favourites… The Mari Lwyd in Wales Carolling is a popular holiday pastime in North America, but imagine if a group of singers turned up at your door with a decked-out horse skull in tow. That’s the Mari Lwyd tradition in some parts of Wales. After a few sung introductory verses, the horse-bearing party enters into a battle of wits—in song!—with the people inside the house, trading insults for as long as they possibly can. That definitely ups the stakes from the traditional holiday singalong! Rollerskating in Venezuela Venezuela has a number of festive traditions,…

5 Travel Apps for Every Step of Your Trip

The 21st century is a great time to be a traveller! With the help of technology, we’re travelling faster and more informed than ever before. Getting to the other side of the world might once have been a long and dangerous journey, but these days it’s something you can get through in fourteen hours direct—with an in-flight movie and a complimentary beverage to comfortably take you home. What’s one of the coolest perks for tech-savvy travellers? The plethora of innovative apps out there. No matter what kind of traveller you are, there’s a useful app to help you with nearly every situation—in fact, there are almost too many options to count! Need help narrowing it down? We’ve picked out 5 useful apps to take you through each step of your next trip. Figure out what to pack. PackPoint will make sure you never forget your toothbrush again. This clever…

Choosing a Roommate? Ask Yourself These Questions First!

While choosing the right roommate is a good way to head problems off before they start, there’s not much you can do to change your mind once the lease is signed. You’ll need to do your best to get along with the people living inside your home. And it’s not just about their behaviour… It’s also about yours! Consideration for others When sharing space with anyone, you must be considerate. Keep in mind that your daily routine is important—but so is theirs. There will come a time when you’ll have to adjust for your roommates—it’s inevitable. Don’t see it as a fight for your own space, but as a delicate balancing act for all of you. (This is easier when you and your roommates communicate well… and when there’s not one person doing all the adjusting.) For instance: I spent two years living with up to seven people in a…

Laugh Your Way through Miscommunication

Being in a place where you don’t speak the language well (or at all!) can be frustrating. Even if you are able to get by, the feeling of having less vocabulary than you’re used to—of having complicated thoughts in your head, but no real way to express them—can make you feel like a kid again. And following conversations around you can get exhausting. Still, the only way to get comfortable with a language is practice, practice, practice! And trying out your new language skills will inevitably lead to mistakes. But, hey—translation problems often lead to funny stories that you can laugh about later. Once the embarrassment washes off, of course… It happens to all of us. Seeing that my own family immigrated to Canada in the 1980s—and most of my relatives still reside overseas and speak little English—I have quite a few lost-in-translation stories of my own. Here are some…

Travelling Alone without Fear… or a Plan

When I turned 18, I decided to embark on a three-week trip across Scotland—no set itinerary, no travel companions. The plan was to force myself to be spontaneous and independent. And I would do it by going totally alone. It seemed like a great idea when I booked the ticket, but as the date grew nearer, I got more and more nervous—to the point that when it came time to go to the airport, I didn’t really want to go at all. Luckily I’m stubborn; I didn’t want to admit to my family and friends that there was no way I was brave enough to spend weeks alone in a country I’d never set foot in. So I sucked it up, packed my bag, and got on that seven-hour flight to Glasgow. And you know what? It turned out to be an amazing experience! And I returned all the wiser.…