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How $36 saved me $400+ of travel cancellation strife

this is how you get peace of mind

Finder's travel expert Jessica Prasida avoided the stress of potentially losing hundreds of dollars in Airbnb costs… all for less than the price of a holiday takeaway.

In the days immediately after New Year's Eve, things weren't looking good for my weekend break in the Hunter Region of NSW.

COVID seemed to be creeping ever closer in our apartment block in Sydney. So close, in fact, it had left our neighbours confined to their bed with the spicy cough.

My partner and I'd hung with them over Christmas, so we were pretty wary of having to isolate in the second weekend of January instead of being on the road looking forward to our trip.

Why you should always check the fine print

While monitoring for symptoms, I re-checked the cancellation terms I'd signed up to with our Airbnb hosts to stay at their Lodge. All-in, our accommodation cost us a smidge more than 800 bucks for 3 days.

What with a very busy Christmas schedule, I'd not fully registered our Airbnb cancellation terms at the time of booking.

The online platform now has a default COVID refund policy that basically ties you to whatever you signed up for when you confirm your stay.

Our cancellation terms said we'd lose 50% of our booking cost if we had to cancel within 5 days of our visit.

A bit of panic set in as I realised we could lose some 400 bucks if my partner or I suddenly got sick.

How domestic travel cover brought me peace of mind

Getting a domestic travel insurance policy felt like a no-brainer for me. Being a publisher for travel insurance at Finder, I've seen over the past 18 months or so how providers have added cover benefits for pandemic-related claims.

That said, keep in mind many domestic travel insurance providers in Australia do not automatically come with COVID coverage.

But the policy I settled on was one that did. It was a straightforward deal from Cover-More Travel Insurance. Its Domestic Comprehensive policy came with a simple excess of $50 in case I had to make a claim. And I chose to get $1,000 in cancellation cover.

🔥 Jess' hot travel insurance tip 🔥

I'd recommend getting in touch with an insurer if you've any doubt about what's included in a policy. Benefits and exclusions could change up until you lock-in your insurance.

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Jessica Prasida

Travel insurance expert

I turned down the option to add more luggage cover, and had no interest in optional adventure sports cover. We were keen for a chill break, one with far more baking than biking.

The whole shebang only cost me $36 to be insured from Friday through Sunday – the peace of mind was worth a fair bit more than that.

Happily, we were able to enjoy our long weekend without any mishaps before our trip. And as it happens, my partner's vape went missing during the weekend away. The cost of this item was more than I'd care to admit.

I'm now on the hunt for the receipt and I'll soon be dropping Cover-More a line to check if I can make a claim for this.

You can find travel insurance with COVID-19-related cover here.

Or, read more on what domestic travel insurance can cover you for if you need to cancel or cut short your interstate trip.

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