The recent vote against international creditors’ bailout conditions will impact many Canadians’ travel plans. If you’re already in Greece or are planning to go, here’s some helpful travel advice. While the Government of Canada has not issued an official travel advisory for Greece, many Canadian travellers are unsure how the economic crisis will affect their trip and what travel insurance during the Greek crisis covers or not.
Travel advice for Greece
It should still be relatively safe to travel to Greece, but there are certain factors to note, namely Greek banks are closed and it seems they will remain that way until July 13. If you’re headed to Greece, take our travel advice and be sure to bring enough cash for all your travel expenses. At ABMs you’ll face long lines and depleting stores of cash, if any at all. There’s a daily limit to how much Greeks can take out, but if you’re using a debit card issued in another country, the limit shouldn’t apply to you. Credit cards should work, although many establishments may switch to only accepting cash as the situation develops.
Be sure to keep your cash safe, as thieves expect tourists to bring extra funds with them. Bring smaller bills as there’s no telling whether stores can give you change. Until credit isn’t an option, use these credit card safety tips while abroad to keep your money and identity safe.
Travel Tip: Get baggage insurance to cover unexpected theft or loss of money and personal effects. Take note that most baggage insurance policies will not cover a significant amount if your cash gets stolen. However, baggage insurance should cover a good chunk if your bags are lost; let’s take TuGo Travel Insurance for instance. Our Baggage policy will pay for personal necessities if your bags are lost, up to $1,500 per person. Needless to say these conditions vary per insurer, so make sure you read your policy.
- RELATED: Read our top secret travel baggage claim tips to make the most of your luggage mishap.
Is Greece safe for travellers?
At the time of publication, demonstrations in Athens were drawing police in riot gear, and despite little violence so far, the demonstrations could become more aggressive.
Tips to stay safe during the Greece crisis:
- Stay away from demonstrations, especially in Syntagma Square and around Parliament buildings.
- Keep a close eye on local media for the most up-to-date information on the situation. Protect yourself with travel insurance; make sure you have emergency medical insurance at the very least. As always, understand the various benefits and exclusions of your policy. If you have TuGo Travel Insurance, great! Our Emergency Medical policy will cover you if you get hurt passing through a demonstration area.
- If you are actively protesting, however, know that we will not be providing coverage.
I want to cancel my trip to Greece. Will trip cancellation insurance cover it?
Here’s an example that will help answer your questions about cancelling your trip to Greece. Frank buys trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance for his upcoming vacation with his family to Greece. He’s worried about his family’s security and safety due to the current financial situation and wants to cancel his flights and hotel bookings. Is he covered if he cancels?
The answer in a nutshell is: No. He would only be covered if the Canadian government issues an “avoid all non-essential travel” advisory for Greece. Most trip cancellation insurance policies will not provide coverage unless there is an official government advisory, so keep a close eye on Travel.gc.ca’s travel advisory page!
I’m in Greece and want to cut my trip short. Will trip interruption insurance cover me?
Here’s an example: Milly is visiting her daughter in Athens. She protected herself with trip interruption insurance. The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFAIT) has NOT issued an “avoid all non-essential travel” advisory for Greece. Milly and anyone else who want to cut their trip short will NOT be covered in this case.
The most important thing while travelling is to stay informed and stay safe. Monitor local media outlets, be wary of scams and theft, stay away from politically-charged areas, and use common sense to make your trip to Greece the best it can be.
Have questions? Post them below or tweet us at @tugoinsurance.
Kaló taksídi! (Happy travels!)