Digital Detox? Ah, no thanks!

by Thursday, May 26, 2016

There used to be a time when I’d wander into a hotel in some far off place and happily discover there was no form of technology in my room. No television. No phone. Nada. And I’d think, “Ah, nice angle, forced relaxation. I like this.”

Now, it’s a very different story… more along the lines of “what? No wifi? I’m outta here!!!”

As far as I’m concerned, digital detoxing is for the birds. If I’m not connected to the world and my loved ones, I’m moving on – and it appears I’m not alone: New research shows that 92 per cent of Aussies can’t bear to leave the country without their prized gadgets.

Does this include you? My hand is sheepishly up. I also confess I’m one of those people for whom it’s quite normal to take about five gadgets away with me on each trip. Smartphone? Check. Laptop? Check. Camera? Yep. Wifi speakers? Sometimes. Selfie stick? Ok, I’m a ‘‘nope” on that one!

But here’s the rub… Do you have any of your gadgets insured when on the road? Collectively, these items could cost about $5000. So if you’re a “no”, that could be a big “whoops” indeed.

I could tell you so many stories of me losing or destroying some really expensive gizmos during my time as a travel journalist. The laptop I left in the back of an airplane seat pocket, whilst jet-lagged out of my mind in Turkey. Dropping my mobile into the prettiest puddle at Giverny. My producer dropping my phone while filming (awkward). Losing my camera twice from separate muggings… I could go on.

Despite the risks, no insurance is pretty standard… Research conducted by Southern Cross Travel Insurance found more than two-thirds of travellers don’t insure their tech gadgets – the over 65s are the highest uninsured age group. (They love livin’ on the edge, those Grey Nomads). Mind you, I asked our 18 year old German au pair who’s travelling with every gadget under the sun if she was insured. I got a stern “nein!”

We’re all trustworthy souls and yet we know losing our beloved gadgets will ruin our holiday – how are we going to research which restaurant to visit if we can’t Google it?!

Insuring our treasured items is simple. A great starting point is the Understand Insurance travel insurance checklist – hover over it to see the link.

Here are my top travel insurance tips for digital diehards:

  1. If you’re travelling with expensive gadgets, you may need to consider additional cover. Cover for your personal belongings and luggage is generally limited to an amount specified in your policy.
  2. Assist any potential claims by keeping receipts for pricey gadgets as additional evidence.
  3. Keep your gadgets safe and nearby! Risky or irresponsible behaviour might result in an insurance claim being turned down.
  4. For frequent travellers like me, a multi-trip policy is offered by some insurers. It could save you lots of money in the long run.

Happy travels,

Love Catriona.

Catriona Rowntree