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One thing that always needs to be considered when planning a trip is the necessity and importance of having a travel insurance. Even if you travel to a place you’ve already been to several times, you never know what can happen in the future, and it’s better to play safe here. You also need to take into account that medical expenses are typically much more expensive when we are far away from home.

Before starting to talk about all of the benefits of travel insurance, let’s get something clear. There are medical travel insurances, traveler’s assistance insurances, and trip cancellation insurances. Even though their names are similar, they don’t work in the same way. A medical travel insurance only covers the cost of medical expenses and prescriptions. A traveler’s assistance insurance covers all kinds of problems that may come up when you travel, like losing electronic devices or your baggage. And finally, a trip cancellation insurance covers all the expenses associated with the cancellation of your tickets, entrances, tours, and other administrative expenses.

If you are trying to find the best travel insurance for your trip, you need to consider that there are four main benefits which may or may not be included in the package that you’re being quoted for.

  1. Trip Cancellation

A trip cancellation insurance typically reimburses the amount that you had paid for your tickets or tours should you need to cancel the trip. Be aware that there is a list of reasons for which you may cancel your trip and receive a full refund. This list appears in the policy when you are acquiring the insurance, so take a good look at it. Check if there’s something missing that you think has a chance of happening which would make you have to cancel the trip.

The cost of trip cancellation tends to be between 5% and 7% of the total cost of the trip. So, for example, if your trip will cost you $5000 in total, the insurance would be around $250.

  1. Baggage Loss

A baggage loss insurance typically reimburses you for damages to your baggage and personal belongings, or directly for their loss. This is important if you are travelling with expensive things, or with things that have an important sentimental value. The cost of a baggage loss insurance would be around $50 for up to $1,000 in value of your belongings.

If what you are insuring is over $1,000, the insurance will be a bit more expensive, but will also give you the peace of mind knowing that if something happens to your things, you will be compensated a certain amount of money.

  1. Emergency Medical Assistance

An emergency medical assistance insurance gives you the possibility of seeking medical assistance during your travels. If you get sick or injured during the trip, the incurring medical expenses of the foreign hospital will be taken care of by the insurance. If you need to fly back to your country because of a disease or injuries, this insurance will also cover those costs. This is even more important if you need to take a flight back home while being badly injured, because you will be required to be in a stretcher and have a doctor with you during the flight. Thus, making the cost extremely expensive if you’d had to pay it yourself.

  1. Personal Liability

This insurance covers legal liability when travelling abroad, including all legal expenses for bodily injuries or damage to property of other people as a result of a claim made against you.

So, these are the basics for understanding how travel insurance works and the different benefits it has. We recommend you now visit a travel insurance comparator such as this one, to check out the different packages a

Food and Drink

I Took a Trip on a Train …. 

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And not just any train, but one of two cars from the original 20th Century Limited, the World’s Most Famous Train. It was truly a step back in time sitting in the newly and lovingly restored Hickory Creek car, which once transported the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra to Hollywood.   

We departed from the magnificent Moynihan Train Hall after enjoying a mid-morning nosh in the exclusive lounge and then walked a red carpet to our car. (The notion of a red carpet actually originated with the 20th Century Ltd.) There were two cars remaining from the original, and both were cozy and comfortable. Once settled, refreshments were offered, and we began the journey up the Hudson River to Albany. I don’t believe it unfair to say that most of us take the Hudson River for granted—it’s there, separating us from New Jersey. But not long after we left the familiar territory of Manhattan, we began to see the river from a different perspective. Sometimes it’s wide, other times not so much, with small islands popping up. There was enough green on the trees to be a pleasant break from the grey of the city, and congenial fellow passengers for pleasant conversation. Before we knew it, lunch was served, and quite an excellent one too, given that it came from the tiniest kitchen I’ve even seen. A beet salad with pecans, Beef Bourguignon, and finally a lovely slice of cheesecake with raspberry sauce was beyond my expectation. 

Throughout the trip, our jovial host, Lou, dropped in to assure everyone’s comfort and to give us a bit of history on the train. Music from the era was just discernable and added to the time-travelling mood.    

A stop in Albany midway through the journey enabled the train to turn around to take us back and to give us all a chance to stretch our legs and see a bit of the state capital. The sun was descending as we passed the familiar sites of West Point and Tappan Zee Bridge, and before long we were back, refreshed and rejuvenated. Beverages and nibbles were served, just as they surely were when Marilyn and other luminaries traversed the country heading for Hollywood.     

Every effort was made by the staff to make this trip memorable for all of us. The afternoon offerings included lovely canapes with a tulip crafted from a tomato and chives—you must see it to believe it!   

And this experience can be yours, brought about by the United Railroad Historical Society of NJ.!  Check them out at URHS.org and HudsonRiverRail.com to see the many ways you can enjoy this luxurious experience. This was a day trip, but overnight trips to and from Chicago are also available. It was a spa day for the mind and spirit! 

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Shopping

The Perfect Travel and Summer Sandal

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Ipanema sandals are based in Brazil, and the sandal is named after one of the most famous beaches worldwide. Ipanema sandals are made with a durable Flexpand 100% recyclable plastic and use at least 30% recycled materials, while 99% of all factory waste is recycled or reused.

I Turkey this summer. Last year I really needed a sandal that looked great but handled well in water. Have you ever notice that a lot of summer shoes slip and slide when it rains? Also the beaches of the Mediterian  They take up no room in suitcase or a purse, are incredibly light being that they are all made of rubber. It feels like you are wearing nothing at all, yet are sturdy. These are perfect and you will not need another pair of sandals for anything.

I got the Ipanema Women’s Class Edge Glow Sandals ($32). The Ipanema Shimmer sandals are so soft, and feel great. They are silent when you walk in them, with no noise on the ground and no noise of anything hitting your foot. They also have a section on top that connects to the band around your ankle; this is the shimmer part. The strap is adjustable and o nce adjusted you do not need to undo it each time, making them very easy to slip on since the material is so stretchy.

I will definitely be ordering more.

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Events

Kentucky Derby Party at Blu Mar Southampton With Victoria Schneps and Hampton Events For May

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The Hampton’s summer kicked off with a Kentucky Derby Party at Blu Mar Southampton With Victoria Schneps. T2C’s friend and contributor Roger Sichel and his wife Ilene had invited me but I was quadruple booked.

Roger Sichel and his wife Ilene

Zac Erdem Restaurant owner of Blu Mar

Phil Boyle President and CEO of OTB Suffolk County

guests

 

Fascinato -istic Dan and Vickie

All pics are thanks to Roger Sichel.

 

The 13th Annual Montauk Music Festival happens May 16th – 19th at the Montauk Yacht Club. A percentage of the proceeds will benefit Lucia’s Angels & East End Coalition for Women’s Cancers. For up-to-date schedules, artists, and venue information…. click here.[We know there are a few tech issues which we are working on fixing before the festival.

 

On May 19th Farm 2 Fork, an immersive food experience of the High Country taking you on a taste sensation journey. Your day begins with a fun-filled farm trail, visiting three of the High Country’s most acclaimed local producers, followed by a delicious long-table lunch prepared by much-loved celebrity chef and raconteur Alastair McLeod (Channel 7’s Weekender). At 9am from Chapman Park, Hampton, you board a coach that will take you to a mystery farm for a meet-and-greet tour, before moving on to the second and third farms. Your fourth and final destination will be a magnificent venue where you’ll sip a signature cocktail from Pechey Distilling on arrivalThen it’s time for the mouth-watering four-course meal, prepared by Chef Alastair. The menu will showcase fine local ingredients and be matched with wonderful wines from award-winning Rosalie House.

On May 26th the Hamptons kickoff event of the summer on Memorial Day weekend the Rosé Soirée Presented by Wilmington Trust. Celebrate with the seasons unofficial drink….rosé! Enjoy flowing rosé wine from around the world and on the East End. Eats from top chefs around the NY area including exclusive opportunities to taste from private chefs and Emmy nominated chefs as they join the best restaurant cuisine.

Tickets include tastings from over twenty rosé wines sourced from the best wineries throughout the South Fork, North Fork and top wine regions from across the world, as well as over fifteen top chefs offering up their best bites. Plus enjoy a full bar of craft beers, speciality cocktails, DJs, live music and lots of fun.

Tickets include all food, rosés, drinks and entertainment

General Admission enjoys the party from 6:30-9PM

VIP enjoys early entry to the party along with an exclusive Hampton Water afterparty 6-10:30PM

 

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Travel

Journey to the Clouds: Discovering the Mystique of Machu Picchu

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A trip is something other than investigating new areas; Taking in the character, culture, and history of a place that has stood the test of time is the only thing that matters. One of the most perplexing and well-known tourist destinations in the world is Machu Picchu, an ancient Incan city in the Peruvian Andes.

Unveiling the Wonder of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, often referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas,” is not merely a tourist spot; it’s a journey into the past, a trek through the clouds, and an exploration of an ancient world. Hidden from the outside world until its rediscovery in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, this UNESCO World Heritage site has captivated historians, archaeologists, and travelers alike with its intriguing history and breathtaking landscapes.

The Journey to Machu Picchu

The adventure to Machu Picchu begins long before you reach the ruins. The journey is as mesmerizing as the destination itself. Most travelers start their journey in Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire. Cusco, with its blend of Inca and Spanish colonial architecture, serves as the perfect prologue to the Machu Picchu experience.

From Cusco, you can take the scenic train route to Aguas Calientes, the gateway town to Machu Picchu. The train journey is an experience in itself, offering panoramic views of the Sacred Valley and the Urubamba River, set against the backdrop of the rugged Andean mountains. For the more adventurous, the four-day Inca Trail trek is a popular choice, offering a challenging yet rewarding hike through lush cloud forests, past ancient Incan sites, and over high mountain passes, culminating in the iconic Sun Gate view of Machu Picchu at sunrise.

Exploring the Mysteries of Machu Picchu

Arriving at Machu Picchu, you’re greeted by a spectacular sight – a city of intricate stone structures, terraced fields, and awe-inspiring engineering, all harmoniously blended into the mountainous landscape. As you wander through the ruins, you can’t help but wonder about the people who once inhabited this city. Machu Picchu served as a royal estate for Inca emperors and nobles, a center of worship, and an astronomical observatory.

Key sites within Machu Picchu include the Intihuatana stone, believed to be an ancient sundial; the Temple of the Sun, offering a view of the first rays of the sun during the summer solstice; and the Room of the Three Windows, symbolizing the Incan cosmology of the world’s three planes: the sky, the earth, and the underworld.

Connecting with Nature and Culture

Machu Picchu is not only about the ruins. It’s also about the stunning natural environment that surrounds it. The site is nestled in the lush Peruvian cloud forest, home to a rich diversity of flora and fauna. Orchids, butterflies, and rare bird species add to the magical aura of the place.

Moreover, the local culture adds another layer to the Machu Picchu experience. Interacting with the descendants of the Incas, the Quechua-speaking people, offers insight into the living heritage of this ancient civilization. The colorful markets, traditional textiles, and local cuisine provide a taste of the Andean culture that is as vibrant today as it was centuries ago.

Preserving the Legacy

The allure of Machu Picchu has not waned over the centuries, but its popularity comes with challenges. Conservation efforts are crucial to preserving this archaeological gem for future generations. As travelers, it’s important to respect the site, adhere to designated paths, and follow the guidelines set by the authorities to minimize environmental impact.

Planning Your Visit

Visiting Machu Picchu requires planning, especially since the number of daily visitors is limited to protect the site. Booking in advance is essential, and working with a reputable travel company can ensure a seamless experience. For more information and to plan your visit to this awe-inspiring site, check out Machu Picchu Tours by Metropolitan Touring.

Machu Picchu stands as an emblem of the rich cultural heritage and architectural brilliance of the ancient Incan civilization. Perched high in the Andes Mountains of Peru, this awe-inspiring citadel whispers tales of a bygone era, inviting travelers to delve into its mysteries and marvel at its splendor.

For history enthusiasts, Machu Picchu is a treasure trove of ancient secrets waiting to be uncovered. Its intricate stone structures, terraced fields, and ceremonial plazas offer glimpses into the daily lives and religious practices of the Inca people. Walking through its labyrinthine streets, visitors can’t help but feel a profound connection to the past, as if stepping back in time to witness the glory days of a once-thriving empire.

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Travel

Get Ready for New Island-Hopping Vacations

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New island-hopping vacations are around every corner: Royal Caribbean International has revealed the next in its lineup of 2025-2026 adventures. For the summer and winter, seven favorites will cruise from seven U.S. cities in Florida, Northeast, Puerto Rico and Texas on 5-to 12-night vacations.

The highlights in store for every type of family and adventurer include Odyssey of the Seas’ second consecutive winter season in the New York area and game-changing Oasis Class vacations to the eastern and western Caribbean with Allure of the Seas from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Galveston, Texas, as well as Symphony of the Seas from Bayonne, New Jersey, and Miami. Plus, travelers looking for more time in the picturesque northern Atlantic coast can have their pick from Brilliance, Jewel, Liberty and Vision of the Seas across a combination of Boston; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Bayonne; and Baltimore, and Maryland.

From the pristine shorelines to turquoise waters and vibrant cultures in the southern, eastern, and western Caribbean, and The Bahamas, the tropical destinations on the horizon have adventures of all kinds. Vacationers can island hop to spots like Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis; Cozumel, Mexico; Castries, St. Lucia; St. Johns, Antigua; St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Royal Caribbean’s marquee private destinations, Perfect Day at CocoCay in The Bahamas and Labadee, Haiti. With thrill and chill at Perfect Day at CocoCay’s two towers of adrenaline-pumping waterslides and the island’s first adults-only oasis, Hideaway Beach, plus Labadee’s five stunning shorelines, a vibrant local artisan’s market and the world’s longest overwater zip line, everyone can make memories in more ways than one. And for

adventurers looking to venture up the East Coast, there are memorable destinations to explore in New England and Canada, including Portland, Maine; Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada; and more.

Bold Quantum Class Experiences

With a bold lineup of thrilling experiences and signature adventures that vacationers know and love, Odyssey features experiences for all ages, including the deck-defying RipCord by iFly skydiving simulator, the North Star all-glass observation capsule, and a vibrant resort-style pool deck inspired by the Caribbean. Plus, there are more than 25 restaurants, bars and lounges like Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, Teppanyaki and Wonderland; as well as one-of-a-kind entertainment in high-tech venues like Two70 and the Royal Theater.

Odyssey of the Seas – From Bayonne

Following its second consecutive summer in Europe, Odyssey will call the New York area home once again. Vacationers looking to beat the winter blues can escape on 7-night vacations to The Bahamas, including the top-rated Perfect Day at CocoCay and Nassau, The Bahamas.

Oasis Class Adventures for the Whole Family

The original game-changers, Oasis Class ships feature a combination of ways to make memories across signature neighborhoods. Popular experiences include the 10-story Ultimate Abyss dry slide, The Perfect Storm trio of waterslides, full-scale entertainment across four stages: air, ice, water and theater; a nine-deck-high zip line, twin FlowRider surf simulators; and more than 40 restaurants, bars and lounges – from American steakhouse Chops Grille to Izumi, with Japanese-inspired flavors and more.

Symphony of the Seas – From Bayonne and Miami

This Oasis Class favorite is back in the Northeast for the summer to visit Port Canaveral (Orlando), Florida, and Perfect Day at CocoCay ahead of returning to Miami in October 2025. On 7-night eastern and western Caribbean vacations, travelers can island hop from Royal

Caribbean’s private destinations, Perfect Day at CocoCay and Labadee; Falmouth, Jamaica; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; and more.

Allure of the Seas – From Fort Lauderdale and Galveston

Vacationers looking for winter getaways from Fort Lauderdale can choose from alternating 6- and 8-night eastern and western Caribbean adventures to Charlotte Amalie, San Juan and The Bahamas’ historic capital of Nassau, plus each eastern Caribbean getaway will visit Perfect Day at CocoCay. To close out the adventure-packed season, Allure will return to Royal Caribbean’s first zero-energy terminal in the Lone Star State for 7-night getaways to the western Caribbean, which will visit Roatan, Honduras, and Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico.

More ways to see and explore the Caribbean will be revealed. Vacationers can book the new and upcoming adventures by visiting Royal Caribbean’s website.

 

 

Cover art by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

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