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8 Great Reasons to Extend Your Vacation (and Your Travel Insurance) 

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Sometimes you’re ready to go home at the end of a long trip. Other times, you feel a pang of longing as you board the plane. “If only I could stay a few more days…” you sigh. Well, why can’t you?

Extending a trip is easier than you think. Some airlines, like Southwest, allow you to change your flight reservations without paying any change fees. For lodging, try an app like Hotel Tonight, which offers great last-minute deals on hotel rooms. If your travel budget is a little strained, see if your destination has any poshtels — upscale hostels that offer comfy accommodations. If you’re overseas, check the country’s visa restrictions to make sure you’re not overstaying.

You may be able to extend your travel insurance coverage as well with the Travelers Protection Plan, which offers affordable and flexible coverage for free-spirited travelers. Just call Allianz Global Assistance at 1-866-884-3556 before your policy is scheduled to end to extend your coverage for up to an additional 30 days. You may be able to extend your return date as long as you haven’t experienced an accidental injury or sickness and have not had medical treatment during your trip. Restrictions apply, so be sure to read your policy before you opt to extend your travel.

Need a good reason to extend your vacation? We came up with a few.

1. Because a business trip brought you to a fun destination.

You have to attend a boring work conference in Miami. As soon as you step outside the convention center, you fall in love with the city. The cafecitos! The beaches! The people on the beaches! Go on, extend your business trip for a few days of play. It’s called “bleisure travel,” and you’re not alone: in one survey, 37 percent of North American business travelers extended a work trip to include leisure.1

2. Because the weather changed for the better.

On your three-day vacation in New York City, it rains buckets every day. Then, on the day you’re supposed to leave, the clouds break, and the city basks under blue October skies. This is the New York you dreamed about — so you extend your trip for two more days.

3. Because you finally found what you’ve been looking for.

You thought your trip to Costa Rica would be super chill, but every beach you visit is packed with loud tourists. Bummer. Then, a few days before you’re supposed to head back to San José, you discover Matapalo, a peaceful seaside town with small cabanas and rainforest eco-lodges. You extend your vacation by three days so you can luxuriate in the quiet. Pura vida!

4. Because your quest isn’t over.

You traveled to Lithuania because you hoped to find out more about your family history on your grandmother’s side, who emigrated to the United States when she was a girl. Your research takes you from Vilnius to the beautiful town of Kėdainiai. Thanks to a historian at a local synagogue, you find not only your family’s records, but your grandmother’s living relatives. Of course you extend your trip so you can meet them.

5. Because you want to take the long way home.

You flew from San Francisco to Vancouver, BC, to visit a friend. When it’s time to head back, you can’t bear to leave because you’ve fallen in love with the lush scenery of the Pacific Northwest. So you decide to do the 15-hour-plus drive home instead, visiting Seattle, Portland, Redwood National Park and the Oregon coast. And now we have that Supertramp song in our heads…

6. Because you have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

You start chatting with a fellow traveler in a bar in Santiago, as you’re wrapping up a 10-day tour of Chile. “I’m heading to Easter Island in the morning,” she says. “Wanna come?” The island is a five-hour flight away, but you realize you’ll never be closer to it than you are right now. So you cancel your trip home, book a flight to Easter Island and spend two days marveling at the ancient moai statues.

7. Because you might as well turn a long layover into a mini-vacation.

You already had a six-hour layover planned in Paris when your flight home is cancelled and rescheduled for the morning. You’ve always wanted to see Paris, so you push back your flight to Tuesday and spend two glorious days visiting museums, boutiques, and patisseries. Here are a few ideas for sightseeing during layovers in Paris, Amsterdam, and London.

8. Because you had a spiritual awakening.

While on a meditation retreat in Bangalore, you experience a sudden revelation: You don’t want to go back to your normal life and your boring job. Like, ever. You want to stay in India for three more weeks and study to become a yoga instructor. Why not? Life is short, and travel is one of the best parts.

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Apr 19, 2018