Last month, we shared with you our five top tips for pre-planning before you travel (if you missed this article, you can click here to read it). This month, in Part 2 of our Travel Safe! Series, we are focusing on making sure the travel you plan for you and your family is protected against uncertainty.

Most of us no longer work with a travel agent to plan our trip. One of the benefits of working with a travel agent, however, is that the agent makes sure your trip is protected against unexpected cancellation or illness. Travel agents accomplish this in several ways including purchasing trip insurance through the vendor, using insurance provided through their own company or simply keeping you updated of the date on which you can cancel with penalty.

Today, it is fairly simple and easy to plan your own trip, not to mention enjoyable and more cost effective. With this in mind, however, what should we do on our own to make sure we are still able to protect our travel plans against unforeseen circumstances that may require us to cancel? Here are our three planning tips when it comes to protecting your travel investment:

1. Determine what type of insurance you need. You want your insurance to cover all aspects of your trip and purchasing piecemeal coverage for your flight or for your hotel, may not include the rental car you need or the events you have planned while on the trip. Your goal is to be made whole in the event of cancellation. Make sure your insurance is comprehensive.

2. Choose whether to self-insure or not. If you cannot get full coverage on your trip through the vendors you are planning with, talk to your other insurance providers such as your home insurance or car insurance company. You may be surprised to find the comprehensive travel insurance coverage offered by both AAA and AARP.

3. Read the policy. Not every scenario is included, even in these all-inclusive policies. You also should understand what information you will need to furnish to obtain reimbursement and what percentage of your trip will be reimbursed. Read the fine print now to know how to protect yourself in the event of a crisis. After reading the policy, consider purchasing a secondary policy that can act as gap insurance.

We know just what fun traveling and planning trips with your family can be. Just don’t forget, in light of the uncertainties that can arise in our daily lives, to protect yourself and the investment you are making.