Ask T+L: Evacuation Insurance, Holiday Rentals, Cambodia, Native Crafts
Published: April 2009
Q: I’ve recently started taking more adventure trips. Should I sign up for a medical-emergency transportation program the next time I go? —Ed Hastings, Evanston, Ill.
A: Several medical-emergency transportation programs airlift travelers from virtually anywhere to a hospital of their choice—a luxury not included in typical travel insurance plans, which may prefer to send travelers to the best hospital nearby. A medical evacuation from Johannesburg, South Africa, to New York could cost $125,000. But these medical-emergency membership transportation programs charge only a small fraction of that, with annual fees ranging from $225–$250 for individuals to $350 for families. And, in some cases, even single-trip coverage can be purchased. Alabama-based AirMed International (800/356-2161; airmed.com) offers a 14-day-trip plan from $95. And if you’re staying closer to home, MedjetAssist (800/527-7478; medjet.com) recently introduced a domestic policy for travel within the 48 contiguous United States. American Express Platinum Card members already receive emergency medical evacuation coverage as part of the card plan.
Q: We’re looking for an affordable two-bedroom apartment rental in New York City for the holidays. Any ideas? —David Alford, Los Angeles, Calif.
A: According to T+L A-List agent Amy Glass, extended-stay residences, which come with hotel-like concierge and housekeeping services, and conveniences such as kitchens and Internet access, are a great option. Glass recommends Korman Communities’ AKA division (866/252-9999; hotelaka.com; from $315 per night), which has four residences in the city. The Marmara Manhattan Hotel & Residence (from $349 per night) is a pet-friendly option within blocks of Museum Mile. Herrick Guest Suites (from $295) also has a handful of apartments in brownstones in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood.
Q: My husband and I are traveling to Cambodia for the first time and already plan to visit the temples in Angkor. What else should our itinerary include? —Becca Laughton, Boulder, Colo.
A: The city of Siem Reap, just south of the temples, is steeped in Khmer traditions. After shopping at the Old Market, consider visiting handicraft collective Artisans d’Angkor. Off the beaten path, Kâmpóng Khleang, on Tonle Sap Lake, is an enchanting village that’s actually a forest of stilted houses. When it’s time to rest your head, check into Hôtel de la Paix (doubles from $330), or the Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor (doubles from $360).
Ask an Expert: T+L’s Shane Mitchell
Q: I love wearing accessories from around the world. Can you suggest an organization that sells native crafts and gives profits back to the community? —Eugenia Han, Coral Gables, Fla.
A: T+L contributing editor Shane Mitchell, an expert on artisan collectives, shares her recommendations: “I adore Tanda Zulu’s necklaces, bracelets, and earrings, made by artisans in South Africa, who are paid up to seven times the minimum wage. All profits go toward helping orphans in the region. India-based women’s collective Qilasaaz sells silk scarves embroidered in the centuries-old chikankari style, as well as handbags and kurtas. Or pick up beaded necklaces by designer Julio Pagliani (juliopagliani.com); they benefit Tarahumara Indians and mestizo families in Norogachi, Mexico.”