The Best Way To Protect Your Beach Vacation


You work hard for your well-earned vacation time. Shouldn’t you protect it? Yes, you should. As with any other financial investment of your time and money, it’s wise to be proactive and prepared for the “what-ifs” that may occur before, during, or after a vacation—and have a plan of action so you’re not caught off guard.

That’s where travel insurance comes in. Sometimes people are quick to dismiss it as unnecessary, but until you really know what’s offered—it’s best to consider your options and weigh them carefully.

Here are a few questions you’ll want to have answers to before deciding on whether or not travel insurance is right for you.

Why Travel Insurance?

First things first. Why should you consider buying travel insurance in the first place? Travel insurance is insurance. It’s put in place to help you financially (and otherwise) when stressful, unexpected situations arise. It’s simply a means of protecting your vacation from unseen circumstances.

Travel insurance is designed to protect those who elect coverage with financial safeguards in the case of events ranging from inconveniences to calamities. Coverage may include costs incurred before your trip, such as nonrefundable event tickets or your accommodation fees, and during your trip, including travel interruptions and medical expenses. Like other insurance products, there are specific provisions tied to these travel insurance policies that outline when and how reimbursements are given, and how much insured travelers are eligible to receive.

Buying travel insurance is a very personal decision, as every vacation is unique.

What Does It Cover?

Each travel insurance policy is different and has its own set of inclusions and exclusions, but most travel insurance policies include many commonalities. Before you review your travel insurance policy options, it’s best to first look at what and where you are already covered elsewhere. Credit card companies often offer you travel benefits so it’s good to know what kind of coverage you already may have. Know what your health insurance covers when you’re away from home. Check any benefits you may have from other groups or associations you belong to. From there, you can fill in the necessary gaps.

Here are a few of the major categories of protection most travel insurance policies provide:

  • Trip Cancellation Protection: This is the big one, and includes reimbursement for non-refundable trip payments and deposits.
  • Trip Interruption Protection: Sometimes trips start on time and end prematurely due to forces of nature and other circumstances beyond your control. This benefit includes reimbursement for unused costs and transportation costs to return home.
  • Travel Delay: Provides reimbursement for reasonable expenses incurred such as accommodations, meals, and local transportation if you are delayed during your trip due to a covered reason.
  • 24-Hour Hotline Assistance: While this doesn’t come with a dollar amount, getting real-time help when you’re in a pickle is priceless. This can include the arrangement of evacuations for medical emergencies, pre-trip assistance, etc.
  • Emergency Assistance and Transportation: If you or someone in your family gets sick or injured during your vacation, benefits that help you get where you need to go, whether to a hospital or back home, are invaluable.
  • Lost, Damaged, Stolen, or Delayed Luggage: If you’re flying to your vacation destination, these things are valid concerns. Lost or damaged bags at the airport is the #2 complaint issued to the Department of Transportation, so having this little added coverage can save you big headaches.
  • Travel Accidents: No one wants to think about these things when planning a vacation, but it is a potential risk and one that needs to be considered carefully.

Here are Access Realty, we offer travel insurance coverage through CSA Travel Protection. CSA Travel Protection, a Europ Assistance company, is dedicated to providing valuable travel insurance and emergency assistance services to protect travelers’ valuable investments and provide the peace of mind you deserve while traveling. CSA has developed a reputation for standing behind its customers and by offering products and services to meet their needs. Through superior customer service, extensive experience, and industry-leading innovation, CSA is with its clients every step of the way, whenever and wherever they are needed.

You can view CSA’s Vacation Rental Insurance Policy here.

Are There Any Other Travel Perks?

We’re so glad you asked! Yes, there are plenty of travel perks that accompany travel insurance coverage. Here are a few offered by CSA Travel Protection.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Assistance Services: On-call anytime you need them! Emergency Assistance Services include Medical and Legal Referral, Traveling Companion Assistance, Locating Lost or Stolen Items, Replacement of Medication and Eyeglasses, Emergency Message Relay, and Pet Return.
  • Concierge Services: Provides assistance with arranging golf tee times,
    locating pet services, the purchase of sporting, amusement park or entertainment ticketing, even securing fine dining reservations.
  • Identity Theft Resolution Services: This is a real concern in this day and age but CSA has you covered by including this service for six months starting on the scheduled departure date. (Identity Theft Resolution does not provide assistance for thefts involving non-US bank accounts.)

Click here to read more about how CSA Travel Insurance can protect your Topsail beach vacation.

 

 Is there a time when travel insurance saved your vacation? We’d love to hear about it! 

All You Need to Know About Sea Turtles in Topsail

It’s that time of year again on the beach in Topsail Island, North Carolina. Sea turtle time! These cute and quirky reptiles of the sea are endlessly fascinating and absolutely adorable.

Let’s get to know them a little better and talk about what you can do to help during your Topsail beach vacation and where you can go to see them in action. There are also ways you can help the local sea turtle population right from your Topsail vacation rental, as well as on the beach and around town. Here’s what you need to know!

NC Sea Turtle Nesting & Hatching Season

In North Carolina, the nesting season is mid-May through August. The Loggerhead Sea Turtle comes ashore to nest 3 to 5 times during a nesting year. She deposits an average of 120 eggs per nest. The eggs incubate in the sand for about 60 days.

After all the hatchlings have pipped out of their eggs, they emerge from the nest together and race to the sea. Weighing in at about two ounces, their first challenge on our beach is escaping the deadly grasp of the ghost crabs. Once in the water they must hide from both bird and fish predators.

It is a long swim to maturity. It is estimated that 1 in 1000 survives the first year, and as few as 1 in 5,000 – 10,000 survive to adulthood. No one has the answer to this. In 20 to 30 years the surviving hatchlings will reach adulthood. The females will return to their natal beaches to lay their eggs and the cycle begins again.

(Source: Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital)

Where You Can Help Topsail Sea Turtles

Topsail Island has 26 miles of barrier island coastline. Each mile is surveyed every morning to identify sea turtle tracks and nests from May through August. Hatching season usually runs from July through October on the beaches of Topsail Island.

Here are some of the the local places and people who are an integral part of the success of our local sea turtle population’s protection and advancement. They deserve your support!

Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue & Rehabilitation Center: This organization is dedicated to sea turtle care and rehabilitation and is staffed entirely by volunteers, so 100% of all donations go directly to the sea turtles that they treat. Since opening they have successfully rescued, rehabilitated, and released close to 400 sea turtles not counting the thousands of hatchlings who needed a bit of help. Like and follow them on the Topsail Sea Turtle Hospital Facebook page for the latest announcements and updates. Visiting hours at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Center start up again for the season on April 5, 2018.

Salty Turtle Beer Company: The Salty Turtle Beer Company is all about being a neighborhood brewery. They have partnered with Karen Beasley’s Sea Turtle Hospital and other local organizations that give back to the community. When you support them with your patronage—you’re in turn supporting Topsail Island sea turtles, as a portion of the funds are given directly to the sea turtle hospital. Drink some beer and save some sea turtles all at the same time. Cheers to that! Find out more about who they are and what they offer on the Salty Turtle Beer Company’s Facebook page.

NC Sea Turtle Project and SeaTurtle.org: The NC Sea Turtle Project, run by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission’s Division of Wildlife Management, is committed to monitoring North Carolina’s sea turtle population. This project would not be possible without the help of hundreds of volunteers, as well as many organizations and agencies. They are an awesome sea turtle resource both locally and regionally.

More Ways to Help Sea Turtles

So what can you do to help while you’re here vacationing on Topsail beach and enjoying your Topsail Island vacation rental? A lot! Here are some more tips on how you can actively protect and preserve Topsail’s sea turtles during nesting and hatching season. We thank you in advance for helping!

Volunteer your time with a local sea turtle organization. If you stay on Topsail Island throughout the summer months, consider volunteering with a local sea turtle organization. The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital has new volunteer orientation for 2018 on April 10th from 6-8:30p.m. and on April 17th 1- 3:30p.m. at the Surf City Welcome Center. You can find out more by emailing: topsailseaturtle@aol.com. You can also click here to find a local seaturtle.org volunteer group near you.

Minimize artificial light on the beach and in your Topsail oceanfront vacation rental. Nesting females are often scared away by flashlights, headlights, and fireworks. Although turtles are persistent and will attempt to nest either the same night or the next, too many false attempts at nesting will eventually require her to “dump” her eggs in the ocean. Eggs cannot develop underwater. Hatchlings also become disoriented by bright lights like walkway lights, or even inside lights or porch lights. They will attempt to cross over the dune and often end up tangled in vegetation or become easy prey once the sun begins to rise. Remember to turn off all porch lights when not in use at your Topsail oceanfront rental, and close the drapes so internal lights aren’t visible from the beach.

Remove recreational equipment from the beach. After your fun day at the beach, be sure to remove any furniture or toys from the beach, or try to stack them together as neatly as possible. Turtles have been known to get tangled up in beach chairs and tents as they make their way up the beach.

Remove all trash from the beach. Never litter, and do your part to pick up trash you see on the beach, in the park, or on the side of the road. Even when not near a beach, all litter has the potential of being carried by the wind and making its way into our waterways and onto our beaches. Turtles can mistake garbage as food, especially plastic bags and balloons, which look like jellyfish. Garbage in general degrades the health of the beach environment, making fewer suitable places for turtles to nest, feed and live.

Leave nesting female sea turtles undisturbed. If you come across a nesting female, or a female that is making her way up or down the beach, admire her from a distance. Movements, voices, and even strong smells (like cologne) could scare her away. Crouch down and stay very still. Even though turtles are rarely disturbed once they begin laying their eggs, it is best to keep your distance throughout the event. Give your eyes time to adjust to the darkness and you’ll be able to watch her without the need of flashlights.

Don’t leave holes in the sand. Large holes that are fun to dig should be filled in before nightfall. Not only have these holes been deadly traps for nesting females, they prove very dangerous for people walking on the beach at night as well.

Don’t disturb sea turtle nest markers. Areas that have been roped off or labeled as “off-limits” in order to protect the nest and hatchlings should be respected. Keep your dogs on leashes and make sure young children understand. Remember, sea turtles are protected under federal and state law and any activity that threatens that protection could be punishable.

Report any sea turtle activity. If you see any sea turtle activity, report it as soon as possible. The most important to report are sick or injured live turtles that need immediate care, and dead stranded turtles need to be tended to in a timely fashion. Call the NC Sea Turtle Project pager number at (252) 247-8117 and wait for a return call. Information on nesting females, turtle tracks, or hatching events is also greatly appreciated; call (252) 728-1528 or use the pager number. Sightings of sea turtles (assumed healthy turtles seen in the water) are also useful to biologists and can be reported by phone or email (252-728-1528, matt.godfrey@ncwildlife.org).

(Source: seaturtle.org)

Topsail Rentals Near Sea Turtle Releases

If you’re looking to be close and conveniently located to all of the Topsail sea turtle release action and excitement, you can choose a Topsail beach vacation rental right near the Roland Avenue beach access in Surf City, where most of the sea turtle releases happen.

Access Realty has some wonderful properties in this area that are perfect for sea turtle spotting. Let us know if we can help you find the right Topsail rental for you!

  • Flounder In: Appropriately named for its close proximity to the pier, “Flounder In” is smack in the middle of it all in central downtown Surf City. This 4 BR, 3 BA rental is within walking distance to just about everything Surf City has to offer including shops, restaurants, entertainment, and fishing. This home features large sweeping decks with an oceanfront gazebo where you can relax in the shade with a good book and an oceanfront pool to catch a good tan. A private boardwalk provides access to the beach and ocean.
  • Starfish: “Starfish” is a large 4 BR, 3 BA recently renovated home located in the heart of Surf City, lies less than 1/2 mile from the Surf City pier, shops and restaurants. This beautiful home sits just steps away from the beach, boasts covered decks and features spectacular ocean views. Starfish has everything you’re looking for in a beach vacation. Sitting quietly on a large lot, it is easy to see why this home is such a popular vacation destination. A private, enclosed outdoor shower is underneath the home for your convenience, close to the small picnic table enclosed in gorgeous landscaping near the rear of the home.
  • Wave To Cool: Sleeping 12, “Wave To Cool,” a 4 BR, 2 BA oceanfront getaway, offers a perfect location for families looking to catch some waves, sun rays, and lounge in the sand for days! Enter through the front door, proceed up to the main living area and walk into the huge open kitchen with large dining table. Attached to the kitchen and dining area lies the living room. Here, cozy couches boasting tropical print welcome you to sit and take in the amazing views.
  • Surf Monkeys: “Surf Monkeys” is a towering 5 BR, 5 1/2 BA house located in Surf City, just a few blocks from shopping, restaurants and the fishing pier. This house sleeps 14 and features two huge L-shaped decks with panoramic ocean views, an expanded cable package, high speed internet, an outdoor cold water shower and much more.
  • Parrotise: From the peaceful morning sunrises to the golden evening sunsets, you will have it all while staying in “Parrotise.” This oceanfront duplex features 4 BR, 3 BA and inviting coastal decor. You can enjoy the “Parrotise” in this prime location where you’re within walking distance to a myriad of local restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, grocery stores, and retail stores. Or enjoy the fresh ocean air while strolling the 26 miles of beautiful sandy beach between your toes.
  • C-Breeze: “C-Breeze” offers 4 BR, 3 1/2 BA centrally located on North Shore Drive in Surf City and is a true piece of oceanfront luxury within walking distance to entertainment, pier fishing, dining and shopping. Situated on a private lot and quiet beach just far enough away from the hustle and bustle of island life, you will find “C-Breeze,” a meticulously maintained piece of island paradise.

 

We hope that this post has helped you get to know our Topsail Island sea turtles a little bit better. Have you had any Topsail sea turtle encounters? We’d love to hear about it! Our comment section is always open.