What is backpacker travel insurance?

Annual and multi-trip travel insurance policies cover you for up to a year, but they have a cap of between 30 – 60 days travel. Backpacker travel insurance can be tailored to ensure you have cover for the whole duration of your trip. Policies are typically 12 months long. But extended policies can be bought. If you plan to travel around the world with a backpack, for up to a year, this policy is the one for you.

sunset backpackerWhat Backpacking cover offers:

  • Trips up to 18 months
  • Worldwide cover
  • Adventure sport and activities often as standard (inc. Bungee jumping, sky-diving and white water rafting)
  • High level of cover – including possessions and student loan repayment
  • 24/7 Emergency Medical Support
  • Cancellation, Money and Baggage Cover
  • Up to three under 18’s are often included for FREE with an adult policy

24/7 assistance

As a standard, many backpacker travel insurance policies include a 24-hour helpline. This can be useful when you are unsure about whether participating in any activities that could potentially void the terms of your backpacker travel insurance policy. 

Length of trip

Backpacker travel insurance allows you to remain on an extended trip without the need to purchase new cover for each country you travel to. You may have to specify which countries you require cover for. Usually, policies are for 12 months but maximum cover can last for between 90 days and 18 months. When you compare backpacker travel insurance, make sure your policy fits the duration of your travel plans.

Working abroad

Backpacker insurance policies also cover you for working abroad and adventure sports. However, you should still check the details of the policy to ensure these are included. For working abroad there may be specifics within the insurance policy about what kind of work is covered.

Adventure sports, winter sports and water sports

Most backpacker travel insurance policies will include some cover for these types of activities. But you should make sure before you partake. If they are not included you can usually purchase them as an add-on to a policy.

Pre-existing medical conditions

You should always be honest about having any pre-existing medical conditions when comparing backpacker travel insurance. Failure to do so may result in refusal to cover you in the instance of medical treatment. You will be able to find policies that are specifically tailored to people who have pre-existing medical conditions.

Geographical issues

Certain countries may be excluded from your backpacker travel insurance policy. Due to things like war out-breaking and political unrest, you may not be covered. Your policy terms and conditions should indicate if there are any geographical limitations.

How much cover should my backpacker travel insurance policy include?

When you compare different travel insurance policies, you should check to make sure you are covered for the countries you plan to enter. When you compare backpacker travel insurance policies it can be easy to choose a policy because it appears to be cheaper than the rest. However, you must be certain that the policy you purchase includes an amount of excess that you are willing to pay. Some backpacker travel insurance will appear cheap but have high excesses. Just be cautious that your policy reflects the amount of excess you can deal with.

swimming sunset

Escape the map tips

  • Some backpacker travel insurance policies may become invalid if too much time is spent back in the UK, during the duration of your policy. Some may allow a limited amount of time back in the UK to cater for special occasions. But before returning, just make sure your backpacker travel insurance policy permits it.
  • Get your vaccinations. Not only do some jabs need to be administered over a course of several weeks, but the effects can knock you for six. Give yourself time to feel well again before you leave. It’s also a good idea to check if you will be travelling to any malaria hotspots and seek antimalarial tablets from your GP where necessary.
  • Apply for your tourist visas. A visa for India for example, which you will need in advance, will take at least seven days to process and could delay your trip if you don’t sort your paperwork out before travelling.
  • Be savvy with your spending money. When it comes to your spending money, make sure you shop around for the best currency conversion rates and consider getting a pre-paid card which is a safer way to carry holiday spending money.
  • Keep track of bank statements online, this way you will know what is going on with your finances at all times and have the bank on speed dial in case of emergencies, you know for times that someone steals your identity and starts applying for payday loans.
  • To make sure you don’t have to call your trip short in the event of your wallet or backpack being stolen, split your spending money over 2 or 3 cards and keep these in a hidden money belt on your person at all times.
  • Finally, it’s always a good idea to have some currency on you when you first arrive at your destination in case of unexpected expenses.
  • Take copies of your paperwork. Make sure your travel insurance policy – as well as all other travel documents, including a photocopy of your passport – are printed out and kept on your person.
  • Make a note of emergency numbers. Highlight relevant phone numbers to save having to look for them in an emergency – such as the British Embassy at your destination, local emergency service numbers and 24 hour help lines provided by some travel insurers – and always remember to keep your mobile phone charged at all times.
  • Register with the FCO Locate System. Registering for the free FCO (Foreign & Commonwealth Office) Locate System can help the embassy get in touch with you easily in the event of a terrorist attack or natural disaster. This is a brilliant idea if you have friends and family back home who might be worried about you.
  • Find out about the ‘Know Before You Go Campaign’. The FCO launched this campaign in 2011 with the purpose of educating would be backpackers on travel tips and country specific advice.
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