Backpacker insurance guide

Taking a few months or even a year out of education to go backpacking around the world is now almost a standard of anyone's transition into the world of w*rk!

This page has been created to give a bit of guidance on what you should look out for in travel insurance to make sure you're covered if anything does go wrong. It's not intended to be an exhaustive list but a starting point to make sure you're safe on your travels.

Why bother with insurance at all?

Good question! Well, although we're all young, carefree and invincible, just imagine what would happen if you did get into difficulties. Backpacker travel insurance isn't just about protecting your possessions, it will also help to save your loved ones from distress and financial hardship should anything serious happen to you on your travels and for a relatively small sum of money, will save them worrying about paying thousands to repatriate you. Also things such as ipods, cameras and money can be covered to make sure that if you do have to stay in some of the less salubrious places, you can still have a good time safe in the knowledge that your possessions are covered.

What does travel insurance cover?

Common things include medical treatment (for new medical conditions), possessions and money. Some policies cover extreme sports but a lot do not, you should check with your individual provider.

Which travel insurance company should I go with?

There are hundreds of aggregator websites out there such as money supermarket who will look at all the different pricing options available but don't just go for the cheapest! Go for the one that has the right cover for you! Look out for travel companies who sell you insurance as an add-on as this can often just be an extra way for them to make money and they won't be thinking about the right policy for you. You could even try an independent travel insurance provider. It is often worth going for specialist backpacker insurance companies as these will often offer the most suitable insurance for backpackers. Some examples include;

Outbacker Backpacker Insurance

Downunder Travel Insurance


Before you set off on your trip, if you only do one thing, please take out insurance. The reason I am writing this page is because I didn't - and had an absolute nightmare stuck out in a third world country for several weeks before I could make my way back (although it could have been a lot worse). Just because the countries that you travel to have nice looking brochures or fancy television adverts doesn't mean that you'll get looked after if an illness befalls you out there like you would with the NHS. In certain countries life is cheap - make sure yours isn't!