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Backpacker Travel Insurance

It’s a dream come true, your Round the World Trip is coming closer! However, before packing and flying away, this ultimate trip needs a few preparations. To make sure that the experience won’t be spoiled, it is important to spend a bit of time on choosing a good travel insurance. As there are many offers for travel insurances, it can be difficult to choose one. In this article, we will explain the reasons why you should get a backpacker travel insurance. We will then give you a few tips to help you find the one that suits you.

Why get backpacker travel insurance

When leaving your country, you usually lose your rights to your national health care system. For UK citizens, when you travel to an EU country or Switzerland you should have a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).

For passport holders of member states of the European Union, if you are travelling in the European Union, you can get the European Health Insurance Card, that allows you to get treated in any European country at no cost for you. 

When you are travelling outside of the European Union, know that any medical or hospital costs that you may need will be your responsibility, and it can quickly become a massive bill. Incidents under your civil liability and the protection of your property are not negligible.

Do trips in the European Union require additional insurance?

During a trip to countries of the European Union, you are covered by the health care system of your country. To benefit of this, you first apply for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). You can apply for or renew your European Health Insurance Card if you’re from the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland. This health card will allow you to get state healthcare in other EEA countries and Switzerland at a reduced cost or for free depending on the situation.

For UK citizens, you should have a UK Global Health Insurance Card or a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) replaces the EHIC and lets you get state healthcare in Europe at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. If you have a UK European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) it will be valid until its expiration date. Once it expires, you’ll have to apply for a GHIC.

Credit card insurance

If you have a Visa Premier or MasterCard Gold credit card, then you should have travel insurance. Be careful though, it is usually limited in time and offers a low level coverage. It is actually only valid for travelling abroad under 90 days. Repayment rates are relatively low, and they list a number of exceptions. This is definitely not a sufficient insurance during a World Tour.

How to choose your travel insurance plan

When picking your insurance, several criteria must be taken into account. Among them :

The length of your trip

First, it is important to determine how long your trip will take. You will be travelling around the world, so it won’t be a short one! A Round The World flight ticket is usually valid for twelve months. 

You get travel insurance for a single trip for up to 6 months or multiple trips for long term travellers. Check that the travel insurance plan you intend to purchase covers you for your entire trip or that it can be renewed even if you are already on the roads.

Determine your travel-related risks 

When determining the risks you may be exposed to, you should think about:

  • The countries of destination and the seasons you will be travelling there. You might need medical and evacuation coverage depending on your destination.
    You usually have to choose between a worldwide coverage including or excluding US, Canada, and the Caribbean. So if you intend to travel in those countries, make sure you include them in your insurance plan.
  • The mode of transport you will use. The risks won’t be the same if you are riding a bike or if you only fly from point A to B.
  • Standards of food hygiene and sanitation in the countries you are visiting.
  • Your health. If you have a medical condition for example, you will probably need a higher coverage.
  • The activities you will be doing. Especially if you plan to work or practice dangerous activities abroad.

You must be aware that certain countries are not covered. This could be because of a war, the political situation etc. Make sure you verify with your insurance companies that you will be covered in EVERY country you will be visiting. 

Luggage Cover

When travelling for a long time, you are carrying everything you need with you. You also carry valuable goods such as camera, travel documents, jewellery etc. If your bag gets stolen or lost, you are going to be in a stressful situation having to replace all your belongings.

On a long trip like this one having a high luggage coverage is essential. Be sure to choose one that will cover your luggage if lost, stolen or delayed, all along your trip, on buses, in lodgings, planes etc.

backpacker travel insurance 2

Compare travel insurance

Comparing the plethora of travel insurances out there is a tedious affair. First, have a look at what the backpacker travel insurance policies include. If you’re going on a round-the-world trip, they should definitely cover the majority of countries. You might have to decide whether you want to travel to the USA & Canada or to high-risk countries, as those are often excluded from a standard policy. Furthermore, they should offer a 24-hour emergency assistance. They should cover your luggage and personal belongings, travel documents, a minimum of 1,000,000 EUR of medical expenses and personal liability, repatriation, trip cancellation and curtailment costs. It’s a big plus if you can extend your insurance as you can’t plan your trip in detail. You might change your mind a few times on such a long journey.

There are a plethora of comparison websites with search engines that spit out an overwhelming number of travel insurances. It’s difficult to make a general comparison though, as individual interests and plans differ. We have been working successfully with the partners listed below. If their policies don’t meet your needs, you will surely find a travel insurance provider that offers what you want, when doing your own research.

To pick the right insurance coverage, here is information on travel insurance companies that offer great coverage:

We had to make up a fictional person to be able to compare prices: A 25 year old British backpacker travelling for one year around the world except North America. Prices vary according to your age, nationality, destination, and travel time.


Your Plan

Disk Space


Email Accounts




World Nomads

standard plan

australia & new zealand

buy cover while travelling

24/7 emergency assistance

pause your insurance cover

wide range of adventure activities

covers every country in the world

world first backpacker

australia , New Zealand & Oceania


24/7 emergency assistance

 be covered while at work

personal belongings covered

trip cancellation cover

go walkabout longstay

australia & new zealand

*uk residents only


uk customer service & claims team

 personal possesions, cancelations, delays

option to add on a gadget extension

different water sport activities

truetraveller true value

australia & new zealand

*eea residents only


available if already abroad

single & multi-trip cover

road and gadget cover

baggage cover optional 

To view the details of these policies, please refer to the general conditions of each insurance company.

World Nomads
Created by a passionate traveller, World Nomads’ core concept is the ability to buy a travel insurance policy and extend it again and again as needed. World Nomads aims to cover trip essentials. Even if you run out of travel insurance or leave without it, you can still purchase it. By the way, they sell travel insurance to travellers from 140 different countries.
If you want to know more about World Nomads, go to : World Nomads Travel Insurance – Review 
Go Walkabout

Established in 1999, Go Walkabout aims to provide quality insurance cover to UK residents. With the Long Stay & Backpacker Plans, you can find the perfect coverage for your trip around the world for a maximum duration of 2 years.
Get 10% off your Travel Insurance with the promo code ABG10.
More information: Go Walkabout 10% off

World First Travel Insurance

As UK based company, World First targets mainly UK citizens. However, they work together with Voyager Insurance and IMG Europe to be able to include insurances for non-UK citizens and UK citizens that have already left the country in their product range.

This insurance company is especially interesting for travellers with existing medical conditions, as they cover over 1,000 different health problems. To find out more, do the medical screening online.


Truetraveller got a 5-star rating on Trustpilot (1087 reviews). For their policies, they cooperate with AWP P&C S.A, which is part of the Allianz Group (largest insurance company in the world).

Worldwide travel insurance including the USA and Canada

Perhaps you have already noticed that insurance companies offer worldwide travel insurance including or excluding the USA and Canada. Insurances that include the USA and Canada are more expensive. This is because the health care system in the USA and Canada is much more expensive than in other countries.

Related Topics: 

Updated on 14/04/2022


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