If you are going on a long trip, like travelling during your gap year, you will need specialist backpacker travel insurance.

This is because most single trip and annual policies will not offer a maximum trip length long enough to cover you.

What does backpacker insurance cover?

It will cover things like medical expenses and cancellation, but it will usually also include:

  • Longer trip duration: Many policies will cover you for up to 18 months of continuous travel.

  • Cover for several countries: You can visit any country in your selected area of travel during your trip. You can usually choose from Europe, Worldwide excluding USA, Canada and the Caribbean and Worldwide including USA, Canada and the Caribbean.

  • Activities cover: Some backpacker policies will cover certain extreme and adventure sports as standard. Not all do this so check the policy first as you may have to pay extra to cover the activities you want.

You can find out everything that travel insurance covers here.

Look out for exclusions

There some exclusions that you should look out for, like:

  • Age limit: Some backpacker policies have a much lower maximum age than normal travel policies, sometimes as low as 35 years old

  • Return home cover: If you plan to return to the UK during your trip it could invalidate some policies, but others will let you come home and restart your policy as soon as you leave

  • Pre-existing medical conditions: Not all policies cover certain medical problems, but you must declare any conditions you have when you apply for backpacker travel insurance

How to get the right backpacker policy

  1. Look for policies that offer a long enough trip duration for your travels

  2. Check it covers the activities you want to take part in

  3. Look at the exclusions to make sure you are eligible for the policy

  4. Compare quotes to find the cheapest price

You should also make sure the policy offers all the cover you need for things like medical expenses, baggage and cancellation.