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Backpacker travel insurance – your adventure companion

Our intrepid Insurance team are here to bring you everything you need to know about protecting your backpacking adventure.

Embrace the adventure, leave the worries behind

Backpacking opens up a world of endless possibilities, and a lifetime of memories. Living out of a backpack, travelling from one destination to another gives a sense of freedom like no other. The last thing you want is to have your plans disrupted by something out of your control.

This is where backpacker travel insurance comes in. It's your protective travel companion, always by your side, no matter what corner of the globe you find yourself in. Here's why it's a key part of your backpacking essentials.

What is backpacker travel insurance?

Backpacker travel insurance is a type of travel insurance designed for longer trips. These trips often include many destinations, with a mix of adventures and cultural experiences. The maximum trip duration available, unless otherwise shown on your policy sechedule, is 550 days. It also provides cover for you to return to the UK once during the policy period due to either a trip interruption or a voluntary break.

Two backpackers exploring a Japanese shrine

Gadget cover – the digital nomad's toolkit

For the digital nomads among us, your travel insurance can include coverage for your personal tech gear. Laptops, cameras, and smartphones enable you to not only stay connected, but share your experiences anywhere in the world. Protecting them means you're safeguarding your personal gadgets and the memories they capture.

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When should I buy my backpacker cover?

It's always advisable to buy your travel insurance as soon as you've booked your holiday. This way you'll not only be covered for your trip, but also the period leading up to it, giving you cover against unforeseen circumstances like illness or cancellations.

Beyond the policy – staying safe on your travels

Safety is paramount, especially when you're exploring new horizons and embracing the backpacker lifestyle. Here are our top tips to make sure you stay safe on your adventure of a lifetime.

Research your destinations

Before you set off, get to know your destinations. A quick Google search, or chatting to friends who have been before will give you a great head start in making the most of your trip. Learn the local customs, any areas to avoid, and general safety advice.

Keep your belongings secure

Invest in a sturdy backpack with secure, lockable zips. Consider using a money belt or a hidden pouch for your most valuable items. Always be mindful of your belongings, especially in crowded areas.

Stay connected

Whether it's a phone or a laptop, make sure you can reach out to friends, family, or emergency services if needed. Share your travel plans with someone you trust. Sharing your location via Find My Friends, and downloading the what3words app on your phone are great tools to keep you safe and locatable at all times.

Health precautions

Get all the vaccinations you need, and find out how to access healthcare in the countries you're visiting before you go.

Avoid cash, if possible

When you can, it's a good idea to use banking apps, contactless payments (like Apple Pay or Google Pay), and currency cards to spend abroad. There are some countries, like Japan, Egypt and Romania which have mostly cash-based societies, so make sure you check before you go.

Emergency information

Keep a note of essential contacts, like the local embassy or consulate, emergency services, and a personal emergency contact.

Cultural sensitivity and respect

Understanding and respecting local cultures and laws can go a long way in keeping you safe. For example, did you know that in many Buddhist countries, showing the soles of your feet is a sign of disrespect? Or, that eating or drinking on local trains in Japan is frowned upon? What's acceptable at home might not be elsewhere, so adapt and be respectful.

Use tried-and-tested transport

Stick to well-known and reliable transport options. Research the safest modes of transport in each destination and avoid unmarked taxis or rides from strangers. For more information about travelling solo, see our in-depth solo travel guide.

Safe accommodation

Choose well-reviewed and trustworthy accommodation. Check in with reception or a friend when you return each evening, and make use of safes or lockers where available.

Adventure awaits!

Exploring as a backpacker is an exciting experience, offering unique opportunities to discover the world and its diverse cultures. With the right protection in place, you can focus on the important stuff – having the adventure of a lifetime.