Imagine trying to cover $1000's of dollars in medical bills or not being able to get urgent medical treatment because you don't have insurance.
Backpacking and adventure - they go hand in hand. Adventure and risk - same same. While to some degree the sense of new locations, challenges and risks are part of the spice of backpacking, there's one risk some trekkers still take that can land them in disaster. There are still individuals who take off overseas without backpacker's travel insurance!
Is it the perception they can't afford the cover, or is it the perception that 'nothing will go wrong' because they know how to handle themselves and won't go into any high risk areas?
An unlikely case was that of a backpacker who was knocked dangerously unconsciously by a falling coconut as she relaxed back on a SE Asian beach - hardly a high risk situation. Fortunately her hospital/medical expenses were covered by her travel insurance.
Great Backpacker Policies Should Offer
Choice for starters. Online Aussie company, itrek offers cover up to 18 months designed uniquely for backpackers and students and a great range of options under their Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels.
When making your comparison, look for policies that provide unlimited emergency medical and hospital cover plus medical evacuation expenses plus cash in hospital and emergency expenses as standard. Also look for companies that clearly understand the unique needs and flexibility required by backpackers.
Always read the policy documents to confirm the company's stance on aspects such as extreme sports or activities, personal property such as laptops and iPods, and high-risk travel regions - all areas that can be bones of contention should a claim arise.
Quick Tips When You're Backpacking
- Leave valuables in the hotel or youth hostel safe when possible and lock your luggage. If you're sharing a dorm consider padlocking your luggage to your bed - nicer if you can do it discreetly.
- Always seek medical advice from your doctor or travel medical centre, receiving the necessary vaccines in plenty of time before you go. You may take malaria tablets but covering up and using mossy spray will be your best strategy.
- Just because you can buy your policy online at the last minute doesn't mean you should. Policies do vary and you need to have time to compare policies and companies to make sure you have the best cover.
Taking the time to compare travel insurance companies, as well as their backpacker insurance policies, will save you heaps of grief and cash in the long run.
Compare cheap backpacking quotes today!