Backpacking is an exciting opportunity to go out and meet the world on your terms; you set the pace, the itinerary and (in most cases) the cost. For many people, it represents the most freedom that they are likely to experience in their lifetime; but as with any such endeavour, planning is highly important. Indeed, the level of freedom and direction available to you as a prospective backpacker makes the need to have a safety net in place of even greater necessity; if something does go wrong, the responsibility to extricate yourself from the situation will otherwise fall solely upon you.
Getting a failsafe in place needn't be a massive chore, though, as all you really need to cover your back is a good travel insurance policy. The only complexity involved is in deciding exactly what cover you will require from the insurance policy in question. As a travel insurer that specialises in covering backpacking and gap year related trips, you can be sure that our policies will keep you covered, but it's important for you to analyse exactly what cover you are likely to need.
One of the ways that we are able to offer such competitive pricing is through the level of customisation that we offer on our policies; the more detail that you are able to provide in terms of your plans, the better the price and cover that you will receive. In this article we'll take a look at the variables involved with securing the right level of travel insurance, to ensure that you have accounted for every provision. After all, you don't want a nagging voice in the back of your head for the entirety of your trip, keeping you from enjoying yourself for fear of injury to yourself or your bank account!
Party size, possessions and attributes
A major determining factor of holiday expenses is what, and who, you are taking with you; going on an extended holiday by yourself, with a satchel packed only with essentials, is unlikely to require a great deal of expense. However, a long trip with your significant other, with two camping bags filled with expensive gadgets and cutting edge travel accessories will inevitably cost a fair amount more; both in terms of costs incurred abroad, and insurance premiums. Existing medical conditions may also affect the cost and level of insurance cover that you are able to get access to. If you have an ongoing medical condition, it's definitely worth your while to contact our helpful, friendly team, to ensure that we are still able to offer the cover that you require. It's also important to note that if you fear that your holiday may be effected by things such as psychological conditions, or holidays cut short by the medical conditions of family and friends back home, it's worth evaluating the coverage that you intend to purchase.
Working abroad is an excellent idea and poses a number of large advantages for travellers; primarily offering a means to fund extended excursions abroad. Such work doesn't need to be particularly demanding and can often serve as a further way to meet new people, and explore local culture more thoroughly. Working while you're travelling can also be a particularly rewarding experience, especially as a teacher or instructor. For example, English teachers are often in high demand; so this kind of work is often fairly easy to find, and can also be fairly lucrative. If that kind of thing doesn't appeal to you, then bar work or something similar will cover your costs just fine. However, working abroad is not always as easy as showing up to a business and asking for work. Many countries have different criteria's that must be fulfilled before you can find work there. In some cases you may need a work visa; in others you may need extra qualifications.
Regardless, you'll also need to make sure that your insurance package offers cover comprehensive enough for such work; never assume that workplace accidents are covered by holiday insurance, even if the cover is for an extended trip. Our Gap Year and student travel insurance provides cover for a working on your holiday as standard; but if you intend to do a particularly more risky or hazardous job abroad, it may be worth checking with our team to make sure that we are able to offer you the correct level of coverage. If a particular job, such as instructing an extreme sport, is not covered by our basic coverage, there's a good chance that it can instead be covered by one of our activity packages.
When it comes to holiday activities, it is particularly important to make sure that you have the correct level of coverage; sustaining an injury while cave diving on your travels around South America is bad enough as it is! Finding yourself having to foot the bill of specialist healthcare; as well as a potentially earlier journey home, and any loss of equipment, if such occurrences are not covered by your insurance policy; simply adds insult to injury. First things first, you'll want to tally up every activity you are likely to partake in during the trip. The word 'likely' is the most important one in that sentence, as the longer you are abroad, the more likely you are to participate in an activity that you weren't originally planning on. It's amazing how quickly an otherwise terrifying bungee jump becomes appealing when you're trying new things far away from home!
Once you've compiled your list, have a look at which band the activities will fall under on our longstay activity list. While seeming like a self-serving piece of advice for us to give, it's often better to select a higher level of cover than that which you have estimated that you'll require; the more cover you have, the greater the flexibility you can have in your plans! It's a truly horrible situation to be in, if you find yourself wanting to take part in an activity that you do not have the correct insurance coverage for.
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