Yearly, millions of people in all age-groups plan backpacking ventures. Whoever you are, it’s vital to get specialist backpacker insurance. That’s why we’ve compiled this guide to help you to find a deal. So whether you are going on a gap-year adventure, or are having a retirement backpacking holiday you should read this guide.

Travel periods

If you are going to be backpacking for more than 2 months, you will have to have specialist backpacking insurance – often referred to as extended leave insurance. They often cover you for up to 18 months and some even extend longer than that. If you’re going away for less than that, read this article for information on travel insurance.


All insurance policies vary, but most will cover you on the following:

Medical issues (not pre-existing ones)

Cancellation – you must have a valid reason for cancelling the trip though

The loss of personal belongings

Travel Delays

Accidents covering normal circumstances

However, there are some industry-wide things insurers don’t cover for. Some are:

Alcohol-related injury

Travel to the FCO’s list of dangerous countries

And finally, the theft of non-protected possessions.

Theft in low-security areas may not be covered

For many, backpacking is an opportunity to get away from life’s luxuries, such as 5-star hotels. They opt for low-cost hostels instead, but these have their own downsides. Many insurers will claim that if your items are stolen in a hostel, that they were not protected properly and therefore not pay-out. To combat this, we recommend that you use locks on all your luggage and maybe leave some gadgets at home.

Buy insurance as soon as you’ve booked

Another good practice is to buy insurance as soon as you’ve booked your adventure. The main benefit of this is to cover you if your trip is cancelled due to an illness or injury. Many don’t buy insurance until a few weeks before their trip, but it comes back to haunt them later.

Tell them about all your medical conditions

You may be apprehensive about giving the insurance company all of your details about your health, but in order to prevent any risk of them rejecting your claims, this is an absolute must. You should disclose all conditions relating to your trip, but as prices change depending on what affects you, some choose to take the risk and lie on the form. This could have huge implications such as racking up a massive medical bill abroad. 

Check once, check twice

In order for your trip to go smoothly, you need to have all the necessary documents and items to help you on your trip. These include:

Checking your visas

Getting all necessary vaccinations

Exchange money for the local currency

Note emergency numbers

And get an extra copy of your travel documents.

This is our guide to help you have the trip of a lifetime, so go out there and enjoy yourself. Remember to find the best deal for your needs, and remember to check out our other blogs for all things insurance! Thanks for reading!