Backpacking holidays are an exciting rite-of-passage for many people. Going on a backpacking adventure can change the way you look at the world. Unlike a guided tour or a package holiday, a backpacking trip is not about relaxation and luxury. Instead, backpacking is about cultural discovery. When you backpack, you will meet locals, find hidden sites, and generally experience a country for what it is, rather than what typical tourists want it to be. While backpacking can be a safe way to travel as long as you use common sense, any sort of foreign travel has risks. In order to protect yourself while traveling, you need travel insurance. Here are five tips to help you pick the best type of travel insurance.
1. Annual Vs. Single-Trip Travel Insurance
There are two different types of policies typically offered by travel insurance companies. The first type of policy covers you for an entire year. The second type covers a shorter, single trip. Choose an annual policy if you are going on an extended backpacking adventure. This is the best way to make sure your entire holiday is covered. Single-trip travel policies are generally cheaper, so if your backpacking trip is short, you might want to choose this option.
2. Insurance For Personal Items, Cash, And Paperwork
Make sure that your travel insurance policy covers personal items, travel documents, and cash. While you should travel light while backpacking, even a single backpack full of possessions has financial value and should be protected. Additionally, most backpackers today bring a camera or other electronic equipment with them, so it is more important ever that your luggage is covered against loss. Your insurance should also cover the cost of replacing a passport or visa.
3. Coverage For Medical Emergencies
Even if you travel safely, there is always the risk of an accident. Because all travel involves some risk, it is important that you select a travel insurance plan that covers medical expenses, including search and rescue costs and repatriation fees. If you have a personal health insurance policy, check to see if you will still be covered during travel. If your regular health insurance policy covers emergencies abroad, you might be able to select a cheaper travel insurance cover with a less comprehensive health plan. Before you select a plan, make sure that it will cover you while in all the countries you plan to visit.
4. Personal Liability Insurance
You should also purchase a travel insurance plan that covers any damage you accidentally cause. Make sure that your plan includes coverage for personal injury and damage to property.
5. Trip Cancellation
Your travel insurance policy should also protect you financially if you decide to cancel your trip. Even if you are convinced that you are going on your backpacking trip for sure, an emergency could come up. You or one of your traveling companions could become ill and unable to travel. A family member or friend could pass away. Good travel insurance will be valuable in these situations. Missing out on a planned getaway is disappointing enough without losing all of your money. Try to find an insurance company that will reimburse you for the cost of your airline ticket and rail pass if you need to cancel.