Backpacker travel insurance

Compare backpacker insurance from just £22.50*

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  • Get cover in minutes for trips lasting up to 18 months

  • Help protect yourself against unexpected costs while travelling to multiple countries

  • Get cover for extreme and adventure activities like scuba diving and bungee jumping

*The cheapest backpacker policy based on 1 adult aged 30, with no previous medical conditions travelling for 1 month in Europe. Correct as of February 2024.  

What is backpacker travel insurance?

Backpacker travel insurance is designed to cover you to travel for an extended period of time. Unlike single-trip or multi-trip travel insurance, which cover you for a maximum of 31 days per trip, a backpacker policy normally covers you for up to 18 months. It also allows you to visit multiple countries.

Also known as gap year or long stay insurance, it's available for individuals and groups. Whether you're taking a gap year or simply taking a break to explore more of the world, a backpacker travel insurance policy makes sure you're covered.

Do I need backpacker travel insurance?

If you plan to travel for more than 31 days and visit multiple countries during your trip, you should get backpacker insurance. This includes going interrailing around Europe.

While most policies include medical expenses cover, healthcare systems vary greatly across the world. So, it's best to research the countries you'll be visiting to check how much cover you'll need. Backpacker insurance can help cover any additional medical or repatriation costs too. This applies even if you're travelling somewhere in Europe covered by the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).

These types of policies also typically include cover for extreme or adventure sports, including winter sports. This can be helpful if you plan on taking part in activities like scuba diving, bungee jumping or skiing.

How much does backpacker travel insurance cost?

The price of your holiday insurance will depend on several factors, including how long you're planning on travelling for:

Length of trip Cost1
1 month
3 months
6 months
12 months
18 months

1The cheapest backpacker policies based on 1 adult aged 30, with no previous medical conditions travelling in Europe. Correct as of February 2024.

What impacts the cost of backpacker insurance?

Insurers base their prices on a range of factors, including:

  • What countries you’re travelling to. Some countries, such as the USA or Caribbean, charge more for medical care. If you're travelling to one of these places, your insurance is likely to cost more to reflect this. You might also pay more if you're travelling somewhere with a higher risk of natural disaster or conflict.
  • Your age. Generally, the older you are, the more at risk you are for illness or injury. Travel insurance companies will sometimes impose upper age limits, or offer specialist policies for those over a certain age.
  • How long you’re travelling for. The longer you're away, the higher your chance of becoming ill or injured. This increases the chance of you claiming on your insurance, so it costs more.
  • Whether you want to add any extras to your policy like gadget insurance. Enhancing your policy to cover gadgets comes at an extra cost.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions mean you're more likely to need medical assistance when travelling. This means you might pay more for insurance than someone who doesn't have any pre-existing conditions. You should always declare pre-existing medical conditions though, otherwise you won't be covered.

We compare 43 trusted travel insurance companies to find you our best deals

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What does backpacker insurance cover?

When getting a backpacker insurance policy, you should check that it covers everything you need it to.


Your policy should cover:

  • Medical treatment in case you become ill or injured overseas
  • Loss, damage or theft of your personal belongings, such as money, luggage and travel documents
  • Delays and cancellations cover if your flights are cancelled or you have to cancel your trip due to an emergency
  • Accident, liability and legal expenses in case you get into any legal trouble abroad
  • Extreme, adventure and winter sports are included on some policies
  • Option to return home for a short period of time
  • Working while you're abroad is often included as standard

It won't normally cover:

  • Travelling against the advice of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)
  • Incidents that occur under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Undeclared medical conditions
  • Loss or theft of belongings that were left unattended
  • Injury resulting from illegal or reckless behaviour
  • Medical treatment that's covered by your EHIC or GHIC

What our travel insurance expert says

"If you're going backpacking, you need to make sure you've got the right insurance in place. We recommend getting backpacker insurance as soon as you book your trip. This way,  you're covered even in the run-up to your trip for things like flight or tour cancellations."
Matthew Harwood, Home & lifestyle insurance expert at
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Can I get backpacker travel insurance if I have a pre-existing medical condition?

Yes, as long as you declare any pre-existing medical conditions, most insurers will still cover you. These conditions may include cancer, stroke, heart and respiratory conditions.

However, some insurers may not cover travellers with multiple conditions or certain serious conditions. Others might only offer insurance at a much higher price. If you can't find suitable cover, the Money and Pension Service (MaPS) has a directory of insurers willing to cover customers with pre-existing medical conditions.

How do I compare backpacker insurance quotes?

Getting a quote for backpacker travel insurance only takes a few minutes. If you've used us before, just login and make sure your details are up to date.

If you haven't compared quotes with us before, just follow these steps:

  • Fill in our quote form to get started. We just need a few details about you and your trip.
  • We’ll compare up to 43 travel insurance companies to help find you the best deal.
  • We’ll show you a list of quotes to choose from so you can choose the best backpacker insurance for your needs.

When you get a quote, we show ratings from the independent financial researcher, Defaqto, next to each company. This helps you make a better-informed decision.

To start comparing backpacker insurance quotes we’ll need to know:

  • Your age
  • Any medical conditions you have
  • Where you’re going
  • How long you’re going for
  • What you’ll be doing, including any activities or volunteer work you have planned
  • What you’re taking, such as gadgets like a laptop or camera you want extra cover for

Why use

  • We're regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), as are all of the travel insurance companies we work with. This means you can be certain that we do things the right way for you, following strict guidelines.
  • We're 100% independent. This means we're not owned by any insurance company, so the prices you see are the best available based on your information, not who they're from.
  • We value your privacy and security, and we promise to look after your personal details. Learn more about our security and privacy policy.
  • UK-based customer support from our team in Cardiff. If you need help, visit our contact page to get in touch.

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Page last reviewed: 16 February 2024

Reviewed by: Matthew Harwood’s Travel Insurance solution is provided by is a trading style of Investment Discounts On-Line Ltd and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered office; Investment Discounts On-Line Ltd, One Coleman Street, London, EC2R 5AA. Registered in England no: 04231834. is part of the Legal & General group.

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