Backpacker travel insurance

Compare backpacker insurance from just £21.52*

  • Find backpacker cover for up to 18 months

  • Help protect yourself against unexpected costs while travelling multiple countries

  • Get a quote in only 2 minutes

*The cheapest Backpackers policy is £21.52 (based on 1 adult aged 31, with no previous medical conditions travelling in Europe for up to 31 nights). Prices correct on the 20/07/2021.  

Covid-19 - Important information 4th October 2021

On 4th October, the travel traffic light system has been replaced by a simplified set of rules for international travel. These rules tell you what you must do when returning to England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland from a red list country.

Before buying travel insurance, you should think about what could happen if your destination moves to the red list. You may face extra costs and face travel restrictions that won't be covered by your travel insurance policy.

It's important to check both your destination's entry requirements and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice for travelling there.

If you travel against the FCDO advice, you won't be covered by any travel insurance policy you buy.

A few insurers do offer cover if you're an essential traveler, but if you have any questions, you should check the policy wording or contact your chosen provider before you buy.

What is backpacker travel insurance?

Backpacker insurance covers those travelling across multiple countries on longer duration trips. This includes trips lasting from 3 to 18 months. You might be taking a gap year between school and university, or just taking a break to see a bit more of the world. Either way, a backpacker travel insurance policy will make sure you’re covered on your trip.

Whatever you’ve got planned for your trip, whether that’s sky diving or bungee jumping or white-water rafting, you can add additional cover for a whole range of activities. What’s great about a backpacker policy is that you can tailor it to your needs.

Backpacker insurance is different to an annual travel insurance policy, which covers you for unlimited trips over 12 months, but only for a maximum of 31 days per trip.

How much does backpacker travel insurance cost?

The cost of your policy will vary depending on the following things:

  • What countries you’re travelling to
  • Your age
  • How long you’re travelling for
  • Whether you want to add any extras to your policy (winter or extreme sports cover)
  • If you have a pre-existing medical condition

Here are a few examples of the average costs of policies from destinations around the world1:

Destination Average premium for 12 months1
Worldwide exc. US, Canada and Caribbean
Worldwide inc. US, Canada and Caribbean
Australia, Canada, USA

1. travel insurance data – August 2020 to October 2020

What does backpacker travel insurance cover?

A backpacker policy covers all the things a regular travel insurance policy covers. The main differences are your cover will be spread over a longer period of time and can include cover for multiple countries.

A good policy should cover you for the following:

Medical treatment can be surprisingly expensive abroad, so your medical costs and repatriation back to the UK could be covered if you get ill or injured overseas

Your personal belongings, money and travel documents could also be covered if they’re lost or stolen. Make sure you report a loss or theft within 24 hours and obtain a police report for proof. You’ll need it if you want to make a claim.

Delays and cancellations if your flights are postponed or if you’re forced to cancel your trip in an emergency.

Accident, liability and legal expenses which could be useful if you stumble into any trouble while abroad.

Extreme and adventure sports are covered as standard under some policies, but not all. It’s worth checking with your insurer to make sure you’ve got the right cover in place if you’re planning on doing these activities on your trip.

We always recommend checking your policy documents carefully to make sure you’ve got the level of cover that you need for your trip. And if you have any questions, it’s best to contact your insurer directly.

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Do I need backpacker travel insurance?

If you’re planning on travelling for more than 31 days and visiting multiple countries, you should probably consider a backpacker travel insurance policy.

If you’re travelling around Europe, since the UK left the EU on 31st December 2020, your level of medical cover in Europe has changed. You’ll still be covered by your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) as long as it’s valid. If yours has expired then you won’t have any cover in Europe. However, a replacement to the EHIC, the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) is available and works in the same way as the EHIC. You can find out more about it on the NHS UK website.

It’s also advised that you get a travel insurance policy that includes medical cover. A backpacker insurance policy could provide medical treatment or repatriation costs that aren’t covered by your EHIC, or the GHIC.

It’s best to research where you’re travelling to check how much cover you’ll need. If you travel to more than one country on your trip, that’s likely to put the cost of your policy, as well as if you’ve got an pre-existing medical conditions and what level of state healthcare is available. Checking a policy properly before you buy is the best way to make sure you’re covered for everything you’ll need while you’re away.

Can I get backpacker travel insurance if I have a pre-existing medical condition?

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you can still use our site to get a quote. These conditions could include cancer, stroke, serious heart, respiratory and terminal conditions.

Some insurers may not cover you if you already have a serious medical condition, or if you have a number of conditions. Others might only offer insurance at a much higher price. If you’re unable to find suitable cover, the Money and Pension Service (MaPS) has also set up a directory of insurers willing to cover customers with pre-existing medical conditions.

You can find their directory of insurers on the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) website or you can phone them on 0800 138 7777 for free impartial advice.

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When should I buy backpacker travel insurance?

Like any other travel insurance policy, it’s important to get the appropriate level of cover in place as before you book your trip.

If you’re in the process of booking your trip, you’ll likely know where you’re going and how much cover you’ll need. You should get a policy in place to cover against important things such as cancellation due to illness, medical costs and repatriation, and to cover your personal possessions for the length of your trip.

Do I need backpacker insurance for interrailing?

If you’re interrailing around Europe for the summer, then you want to make sure that you keep yourself safe, including all of your luggage and possessions. A backpacker travel insurance policy will cover you for multiple countries over an extended period of time and will protect you against lost or stolen items.

Do I need single trip travel insurance or backpacker insurance?

If you’re going away on one trip for no more than 31 days, a single trip policy should provide you with enough cover. If you’re planning on travelling for more than 31 days to multiple locations, then a backpacker policy will provide you with the appropriate level of cover for your trip.

Does backpacker insurance cover working abroad?

A backpacker insurance policy should cover you if you end up working on your trip, but not all policies do as standard. Check your policy details before you buy to make sure you’re covered.

What isn’t covered by backpacker travel insurance?

A backpacker insurance policy won't normally cover you for any of the following:

  • Failing to declare any pre-existing medical conditions
  • Travelling against FCDO advice
  • Failing to report any lost or stolen possessions in time
  • Any incidents that happen while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
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What our travel insurance expert says

If you’re backpacking around the world, the last thing you want is to be left out of pocket if something unexpected happens. Getting a backpacker policy in plenty of time means you can enjoy your trip knowing you’ve got all bases covered.
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Jac Morris

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