The best long term travel insurance for Backpackers and Digital Nomads

The best long term travel insurance for Backpackers and Digital Nomads

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If you follow me and my blog regularly you will know I’m a bit of a risk taker. But when deciding to head off traveling there was one thing I didn’t want to risk, long term travel insurance. For me having backpacker travel insurance was essential for the following reasons:

  • I don’t have a large saving account, therefore, replacing my laptop or camera if anything were to happen would not be easy financially.
  • If I got sick or was in an accident medical bills can quickly add up.
  • Things can easily go wrong and traveling solo I always want to be as prepared as possible if the worst happens.

So, if you are reading this right now and still asking ‘should I get long-term travel insurance?’ The short answer is: YES.

In this post, I’m going to share my personal experience and views on backpackers insurance and help you to navigate this slightly tricky area.

Climbing Volcan Acatenango in Guatemala

Insurance for short trips is pretty easy to find, but if you are planning a trip of 4 weeks or more it can become a little more tricky. If you are a digital nomad like me you also need to add in personal possessions insurance for your laptop, camera, phone, and other expensive equipment. That means finding great travel insurance with gadget cover. 

If you think you can travel without insurance, think again. It’s really not worth the risk and it could end up costing you a lot more in the long run. The last thing you want is to have to deal with a medical emergency while abroad without insurance. 

4 reasons you need long term travel insurance

Adventures in Mexico | Scuba Diving in Puerto Morelos

Diving in Puerto Morelos

1. You get sick or have an accident

No one plans to get sick or have an accident that requires medical care. But if it happens and you don’t have insurance it’s going to cost you.

If you need a lot of care or to be medivaced home you are talking about thousands of £ or $. So unless you have a trust fund it’s just not worth the risk. I sprained my ankle while in Guatemala and having Insurance I was seen quickly by a doctor at a private hospital. 

2. You have to unexpectedly cancel or interrupt your trip

You have been saving for years for your round the world ticket. Just before you are about to jet off you have a family bereavement and need to cancel/ delay. Without insurance, you could lose all of the cost of your flight and any bookings you have. If you can’t afford to lose that kind of money then don’t risk being uninsured.

3. Your baggage gets lost

It’s everyone’s worst nightmare! You are stood waiting by the luggage carousel and you suitcase doesn’t appear. Getting lost luggage back from the airline can take days or weeks if you ever get it back! With insurance, you can at least know that you are not only covered for any permanent loss and most insurers will pay out for necessities if your luggage is delayed for over 24 hours.

4. Your stuff gets stolen

If you get robbed it’s stressful enough without having the added worry of how you are going to pay for replacements. Imagine if your travel documents, passport, bank cards, and money gets stolen it’s not easy to get replacements. The cost of this can seriously add up.

If you are willing to risk all of the above to potentially save a few bucks, be my guest! If I’ve convinced you that getting cover is the way forward read on!

How to choose long-term travel insurance/ backpackers insurance

When looking for insurance I wanted to get the best deal. No one wants to pay out more for backpacker insurance than necessary. If you are going on any trip for more than 2 months you will need specialist insurance as most standard vacation insurance companies only cover people for short trips.

When I began my research into the best travel insurance for backpackers one name kept on coming up time and again, World Nomads. Everyone seemed to be recommending them, but I wanted to do my own research before parting with my hard earned cash!

What I really liked about World Nomads was how flexible their plans are, it is obvious they this is an insurance company for backpackers, created by backpackers. Here are some things I love about World Nomads:

They offer last minute travel insurance

In fact, you can even purchase their insurance after you have left! Genius. I have yet to find another insurance company who will give you a policy midway through your trip, or allow you to extend your policy. All of the other companies I checked out require you to be in your home country when buying a new policy from them.

You can get travel insurance with gadget cover

As a Digital Nomad getting good insurance cover for my technology is essential. Without my Mac Air, Phone, Camera, and GoPro, I can’t work. For me, it is always a no-brainer to pay the extra to get travel insurance with gadget cover.

One way travel insurance

No return ticket yet? No problem. Just get insured for as long as you think you will be away and if you end up staying longer you can just extend your policy.

Adventure and sports travel insurance

Planning on doing some extreme sports or getting out of your comfort zone and being adventurous. World Nomads will cover you for pretty much everything you can think of from riding a camel through the Sahara desert to scuba diving to surfing. Some of the more extreme sports you will need to pay a little extra for, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much was covered in the basic policy.

Long stay travel insurance working abroad

Ok, so this is for me one of the key selling points for World Nomads. When I first started log term traveling I did a lot of volunteering through workaway. Even though this was strictly speaking ‘voluntary’ work, most insurance policies don’t cover you. This can be a big issue if something were to happen to you while volunteering. World Nomads don’t cover all kinds of work but they cover a lot including:

  • Childcare work
  • General farm work
  • Hospitality
  • Restaurant
  • Teaching
  • Fruit Picking
  • Admin work
  • Ski instructor
  • Office work
  • WWOOFing

So you can rest assured that you won’t run into any issues while fruit picking in Italy this summer!

There are many other great features but these are my personal favorites and they are the reasons I use World Nomads. If you search on most of the top travel bloggers sites you will see they are the number one pick for most of us for long-term travel insurance. 


But being a thrifty researcher I kept looking around convinced that I would be able to get a better deal with someone else. I didn’t but you might! So here is what I found.

Here are a two other longterm travel insurance providers:

Holiday Safe Backpackers Insurance – The issue I found with this one was that you needed to give them proof that you were coming back. Either a return ticket or a place at University. The policy could only be for a maximum of 24 months.

Travel Insurance Direct – This will cover you for up to 365 days and is specifically designed for students and young people on a “gap year”.

Although both of these policies were cheaper they really didn’t meet my needs. I don’t fit into the gap year student profile sadly! However, if you are looking for gap year insurance they could be a better fit for you so be sure to check them out.

I really did try and find some good alternatives to give a neutral review but I couldn’t…

If you need long-term travel insurance, backpackers insurance or Digital Nomad insurance then you need World Nomads. Having used them myself and had to make a claim I can 100% endorse them as a trustworthy company. They won’t let you down when you most need it!

Here are a few more things about World Nomads Insurance I love:

  • If you are already on the road you can still buy insurance from them. Most other insurers won’t insure you if your trip has already begun.
  • They let you extend your cover while on the road. So if you are traveling and decide you aren’t quite ready to head home yet they will happily extend your cover for the duration of the trip.
  • If your bags get delayed for more than 24 hours they will cover expenses for your necessities
  • They offer an option for trip interruption cover in case you need to go home early for an emergency.
  • If you are a digital nomad and need cover for your equipment you can add this to your policy.
  • Like climbing mountains, active volcanoes or other dangerous activities. Pretty much any crazy activity you can think of they will cover you for. Do read through the policy carefully as most of the more extreme activities are classed as extras, and not included on standard insurance.

Final Thoughts

So if I haven’t already been clear if you are backpacking, longterm traveling or traveling and working as a digital nomad, you need World Nomads Insurance. They are in my opinion the best choice for an insurance company for longterm travel.

Yes, I am an affiliate of World Nomads Insurance. They have not paid me to write this post and it is 100% my own opinion, this is the travel insurance company I personally use and recommend.

I truly believe they are the best option for backpackers and Digital Nomads. If you click on one of my links and buy a policy I will get a small commission. This is at no cost to you and it is how I make money to keep Claire’s Itchy Feet going.

Need travel insurance for your long term trip? Go to my blog to read tips on getting the best coverage. #quotes #medical #companies #cheap #vcation #health #doyouneedtravelinsurance

Are You Traveling soon?

Be sure to check Skyscanner for the best flight deals.

I never travel anywhere without Travel Insurance. If you are looking for insurance be sure to check World Nomads first.

This post was proofread by Grammarly



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