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, digital nomad insurance for travel. For me having the best backpacker travel insurance was essential for the following reasons:
- I don’t have a large savings 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 backpackers or digital nomad travel insurance?’ The short answer is: YES.
In this post, I’m going to share my personal experience or both digital nomad travel insurance and the best backpackers insurance and help you to navigate this slightly tricky area and figure out what insurance is best for you.
Travel 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 and are always traveling then working out the best global health insurance for digital nomads can be tricky. Especially if you want more than just medical cover. As a digital nomad, you may also want to add in personal possessions insurance for your laptop, camera, phone, and other expensive equipment. That means finding great travel insurance with gadget cover. that also covers medical expencive.
If you think you can travel without long term travel 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 the best international health insurance. but just in case you need more convincing…
4 reasons you need long term travel insurance
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 the best global health insurance it’s going to cost you in the long run and you will likely have to cut your trip short.
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 digital nomad 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 the best backpacker 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 your suitcase doesn’t appear. Getting lost luggage back from the airline can take days or weeks if you ever get it back! With backpacker 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. At least with nomad travel insurance, you will be covered for all of this.
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
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.
That said, things have changed and if I’m not traveling so much a lot of what World Nomads offers me I don’t really need. So I needed to look for a more cost-effective alternative.
World Nomads vs Safety Wing
Most people looking for longterm travel insurance are either backpackers or digital nomads. There are two front runners who provide insurance that best fits these two types of travelers. They are of course Safety Wing Digital nomad health insurance and World Nomads backpackers insurance. Both are great, and I have used/ do use both. But they both do different things.
Safety Wing is just global health insurance for Digital Nomads. It won’t cover you for any travel-related issues like stolen luggage, missed flights, etc. All it will cover is medical and health-related issues you may have. For me, as I’m not traveling that much right now, I’m either in Playa del Carmen, New York, or Medellin. I decide that Safety Wing was the best long term nomad insurance for me. But if I find I’m traveling a lot more and I need a flexible long term travel insurance then it’s World Nomads 100%.
Here are 5 why World Nomads is the best backpacker insurance
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 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
- Fruit Picking
- Admin work
- Ski instructor
- Office work
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.
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.
Here are 5 why Safety Wing is the best digital nomad insurance
Affordable Monthly fee
For me, this was what made me switch from World Nomads to Safety Wing. At $37 USD a month it is so affordable. I was paying a lot of money for World Nomads and I had to pay it all upfront so if I wanted to pay for a whole year, that’s a lot to pay all at once. the alternative was to renew my insurance each month, which means I lose out on any discounts making it very expensive. So having the option to pay for my digital nomad insurance monthly is a huge bonus!
Start any time and cancel anytime
Another big bonus of Safety Wing is that you can cancel anytime. So if you have a change of plans and decide to head home last minute, you can just cancel and start up again any time you like.
Insurance specifically for Digital Nomads
Safety Wing is insurance for Digital Nomads and as such it mostly covers things that digital nomads need related to health with some basic travel cover. They understand the needs of digital nomads and so when you get their nomad insurance you aren’t having to pay for a lot of extra cover that you don’t need. this keeps the cost down.
You can buy while abroad
This has to be one of the best features. So many travel insurance companies won’t let you buy cover if you are already on the road. Safety Wing and World Nomads both offer this and it is a must for us nomads looking for insurance while already traveling!
Some travel cover is included
Although the travel side of the insurance that safety wing includes isn’t as comprehensive as World Nomads. It is still pretty good. You are covered for travel delays, interruptions, lost luggage, natural disasters, and political evacuation. For me the cover that Safety Wing provides me with as a digital nomad is perfect. I love that I’m covered for scuba diving and riding my scooter.
If you need long-term travel insurance, backpackers insurance or Digital Nomad insurance then you need World Nomads or Safety Wing. Having used both of them myself and had to make claims I can 100% endorse both of them as a trustworthy company. They won’t let you down when you most need it!
So if I haven’t already been clear if you are backpacking, longterm traveling or backpacking then you need World Nomads. If you are traveling and working as a digital nomad, you need Safety Wing. They are in my opinion the best choices for an insurance company for longterm travel.
Yes, I am an affiliate of both Safety Wing and World Nomads Insurance. Neither company has paid me to write this post and it is 100% my own opinion, these are the travel insurance companies I personally use and recommend.
I truly believe they are the best option for backpackers and Digital Nomads who want a full travel cover. 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.
This post was proofread by Grammarly
Book your trip now
Are you ready to book your trip? To help you get the best deals and service here are the companies that I personally use to book all of my travel online. I always shop around before booking anything, but these are my tried and tested starting places.
- Skyscanner – I’m a bit fan of Skyscanner, it is who I use to book all of my flights. I often will check other like Google Flights or Momodo, but I always go here first and it is who I book 99% of my flights with.
- Booking.com – I LOVE booking.com especially when I can book and cancel free up until a certain point, mostly because my plans are forever changing. It’s easy to use and has one of the widest selections.
- Airbnb – I’m not a huge user of Airbnb, but sometimes I do like to use it, and I ALWAYS check it before I book anything else. You can get some really cool places to stay here, and it is especially good in places like Cuba. If you don’t have an account and you click on this link then you will get $36 off your first booking.
- Hostelworld – If you are looking for hostels then this is a great place to check first. They often have additional places that you won’t find on Bookin.com.
- Agoda – Although I don’t use it as much as booking.com, Agonda is especially good if you are traveling in Asia as they really do dominate there.
- Workpackers – If you want to travel on the cheap and save money on accommodation then you need Workpackers in your life. You can read more about it here. If you click this link to sign up and use the code CLAIRESITCHYFEET then you can get a 40% discount on your membership!
- 12Go – If you are traveling in Asia and want to pre-book your transportation then 12Go is a fantastic site to do so. They have buses, trains, and air travel.
- RentalCars – Looking to rent a. car while you are away? I always book through Rental Cars as they do a search of all of the big sites and find the best deals.
- Welcome Pickups – Very occasionally getting from the airport to my accommodation is a total pain in the butt, or I’m traveling in a group and it makes sense to arrange a pickup. When I do I use Welcome pickups.
- World Nomads – If you are looking for flexible travel insurance then it’s World Nomads all the way. I wrote all about insurance here if you want a more thorough review.
- SafetyWing – AsI’m a Digital Nomad and not moving around quite so much anymore I personally use SafetyWing now for my health insurance. I wrote a full review here.
- Viatour – Sometimes it can be a little expensive, but I like Viatour for somethings, especially if you can get a discount code! It’s also great for inspiration.
- Klook – If you are traveling in Asia, then Klook is great! You can book all kinds of tours, activities, and train tickets, plus they even have sim cards and WiFi.