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Nomad Travel Insurance: Best Insurance for Backpackers

Are you considering traveling long-term and deciding whether digital nomad travel insurance is worth it and the best worldwide insurance? Then you are in the right place! I’ve been semi-nomadic since 2017, and since becoming a mom, having digital nomad health insurance coverage has become essential.

In this guide to the best travel insurance for backpackers, I’ll share everything you need to know about digital nomad insurance and review companies like HeyMondo Travel Insurance.

Let’s jump into the best global health and travel backpacker insurance!

Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?

The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing

Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $45.08. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.

Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies. 

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Travel Insurance Backpacking: Do You Need Travel Nomamd Insurance?

Are you unsure if you need backpackers travel insurance? For a time, I was uncertain whether insurance for backpackers was worth it. I looked at the money I’d need to spend on digital nomad health insurance coverage and thought about how many nights in a hotel I could book or where I could fly with that money.

However, I always came to the same conclusions:

  • I don’t have a large savings account, so replacing my laptop or camera if something were to happen would be challenging.
  • If I got sick or was in an accident, medical expenses could quickly add up.
  • Things can quickly go wrong. Whether traveling solo or with my family, I always want to be as prepared as possible for the worst.

Still asking, “Should I get nomad travel insurance for backpackers?” The short answer is YES. Finding the best backpacker insurance providers is also crucial if you have pre-existing medical conditions. Below, I discuss my personal experience with travel nomad insurance and the best insurance for backpackers to help you find the ideal company.

In a rush? Check out this quick summary of nomad insurance recommendations

Best Backpacker Insurance Comparison Table

SafetyWingHeyMondoPassportCard Nomads
Trip InterruptionUp to $5,000. No deductibleup to $7,000N/A
Travel delayUp to $100 a day after a 12-hour delayN/A
Lost checked luggageUp to $3,000 per certificate period; $500 per item.up to $2,500N/A
Natural disaster — a new place to stayUp to $100 a day for 5 days.up to $10,000N/A
Personal liability$25,000 lifetime maximum
up to $60,000N/A
Accidental death & dismemberment (AD&D)$25,000 for death

up to $60,000N/A
Adventure sportsMost IncludedMost IncludedMost Included
Electronic EquipmentN/AOptionalOptional
Maximum benefit$250,000
CostFrom $45 / 4 weeksGET A QUOTEFrom $119/Month
Excess / Deductible$250$250$0
HospitalRoom and nursing servicesIncludedup to Maximum limit
Intensive care
Up to the overall maximum limit
Includedup to Maximum limit
Urgent charges
$50 co-payment, not subject to deductible.
Includedup to Maximum limit
Emergency medical evacuationUp to $100,000 lifetime maximum.Includedup to Maximum limit
Emergency dental
Up to $1,000Included$8,000
Covid CoverageIncludedIncludedIncluded
Maximum limit$250,000 ($100,000 for 65 years and above)Up to $10,000,0003,500,000€
Visit SafetyWingVisit HeyMondoVisit PassportCard Nomads

What Kind of Backpacking Travel Insurance Do You Need?

This is the first question to ask yourself when looking for a backpacker insurance company. Depending on how long you travel, whether you buy the policy in your home country, or whether you are already traveling, there are many travel insurance backpacking options.

Some travel nomad insurance companies will not cover your health insurance plans if you’re already traveling, and others will require you to wait until coverage starts. It’s essential to be aware of the different policies upfront to make the most informed decision possible.

Single Trip Nomads Travel Insurance: You are planning a short vacation of four weeks or less to one country.

Multi-Trip Backpackers Insurance: You are taking a short trip but travel often and prefer to save money with one digital nomad travel insurance policy to cover all of your short trips throughout the year.

Worldwide, Long-Term Backpacker Insurance: This covers you for trips lasting anywhere from four weeks to one year, though the most common policies are six months.

Digital Nomad Travel Insurance: This is for long-term travelers and remote workers like me who don’t regularly return to their home country and frequently move to different countries. It provides emergency medical evacuation coverage and other perks like trip cancellation coverage.

Digital Nomad Health Insurance: As more people become nomadic, the need for global healthcare policies that cover routine and medical emergencies increases. If you are traveling long-term and want something more than emergency evacuation coverage, this is the type to consider.

Travel insurance for digital nomads

Choosing the Best Travel Insurance for Backpackers

Travel nomad insurance for short trips is pretty easy to find, but if you are planning a trip of four weeks or more, this becomes trickier. If you are a digital nomad and always traveling, finding the best backpacking travel insurance companies can be challenging ( especially if you want multiple coverages).

As a digital nomad, you may also want to add personal possession insurance for your laptop, camera, phone, and other expensive equipment. Identifying a reputable nomad travel insurance company with gadgets and medical coverage is not so easy.

However, if you travel on a budget without fancy laptops and equipment, you might be able to get away with a cheaper backpackers insurance plan without all the bells and whistles.

If you think you can travel long-term without travel insurance for backpackers, think again. It’s not worth the risk and could end up costing you more in the long run. The last thing you want is to deal with the hassle of a medical emergency while abroad.

4 Reasons You Need Long-Term Nomads Travel Insurance

1. You may fall ill or have a medical emergency

No one plans to get sick or have an accident requiring emergency medical care. But if it happens and you don’t have digital nomad health insurance, you’ll be hit with many medical bills. You may also have to cut your trip short, disrupting travel plans.

If you need extensive care or at-home medication, you could face thousands of pounds or dollars in medical expenses. Unless you have a trust fund, it’s not worth the risk.

I sprained my ankle while in Guatemala. Since I had digital nomad travel insurance, I was quickly seen by a doctor at a private hospital. Imagine the emergency medical expenses I would have spent if I didn’t have insurance!

Recently, we had to spend two days in the hospital with my little boy. I can’t express the relief I felt knowing that my SafetyWing Travel Insurance policy covered me.

2. You might have to cancel or interrupt your trip unexpectedly

Imagine this: You have been saving up for your vacation for years, but just before you jet off, a family emergency forces you to cancel or delay the trip. Without travel nomad insurance, you could lose all the money spent on transportation and accommodations. Don’t risk being uninsured if you can’t afford to lose that kind of money.

3. Your baggage may get lost

Everyone’s worst nightmare is waiting in the luggage carousel and your suitcase doesn’t appear. Getting lost luggage from the airline can take days or weeks—if you ever get it back! With backpacker insurance coverage, you will be covered for permanent loss. Furthermore, most insurers will pay for necessities if your luggage is delayed over 24 hours.

Top Tip: It’s worth investing in Airtags if you haven’t already to pop one in each piece of your checked luggage. We bought a 4-pack and I put one in my checked suitcase and one in my carry-on.

What I love about Airtags is you can do a quick check before takeoff to ensure everything is on the plane so there’s no chance of misplaced baggage.

4. Items may be stolen

Getting robbed is stressful enough without having the added worry of paying for replacement items. Imagine if your travel documents, passport, bank cards, and money get stolen! The cost of replacing all of this can seriously add up. Most backpacker travel insurance companies cover theft in addition to health coverage.

Colombian Guides | The Complete Guide to The Lost City Trek
Travel insurance

Best Travel Insurance Backpacking Companies

When looking for digital nomad insurance, I wanted the best deal possible. No one wants to pay more for backpacker insurance providers than necessary. If you travel for more than four weeks, you will likely need special insurance. Most standard vacation insurance companies only cover people for short trips.

Here are my company picks for the best travel insurance for backpackers.

HeyMondo Travel Insurance

The hot new insurance for backpackers is HeyMondo, which has many excellent features that knock other companies out of the park. I believe HeyMondo is the best backpacker insurance for long-term travelers.

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Why HeyMondo is the Best Travel Insurance for Backpackers

They offer multiple policies: With HeyMondo, you can choose from a single-trip, annual multi-trip policy, or long-term, flexible travel insurance for trips over 90 days. You can also begin coverage from outside your country of residence, which is ideal if you are already on the road. However, you won’t be covered for the first 72 hours until the medical insurance begins.

They have 24/7 doctor chat available: Yes, that’s right! An English-speaking doctor is available 24 hours a day through their app—genius! Oh, how I wish I’d had this while lying in a bed in Guatemala, thinking I was going to die of a scorpion sting, haha. Jokes aside, this is essential when backpacking.

Flexible payments: Money can be tight as a globetrotting backpacker—one key feature that makes HeyMondo a top choice is that you can pay every 30, 90, 180, or 240 days. You will get a renewal notification when your policy ends, and you can choose to renew or let it lapse.

Electronics coverage: While baggage valued up to $1200 is covered with a standard policy, you can opt for extra electronics coverage. If you travel with technology that you can’t afford to replace, it’s worth considering. This is one of the greatest benefits of travel insurance backpacking policies.

See my technology essentials on Amazon!

Activities coverage: Do you plan to leave your comfort zone and be adventurous while traveling? HeyMondo has adventure sports coverage for almost everything you can think of, from riding a camel through the Sahara Desert to scuba diving and surfing. You may need to pay extra for one of their enhanced adventure sports insurance plans, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much was covered by the standard policy.

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SafetyWing Digital Nomad Travel Insurance

SafetyWing is one of my favorite digital nomad health insurance companies, and I use it for medical insurance. SafetyWing checks all of my boxes: It’s easy to use, affordable, insures my son, and I can renew monthly.

I was shocked when my policy doubled overnight after my 40th birthday, but it’s still far cheaper than other traditional backpacker insurance policies.

However, it’s worth mentioning that I am from the UK, which gives me free healthcare. Therefore, all I need while traveling is emergency medical coverage. For routine medical situations, I return to my home country. You may need something more comprehensive if you are from a country without free healthcare. SafetyWing Remote Health offers this, as does PassportCard Nomads.

Safetywing insurance review. Digital nomad travel insurance

Why SafetyWing is the Best Digital Nomad Health Insurance

Affordability: At less than USD 50 a month, SafetyWing is incredibly affordable. Even now that I’m over 40 and have to pay around $75 monthly, it’s still cheaper than most.

Before, I paid a lot of money for World Nomads, which required upfront payment. If I wanted a full year of coverage, that’s a lot to pay at once. The alternative was to renew my nomad travel insurance monthly, which prevented me from using discounts. Paying for my digital nomad travel insurance monthly with SafetyWing is a huge bonus!

Flexibility: Another big bonus of SafetyWing nomad insurance is that you can cancel anytime if you change your plans and decide to head home at the last minute. They will also refund you for the travel days not used!

Specific digital nomad insurance: SafetyWing is specifically designed for digital nomads. As such, it offers medical and travel coverage. The company understands your unique travel needs, so you won’t pay for unnecessary extras.

You can purchase while abroad: This is undoubtedly one of the best features since many travel insurance companies won’t let you buy coverage if you are already on the road.

Travel coverage is included: With SafetyWing, you are covered for travel delays, emergency medical situations, interruptions, lost luggage, natural disasters, and political and medical evacuation. As a digital nomad, this amount of coverage is perfect. I love that I’m covered for everything from scuba diving to riding my scooter!

One child is covered per adult: I was so excited when I saw this feature after having my son. Knowing my insurance covered him without any extra cost significantly minimized stress. And we already had to use it when he was admitted to a hospital in Cyprus for two days.

PassportCard Nomads Travel Insurance

Another excellent company is PassportCard Nomads, which I highly recommend if you don’t have other medical insurance (in your country of residency, for example). Coverages include dental work and maternity care.

You can also buy the plan abroad and customize it with additional coverage. Another thing I like about this travel insurance company is the ability to pay with a red card instead of your own money. This is particularly helpful when dealing with unexpected trip expenses.

Why PassportCard Nomads is the Best Insurance for Backpackers

Extend or cancel anywhere and at any time: Whether you need to extend your coverage due to a change in plans or cancel your trip altogether, PassportCard makes the process easy. You never have to worry about being locked into a plan that no longer fits your itinerary. Additionally, you can purchase the plan while abroad.

Customizable plans: I love that PassportCard Nomads lets you customize your travel nomad insurance plan. Whether you plan to surf, bike, or snorkel, you can create the best policy to fit your active lifestyle.

Many medical expenses are covered: PassportCard Nomads is one of the best backpacker insurance companies for healthcare coverage. It includes almost anything and everything you could need while living the digital nomad lifestyle.

From emergency medical expenses and surgery to dental coverage and physiotherapy/chiropractic treatments, you’ll be fully covered. The plan’s real beauty is that it covers many non-urgent elective medical treatments, surgeries, and derivative hospitalizations.

I also appreciate the coverage for routine checkups and outpatient care, such as specialist consultations and office visits. This insurance plan offers the most comprehensive medical coverage out of all providers.

Travel Guide Planning

🚗 Where can I book bus or private transportation while I’m traveling?

I strongly recommend using Bookaway. You can book almost all transport in the major tourist destinations through them online. They don’t just cover buses they also cover shuttles, ferries, and private drivers.

🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours?

I recommend either Viator or GetYour Guide. They have a lot of options!

👩‍⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?

I recommend using HeyMondo for a great value policy. The app also offers 24/7 doctor chat. For digital nomads, check out SafetyWing.

I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here.

✈️ Any flight recommendations?

WayAWay offers you cheap flights with cashback. You can use this code CLAIRE22 to get 10% off. Otherwise Skyscanner or Expedia are my go-to flight searching platforms.

📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?

I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.

With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using either Airhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.

🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?

The 3 best platforms that I normally use are,, and Expedia. They offer great deals and multiple options. I always check all three to be sure of the best deals.

🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?

I do have a complete list of the best packing and luggage products that I recommend, you can check the list here. I’m currently traveling with this suitcase and this backpack.

Best Nomad Travel Insurance for Backpackers: Final Thoughts

If you are traveling or backpacking for an extended period, I suggest HeyMondo travel insurance. Meanwhile, digital nomads should consider SafetyWing or PassportCard Nomads travel insurance. They’re the best worldwide insurance options for backpackers.

These companies offer the best travel insurance for backpackers and digital nomads who want complete travel coverage. I will get a small commission if you click on one of my links and buy a policy. 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.


Saturday 25th of September 2021

What about N26 You insurance? As a digital nomad that is where I'm heading; back account with built in insurance.