Backpacker Travel Insurance

Your holiday insurance, our expertise.

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Last updated on 10th October 2019

Right for you?

Whether you're off on a gap year adventure, taking a career break or just travelling for an extended period, make sure you protect your travel plans with our Backpacker policy.

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Customise your policy to suit your trip

Essential Travel customers taking out a backpacker policy benefit from plenty of extras, such as being covered for 1 trip home of up to 14 days - ideal for emergencies or just if you're homesick. In addition, there are further ways you can tailor your policy to your specifications to ensure your insurance covers you for all eventualities.

Medical Conditions

UK, Europe and Worldwide

Medical Emergencies

Baggage Cover

24/7 Emergency Helpline

Single, Annual and Backpacker

It's impossible to tell what the future holds, and while no one likes to think of anything going wrong and spoiling your trip of a lifetime it's worth noting that if you're away from home for an extended period and travelling through unfamiliar territories you're far more likely to encounter things like lost or stolen luggage, injuries and illness.

If you're a student whose been saving up for months for a gap year, you may resent having to factor insurance into your budget - but it may just save you thousands of pounds if something does go wrong. Taking out a specialist Backpacker policy is a quick and easy way to ensure you're covered for your trip, and it means you can enjoy your travels in that knowledge that you've got a comprehensive insurance policy in place should anything happen.

"The question isn't if you can afford to buy travel insurance, but if you can afford not to!"

Landing yourself with a hefty hospital bill, facing the high costs of replacing any kit that's lost or stolen, or losing out on money to cancel your trip are all scenarios you risk when you spend time abroad.

Knowing what isn't covered is just as important

Read your policy wording (and take it with you) so that you know what is and what isn’t included. For example, most insurance policies won’t cover you for extreme sports unless you buy extra sports cover. It’s also unlikely that your medical bills will be covered if you forgot to get any vaccinations prior to your trip and catch the disease. Most policies require that you act responsibly, so don’t go leaving your valuables lying around. Similarly, incidents occurring while under the influence of drugs or alcohol won’t be covered. What isn’t covered can be found under the “general exclusions” section of the policy wording.

Declare any Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

If you have a pre-existing medical condition you must declare it, otherwise you’re wasting your time purchasing a policy in the first place. If you become ill and it has anything to do with a condition you chose not to mention you run the risk of invalidating your entire policy.

That said you may be surprised to learn that a pre-existing medical condition doesn’t have to hike up the price of your premium. Firstly, many common conditions such as an under-active thyroid or allergies are frequently covered at no extra cost.

Think you're already covered by an annual policy?

Think again! You may already have an Annual Multi Trip policy, but unfortunately this type of policy isn’t suitable for extended trips. Namely because an Annual policy, provides cover for multiple trips of up to 31 days over a 12 month period - not one long trip. You need a specialist Backpacker policy that can cover your whole trip. Essential Travel’s can cover up to a whopping 24 consecutive months of travel time, perfect for students planning a gap year or those thinking of taking a career break.

Watch out for cheap policies and high excesses

"Travel insurance shouldn’t be purchased on price alone. Cheap policies often come with a catch, otherwise known as, high excesses."

While shopping around is beneficial to those on a budget, Travel insurance shouldn’t be purchased on price alone. Cheap policies are unlikely to cover as many eventualities (or with the same benefits) as a higher priced one. Cheap policies often come with a catch, otherwise known as, high excesses. An excess is the amount you will be responsible for paying should you make a claim, so depending on the amount you’re trying to recoup and the price of the excess, you may find that you’re policy was a complete waste of money.

If you’re comparing lots of insurance companies, make sure that your policy includes all of these elements so that you can ride off into the sunset with your mind at ease.

Medical Expenses Including Repatriation:

If you are involved in an accident or become ill and require medical attention your travel insurance will prevent you from forking out on what could be a rather scary medical bill. It will also pay for associated costs should you need to be flown back home.


Should you fall ill and can no longer go away on your trip - fingers crossed this doesn’t happen - and you need to cancel, your insurance policy will help you recover the costs you’ve already paid. Not all cover levels include cancellation, so make sure you select the correct one.


Should something happen that forces you to cut your trip short and return home - heaven forbid - curtailment cover will again help you recoup any already paid for costs. Again, not all cover levels include curtailment cover, so make sure you select the correct one.

Personal Liability:

Accidents happen, and if it turns out to be your fault, your insurance can help you should anyone decide to sue you.

Lost or Stolen Possessions:

You may not have a lot of stuff with you, but the bits you do have will no doubt be essential to your trip like; your passport, mobile, laptop or tablet for example. Losing these or having them stolen will be annoying at best. At worst, it will seriously make a dent in your carefully organised budget as you’re forced to cough up to replace the goods.

Adventurous Activities:

Essential travel includes over 100 sports at no extra cost on Backpacker policies. However, if you’re considering something a little more adventurous like scuba diving, extra top up cover is available. Think ahead about the activities you’re likely to participate in, and add the extra cover if needs be.

Hazardous Sports and activities:

If you want to play sport on holiday, make sure you do so safely by adding the correct sports grade to your policy.

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Essential Travel is a trading name of Holiday Extras Cover Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority FRN 828848. Holiday Extras Cover Ltd 05058680 is registered in England and Wales. Registered office address: Ashford Road, Newingreen, Hythe, Kent CT21 4JF.

Essential Travel is underwritten by White Horse Insurance Ireland dac who are authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland. To check this you may visit