Children's Travel Insurance | Essential Travel

Your holiday insurance, our expertise.

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Last updated on 26th April 2021

Peace of mind

If you're facing the possibility of your child will be travelling unaccompanied, you'll want to ensure they have comprehensive cover in place should anything happen. For anyone under the age of 18, our Children's Travel Insurance is significantly cheaper than an adult policy and can be tailored to meet their specific needs and requirements. Book yours today - over the phone or online - for reassurance that your child is covered by a reliable travel insurance policy.

You may find yourself in a situation where your child needs travel insurance but you will not be travelling with them. It could be a school trip, or to visit friends and family overseas. Our Children's Travel Insurance is designed with you and your child in mind, and can be customised to ensure coverage for sporting activities and pre-existing medical conditions.

You don't need to search for children's cover, just begin filling out your child's details in the form above and we'll apply the correct premium over the page.

Important: If your child is already named on an annual family policy they cannot travel independently from the adults on that policy. If you need your child to travel multiple times a year, then you can take out a separate children annual policy to travel independently.

Essential Travel Insurance for Children can cover:

  • UK, Europe and Worldwide travel
  • Winter Sports
  • Medical Expenses - up to £10million
  • Personal Possessions - up to £2000
  • Cancellation - up to £5000

Finding kids' holiday insurance can be a confusing process to say the least - and one that's important to get right - so you can relax in the knowledge that your child is covered by a comprehensive policy.

Our insurance covers things such as loss, theft and damage to personal possessions as standard, and we also give you the option to add other, more niche extras - such as cover for winter sports or hazardous activities.

In addition, there are 3 levels of cover to choose from - 'essential', 'essential plus' and 'superior' - meaning you can find a policy to suit your specifications without paying a premium for unnecessary extras.

Single or multi trip?

If you know your child is travelling unaccompanied just once or twice in the next year, a single trip policy is likely to be the best option. However, if you think they will be travelling more than twice over the next year, it may be worth selecting an annual multi trip policy for your child's travel insurance.

Please note: A child can travel alone if they have taken out a specific child annual multi-trip policy.

Sports & activities

Kids tend to be pretty active, especially on holiday, so you will be pleased to know we cover over 100 sports as standard for FREE with our travel insurance for kids. As you make your way through the booking process you will also have the option to add more hazardous activities and sports insurance to ensure your child is covered in the case of any of the sports listed, such as paragliding or off-piste skiing.

Winter Sports

If your child is going on a school ski trip or visiting relatives for a holiday on the slopes you may want to add our winter sports cover to their holiday insurance.

Pre-existing medical conditions

We don't believe that a medical condition or disability should hinder anyone from going on holiday. If your child has a disability or any other pre-existing medical condition we can provide specialist holiday cover with our Medical travel insurance. As you make your way through the booking process, you will be asked to declare any medical conditions via our discreet and confidential medical screening process.

If you are facing the possibility that your child will be travelling without you, you will want to ensure they are covered by a comprehensive policy. The cheapest insurance isn't necessarily always the best, so it's important to understand the different options available to you and what each level of cover offers in order to choose the most suitable policy.

Common restrictions for children flying unaccompanied:

Different flight companies have varying rules and regulations concerning unaccompanied minors, so it is always a good idea to double check the policies of the particular airline you're booking a flight with before buying a ticket.

While the number and type of restrictions vary by airline, typical limitations include the following:

  • Children cannot travel alone if they are under the age of 5
  • Unaccompanied children only permitted on nonstop flights
  • Under 18s travelling alone require an earlier check in
  • Charging adult fares or additional fees for unaccompanied children


As the legal guardian of your child, you will be responsible for ensuring that all relevant documents - passport, visas, insurance - are in order before they travel. You may find that the airline your child is flying with requires you to fill out additional paperwork on their behalf prior to flying, so be sure to check the terms and conditions.

Buy them their own passport:

If your child is travelling abroad without you, they will need to have their own passport in their own name. You can buy a child passport from the UK passport office or pick up a form from the Post Office.

It can take up to 3 weeks to receive a new passport. If you need to apply for a passport urgently, you can use the government FastTrack service.

Check the rules for your destination:

The country to which your child is travelling may have different rules about how old they can be to travel alone, so you will need to check with the airline to ensure it is fine for them to travel without you.

Additional preparation & costs:

Airlines will often require you to pay extra for someone to chaperone your child and will often need at least 24 hours notice. Ensure you contact the airline well in advance of travel and before purchasing a ticket.

Some airlines will also require the parent or guardian dropping the child off to remain in the airport until the flight has departed, and will only allow the child to leave the destination airport with a pre-approved, responsible adult with photographic ID.

You should contact the customer services department of the particular service or airline you are using if you need any additional information before making a booking. No matter the rules for the airline, you should ensure your child has the right travel insurance policy in place.

Winter sports cover

No matter if your child is on a school ski trip to the Alps or snowboarding with family in the USA you can cover them for 26 different winter sports. After selecting the level of cover for your child, you will be given the option to add winter sports cover for one low cost price.

Winter Sports covered in the same quote

For a full list, visit our winter sports page.

Sports and Hazardous Activities Cover

Will they need extra cover for sports and hazardous activities?

Our unaccompanied child's travel insurance covers over 100 sports and activities as standard on all levels of our policy, but for the more adventurous child out there we can provide hazardous activity cover too. After selecting your policy you will be given the option to add additional activities and sports insurance.


All our sports and hazardous activities are sorted into 4 grades. The higher the grade, the higher the risk of the activity and the higher the cost to insure. Grade 1 activities are all cover completely free of charge.

Click on the different grades below for a list of all activities covered in that grade.

  • Aerobics
  • Archery
  • Archeological Digging
  • Assault Course
  • Badminton (amateur)
  • Banana Boating
  • Bar Restaurant Work
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Beach games
  • Billiards / Snooker / Pool
  • Blade Skating
  • Bowls
  • Camel Riding
  • Canoeing (grade 3)
  • Catamaran Sailing
  • Clay Pigeon Shooting
  • Climbing (on climbing wall only)
  • Cricket (amateur)
  • Croquet
  • Curling
  • Cycling (not racing)
  • Deep Sea Fishing
  • Dinghy Sailing
  • Dry Skiing
  • Elephant Riding
  • Falconry
  • Fell Walking/Running (under 2,500 metres altitude)
  • Fencing
  • Fishing
  • Fives
  • Flow Riding
  • Flying on a public scheduled flight with a fully licensed Airline for the purposes of transporting passengers
  • Football (amateur, not main purpose of trip)
  • Fruit / Vegetable Picking (nonmechanical)
  • Glass Bottom Boats / Bubbles
  • Go Karting
  • Golf (amateur)
  • Handball
  • Helicopter Tours (fare paying with a maximum duration of 2 hours)
  • Hill Walking (under 2,500 metres altitude)
  • Hiking (Under 2,000 metres altitude)
  • Hockey (field hockey not ice hockey)
  • Horse Riding (no Polo, Hunting, Jumping or Racing)
  • Hot Air Ballooning (organised pleasure rides only)
  • Hot Dogging (grades 1 - 3)
  • Hovercraft Driving / Passenger
  • Ice Skating (1 day max per trip)
  • Inner Tubing
  • Jet Boating (no racing)
  • Jet Skiing (no racing)
  • Jogging
  • Kayaking (up to Grade 3, Rivers, Sea)
  • Kite Surfing
  • Korfball
  • Marathon Running (amateur)
  • Motorcycling & Mopeds up to 50cc (no racing)
  • Netball (amateur)
  • Octopush
  • Orienteering
  • Outwardbound Pursuits
  • Paintballing
  • Parascending (over water)
  • Pony Trekking
  • Power Boating (no racing / competition)
  • Quad Biking
  • Raquetball
  • Rambling (under 2,500 metres)
  • Refereeing
  • Ringos
  • River Canoeing
  • Roller Blading (Line Skating / Skateboarding)
  • Rounders
  • Rowing
  • Running, Sprint / Long distance (amateur)
  • Safari (Ireland / UK organised)
  • Sail Boarding
  • Sailing (in territorial waters only)
  • Sandboarding
  • Sand Dune Surfing / Skiing
  • Sand Yachting
  • Scuba Diving (to a maximum of 20 metres)
  • Shooting small bore / target
  • Sledging
  • Snorkelling
  • Soft Ball
  • Speed Sailing
  • Squash
  • Students working as counsellors/exchange
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Swimming With dolphins
  • Table Tennis
  • Tall Ship Crewing
  • Tennis (amateur)
  • Tenpin Bowling
  • Trampolining
  • Track Events
  • Tree Canopy Walking
  • Trekking (up to 2,500 metres)
  • Tug of War
  • Volleyball (amateur)
  • Wake Boarding
  • Walking (under 2,500 metres altitude)
  • War Games (wearing eye protection)
  • Waterpolo
  • Water Skiing
  • Whale Watching
  • White Water Rafting as an organised activity (Grades 1 to 3 only)
  • Windsurfing (amateur)
  • Wind Tunnel Flying (pads and helmets)
  • Yachting (if qualified or as part of an organised activity)
  • Zorbing
  • Black Water Rafting as an organised activity (grades 1-3 only)
  • Boxing Training (co contact)
  • Bungee Jump (up to a maximum of 3 jumps per trip)
  • Dog Sledging
  • Fell Walking/Running (between 2,501 and 4,000 metres altitude)
  • Hiking (between 2,501 and 4,000 metres altitude)
  • Hill Walking (between 2,501 and 4,000 metres altitude)
  • Hurling (amateur)
  • Manual Labour (ground level only, no machinery)
  • Martial Arts (training only)
  • Motorcycling (between 50cc and 125cc)
  • Mountain Biking (NOT BMX on or off road) and not downhill racing
  • Rambling / Trekking (between 2,501 metres and 4,000 metres)
  • Safari (non Ireland / UK organised)
  • Scuba Diving (to a maximum depth of 30 metres)
  • Sea Canoeing
  • Trekking (between 2,501 and 4,000 metres altitude)
  • Triathlon
  • Walking (between 2,501 and 4,000 metres altitude)
  • Abseiling
  • American Football (amateur)
  • Black Water Rafting (Grades 4-6)
  • Gaelic Football
  • Gliding
  • Paragliding
  • Parascending (over land)
  • Rugby (amateur)
  • Scuba Diving (to a maximum of 50 metres)
  • Spear Fishing (without air tanks)
  • Tandem Sky Dive (up to a maximum of 2 jumps per trip)
  • Canyoning
  • Caving
  • Gorge Walking
  • Hang Gliding
  • High Diving (on an amateur basis and excludes cliff diving)
  • Horse Jumping (no Polo, Hunting)
  • Micro Lighting
  • Mountain Biking - downhill racing (NOT BMX on or off road)
  • Parasailing
  • Rock Climbing (under 2,000 metres)
  • Rock scrambling (under 4,000 metres)
  • Off-Piste without a guide
  • Trekking (between 4,001 metres and 6,000 metres)
  • Via Ferrata

Popular sports and activities

No. Children under the age of 18 named on a family or annual travel insurance policy can't be covered for independent travel. In order to be covered independently, you will have to take out a specific child annual multi-trip policy. If they are participating in additional activities, such as winters sports or hazardous activities that are not covered on the existing policy, an upgrade will be necessary to ensure complete cover.

Yes. What is more, our winter sport cover not only provides protection for skiing and snowboarding, but 20 other winter sports too (see below). As you go through the booking process you will be able to add winter sports cover to your child's insurance premium.

If you add winter sports cover to your child's travel insurance, they will automatically be covered for skiing off piste (skiing outside the boundaries of the prepared piste and marked runs, and beyond the area controlled by the ski patrol) provided they are accompanied by a qualified, resort-approved guide or instructor. If they plan on skiing without a guide, you need to select Grade 4 sports cover and pay an additional premium, but please note that they will not be covered for any reckless behaviour or skiing in restricted areas.

We know children can be particularly active while away, that is why at no extra cost Essential Travel covers 110 sports as standard on our children's travel insurance. If your child is likely to be taking part in something a little more adventurous, you will be able to add hazardous activities and sports after selecting the level of cover they require. These activities are graded 1 to 4 depending on the level of risk they pose. Grade 1 activities are considered low risk and will be covered at no extra charge, but Grades 2, 3 and 4 will add an additional charge to your child's premium. After selecting the level of cover your child requires you will be prompted to add any activities in which they are likely to participate.

Please note: If your child is going on a skiing or golfing holiday, we advise that they are covered with our winter sports or golf travel insurance to benefit from specialised cover.

Please contact us to upgrade the policy to include additional winter sports cover, superior cover, additional grades of sports and activities or increase the geographical limits of your policy, (eg. Upgrade from Europe to Worldwide cover).

Please note: Unfortunately we are unable to downgrade your policy.

To ensure you have chosen the right policy and level of cover to suit your needs, you can cancel your child's travel insurance within 14 days and receive a full refund.

If you wish to cancel your policy during this cooling off period, please contact us to cancel. Outside of the 14 days' cooling off period, please contact customer services.

Please note: It is not possible to cancel a policy once it has commenced.

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

Holiday Extras Cover Ltd is underwritten by Travel Insurance Facilities plc which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered address 2nd Floor, 1 Tower View, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent. ME19 4UY. Company number 03220410.