Gap Year Travel Insurance

From only £12.94 per week.

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Taking a gap year presents fantastic opportunities to travel the world, lose yourself in culture and find a new direction all at the same time. Essential Travel offers cheap, comprehensive travel insurance, so you can focus on getting the most out of your experience.

Which Policy Should I Choose?

For most extended trips, we recommend taking out the Backpacker Travel Insurance. This covers you for up to two years of continuous travel. What makes this policy unlike most policies from other providers, is that you are covered for one trip home. This means that if you get home-sick and need to pop back to see your folks, you can do so, knowing you're covered for up to 14 days. When you return back to your gap year host country, your backpacker policy continues for the rest of your stay!

Backpacker features include:

  • Continuous protection for up to 2 years
  • A return visit to your home in the UK and Ireland on the same policy
  • Over 100 low-risk sports that are covered at no extra cost
  • Protection for non-manual work
  • Medical Emergency Expenses up to 5,000,000

Can I partake in risky sports activities?

Many 'gappers' try out all sorts of exhilarating sports and activities during their time away. Our Gap Year insurance extends to cover you for over 100 sports at no extra cost at all. For higher risk activities though, you'll need to take out the Sports Grade 2, 3 or 4 (depending on the risk). Check out the sports insurance page for more information.

Experts' Top Tip - Gap Year cover is valid for up to 2 years. For shorter trips, you can adjust the time frame by selecting the correct dates in the quote form.

Adapt your quote to suit your needs

You have the choice of up to 3 levels of cover and 4 destinations to choose. Furthermore, you can add extra protection for more serious pre-existing medical conditions, as well as cruises and winter sports to make sure that your policy deals with all the extras.

Gap Year insurance is available to any UK or Irish resident aged 19 to 55 years old on our Backpacker policies.

5 Easy Steps to Book Online

Booking online is quick and easy, even for first timers. All you need to do is:

Book your Travel Insurance in 5 easy steps

Once you've decided upon a location and what you plan to do while you're away - you'll need to start thinking about budgeting and costs. Setting yourself a realistic, sensible saving target with room for extra unplanned expenses, will make it easier to reach your fundraising goal.

Raising Funds

Aside from taking a part-time job, there are a number other ways you can raise funds for your trip of a lifetime. If you're planning an especially adventurous activity that could generate some interest in your local community, why not try getting a sponsorship?

Alternatively, many gappers decide to work while abroad to ease some of the costs. The advantage of this approach lies in the fact that you won't need to spend as much time saving up, as you can pay your way once you're out in the country.

Make your money go further

There are a ton of ways to save money and make your cash go further if you know how. Here are a few simple scrimping and saving tips...

Accommodation - this will be one of the larger expenses on your trip, but you don't need to fork out a fortune. Using online comparison sites to find the best accommodation deals for your budget is the first step. If you'll be doing some travelling around during your gap year, try to book overnight trains/buses/boats/flights as this will save booking a night's accommodation. Often, in some cultures, such as those found in South-East Asia, it's acceptable to barter at the hotel door for a room. Many gappers have landed themselves some fine accommodation for a nifty little price, just by bartering. If you don't ask, you'll never find out!

Transport - The best way to save cash on transport is to get clued up before you go. Very often, you'll find cities will offer two-for-one ticket discounts, or special traveller passes that can save you significant sums. It also does't hurt to familiarise yourself with the local bus and train timetables before going, saving yourself the added stress of having to blindly decipher public transport times when you arrive.

Attractions - Of course, you won't want to miss out on visiting the local 'must-see' attractions, but having said this, fees to get into such places can be uncomfortably high, especially for gappers on a limited travel budget. With that being said, there are a few handy tips for getting around these troublesome expenses. First off, many places have certain days in which entrance is free of charge, so find out when these are before hand, and plan accordingly. If you want to take a guided tour, don't just go for the first package you see - shop around a little for the best price. Don't be afraid to haggle for a cheaper price, as many tour operators are prepared to give discounts or added activities for custom. Students rates are also often available but are seldom advertised, so be sure to ask.

Food and Drink - The advice here is to try and keep things simple. Though you may want to occasionally splash out on an extravagant, sumptuous meal - for most gap year travellers this will be a luxury. For the rest of the time you'll need to find an affordable way of feeding yourself well. Street food is always a reliable and tasty option, with lots to choose from to keep things interesting. Cooking for yourself is also another popular choice: buying basic staples and local fruit and veg both keeps costs down and make for a nutritious meal. Buying enough food for a couple of days worth of lunches and breakfasts is another great way to save cash.

Medical Conditions

UK, Europe and Worldwide

Medical Emergencies

Baggage Cover

24/7 Emergency Helpline

Single, Annual and Backpacker

What Is a Pre-Existing Medical Condition?

What Is a Pre-Existing Medical Condition?

Do you have a pre-existing medical condition that you need to declare to your travel insurance provider? Get advice on pre-existing medical conditions.

When is The Best Time to Buy Travel Insurance?

When is The Best Time to Buy Travel Insurance?

Essential Travel recommends the best time to purchase your travel insurance to make sure your holiday is fully covered and you get the most from your policy.

How To Save on Your Holiday Abroad

How To Save on Your Holiday Abroad

Learn how to cut costs on your holiday insurance & receive exclusive travel insurance discounts. Cover for medical emergencies, cancellation and lost luggage.

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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