Travel money kind of tight? Wondering whether you could make do with some cheap travel insurance for your budget holiday, backpacking around the world trip or adventure vacation?
Yes, you can find excellent budget travel insurance. The trick is in making sure you get what's right for you.
Some people do travel without insurance. If you've never had to worry about trip cancellation or travel medical insurance while on the road, knock on wood. You've been very lucky.
The problem is . . . you just never know when your luck might run out.
Choosing the best travel insurance for you and your round the world trip is one of the most crucial decisions you'll make before you leave home.
Here's why it's absolutely vital to be properly insured when you travel:
And they're often out of your control. You might be a careful individual but that doesn't mean everyone around you is.
In many countries, even a minor injury or illness could amount to thousands of dollars in hospital fees and a more serious accident could land you in unimaginable debt.
Good international travel health insurance will cover those expenses.
It's not always easy to keep your backpacking gear safe when you're on the road.
If you travel on a shoestring budget, at some point you'll probably find yourself tossing your backpack onto the roof of a bus, using it to cushion your ride in a pickup truck or traipsing around with it in monsoon rains.
Wet clothes will dry and a scratched compass isn't the end of the world. But if you can't afford to replace your damaged camera and water-logged mobile phone, that can really put a damper on your dream trip.
With decent cheap travel insurance your gear is protected.
Travellers and tourists are prime targets for criminals abroad. But even just leaving your backpack in a train station locker while you spend the day in town can be a risk.
Losing your guide book or flashlight is not that big a deal. Getting your passport, round the world tickets or entire backpack stolen is a lot more costly.
Even discount travel insurance can help you recoup those costs.
You can never be over-insured for the unexpected.
Sudden political unrest. Extreme weather conditions. A family emergency. Any of these could cause you to have to evacuate in a hurry or fly home early and forfeit the rest of your round the world tickets.
When so much can go wrong, international travel insurance gives you peace of mind.
Can you imagine hanging out in the hostel dorm while your friends go hot air ballooning over the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia, white water rafting along the Zambezi, snowboarding in the Swiss Alps or scuba diving with Hawaiian sea turtles?
And that's why I wouldn't travel anywhere without the best budget travel insurance I can find!
There's a chance you might already have international health cover through other plans you belong to or policies you hold.
So before you start hunting around for cheap travel insurance, it's worth investigating these:
Believe it or not, I once had a bank account that offered free unlimited ATM withdrawals worldwide as well as international travel medical insurance for me and one other immediate family member.
Too bad it was only a 6-month promo deal — but it still saved me oodles of cash in that time!
If you use a credit card to pay for any part of your trip and you don't get the services you paid for, you're probably covered (up to a certain amount, anyway). Your credit card might also include trip cancellation insurance.
But check the terms and conditions. Not all cards offer the same.
It's possible that the stuff covered on your home insurance policy which you're likely to take backpacking around the world with you (like sports gear or tech gadgets) is also covered abroad. If not, you might be able to get it insured at a discount.
Though not exactly cheap by shoestring standards, some private health insurance policies cover you worldwide.
Your home country's national health insurance might entitle you to medical care in foreign countries as well. And if you're lucky enough to be an EU citizen, a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is valid pretty much across the continent.
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