Backpacker Travel Insurance

We’re positive people and we don’t like to dwell on the possibility of bad things happening while travelling. Because realistically, things go wrong and accidents happen everywhere, everyday, whether people are travelling the world or not.

But here’s the thing, being in a foreign land where you are unfamiliar with the local health and legal systems is never going to be a good thing if you run into trouble while you are travelling.

It’s also very likely that medical treatment for even the simplest of things will be expensive, taking a huge chunk of your travel fund, or worse, meaning you have to cut your trip short.

We’ve heard loads of horror stories over our years on the road. Nasty blood infections from motorbike exhaust burns, parents having to remortgage their house to pay for medical costs, broken backs in car accidents and some downright gruesome tropical parasite infections.

Fortunately none of these are things that we’ve experienced, but what we’re trying to say is, shit happens. Regardless of how careful you are. And being in a different country complicates things hugely.

If you’re like us you will probably want to spend as little money as possible, but still be able to rest easy knowing you’ve got solid cover.

We get it, backpacker travel insurance is just about the least exciting thing about planning your epic travel adventures.

Which is why we’ve used our experience to do most of the unexciting stuff for you and put together the essential things you need to know about choosing the cheapest backpacker insurance, with suggestions for the best backpacker travel insurance companies out there.

Things To Ask

  • What is a valuable? Most policies don’t cover electronics over two years old.
  • What types of cancellations are covered? What if it was your fault?
  • What activities and excursions are covered? Would you need any add-ons?
  • Are existing medical conditions covered?
  • What are the excesses? Low cost insurance can have high excesses.
  • Do you need to check with them before going ahead with medical treatment?
  • Do they have a 24 hour claim line? Essential if you’re in a different time zone.
  • What happens if you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs?
  • What is the medical expenses coverage? This should be high, at least £1 million plus.
  • Does it cover costs of repatriation? i.e. the cost of getting you home.
  • Does it cover you in all the countries you are travelling to?
  • What is the personal liability coverage? Again this should be upwards of £1 million.
  • If you decide to travel for longer than expected, can you extend the policy?

Best Travel Insurance

From our extensive research and what we know about the unexpected nature of travel, the following companies (in our humble opinion) have the best policies on the market when it comes to cheap backpacker travel insurance.

Alpha Travel Insurance

Flexible and affordable insurance for short and long term travel

  • Ability to choose your own excess.
  • Up to 2 years cover with two trips home included.
  • £10 million emergency medical cover and emergency repatriation cover.
  • 24 hour doctor managed emergency assistance helpline.
  • Discounts for couples and gadget extension insurance available.

We personally use Alpha Travel Insurance and although we have never needed to claim have been very happy with the service provided and policy prices so far.

World First

Specialists in travel insurance for health problems.


  • Low cost insurance for serious health problems including HIV and cancer.
  • Covers any pre-existing medical condition.
  • Insurance for travellers over the age of 65.
  • 24 hour emergency medical assistance.
  • Covers over 150 sports and activities as standard including scuba diving and surfing.

World Nomads

Designed for adventure and long term travellers.


  • You can buy it after you’ve set off or extend your cover while you’re on the road.
  • 24/7 emergency medical assistance with medical transportation and dental care.
  • Covers over 150 activities as standard such as hot air ballooning and bungee jumping.
  • Covers you for working while you travel e.g. fruit picking or bar work.
  • Claim online from anywhere in the world.
Please note this page contains affiliate links through which we receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you purchase a product through them. Happy travels!