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Everything You Need to Know About Backpacker Travel Insurance

If you’re a seasoned backpacker, digital nomad or long-term traveler, you’ve probably heard of travel insurance before but you might not have purchased it.

Find out everything you need to know about backpacker travel insurance in order to make an informed decision.

For example, when you purchase a plane ticket there’s often an opportunity to buy insurance as an optional add-on which can help if your flight is canceled or you want to cancel your trip.

Insurance, in general, is one of those things that you don’t usually need, but when you’re in a situation where you need it, it’s the most helpful thing in the world. If you get sick or lose your luggage, travel insurance can help you deal with what would otherwise be a financially crippling situation.

If you’re thinking about purchasing travel insurance for your next adventure, you might be overwhelmed by the number of options that are available to you. Luckily for you, we’ve narrowed it down to three great options! We’ve also summarized some information about them to help you make your decision.

World Nomads


World Nomads was established in 2002 and has been providing a fantastic service for travelers ever since. They believe that travel isn’t simply a break from your everyday life, but rather it’s a part of it that can be fulfilling and enriching. You should be able to experience new cultures and societies you encounter while appreciating and respecting them. World Nomads also believes in giving back to the communities and regions that are travel destinations by allowing you to make a small donation when you purchase your insurance package. You can also download free travel guides and educational material on their website to help you get the most out of your adventure.

What’s does World Nomads travel insurance cover?

World Nomads offers customizable travel insurance plans that fit your itinerary and destination.  This is not an all-inclusive list, but rather some examples of what might be covered.

Contact World Nomads for a free quote to get information that applies to your situation.

Trip Protection

● Emergency Medical Insurance
● Emergency Accident & Sickness Medical Expense
● Repatriation of Remains
● Trip Cancellation
● Trip Interruption
● Trip Delay
● Loss or Theft of Baggage & Personal Effects
● Baggage Delay (outward journey only)
● Rental Car Damage – where permissible
● Accidental Death & Dismemberment
● Generali Global Assistance 24-Hour Assistance Services
● Generali Global Assistance Non-Medical Emergency Transportation Services
● A range of activities including snowboarding, bungee jumping, and more!

Other Benefits of purchasing from World Nomads…

Travel Alerts – World Nomads has a page on their website where you can browse the latest information about potential safety issues or other information that can be helpful to keep you safe when you’re traveling whether it be from civil unrest, natural disasters,
or health crises.

Travel Scholarships – If you’re an aspiring photographer, writer, or filmmaker, you can apply to one of World Nomads Travel Scholarships and gain the opportunity to learn from the best while in the field. Scholarship recipients have gained the opportunity to get real-world experience and often go on to work in the field of their choosing.
Storytelling Guides – World Nomad also offers free resources for travel creatives to hone their craft. These can be highly beneficial to download and browse before and during your trip. Examples of past articles include Tips for Long Exposure Photography and
Tricks to Write A Good Travel Article.
Responsible Travel – You can also browse their guides on responsible and ethical travel to prepare for your adventure. Like the other guides, these are free to peruse even if you’re not a paying customer of World Nomads.



SafetyWing is a fairly affordable travel insurance provider that is especially perfect for digital nomads or those who are heading to another country for a short-term work opportunity. When compared to World Nomad it’s not quite as robust, but it covers the basics really well. It also operates on a month-by-month subscription model, so it will automatically renew if you need it

What’s Covered by SafetyWing travel insurance?

SafetyWing has an extensive list of what’s covered and what isn’t, and it goes through many specific situations that have specific rules. It’s a long document, but it’s a good idea to browse through it so you know if SafetyWing is a good fit for you. The following list highlights some of the basic options but isn’t meant to be a complete list.

  • Hospital Room and nursing services
  • Intensive care Ambulance
  • Use Physical therapy and chiropractic care
  • Emergency dental
  • Trip interruption
  • Travel Delay
  • Lost Checked Luggage
  • Natural Disaster (a new place to stay is coordinated)
  • Political Evacuation
  • Emergency Medical evacuation
  • Accidental death & dismemberment

Other Benefits

Month-to-Month Subscription Model: SafetyWing insurance will automatically renew every month for a maximum of 12 months so that you can focus on your travels and your work without having to worry if your insurance has lapsed. If you still need insurance after those 12 months are up, you’re welcome to repurchase the service.

Prices Starting at $40 per 4 Weeks: SafetyWing is affordable and convenient for standard travel. If you’re going on a skydiving trip, this might not be the best fit for you.

But if you’re going to stay with family while you’re working on your novel, or you want a change of scenery and are daydreaming about completing your freelance work on the beach, SafetyWing can be a great option. Prices start at $40 for every four weeks but can increase depending on your age and the country you’re heading to. You can also prepay for a trip. Insurance for a smaller five-day trip can be under $10!
● SafetyWing is easy to understand and its website is clear and easy to navigate. If you’re new to the world of insurance or just don’t know much about it, this is a great option.



Alpha Travel Insurance is based in the United Kingdom and was first established in 2006 as part of a larger travel company. In 2012 they branched out on their own and have been providing excellent service to travelers ever since. The insurance packages are designed by industry professionals and experts who understand that the best option is one that balances your ideal price range with the services that you need.

Alpha also understands that everyone is different and that you need a travel insurance package that’s as unique as you are. While browsing on their website you can search for policies depending on the length and purpose of your stay, but also by the type of traveler as someone whose backpacking needs different coverage than a family heading to the beach.

What’s Covered

Alpha Travel Insurance offers customized travel insurance plans that fit your itinerary and destination. This is not an all-inclusive list, but rather some examples of what might be covered. 

Contact Alpha Travel Insurance for a free quote to get information that applies to your situation.

● Coverage for declared medical conditions via an online medical screening

● 24/7 access to UK based GP

● Worldwide, the UK and Europe cover, as long as you’re not traveling against the advice of the FCDO Emergency

● 24-hour medical helpline, managed by experienced doctors £10 million covers for medical emergencies, air ambulance, and repatriation

● 300+ sports and activities can be covered, one Activity Pack included FREE with your policy

● 14 day ‘cooling off’ period

● Coverage includes cancellation, medical emergencies, personal belongings, cash, travel documents, and much more

● Free access to Customer Area, with the ability to view, resend and download your policy documents whenever, wherever!

Other Benefits

Specific Activity Coverage – If you are specifically planning a snowboarding trip or a rock climbing adventure, you need travel insurance that covers that specific activity. Instead of reading through each and every package that Alpha Travel Insurance offers, you can browse by activity and find out which packages fit your itinerary.

Multi-Trip Discounts – if you’re traveling more than once in a 12-month period, you
should consider a Multi-Trip plan. It saves you the hassle of having to purchase a new plan each time you set off, and there are add-ons for winter sports and other activities as well.

Extensions – Whether you’re traveling with your smartphone or a high-tech camera set up, your gadgets are important to you. While small laptops are covered under Alpha’s standard coverage, you might want to upgrade and add on a gadget extension.

Stop-Over Extension – If you get the Long-stay/Backpacker packages, you can add a stop-over extension which can add some flexibility to your itinerary. It gives you the chance to take an impulsive detour to a neighboring country or head home in a different way than you might have initially planned. Take an extended stop-over in a new city and spend some time exploring it as you travel without having to purchase a brand new insurance package.

If you’ve never considered purchasing travel insurance before, it’s never too late to start.

Even the most basic travel insurance plan can help you should you find yourself in sticky situations. You can also find a package or option that is designed for your lifestyle and travel circumstances. No matter what you want to do on a trip, you can find the perfect insurance package to cover you.

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