Do Backpackers Really Need Travel Insurance?

Insurance – nothing gets you quite as bored as this cringe-inducing word. When you’re living in the high of travel, or even in the pre-high of planning your next adventure, this awful word seems to track you down like prey. Smacking you back into reality and making you think “maybe I should pick some up”. But do you really need Travel Insurance? Is it worth it? I’m by all means not an expert, but I know the insurance companies are always going to tell you that you do. After all, that’s how they make their living.


Goldy the bored insurance dog

I’m going to try to be objective, but as a disclaimer, some of the links to in this post are affiliate links. Meaning if you’re the insurance-buying type, and you click one of these links and follow through with a buying insurance, I may end up earning a small percentage if you pull the trigger. Earnings will likely go into paying back student debt or perhaps to some future travels.

First off, what does Travel Insurance really give you?

Depending on what type of insurance you end up with, your coverage can cover everything from:

  • Lost/stolen bags
  • Lost/stolen cameras
  • Lost/stolen items
  • Health / Dental / Emergency
  • Death
  • Trip Cancellation / Trip Interruption

While insurance plans vary in coverage, quality, and customer support, most cover some or all of the above. But depending on what type of traveller you are really determines whether or not you need the stuff.


The Cautious Traveller

Some of us let fear in a bit more than others. Without trying to sound like a boring Ted Talk, it’s part of what makes us all unique and different. Some of us will leap into water of unknown depths, others would rather dip their feet in first. For those who worry a bit more, Travel Insurance is going to offer some peace of mind. Chances are you won’t need it (knock on wood), but it’s there to help quell that fear, and of course cover you should the worst arise.

The Carefree Traveller

If you’re more of the type of traveller to just roll with the punches, the thought of insurance is likely the last thing on your mind. I personally find myself falling more in this category of traveller, and am guilty for having travelled without insurance several times. However, more often than not, the Carefree traveller is more likely the type of traveller to take risks such as bungee jumping, ziplining, white water rafting, etc. All activities that put you in a bit greater risk.

Perhaps its wreckless travelling without insurance – whatever the type of traveller you are. As I age I find myself wanting a bit more security. That extra peace of mind is worth the slight ding in the pocket.

credit card insuranceYou May Already Be Partially Covered

A lot of people don’t realize that your credit card often has some sort of coverage. It may not be nearly as much, but I always recommend checking what’s included as perks to paying those steep fees. Chances are if you’re paying a yearly fee to use one of those premium cards that offer airmiles or aeroplan miles, you’re more likely to have some of those included benefits.

Get to the point! Do I Need Insurance?

No. Yes. Maybe…

I can’t make that decision up for you unfortunately. I’d feel guilty for saying “Screw that stuff” only to have someone write me that they had to pay out of pocket for something stupid that would have been covered. So I’m going to say “Yes – you should probably get some insurance“. But if you’re crazy enough to travel without insurance, chances are you won’t be the first, nor the last. But I’d implore you to just be cautious. Keep in mind, you can always get insurance while you’re on the road if you have a change of heart.

Who should you trust with your travel insurance needs?

world-nomadsWorld Nomads

Personally, I recommend World Nomads. These folks are highly trusted amongst amongst travellers. Their support and coverage is internet-famous, and best of all their prices aren’t too shabby. You’ll find they’re regularly mentioned across other bloggers websites due to their ease-of-us when it comes to filing claims. Should the worst case scenario occur, you can deal with it all online without any fuss.

Why buy travel insurance from World Nomads?

  1. Backed by specialist insurers and global assistance partners
  2. Buy Online, even if you’ve already left home
  3. Extend and claim online while travelling
  4. Covers a range of adventure sports and activities
  5. Give a little back and support a community development project

Travel insurance: simple & flexible

You can buy, extend and claim online, even after you’ve left home. Travel insurance from is available to people from over 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.

Do you have travel insurance? Who do you use? Comment below!

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