(Back)Packing essentials

5 Insurance companies popular with backpackers + why you need to buy one

For the majority of us, a travel insurance is something that ultimately ends up unused. However, should an issue arise, then it is a good idea to ensure that you are covered. A travel insurance covers unexpected incidents, such as health problems, losing your luggage, breaking your phone or it can cover flight costs if you have to go home suddenly. I’ve compared many travel insurances for my world-trip and have listed the best travel insurances for backpackers (according to me) below.

Why should I buy a travel insurance?

– Easy to purchase

You might not want a lot of stress when you go backpacking, so it can be good to know that buying travel insurance can be a rather simple (online) process. You usually have to state your age, destination, and if you already have any medical conditions. This can enable the provider to give you a quote for the duration of your stay.

– Prioritizing your health and financial security

Should you have health issues, either before your trip or during, travel insurance could help to cover you. There may be a number of conditions that, once diagnosed with, make it unsafe for you to travel. If this becomes the case, you may need to cancel your flight or even your entire trip. However, without insurance, you might find yourself losing some (or all) of the money you paid for the trip. Therefore, having a travel insurance could be a small price to pay for some financial security. In this instance, you may certainly feel like there are benefits to having it.

Should you need any medical attention once your trip has begun, a travel insurance may also help to cover those costs, allowing you to gain the care you need without needing to panic about the financial implications of doing so. From small health care needs like a dental problem, food poisoning or broken ankle to worst-case scenarios requiring hospitalization, quarantine or evacuation, a travel insurance can help you cover the costs.

– The loss of property

It isn’t just your physical self you need to think about. A travel insurance also protects you against unforeseen events such as lost luggage. Each year, numerous backpackers may reach their destination only to find that their backpacks aren’t there with them. Some airports may be more notorious for lost baggage than others, so this is worth keeping in mind.

Some types of travel insurance may cover you for your lost items, allowing you to claim money back. Work out the value of all your belongings and make sure your travel insurance is willing to cover the same value or more if your belonging get lost. Although this may not help you in the short term, it can be somewhat reassuring when you return home, knowing that you could then potentially replace what was lost.

Travel insurances for backpackers

– The difference between a backpack travel insurance and an ordinary travel insurance

A backpacker travel insurance offers more coverage and flexibility than an ordinary travel insurance. It can also cover multiple destinations, different time frames and often includes extreme sports like wintersport, diving, bungee jumping or skydiving.

– How to compare travel insurances for backpackers?

To prepare you trip around the world, I recommend comparing travel insurances 6 months before the start of your trip. There are many travel insurances for backpackers available and it’s important to make a good comparison.

Remember, the cheapest option isn’t always the best option! Make sure to read all the terms and conditions and know what you sign up for. If you compare travel insurances for backpackers, focus on the following things:

  • financial limits (amount of medical coverage, personal liability, lost/stolen possessions and cancellation/delay coverage)
  • age limits
  • duration time
  • excess (amount you have to pay towards the claim before the insurer pays the remainder)
  • ability of visiting multiple countries
  • ability of trip interruptions and cancellations
  • differences compared to your health insurance
  • pre-existing health conditions limits
  • ability to extend
  • accompany possibilities (family policy or couple policy)
  • 24/7 worldwide assistance (preferably online to avoid high phone costs)
  • costs

And if your insurance covers you for:

  • the lost/stolen of expensive possessions like your laptop or phone
  • medical assistance and expenses in the event of COVID-19 infection
  • voluntary work and/or contracted work
  • extreme sports like wintersport, diving, bungee jumping or skydiving
  • evacuation and repatriation (due to natural disasters or global pandemic for example)

– A top 5 of the best travel insurances for backpackers

I’ve compared many travel insurances for my world-trip and have listed the best travel insurances for backpackers (according to me) below. Please keep in mind that choosing the best travel insurance is entirely dependent on the type of trip you are going to make!

Please note that the terms and conditions of each insurance policy may change at any time and the information below may no longer be up-to-date. I recommend that you always carefully read the terms and conditions of the relevant insurer to know exactly what is and is not insured.

Nomad insurance via SafetyWing – recommended for long term backpackers

The Nomad insurance of SafetyWing is a travel medical incident insurance built specifically for digital nomads. The insurance covers for travel delay, lost checked luggage (not on laptops, cameras and other electrical equipment), emergency response, natural disasters, personal liability and costs for if you are in an accident, fall sick or need medical assistance. It can be purchased while already being abroad, covers home trip visits and operates like a monthly subscription. The flexibility of this insurance makes it one of the best travel insurance for backpackers and digital nomads.

Other things SafetyWing includes:

  • Up to $250,000 for medical costs
  • Trip interruption
  • Political evacuation
  • Emergency medical evacuation
  • Covers many sports, including bungee jumping
  • Personal liability up to $25,000
  • Automatic extension of your policy every month up until one year when they’ll contact you to see if you want to renew
  • Much cheaper than most other insurance providers
  • COVID-19: covers medical assistance and expenses even in the event of coronavirus

Heymondo – recommended for digital nomads

Heymondo is one of the cheapest travel insurances for backpackers and also offers great coverage. Its value for money is unbeatable. Heymondo offers services that other insurances do not offer, such as 24 hours medical attention and an APP from which you can chat with medical professionals or call via internet. It’s very easy (and cheap!) to contact them. Furthermore, they offer many standard reimbursements such as for loss or damage to baggage, travel delay or missed connections, repatriation and medical transportation. What’s more, they have no out-of-pocket fees! This means that if you need help in an emergency, they’ll pay the costs in advance.

Among the different Heymondo insurance policies, you can choose Heymondo Basic, Heymondo Top, Heymondo Premium and Heymondo Medical. I can highly recommend the Heymondo premium insurance.

Other things Heymondo includes:

  • Optional coverage for electronic equipment
  • Optional coverage for sports such as jet skiing, bungee jumping and other extreme sports
  • Group discount if you travel with a family (3+ persons) or if you travel with a group (5+ persons)
  • Personal liability up to $1 million USD
  • Covers up to 7,000 USD for ‘cancellation, delays, or interruptions’
  • COVID-19: covers medical assistance and expenses even in the event of coronavirus

For being a reader of Girlswanderlust, you’ll get a 5% discount on your next Heymondo travel insurance. Next to this, it’s good to know that on certain dates (Black Friday, Easter and certain dates in July), there is an additional 15% promo.

Click here to activate your discount.

World Nomads – designed by travelers, for travelers

World Nomads’ mission is to support and encourage travelers to explore their boundaries. They
offer simple and flexible travel insurance and safety advice to help you travel confidently,
destination guides and tips to help you plan your trip, and responsible travel insights to help you
travel better. There are 7 important things to know about World Nomads Travel Insurance:

Internationally recognized underwriters: World Nomads is backed by a suite of specialist travel insurers that provide 24/7 emergency assistance, customer service and claims support.

24/7 emergency assistance: If you need medical assistance or emergency medical evacuation, World Nomads’ multilingual team is available 24/7 to connect you with medical treatment and transportation during your trip.

Buy and claim on the road: Had a change of plans? You can extend your period of cover or claim online at any point in your journey. You can even buy a World Nomads policy if you’re already traveling.

Adventure activity coverage: Designed by travelers, for travelers, World Nomads covers over 150 adventure sports and activities so you can explore your boundaries.

Travel safety tips and alerts: World Nomads provides useful and up-to-date travel insurance information and global travel safety advice to help you plan for your journey and navigate the risks

Donate and make a difference: When you buy travel insurance with World Nomads, you can make a micro-donation to a community development project to help change lives in the destinations that need it most.

Travel content to help inspire, educate and plan: Plan your trip with free destination guides, develop your travel storytelling skills and learn how you can be a more responsible traveler with World Nomads as your travel companion.

Disclaimer: World Nomads provides travel insurance for travelers in over 100 countries. As an affiliate, I receive a fee when you get a quote from World Nomads using my link. I do not represent World Nomads. This is information only and not a recommendation to buy travel insurance.

FBTO – recommended for Dutch digital nomads

I bought my travel insurance with FBTO for my 1-year trip in Asia. When purchasing the travel insurance you can choose a period of 60, 180 or 365 days. In addition, you can turn all kinds of modules on or off (like extreme sports) and choose whether you pay per month or per year. The cheapest travel insurance of FBTO starts as low as € 1,11 per month! Can you believe it yourself?

Other things FBTO includes:

  • All medical costs that are not covered by your Dutch health insurance
  • Trip interruption
  • Political evacuation
  • Emergency medical evacuation
  • Excess of € 50 for damage to cell phone, laptop or tablet. Maximum reimbursement of €3.000,- of which €1.250,- for a laptop and €300 for a phone
  • Cancellation fee up to €1.500,-
  • Covers (Voluntary) work
  • Cash is insured up to €250,-
  • Much cheaper than most other insurance providers
  • COVID-19: covers medical assistance and expenses in the event of coronavirus in ‘yellow’ or ‘orange’ declared countries by Dutch government

ANWB – recommended for Dutch backpackers

Another recommended travel insurance for Dutch readers is a travel insurance of the ANWB. This travel insurance has very good conditions. If you turn on the medical formula, all unforeseen and necessary medical expenses are covered. You can also choose to insure winter sports & special sports. In addition, your electronic equipment is insured up to € 4.200,-. So this insurance is ideal for Dutch digital nomads! One of the disadvantages is that the maximum continuous travel duration is 180 days. So you can’t use this insurance if you want to travel for more than 6 consecutive months.

Other things ANWB includes:

  • All medical costs including dentist costs up to €600,-
  • Trip interruption
  • Political evacuation
  • Emergency medical evacuation
  • You can choose your excess
  • Maximum reimbursement of €4.200,- of which €3.100,- for a laptop and €1.100 for a phone
  • Coverage of unforeseen costs such as transport and accommodation in case of illness, accident or death of an insured or non-traveling family member (1st + 2nd degree)
  • Coverage of damage to a rented accommodation or loss of the key to the accommodation
  • Cancellation fee up to € 1.500,-
  • Covers (Voluntary) work
  • 24/7 travel assistance hotline
  • Cash is insured up to €350,-
  • COVID-19: covers medical assistance and expenses in the event of coronavirus


Hopefully, this article has given a little more insight into why it is so important to purchase travel insurance. I hope it has given you an idea about the different insurance policies out there. Using a trusted provider, and reading all of the terms, can help you to gain coverage for your trip.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below. Safe travels!

Author: Daphne

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