Insurance Options for Gap Year Backpackers

If you’re planning to take a gap year, you might have a variety of different things planned. If you want to go travelling, you’ll need to ensure you have the right travel insurance policy and this will vary based on what you have planned for your trip. The places you visit, the length of time you’ll be away for and the activities you’ll be doing will all influence your travel insurance policy.


If you are planning to travel to countries within the EU, you may find that you can purchase a different travel insurance policy to if you are going further afield. British citizens pretty much have a free rein when travelling to most countries within Europe, so there isn’t really an issue with getting visas or special access beforehand.

Travelling to the rest of the world will often involve taking out a separate or extended policy and you are also likely to need visas to get into any other country. Make yourself aware of the entry requirements beforehand and ensure you fulfil them all. If you do have to claim on your insurance for any reason, you know that you will have already met all the criteria.

Time away

The amount of time you plan to spend away can also affect your travel insurance. Some people go on holiday for a couple of weeks, while others travel around or stay away for a couple of months instead. Of course, some people will take a full year or more and travel to different destinations all over the world, spending varying amounts of time in each country.

If you are going to be away for a long amount of time, you are probably going to need a different type of travel insurance, particularly if you plan on working abroad as well. If you haven’t made any solid plans about how long you’re going to be away for, try to make an educated guess and then ensure you can extend the policy if necessary. Ensure that your policy will cover you for as long as you need, otherwise you might be hit with an unexpected bill if it runs out.

If you do decide to work abroad, you may find that you need to apply for a different type of visa as well as insurance that covers you for work and not just tourism. Many people make their minds up before they leave as to whether they want to work or not so try to decide beforehand; it will make your life much easier in the long run.

Activities when you’re Away

Some insurance policies only cover you for basic activities and do not include more unusual plans, so think about what you are going to be getting up to when you are away. You might think that you have no intention of going bungee jumping when you’re away but you might change your mind when you get there. It’s better to be over-covered than not have the right sort of policy.

There are things like riding a motorcycle that you might not think anything of when you’re in the UK but the rules are different abroad. Although there may be no legal requirement for you to wear safety clothing in your destination, your insurance may have rules in place to ensure you are being safe, or they may not cover this activity at all. It might seem like an ordinary, low-risk activity to you but double check that your insurer feels the same way about it.

You may be able to add things onto your insurance policy when you are away but this isn’t always possible so make sure you read through all the terms and conditions first to ensure that you can do this if necessary. If not, you might be better off going for a package that includes as many things as possible so that you are covered in advance.

*Please note, Holidaysafe's online prices automatically include a 15% discount against our Customer Service Centre prices. This code entitles you to an additional 5% off your policy, and is a discount from the base price, not including the additional cost of optional extensions or any additional medical premium.