Compare backpacker travel insurance

Ready to see the world? Start your journey here - find great cover by comparing backpacker travel insurance policies at Quidco and get up to *£33 cashback. 

backpacker travel insurance
backpacker travel insurance

Compare up to 30 providers to get a cheap backpacker insurance quote

Get quotes

Take time to enter details about yourself and your intended travel plans. Using that information, we’ll provide you with a variety of quotes best suited to your needs.  


We will provide you with access to a comparison of backpacker travel insurance quotes from the UK’s most reputable providers.

Get paid

Choose the best travel insurance for you. Sit tight. Wait for your cashback. Please note that it can take up to 8 weeks from the end of your policy for your cashback to be paid.

Why compare travel insurance here?

There are plenty of backpacker travel insurance plans out there, but why should you compare? Not only do you get countless quotes from trusted insurers, but we’re also able to give you cashback for comparing with us. In fact, you could get up to *£33 cashback added to the savings you’ll have already made by comparing. We’re here to help you find a backpacker insurance plan that covers you wherever you go in the world and at whichever times of the year.

What is backpacker insurance?

Often referred to as gap-year insurance, backpacker travel insurance is a popular choice for individuals planning to go away for an extended period of time, usually spanning over several countries, in the same trip. 

This insurance policy is often associated with the younger population, however, the proportion of backpackers over the age of 30 has grown over time, from under 5% in 2002 to around 10% by 2017. With that in mind, most insurers now offer this policy to travellers between the ages of 18 and 65. 

Whether you’re looking to discover the charms of Southeast Asia, road-trip across the USA, or hop from one culture to another in South America, getting the right insurance for your trip will provide you with peace of mind so you can get on with discovering the world!

What it covers

Backpacking holidays are often associated with higher risk. It could be due to lack of travel experience, being young and vulnerable, or simply being in an unfamiliar place or country. Each insurance provider will have different policy factors, but it’s important to check that they have the following as standard for backpacker insurance.

Medical expenses

Some countries, such as the USA, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean, have notoriously expensive medical charges. It is important that, should you fall ill or suffer an injury whilst away, you are covered for up to £1m, otherwise you could face some nasty bills.  

Cancellation or curtailment

If for any reason, you need to cut your trip short or cancel it before departing the UK, this will cover you for any financial losses and expenses you may incur in the process. It’s also worth checking if your provider covers End Supplier Failure - this relates to a hotel or flight company going out of business that might affect your journey. 

Delays and missed departures

Should you miss your flight due to an unforeseen circumstance that was out of your control, this will cover you with any expenses incurred when changing your travel itinerary. It is important to note that if you miss a flight due to your own negligence, then insurers will most likely reject your claim.

Lost luggage

Whether you’re a budding photographer or a sports enthusiast, it’s important to make sure you have cover for all your worldly goods. Losing your luggage on any trip is stressful but on a backpacking trip, can cause a lot of stress - so make sure you have cover for all your items and their value. 

Extreme sports

It is likely that your policy will cover you for a range of activities including white water rafting, scuba diving and bungee jumping, but it’s worth checking the small print to be aware of what you are covered for. If you are planning on doing winter sports then it might be worth getting additional cover for activities such as skiing and snowboarding.

Personal liability

If you are involved in an incident that injures or damages a third party, then it is important to have personal liability cover should you need to pay out for medical bills or repairs. 

What it does not cover

Travel to dangerous countries

You may want to conquer the world, but there are a number of countries and territories which The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) deem currently unsafe for travel. If you travel to a country on the FCO's list, your cover is likely to be invalid. 

It is important to note that certain travel restrictions remain in place due to COVID-19 - check out the FCO's current travel advice for more.

Unattended possessions

Don’t wander off and leave your possessions unattended, as you run the risk of having them stolen and your claim being rejected due to your own negligence.

Alcohol or drug abuse

While you might attend a full-moon party and travel down the rainbow road, it’s important to remember that if you need to claim for an event whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it is very likely that your claim could be rejected. 

Pre-existing medical condition

Travelling with a pre-existing medical condition is possible, but you must declare it with your insurer when you book. If you need to claim for an illness whilst you’re away but your insurer isn’t aware of your pre-existing condition, you run the risk of it being rejected. 

Advantages and disadvantages of backpacker travel insurance


Extended travel

Backpacker insurance usually provides cover for an 18-month period, which is the longest of all travel insurance policies. Allowing you to travel the world in your own time and have a proper break. Some insurers will allow you to extend this period - so double check when you’re booking a policy.


Age limit

Most insurers will offer backpackers insurance for people aged 65 and under, so if you’re looking to go on an extended trip and you’re 65+, you might want to shop around. For older travellers, you can sometimes opt for a 100-day upgrade on regular travel insurance policies - so double check when you’re booking a policy.

Do I need backpacker insurance?

With any insurance, backpacker insurance is not a legal requirement, however it is highly recommended if you are travelling to places you are unfamiliar to. Especially as a backpacker, you are considered higher risk to normal travellers.

How is backpacker insurance different from other types of travel insurance?

A backpacking holiday is a trip that takes a more flexible route than a standard week away in Spain with the kids. Meaning you are more likely to be staying in cheaper accommodation such as hostels over hotels, these are higher-risk places to stay due to their capacity and less secure sleeping arrangements.

Alongside this, you are more likely to be travelling via public transport meaning you and your belongings are exposed to higher risk throughout the length of your trip. 

A backpacker travel insurance policy will insure you for as long as you're away – and some may even let you temporarily return to the UK to visit friends or family, or deal with an emergency.

The majority of single trip travel insurance policies limit cover to 31 days before you have to return home. Plenty of policies do extend insurance to 60 days, however, for most backpackers that won't nearly be enough, so it’s important to look at other options such as backpacker insurance.

Going away for less than 60 days? You might find single trip insurance to be a better fit.

How to claim when you’re abroad

If, in the unfortunate event, that you need to claim whilst on your trip, there are a few things to keep in mind to make it as painless as possible. Also, be sure to keep a copy of your policy documents on you, either online or as a paper copy.

Speak to local authorities

If you were the victim of a crime, some insurers may require you to tell the police and get a report within 24 hours in order to cover your claim.

Contact your insurer

Most insurers should have a 24/7 contact number so you can make a claim as soon as possible – in some cases there may be a deadline of 31 days for it to be accepted. Keep this information handy just in case you need it.

Keep the evidence

Insurers are likely to request evidence to support your claim, such as a police report, medical forms from a hospital or GP, or receipts to prove ownership of items which may have been lost or stolen.

How can I get cheap backpacker travel insurance?

Only get the cover you need

Some insurance providers might try offering £10m for medical cover, or provide cover for additional activities as standard - make sure you only select the cover you need.

Shop around

By comparing insurance quotes at Quidco Compare, you can save money and find cheap backpacker travel insurance policies that suit your travel requirements, you could get up to *£33 cashback, too.

Compare backpacker travel insurance quotes and get cashback

By comparing different policies and insurance companies, Quidco can provide access to cheap backpacker travel insurance quotes with up to *£33 in cashback. Simply work out the type of cover you need for your trip, then use the comparison tool to get instant quotes and find the ideal backpacker travel insurance.

COVID-19 update

Non-essential and international travel is not currently permitted before 17th May 2021 at the earliest (dates subject to further confirmation from the government).

Backpacker travel insurance FAQs

What is backpacker insurance?

Backpacker travel insurance is a popular choice for individuals planning to go away for an extended period of time, usually spanning over several countries, in the same trip. These policies can last up to 18 months and can be extended if needed.

What is the best travel insurance for backpackers?

There are a number of policy providers offering backpackers insurance, so it’s best to compare different insurers using Quidco, to determine which one is best for you and your specific needs. By comparing at Quidco, you can receive up to *£33 cashback, too!

How long can I go away with backpacker insurance?

Most standard backpacker insurance policies allow someone to travel for up to 18 months at a time, whilst allowing you to come back to the UK should you need for an emergency. In some cases, you can extend this but do check with your insurer before committing to a policy. 

When should I buy my backpacker insurance?

Don't leave booking your policy to the last minute. It is wise to have it in place the moment you book. That way, you'll be covered for cancellation and events that might prevent you from travelling such as unexpected illness, injury or even bereavement. 

How can I get cheaper backpacker travel insurance?

Be selective with what you want/need from your policy - if you’re not planning on doing loads of ‘high-risk’ activities, then make sure your policy isn’t charging extra to cover them.

Can I get backpacker insurance with pre-existing medical conditions?

You can travel with a pre-existing medical condition but you must declare it with your insurance provider. If you don’t declare it and you need to make a claim, you run the risk of it being rejected. 

Is there a maximum or minimum age for backpacker insurance?

The majority of backpackers are individual travellers, and as a result you need to be at least 18 years of age to qualify for this type of cover. Some policies will cover individuals up to the age of 65, that said, it varies from each insurer, so it’s important to check with your provider if they cover your age group. 

Can I buy backpacker travel insurance during COVID-19?

Unfortunately, if advice from the FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office) warns against non-essential travel to your destination when your trip starts, you won’t be covered if you still go away or decide to cancel for this reason. It is important to make sure you check the latest FCDO guidance before you travel.

Useful information

*Based on a couple aged 30 with no pre-existing medical conditions, taking annual multi-trip cover for Europe. Cover starts on 4th March 2022 and ends on 3rd March 2023. Prices correct as of 3rd March 2022.

If you're struggling to find suitable cover, the Money and Pension Service (MaPs) also provides a list of specialist insurers on the MaPs directory website – or you can call the British Insurance Brokers Association on 0370 950 1790.