Backpacker and Longstay
Backpacking is one of the most liberating types of trips you can have and an extremely rewarding experience when everything goes right. You may have the next year planned out and a job secured at an animal sanctuary or you may have just booked your flight and see where you end up.
Backpacking gives you the freedom to explore everything the world has to offer, and gives you the opportunity to experience countries and cultures in a way conventional holidays wouldn't. But venturing off the beaten track can hold its fair share of risks; this is why the correct travel insurance is a must when planning a trip of this nature.
There are two policies to choose from depending on the level of cover you need (see below) but both come with over 100 activities covered for free and a further 3 activity packs that you can include on your policy depending on the activity you require cover for – view more information on activities.
Backpacking insurance can cover trips such as:
Exploring the world
You don't need any excuses to go out and see the world. Just pack a bag, book your return flights, travel insurance and first night's accommodation and start exploring new cultures, cuisines and countries.
You may be travelling for the purpose of working abroad, to gain new skills and to do something different. Or you may be travelling and want to earn some money to help fund the rest of your trip.
Our backpacker policy includes work abroad activities such as bar work, manual labour including fruit picking in Australia, housekeeping in the Alps, summer camp staff and many more. You can see the full list of activities below but if you are unsure if your work abroad activity is covered, please contact us.
Volunteer work is very rewarding, imagine if you are volunteering abroad, learning a new culture, helping communities or wildlife and gaining life experience amongst making new friends and sometimes taking home well deserved qualifications.
You are automatically covered for many volunteering activities such as animal sanctuary and refuge work, manual work which includes helping to build homes in deprived communities and teaching disadvantaged children.
Although called 'gap years' there are many students now taking 'gap breaks', not necessarily travelling for 12 months but taking shorter adventures. This can be down to lack of funds (12 months funding can be thousands of pounds), wanting to start the next stage in either a career or at university without too much of a gap in between or simply not wanting to spend so much time away from home.
Making sure you have the right gap year insurance is so important and should be one of the top items on your travelling checklist. At the very least you should have adequate emergency medical expenses and repatriation cover included.
Extended/long term trips
There are many travellers these days that want to get out and see the world, you don't have to be a student to experience new adventures and enjoy long holidays away from the every day chores.
With cover available for round trips up to 18 months anyone up to age 55 can enjoy long stay travel.
So whether you are bungee jumping in Europe, playing football on the beach, snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef or horse riding in Machu Picchu, Peru 24/7 travel insurance is ideal for peace of mind protection.
Whatever you plans are for your trip of a lifetime you must make sure you have adequate backpacker travel insurance. Unfortunately accidents and illnesses can (and do) happen for a variety of reasons. Some countries have a higher risk of diseases, or have a poorer quality of hygiene, for example.
Some of the main benefits:
- Choose between European and Worldwide cover
- For those up to age 55*
- Instant cover online with documents sent to your inbox
- 24 hour helpline to assist in medical emergencies
- A one month trip starts at just £9.83†
- You can return home twice during the policy – perfect for xmas and special occasions
* If you are aged over 55, please call us on 02392 419 044 Mon to Fri 8am-6pm, closed Bank Holidays
If you would like to speak to someone to discuss your insurance needs or you need confirmation that your planned activity will be covered, then please call us on 02392 419 044.
We are open Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm, closed Bank Holidays.
Summary of the benefits of cover
For full terms and conditions, please read the Policy Wording.
- £500 (£100)
- £500 (£100)
There are over 100 activities covered as standard on the backpacker policy – including working and adventurous activities.
View Pack 1 below for activities automatically included with this policy.
Pack 2- 4 can be added to your policy on payment of an additional premium.
You will be covered for all activities listed in the packs up to and including the one selected.
If you find that you are already travelling and your current policy doesn't cover you for an activity you want to take part in, call us on 02392 419 044 and we may be able to include it for you (additional premium may be payable).
Activity Pack 1 (Free)
Abseiling, Aerobics, Amateur Athletic Field Events/Track Events, Angling, Animal Sanctuary/Refuge Work, Archery, Athletics
Badminton, Ballooning – Hot Air, Bamboo Rafting, Banana Boating, Bar Work, Baseball, Basketball, Beach Games, Biathlon, Billiards, Bird Watching, Body Boarding, Bowling, Bowls, Boxing Training, Bridge, Bridge Swinging, Bungee Jumping
Camel Trekking, Camping, Canoeing (excluding white water), Caravanning, Catamaran Sailing (in-shore), Chess, Clay Pigeon Shooting, Climbing, Cricket, Croquet, Curling, Cycle Touring, Cycling
Dancing, Darts, Deep Sea Fishing, Diving, Driving Any Motorised Vehicle
Elephant Trekking (UK booked)
Fell Running, Fell Walking, Fencing, Fishing, Fives, Flag football, Flying as a passenger other than in a fully licensed passenger carrying aircraft (private/small airline) and for no other purpose, Flying ex crew/pilot, Football, Football – Beach Kick Around, Fresh Water/Sea Fishing, Frisbee, Fruit or Vegetable Picking
Glass Bottom Boats, Gliding (learning non competition), Golf, Gorilla Trekking, Gymnastics, Highland games, Hiking up to 1,000 metres, Hill Walking up to 2,000m, Historical Research, Horse Riding, Hot Air Ballooning
Jet Boating, Jet Skiing, Jet Skiing (non incidental), Jogging, Kayaking (up to grade 2 rivers only)
Keepfit, Kiting, Korfball
Manual Labour (work that involves the lifting or carrying of heavy items less than 25kg, work at below the level of 2 storeys high but excluding any form of work underground), Marathons, Model Flying, Motorcycling with appropriate UK licence, Mountain Biking (on road non-racing)
Petanque, Pigeon racing, Pony Trekking, Pool, Power lifting
Rackets, Rafting, Rambling, Rambling under 1,000m, Rap Running/Jumping, Raquet Ball, Re-Enactment, Restaurant Work, Rifle Range, Ringos, River Walking, Rock Scrambling (under 4,000m), Rounders, Rowing, Running
Sprint/Long Distance, Safari (UK organised), Safari Trekking, Sail Boarding, Sailing, Sailing/Yachting Inshore & recreational (inland and coastal waters), Scuba Diving to 30m (if qualified or with qualified instructor – not solo), Sea Fishing, Shinty, Shooting, Shooting (target range-not hunting), Small Bore Target Shooting, Snooker, Snorkelling, Softball, Squash (amateur), Surfing (amateur), Swim Trekking, Swimming, Swimming with Dolphins, Sydney Harbour Bridge
Table Tennis, Team Games, Ten Pin Bowling, Tennis, Trekking 1,000m, Triathlon, Tubing, Tug of War
Water Skiing (amateur), Waterskiing/Windsurfing/Snorkelling, Weight Lifting, WhaleWatching, White Water Rafting + Canoeing (grade 1 to 3), Windsurfing, Working
Yachting inshore & recreational (inland and coastal waters), Yoga
Activity Pack 2
Adventure Racing (up to 6 hours), Adventure Racing (up to 12 hours), Airsoft, American Football
Big Foot Skiing, Blade Skating, Bobbing, Breathing Observation Bubble (BOB)
Canoeing (White Water), Canyoning, Cat Skiing, Cross Country Running, Cross Country Skiing
Dragon Boat Racing, Dry Slope Skiing
Elephant Riding/Trekking (non UK booked), Equestrian
Falconry, Flying crew/pilot, Flying Helicopter (Pilot), Football – Amateur
Gaelic Football, Glacier Walking, Gliding, Gliding (non competition), Go Karting, Gorge Walking (no ropes)
Handball, Harness Racing, High Diving, Hobie Catting (In-shore), Hockey, Hockey (Ice) With Full Body Protection, Horse Jumping (no Polo, Hunting), Horse Riding (Eventing), Husky Dog Sledding, Hydro Zorbing
Ice Hockey, Ice Skating, Indoor Climbing (on climbing wall), Iron Man
Karate, Karting, Kayaking (grade 3 rivers only), Kayaking (In-land waters), Kendo, Kick Sledging, Kite Boarding
Lacrosse, Land Skiing, Land Yachting, Langlauf
Martial Arts (Training Only), Modern Pentathlon, Mono Skiing, Mountain Biking (off road non-racing) Mountain Boarding, Mountain Walking up to 1,000m, Mountaineering up to 1,000m
Off Road Motorcycling (up to 250cc), Off-piste skiing
Paint Balling, Parasailing (over water) incidental, Parascending (Over water), Parascending (over water, non incidental), Passenger Sledge, Polo cross, Power Boating, Professional Entertaining (acrobats, dancing and the like)
Rambling up to 2,000m, River Tubing, Rodeo, Roller Blading (Line Skating/Skate Boarding), Roller Hockey, Roller skating, Rugby (amateur game), Rugby League, Rugby (training), Rugby Union
Safari (non UK Organised), Sand Boarding, Sand Dune Surfing/Skiing, Sand Yachting, Shark Cage Diving, Skateboarding, Ski Boarding, Ski Dooing, Skiing, Skiing – Cat, Skiing – Mono, Skiing – Nordic, Sky Diving (max 2 jumps) Sledging, Sledging/Toboganning, Sleigh riding (reindeer, horses or dogs), Snow Biking, Snow Blading, Snow Bobbing, Snow Mobile/Ski Doos, Snow Mobiling, Snow Parascending, Snow Scooting, Snow Shoe Walking, Snow Tubing, Snowboarding, Snowcat Driving, Soccer, Speed Sailing, Speed Skating, Speed Trials/Time Trials, Sphereing, Street Hockey, Summer Tobogganing
Taw Kwon Do, Telemarking, Toboganning/Sledging, Trampolining, Tree Top Canopy Walking, Trekking 2,000m
Under 17 Driving (not public roads)
War Games/Paint Balling, Water Polo (amateur), Water Ski Jumping, White Water Rafting (grade 4 to 6), Winter sports, Wrestling
Activity Pack 3
Caving/Pot Holing, Cyclo Cross
Devil Karting, Dinghy Sailing, Dirt Boarding
Heliskiing, Hurling, Hydrospeeding
Ice Climbing, Ice Go Carting, Ice Windsurfing
Kite Buggying, Kite Surfing
Mountaineering up to 2,000m
Octopush, Outdoor Endurance Tests
Paragliding, Parascending (over land), Power Gliding, Power Kiting
River Bugging, Rock Climbing (under 2,000m)
Skeleton, Ski Biking, Ski Blading, Ski Randonee, Ski Touring, Ski Yawing, Skiing – Freestyle, Skiing – Glacier, Skiing – Snowcat, Snow Carting, Snow Go Karting, Snow Kiting
Wake Boarding, Wind Tunnel Flying, Winter Walking (poles & special shoes)
Activity Pack 4
Adventure Racing (up to 24 hours), Assault Courses including High Ropes
Black Water Rafting (Grades 1 to 3), Blowcarting, BMX Freestyle & Racing
Cave Diving, Cycle Racing
Micro Lighting, MotoCross, Motor Racing/Rallies/Competitions (all types), Mountaineering up to 3,000m
Scuba Diving to 40m (if qualified and with qualified instructor – not solo)
Ski Flying, Ski Mountaineering, Ski Run Walking, Skiing – Off Piste Without a Guide, Slack-Lining
Wicker Basket Tobogganing
Zip Trekking, Zorbing
An excess is the amount you have to pay towards a claim. On our standard cover it is £150 and on Premier cover it is £100. If you pay the additional premium for 'excess waiver' the excess would be reduced to nil in the event of a claim.
If you can't find your activity, please contact us on 02392 419 044. We are open Monday to Friday 8am-6pm, closed Bank Holidays.
Handy tips when shopping for backpacker travel insurance
- Make sure you cover every destination you are visiting
- You need your departure and return dates, you must return home on or before your return date to be fully protected.
- Check the activities list to ensure you are covered for any activities or work you will get involved in – call your provider if you need clarification
- If you are taking valuable items with you such as cameras, laptops, jewellery etc check policy limits. You may need to insure these items under your home insurance policy.
- Read the policy wording – the cooling off period gives you 14 days to return your policy for a full refund if it doesn't suit your needs (if you haven't already travelled or have made or intend to make a claim).
- If you have medical conditions, you will need to declare these. 24/7 asks that you call the Medical Screening Line if you need to declare a condition.
I’ve already left the UK, can I still get cover?
We cannot provide cover under our 24/7 travel insurance policies. However, we have teamed up with IMG Europe to offer an extensive range of International and expatriate travel insurance policies.
Please visit our Already travelled? page.
Do you cover every country?
You can buy cover for Europe, Australia and New Zealand, Worldwide excluding USA, Canada and the Caribbean and Worldwide including USA, Canada and Caribbean. When you get a quote you will need to choose the destination that includes all the countries you will be visiting.
You must be aware that 24/7 travel insurance will not cover you for travel to a country where the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against travel. You can find more information on their website.
Can I come home then carry on with my trip?
We understand that being away from home for up to 18 months can be daunting for those who haven't done it before, or if you have, you may want to come home for Christmas a birthday or simply to say hello to friends and family.
Our specialist travel policy allows you return home twice to your home country (which means you can visit your home address or friends/relatives somewhere else in the country) for up to 21 days per trip.
Your travel insurance will cease upon your clearance at your home country customs and restarts after baggage check-in at your international departure point.
Is this policy ideal for students?
This policy is perfect for students who want to travel for up to 18 months. In fact this policy is ideal for anyone up to age 55 who needs long term travel insurance.
You might be travelling with a large group of friends to enjoy a couple of months in Thailand or taking your partner away for an adventure down under.
How can I tell that this policy covers everything I need before I travel?
Full details of the policy can be found in the Insurance Policy which also has the terms, conditions and exclusions in. Once you have purchased your policy you have 14 days to return the documentation for a full refund if you are unhappy with the small print (as long as you haven't travelled, made or intend to make a claim).
If you would like to confirm anything with our customer services team, please contact us either by our contact form
You can also call us on 02392 419 044. We are open Monday to Friday 8am-6pm, closed Bank Holidays.
Are my laptop/tablet and mobile phone covered?
Mobile telephones, SIM cards, mobile telephone prepayment cards, mobile telephone call charges or mobile telephone accessories are excluded from your policy.
Laptops and tablets are covered and are classed as valuables. The Backpacker & Longstay policy includes a Valuables limit, under Premier cover only, of up to £150.
This means you can claim up to £150 towards the cost of your lost, stolen or damaged valuable (don't forget there will be an excess to pay unless you have purchased Excess Waiver).
Valuables are shown in the policy as:
Cameras, photographic equipment, camcorders, video, satellite navigation equipment, television equipment, radios, cassette players, CD players, Ipods, MP3 players, audio equipment, laptops, mac or web books, personal computers, computer equipment / accessories, hard drives, flash drives, computer games machines, binoculars, telescopes, antiques, jewellery, watches, furs, precious or semi- precious stones, articles made of or containing gold silver or other precious metals, films, tapes, cassettes, cartridges, discs or Compact Discs.
You must notify the police (unless the item is damaged) and obtain a written report and include it, with your proof of purchase, if making a claim. If the item is damaged you will need written confirmation of the cost to repair or replace the item as well as proof of purchase.
I’ve decided to carry on travelling - can I extend my trip?
Please send us a message
We will reply within one working day (we are open Monday to Friday 8am-6pm, closed Bank Holidays).
How can I keep backpacking gear dry?
Bin bags are one of the quickest and easiest ways to keep your backpacking gear dry. While many backpacks are made of waterproof fabric, the stitching creates little holes that will let water leak through. Having the waterproof bin bag to line your backpack will give you an extra layer for your gear to stay protected.
You can also buy rain covers for your backpack. These are designed to keep the water off of your bag but many travellers don't bother with them because they don't often fit very well and they also can't stop internal condensation. A trusty bin bag is your best bet.
What should I pack on a short backpacking trip?
Shorter trips involve only packing the essentials to get you through the trip. Don't forget navigation equipment including a map, compass and a watch. Your clothes should include two pairs of socks, underwear, a raincoat, waterproof clothing, night clothes and extra layers for insulation. A sleeping bag, ground sheet and a head lamp should also be included.
Other obvious items to pack include food and drink, a camping stove and utensils, a repair kit and somewhere to shelter, namely a tent. The aim of the game is to pack light and only take what you need. If you're only travelling for three days, don't pack for a fortnight.
What tasks will I need to complete to set up camp?
Being organised is the key to setting up camp. Have a list in your head of things that you need to do to ensure you don't miss anything. Start off by setting up your shelters and filling up your water bottles, purifying them if needed. Get your sleeping bag and night gear all ready, then cook your dinner.
After you've eaten, wash up any utensils and yourself, packing everything away afterwards and before nightfall.
Before you even leave for your trip, you should decide whether you want to sleep in a hammock, a tent or under a tarpaulin. This will change how you set up camp as you may need to allocate more time if you are going to build a shelter.
What equipment should I take when backpacking in wet destinations?
Obviously, waterproof gear is going to be top of your list. A fleece with good wicking properties should be a staple piece of clothing. Thin layers that you build up are going to be more effective than one thick, clumpy waterproof coat so don't forget about a hat, a hood and some gloves. The key is packing items that prevent you from sweating; this will help you maintain a consistent body temperature.
A waterproof groundsheet and sleeping bag, as well as a backpack liner will make a huge difference. Skip the backpack cover and line your bag with a waterproof plastic bag instead. This will keep everything dry, even when you're on the move and have no shelter.
How to pack a backpack?
Be brutal with what you need to take. If you don't really need it, then don't pack it. Remember to attach things like a sleeping bag to the outside of your pack and put things into your cooking pot to save space. Try rolling your clothes up as well because they are less likely to crease and can also then be squished into little corners, using all the available space.
Repackage any food you are taking; you'll be amazed at the amount of space it saves you. Boxes and bags often have a lot of wasted space so unwrap what you can and you can often find it fits into little spaces in your bag, freeing up a larger area for bigger things.
Read more from our blog post Top tips for packing your backpack
How can I keep insects away without using chemicals?
The clothing choices you make can have a huge impact on how well you keep insects away from you. The more of your skin that you cover up, the less chance the bugs have of latching onto you. If you have long trousers and a long-sleeved shirt, the bugs can only have access to your hands and face – removing the need for chemical insect repellents.
Look for fabrics that won't chafe but also have good wicking qualities. You don't want to be wearing thick trousers when it's hot and you're hiking up a mountain so find some that will give you good ventilation but also keep you protected from the flying nasty’s.
Backpacking insurance including activities and maximum cover limits
When planning to go on a backpacking trip, whether you are going for; exploring the globe, working abroad, volunteering as a student or mature student or as a gap year or extended break, you will most likely have planned a number of activities that will require specific holiday insurance.
Depending on the countries you are visiting and your enthusiasm to take in new experiences, you might surprise yourself with the types of activities you need to get insurance for (ideally, before you leave).
In addition to this, longer stay travelling is also likely to mean that you require a higher level of cover. Think about the increased needs for personal money cover, personal possessions you will take and acquire during your entire stay, plus increased risks of needing emergency expenses. Make sure you consider which level of cover you need for your longer stay before buying the cheapest available.
† Backpacker & Longstay £9.83 Standard cover – Based on an individual aged between 18 and 40 going on a 31 day trip round Europe. The same individual travelling for 6 months round Europe would cost just £58.98.