Travel Insurance: World Nomads
lIf you had asked a 20-year-old version of us whether travel insurance was important, we would have responded in unison: "Hell no!"
Now older and wiser, we can tell you from personal experience that travel insurance is not only relatively inexpensive but can be a lifesaver (sometimes literally) when you're traveling in a foreign country and something goes wrong.
We exclusively use World Nomads, a travel insurance company founded in Australia by serious travelers who understand what it's like to be on the road and need help; they're widely considered the best-in-class service available. First, a little detail on what a standard plan covers:
- Illness & Injury: If you get sick overseas and need to see a doctor - or if you're out adventuring (scuba, snorkeling, etc.) and get injured. Even if you have health insurance in your home country, there's a fair likelihood it won't cover all expenses if you needed treatment elsewhere; hence travel insurance covers that gap. They also typically have a 24-hour helpline in case you need medical advice from a professional immediately.
- Delays & Cancellations: Ever miss a trip due to weather, health or other unforeseeable factors? It can really feel like a double whammy - you not only miss out on a trip you've been dreaming about, but you simultaneously are confronted with the possibility of forfeiting thousands of dollars for pre-booked flights, hotels, and tours. Travel insurance covers you here to help neutralize a bad situation.
- Stolen Items: Nothing feels worse than having a prized possession stolen, whether it be your phone, camera, computer, or other personal item. Most travel insurance programs, including World Nomads, cover you up to a certain limit for lost items (that cap on coverage per item varies depending on the plan you choose).
- Medical Evacuation: No one wants to think about the worst case scenario - but everyone should plan for it. If you or a traveling companion are seriously injured while traveling, you may need to be evacuated back to your home country (either immediately or after receiving medical treatment in a local hospital). We're fortunate enough to have avoided this situation, but a good friend of ours was very seriously hurt while traveling in Central America and had to be airlifted home. Long story short: it's both hugely expensive and incredibly stressful - the kind of situation in which you'll thank yourself for having gotten travel insurance.
There are lots of additional benefits to travel insurance, but I'll leave it to the smart people at World Nomads to answer any other detailed policy questions you may have.
Concerned about price? Don't be. Even for frugal travelers, getting insurance through World Nomads can be surprisingly affordable. Here's a real-life example: for a five-month-long trip to 18 countries across Asia and the Middle East, we opted to go with the "Standard Plan" (slightly lower price than their "Explorer Plan"), which cost $582 - or $291 per person. So for nearly a half year of coverage as we travel the world, we're each paying less than many of our one-way flights across Asia. Expect to pay much less for shorter trips.
We're obviously big fans of the service and think you will be, too. If you're planning a trip and want a little extra piece of mind (not to mention some financial security), take a look at World Nomads before you head out on your next adventure.