A trip lasting two or three weeks is usually all many Aussies can muster up for their annual holiday. For one, travelling for long periods of time can be expensive, not to mention it’s tricky to get that much time off work!
But some aren’t content to settle for a fortnight of travel. A lucky few people get to travel for months at a time, but these intrepid adventurers need to look out for great value insurance policies.
Why you need travel cover for long trips
If you want to travel for up to 12 months, across multiples countries, and partake in lots of different activities along the way, you’d be surprised to discover the myriad of problems that can pop up out of nowhere.
Longer trips mean more chances to get sick
Consider a study performed in the US in 2015: those with no children tended to get contract a virus four weeks of the year.1 Even if you’re travelling alone, you’re still likely to catch a virus a few times a year, even if you don’t end up exhibiting any symptoms.
However, add to this the stress of travelling, and your exposure to a lot of foreign viruses/pathogens that your body will likely have little immunity to, and it’s a recipe for at least a few bouts of the dreaded cold.
And if you end up in hospital, you’ll be grateful you have insurance to cover the steep costs of treatment.
New activities present new risks
Most people departing on a long trip abroad do so with a couple of goals in mind; keen to explore places they’ve never been, and do things they’ve never done. It’s all good and well to try your hand at surfing in Hawaii, or complete laps around the infamous Nürburgring, but doing so carries with it a certain amount of risk.
We encourage you to follow your heart and do those things that will make you happy, so long as you’re covered for surprise costs – just in case! Insurance could also protect you from theft, loss of luggage, and more.
Lots of opportunities for delays / cancellations
Nothing pumps the breaks on your trip faster than getting stuck in an airport. In May 2016, BITRE reported that 582 domestic flights were cancelled. Granted, this is out of 47,464 flights in total,2 but it still represents a 1.2% chance of people missing out on their trip well before arrival!
Now, the odds will vary from country to country, but even if the odds are better than the above, you’ll still never be certain your flight will leave on time. If you miss out on something and aren’t compensated by your airline, travel cover will mean you at least get something back.
Other costs to consider
You might choose to hire a car to explore the winding roads of the French countryside. If you ding the car, travel cover may look after your rental insurance excess!
What to look for when buying long term insurance
- Get vaccinated and a health check up well before departure. Different countries require different inoculations, so ask your GP which ones are best for you.
- Choose your destinations wisely. If there’s an active travel warning in place for a country you’re travelling to, check with your prospective insurer to see if this affects your policy.
- Plan for your environment. Some places are safer than others. For example, pickpockets may frequent certain cities, and viruses may be indigenous to certain areas. The best way to avoid complications on your trip is to do your research beforehand, and learnt the ‘lay of the land’.
If you’re heading overseas for a long time, check out our tips for a healthy, happy trip.