Should I Buy Travel Insurance?

Should I buy travel insurance? This is an important question to ask yourself before setting off on your travels. Do Bell and I buy travel insurance? Not usually. Since we’ve lived in Europe for over 5 years we’ve often been covered when traveling to other European countries (In the Netherlands, but not currently in Ireland). When we’ve traveled outside Europe we’ve generally just rolled the dice on all travel insurance spanning medical, personal belongings and trip cancellation or interruption.

Dubai, buy travel insurance
I recently purchased travel insurance through Ryanair when purchasing my flight for a short trip to Krakow, Poland. It was just 10 euro ($13 USD) for my 4 day trip and covered medical and such things as reimbursement of some costs if my passport were to be stolen and I needed to have it replaced and make additional arrangements. No surprise that Ryanair is not the best for buying travel insurance, as medical coverage is less than some companies, but it was convenient to book for a short trip.

We usually give good travel advice, especially after the fact when we tell you what not to do. But due to lack of experience on this important but boring subject, we thought best to defer to a few people that know the topic better.

Buying Travel Insurance Tips

Here is a great post by NomadicMatt on what to look for and consider when buying travel insurance.

Basically, if you’re planning on surfing in shark infested waters, recreating an episode of Bear Grylls ‘Born Survivor’ or hitchhiking through Somalia, travel insurance is likely a great idea. Though we’re guessing if you’re not paying for transportation, you’re probably not going to pay for any type of insurance either.

You Never Know What Might Happen

But even if you’re just planning a tea party at your grandma’s house in London, there’s always a chance Jack the Ripper is lurking around the corner (he doesn’t mortally wound you, he just partially slays you and steals your passport and wallet). So it can be a good idea to play it safe, even if you’re just traveling for a ping pong tournament.

Ballarat, Lake Wendouree buy travel insurance
You never know when a swan might attack and try and steal your biscuit/cookie!!

You should always consider insurance but don’t expect you will be evacuated home because you demand better care. Often medical evacuation only covers a trip to a nearby medical facility, say if you broke your foot repelling a mountain.

Read Travel Insurance Policies Carefully

Read policies carefully. But in general, travel insurance can provide you with better treatment in the off chance something happens, save you money, and perhaps provide some peace of mind if you’re the worrying type. It can also assist with financial setbacks in the event of trip interruptions, something that could happen anywhere, but even more likely to consider when traveling in developing countries.

Of course, you could also chance it and not buy travel insurance and save hundreds on a lengthy trip. Your call! Also, skimping on travel insurance maybe isn’t one of the best ways to save your small business money on travel expenses.


  • Alex&Bell

    Alex and Bell originally met while solo traveling after finishing university in 2002, in Brugge, Belgium. Alex grew up in the USA and Bell hails from Australia. During our nearly 20 year marriage we've lived around the world, including spending six years living in the Netherlands and Ireland. We have traveled to nearly 70 countries and enjoy giving readers authentic and quality travel tips. Alex is an award winning travel journalist and travel planner, who also freelances for other outlets. Bell is an award winning PhD scientist who currently works for a non-profit lung cancer advocacy research organization called Lungevity. Happy travels and if you have any questions leave a comment or drop an email!

    View all posts

5 thoughts on “Should I Buy Travel Insurance?

  1. This video is blocked in Switzerland for copyright reasons.
    But I can see the title.
    Did he really do that? How can one possibly even imagine of doing that?

    1. Unfortunately yes, he really did that.

      Grylls was trying to show odd places where you can find hydration when stranded in the desert. There is another episode where he drank his own urine (which he had stored in a snake skin, saved from a snake he captured and grilled over open fire to eat).

      Grylls is a pretty dedicated dude. We imagine he has good insurance!

      1. I watched several of his broadcasts. I’ve seen him eating larvae, lizards, long-dead sheep’s meat, etc. But this . . .
        I think he has life insurance up to third generation!

  2. The costs of not fully covering yourself against a medical emergency could be high. Compared to the cost of your holiday, travel insurance is comparatively cheap. The question is not whether you can afford travel insurance, but rather whether you can afford not to have it.

    1. This is very true, it’s kind of like gambling. When traveling, what insurance do you buy? Would love to hear your thoughts!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.