Ten films to make you check your travel insurance

Plane on susnset sky
A safe aeroplane, yesterday
"If you’re planning on doing some cruising, make sure you’ve added the relevant cover to your policy"
  • | by Kristian Dando

Everyone – well, pretty much everyone – wants their holiday to be as incident-free as possible. But incident-free holidays seldom make for good films.

We’ve rounded up ten flicks which will have you reaching for your travel insurance documentation. Watch any of these before you go and you’ll think twice before travelling without it…but of course, you wouldn’t do that anyway, would you?


The Carry On gang embark on a holiday to Spanish resort destination Els Bells – with the innuendo, lazy national stereotypes and pratfalls flowing thick and fast in a tour de force of ‘old school values’ humour.

The hotel is half-built, understaffed and built on a river bed. The food is awful. There’s a plague of mosquitos on the first night. As if that’s not enough, the local plod are feeling fairly overzealous, too.

THE KEY LESSON: Think about booking your holiday with your credit card. You’ll be afforded some protection under the Consumer Credit Act if what you’ve been sold isn't how it was in the brochure.

ALIVE (1993)

In which a Uruguayan rugby team are downed in a plane crash over the Andes. Stranded and without help, they’re  forced to resort to desperate means in order to survive. Critics called it: “A laugh-a-minute romp!”

THE KEY LESSON: Pack plenty of snacks in your hand luggage. You never know when you might need them.


“It all seems too perfect, doesn’t it?” says Sandra Bullock to her beau as they slowdance on the first night of a dream Caribbean cruise.

Then, rather predictably, it all goes bad. Explosives go off, and a ne’er do well played by Willem Dafoe hijacks the boat, forcing our San’ to go through the ordeal she went through on a bus last time round. If that's not bad enough, the on-board entertainment is provided by UB40. Truly the stuff of nightmares.

THE KEY LESSON: If you’re planning on doing some cruising, make sure you’ve added the relevant cover to your policy.

THE BEACH (2000)

American backpacker Richard, as played by Leo Di Caprio, heads to Thailand to get his kicks but is deeply disappointed by what he finds. He then witnesses a man played by Robert Carlyle get savagely gunned down. Before he croaks, the man gives Leo a map to a mysterious island which he sets out to find. It’s paradise…but then it all goes a bit ‘Lord of the Flies’.

This one’s got it all – shark attacks, drug farmers with guns, Swedish men suffering from gangrene – and an underrated All Saints song on the soundtrack.

THE KEY LESSON: For heaven’s sake, think about adding backpack cover to your policy.


A systems analyst played by Tom Hanks gets stranded on a desert island after a plane crash, en route to a troubleshooting mission to Malaysia.

He gets stuck there for four years, makes an imaginary friend, becomes an expert at fishing with spears and grows a gnarly beard before fashioning himself a raft and escaping - only to find he’s been presumed dead and that his wife has only gone and got married to someone else. Bah!

THE KEY LESSON: On a business trip? Then make sure that you declare that you’re travelling for work purposes to your insurer.

HOSTEL (2005)

Some backpackers – yes, them again – head to Eastern Europe and hear tell of an off-the-beaten track hostel, chock-a-block with attractive young Balkan lovelies. They find it. It’s not quite as it seems. Horror ensues.

THE KEY LESSON: Do your research before you go. A quick perusal of Trip Advisor should be able to tell you if your hotelier has a predilection for sadistic torture or anything like that. If you find evidence suggesting this, it’s best to give it a miss.

DEAD SNOW (2009)

A posse of rad young Norwegian medical students take a skidoo ride to SHEER TERROR as they awaken an army of Nazi zombies after interfering with their stash of gold. As you do.

Director Tommy Wirkola recalled: "When we were about to sit down and write the actual script, we started thinking ‘What is more evil than a zombie’? A Nazi-zombie! Nazis have always been the ultimate villains in movies. Combine that with zombies and you really get something that no one would sympathise with."

THE KEY LESSON: Check if your winter sports insurance comes with undead army cover. Obviously.


Here, a scuba-diving couple are left stranded after the boat which takes them out to sea doesn’t conduct a proper headcount before returning. A nerve-jangling encounter – complete with sharks.

THE KEY LESSON: Does your policy cover you for extreme activities?


Jay, Neil, Simon and Will graduate from sixth form and after suffering a series of personal setbacks, head off on a ‘Lads On Tour’ two week bender in Malia which unsurprisingly descends into low farce.

THE KEY LESSON: Check what exclusions your policy has – you may not be covered for any booze or drug fuelled misadventures, for instance…

FLIGHT (2013)

A hard-living pilot played by Denzel Washington manages to somehow steer a crashed plane to safety, despite being off his head on the sauce and illegal street drugs. Unlikely to feature on any in-flight entertainment selections any time soon.

THE KEY LESSON: Driving to the airport? Then see what parking offers are available before settling for the airport's own facilities, which are usually very expensive.

Of course, the chances of any of the above occurring is – in most cases – extremely rare. Still, it’s nice to know that your insurer’s got your back in the event of the worst happening…