Single-trip travel insurance

Make it one to remember for the right reasons.

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If you’re planning on going away only once in the next 12 months, single-trip travel insurance is ideal. It provides the cover you need for one-off holidays that last a month or less.

Single-trip insurance doesn’t just cover travelling to one destination - you can visit other places during your holiday, but the cover will end as soon as you return home.

You can get a single-trip policy whether you’re travelling alone, in a couple, or with family or a group of friends.

But no matter who you’re travelling with, taking out cover as soon as you book your trip can help make it a stress-free one.

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Insurers can vary in what they cover, but standard single-trip policies should typically include:

  • Medical expenses - If you get ill or injured while you’re away, you’ll be covered for the cost of your medical treatment
  • Emergency repatriation - This covers the cost of getting you or a family member back home after an illness, injury or death
  • Flight and holiday cancellation, curtailment or delays - Cover for costs relating to interrupted travel plans
  • Delayed or lost luggage - Cover for your baggage if it gets lost, damaged, or stolen
  • Personal liability cover - You’ll typically be covered if you accidentally injure someone else or damage their property
  • Theft of money and personal belongings - You’ll be covered up to the amount stated in your policy if your money or belongings are stolen

The cancellation cover included with your single-trip policy applies from the moment you buy the policy until your holiday ends.

Other insurance elements, like medical treatment and luggage cover, only apply for the duration of your holiday.


Check whether your insurer covers the activities you’re planning to do on holiday. To get the right protection, it’s usually possible to add optional extras to your policy, like:

Winter sports cover

If you’re planning any snowy activities during your trip, this will cover you and your ski equipment

Adventure sports cover

You can get extra protection for more adventurous holiday sports like horse riding and bungee jumping

Cruise cover

Specifically designed for cruises, you’ll be covered for anything that might impact your cruising plans

Golf cover

With this add-on, you can cover your golf equipment, the cost of hiring replacement clubs, and any unused green fees

Gadget cover

Get your phone, tablet and favourite tech covered while you’re on holiday so you can always stay connected

Business travel insurance

If you’re travelling for business, get cover for things like business equipment and merchandise you take with you

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a single-trip policy?


  • Lower cost - It’s cheaper than annual cover if you’re only going away once in the next 12 months
  • Only pay for what you need - You only pay for the number of days you’ll be away and the destination you’re going to
  • Customised cover - You can tailor your cover to suit the type of holiday you’re going on
  • A higher age limit - Single-trip policies usually have a higher maximum age restriction than annual cover


  • More expensive for multiple trips - It can cost a lot more to take out cover separately for each trip rather than buying one annual policy
  • Fixed dates - You’ll only be covered for specific dates, so you may not be covered if you extend your stay
  • More hassle – It’s more time consuming to take out a travel insurance policy for each trip

How to get a single-trip travel insurance quote

It’s quick and easy to get a quote for a single-trip policy. We’ll just need a few simple details from you to get started:

  1. Your details

    Name and date of birth of everyone in the travelling party

  2. The length of your trip

    The dates you plan to travel

  3. Where you’re going

    Choose between European cover and a worldwide policy

  4. What activities you’re planning

    Tell us if you have any activities or sports planned

  5. Any medical conditions

    You’ll need to declare any pre-existing medical conditions

Get a quote
If you’ll only be going on one holiday in the next 12 months, a single-trip policy can provide the cover you need. But if you’re planning on any adventurous activities, check to see if you need to buy a policy add-on. Having the right travel insurance means if things don’t quite go to plan, you can avoid unexpected costs being added to your holiday.

Alternatives to single-trip travel insurance

Annual cover

Annual or multi-trip insurance will cover you for two or more trips within a 365-day period - but there’ll be a limit on how long each trip can be (typically, one month).

This cover usually costs less than buying multiple single-trip policies, particularly if you’re going somewhere like America or Canada. But if you've just got a couple of European trips planned, or one in the USA and another closer to home, it’s not always cheaper.

So to get the right deal, take the time to compare annual and single-trip policies.

Long-stay insurance

This cover is sometimes called extended-stay or backpackers’ insurance. Unlike annual cover, it’ll cover you for a trip that’s going to last more than a month.

In fact, long-stay policies can last up to 18 months. So it’s useful if you’re planning to visit several different countries or are going backpacking.

But this type of policy doesn’t cover multiple trips, it just covers one long holiday.

What cover do I get with a GHIC or EHIC card?

The global health insurance card (GHIC) and European health insurance card (EHIC) let you access urgent or medically necessary treatment within the European Union (EU) at the same rate as a local resident.

But they’re no replacement for travel insurance. For example, you won’t be covered for repatriation costs, any lost or stolen belongings, or trip cancellation.

The card can also help you access routine treatment and monitoring for pre-existing conditions that travel insurers won’t usually cover. So it makes sense to get both types of protection before you travel.

Cover with a bank account or credit card

Some current accounts and credit cards come with extra benefits, like travel insurance. So check whether you’re already covered – there’s no point in doubling up.

If you’ve got travel insurance with your bank or card provider, read the policy documents.

Check what’s included and whether it covers worldwide travel or any activities you might be doing, like winter sports. And if you’re travelling with your spouse or partner, see if they’re also included.

If it doesn’t provide the cover you need, consider buying a separate policy for peace of mind.

Travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions

You’ll usually need to pay more for travel insurance if you have a pre-existing medical condition or an injury you were being treated for before taking out cover.

It may also limit the number of providers you can choose from.

The good news is that our panel of travel insurers includes providers that cover a wide range of serious medical conditions.

And if you need cover for more serious medical conditions, you can find a directory of specialist providers at Money Helper.

How much does single-trip travel insurance cost?

The average cost of single-trip travel insurance policies was £21.30 for those without pre-existing medical conditions and £56.05 for people with medical conditions in 2020.[2]

Single-trip travel insurance exclusions

Here are a few things that travel insurance for a single trip might exclude:

Disregarding travel advice

Your insurer won't pay out for claims if you travel somewhere the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advises against.

Undeclared medical conditions

Any medical treatment you need while you’re away might not be covered if you failed to tell your insurer about your pre-existing medical conditions.

Illegal or reckless acts

Claims due to reckless (unless it’s to save a human life) or illegal acts will be rejected.

Drinking too much

Having one or two drinks is fine, but if your judgement or physical ability is impaired any claims you make as a result will be rejected.

Winter and adventurous sports

Certain adventurous activities will be included on your policy as standard, but others might be offered as an optional extra or excluded altogether.

Intentionally causing yourself or someone else harm

Claims that are a result of purposely hurting others (unless in self-defence) or yourself, will be rejected.


If you’re not planning on having more than one trip in the next 12 months, you should get a single-trip policy.

But if you’ll be going away again during the year, buying an annual policy could work out to be cheaper.

This will depend on your insurer so check policy details - some will provide a higher level of cover than others.

You may be covered for things like cancelling within 14 days of your departure or not being allowed to board a plane because you’re showing symptoms.

Find out more about Covid-19 and travel insurance.

Yes, with a single-trip policy, you’ll be covered for cancellation - for the valid reasons listed in your policy - from the date you buy your travel insurance. That’s why it’s a good idea to buy cover as soon as you book your trip.

You’re covered as soon as you buy travel insurance, but the policy start date will be the date that your trip starts. It makes sense to get cover as soon as you book or pay a deposit for your trip. That way, you’ll be protected if you need to cancel before your departure date.

The excess is a pre-agreed amount that you’ll need to pay towards any claim you make. It’s usually deducted from any payout you receive from your insurer. Compulsory excess is the lowest amount you can agree to. But if you choose to pay a voluntary excess on top of this towards any claim, it’ll generally make your premiums cheaper. Just make sure it’s affordable.

Yes, when you take out travel insurance you’ll need to be upfront about any medical conditions or recent injuries you have. Not declaring any you know about could invalidate your cover and mean any claim you might make is rejected.

When you take out single-trip travel insurance, you’ll need to tell your insurer your destination. If you’re taking out an annual policy, you’ll need to choose from European or worldwide cover.

It’s not compulsory to have one, but it makes sense. If you need urgent treatment, this free medical card will let you access state healthcare in any EU country you’re visiting. You’ll get the treatment for free or at the local rate.

This depends on whether you’re planning to go away again in the next 12 months. If you’re only planning one holiday, a single-trip policy is probably the better option. The NHS will cover any medical treatment you might need, but your travel insurance will cover you for things like lost luggage and cancelling or cutting short your trip.

Last reviewed: 12th May 2023

Reviewed by: Jasmine Hembury

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[2]Average median price purchased data recorded by for single-trip travel insurance, split by those with medical conditions and without, in April 2023.