Guide to solo travel insurance

Abbie Laughton-Coles
Abbie Laughton-Coles
Updated 3 October 2022  | 3 mins read

Travelling by yourself can be extremely freeing. You get to choose exactly where you want to go and when, plus you don’t have to cater to anyone else’s needs or wants. Sounds perfect.

If you’re departing off on your own solo adventure soon, it’s really important to make sure you have the right travel insurance in place should you have an emergency while abroad. Knowing you’re covered can give you peace of mind, especially if you’re on your own.

Key points

  • If you’re taking more than two trips a year, you may want to consider annual travel insurance
  • Backpacker insurance could cover you for up to 18 months of travelling
  • If you’re going to do any sports while you’re away, you may need to add extra cover to your policy

What type of cover should I get as a solo traveller?

It will depend on a few different factors, including:

  • How long you’re travelling for
  • Whether you intend to return to the UK between trips or continuously travel
  • Will you be taking one holiday this year or multiple trips?
  • Where you’re going
  • Are you going to be taking part in any dangerous activities?

Take a look at the following types of travel insurance and decide which one best suits your travels.

Backpacker insurance

If you’re heading out to see the world for an extended period and travelling to multiple countries, this could be the right travel insurance to opt for.

You can get cover for between two and 18 months under one policy and it usually covers a wider range of activities than standard travel insurance, like white-water rafting or pony trekking (this will depend on the policy though). You may even be able to work temporarily abroad with this type of policy but check exclusions carefully.

If you don’t have a firm itinerary for your travels, it’s not a problem. However, you’ll need to choose between European cover, worldwide cover excluding the USA, Canada and the Caribbean, and worldwide cover that includes these areas. The latter will cost the most as healthcare is more expensive in these countries.

Multi-trip insurance

Also known as annual travel insurance, this type of policy will cover you for multiple trips throughout a 12-month period.

There will be limits on how many continuous days you can spend abroad on each trip, usually up to around 30 days.

It can be cheaper than taking out single-trip policies if you’re planning two or more holidays per year and you won’t have to worry about organising insurance before you travel.

Just make sure you have a policy that covers the countries you’re likely to visit and whether it’s worth it if you’re only going to take a couple of holidays. Compare options carefully.

Winter sports insurance

For those with a passion for hitting the slopes solo, winter sports travel insurance is a must.

Not only will you get the cover that you would with a standard policy, like emergency medical treatment and repatriation, but you’re also protected if there are piste closures or your ski equipment is stolen, for example.

Check your policy details to see what exactly is covered.

Adventurous sports insurance

Thrill seekers jetting off on adrenaline-spiking trips by themselves should make sure they have the right level of travel insurance for the dangerous activities they’ll be doing.

Some may be covered by your standard policy, but others will require you to pay extra, or you might even need to find specialist insurance. This could be for activities like bungee jumping, jet skiing, or quad biking.

If you’re in doubt, you can ask your insurer.

Single-trip insurance

If you’re popping abroad for one short holiday (less than a month) this year on your own and don’t intend to take part in any high-octane sports, a single-trip policy is usually the best bet.

A standard policy will typically provide cover for:

  • Emergency medical treatment
  • Lost, stolen or damaged baggage
  • Repatriation
  • Cancellation and curtailment of your flights or holiday

You can always add optional extras to your policy, if required.

Cover starts from when you buy your travel insurance, so if something happens between then and your departure date which means you can’t travel, you may be able to claim for costs.

Finding the right insurance for your solo travels

It couldn’t be easier to find the right travel insurance for your solo adventure with us.

Let us know a few details about your trip and some information about you, like if you have any pre-existing medical conditions.

We’ll then show you the policies that match your requirements. You can compare cover details and star ratings from Defaqto, as well as price, to get the right fit for your holiday.

Always make sure you’re happy with the level of cover, rather than just choosing the cheapest option, which could leave you out of pocket if you had to make a claim for something that isn’t included in the policy.

What else to consider

Here are some tips to consider for your next solo trip:

  1. Look at shared accommodation

    The cost of single-occupancy rooms is usually pretty expensive. A hostel or AirB&B can really cut costs and you might make some travelling buddies

  2. Think about a guided tour

    If you don’t have a nose for navigation, a guided tour could be just the ticket. You’ll get to see the best a city has to offer with zero chance of getting lost

  3. Research, research, research

    Find out as much as you can about where you’re visiting. There are plenty of forums, blogs and social media accounts dedicated to solo travelling where you can seek out much-needed advice

  4. Always keep your wits about you

    Of course, you want to enjoy yourself, but if you think something isn’t right, try to remove yourself from the situation as soon as possible and return to your accommodation. Make sure that someone always knows where you are

  5. Check if you'll need to let your bank

    Before you depart, check if you would need to let your bank know where you’re going and for how long, so they don’t think someone is gallivanting around the globe with your card and cancel it

  6. Check out the medical situation

    If you have a medical condition, you may want to speak to your doctor before you go to see what can be done if you need medication while you’re away