Adventurer Tommy Walker. Why you need travel insurance

Backpacker, blogger, photographer or plain old holiday tourist, however you travel, it’s important to pack battleface travel insurance.

Especially today, as we adventurer travellers tend to go to places farther off the radar, to try to experience those places in the world that hold their originality before a civil war starts (think Venezuela), commercialism takes over (think Cuba) or even just the hordes of mass tourism takes hold of things (think of Chinese tourism).

But still, it doesn’t matter where you go. Whether you’re working taking images in Syria, hiking across Patagonia or venturing into the communism-clad North Korea, battleface travel insurance protects you.

Our Devices, Technology and Personal Belongings

When I travelled South America for a year back in 2014-2015, I heard a lot of stories about travellers getting robbed on buses. From overnight journeys to border crossings, it’s not uncommon for theft to occur on the road. Check the plastic you used to book your trip. Many offer some replacement benefits for gear.


Accidents Do Happen

Think about adventure travel. Accidents do happen, unfortunately. I’ve personally been in motorbike crashes in Asia and slipped down the mouths of waterfalls, too. One time I was certain I was about to be victim of a head-on collision in Guyana – taxi to taxi – but managed to avoid injury. I got really sick in Inle Lake, Myanmar, bad enough that I was consigned to a bed for 3 days drugged up with Burmese antibiotics. These are the ‘nearly’ times and so far I’ve been lucky. Travel insurance is there to help you get through them sort of times.

Getting Sick

Mosquitos are rife in rural Asia, Africa and Latin America, and there’s no question you’ll get bitten at least once. Being bed-ridden with malaria, dengue or even now the Zika virus isn’t a cool story to tell. For experienced adventurers, we’ve all been there. Being sick in a foreign country – especially a developing country – is no fun whatsoever. Travel medical insurance helps you overcome that.


Everyone likes to save a buck and this is why budget airlines are popular all over the world. Think Ryanair, Jetstar or AirAsia. These airlines aren’t smooth but they get you from A to B. You’ll have no thrills but it’s cheap. But how many of these flights get delayed indefinitely or cancelled? The outrage is undeniable, because you’ve got hope and expectation for something that has ultimately been taken away. Usually the only compensation out of budget flights that get cancelled is a new flight and some form of refund. That’s where travel insurance comes in, with cash for a fresh toothbrush, a place to crash, even some non-vending machine vittles.


In a world plagued by modern terrorism, this is a real possibility in war-torn countries. We all have jobs to do, so taking out travel insurance in countries that have immediate and ongoing threats of terrorism is imperative. There is no telling when terrorism could strike. As we’ve seen it randomly in parts of the UK and regularity in countries like Yemen, Syria and Iraq, terrorism is not far away from us.


Trouble with the Law

Whether you’ve been put in jail for a crime you didn’t commit, you were in the wrong place at the wrong time or you’ve admittedly did something you shouldn’t, whatever it was for, having travel insurance won’t harm your situation.

I remember I got falsely arrested in Colombia, for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The first two things I thought about were calling the British Embassy and my travel insurance company – not my mother. At least that way, if something is going to happen, you can inform those who can help, or notify others of the situation.


Recently, I applied for a work visa in Taiwan and I hope to cover some of the political animosities with Mainland China there in the near future. For me to get my visa approved, I had to be covered with travel and medical insurance. Being covered just helps vouch for your stay, too, and in this case was mandatory. More and more countries are requesting this, especially for work permits or related visas. If you’re a nomad or freelancer like me, depending where you’re going, you need battleface travel insurance.


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