Best Travel Insurance for Adventure Travel

Do you need to buy travel insurance for your next trip?  That’s a great question.  For all international trips, I always purchase travel insurance: it’s one less thing to worry about, in case something goes really wrong.  Because many of my trips involve solo travel ~ I think it’s especially important to purchase insurance: both for peace of mind, & practical help in case of emergency.  And if you enjoy adventurous activities, such as scuba diving, sky-diving, even hiking ~ it’s a MUST.  Here, we’ll break down the “Best Travel Insurance for Adventure Travel.”

Best Travel Insurance for Adventure Travel, Girl Who Travels the World

If you want to do things like sky-dive on your next trip, then buying travel insurance is a no-brainer!

Does Your Existing Health Insurance Cover You Abroad?

The reality is, the health insurance you have in the States will not cover you outside the U.S. (check your policy).  Even if your insurance does, most will NOT cover medical evacuation, in case you need to be flown back to the States.  Some credit card companies cover trip cancellation-type expenses, but most don’t offer comprehensive medical coverage while abroad.  And of course, your U.S. health insurance WON’T cover items that are lost or stolen on your trip.  

Good travel insurance will cover all of this.  

Best Travel Insurance for Adventure Travel

Just having medical evacuation alone, would make travel insurance worth the cost to me.  Particularly when I’m traveling in remote, mountainous regions like the Andes in Peru ~ I want to know that if something goes wrong while biking (or even driving ~ Peruvians are CRAzy drivers!!): I’ll be able to get help as soon as possible.  After doing much comparison, I’ve found that the best travel insurance for adventure travel & “young” explorers (under 70) is World Nomads Insurance.  

Here’s why…

The first thing I did, when starting my hunt for travel insurance, was to get quotes from numerous companies.  I checked out Travelex, AIG, & Allianz, among others.  The average price for a 3-month trip through Central & South America ranged from $400-1,200 US dollars.  Pretty steep.  There were some plans around $300; however, their coverage was extremely minimal: no coverage for trip cancellation or baggage loss, accidental death or flight accidents, & no coverage for adventure sports or other “high-risk” activities.

Best Travel Insurance for Adventure Travel, Girl Who Travels the World

Traveling in Peru (as pictured here in Pisac) involves high altitudes, long hikes, & steep, knee-crushing descents. Having adequate travel coverage in places like this (including medical evacuation, if necessary) is ESSENTIAL.

 Okay, I thought.  This doesn’t work for me.  I didn’t want to spend $600+ on insurance ~ & yet, I needed coverage for hiking, biking, & everything I wanted to do in South America.  Further, many insurers would only let me choose ONE country.  This wasn’t acceptable, since I was traveling to several countries & needed coverage in ALL of them, including Cuba ~ which most don’t cover.

So then I popped over to World Nomads, & entered my trip details into their online calculator: 


Best Travel Insurance for Adventure Travel

After typing in my information, including my age & ALL the different countries I planned to visit (including Cuba), my total cost for a 3-month trip came to $206 (Standard Plan – which includes numerous sports & activities), or $295 (Explorer Plan – more dangerous activities included). 

I thought, something must be wrong with this travel insurance!?  It’s too good to be true.  So I delved into the plan details, to make sure I was getting the coverage I needed.

What World Nomad’s Standard Plan Covers: 

  • $100,00 for Emergency Accident & Medical Expenses;
  • $750 for Emergency Dental Treatment (I don’t even have this in the States!);
  • $500 if needed, to secure entry into a foreign hospital;
  • Coverage for accidents occurring from over 100 different types of adventure activities & sports;
  • $300,000 Emergency Evacuation & Re-patriation ($500,000 on Explorer Plan) – Covers evacuation back to the United States; most other policies I looked at covered between $50,000-100,000 only;
  • $2,500 Trip Cancellation Protection – Covering natural disaster, weather, accident, illness, injury, etc.
  • $2,500 Trip Interruption;
  • $500 Trip Delay;
  • $1,000 for Baggage Loss ($3,000 on Explorer Plan);
  • $750 Baggage Delay Coverage;
  • Unlimited 24-Hour On-Call Emergency Assistance Services – Their multi-lingual operators are standing by to help you get assistance no matter where you are in the world;
  • $25,000 One-Call Non-Medical Emergency Evacuation Services.

All this, for $206 for a three-month trip?!

Sign Me Up!!!

World Nomads vs. Other Providers

When I volunteered on a coffee farm in Costa Rica, one of our requirements was that we needed travel insurance.  While traveling together, I discussed the different policies everyone had purchased.  My roommate, for instance, had purchased travel insurance through AAA, a U.S. based travel & auto insurer.  For her four-week trip, she paid $240 for the insurance policy.  Which means, her 4-week travel insurance cost MORE than my three-month, comprehensive travel insurance.  And mine covered multiple countries, vs. her single country of Costa Rica.  

We discussed each plan’s coverage, & realized they were virtually identical ~ but in some cases, World Nomad’s coverage was actually betterShe was about 15 years older than me, so that may have played a factor in why her coverage cost more: but other than that, her insurance essentially cost 3X more than mine…yet mine covered more activities & offered better coverage than hers did.  

(Yes ~ she plans to use World Nomads on her next trip…)

Best Travel Insurance for Adventure Travel, Girl Who Travels the World

Wielding a machete on a coffee farm in Costa Rica?? Yup ~ I’m pretty sure you’re gonna need some travel insurance ; )

Best Travel Insurance for Adventure Travel

Thanks for reading this article.  Do you typically buy travel insurance when abroad, or do you just wing it?  When you’ve purchased insurance, which company did you choose ~ & was your experience good?  Let me know in the comments below! 

xoxo Noelia

Read Next: Volunteering on a Coffee Farm in Costa Rica