Get it. (I’m looking at you, fellow digital nomads.)
Yes, it’s an extra cost to factor into your budget, but it’s worth it. My biggest tip is be thorough in your research and always read the fine print.
For example, we are not fans of extreme sports, so we got the basic plan. It wasn’t until after we read the fine print that we realized that the insurance provider defines anything faster than walking as “extreme activity.” Good to know.
You may be thinking that sounds preposterous, but I am typing this as I lay in bed resting a very painful tailbone injury I got from SITTING. And a few months ago, I had to go to the eye doctor because I had developed extremely painful ulcers in my eyes from SITTING in front of the A/C. Since I work from my computer practically all day and night, the air dried out my eyes, and it took almost a full month to recover.
So, as it turns out, the basic package actually covers quite a lot for us non-extreme folks.
(Want more? Check out these other travel horror stories from Mapping Megan.)
Here are some other reasons to get travel insurance:
Food poisoning: It ain’t pretty, but it happens to the best of us. You are in a new country eating different foods that your body is not used to. Your body will retaliate, at which point you will thank your lucky stars you were smart enough to get travel insurance so your entire trip is not spent on or hugging a toilet. This story by Goats on the Road makes my case for me: The Sickest I’ve Been – A Tale Of Nick’s Worst Travel Illness.
Allergies: If you have food or environmental allergies, you never know what you may accidentally be exposed to while traveling. Knowing you can get medical attention without breaking the bank will give you peace of mind. To try to prevent ending up in a hospital, check out USA Today’s Food allergy survival tips for travelers.
You may die abroad: It can cost thousands of dollars to ship your body back to your country, and that would be a bummer for your family, in addition to the major bummer about you being dead.
…Or you could get an infection (like Adventurous Kate in Hanoi) or __ (fill in the blank with any random injury or illness).
None of these cautionary tales are meant to dissuade you from traveling. In fact, all of those things could happen to you at home!
The point is, you don’t know what is going to happen and chances are, you spent a lot of your hard-earned money. It’s simply not worth the risk when the solution is pretty simple, and relatively affordable.
To help you get your travel insurance research started, The Simple Dollar has created a stellar breakdown of the various types of travel insurance policies and recommendations for how to choose the best policy for you.