July 2019

oztour

The Best Tour Companies in Australia

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A wide open beach in Australia with a 4x4 vehicle driving in the sand
Posted: 7/6/2019 | July 6th, 2019

Few countries capture the imagination quite like Australia. With world-class beaches, unusual wildlife, stunning natural landscapes, a unique history, and a fun and vibrant culture, Australia has something to offer every traveler who makes the journey to the Land Down Under.

While the country is easy to navigate as a solo traveler, there are also plenty of amazing tour options for those who prefer traveling in groups or who might not have the time to plan their own getaway.

I’ve been visiting Australia since 2006 and have used many tour companies over the years (in addition to getting around on my own). So in this post, I share my list of the best travel companies in Australia to help you make the most out of your next trip.

From simple walking tours to in-depth, multi-day excursions, there’s something on the list for every interest — and every budget!

1. Best Bike Tour Company: Bonza Bike Tours

A red Bonza Bike Tour helmet sitting on the cement near the water in Sydney, Australia
Bonza is a bike tour company in Sydney that offers a number of options, depending on what you’re interested in. The Highlights tour lasts 2.5 hours and will show you all the major points of interest in Sydney. It’s suitable for families and kids as well, costing 99 AUD ($68 USD) for adults and 79 AUD ($54 USD) for children. For a more in-depth experience, the Classic tour lasts four hours and will give you a much more thorough introduction to this world-class city. They also offer bike rentals so you can just explore the city on your own in case you don’t have the time for a full-tour.

—> Click here to learn more about Bonza!

2. Best Walking Tour Company: I’m Free

A vivid sunset photo of the Sydney Opera in Australia
I always like to start a trip with a free walking tour, as they are a helpful way to get oriented and ask a local all my questions. Both Sydney and Melbourne have insightful (and free!) walking tours offered by I’m Free. Their tours last 2-3 hours and are a great way to learn about history and culture from a local. There are a few tour options in each city, so you have some flexibility with timing as well as which areas you focus on.

If you haven’t done much research before your arrival, this is a good company to start with. Be sure to tip your guide at the end!

—> Click here to learn more about I’m Free!

3. Runner Up Walking Tour Company: iCity Tours

The city of Perth, Australia lit up at night
If you find yourself all the way out in Perth, iCity Tours has a handful of awesome free walking tours. They are organized by Visit Perth and run by volunteers, so it’s a fun way to interact with the locals and really get a sense of what life is like in Australia’s underrated coastal city.

There are five different free tours on offer, each lasting around 90 minutes. The Orientation tour offers a quick introduction to the city and its past. If you have more time, be sure to check out the Convicts and Colonials tour as well. It will give you a sense of what life was like as a convict in Western Australia.

—> Click here to learn more about iCity Tours

4. Best Party Tour Company: The Magic Bus


This backpacker bus is the perfect choice for travelers looking to party. Each month, the trip departs with 25 backpackers aged 18-35 for 3-4 weeks of exploring the country’s national parks, camping, bonfires, and non-stop parties and shenanigans.

Trips go from Perth north to Broome or east to Melbourne each month, so you have to time your trip accordingly to line up with the set departure. The itineraries are always flexible, as they let riders vote on where to go and what to do, so every trip is unique. They try to keep a balance of 50% men and 50% women, as well as a balance of different nationalities, so there is always a diverse group. Trips begin at 1,200 AUD ($822 USD) per person.

—> Click here to learn more about The Magic Bus!

5. Runner Up: The Oz Experience

A woman hiking on a tour in the rugged landscapes of Australia
With The Oz Experience, you’ll get a pass for 60-90 days. Instead of guides, you’ll be given a list of activities (such as diving, ATV trips, sailing, and surfing camps) that are included in your pass to do whenever you want, based on your schedule. It’s a flexible compromise for people looking for some guidance but who also want independence. Prices vary from 1,139 to 3,519 AUD ($781 to $2,412 USD) depending on how many excursions are included (as well as how many days your bus pass is valid for).

While this is a hugely popular option, I personally dislike this company. I really found it lacking, so I would skip this and take The Magic Bus instead. While lots of people like The Oz Experience, I just didn’t find good value for the money.

—> Click here to learn more about The Oz Experience!

6. Our Top Tour Pick: Intrepid Travel

The famous Uluru rock in Australia, as seen from the nearby road
Intrepid is my go-to travel company when it comes to multi-day excursions. In Australia, they offer 70 different itineraries to choose from, ranging from a quick two-day tour to an in-depth 24-day adventure around the entire country.

Unlike some of the companies above, this is not a party tour. They are small groups led by expert local guides with a focus on culture, history, and food, as well as ethical travel and leaving a small environmental impact. You’re guaranteed to return home with a much deeper and more nuanced appreciation of your destination.

And you’ll get a much broader range of ages and travel styles with Intrepid tours too (it’s not just for backpackers). With such a wide range of travelers choosing Intrepid tours, you always end up with an awesome group of people to travel with.

I’ve been on a handful of their tours over the years and have never been disappointed. I always learn a ton and meet amazing people. They make sure you have enough things to do without planning out every minute of the day, so it’s a good balance of downtime and tours. I can’t recommend them enough.

Best of all, as a Nomadic Matt reader, you’ll get an exclusive discount on their tours every month!

—> Click here to learn more about Intrepid Travel and the exclusive offers for Nomadic Matt readers!

***

Australia is a massive country, offering beautiful landscapes, fun outdoor activities, a wild nightlife, and incredible history.

Whether you’re looking for a quick walking tour or a monthlong cross-country adventure — or something in-between — there are plenty of amazing tour companies in Australia to help you make the most out of your time Down Under, no matter your budget.

P.S. – Did you know I wrote a new book? It’s called “Ten Years a Nomad” and it’s all about the lessons I’ve learned from a life of travel. It features tons of stories and misadventures I’ve never told on this blog as well! It comes out July 16th! Click here to learn more and grab your copy today! (I’ll be going on a book tour too!)

Book Your Trip to Australia: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Momondo. They are my two favorite search engines, because they search websites and airlines around the globe, so you always know no stone is being left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as it consistently returns the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels. I use it all the time. It’s my favorite website! Here are my favorite hostels in Australia!

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it, as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. I’ve been using World Nomads for ten years. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:

Looking for the best companies to save money with?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! I list all the ones I use — and I think they will help you too!

Looking for more information on visiting Australia?
Check out my in-depth destination guide to Australia with more tips on what to see and do, costs, ways to save, and much, much more!

Photo credits: 1 – Bonza Bike Tours

The post The Best Tour Companies in Australia appeared first on Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site.

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Boston walking

The 15 Best Walking Tours in Boston

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a historical actor leading a walking tour in Boston
Posted: 6/10/19 | June 10th, 2019

I love Boston — and not just because I was born there.

There are tons of free things to do in Boston, enough to keep any visitor thoroughly entertained. It’s also a historic city whose success (and survival) was tied to the very existence of America itself.

With such historical significance, it should come as no surprise that I’ve always found the city fascinating (I studied history in college after all).

Boston’s roots stretch back to the 17th century, when it was founded by Puritan colonists from Europe. It was a devout settlement, with enforced church attendance and marriage (persecution of sinners was equally enforced).

The city was home to one of the first schools in America, as well as the very first college: Harvard. The settlement grew in importance, with its most significant role being during the American Revolution.

No single blog post can do Boston — and its complex and important history — justice. For that, you’ll need to visit!

To help you make the most out of your next trip to “Beantown,” I’ve put together this list of the best walking, food, and photography tours. Boston is home to tons of amazing free and paid walking tours that will give you a much better overview of the city and its historical contributions to modern-day America.

Whether you’re a budget backpacker looking to learn something new or a history buff ready to test your expert knowledge, Boston will have a walking tour for you!

The Best Free Walking Tours in Boston

the downtown skyline of Boston, Massachusetts
1. Free Tours By Foot
Free Tours by Foot is one of the biggest an best free walking tours out there. I’ve been on their walking tours all around the world and always come back having learned something new. They have over half a dozen different tours around Boston, though I think the Freedom Trail tour is the best place to start. If you’re looking for something more unique, be sure to check out the Beacon Hill Crime tour!

2. GPS My City
If you’d rather do a self-guided tour on your own time, this app is a great resource and will help you explore the city at your leisure. There are over a dozen different routes offered, and you can mix and match all the destinations to make your own tour too. This is a good option if you don’t want to commit to a three-hour walking tour but still want to see some of the sights.

3. Sam Adams Brewery Tour
If you’re the sort of traveler who often gets thirsty on your tours, then this might be the one for you! The Sam Adams Brewery has a free tour of its famous brewery, and it includes a few samples to quench your thirst (you have to be over 21 of course). The tour is offered daily and and fills up fast, so be sure to get there early as there is often a wait (especially on weekends).

30 Germania St. Tours occur roughly every 40 minutes between 10am and 3pm Monday-Thursday, 10am-5:30pm on Fridays, and 10am-3pm on Saturdays.

4. State House Tour
The Massachusetts State House, home to the governor and government of Massachusetts, has free tours during the week. You can join a guided tour or take a self-guided tour if you’d rather go solo. Tours last 30-45 minutes. You’ll learn about the building, which was built in 1798 and went way over budget, as well as how the state government functions. If you’re a fan of architecture or politics, this brief but informative tour is worth checking out.

24 Beacon St. Tours are available Monday-Friday between 10am and 3:30pm. To organize a free tour, call +1 617-727-3676.

5. Freedom Trail Self-Guided Tour
For a self-guided tour of the Freedom Trail, use this free map. It has all of the major sites and some suggested itineraries based on how long you want to spend exploring the city. If you’re looking for a simple self-guided option that covers all the major historical sites, look no further!

The Best Paid Walking Tours in Boston

the skyline of Boston at night
While free tours are a great place to start, for a more in-depth and specialized tour, you’ll need pay some money. Here are some that are well worth the price!

6. Context Travel
Context is one of my favorite walking tour companies. It offers comprehensive history, food, and cultural tours in cities all around the world — including Boston! There are over a dozen private and guided tours in the city, and while they are not cheap, they are worth every penny. All of their guides are experts in their respective fields, which means any and all of your questions will be answered. If you’re looking for a serious and professional tour, this is it. Tours from $85 USD per person.

7. Cambridge Historical Tours
Cambridge Historical Tours does a great job of blending rigorously researched history and humor, creating an entertaining and informative tour for all ages. They have a few different walks worth checking out, including the Freedom Trail tour and the evening Ghost Tour. The prices are reasonable (especially if you’re a group) and their costumed guides are top notch. Tours from $20 USD per person.

8. Intrepid Urban Adventures
Urban Adventures is a branch of Intrepid Travel, my go-to company for multiday excursions. Their Urban Adventures division runs tours in almost 100 countries around the globe, including some fun tours in Boston.

They have both history and food tours (as well as one that combines both), though I think the most interesting one is the Bowling and Bites tour, a food trek through East Boston that ends in bowling and billiards! Tours from $46 USD per person.

9. Bites of Boston
Bites of Boston offers three different food tours around town, each in a distinct neighborhood. Each lasts a few hours, giving you a nice range of culture and food from some of the best restaurants in town. Tours from $65 USD per person.

10. PhotoWalks Tours
If you’re a shutterbug looking to snap a few shots, this is the tour for you. PhotoWalks Tours offers half a dozen different photo tours around Boston, highlighting the most Insta-worthy shots the city has to offer. Tours are available year-round, as well, letting you embrace the colors of each season. Tours from $40 USD per person.

11. On Location Tours
This is the perfect tour for movie buffs. On Location Tours will take you to all the major filming locations from popular movies and TV shows shot in Boston, including The Departed, Good Will Hunting, Amistad, and Cheers. Tours from $31 USD per person. Check their schedule for availability as tours only occur between April and October.

12. Boston Pizza Tours
Boston Pizza Tours organizes two tasty tours that will take you around town to sample some of Boston’s best pies. The Historic Taverns tour goes a step further, taking you to some of the oldest taverns in the city — as well as the oldest tavern in the country! The best part? You’ll be enjoying a slice and a pint in the same taverns as Paul Revere and Sam Adams! Tours from $44 USD per person.

13. City Wine Tours
This wine tour combines the best wines Boston has to offer with delicious food at some of the best restaurants in town. They have tours for different neighborhoods, and you can also book private tours and events if you’re looking for something special. Tours from $75 USD per person.

14. Trademark Tours
Trademark Tours has put together a great tour of Harvard (led by Harvard students), as well as ones of MIT (led by MIT students) and the Freedom Trail. They are much more affordable than some of the other companies, making this a good middle-of-the-road option for anyone on a budget (as well as for families). Tours from $12 USD per person.

15. Boston By Foot
Boston By Foot is a local non-profit that organizes historical tours around the city. They have almost two dozen tours and events on offer, from the classic Freedom Trail to literary tours to river cruises that focus on the city’s architecture. Tours are run by enthusiastic local volunteers who are well-trained and knowledgable about the city and its past. Tours start at $13 USD per person.

***
Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or someone just looking to explore one of the best cities in America, Boston will have a walking tour to suit your needs — no matter your budget!

Book Your Trip to Boston: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Momondo. They are my two favorite search engines because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is being left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels. I use them all the time. My favorite place to stay is:

  • HI Boston – This hostel is in a great location, has its own coffee bar with lots of space to hang out, and also has female-only dorms. It’s really secure and the staff are great too. It’s the best hostel in town!

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it, as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. I’ve been using World Nomads for ten years. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:

Looking for the best companies to save money with?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! I list all the ones I use to save money when I travel — and I think they will help you too!

Looking for more information on visiting Boston?
Check out my in-depth destination guide to Boston with more tips on what to see and do, costs, ways to save, and much, much more!

Photo Credit: 1

The post The 15 Best Walking Tours in Boston appeared first on Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site.

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Matt In Paris

Life in Paris, Part 3: Nothing Lasts Forever

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Matt Kepnes on a bridge over a canal in Paris
Posted: 6/12/2019 | June 12th, 2019

The end is here. After four months in Europe, I head home tomorrow.

When I came to Paris earlier this year, everyone asked if it was forever.

And, when I said I wasn’t sure, people would reply, “Oh, so you aren’t really moving there, huh?” — as if to say that only a forever and ever move is a real move.

But I did move here. This is where my stuff is. This is my home (even if it might only be temporary).

In my world, there’s no such thing as a forever and ever move.

I have no job that keeps me anywhere in particular. No boss to call me into the office and say, “Matt, we’re transferring you to the Paris office. Pack your bags. We got your visa. You’re there for the next five years.”

No. I get to taste the milk before I buy the cow.

My time here was always an experiment: could I live in a city I loved so much? Would daily life in Paris be as magical as travel in Paris?

No matter the answer to those questions, I always had to leave for the summer. Books and conferences don’t launch themselves!

So will I come back? Did I love Paris so much that I’m ready to make this the spot where I put down my roots?

While walking through the Luxembourg Gardens recently, I realized two things:

First, I don’t miss New York City. I haven’t thought about NYC in a long, long time. I really am over living there.

While I miss my friends and local haunts, I don’t miss the noise, crowds, or fast-paced lifestyle.

I’ll always have a place for NYC in my heart.

And I will visit often.

But my time living there has truly come to an end.

As I’ve alluded to many times, I want to settle down. I’ve been a leaf blowing in the wind long enough, and it’s time to plant roots.

Today is my birthday.

I’m thirty-eight years old.

My next move is the move. One that has to last longer than a few months. I don’t want to restart my life anymore.

So, is Paris that place? Do I really want to settle down and try to live here? Sign a lease? Get residency visas and a bank account? Start paying taxes here?

street

Paris has become my little respite from the world. A city that comes alive at night when the cafes overflow with people, the traffic disappears, and the orange glow of the streetlights makes the city seem mystical.

I loved living here. This city inspired me. I’ve slept more, eaten better, wrote more, read more, and relaxed in ways that I haven’t in years.

I’ve gotten into a nice routine here, made a few friends, and frequented my boulangerie so much I don’t even need to order any more. They know it by heart.

I’m sadder than I thought I’d be about leaving. These last few days have made me melancholy. I’m really going to miss it!

But, as much as I love – and will miss – Paris, this is not my forever and ever city.

It doesn’t feel like home the way other places have.

It was what I needed when I needed it.

But it is not my home.

Instead, my mind goes constantly goes back to one place: Austin.

It calls to me.

Over and over again.

There I can get space, nature, nice weather, and land. It’s my Goldilocks city.

So I’m moving back to Austin.

I haven’t second-guessed that decision once.

Which, being a Gemini and all, means it’s probably the right one.

Book Your Trip to Paris: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Momondo. They are my two favorite search engines because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels. I use them all the time. Some of my favorite places to stay in Paris are:

  • St. Christopher’s Canal – Comfy spot on the canal. During the summer months, the terrace is hopping!
  • 3 Ducks Hostel – This hostel has one of the cheapest bars in the city, and it’s just a 10-minute walk to the Eiffel Tower.
  • Les Piaules – Fantastic chimney lounge, a cool bar, and a rooftop space. It’s a great place to meet people!

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. I’ve been using World Nomads for ten years. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:

Looking for the best companies to save money with?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! I list all the ones I use to save money when I travel – and I think will help you too!

Looking for more information on visiting Paris?
Check out my in-depth destination guide to Paris with more tips on what to see, do, costs, ways to save, and much, much more!

The post Life in Paris, Part 3: Nothing Lasts Forever appeared first on Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site.

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Ads

Ads? On this Site? What? Why?

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A laptop on a desk beside a cup of black coffee and a notebook
Posted: 7/1/2019 | July 1st, 2019

For eleven years, I vowed never to put an ad up on this website. None. Zero. Zilch.

I hate ads. They are ugly. They are intrusive, sometimes popping up right when you load a page. (And don’t get me started on pre-roll videos!)

So it might seem odd that today, after eleven years being ad-free, I’m announcing we’ve put ads up on this website.

Since I’ve been so vocal about how much I dislike ads, I want to explain to the community why we’re doing this:

The world changes. People change. People’s buying habits change.

And, to be a successful business, you must change too.

Over the years, we put a lot of our eggs into the ebook/digital guide basket.

That worked for a long time.

But the cold hard truth people don’t really buy ebooks these days. They want Kindle books or physical guidebooks.

That’s what the world wants.

Plus, with so much free information online, most people just don’t feel the need to buy ebooks anymore. They can often google what they need. If it’s not in a Kindle or paper form, it’s not a “real” guidebook. (We’ve looked into making paper guides but, frankly, the print on demand paper quality isn’t there. It’s just not at the quality that we can be proud of. And, to print in color, the costs are just too high right now.)

So our ebook sales have flatlined. They’re no longer an engine of growth that can fuel new projects.

And we have a great project in the works that needs fuel.

Remember The Nomadic Network? The global meet-up thing we tested out a few years back. We were going to build local chapters, host educational and social mixers, and get people excited about travel.

Well, this fall, we are bringing it back to life.

But we need money to make that happen.

One thing we learned last time we trialed this was that we need a dedicated person whose job is just to run the events and coordinate with all our local chapters.

The revenue from our book sales isn’t going to cover that.

The team and I searched far and wide for an alternative — but the truth is that ads are the only thing that can give us the substantial and sustained revenue we need to relaunch the Nomadic Network as well as maintain and grow this website. (We would like to pay more guest writers and hire another research assistant.)

So that’s why we now have ads.

It’s not simply so we can have more money (or Chris can finally upgrade from sleeping in dorms).

It’s so we can relaunch this community initiative (one we are really, really excited about but have put aside for way too long) and invest in the website.

I know it’s a big change and we tried to make the ads as non-intrusive as possible.

But know that this decision didn’t come easy. I still have mix feelings about it but the world changes and sometimes you just have to change with it.

Feel free to leave comments below (but know we’re not going to reverse this decision).

Sincerely,

Nomadic Matt and team

The post Ads? On this Site? What? Why? appeared first on Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site.

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backpacker insurance

The Best Travel Insurance Companies for Backpackers

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A budget backpacker sitting on a mountain looking into the distance
Posted: 6/16/2019 | June 17th, 2019

I’m a backpacker at heart. Even after traveling the world for over a decade, I still love to travel cheap, prioritizing experiences over fancy accommodation and transportation. I still love staying at hostels, meeting locals, and sampling as many local delicacies as I can.

Contrary to popular belief, being a backpacker is not about pinching every penny — it’s about finding value. If you want to have a genuine and authentic trip without breaking the bank you need to spend your money wisely.

And when it comes to backpacking around the world, one of the wisest choices you can make is to purchase travel insurance.

I know, travel insurance seems like just another expense that will chip away at your budget. I used to think that too.

But it also has the potential to save you thousands of dollars should something go wrong on your trip.

And after traveling around the world for the past 10 years, I can confidently tell you this: things will go wrong.

To help you stay safe on your next trip, here is everything you need to know about buying insurance as a backpacker.

Why Do Backpackers Need Insurance?

The reason you need to buy travel insurance is because accidents happen. Regardless of whether you’re at home or abroad, things go wrong. At home, you likely have access to medical care and reliable medical facilities.

On the road, that isn’t always the case.

While serious injuries are rare, they do happen. And it’s always better to be safe than sorry. But insurance isn’t just for medical emergencies. It also covers a lot of incidents that are much more common than you think!

Here’s a quick overview of what you can expect your backpacker insurance to cover:

  • Medical emergencies (surgery hospitalization fees, medical evacuation)
  • Flight delays and cancellations
  • Trip cancellations (due to injury or a death in the family)
  • Emergency evacuation (due to injury or natural disaster)
  • Dental emergencies
  • Lost or stolen baggage
  • Damaged or stolen gear
  • Death overseas

While it’s unpleasant to spend time dwelling on these things, the truth is, you need to be prepared for the worst. Hopefully, you’ll never need to use your insurance plan, but if you need to, you want to make sure you have the coverage you need.

I’ve had my bags stolen, I’ve needed to go to the hospital overseas, and I was even stabbed while traveling in South America.

I didn’t plan for any of these things to happen, but when they did, I was glad I had insurance to help me get reimbursed as well as to help me navigate the confusion that comes with having an emergency abroad.

I know, as a backpacker you like to keep costs low. Insurance isn’t free, after all, which makes it seem like a burdensome and unnecessary expense.

But it’s much better to pay a few bucks a day than risk losing your life savings should an emergency occur while you don’t have coverage.

What Does Travel Insurance NOT Cover?

While most travel emergencies and injuries are covered by travel insurance, it’s important to know what is not covered by your plan. Knowledge is power, after all.
For reference, most backpacker insurance policies do not cover:

  • Accidents sustained while participating in extreme adventure activities. These often include hang-gliding, paragliding, or bungee jumping.
  • Alcohol- and drug-related incidents.
  • Carelessness or negligence.
  • Pre-existing conditions or general check-ups.
  • Stolen cash (unless you pay for a more comprehensive plan)
  • If civil unrest makes your destination unsafe but your government hasn’t called for an evacuation, you probably won’t qualify for evacuation (unless you have more advanced coverage from a company like Medjet).
  • Changing your mind about your trip or unfriending or breaking up with your travel partner will disqualify you from trip-cancellation coverage.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions don’t qualify for most trip cancellation plans unless otherwise stipulated.
  • If your visa to a destination is refused you won’t be reimbursed if you decide to cancel your trip.

The Best 3 Backpacker Insurance Companies

To help you stay safe on your next trip, here are some suggested companies that provide affordable insurance for backpackers:

1. STA Travel Insurance
STA is an online travel agency that is known for their flights and travel packages — but they offer affordable travel insurance too for students as well.

STA sells basic, budget-friendly coverage for students and teachers who travel, with plans starting as low as $99 USD for 1 year. If you’re a student and a budget backpacker who is only looking for the most basic of coverage, STA is the company for you.

Here’s a quick overview of STA Travel Insurance:

  • Budget-friendly plans
  • ISIC card benefits in over 125,000 locations
  • Basic coverage options
  • Great for students/shoestring backpackers.

Click here to get a quote from STA.

2. Insure My Trip
Insure My Trip helps you compare insurance plans and prices so you can purchase the plan that’s best for you and your budget. You can compare plans from almost 30 different insurance providers, with plenty of budget-friendly options available for backpackers.

And they are the go-to company for older backpackers as well since many travel insurance companies won’t cover travelers over 65. Insure My Trip provides comparisons from insurance companies that cover older travelers, making them the best option for retirees and other senior adventurers.

Here’s a quick overview of Insure My Trip:

  • Guaranteed low prices
  • Coverage for senior travelers over 65
  • “Anytime advocates” ask the insurer to give your claim a second look if you think it was unfairly denied.

Click here to get a quote from Insure My Trip

OUR TOP PICK: World Nomads Travel Insurance
World Nomads is the absolute best insurance company for budget travelers. I’ve been using them for over a decae and have never been disappointed with their customer service or coverage. Their plans are comprehensive and great for both long-term travelers as well as anyone heading out on a shorter vacation. It’s easy to read (and understand) their policies and see what’s covered — and what isn’t.
Best of all, if you want to learn more before you purchase or have questions after you sign up, their customer support is there to help.

World Nomads is perfect for adventurous backpackers who plan to do activities like hiking, kayaking, or even some extreme sports like bungee jumping or rock climbing. With 100 different activities covered, World Nomads is the best choice for the active backpacker.

To help you learn more about World Nomads, here’s a quick overview of their coverage:

  • Emergency medical and dental coverage
  • Coverage for trip cancelations, delays, and interruptions
  • Baggage protection
  • Emergency evacuation (for medical emergencies and non-medical emergencies such as natural disasters)
  • Medical transportation
  • 24/7 customer assistance

World Nomads was founded by backpackers so they know exactly what the budget traveler needs in their plan. This is my go-to insurance company and one I’ve been using for years. If it sounds like the company for you, you can use the widget below to get a quote:

(Want to learn more? Check out my comprehensive World Nomads review!)

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After backpacking around the world for over a decade, I never leave home without travel insurance. I’ve experienced first-hand how helpful it can be. It’s saved me thousands of dollars over the years — as well as countless headaches too.

Not only that, but buying travel insurance provides peace of mind. It gives you and your family a safety net in case things go wrong. Whether you’re island-hopping in Thailand or getting off the beaten path in Eastern Europe, travel insurance will be there when you need it.

Being a backpacker is all about having amazing, memorable travel experiences all without breaking the bank. And there’s no better way to insulate yourself from expensive (and unnecessary) costs than by buying travel insurance.

Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Momondo. They are my two favorite search engines because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the largest inventory. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels. I use them all the time.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. I’ve been using World Nomads for ten years. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:

Looking for the best companies to save money with?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! I list all the ones I use to save money when I travel – and that will save you time and money too!

The post The Best Travel Insurance Companies for Backpackers appeared first on Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site.

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