Travel Tips

Why I Never Travel Without Travel Medical Insurance

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Let’s be real, getting sick or injured sucks. But you know what sucks more than just getting sick or injured? Getting sick or injured abroad when you’re far away from your home, far away from your own doctors, and very possibly not insured by your home country insurance. This is why having Travel Medical Insurance is so important! It’s the very first thing you should “pack in your bag” for any international trip.

Don’t forget travel medical insurance

Sign up for SafetyWing travel medical insurance to ensure a smooth journey. SafetyWing covers medical expenses, delays, cancellation, and theft. Check SafetyWing here.

If anyone understands the struggles of travel mishaps, it is me:

Attacked by a monkey in India? Check. Rabies shots and treatment.

Cliff jumping injury in Indonesia? Check. X-rays, an ambulance ride, and lots of medicine. 

Kidney stones in Cambodia? Check. An ultrasound and an overnight stay in the hospital. 

Malaria in Ghana? Check. A hospital bed, blood drawn, IV and medicine.

Food poisoning in Guatemala? Check. An at-home doctor visit and medicine.

Sprained ankle in Taiwan? Check. Multiple doctors appointments and treatment. 

COVID in Mexico? Check. (ps SafetyWing covers quarantine costs up to $50/day)

Unfortunately, that list can go on and on with the numerous injuries and illnesses I have had abroad over the years. I don’t share these mishaps to scare anyone away from traveling, because all of these accidents could have just as easily have happened while at home.

As I write this blog post I am currently sitting in the Japanese mountains dealing with injuries on both of my feet (yes you read that right). I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have insurance to seek out doctors for proper treatment while away from home.

So what have I learned from these experiences? 

    1. Don’t feed the monkeys (or carry unnecessary bananas
    2. Don’t jump off cliffs, even if everyone else is doing it. 
    3. Watch where you’re walking and don’t trip over tree roots. 
    4. Having Travel Medical Insurance will save me a big headache for future travel mishaps. 

But the reality is that sometimes things happen that are simply out of our control, and it is so important to make sure that we are covered in case of emergencies. This is why I always travel with SafetyWing Travel Medical Insurance. This is insurance that protects you in the case of both travel and medical mishaps. 

So is travel medical insurance worth it?

My short answer, absolutely yes!

I completely understand the hesitation around adding another expense on what is likely an already expensive trip. But in my opinion it is a small price to pay for easing your mind of all of the “what if” questions! 

For a long time I was hesitant to add this expense on, especially since healthcare and medical treatment is so much cheaper abroad. 

But what if…

    • You need to be evacuated?

    • You need to spend weeks in a hospital abroad?

    • You need X-rays or MRIs?

    • You need to take an ambulance ride?

These costs absolutely add up, and are well worth the additional cost of as little as $45/month in my opinion. 

Why I use SafetyWing

As a full-time traveler, I use SafetyWing Travel Medical Insurance, in addition to my US healthcare plan. If you don’t have any pre-existing health conditions and are traveling out of the country more often than you are in the country, then you have an option to add limited US health insurance as well at a much lower rate than traditional US health insurance. For me this is not an issue because I have a chronic illness with monthly medication.

The recent add-on of adventure sports by SafetyWing in the Nomad 2.0 is another factor that makes them my number one choice for travel medical insurance. The reality is that most injuries abroad actually happen during these more adventurous activities, so it’s a shame that more companies don’t cover them. 

You can start and stop your insurance as often as you like. Think of it like a subscription, rather than traditional insurance. 

  • Want to get covered for a 10 day trip? No problem!
  • Need to pause your ongoing insurance for a month when you’re back home visiting family? Not a problem at all! 

SafetyWing makes it so easier to navigate with their user-friendly platform, so you can easily get insured with just a moment’s notice!

Plus, even if you’re not ~accident and illness prone~ like myself, there is still always a risk of catching COVID while traveling these days and fluctuating case counts. If are unfortunate enough to catch COVID abroad, SafetyWing will cover your quarantine costs up to $50/day, for up to 10 days. This is huge peace of mind, for a virus that seems to be around for the long run. 

Overview of benefits:

    • It is the most affordable Travel Medical Insurance on the market
    • Great customer service (it is super easy to claim!)
    • Flexibility in electing in and out of coverage (you can choose for a set number of days or months and pause as you wish)
    • The option to add US health coverage for emergencies (this is huge for digital nomads living abroad)
    • The option to add-on coverage for extreme sports (including diving and mountain biking)
    • Coverage in 175+ countries
    • Travel delays
    • Lost luggage
    • Trip interruption
    • Reimbursement of up to $1,000 for electronic theft (this is so important to me as I travel with both a laptop and extensive camera equipment)

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