Travel insurance tips

Volunteering & Travel Advice / 31 May 2024 Travel insurance tips

It’s not perhaps the most exciting of topics as you get ready for an overseas adventure, but in unlikely event of something going wrong while you are away, it’s going to be top of your list!

It’s there to look after you if something goes wrong – such as the medical care if you are ill or injured, having to return home early due to an emergency, or money towards replacing lost luggage or possessions.

We require all our volunteers to take out personal travel insurance, so we thought it would be helpful to give a few tips on what to look out for.


Single trip vs Annual

  • A single trip policy covers you for a one-off trip for the dates of your travel, starting when you depart and ending when you return
  • Annual or multi-trip insurance covers you for any trips you do within a year - but it's usually limited to a maximum of 31 days per trip

If you are going to be doing a few different trips during the year, then annual travel insurance can work out as more cost effective.

Check it covers

  • Your volunteering – let the insurer know what role you’ll be doing at the project
  • Any other activities you may do, especially any adventure activities
  • Covid-19 – hopefully we won’t see any Covid travel disruptions again, but just in case!
  • Medical evacuation – in case you needed to be transported home
  • The full duration of your trip – some policies don’t cover more than 31 days away 

The most important part of the insurance is the medical cover, but you may also want to take coverage for trip cancellation, travel delay, loss / theft of personal possessions etc.

Existing medical conditions

If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, always declare them and check if they are covered.

When to buy it 

If the policy you are looking at offers cancellation cover, you may want to buy your travel insurance at the same time you book your trip or flights. This way you have some cover in case you had to cancel your trip e.g. due to illness or a family bereavement (check what cancellation situations your policy will cover).


  • Pack a hard copy of your policy document in your hand luggage
  • Have an electronic copy on your phone 
  • Add the insurance company’s emergency telephone number to your mobile, with your policy number too 
  • Leave details of your policy with your next of kin at home, so they can help if needed


Most insurers have a different process for medical and non-medical (e.g. lost luggage) claims so check your policy for how to make a claim. 

It’s best to contact the insurer as soon as possible and they can give you advice, let you know what do and if there are any requirements e.g. if something was stolen you may need a police report. For medical situations, some insurers have preferred or recommended hospitals that they will direct you to.


If you would like any further information, for UK Government advice please see:   

Stay safe and have an amazing trip!!