Confession time: today was the first time I bought travel insurance. Ever. I’m not sure I even realized it was a thing until I started learning about long-term travel a couple years ago.

Like choosing my backpack, choosing travel insurance proved easier than expected. I’ve heard enough rave reviews from trustworthy sources about World Nomads insurance that I feel 100% comfortable setting aside about 5% of my budget for their basic package.

It’s essentially a travel-specific combination of health insurance, life insurance, trip protection, and gear protection. Because I’m only purchasing their standard package, not the pricier “Explorer” version, I’m not covered for everything. Car rental, which is not something I plan to do, is unprotected. If my backpack is stolen, I won’t be able to replace everything because of the lower coverage limit, and various policy exclusions. And I’ll have to be a bit more cautious about what types of activities I sign up for – kayaking and zip lining are covered, but caving and snorkeling are not.

Giving up a few types of experiences to save $300 doesn’t seem like much of a sacrifice to me. Far more important is the stuff that’s not fun to think about. If I break my leg and have to go to the hospital. If I get seriously injured, or worse, and need to be taken back home. If there’s a terrorist attack in my next destination and I have to re-route.

I certainly haven’t overthought getting travel insurance. I’ll be on the road for so long having a basic level of protection in place is kind of a no-brainer. Since I can always add flights and tours to my policy, it’s the first major purchase I’m making, sealing the deal on my 2016 RTW.

Getting travel insurance is just one step along the way to a RTW trip. See what else is on my pre-travel checklist.

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