Category Archives: Longstay Travel Insurance

Best Places For Backpacking in 2019

Backpacking travel insurance Image by Pexels CC0

Image by Pexels CC0

Here are the top places to head in 2019 with a pack on your back and just enough money in your wallet for a hostel. Idyllic whether you are backpacking for gap year giggles, travelling on a budget, or you just fancied having a wholesome adventure!


Seeking adventure? Tick! Seeking tropical beaches, with crystal clear sea? Tick! A unique honeymoon location? Tick! You’ll need to think of things to add to your bucket list after backpacking in the Philippines.

backpacking Philippines Image by my000693 CC0

Image by my000693 CC0

Made up of over 7,000 islands, you’d expect a taste of paradise, adventure and excitement and that’s exactly what you get. Go scuba diving, swim with great white sharks, indulge yourself under the tranquil waterfalls or relax with a beer by a lagoon. It’s also cheap – a pint of beer is about 75p at the going rate.


Spectacular, rugged, breath-taking, glacial – it’s hard to describe Iceland within a limited word count. You’ll be able to honestly hashtag #nofilter when you snap the majesty that are the northern lights in all their prancing, dancing, ethereal beauty.

backpacking Iceland travel insurance Image ©

Image ©

Hire a car to tour the glaciers and ice fields, bathe in the geothermal springs for a unique getting back to nature experience and take in the local Reykjavik culture, with its charming Nordic nightlife. Be warned Iceland isn’t cheap, but this small island nation packs in more natural beauty per square mile and you get more than what you pay for.


Nepal is a mountain nation. Get your head around that for a moment and think what that can offer. You don’t even have to climb a mountain (only recommended with proper guidance) to have a life changing experience in Nepal. Paraglide through the soaring valleys, take a plane ride across the Himalayas, visit temples, national parks and stunning monuments.

backpacking insurance nepal Image by Squirrel_photos CC0

Image by Squirrel_photos CC0

Nepal is a true adventure. If you do choose to trek around Everest, put at least a week aside and go off season – it gets extremely busy. If you’re after an experience that doesn’t require as much extra oxygen, take a trip to one of the national parks and observe tigers in their natural habitat.


If you’re looking for a unique backpacking experience at a low, low cost, you can’t beat The Shoestring Cave House in the Cappadocia region. From just £7.00 a night, you can sleep in a cave, relax at the outside pool and even enjoy a ride in a hot air balloon.

backpacking turkey Image by adibalea CC0

Image by adibalea CC0

With views that are going to set your Instagram alight, balmy Turkish evenings and a once in a lifetime opportunity to sleep below the ground, this is a perfect stop off for any backpacker. Be warned, Turkey is politically unstable at the moment and this may not be the time to go. If you’re determined however, the people are some of the most charming on the planet and a joy to share a shisha pipe with. Longstay Travel Insurance has been tailored to meet the needs of those on extended breaks and backpacking adventures! It has greater flexibility than standard travel insurance, and you can add activities as you go.


How To Stay Stylish On A Longstay Adventure

Insider tips on what to pack, and how to wear it, to make sure you don’t look like you’re living out of a backpack on your next longstay adventure.

Image by LUM3N CC0

  • Choose clothes that are resistant to creasing.
  • Go for dark clothes that are more forgiving when it comes to signs of wear and stains.
  • Resist packing clothes with bold patterns, they are harder to mix and match. Keep the patterns to key pieces, or accessories.
  • Roll your clothes when you pack – not only will it minimise creasing but also you’ll be able to get more items in your backpack!
  • Get a day bag that is on-trend. Just one simple stylish accessory that you can take out day or night while you leave your backpack safely at a hostel or hotel, will make a world of difference to your style status!
  • Pack some accessories that are designed to “transform” an outfit – or even better, pick up key pieces during your travels.
  • Keep comfort in mind – you’ll be clocking up a lot of hours on planes, trains, and buses so comfort is key to your happiness.

PROFESSIONAL STYLIST ADVICE FOR THE LADIES: “Packing can be really tough when you plan to be away for some time, because you don’t want to end up looking scruffy and letting your style down, just because you’re living out of a suitcase/backpack.

My top tip would be to pack a good amount of staple dresses because unlike other wardrobe items, dresses can be styled up and down. You can pair a dress with a cropped jumper and tights for when the weather is a little chilly, or opt for bare legs when the sun is out.”Katie Derrick, of bespoke luxury travel agent

“Choose clothing that’s versatile, imagine what you’re packing to work as your very own capsule wardrobe. Choose dresses that work both as a dress, and as a skirt, by layering and tying a t-shirt or light-weight knit over the top. Choosing pieces that can be styled in different ways is the easiest way to ensure you aren’t sick of your clothes a week into your trip!” Stylist at

Jumpsuit – it’s great for countries where a conservative look is a must for ladies and it can easily be dressed up or down making it a versatile item in your backpack!

Leggings – Wear on their own or under a dress, or even under shorts – versatile, comfortable, and easy to wear.

Dresses – slip dresses that can be worn with a t-shirt underneath or jumper over the top, are ideal – easily taking your look from day to night with ease. Don’t forget the LBD, easy to wear and can be dressed up for any occasion!

Vests and tees – they take up very little room, are great for layering and can be worn with jumpsuits, dresses, leggings, trousers or shorts.

Flat shoes – ones that you are happy to walk all day in that will also cut the mustard if you decide to treat yourself to a fine dining experience.

Sarong – the holy grail of accessories. Did you know there are at least 30 ways you could use a sarong? It can be a dress, a bag, a skirt, a shawl… pick a classy print and you are done!

PROFESSIONAL STYLIST ADVICE FOR THE GENTS: “Venturing away on a long trip requires packing sensibly, but that shouldn’t mean compromising on fashion. Be sure to pack a practical, stylish and foldable jacket, so that you can prepare for all weather forecasts, while also still looking the part. Pack miniature grooming products, too, including mini shaving foam, scented body wash and moisturiser, to keep you smelling good, as well as looking good during your travels.” Steve Pritchard, of men’s fashion retailer Ben Sherman.

Wondering what such a wonderfully useful jacket could be like? Well,

the classic Ben Sherman Four Pocket Jacket is just the ticket. It’s smart-casual, and it exudes style and class; it’s waterproof, and leaves enough room to layer up with warm and stylish jumpers and t-shirts – essential when venturing somewhere new and travelling to countries with varying weather and climates in one trip.

Don’t forget your travel insurance! Longstay insurance for backpackers from can cover from 3 to 18 months, and it can be renewed if you are still travelling when your policy is coming to an end. Plus, if you have already left home without travel insurance, we can cover that too.

Please note, policies, terms and conditions may change – all information published in this blog pertaining to travel insurance from is only deemed valid at the time of publication.


Gap Year Travel Insurance – What You Need To Know

Going on a gap year adventure after sitting your final exams is the epitome of freedom – but you must make sure you get your travel insurance in order before you go. This is what you need to know…

Image by rawpixel CC0

Travel Insurance is the most important purchase you will make.

Paying for medical help overseas can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds – money that you (or your parents) will have to find if you don’t have travel insurance – or if you have inadequate travel insurance. Remember, you may be refused medical treatment if you can’t prove how you will cover those costs!

Don’t rely on EHIC cards.

The European Health insurance Card has limited use. The validity of the card varies from country to country, and only entitles the holder to access the same level of care as a resident of that country. Unlike the UK, most EU countries require insurance to cover the excess costs of medical treatment – which you will be liable to pay too even if you have an EHIC. Travel insurance is designed to help recover those costs.

Losing your passport is more expensive (and time consuming) than you might think.

Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) cost £100, they can take several days to obtain, and you will need to find the money to get to and from your nearest British consulate or embassy. On top of this you may need to arrange for a police report and get passport photos done. Don’t forget that you may also have to pay to replace any visas too AND you will need to get your passport replaced – which can cost in the region of £200 from overseas! As if that wasn’t enough to ruin a perfectly good adventure expenses can spiral if you need to rearrange holiday plans. This is why the website recommends that travellers take out comprehensive travel insurance. Travel insurance is there to help recoup the costs involved in replacing lost or stolen belongings, including passports

Look for a policy that allows you to extend cover while you are already travelling.

You are about to go on the biggest adventure of your life, and who knows where it might take you! The last thing you’d want is to have to come home because your travel insurance says you have to. Many travel insurance policies require that you get back home within a year, or return to the UK to extend it. We offer longstay backpacker insurance that can be extended even while you are still travelling so you can go where your wanderlust takes you!

These are the sorts of things that travel insurance can help with:

  • Cancelled flights.
  • Lost or stolen luggage.
  • Medical help.
  • Emergency medical care and repatriation.
  • Lost or stolen passport.
  • Lost or stolen bank cards and holiday money.
  • If your operator goes bankrupt.
  • If you need to cancel your trip due to illness.
  • If your trip is disrupted due to natural disasters or terrorism.

Travel Insurance can also cover you if you are the one to cause damage or injury!

If you are involved in an incident that causes injury to another person, or damage to property you run the risk of being sued. Comprehensive travel insurance can minimise the cost to you, including the cost of legal proceedings.

To arrange Gap Year Travel Insurance, for yourself or your child, get in touch with us on 01892 833338.


Temporary Work Abroad – Essential Info, Tips and Advice


Buffalo Image by Conservation Africa

Image by Conservation Africa courtesy of

If you fancy a long-term change of scenery but don’t have the funds to travel the world for a whole year, you could always work overseas instead. Working whilst travelling is totally possible, and incredibly enjoyable – all it takes is a little planning…

How long is temporary?

The length of time a UK resident can work abroad is about the same length as a piece of string – it varies! It can depend on the type of work you are doing as well as the country you are doing it in, but generally speaking, anything under a year is temporary. You should make sure you check what your travel insurance provider thinks though.

“An Australia Working Holiday Visa lasts for up to a year, so anything within this period would count as temporary.” David Owen,

Some travel insurance policies place restrictions on the period of time a person spends in any one place so this can be a problem if someone has a work placement overseas. don’t place this type of restriction so long as the person travelling is on a temporary contract and returning to the UK at the end of the trip.

Deciding where to go and what to do

Chances are you either have your heart set on a specific destination and don’t mind what work you do there, or you know exactly what you want to do and don’t mind where you do it. If you are totally undecided, then it may be worth taking a look at what jobs are available on the many websites dedicated to advertising work overseas, such as Season Workers which covers a wide range of jobs in different sectors, Natives which focuses on jobs at ski and snowboard resorts, or E4s, which is a site dedicated to student jobs.

Ski image by EA Ski

Image by EA Ski courtesy of

10 best places to work abroad

  1. New Zealand – It comes top in quality of life surveys.
  2. Singapore – Very clean, very low crime, English is an official language.
  3. Switzerland – Low taxes and high quality living.
  4. China – Low living costs, excellent place for TEFL.
  5. Hong Kong – A great place for foreigners to feel at home.
  6. India – Money goes a long way here, and the jobs market is really opening up.
  7. Ecuador – Low cost of living and very pleasant weather.
  8. Thailand – Low cost of living, beautiful scenery, perfect place to teach English.
  9. Belize – Locals speak English, every pound goes a lot further than in the UK. 

Going solo or go with a season worker specialist?

There are specialist websites that are chock-a-block with information and advice about arranging your own temporary work or gap year. is one such resource, with plenty of independent information on all options available. You can search by job or destination, and there are plenty of helpful planning resources.

If taking it all on sounds too daunting, which it might if this is your first time working abroad, you’ll probably enjoy the peace of mind you’ll get from a programme provider such as They can help with all the planning involved in a trip and handle all the booking, which is especially important if you are travelling to a few locations. The main advantage of going through a company like is knowing that everything will be in place, as described, when you arrive, as the programmes will be regulated and travel providers thoroughly vetted! They are also on hand if you need to call someone for help or advice.

Get a job first – or wing it?

If you really like flying by the seat of your pants, you could head off on your extended holiday, and worry about the job (and sorting the visa) later, but be warned – arranging a working visa on the move could be difficult. On that note…


Different countries have different visa requirements, so do your research first!

Don’t be tempted to work on your holiday visa, even if you find work with someone who will overlook the fact you don’t have the right visa – if discovered, you could be fined, prosecuted, deported and may even be barred from re-entering that country. There could be harsh consequences for your employer too!

The only way you could work abroad on a holiday visa is if you are a Digital Nomad and all your clients are in the UK paying into your UK bank account. Novelist Adam Sprode has been working as a freelance blogger whilst travelling for the last few years. “I write for a few UK clients, which keeps me in food and beer, and pays for a roof over my head without having to work full time. This leaves plenty of hours to appreciate the country I am in, and also work on my next novel.”

The only solid answer to visa questions is to ALWAYS CHECK THE VISA SITUATION BEFORE YOU TRAVEL! Check out this visa planner from for starters.

Image of passport and visa by Passport Pages by Jon Rawlinson

Passport Pages by Jon Rawlinson CC BY 2.0


5 most difficult places to get a visa

  1. North Korea – Tourists from many countries will find entry difficult. Even if you can get in, you will quite likely have a “guide” watching your every move.
  2. Russia – A long process that also requires that you be invited to stay. Warning: leaving the country if your visa has expired could be even more difficult!
  3. Democratic Republic of Congo – Dogged by red tape, and unofficial fees it is a lengthy process to get into this very dangerous part of the world.
  4. Saudi Arabia – At certain times of year non-Muslims face lots of questions on why they are travelling. Women be warned… lone females must be met by a sponsor or male relative.
  5. USA – You’ll find it nigh-on impossible to get a visa if you have a criminal record of any sort. If you’ve been convicted of a drug-related offence, then this country is a no-go. 

Selling or storage?

Unless you live at home with your parents, you are going to have to do something with your belongings. Your choices are:

  • Keep them where they are – easy, but expensive, and maybe risky too.
  • Sell them all it’s only “stuff” – essential if you need to fund your travels until you start work.
  • Sell some and store some – the most likely option.
  • Take everything with you – really only suitable if you are relocating.

If you own your own home, you probably don’t want to leave personal belongings either unattended, or with someone you don’t know renting your property, and if you are renting, it is actually more cost effective to put your things into storage.

“If you’re going to be out the country for a significant amount of time, it doesn’t make sense to keep paying rent; a self storage unit is by far the cheaper – and safer – option, starting from just £15 a week. Sue Bailey, director Easy Access Self Storage

But what about the things you need? Whilst backpacking is a great experience, some people setting off to work overseas want to take their belongings with them, in fact, depending on what they plan to do overseas, they may need to take some big things with them…..

 Shipping possessions by sea and air

Yoga teachers with bags of bricks and mats, musicians with multiple instruments, gamers with precious technology, snowboarders and skiers with erm, snowboards and skis – sometimes there are big things that need transporting that just won’t fit in a suitcase! We spoke with International removal expert Pickfords to find out when you should ship your stuff by air, and when you should ship by sea… 

“Firstly, send the bulk of your big and heavy items, such as furniture, by sea, this is by far the cheaper option, but also slower. If you have any hobbies that require large equipment such as musical instruments or skiing or snowboarding apparatus, send these by sea as well, alongside items like televisions and games consoles. These items will be loaded and sealed into a metal container (which is large enough to transport the contents of a three-bedroom house) and then delivered directly to the port.

For items that you’re going to need closer to hand, arrange an airfreight, which offers a much faster transit time. Airfreight is charged per kilo and is a lot more expensive than sea freight, but ensures essential items will get to you exactly when you need them, making it perfect for items that you’ll struggle to do without. It would be incredibly expensive to send all of your belongings via airfreight, but it’s perfect for the items you need.”

Working abroad image by Raleigh International

Image by Raleigh International courtesy of

Travel insurance

If you are planning to work while you are overseas, you must make sure that your insurance policy allows it, as some policies exclude working altogether.’s Longstay Travel Insurance covers business trips and working abroad on a temporary contract, however the Standard policy does not. The Longstay option can also be purchased while travelling if you discover that yours has run out!

Knowing which policies cover working and which don’t is especially important if you are comparing different policies on the market. You should also take note what type of work is covered. For example, while most types of work are covered in a Longstay policy, some manual* work is not.

We do however cover some manual work** that travellers commonly take up such as:

  • Fruit picking
  • Bar work
  • Waiting
  • Catering
  • Singing
  • Playing in a band
  • Supervised conservation work
  • Voluntary labouring
  • Supervised animal sanctuary work

(Please see information below or call 01892 833338 for specific details.)

 gap year image by Raleigh International

Image by Raleigh International courtesy of

Bank accounts

Not the most exciting aspect of planning a mega-trip abroad, but definitely important – should you open a local bank account, or should wages be paid into a UK account? Well, if you are paid in the local currency and it goes to a UK account, you will be charged an exchange rate, which isn’t the savviest of money-saving ideas.

“Some work placements will require you to have a local bank for payments. You will need a letter from your employer to be able to open one as well as all-essential passport and visa paperwork.” Linsey MacLeod,

A local bank account for some jobs however is mandatory, so make sure you speak with your job provider – many working holidays come complete with help setting up a local account anyway. You should also have a chat with your UK bank, they may offer international bank accounts.

 “There are some jobs, such as bar work, that might be paid cash in hand, but these are increasingly rare and a traveller shouldn’t rely on that!” David Owen,

What about taxes?

As if the bank stuff wasn’t boring enough eh? But really, you don’t want to mess with the tax man! As you are overseas temporarily, you will still be classed as a UK resident, so will be liable to pay tax. You may also find that you are taxed on your earnings in the country in which you are working.


Don’t worry, travellers can usually claim tax relief and make sure they aren’t taxed on the same income twice. The trusty Gov.UK website has lots of information, however if the whole thing gives you a bit of a headache, you can turn to the services of a dedicated financial advisor such as who specialise in offering tax advice for Britons working abroad.

Image of Koh Tao Thailand

Koh Tao Thailand by Nick Kenrick CC BY 2.0

Don’t forget the spirit of adventure!

Whichever way takes you in your chosen direction, it is what you get up to and how you get up to it when you are out there that counts. Ok, you are going abroad to work, but that doesn’t mean you should forget to have an adventure, as these wise words from travel writer Lloyd Figgins reminds us…

“I’ve been fortunate enough to live and work overseas for much of my life and had so many positive experiences. That’s partly because I have embraced my time living in a new country and made a point of getting off the beaten track, rather than simply becoming part of the local ex-pat community. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but the rewards of immersing yourself in a culture can open doors, which might otherwise remain closed. I’ve had coffee with elders in a remote village on the top of a mountain in Oman, joined a dawn bush walk with tribesmen in Kenya and was even the guest of honour at a wedding in Uzbekistan. Get out there and discover your environment, but do it safely. Do your research, prepare well and always make sure you let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to be back.”

 Lloyd Figgins is an international expert in travel safety and author of Looking for Lemons, £9.99 available from Amazon.  

Looking for Lemons Cover Image

Ready to take the next step and get your travel insurance sorted? Get an online quote at or give one of our team a call on 01892 833338.



The small print…

* Manual work means work that involves;

  1. hands-on use, installation, assembly, maintenance or repair of electrical, mechanical or hydraulic plant, heavy power tools and industrial machinery, and
  2. hands-on electrical and construction work or work above two storeys or 3 metres above ground level (whichever is the lower), building sites, any occupation involving heavy lifting;

**The exclusion of manual work does not apply to work that is:

  1. purely managerial /supervisory, sales or administrative capacity;
  2. bar, restaurant and catering trade staff, musicians and singer;

iii. Fruit pickers (who do not use heavy machinery), casual light work, light agricultural work; supervised conservation work, voluntary charity work labour where there is no financial gain; in such circumstances there will be no cover for hands-on involvement with the installation, assembly, maintenance, repair or use of electrical, mechanical or hydraulic plant, heavy power tools and industrial machinery, or work above two storeys or 3 metres above ground level (whichever is the lower).

  1. supervised animal sanctuary work but no cover can be provided in relation to any interaction with dangerous wild animals such as lions, tigers or big cats of any kind.




How To Travel Long Term, And Excuses To Extend Your Stay

Image by Jason Priem CC BY-SA 2.0

Image by Jason Priem CC BY-SA 2.0

Backpacking your way around the world, or at the very least across a continent is on most people’s bucket list – but how do you turn the fantasy into a reality? We share three seemingly simple steps to help make your dreams come true!

1. Find Time

First, you need to find the time to take a long break. Most round the world trips never start because they will always supposedly happen “one day”. You need to choose which day that one day will be. It doesn’t have to be soon, but it should definitely be soon enough to get your pulse racing from excitement! Consider that you will need to save some money, hand your notice in at work, give up your rental, and maybe even sell off some of your belongings… all of which takes time!

2. Save Money

Having given yourself a departure date, you need to plan what you need to save by when to make sure you can fund your trip. It is at this stage you might find that your targets might be difficult to meet, so you might need to take drastic action to protect your finances:

  • Sell belongings
  • Take a second job
  • Move back home/get a roommate
  • Stop going out

3. Commit To A Plan

The first step may be the hardest, but without taking it you won’t get anywhere! So you need to book your first place to stay. Some people plan an entire trip before they leave, others just book a room ready for their arrival and take it from there. Either way, buy the ticket so you can’t back out.

Hooked on backpacking and don’t want to go home?

Once you are on the road less travelled, or a well-worn path of international interest, chances are you won’t want to hurry home. If you are coming to the end of your journey and want to stay longer, you can extend your travel insurance, even while you are still travelling. That just leaves telling family, friends and colleagues that you won’t be home as soon as you thought. Here are some almost plausible reasons you could give for extending your stay abroad…

  • I am still working on my tan.
  • My backpack broke so I can’t get my stuff on the plane.
  • I am only half way through my bucket list.
  • I still have some sunscreen left, and I don’t want to waste it.
  • A camel ate my map, and now I can’t find my way to the airport.

We provide longstay travel insurance for trips from 3 to 18 months, with option for extending travel insurance while you are still abroad. Call 01892 833338 if you’d like to know more, or get an online quote.

How To See The World And Get Paid – Travel Guide

It may seem like a dream come true, but you can in fact get to travel the world and get paid for it. Jobs in travel are highly competitive, and some are better paid than others – but for most people, a taste of distant shores as part of their job keeps their hunger for travel satisfied. Here’s how to get a foot in the door!

Air Crew

Becoming a cabin crew member may not lead to long stays abroad, but you’ll definitely get the opportunity to touchdown in many countries. Long haul flights come with overnight stays, so there may be a chance to explore the destination, but short haul flights such as those delivered by easyjet will only lead to a lot of air-time! The plus point of being air crew is that you get access to discounted flights, perfect for cheap holidays!

Ship or Yacht Crew

Engineer or Hospitality? As either the hours are long, and on private charters, work is potentially 24/7 – but at least you’ll be surrounded by ocean and indulging in 5-star feasting courtesy of the on-board a la carte chef. Cruises offer a wider range of opportunities for a range of skills, but once again, you’ll need to commit to long travel times if you really want to feel the adventure!


Teaching English as a Foreign Language is considered by some to be an easy way to get to visit new countries. You don’t need to be fluent in your host country’s language, you get a wage, and accommodation and expenses are quite often paid. To become qualified to teach you need to complete a TEFL course, which can take as little as 140 hours.

Travel Writer

A highly competitive arena, and not as glamorous for most as it sounds. Thanks to the World Wide Web, a travel writer does not have to travel the world to gather information for editorials, most research can be done online – but experience does speak best. The most successful travel writers are self-funded, already globetrotting, and able to sell their words from the destinations they are in. See also: Digital Nomad.

Au Pair

Live-in babysitters and housekeepers are in quite high demand for those with the cash, who quite often live and holiday in wonderful locations. Au Pairs can expect to experience a new culture, get a nice room, and receive tuition in the home language in return for moderate childcare and housekeeping duties. On the plus side there are vacancies worldwide, on the down side it is notoriously low paid.

Photographer/Camera Person

If you can take a fabulous photo, or wield a video camera, there are opportunities to travel and indulge in your passion. As with the Travel Writer, commissioned opportunities are hard to come by, but for the motivated traveller, getting out there and collecting images and footage can lead to a nice pay packet either whilst traveling, or when you return.

Beauty Therapists and Fitness Instructors

If you are in the beauty business, or you have an instructor qualification for personal fitness, skiing or scuba diving, then there are plenty of opportunities to head to distant shores and work. Resorts and spa hotels are always on the lookout for beauty therapists and instructors to provide services for guests during peak times. To find opportunities, check out dedicated seasonal job websites, the way to become a seasonaire!

Digital Nomad

This is a term for a virtual assistant who moves from place to place whilst still carrying out a job. This time writers, designers, personal assistants and other types of virtual office worker have a lot to thank the internet for. It is now possible to research a project from anywhere in the world, and deliver work on time. Digital Nomads are self-starters with a love for seeing the world, the motivation to be self-employed and the cunning to live where prices are low whilst working for companies that pay well.

Do you plan to work abroad? Our Longstay Travel Insurance  (aka backpackers insurance) covers working abroad too. Highlights include:

Insurance for trips from 4 to 18 months

  • Cover can be extended any number of times whilst you are still travelling
  • No restriction on time spent in any one place – visit many countries or just stay in one for the whole trip
  • Many Sports & Leisure Activities are automatically covered, others can be added such as skiing & snowboarding.
  • Super, Economy or Budget.

Kuching Destination Guide

Grin Like a Kuching Cat in Sarawak’s Jungle Bound Capital

Kuching is the perfect base for exploring the rainforest-covered state of Sarawak in Malaysian Borneo, but is also a fascinating, vibrant city to explore in its own right.

Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia by Peter Gronemann

Both Buddhism and Islam co-exist here, a fact that has seen the construction of many stunning temples and mosques. Don’t miss Tua Pek Kong Temple – the oldest Chinese temple – or the striking Kuching City Mosque, an intriguing mix of mid-western and Italian architecture.


Translated literally as ‘palace’, this stunning building was built by Charles Brooke – the former governor of Sarawak – for his bride. It’s an ideal place to learn about the ‘White Rajahs’ who once ruled Sarawak. Don’t miss the Orchid Garden.

The Waterfront

Kuching Waterfront is a must – and the perfect spot to enjoy a quintessential South East Asian sunset. Here you’ll also see how the rich Kuchingnites live (property prices here are astronomical), and as such, you can expect to pay a lot more in the restaurants by the water. It is also a popular spot for young lovers.

Square Tower - Kuching Waterfront

Square Tower – Kuching Waterfront by Chipmunk_1


For museum lovers there is plenty to absorb in Kuching. Try the Sarawak Museum, The Chinese Museum, the Cat Museum (Kuching means ‘cat’ in Malaysian, so feline memorabilia is very popular here) or even the Timber Museum!


If you’re looking for a beautiful gift for loved ones back home, Kuching offers a dazzling array of locally made handicrafts and fabrics.


Delicious Malay and Chinese food is found everywhere in Kuching – and eating out a major pastime. If you buy fish from a stall, however, be sure it is heated thoroughly, as your stomach may not be as resilient as those of the locals!

Visiting the Sunday Market is essential if you want to see just how much produce comes out of Sarawak: find colourful displays of fruit, vegetables, fish and honey, alongside such items as potted plants and even pets.


If you want to get close – but not too close – to some crocs, head along to Jong’s Crocodile Farm, where feeding time is an unforgettable sight.

Jungle Trekking

Tourists often use Kuching as a springboard for one of the many jungle trekking experiences available further east. Sarawak boasts some of the most unspoilt rainforest in the world, where orangutans and a host of exotic creatures can be viewed in their natural surroundings.

Proboscis Monkey

Proboscis Monkey by Peter Gronemann

Bako National Park is nearest Kuching, offering steamy mangrove forests and lots of proboscis monkeys.


There are options for all budgets in Kuching, from hostel dormitories (RM20) to mid-range hotels (around RM90) and of course the usual array of top-end establishments asking for around RM300. However, low season can bring some real bargains, even in the most expensive hotels.


While Malay and Mandarin are widely spoken in Kuching and Sarawak, most Kuchingnites take English as a second language, so being understood here is usually straightforward.

Getting to Kuching

Intrigued by this unique rainforest citadel? It’s the ideal place to spend a few days before embarking on jungle adventures in the east of Sarawak – and is easy to get to from the UK. Most flights from London go through Singapore or Kuala Lumpur and usually take from 17 to 20 hours.

Travel Advice For Volunteers Abroad

Travel Advice For Volunteers Abroad

For some of us, a holiday is a treat that we can’t always justify, but luckily there’s a solution to the moral dilemma of sunning it abroad – volunteering! Offering your help to those in another country is a fantastic way to explore new places, experience a different way of life, and give a helping hand to those a little less fortunate than yourself. If you’re thinking of taking a volunteering trip, here are some handy bits of advice to get you on your way.

Make sure you’re immunised

Wherever it is you’re looking to jet off to, you’ll need to make sure you have ample protection against any diseases that might be catchable while you’re there. Check out our comprehensive guide to getting yourself vaccinated.

Check your locations

It’s important to be as clued-up as possible when it comes to travelling, so be sure to check the conditions of where you’re staying. Depending on the weather, you’ll want to pack a certain selection of clothing to suit, and you might want to check variables such as the terrain and the daylight hours to figure out what sort of footwear would be appropriate, and whether you’ll need to bring additional items such as a visor or a torch, depending on when you’re working.

Consider your role

Are you volunteering as a teacher? Building houses in the jungle? Rescuing sea animals? Think about what you’re doing and what you’ll need – most likely, some comfortable clothing that you don’t mind getting ruined! Remember to make sure all of your shoes are broken in, you have plenty of plasters and the like, and don’t bother packing your nail varnish!

Be prepared

You’ll need to keep a savvy head when working abroad, so make sure you’re organised. Bring a plastic wallet or something similar to store your documents in a safe, dry place, and make sure you have all of the phone numbers and information you could need when you’re away. If you’re planning on using your phone, contact your provider to arrange a suitable plan that will cover the costs of your calls and texts back home.

Don’t put yourself at risk

Taking your time to volunteer is a good deed, and you don’t have to feel pressured into doing anything you aren’t comfortable with. Make sure you keep yourself clean and address any wounds in a proper manner, be mindful of the food and drink you’re consuming, and feel free to say NO to anything you think puts you in danger. If you’ve taken all of the precautionary steps prior to travelling, and follow your head when you’re away, you shouldn’t have any problems – but it’s a good idea to take out some travel insurance to cover any costs that come from the unexpected.

From all of us here at Worldwide Insure, we wish you a happy and safe trip!

10 Tips to Prevent Your Belongings Being Stolen Whilst Abroad

Being mugged or pick-pocketed, or having your belongings stolen whilst backpacking is uncommon, but it does happen. Bad luck plays a part, but there are many things you can do to minimise the chances of such an occurrence.

  1. Take a padlock with you, and use it to secure your guest house/hotel room. This is particularly important in budget accommodation or in areas where crime is high. It can also be used to secure lockers.
  2. Use an old or tatty looking backpack. This dissuades thieves because they think you have nothing of value!
  3. Pack a single, small backpack of around 30-40 litres. You can then keep your backpack with you when travelling on buses or trains. Bigger backpacks often have to be stowed where you can’t keep an eye on them.
  4. Make a fake wallet. Take an old wallet and fill it with expired bank cards and a few notes. If someone demands your wallet, give them the fake one.
  5. If a mugger demands your money/wallet, be sure to comply – but don’t make any sudden movements towards your pockets. They may think you are reaching for a weapon.
  6. Never walk alone at night, especially if the area is known to have a lot of crime. If you do wish to ‘go walkabout’, make sure you read up on the area first, and don’t wander into a neighbourhood where you might not be welcome!
  7. If you’re going out on the town, take only the cash you need and leave valuables such as bank card and mobile in your guest house, hotel or hostel. Use any lockers to keep your valuables extra safe, or if none are available, hide valuables under mattresses, wardrobes or pillows.
  8. In some countries criminals spike tourists’ drinks with memory-wiping drugs – so they can pickpocket them (or worse). Always keep a watchful eye on your drink, and if you have to leave it (to go to the toilet for example), make sure someone you trust is watching it.
  9. Ensure you have adequate insurance to cover the loss of any belongings.
  10. Bag snatchers love handbags – so consider ditching yours for a money belt. If you must carry a handbag, wear it across your shoulders. 


Backpacking Incan Trail – Machu Picchu Peru By fortherock


Taking the precautions listed above will make the theft of your belongings far less likely, however, it is an unfortunate fact that crime of these sorts does happen, and there may be things that are out of your control that lead to such events. This is why point 9 is so important. At least with adequate cover in place, you don’t have to worry about being stranded, and you know that help will be on hand if you need.

For more information about the travel insurance we provide for longstay holidays and backpacking, give one of our team a call on 01892 83 33 38. We can tailor our policies to meet your needs, and we are happy to answer any questions you may have. 

Backpackers Insurance for Gap Year Students

With studies coming to a close in just a couple of months, there are heaps of students looking forward to a break abroad – either a long summer of fun, or an extended adventure on a gap year.

If planning to travel for more than 2 months, you will need long stay travel insurance – also known as backpackers insurance. This type of policy allows you travel between countries, work abroad on a casual contract or a longer work placement, and it can be extended as often as you need during your trip so that there is no need to cut your travels short just to renew your insurance!

Other perks include optional extreme and wintersports cover so that you can try your hand at anything from heliskiing to diving, and everything in between. Our policy also includes a multi-lingual emergency assistance helpline, offering peace of mind when you are many miles away from home.

And because we know that you don’t need to be a spring chicken to be a student, or go on a big travel adventure, our backpackers travel insurance is available for travellers up to 69 years old.

For more information about what our policy covers, please visit our longstay travel insurance page, where you can get an instant online quote and buy your policy online or over the phone.