The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.

Recently Booked a Long-Haul Holiday? Top Tips to Keep it Safe with Travel Insurance

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Now is the time of year when more Brits book long-haul, long-stay holidays. If you're one of the thousands of Brits who've just booked an extended stay abroad, be sure to buy a good travel insurance plan for protection in case of disaster. As long-stay trips tend to be more expensive, travel insurance is critical. Read our top tips for long-haul, long-stay travel insurance to be sure you get the cover you need.

Top Tips for Insuring Long-Stay Holidays

  • Buy Cover Now: Buy travel insurance as soon as you book your holiday to get the most out of cancellation cover
  • Check Trip Length is Covered: If opting for an annual, multi-trip plan, be sure the maximum trip length is long enough to cover your stay
  • Research Price and Coverage: Compare prices and be sure the coverage for Emergency Medical, Cancellation and Baggage is sufficient for your needs
  • Review the Policy Wording: It may seem painful, but reading the policy wording is necessary to understand the exclusions and terms (e.g., is airline failure covered or cancellation due to volcanic ash?)
  • Health Disclosure: Disclose all pre-existing medical conditions
  • Activities: Make sure any planned activities are covered (e.g., winter sports, golf, etc.)

Buy Travel Insurance, Right Away

To get the most out of travel insurance, it's quite important to buy a policy ASAP. Why? A primary benefit of travel insurance is cancellation cover—reimbursement if you need to cancel for a valid reason such as unexpected illness—but you need to have insurance in place before any problems arise. If you wait until it's too late to buy cover, you could lose out on money spent for flights, hotels, trips, activities, etc.

For example, you can't buy travel insurance cover after you become ill and have knowledge that you need to cancel your trip. (However, if you've fallen ill but can still travel you may be able to obtain holiday cover, albeit at a higher premium, by declaring your pre-existing conditions.) Keep in mind that an illness of one family member could mean cancellations for your entire family which could mount up to a great deal of money indeed.

Travel insurance is especially critical for long trips because they're generally more expensive than short trips, so there's more at stake if your trips goes wrong. For example, longer trips naturally involve more nights of booked accommodation which brings the price up. In addition, those going on a long trip frequently travel quite far away, requiring long-haul flights which cost more than short trips. Consider how much money you have invested in your holiday. If it's not money you're prepared to lose then buy travel insurance ASAP to help protect you financially in the event of a cancellation claim.

Check Maximum Trip Length

If you're heading on a trip longer than two weeks, be careful of relying on an annual, multi-trip policy because the maximum trip length may not be sufficiently long. Check the fine print to look for this detail on any existing annual policy you have or any new policy you're considering. If your holiday is longer than the max trip length allowed, you might not be covered for any part of your trip. A single trip policy might be necessary to adequately cover a long stay.

We surveyed over a dozen UK travel insurance companies to see the difference in trip lengths between single trip plans and annual plans. The results showed that some annual policies limit trips to as little as 17 days, which may not be sufficient for a long-stay holiday. Many travel insurance providers offer a range of plans, from budget to premium—you may find that a premium annual policy offers sufficient cover as these tend to protect longer holidays than budget plans.

Travel Insurance Covers Trips How Long?Annual, Multi-TripSingle Trip
Average Trip Length Covered41 days125 days
Shortest Trip Length Covered17 days31 days
Longest Trip Length Covered90 days2 years
chart showing typical trip lengths by type of travel insurance
You may be better served by a single trip policy

Cost of Travel Insurance for Longer Trips Abroad

In the event you decide to buy single trip travel insurance, it's good to have an idea of costs before you shop. We've crunched the numbers from over a dozen insurers so you don't have to. We analysed costs for Worldwide cover, which is the most expensive—you'll pay quite a bit less if you're not visiting America, Canada or the Caribbean. For more information on how prices change depending on where you're travelling, see our article on the Average Cost of Travel Insurance.

Cost of Cheap, Worldwide Travel Insurance by Trip Length45 Years Old65 Years Old
2 Weeks£20£33
3 Weeks£25£40
4 Weeks£29£49
5 Weeks£44£83
chart of cost of cheap travel insurance for long trips
The longer your holiday, the more you'll pay for travel insurance

As you can see in the table and chart above, older travellers will pay more due to the higher risk of health-related claims; and the longer your trip, the higher your travel insurance premium. The premiums below reflect the average of the 10 cheapest quotes available from our travel insurance partner Compare Cover. These plans supply an average cancellation cover of £1,400 and average baggage cover of £1,200.

Those seeking a premium plan to protect a higher-value long holiday will, of course, end up paying more for travel insurance. In the table below we've found the cost of premium plans with at least £5,000 of cancellation protection. These premiums represent the average of the 10 cheapest plans from Compare Cover with this higher level of cover.

Cost of Premium Worldwide Travel Insurance by Trip Length45 Years Old65 Years Old
2 Weeks£50£79
3 Weeks£73£102
4 Weeks£79£123
5 Weeks£109£237
chart of cost of premium travel insurance for long trips
Premium holidays require more travel insurance

Policy Wording

While you may see summaries of what is offered or excluded on this site or other websites, the only way to fully understand what is covered by your insurance policy is to read the documents, called the "Policy Wording".

Disclose Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

Disclosing any and all pre-existing medical conditions is critical to ensure you'll be covered in the event of a medical emergency. If you don't disclose a health condition then your insurance company might not pay out on an otherwise valid emergency medical claim. As we discuss in our article Disaster Prevention: How Travel Insurance Rescued 7 Holidaymakers During Medical Emergencies, medical claims can reach tens of thousands of pounds or more so cover is critical.

Most travel insurance companies and comparison sites have efficient online screening tools to help make the process as painless as possible, enabling you to get a quote in minutes. If you need pre-existing medical cover, read our Top Tips for Travel Insurance with Medical Conditions and get an idea of pricing in our article, Cost of Travel Insurance with Medical Conditions.

Check Your Activities Will be Covered

Travel insurance plans typically cover a large number of activities such as tennis, hiking, walking, boating, etc. But each plan has its own set of excluded activities, so if you're planning anything unusual then it's best to check the Policy Wording to find out if that activity is covered. If you're going skiing, in most cases you'll need to pay more for a plan with winter sports cover (the cost of winter sports holiday cover varies significantly by age and destination).

Winter is Long-Stay Booking Season

According to data from Theidol.com who provide travel services for many of the leading comparison websites including comparecover.com, Brits make more bookings for longer holidays between November and March than at other times of the year. If you're one of these lucky holidaymakers who's going away for an extended stay, be sure your holiday and your wallet are protected by good travel insurance.

chart showing longer holidays are booked in November to March
November through March is the busy season for booking longer holidays (for travel later in the year)

Compare Cheap Travel Insurance

Protect your holiday today. Quick quotes from over 45 insurers.

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Comments and Questions

The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.