How to choose travel insurance?

If you're reading this, you've probably done some research on travel insurance. It's usually the last thing to purchase before you finalize your trip. Now comes the hardest part: choosing which company and plan to buy. 

Choosing travel insurance can be a bit of a headache. But don't worry, we've got your back. Hopefully reading this can help you navigate through some of that stress. 

So let's get started!

Do I really need travel insurance? 

The answer is yes. It's always yes.


Maybe you're one of the lucky ones that has never had to file a claim. But, if you're like me, then having travel insurance is a great money saver and can give you that peace of mind while you're on the road. 

When you travel, you can't really plan for what happens during your trip. Your flight might get delayed for a day, one of your bags might get stolen or you might end up in the hospital with a broken ankle. Anything can go wrong in a trip and it's nice to know you can rely on your travel insurance to cover your costs. 

What are the different types of coverage?

  • Trip Cancellation: Covers your costs if you need to cancel your trip before you leave. 
  • Trip Interruption: Covers you for any losses for trips that are interrupted/delayed after you leave. 
  • Emergency Medical: Covers any medical expenses during your trip. 
  • Baggage and Personal Effects: Covers any loss of baggage or personal items. 
  • Flight and Accident Coverage: Covers you if you umm, die while travelling. 

Which type should I get?

In the end, it's completely up to you which type of coverage you want. I prefer to get insurance that covers everything because you never know what will happen. A good rule of thumb is to always get emergency medical insurance. Nothing is worth more than your health. 

If you're risky and want to save a few bucks, you can choose the basic plan that only includes emergency medical insurance. 

How do I choose an organization?

Choosing a reputable organization to go with is the tricky part. When you look into different travel insurance organizations, you'll notice that there's a maximum amount that you can claim back. Research a few organizations to compare quotes. You'll want to go with a company that offers a really high emergency medical insurance claim that should also include emergency transportation home. 

Personally, I also like to go with a company that offers a high baggage claim because I have a habit of getting things stolen from me. 

Remember to read the fine print. Insurance companies are trying to make money, so know what they're willing to cover you for before you leave. It'll help you prepare for your trip. For example, there are some companies who won't file your baggage loss claim if your bag gets stolen off a bus since it was your fault you didn't keep a better eye on it. 


It depends on how long the trip is and what was on the agenda. For some trips, we've gone with our banks or the airline we booked our flight ticket with. 

For our three-month SE Asia trip, I went with World Nomads. It's a reputable company with mostly good reviews. Just remember to read the fine print to know what they offer. You won't be able to claim any money back if you fail to provide any hard evidence. For example, this could be documents from the hospital if you get injured or a police report if you had something stolen. Also, some organizations won't cover an injury if you were doing a risky activity like mountain climbing. In that case, you would need to purchase a different travel insurance that covers those adventurous activities. 

What I liked about World Nomads, and why I chose it over my bank's insurance is because it has a high medical insurance amount. Plus, it covered the countries we were going to visit and the activities we wanted to do. 

Good luck choosing! And if you happen to stumble across a company that offers a really good quote for Canadians, let us know! 

Happy Adventuring!


Why You Should Travel

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

-Mark Twain

As a recognized traveller and author, Mark Twain has spread insight on the charm of travelling around the world. In today’s society, we can summarize his quote into one word: Wanderlust. For those who have not heard of this term, it's nothing new. Wanderlust has long been used to describe the strong desire to travel and explore the world. You may know some people who never feel the desire to leave their home. They’re happy to stay in the city they came from, the couch they sit on and the routine of their life. Then there are people who can’t sit still, love to explore outside and spend their time searching for new places to experience. Whether you call it wanderlust, a love for adventure or curiosity, one thing remains the same: there is a deep desire to explore that cannot be fulfilled, no matter how many journeys you take. For those that experience wanderlust, there is always something new to push you out of your comfort zone. 

Luckily, our world is a large place. Your adventure can either start at home or across the ocean. With travelling becoming cheaper, safer and quicker over the years, there are many rewarding reasons to travel regardless of your age. 

1) Travelling changes the way you understand the world. 

If you never go beyond the city limits, you would have a hard time imagining anything outside of your comfort zone. From sunsets over oceans and monkeys swinging through rainforests, to volcanoes erupting in the distance, there are many beautiful experiences to enjoy. 

While many people may be comfortable with different cultures, what we experience every day is only a portion of the real diversity in the world. Travelling will expose you to these different cultures, different animal and plant life, different climate, geography and different ideas and experiences. Ultimately, these experiences that will shape you as a person.

2) Travelling enhances your educational skills and knowledge. 

Being able to explore the Irish castles, walk through the trenches of Vimy Ridge and examine the architecture of the Colosseum for yourself can change your outlook of the experience. You'll want to learn more about the history and geography of these artifacts. How long ago was it built? What did they use to build it? What purpose did it serve? Now, these places will no longer be pictures from a book, but memories for you to share with others. 

3) Travelling pushes you beyond Your limits. 

Have you ever needed to learn Spanish so you could figure out directions to your hostel? Have you ever had all of your things stolen in a foreign country? Have you ever had the chance to climb a mountain, hike a volcano or swim with sharks? 

Travelling will put you a variety of situations, both good and bad. It's a gamble really, you never know what's going to happen when you're on the road. But sometimes, that's the best part of it. It's these crazy situations that make you realize that you can do things you never thought possible. Pushing yourself and conquering your fears is a good thing to learn at any age. 

The toughest part about travelling: Priorities

Many people avoid travelling because they think it costs too much. Well, travel is not an issue of being rich, rather it's an issue of priorities. Graham Hughes, the first man to set a world record for visiting every country without flying, started off like everyone else. When he was asked how he could afford to travel so often, he answered: “How can you afford your rent? How can you keep a dog? How can you have children?”

Having a budget, eating street food and travelling with the locals are just some ways to make travel affordable. Obviously, some people prefer comfort and security, so it's natural for them to work hard, stay at home and take a vacation once in a while. However, if you want to see the world, do it while you’re young so you can "rush into that thrill head first and wake up every day looking for new challenges, new places and new friends." The toughest part of travelling is deciding to go.

Picture this

When you look at a scenic calendar, do you ever notice the photographs of landscapes like the sand dunes of the Sahara desert, the peaks of the Rockie Mountains or the moon overlooking a rainforest? After admiring the picture, reality sets in and you go back to doing whatever it was before. I bet many of you can relate to this experience: “I wonder what it’s like to be there”.

So, stop “wondering” and start “wandering!"


Vacation Versus Travelling: Do You Know the Difference?

Many people often interchange vacation and travelling. However, they represent two separate ideas. The former signifies luxury, comfort and relaxation. Picture an all-inclusive resort in the Bahamas where you sip on strawberry daiquiris and lay on a beach all day. It could be a trip to Las Vegas with your buddies where you have a night you won’t remember. It could even be a weekend getaway with your partner to the vineyard to sample different wines. Ultimately, a vacation symbolizes a recreational time to relax and de-stress from your hectic life at home.

Vacations are fun and a great way to experience a different culture or lifestyle with minimal risk. Everything is usually pre-planned to eliminate stress and optimize enjoyment. You can go sightseeing, eat delicious foods and relax on a beach while drinking from coconuts. It's the perfect way to unwind from your everyday life. 

On the other hand, travelling refers to a journey across distant locations. It's stressful, exhausting and uncomfortable. It could be a global backpacking trip across different countries, a cross-country road trip or an athletic adventure tour around the world. Travelling reflects self-development through experiencing the unknown, confronting unexpected barriers and learning about unfamiliar cultures. It can be very challenging mentally and physically and may push you to the edge. 

Travelling is never planned completely, which can lead to an exciting adventure. You never know where you’ll end up. You might be sitting on a gorgeous beach overlooking rock formations one day and the next day could be spent hiking up a volcano. Plans can change in an instant, so you're forced to go with the flow. Because of this, it offers a sense of liberation that you won’t experience anywhere else. You gain a tremendous amount of perspective which makes it a very rewarding experience. 

In the end, one isn’t necessarily better than the other. It’s based on personality, time and money. Some people want to forget about their everyday stresses by relaxing in luxury while others crave adventure. 

To each their own.