When you’re a budget traveler like myself, the main temptation when talking about travel insurance is to shrug and say “I’m sure it won’t happen to me“.
On my first trip out of Europe, I left without any kind of insurance. I don’t even remember taking the conscious decision to not buy one, because I was misinformed and, just maybe, a bit young and silly.
Fast forward to a few months ago. I’ve been sitting in a night bus for a few hours, going back towards the capital, the airport and home. A staff member of the bus asks me if I want coffee, I say yes. He hands me a paper cup full of hot water just out of the kettle. Next thing I know : the paper cup is on the ground, my pants are drenched with the hot water and pain, pain, pain.
The guy who was serving the coffee gave me a bottle of cool water very quickly, I emptied it on myself (sorry bus), an ambulance was called by someone, and I was given medication so I could manage the second degree burn and, more importantly, the pain, until I got home in 24 hours. They gave it to me for free because I had to admit at some point that “I didn’t have insurance”.
This was not a very agreeable moment in the life of Cora, but really this was nothing. As the pain started to subside, I remembered the moment that morning where I was hesitating between wearing pants and shorts, and chose pants, I thought about how the water could have landed somewhere else than my legs, say my eyes for example. I shuddered at the thought of what would have happened if things had gone just a bit differently. Aside from the pain and hurt, I would have had to go to the hospital right there and miss my flight home. I would have had to call my parents to get money because I obviously didn’t have enough money saved to handle that kind of costs by myself, I would have been late back to work, and so on.
I decided, right there and then in that bus, while huge scary white blisters were forming on my legs, that I would NEVER leave home without travel insurance. EVER.
So, to sum it up, I was lucky, because it didn’t take a huge mistake and money loss to make me come to that epiphany, and I’m just hoping that I can stop a few other people from making the same mistake. It doesn’t happen only to other people, no matter how many precautions you take. Even worse, this mistake will not only impact you, but most likely your family too, if you’re as poor as I am.
Do you need a travel insurance? Hell yeah. Everybody does.
For Europeans traveling inside Europe, you’re lucky and all you need is the EHIC card. It’s free, you can order it online, and it will basically give you the same rights as in your own country’s healthcare system.
For everybody else, and Europeans traveling outside of Europe, GET INSURANCE.
I’m using Chapka insurance. I chose them because, frankly, they’re cheap and only have good reviews!
They have different options depending on how long your trip is :
Safe travels, and, as usual, plenty of love!
This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Let it be known that I only recommend products that I use and love.