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  1. #1
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    Default ? about international hiking

    after quite a bit of research, I have just put down a deposit for a hike next year in South America. The trip will also include some sightseeing before and after the trek. All in all, nearly a month in the country I am visiting. I have only backpacked outside of the US one other time (in Scotland). I did not consider getting travel insurance then but am mulling over the possibility this time. For those of you who travel internationally, especially outside of Europe, do you purchase trip insurance or not? I appreciate any input. Regards.

  2. #2
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    I have some basic insurance via the creditcard, plus one that is included in the Austrian Alpine membership. Both covering basic medical treatment on-site plus bring-back-home service in case of emergency.
    I've always taken great care to have full social insurance in my home country at all time.
    All this aside, I always try my best to not get into any emergency.

    Over several decades of travelling abroad, the one thing that happened by far the most was, somebody tried to or succeeded in stealing my money (or traveller checks resp.), foto gear being the next common object of desire.
    My way to deal with this, that I had to learn the hard way, is carrying all the valuables (money, cards, passport) in a money belt at all time. And I stopped carrying extensive foto gear.

  3. #3
    Garlic
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    No. But I have a high risk tolerance. I consider myself "self-insured" for most risks, and when absolutely required I carry the highest possible deductible.

    Ditto the advice above about situational awareness, being careful, not carrying anything expensive or attractive, and using the money belt.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  4. #4
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    Same like garlic wrote: Use common sense, seems to help the most.

    There had been a few times where I went sick in faraway countries, you propably know how to deal with this. Usually in every country of the world you can get good quality pills, antibiotics and such when you know what you want.

    Then there is the strong advice, to strictly stay away from drugs.
    We once were very lucky during a trip through Mexico / Baja California, in the mid-80s.
    We were travelling with an old Volkswagen Van, and had stopped at the beach for a noon dip.
    This was somewhere in the middle along the Baja main road "Mex 1", away from settlements.
    While we were relaxing at the beach, a car came up and stopped a distance away, two guys came out and strolled along the beach, seemingly relaxed, like being on holiday.
    They came up to us, two local guys to tell from the dark complexion, middle-aged and quite decently dressed.
    They asked for fire (which we had), and offered us cigarettes (which we declined, as we just had finished one ourselfs).
    Asked where we are from, and if we were going down south, which we gave answers.
    Then they asked if we would like to have "something to smoke".
    We immediately understood what was this "something" supposed to be.
    We declined, never having had any contact to drugs (other than tobacco and alc), and lacking desire to do otherwise.
    They continued with some smalltalk that finally tapered off and they went away to their car and drove off.
    We could not make any sense out of this episode, it was just un-normal behavior from their side.
    The same evening stopping at another beach, we met a tourist we spent a very nice evening with.
    When we told him this story, he got upset and serious: We were VERY lucky to have refused anything "to smoke".
    It was going to be a very infamous police-scam, we would have been stopped by "Police" later, searched for drugs, fake-arrested and would have been lucky to just get away with a serious bribe, if not much worse.

  5. #5
    Registered User Tennessee Viking's Avatar
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    I almost had to utilize my travel insurance for my trip to Ireland/Scotland due to a severe flight delay and a couple people in our group getting COVID within the first couple days.

    It wouldn't be bad idea for insurance depending on which country as long as the policy is not crazy expensive.
    ''Tennessee Viking'
    Mountains to Sea Trail Hiker & Maintainer
    Former TEHCC (AT) Maintainer

  6. #6
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    I have mostly traveled in Europe, but we often get travel insurance. Getting emergency heath care can be problematic when traveling and health insurance you have at home may or may not be applicable or easy. That being said, I've never had to make a claim.

    Also, if trekking in remote areas, travel insurance can cover emergency evacuation in the event of illness or injury where self evacuation is not possible. But be sure to read policies carefully and make sure they cover what you need. On some of the international trekking groups I frequent this issue is discussed often. World Nomads is often mentioned in these groups. It is a travel insurance company that markets itself specifically to international adventure travel, especially for emergency evacuation. However when I get a quote from them and read the actual policy, they define "emergency evacuation" as moving from one hospital to another hospital (NOT Field rescue which is what you need). Curiously most other policies (ones that are not marketed to adventure travelers) will cover emergency evacuation, but they usually will require pre-authorization by Dr. Also if you were planning to hike at altitude (in the high Andes, e.g.), some policies put elevation limits on their coverage. Also most will not cover "extreme" activities, or will only if you pay a premium for a policy rider. For trekking, as long as you are walking on trails that do not require climbing gear (ropes, anchors, etc...), you are probably OK. If you are BASE jumping, forget it.

  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Odd Man Out View Post
    I have mostly traveled in Europe, but we often get travel insurance. Getting emergency heath care can be problematic when traveling and health insurance you have at home may or may not be applicable or easy. That being said, I've never had to make a claim.

    . Also if you were planning to hike at altitude (in the high Andes, e.g.), some policies put elevation limits on their coverage. Also most will not cover "extreme" activities, or will only if you pay a premium for a policy rider. For trekking, as long as you are walking on trails that do not require climbing gear (ropes, anchors, etc...), you are probably OK. If you are BASE jumping, forget it.
    I appreciate al the replies in this thread. Yes there will be days in the Andes at high elevation and I am leaning towards trip insurance although I have never taken it out prior. I have been trying to look online and sort the fly manure from the pepper. It's not straightforward to do so. Do you have a preferred insurer?

    Again thanks for ALL responses above.

  8. #8
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    There is a web site called Insure My Trip I have used. It is not insurance, but a trip insurance search engine. It makes it easy to get quotes and view the policy so you can compare.

    Also, if hiking to high elevations, be sure to educate yourself about altitude sickness. If you don't you may get to take advantage of the Repatriation of Remains coverage in your trip insurance.

  9. #9
    Registered User johnnybgood's Avatar
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    Good information to know regarding plan policies comparisons.
    As a Federal Employee my BlueCross BlueShield covers me through their Geo Blue Travel Health Insurance. I'm not sure of the particulars since I haven't used it, but they are also an option to look into.
    Getting lost is a way to find yourself.

  10. #10

    Default

    I have gotten Trip Insurance when COVID was high. Extended Hospital stays and accomidations can get pretty expensive. Cost varies with age. My 2 cents.

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