Gravity a major stumbling block for Aussie travellers

By Kelly Emmerton ·

New research from Southern Cross Travel Insurance has shown that while 7% of Aussie travellers suffered an injury, and 22% fell ill while overseas, many still jetted off without adequate travel insurance cover, proving that Aussies have no fear of hazards like gastro, gravel rash, or gravity.

Accidental injury appeared to be a big hurdle for Aussie holidaymakers, who were unprepared for the major stumbling block posed by gravity, with 39% of those injured admitting to falling over and hurting themselves.

Presenting the second greatest danger to intrepid Aussie travellers - after basic physics - was extreme sports, with 21% being hurt in skiing, mountain bike riding and climbing accidents. After that came watersports like diving, kayaking, rafting and sailing, where 16% met their match.

Craig Morrison, CEO for Southern Cross Travel Insurance, said “Although the vast majority of mishaps are not serious, a significant amount need medical treatment. Bills can add up quickly and Aussies are at risk of running into hot water if travelling uninsured.”

In fact, over two thirds (69%) of injuries required medical attention and 14% of travellers eschewed travel insurance in favour of the traditional Aussie defence of a ‘she’ll be right’ attitude. This is despite the fact that a week of travel insurance cover for Thailand, where 18% of injuries occurred, can be as low as $24.90 and for Bali, hosting 12% of injuries, just $19*.

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Illness was another hazard of leaving sunburnt shores. Of the Aussie travellers who fell ill, 19% were in the US - which, incidentally, boasts some of the highest medical bills in the world - and 14% were in both Bali and Thailand respectively.

While colds and flus were the most prevalent, having 37% of travellers sniffling their way to the departure gate, it seems a diet of meat pies and tomato sauce has done little to prepare the Aussie stomach for more exotic fare, with gastro (33%) and food poisoning (24%) not far behind.

9% also suffered allergic reactions whilst travelling, while 4% were bitten by animals. The data was inconclusive as to whether the latter incidents involved a Steve Irwin impression.

More than half of travellers needed medical attention for an illness, although 18% were without travel insurance and instead chose to laugh in the face of gastro. However, with some US medical bills reaching as high as $450,000 and a week long travel insurance policy starting around $37.90*, it’s hard to see why.

Are you heading overseas? Don’t let gravity get the best of you - head over to our travel insurance search tool and find yourself a travel insurance policy.

*All travel insurance prices based on a 25 year old, single traveller taking out a medical only policy using Mozo’s travel insurance comparison tool.