Top 2019 travel destinations: How much travel insurance do you need?

With the year winding down, you could be forgiven for spending a good chunk of your day staring out the window and planning your next holiday. Bali? Paris? New York? So many places to see and such little time.

Well, we’ve got some travel inspiration for you, fresh from Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel list. Check out this list of some of 2019’s hottest travel destinations, then read our tips for getting the right level of travel insurance.

1. Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has become the hot favourite destination of 2019 for heaps of travel experts. If you’re craving beautiful beaches, lush landscapes bursting with native wildlife, temples, and amazing food in a huge melting pot of culture and experiences, Sri Lanka is for you.

2. The Balkans

Europe has long been the stamping ground of Aussies on gap year - but these days, intrepid travellers are drifting away from hubs like Paris and Rome to experience the exciting new world of Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Belarus made Lonely Planet’s list of top countries to visit in 2019, while Novi Sad in Serbia and Zadar in Croatia made the list of top cities.

3. The USA

The USA is big country with plenty for travellers to see, do and experience, and Lonely Planet has named a number of US cities as hotspots, the Catskills as one of the top regions for 2019 (Woodstock 50 year anniversary celebration, anyone?) and the Smoky Mountains Range as one of the best value spots.

4. Manitoba, Canada

Smack dab in the middle of Canada, Manitoba is on Lonely Planet’s list of must-visit regions for 2019. From big-city Winnipeg to the spectacular wilderness of Churchill, this is a destination for travellers wanting to get their heart racing with wide-open spaces and close encounters with some of the world’s most magnificent wildlife.

5. Egypt’s Southern Nile Valley

For a budget trip your friends will be jealous of, check out Egypt’s Southern Nile Valley, one of Lonely Planet’s Best Value spots for 2019. Rich with history and bursting at the seams with attractions like the Pyramids and a Nile boat tour, this is definitely one for the bucket list.

6. Far Eastern Russia

Russia’s easternmost corner is overlooked by a lot of travellers, but there’s a good reason why it’s on Lonely Planet’s list of top regions for 2019. From the main city of Vladivostok to the Kamchatka mountain peninsula, complete with hot springs, snow capped peaks and smoldering volcanoes, this is a breathtaking destination for those that make the trek.

7. South America

A favourite among backpackers, South America offers a couple of top destinations. Argentina and Ecuador both took out spots on Lonely Planet's list of best budget travel spots, while northern Peru and the Elqui Valley in Chile were named as top travel regions.

What travel insurance do I need?

You’ll have slightly different priorities depending on where you’re headed, but here are a few important travel insurance benefits to consider.

  • Medical cover. Anywhere you go, you’ll want to know that if something goes wrong and you’re in need of a hospital stay, there won’t be a massive bill at the end to make things even worse. While this is important anywhere, the US is one destination where you won’t want to skimp when it comes to medical cover, considering a night in a US hospital can cost as much as $5,220*. Make sure you’ve got a comprehensive travel insurance policy with generous overseas medical cover before heading off.
  • Cover for theft and damage. Hopefully you won’t need this, but there’s always a risk of pickpockets, thieves, or simply having your belongings damaged when you’re far from home. Make sure the limit of cover on your policy is high enough to cover your gear - if you’re travelling with expensive cameras, high-tech trekking gear or pricey sports equipment, you might look at adding additional cover for those items.
  • Cancellation cover. The golden rule of travel insurance is to buy your policy before you book flights, tours or accommodation. That way, if something beyond your control means your trip, or any part of it, is cancelled, your travel insurance should cover any prepaid costs you’re out of pocket for. Make sure the limit on your cancellation cover is high enough to cover what you’ll be pre-booking.
  • Cover for trekking, surfing and other sports. Lots of the destinations on this list offer up some amazing chances to get out into nature and explore off the beaten track. But keep in mind that if you’ll be taking part in anything more extreme than hiking, canoeing or snorkelling, it may not be covered by your travel insurance. Mountaineering, skydiving and rock climbing are among some of the more common exceptions to travel insurance, so double check your policy before heading out.
  • Cover during civil unrest. If “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong” usually sums up your holidays, this one’s for you. No, but seriously, if you’re travelling to certain destinations, getting caught up in acts of terrorism or civil unrest is something you should be aware of. Check the SmartTraveller website before you travel, and be aware that often, if you do get caught up in this kind of thing, your travel insurance won’t cover you.

Now that you’re armed with a list of amazing destinations and some information on what travel insurance you need, head over to our search tool to find a travel insurance policy that ticks all your boxes.

*Source: International Federation of Health Plans

Images via Google maps