Gap year travellers should take out the right travel insurance and take sensible precautions to minimise risks abroad, says CEGA, the travel claims, risk management and global assistance company.
CEGA’s advice is part of a campaign aimed at the thousands of young gap year travellers expected to set off abroad this month. It follows recent revelations from the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) that gap year travel bookings have risen by more than 30% this year, but that two in five young people aged 18-24 are travelling abroad without insurance; an increase of nearly 10% on the previous year.
CEGA aims to educate young travellers; not just about the importance of travel insurance, but also about the need to take out the right policy to cover specific destinations, trip lengths and risky sports. It emphasises that gap year travellers should take responsibility for their trips by taking precautions such as finding out about health and security risks before setting off, dressing in the right clothes to avoid mosquito bites and steering clear of tap water and unreliable medication in developing countries.
Tips on how to avoid having travel claims turned down are also offered by CEGA, and include declaring existing medical conditions, keeping an eye on belongings and refraining from drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.
CEGA’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Lynn Gordon says, “It’s important to keep giving young travellers the message that travel insurance isn’t a luxury, it’s an essential safety net. We’re telling them that insurers won’t just cover their costs in an emergency, they will also manage their medical care and give them professional support when they may be thousands of miles from home. We’re also saying that it’s important to take responsibility for their gap year travels by finding out the risks and learning how to avoid them.”