A holiday is one of life’s great pleasures. But when you’re away from home, it can be difficult — and expensive — if something goes wrong. A broken ankle while sightseeing in the US could not only ruin your trip, but leave you with hefty medical bills. And lost or delayed luggage — or a stolen camera — can mean you’re up for unexpected costs. Here’s how to help ensure that you get the right cover to travel with confidence:

  1. Check if you already have cover

    Some credit cards offer travel insurance when you use them to pay for your trip — so check what’s already covered before you buy more. If you want cover for more activities or higher coverage with fewer exclusions, it may be worth taking out a separate policy before you leave.

  2. Consider your destination

    Where you plan to travel will influence the cover that you need. When travelling to countries with limited hospital facilities, consider policies that will bring you home for medical help. Or look for higher benefits for expensive destinations, like Europe and the US. Most policies exclude cover for countries with a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) ‘do not travel’ warning — visit smartraveller.gov.au before you go.

  3. Look for unlimited medical and dental benefits

    If you need medical help overseas — or assistance with emergency dental treatment or repairs — you don’t want to be worried about the cost. So it makes sense to choose a policy you can count on to cover all your expenses — so you can get the treatment you need.

  1. Get enough cancellation cover

    Sometimes an unforseen event can wreak havoc with your holiday plans. You may break a leg before a hiking trip, or the illness or death of a close relative may mean you have to cancel or cut short your trip. While most policies offer cancellation cover, they may have limits on how much they’ll pay — and when they’ll pay it. You should also check if there’s a benefit to help restart your trip later on.

  2. Think about your activities

    Most travel insurance won’t cover high-risk activities, like professional racing, rock-climbing or mountaineering, or running with the bulls. But a surprising number also won’t cover common holiday activities — like white-water rafting, ballooning, snow sports, bungee jumping and scuba diving. So if your plans include taking part in a few extra activities, make sure that your insurance will protect you if something goes wrong.