Living in the UK has many perks, but being so close to many beautiful European countries is definitely one of the biggest. Backpacking through Europe means fewer lengthy flights, shorter travel times overall, and the chance to explore different countries and experience cultures right on your doorstep.

Because there are several ways to travel through Europe, there are so many different trips to be had if you decide to backpack through multiple countries. No matter the time of year, you can travel around Europe and experience the trip of a lifetime. From exploring Italy’s vineyards in the summer or driving through Germany’s Black Forest in the winter, there is so much to do when you travel in Europe.

No matter what countries you intend to visit on your back packing adventure, it is important that you take out travel insurance to protect yourself against unforeseen eventualities.

Below is some information about our products, for which Terms & Conditions apply. Please visit the policy information hub for full details.

We also wanted to help you to best plan for your big European travelling experience, so you can spend your time booking flights, accommodation and excursions! 

Europe is full of unique countries that offer so much to each traveller that visits. It’s important to consider what you want to do and see when you begin planning your trip, as this might guide you in the direction of a particular country or area of Europe. Here are some of the top destinations in Europe, and what people enjoy doing there the most:

Backpacking is very commonly done alone, and travelling Europe is no exception. A lot of people go travelling to explore new things and meet new people on their journey. Here are some of the top destinations to visit if you are a solo traveller in Europe:

  • Madrid & Barcelona, Spain
  • Budapest, Hungary
  • Paris, France
  • Berlin & Munich, Germany
  • Lisbon & Porto, Portugal
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Florence, Italy

Backpacking, or any type of travel, usually occurs because people want to experience new things. Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are places that people visit from far and wide to see with their own eyes. We’ve listed some of the natural beauties within Europe that are worth discovering:

  • Italy: Capri’s Blue Grotto, the Amalfi coastline, The Dolomite mountain range and the Tuscan countryside
  • Switzerland: The Swiss Alps
  • Greece: The view from Santorini, Melissani Cave
  • Germany: The Black Forest
  • Iceland: Glaciers, ice caves and volcanos
  • France: The Verdon Gorge
  • Portugal: The Douro Valley
  • Croatia: Plitvice Lakes National Park
  • Austria: Eisriesenwelt
  • Denmark: Faroe Islands
  • The Northern Lights: Found in Finland, Norway and parts of Scotland

You can’t beat a day on the beach, and Europe is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Here are some of our top picks for beaches in Europe:

  • Greece: Mykonos, Crete, Corfu, Rhodes and Santorini
  • Spain: Majorca, Marbella, Benidorm and Costa Brava
  • Croatia: Dubrovnik and Split
  • France: The French Riviera and the Brittany Coast
  • Italy: Positano, Sardinia and Amalfi
  • Montenegro: Ulcinj and Budva
  • Portugal: Lisbon, The Algarve

City breaks in Europe are enjoyed by the British all year round. But, sometimes it is nice to explore a city for longer than an extended weekend, or to explore more than one city within a country during a trip. These are our top cities to visit in Europe when you go backpacking:

  • Italy: Venice, Rome and Florence
  • Germany: Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt
  • France: Paris, Nice and Lyon
  • Spain: Barcelona, Madrid and Seville
  • Czech-Republic: Prague and Cesky Krumlov
  • Portugal: Lisbon, Porto and Coimbra
  • Denmark: Copenhagen and Aarhus
  • Sweden: Stockholm and Gothenburg
  • Norway: Oslo and Bergen

The accommodation you choose really can change the feel of your trip. Choosing the right accommodation as a solo traveller, might be different to those travelling in a couple or as a group.

Hostels are perfect for all types of traveller, alone or in a group. Some hostels are advertised as perfect for solo travellers, and can be a great place to make friends and meet future travelling companions as well. Look into any hostel that you are considering, read reviews and look at their website and social media pages. This will give you the best idea of whether or not that hostel is somewhere that you will enjoy.

Hotels can be a pricier option, but you will often find yourself in more luxury than a hostel. If you are looking to take a break from staying in a dormitory-style room, a hotel can be the next best thing. Most hotels have different standards of room, so if you search properly, you will be able to find something that suits you and your budget.

Air BnB offers a wide range of accommodation types at a wide range of prices. It is well worth looking to see if there are any affordable Air BnBs in the areas that you visit, you might find yourself surprised with the quality and low price of some of them.

Travelling accommodation is also another great option for those of you looking to save some money whilst travelling. There are several Interrail trains that travel through the night, meaning you can get your accommodation and travel ticket all in one! Go to sleep in one part of Europe, and wake up in another to explore! You can purchase Interrail passes that allow you to hop on and off the train as you please using different routes through Europe.

The perfect time to visit Europe depends on your plans when you arrive. If you are keen to experience hot weather, you should explore Europe during the summer months between June and September.

The weather is largely changeable in Europe, and each destination could be different from the last. We would recommend doing in-depth research into the locations you plan on visiting, and planning your route around this. The weather cannot be guaranteed, but it’ll be a great trip no matter rain or shine.

Travelling out of a small bag or a large backpack can be challenging. We’ve put together a list of things you should consider packing for a trip around Europe:

  • 3-4 tshirts/tops
  • 2-3 light blouses/tops
  • 1 evening outfit
  • 1 jumper/zip up for colder weather
  • 2 pairs of trousers
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 1 swimwear outfit
  • 2 pairs of shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • 5-7 pairs of underwear
  • 5-7 pairs of socks
  • 1 pair leggings/tracksuit bottoms
  • Phone & camera chargers
  • European plug converters
  • Any medicine you might need
  • Details of your travel insurance policy

If you’re planning a backpacking holiday, you’ll understand the importance of being prepared for the unexpected whilst you’re away. The nature of backpacking is to explore the world, travel far and wide and sometimes just see where the wind takes you, so, this can mean that things don’t necessarily always go to plan.

Our Backpacker Travel Insurance is suitable for those that are aged 35 and under and plan on travelling a country, or bigger world adventure in one trip. For full details of the terms and conditions that apply, refer to the policy document.

Many bank accounts and credit cards come with some level of travel insurance cover. While some may be comprehensive, they may not cover you for everything you have planned whilst you’re away, particularly if you have adventurous plans or unusual excursions booked. 

Make sure you look into the travel insurance policy that you have before every trip, to make sure it’s suitable for you and your plans.

Purchasing a holiday using a credit card means you are often protected by Consumer Protection cover. In most cases, it allows you to get your money returned to you if your provider defaults and you cannot travel.

If you have booked a holiday through a tour operator or travel agent, it may be worth checking if you are covered by ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) or ATOL (Air Travel Organiser’s License). This type of cover means that your package holiday is protected if, for example, the travel company providing your holiday arrangements or the travel agent themselves fail financially or close down.

Your travel agents will be able to tell you if your holiday is ABTA or ATOL protected. Alternatively, use the links provided to check your cover at home.

Having a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) will entitle you to the government-provided healthcare of the European Union country you are visiting and lowering the medical costs you would normally expect to pay. Although this is a good addition to take on holiday, it should not be seen as a replacement for travel insurance which could provide you with further protection and peace of mind whilst you are abroad. Our travel insurance policies can protect you against many unforeseen eventualities.
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HealthHero 24/7 GP telephone and video consultations
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Our travel insurance policies provide you access to HealthHero – a 24/7 GP telephone and video consultation service* – which connects you with a UK GP to provide the reassurance and professional medical advice you need while you’re travelling abroad.
*For video consultations, time restrictions apply and UK Bank Holidays are excluded.
If you fancy skiing, snowboarding or tobogganing on your next holiday, our Winter Sports and Ski insurance can provide you with cover, so you can start a new hobby or work on your skills with confidence.
With our Annual travel insurance policy, you’re covered for an unlimited number of trips up to 31 days in duration over a 12-month period. You could experience the glitz of Las Vegas, the history of Rome and the beautiful scenery of Bali on the same policy.
Just taking the one holiday this year? Our Single Trip travel insurance can protect you for up to 180 days. Whether you’re taking a city break to Paris or a relaxing beach break in the Algarve, cover is available.
Hiring a car on your holiday can be a fantastic way of exploring the local area. With our Car Hire Excess Insurance policy, you’re protected against the risk of a costly excess if the unexpected happens.
If you want to get the adrenaline pumping on your holiday, then travel insurance that covers sports activities is essential. With our sports travel insurance, you’re covered for scuba diving, bungee jumping and much more.
Whether you’re backpacking in Asia, seeing the sights in Australia or driving down Route 66 in America, our worldwide travel insurance can provide you with cover.
From the bustling capital of Bangkok to the picture-perfect beaches of Khao Lak, Thailand’s a paradise for explorers; our travel insurance for Thailand can protect you as you visit this beautiful country.
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Alternative Cover Options For Pre-existing Medical Conditions

If you have a pre-existing medical condition that we are unable cover under our own policies, you may be able to obtain an alternative travel insurance policy through one of the providers featured in the MoneyHelper directory of specialist travel insurance providers for people with serious medical conditions. Do take time to study and compare the terms and conditions to ensure you have the cover you need. To contact the Money Advice Service for further details of the directory

Call: 0800 138 7777 (lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm)