Winter, water and extreme sports

Whether you’re planning a Christmas ski holiday or thinking about a gap year bungee jump it’s important you’re fully prepared to avoid injuries and expensive medical costs.

Travel insurance for dangerous activities

Man climbing up an icy rock face. © Peter Moynes/Getty ImagesMake sure your travel insurance covers any activities you are planning to do.

Bungee jumping, scuba-diving, jet-skiing and other activities you might do on the spur of the moment on holiday often aren’t covered by standard policies.

Medical costs if you get injured can be extortionate so check your policy before doing anything adventurous.

And never undertake any of these activities whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Few insurance companies will cover you if you injure yourself whilst intoxicated.

You should also see our Travel Checklist and check our Travel Advice for the country you plan to visit.

Water Sports

  • identify safe swimming beaches with coastguards - check local tides
  • avoid swimming off contaminated beaches, in stagnant or polluted water
  • never dive into water of unknown depth
  • check water sports equipment for quality and safety features
  • wear a life jacket for boating, water skiing and other offshore water sports
  • don’t sub-aqua dive within 24hrs of flying (either on arrival or before departure)
  • check your insurance policy for the maximum diving depth it covers
  • wear shoes, trainers or sandals on beaches to avoid infection and foot injury
  • use a high factor sunscreen and re-apply frequently after swimming or exercise

Winter Sports

  • many insurers offer specific insurance for winter sports
  • don’t ski off piste unless it is permitted, you are a competent skier and are insured to do so
  • get fit before you go
  • carry a first aid kit
  • wear warm clothing
  • use a high factor sunscreen
  • don’t ski or snowboard when tired
  • wear all-round eye protection such as goggles
  • be aware of the risks of altitude sickness especially above 3,000 metres
  • check ski bindings for security
  • treat avalanche warnings seriously

Extreme sports

Activities like rock climbing, go-karting and bungee jumping are becoming more and more popular. Think carefully before undertaking extreme sports abroad:

  • check which sports are covered by your insurance
  • check the airline will carry any specialist equipment you want to want to take
  • ensure you are fit and healthy enough for strenuous activities
  • tell the instructors about any pre-existing medical conditions or injuries you have
  • be aware of the risks of altitude sickness when mountaineering and rock-climbing

Taking a gap year?

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Travel Checklist

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Everything you need for a great trip abroad!

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Travel health

Advice on vaccinations and common illnesses

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