Travel insurance is a necessity when you go away, but if you’re lucky enough to be planning more than one holiday this year, you might be wondering whether to take out single trip or annual cover.

A single trip policy, as the name suggests, will only protect you for one holiday, usually up to a maximum length of 30 days. Annual cover, however, will protect you for any number of trips in a year, again provided that each trip doesn’t exceed a maximum number of days. There will also usually also be a limit on the total number of days you can be away in the year. For example, you might only be covered for being away for a total of 183 out of 365 days, with a maximum 30-day limit per trip. 

Here, we look at which type of policy is likely to be most cost-effective for you, depending on the number of holidays you plan to take this year, and your individual circumstances, such as your age and whether you have any pre-existing medical conditions.

If you’re looking for travel insurance, we have partnered with Staysure to provide you with first class travel insurance, tailored to suit your needs. There’s no upper age limit and they’ll cover most pre-existing medical conditions. You can also take advantage of their 20% discount, just quote REST03 at checkout.

Discount applies to the base premium of the policy only and not to medical screening costs or add-ons where relevant. Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply.

When is annual cover a good idea?

If you’re planning to make more than two or more trips in a year, it’s likely to be worthwhile looking at a multi-trip annual policy rather than several single trip policies. Be aware, however, that as you get older, the length of time you will be covered for is likely to reduce, so it’s worth checking the small print on any policy you’re considering buying to make sure you are covered for all the time you’re planning to spend abroad.

It’s also worth thinking about the types of holiday you’re planning to take. Holidays based around particular activities, such as cruises or skiing holidays, often need to be covered by specialist travel insurance policies, which provide protection for specific mishaps related to what you’re doing. That means if, for example, you’re planning to take two short city breaks and a skiing holiday, you might want to take out three separate policies, as one of these will need to include specialist winter sports cover.

How your age and health can affect your decision

It isn’t just the number of trips you plan to make that can determine whether a single trip or annual policy is the best option for you. Your age and health can also have an impact.

For example, if you’re aged over 65 or have pre-existing health conditions it may be more cost-effective to go for single cover. In some cases this will be the only travel insurance you can buy as some insurers may deem it too risky to insure you for a year if you’re likely to fall ill and require treatment.

A spokesman for the Association of British Insurers, the trade body for the insurance industry, said: “If you travel two or more times a year, you may want to consider buying a multi-trip policy which is usually issued for a 12 month period. Single trip policies may be more cost effective, even if you travel multiple times a year, if you are an older traveller or have a medical condition.”

It’s vital to always be completely honest when applying for travel insurance and declare all medical conditions, as failure to do so could invalidate your policy. You can find out more about this in our guide How to find travel insurance if you have pre-existing health conditions.

Get 20% off your travel insurance quote from Staysure

We have teamed up with Staysure to provide you with first class travel insurance, tailored to suit your needs. You can also take advantage of our 20% discount, just quote REST03 at checkout.

‡Discount applies to the base premium of the policy only and not to medical screening costs or add-ons where relevant. Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply.

Get a quote

Check your bank account!

Before you buy travel insurance, if you have a packaged bank account, check whether you don’t already have annual cover included in your range of benefits. A packaged bank account is an account which charges you a monthly fee in return for various benefits, such as breakdown cover, travel insurance, or mobile p insurance.

Bear in mind that if you find out your bank account does come with travel insurance, The travel policies included in packaged  accounts are often quite basic and may not be as flexible or generous as those you can buy directly from a travel insurer. You may have to pay extra if you’re aged 65/70 or over and these policies may be more restrictive in terms of the cover they offer if you’ve had an illness in the past.


Whether you decide a single trip or an annual policy is the best option for you, the most important thing is that you take out cover as soon as you’ve booked your trip. This means that you’ll be protected from that moment onwards, so if you aren’t able to travel due to unforeseen circumstances, such as an accident, illness or a family bereavement, you won’t end up with financial losses on top of being unable to travel. You can find out more about travel insurance in our guide Everything you need to know about travel insurance.

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