If you are going to come and visit this amazing country, or decide to take the plunge, change your life and  teach English, then you are going to need travel insurance.

Yes, I know. It’s expensive and feels very insignificant while sat in the comfort of your own home, surrounded by family and loved ones, when you are safe and well.

But when alone, on the other side of the world, having just had a road accident, broken your leg, caught dengue fever or are needing antibiotics, you will be glad that you have it. It will be priceless.

More to the point, when you are critically ill in hospital, needing to be flown home for whatever reason or need to undergo serious treatment, you will definitely want the insurance. I have seen dodgy Vietnamese hospitals… you do not want to be in one of those…

If you don’t do it for you, do it for the peace and mind of friends and family back home, who will all be worried about your welfare no doubt!

Vietnam is not the same as your home country. The standards and levels of hygiene are not the same… don’t end up where you don’t want to be with no way out!

Now for recommendations for travel insurance there’s no contender for me. STA Travel specialises in travel insurance for 18-30 year olds, and the young at heart!

I have used their insurance for the past five years and it has been fantastic. I would not go with anyone else. (I nearly did, once, because it was significantly cheaper, only to find that the benefits just didn’t compare!)

In this blog I am going to tell you EXACTLY why I choose STA travel every time.

1) You can renew the policy from abroad.

I cannot stress the importance of this. The majority of travel insurance policies cannot be renewed from abroad. This means that if you book insurance for six months and then end up staying a year or longer- which has happened to me and many other people who I know- then you are stuck without insurance on the other side of the world, with no way of renewing. THIS SUCKS.

2) You can pay a medical waiver fee

The cost of walking through the door to see a doctor in Vietnam (and many other countries) is $100 or more. This means that if you need to see a doctor urgently you must first choose whether you want to fork out the $100… However, with STA travel’s medical waiver you can claim every penny back on your medical insurance without the standard $100 excess. Perfect! Go to a doctor twice in one year and you just saved $200…And trust me, $200 goes a LONG WAY in Vietnam!

3) Another thing that as a long term traveller has always infuriated me is that the minute you land back in your home country your insurance is void. This means that if you pay for a year’s worth of travel insurance but then your best mate decides to get married, your sister has a baby or you find a cheap flight back home, doing so will void your travel insurance and waste your money. It means you always have to carefully plan how long you will away for, or book insurance for shorter periods of time, which costs more money. This again wastes your money. However, STA are constantly working on improving products for their customers. They have just introduced a new system where if you are away for more than six months you can come back at any time and not void the insurance. Thanks for being on it guys.

4) Another WOW factor with the STA travel insurance policy is that they have just partnered with Push Doctor, which enables you to talk to a doctor from anywhere in the world for the duration of your insurance policy.You can access this on your tablet, smart phone or PC from anywhere, for up to 15 hours a day. (Opening times are GMT 7am-10pm). Here you get unlimited appointments (for a set amount of time) for free, plus £20 per ten minutes after that and only £10 for referral letters/sick notes and £4 for subscriptions.

5) Many insurance companies don’t cover you for “activities” which could be anything from roller skating to skate boarding, or from walking to abseiling. If you’re the adventurous type, you might find yourself having an accident on a rock climbing trip near Hanoi, doing Muy Thai in Ho Chi Minh, canyoning in Dalat or trekking in Sapa, only to find that you are not in fact covered because you were doing more than just walking down the street. At STA they have over 100 activities which come included as part of the package, as well as all the add ons.

On top of this it has the usual travel insurance benefits such as a 24/7 medical helpline, cover for mobile phones, laptops and your expensive items, up to £15 million in medical expense cover (the type that will get you flown out of a dodgy hospital and back to your own country when you really need it), up to £10,000 cancellation cover and up to £3000 personal possession cover.

*Subject to change. Check your policy details carefully and speak directly to STA for more information.

If you want to take a look at their price plans then you can do so here.

They also do great deals on Cash Cards, Flights and much more. Check out their products here.