How to buy travel insurance for extreme sports destinations
If you're adventure-chasing, thrill-seeking, and always in search of more exciting moments, it might be about time for your next rush of adrenaline. And what better way to do that than visiting some beautiful extreme sports destinations which fall a little off the beaten path?
Whether it's jumping out of a plane, skiing down a snowy mountain or exploring underwater caves, these extreme sports destinations need to be on your adventure bucket list.
If we haven't scared you off just yet, and all this sounds like exactly what you're after, you're in for an adventure-filled trip not to be forgotten with these extreme sports destination ideas!
Best extreme sports destinations to visit next
Best destinations for bungee jumping
If you have unmet dreams of hurling yourself off a building, bungee jumping could be your perfect dose of adrenaline.
But not just any building though, bungee jumping spots around the world have some of the most scenic views to take in. Whether it's taking in city skylines, rivers, valleys or lakes, you'll have plenty to see as you plunge downwards screaming your lungs out. Fun!
Top bungee jumping destinations include Macau Tower in China which at 233 m holds the Guinness World Record for highest bungee jumping point in the world.
Alternatively, if you'd like a backdrop of nature to set the scene for your plummet, Taupo Bungy Lake in New Zealand has a spectacular view of Waikato River and surrounding cliffs to make the fall even more epic. As you reach the bottom, you'll briefly touch the crystal clear water in Lake Taupo just before you're pulled back up to safety.
Meanwhile, there's also the bungee jumping point at the Victoria Falls bridge situated on the Zambia-Zimbabwe border, where you'll want to go nowhere near the water as the Zambezi River below is home to basks of crocodiles!
In 2012, a bungee jumping accident occurred here where a 22-year old woman from Perth, Australia, actually fell into the murky water below as her bungee cord snapped, before being rescued and surviving with only minor injuries! Yikes.
Best destinations for surfing
Are your friends still more keen on a beach holiday? Not to worry! There's no reason you can't sneak off to catch some waves while they relax on the beach or by the pool.
While surfing may not be the first extreme sport that comes to mind, it is, in fact, one of the most dangerous sports in the world. Some surfers even attach themselves to jet skis which take them far out to sea where waves can go up to 70 metres!
Sydney in Australia is world-renowned for being home to around 70 of the best beaches to catch some impressive waves.
Along the northern side of Bondi Beach, Sydney's most famous beach, you'll find surfing beginners, boogie-boarders as well as bodysurfers. Head south of this beach and you'll be in the company of more seasoned surfers and more unpredictable waves due to this end of Bondi being more exposed to the Pacific Ocean.
As with any extreme sport, there are risks, and Sydney is no stranger to strong riptides, which can pull surfers far out to sea, or even Great White sharks which make occasional appearances.
The good news is that a string of well-trained lifeguards are stationed along Bondi, and as long as you swim between the red and yellow flags which mark the safer areas to swim, you should be good to go. There are even drone services like Drone Shark which now detect sharks in the water, alerting lifesavers more quickly to get swimmers safely evacuated.
If the thought of Great Whites swimming alongside you makes you a little queasy, closer to home, certain beaches in Malaysia like Tanjung Simpang Mengayau, Kudat, Sabah, have waves which go up to six feet high. Perfect for beginners!
Best destinations for skydiving
Ever have those days where you wake up and just feel like jumping out of a plane? Yeah, us too.
Don't fret, there are tons of skydiving destinations around the world for you to live your dreams of being dropped thousands of feet above the ground with nothing but a parachute and perhaps a tandem instructor strapped to your back.
Tandem skydiving is the relatively safer option, as you'll have a tandem instructor to deploy your parachute, navigate the landing and listen to your screams the whole way down on your descent. Isn't that comforting?
Skydiving in Palm Jumeirah in Dubai offers you a fantastic view for your dive as you take in the "City of Gold" and the artificial palm-shaped archipelago below.
Meanwhile, Pattaya City in Thailand is another great skydiving destination option that's even closer to home. Here, you're dropped from up to 13,000 feet before your parachute is deployed at 5,000 feet where you start to drift back down to solid ground.
Best destinations for volcano boarding (Wait, what?)
Volcano boarding, also known as volcano surfing, is the act of surfing down volcanic ash on the side of active volcanoes at up to 72 km/h. Yup, this is officially a thing.
A favourite spot for volcano surfers is the active volcano, Cerro Negro, located in Nicaragua. In 2006, Australian Darryn Webb had climbed to the top of the volcano and was looking for a faster way to go back down. He then proceeded to use fridge doors, surf boards, even mattresses to surf back down the mountain. As you do...
And that's how volcano boarding began.
What are the risks? Abrasions from volcanic ash and contact with flying molten lava, to name a few.
And you thought jumping out of a plane was wild.
Best destinations for white water rafting
Picture rushing down a gushing river passing the most scenic sites as you hang on to a raft for dear life. That's white water rafting.
The sport has been around for a while and is, in fact, one of the riskier extreme sports on this list.
While you might think that jumping off buildings and planes would be more dangerous, white water rafting presents the danger not only of falling out of a raft into running water, there's also the risk of colliding with rocks as the raft runs the rapids.
Planning a trip to Bali soon? One great spot to try out white water rafting in Bali is Telaga Waja River where you'll get some major thrills from the rapid current.
If you're a beginner looking to dip your toes into white water rafting for the first time, another option for white water rafting in Bali would be Ayung River, just 20 minutes away from the Ubud area. And a little closer to home, you could give Kuala Kubu Baru in Malaysia a try as well.
Does travel insurance cover extreme sports?
When visiting extreme sports destinations, it's important to seek out the right travel insurance which offers you the best protection.
How to choose travel insurance for extreme sports destinations
Check if your sport is covered
Not all extreme sports are made equal, and each comes with its own level of risk.
This means some travel insurance providers may be willing to take on the risk of surfing which carries a relatively lower risk, but are unwilling to compensate you if injure yourself while mountain climbing, which is generally riskier.
For example, while the Axa SmartTraveller policy includes coverage for bungee jumping, it doesn't cover mountain climbing. On the other hand, Ergo TravelProtect policy does cover scuba diving but explicitly excludes any form of motorsports.
Other policies provide coverage for certain sports but only under certain pre-conditions. For instance, AIG Travel Guard does cover scuba diving but only up to a depth of 30m and with the presence of a certified diving instructor.
Check the coverage amount
Always be sure to check how much coverage you'll get for each sport. Coverage you'll receive for extreme sports should include coverage for death or injuries resulting from the activity you choose. This would include repatriation to your home country and medical expenses for any injuries.
The amount of coverage will vary from provider to provider but it's important to consider the exchange rate of the currency of your destination and the standard costs of healthcare there. With that, you'll get a better idea of how much coverage you need and the best travel insurance policy to suit you.
What if I don't know which activity I'll be trying yet?
If you're looking to be a little spontaneous with planning your trip, you may not have decided yet which extreme sport to try next.
Not to worry. All you need to do is bring along a copy of your travel insurance policy to check if the particular sport you're keen on trying is covered.
And there you go, you're all set for your next extreme sport adventure!