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The $1,300 travel expense that’s easy to avoid

·Personal Finance Editor
·2-min read
Passengers wait at Sydney airport and Australian currency to demonstrate the expense of travelling.
Aussies risk getting hit with a major expense if they don't take out travel insurance. (Source: Getty)

With borders opened again, many Aussies are taking the opportunity to head overseas, but this travel cost could catch many off guard.

A hospital bed overseas is 44 times more expensive, on average, than a travel insurance policy, according to new research by Finder.

Finder analysed the cost of a hospital bed against a travel insurance policy for a one-week trip in July and found a stark price difference between the two.

In New Zealand, travellers would pay $732 per night on average for a hospital bed – 80 times the average daily cost of travel insurance to visit the country.

In the United States, visitors would be required to fork out a massive $1,279, on average, for a one-night stay in hospital – 45 times the daily price of a policy.

In six of the top 10 destinations, travellers would need to fork out more for a hospital bed than they would for an Airbnb stay.

Graham Cooke, head of consumer research at Finder, said skipping travel insurance could come back to bite you.

“Healthcare costs overseas will cost you an arm and a leg, which is the last thing you want to be worrying about if something goes wrong,” Cooke said.

“A basic insurance policy on the other hand comes in between $10-$20 per day, and you can reduce this cost by increasing your excess if you like.”

Cooke said travellers would do well to take out insurance as soon as they booked their trip.

“​​That way, if something happens – for example, if you catch COVID – you'll be covered,” he said.

“If you take out a policy after something happens, your claim will be rejected.”

Country

Cost of a hospital bed per night

Cost of a basic travel insurance policy per day

Cost of an Airbnb stay per night*

India

$17

$12

$63

The Philippines

$30

$12

$65

Indonesia

$37

$17

$54

Fiji

$74

$12

$97

Thailand

$78

$18

$69

New Zealand

$732

$9

$144

Japan

$979

$13

$166

UK

$1,125

$9

$294

Singapore

$1,168

$12

$90

USA

$1,279

$29

$287

*Airbnb prices are for the capital cities in each country, with the exception of the US where New York was used.

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