But don't falter at the first hurdle, specialists say, because you will be able to find cover - at a price.
''Once you're over 70 … everything is a pre-existing condition,'' laments Ruth, 74, of Bondi who has had trouble securing insurance since back surgery for sciatica, despite fully recovering.
The general manager of online insurer Travel Insurance Direct, Ian Jackson, says that while health insurance is ''community rated'', travel insurance is based on the risk of the insurer having to pay out.
''And the older we get, the statistics say, the more we claim.''
His business insures people up to the age of 80, with a ''loading'' for travellers aged between 71 and 80.
Jackson also argues that going online, where the insurer doesn't have to build in costs such as commissions to travel agents, helps keep down the cost of what can be an expensive product.
Peter Arnold, an analyst with financial products researcher Canstar Cannex, says there are several products on its database that go up to age 85 and even some that have no maximum (see box).
''Some will be covered without further ado,'' Arnold says. ''Some will be covered conditionally - you might have to show your medical records or meet certain criteria. Then there are conditions they just won't cover.''
Arnold says your final step may be to phone the insurer to see if the insurance can be tailored to meet your needs - again, probably at a cost.
Natalie Nicastri of Odyssey Travel, a not-for-profit organisation with offices in Sydney and Melbourne and specialising in travel for the over-50s, says it has started using SureSave's TravelClear service, a simplified, phone-based medical assessment system.
This is allowing older clients who wouldn't previously have had access to medical cover to travel, she says.
An Ark General Insurance broker, Michael Klompas, says another alternative is to use a broker to find the right cover.
- rely on basic credit card cover,
- travel with no cover, or
- travel with inadequate cover just because the policy is cheaper.
Call Michael Klompas on 02 92623333 or email him on firstname.lastname@example.org