Survey: Young travellers take risks

Young jet setters seduced by travel are putting their lust for adventure
before their own personal health and safety, a new report by experiential
travel specialist i-to-i has revealed.With gap season looming, the research revealed that less than half of the
young travellers surveyed (40 percent) increase their levels of caution
when visiting new and exotic destinations - men being the worst offenders
with just over a third (35 percent) upping their safety levels whilst
abroad.

Male travellers also proved to be the biggest risk takers with a quarter
(25 percent) actually owning up to taking more risks travelling than they
would at home. Thirty percent admitted to frequently exploring new cities
alone at night, compared to the more safety conscious opposite sex, 87
percent of whom would not take the risk and wait for either day time or
someone to explore with rather than risk stepping out alone.

When it comes to keeping in touch with friends and family to keep them
informed of their movements, less than half (45 percent) of those surveyed
admitted to ever bothering.

Deirdre Bounds, i-to-i founder comments, “Keeping people in the loop may
seem over cautious but it?s better to be safe than sorry - if people have
an idea of where you are - if you do encounter difficulties, help and
support will reach you so much quicker.”

“At i-to-i we not only know where all our volunteers are, but we also have
excellent in country coordinators located close to all our placements and
usually native to the country. This provides a tight network of support,
with someone close by who knows where you are and can be on hand to help
should you need it.”

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With young travellers seemingly taking more and more safety risks abroad,
perhaps the most worrying finding is how few young travellers take out
adequate insurance. Less than half (49 percent) arrange sufficient
insurance for their travels, a frightening statistic considering the cost
of an air ambulance plus medical fees can mount up to over GBP100,000.

Bounds adds “Travel insurance is absolutely paramount when planning your
trip abroad which makes it even more shocking that more and more youngsters
are cutting it out in a bid to save cash.”

Replacing lost possessions is just part of what your insurance covers -
far more crucial is the cover it provides for medical expenses. The NHS
can’t help you when you’re stuck in the Far East and costs to get you in
and out of hospital can be frightening. At i-to-i we feel extremely
strongly that this is the last place young people should be cutting
corners. For this reason, comprehensive insurance is included with all our
volunteer projects to ensure that all our travellers are fully covered
whilst on one of our ventures around the world.”

In addition to these findings, the survey also revealed that:

43 percent of travellers drink more alcohol abroad than they would at home

A third (32 percent) of all males interviewed admit to being offered
illegal drugs abroad compared to just 15 percent or females
Just a quarter (26 percent) of travellers carry out any sort of research
into their destination prior to departure.

Bounds concludes “travelling gives people a wonderful sense of freedom and
the opportunity to immerse themselves in new cultures, meet new people and
have exciting one-off experiences. At the same time however, young
travellers need to bare in mind that they are visiting places which are
often completely different to home and where they will stick out like a
sore thumb! It is important to be aware of your surroundings and take
sensible risks rather than stupid ones, or your once in a life time trip
could end up being memorable for all the wrong reasons.”
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