* 35.6 million Brits are heading abroad for their main vacation this year, bucking last year’s ‘staycation’ trend
* A third of holidaymakers blamed the UK’s recent cold snap as their main reason for travelling abroad to sunnier climes
* However, one in three Brits still plan to stay in the UK for short breaks
* A third of Brits have already booked their main holiday for 2010, but worryingly nearly 60 per cent admit they have not organised travel insurance
* Despite this, 8.5 million travellers admit they have required medical attention on a previous overseas trip
* Lloyds TSB has teamed up with travel expert Jasmine Harman to offer top tips for your 2010 vacation abroad
A survey of more than 2,000 UK residents has found that almost 60 per cent of Brits plan to take their main holiday abroad this year, bucking last years ‘staycation’ trend.
According to new research from Lloyds TSB Added Value Accounts, a third of holidaymakers blamed the recent cold snap as their main reason for wanting to go abroad this year, in search of sunnier climes. However, holidaying in the UK still remains popular, with one in three Brits planning to stay in the UK for short breaks.
Despite the trend towards a foreign holiday, holidaymakers are not going too far afield, with over 60 per cent of Brits holidaying in Europe this year, making it the number one destination for 2010, followed by America (12 per cent), Africa (5 per cent) and Asia (4 per cent). Sun and beach are also the number one priority for travellers this summer (45 per cent), with city breaks also proving to be a popular choice (23 per cent). Only 5 per cent are planning a cruise and a mere 3 per cent have opted for a safari or wildlife trip.
A third of those surveyed have already booked their main holiday for the year, whilst a further 24 per cent are planning to book in the next few weeks. Almost 40 per cent of holidaymakers intend to pay for their holiday abroad on their debit card, with one in three planning to use their credit card, surprisingly nearly a quarter of travellers will pay in cash and only 2 per cent will pay by cheque.
Worryingly, nearly 60 per cent of those holidaymakers who have already booked their vacation this year admit they have not organised travel insurance, with almost half (42 per cent) citing they have just not got round to it. A further five per cent said it was too expensive and two per cent have not booked travel insurance in order to save money on their holiday.
In addition, a shocking 3.6 million Brits admit they always travel overseas without travel insurance; one in five don’t think travel insurance is worth bothering about and a quarter admitted they simply didn’t even think about it. Londoners and 18-24 year olds are the worst offenders for travelling abroad without travel insurance, with 13 per cent and 14 per cent respectively, never booking travel insurance.
These findings come despite one in ten Brits stating they have had an accident or required medical support while on an overseas holiday, and have subsequently used or could have used their travel insurance.
Andrew Piggott, at Lloyds TSB, said: “With more people travelling abroad this year, holidaymakers really need to make sure they have appropriate travel cover to stop their holiday heaven from turning into a nightmare.
“Preparing for holidays can often be stressful and it is easy to forget or not have the time to book travel insurance in advance. However, our Added Value Current Account customers don’t have to buy travel cover as it automatically comes with their current account.”
Lloyds TSB Added Value Current Accounts are incredibly popular with customers, providing account holders with a wide range of useful benefits including car breakdown cover, mobile phone insurance and comprehensive travel insurance, offered by leading providers. Depending on the type of account you have you can get European or worldwide insurance, insurance for just you, you and your partner or cover for the whole family. And there are even accounts which offer winter sports cover.
New customers wanting to open an Added Value Current Account and existing customers wanting to upgrade can visiting a branch, call 0845 3 000 000 or visit www.lloydstsb.com/benefits
Jasmine Harman’s top tips:
1. Packing: There is no need to over-pack with your holiday wardrobe. I once travelled to Thailand for three weeks with only hand luggage. I filled it with bikinis, sarongs, sun-dresses and a pair of high-heeled Red or Dead flip flops. The key to clever packing is, don’t leave it until the last minute. Give yourself time to work out different combinations so you can use the same outfit more than once. A pretty summer frock can be dressed down with flip-flops and a bandana, or dressed up with big jewellery and heels. Most importantly when you are heading to the airport, don’t forget your passport!
2. Insurance – Before you leave, ensure that you have a comprehensive insurance policy in place that will cover you should anything go wrong. Check that you are covered if your luggage goes missing, you are injured or become ill whilst away, you are robbed or you are planning to take part in activities such as water skiing, scuba diving or snowboarding etc. Also check that you don’t already have travel insurance as part of your current account, many package accounts come with worldwide insurance so that can be a great saving.
3. Money: It seems fewer and fewer people are using travellers cheques these days, although they can still be very useful if you are travelling for an extended period or to a remote location. It seems cash machines can be easily found even in most small villages, but beware – you are likely to be charged a percentage of your withdrawal in fees. Check with your bank before you leave, as depending on their policy and where you are travelling to, it may work out cheaper to take money out when you get there than to pay commissions at a Currency exchange in the airport. The usual common sense rules apply; don’t carry large quantities of cash, conceal money about your person in a few different places and use your hotel safe. It is worth remembering that if cash is stolen, you will never retrieve it, but travellers cheques can be replaced. It is very easy to overspend when you are having fun and you get the opportunity to do something new and exciting, but don’t feel tempted to spend all your local currency before you come home. It might feel like monopoly money, but when you change it back you could probably spend it on something more useful than 10 bars of Toblerone from the airport!
4. Safety – If I am travelling somewhere new or off the beaten track, I often check the Foreign Office website (www.fco.gov.uk) for advice on tips on cultural practices and areas to avoid. It offers an insight into the local practices and dangers and may highlight issues that you were not aware of. Awareness is key; don’t do anything stupid that you wouldn’t do at home, like get into a strangers car, or pick up a hitch-hiker. Look out for each other and then you can relax and enjoy yourself.
5. Beauty: I’m often guilty of taking too many cosmetics away with me (in my book, you can never have too much sun cream!), but make up is something you definitely don’t want to overdo on holidays. A smudge of cream blush, a slick of lip-gloss and a touch of mascara should be all you need to enhance that holiday glow. If you can apply it with your fingers you’ll be on the right lines. If you are on a beach holiday, your hair will be naturally tousled and texturised. Don’t obsess over it as holiday hair should be relaxed and easy. A messy quiff held in place with Kirby grips or a couple of tiny plaits for a romantic maiden style will keep hair off your face and look like you’ve made a bit of an effort.