Travel insurance Updated:
While some are looking forward to a Christmas spent at home, others are planning a festive getaway, perhaps over Christmas itself, or in the "Twixmas" season between Christmas and New Year. If you're one of the latter and can't wait to jet off on a festive break – be it to enjoy a traditional Christmas or to escape from it all with a beach holiday – there are plenty of things you need to do to get prepared, and sorting out your finances will be at the top of the list.
According to research from American Express, the typical Brit will spend an average of £226 on breaks over Christmas. Interestingly, men will be going on more extravagant breaks than women, with the expected expenditure standing at £274 and £178 respectively. There's a clear age divide, too, with the over-65s set to be the biggest spenders, splashing out more than double the amount (£484) that 35-44 year-olds are planning to spend (£184).
However, no matter how much you're planning to spend, the end result is the same – you need to make sure you're ready for it. Ideally you'll be using your savings pot for this very purpose, or perhaps you're hoping to get some financial gifts for Christmas that can be put towards your trip, and probably the last thing you'll want to do is pay for it by credit card. Unless you do it sensibly, of course.
Many people have become accustomed to using their cashback or reward credit card in lieu of their debit card – they put their monthly expenditure on these cards to benefit from the rewards they can rack up, and use their monthly income to pay the balance in full. This should only ever be considered by those who are truly organised and confident in being able to repay the balance (you could, for example, set a credit card limit to make sure you don't spend more than you can afford to repay), but for those who can, it could be beneficial.
Remember that you'll need a bit of spending money when you're away, and if you're heading abroad you'll want to look into travel credit cards that don't charge you extra for foreign transactions (using the same repay-in-full method as above), or prepaid travel cards for those who don't want to use credit.
Then there's travel insurance, which is arguably one of the most important preparations of all. Even if you're only going for a weekend break, you'll still want to make sure you're suitably covered – what would happen if you lost your luggage, for example, if your travel money was stolen, or if you required medical treatment abroad? None of these things are nice to think about but it's vital to be prepared for the worst, and with insurance by your side you can get the peace of mind you need.
Make sure to get suitable cover for your kind of trip, too: at this time of year, many people will be heading on ski holidays, and that means you'll need an additional level of cover. While some insurers include ski cover as standard, not all do, so make sure to check the small print so you can be confident that your festive break is planned to perfection.
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Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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