Are you feeling the January blues? You're not alone. The festive season has come to an end, the New Year celebrations are already a dim and distant memory and the country is bracing itself for the first full week back at the office, so it's little wonder that we'll soon be faced with Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year (this year it's set to be 16 January). So how can you beat the blues? Book a holiday, of course!
Many people are doing just that. Research by Lightspeed/Mintel has found that Brits are most likely to plan a holiday during the first two months of the year – 31% of respondents said they planned to book a holiday in January and 30% said the same about February, compared with just 22% in August.
It could be perfect timing, too, with many travel companies offering discounts and promotions at this time of year, so it's worth keeping an eye on their social media accounts or signing up to mailing lists. Keep an eye out for voucher codes, too, and you may be able to bag a particularly good bargain.
It's clear that many people want to jet off to sunnier climes; after all, it's always nice to have something to look forward to. However, few seem think that far ahead when it comes to their finances: the figures showed that over 60% fail to arrange travel insurance until the last minute, which could lead to rushed decisions.
Those 60% left it until the last month before departure to arrange travel insurance, while 17% arranged it within a week of leaving and 2% bought it on the day of departure. This not only means you may be cutting it fine, but could also leave you open to financial loss: additional figures from the Association of British Insurers show that the average holiday cancellation costs £800, so if you hadn't arranged travel insurance and an unexpected illness or incident stopped you from getting away, you could seriously lose out.
Then there's the fact that you could be forced to choose your policy quickly without giving it the attention it deserves. There's a huge number of travel insurance policies out there, and it can be difficult to know which one to pick without spending time properly comparing them. You'll want to consider everything from the features to the cost, and make sure not to skimp on cover if you want complete peace of mind.
We want to help you make the right decision, which is why we've just expanded our Insurance Star Ratings to include travel insurance. We've evaluated the market for you to uncover the policies that will provide the best cover for your needs, with our ratings offering an extra seal of approval – if you spot a product that's got a four or five-star rating, you can be confident in your choice.
The full list of 2017 Travel Insurance Star Ratings winners will be announced next week, but in the meantime, start your own research by using our travel insurance comparison tool. That way, you can get your holiday planning off to the best possible start, and beat the January Blues in the process. Happy travelling!
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.