Now that winter is well and truly on the horizon, many Brits are turning their thoughts to next year's summer holiday, and some have already taken the plunge and booked! According to research from Sainsbury's Bank Travel Insurance, one in 10 UK adults – some 5.6 million people – have already booked their 2019 summer break, and planning ahead could pay dividends.
Many of those early birds are dreaming of jetting off to warmer climes, with 45% of respondents planning a beach break – three times the 2018 amount – while 26% are looking forward to a city break and 13% will be setting sail on a cruise. As for the preferred destination? Europe reigns supreme with 49% of the vote, followed by the UK (29%), North America (8%), Asia (7%) and Australia (5%).
Yet while many are on the ball when it comes to booking their holiday, it seems that they're not quite as organised when it comes to travel insurance, with the research finding that the average traveller only gets round to sorting out their insurance three months before their trip – and 16% never get a policy.
While some have sound reasons – 25% said they were waiting for a good deal or special offer on insurance, for example – others simply put it to the back of the list, with 14% claiming that they don't have the time to buy it. But, given that travel insurance could provide valuable cover in the event of illness, lost luggage or unexpected cancellation, those few minutes spent searching for cover could be time well spent.
"Leaving your travel insurance until the last minute is a risky strategy as travellers could end up uninsured and out of pocket if they have to cancel their trip," said Karen Hogg, head of insurance at Sainsbury's Bank. "Travel insurance usually covers cancellations if a travelling companion becomes seriously unwell, or a relative dies or you're made redundant."
Travel insurance should always be bought well ahead of your holiday – ideally, it should be the next thing on your list after paying for the trip itself. You can easily find quotes by heading to our travel insurance quote tool, and consider opting for an annual policy if you're planning more than one holiday next year, as it could work out cheaper.
If you've yet to take the plunge and book your next holiday, you may be wondering how to pay for it. Ideally you'll have a savings pot ready to go – or if not, you may want to look into getting one with our savings search tool, as you've still got plenty of time to build up a savings pot for next year.
Or what about if you're looking to spread the cost? In this case, a 0% purchase credit card could be ideal, as you can put the holiday on the card and not pay any interest on it for the length of the introductory term. As long as you pay it off before the term ends – ideally, by dividing the balance by the length of the term – you can pay for your holiday in easy monthly instalments, and all interest-free!
Alternatively, for those who are truly financially savvy, a reward credit card could be just the thing – and for travellers, an air miles card could be even better. As long as you've got the money to pay the balance off in full as soon as your statement arrives, putting your holiday on a reward or air miles card could earn you a huge number of points, which could be put to great use in the future. You may even be able to cover the flights for your upcoming trip!
Just make sure your credit score is up to scratch (get a free credit check if you're unsure), and you could be well on the way to covering next year's holiday, no matter where you're jetting off to.
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.