Fall in sterling isn’t holding back holidaymakers | moneyfacts.co.uk

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Published: 11/01/2017
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The fall in sterling may be having an impact on the value of the pound in your pocket, but happily, it isn't putting people off from taking that much-needed break.

Research from Sainsbury's Travel Insurance & Travel Money shows that 75% of respondents are planning a holiday in the UK this year – the same as a year ago – while 66% are planning overseas holidays, barely changed from last year's survey, when 67% were planning to jet off to foreign soil. This shows clear resilience in the overseas holiday market, said the report, despite the cost of holiday spending money having increased for British tourists.

Many will have already booked their main holiday for 2017, too: 23% expected to book by the end of 2016, and a further 12% intend to do so this month, with these early birds clearly liking having something to look forward to in the winter months (it can be a great way to beat the January blues, after all).

But just where will they be going, and how much could it all cost? Well, beach holidays are the most popular choice of overseas trip (30%), followed by city breaks (19%) and cruises (7%), while those favouring a UK destination will be heading on a city break (29%), beach trip (13%), walking holiday (10%) or spa break (7%).

Many are cost-conscious when it comes to their travels, as although 17% will go despite worrying about the cost, 16% are specifically choosing a UK holiday to keep costs down, while 15% will stick to a strict budget and 14% will go on the most purse-friendly holiday possible. Even so, 2017's holidaymakers plan to spend an average of £816 per person on the holiday alone, and that's before add-ons and spending money is taken into account.

The sheer cost involved means it's vital to take out the right kind of travel insurance, yet this is often something that gets pushed to the bottom of the to-do list. Indeed, 6% say they'll buy their travel insurance within the last week of going on holiday, while 1% will leave it until the day of departure, and 18% said they don't plan to get cover for their trip at all.

This could be an expensive mistake. Most policies have some form of cancellation cover that starts from the day you take out the policy, explains Sainsbury's Bank, so if you don't have insurance, you wouldn't be protected should you have to cancel your trip for some unforeseen reason – which could mean that £816 is wasted.

"Whilst lots of holidaymakers are early bookers who like to plan ahead so they have something to look forward to, our research shows that many of them don't pay the same attention when it comes to travel insurance," said Alan Sanderson, head of Insurance at Sainsbury's Bank. "Also if you're booking independently rather than through a travel agent, make sure your policy provides good quality independent traveller cover, as you may not benefit from protection under the ATOL scheme."


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