ABTA reveals Winter Holiday Trends

Posted in General on 31 October 2013

According to research by ABTA Ltd., roughly 1 in 5 Brits are planning to take a winter holiday this year. ‘Winter sun’ holidays are still the most popular destinations amongst those looking to get away during the winter months, although city breaks and winter sports holidays are increasing in popularity.

The figures show a small decrease in the numbers of respondents going away from 21% in 2012 to 19% in 2013, which probably reflects the economic climate, however even with this drop more than 6 million Brits will be heading abroad during the winter period this year.

Winter Sun

The attraction of leaving a cold and wet Britain is still strong with holiday-makers, with winter sun type holidays making up 40% of all trips taken over the winter period. Winter sun holidays are most popular amongst more senior age groups with 60% of winter sun holidays being taken by those aged 55-64. The Canary Islands are the most popular destination for those seeking to capture some sun but other popular destinations include Greece, Malta and Tunisia.

Something to bear in mind is that emergency medical treatment may prove expensive in these countries if you are unfortunate enough to need it. You should read through the medical declaration of your travel insurance policy carefully to see if your medical conditions, should you have any, are covered by the policy. You may have to pay an additional premium to have cover for some medical conditions, depending on your policy.

If you require emergency medical treatment and you do not have cover for the condition you may be left severely out of pocket, particularly if you need emergency medical repatriation to the UK, which is not covered by the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). We highlighted the costs of medical treatment in foreign countries in our previous story: ABI Highlights Importance of Travel Insurance.

City Breaks

Short city breaks have increased in popularity with holiday-makers over the last year, particularly with those under the age of 35; almost half of all winter city break holidays are being taken by this age group.

Recent trends include combining shopping and a dose of festive spirit with significant numbers of people visiting European cities with Christmas markets at this time of year.

Research in June by LV= revealed that British Passports are actively being targeted by thieves in many European countries. Check with your travel insurance policy to make sure that it covers the costs of obtaining an emergency passport and/or additional accommodation should your passport be lost or stolen, as it is usually no longer possible to return to the UK without your passport or emergency travel documents, as was once the case.

All Voyager travel insurance policies include cover for the cost of getting an emergency passport and accommodation as standard. However, it does not, in common with most travel insurance policies, cover the cost of a replacement passport once you have returned home.

Winter Sports

Ski and snowboarding holidays have seen a boost in popularity since last year. ABTA estimates that approximately a million Brits will head for the slopes this year. Winter sports holidays are most popular amongst the 16-24 age group with nearly half of the respondents going away this year.

It’s worth remembering that not all travel policies cover winter sports as standard. Many single trip travel insurance policies will need the winter sports cover added to the policy in order to provide cover for things like medical expenses.

If you have a Voyager annual multi-trip policy winter sports is included within the standard policy giving you 21 days cover for skiing and snowboarding within the year.

For the whole range of Voyager products including winter holiday insurance visit: www.voyagertravelinsurance.co.uk

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