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Only 13% of Brits happy to travel abroad in 2021

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According to new research, foreign holidays are off the cards for most Brits this year, with only 13% saying they would be happy to travel overseas. 

Currently, COVID restrictions prohibit foreign holidays and, travellers returning to the UK are required to quarantine.  Government plans and timing for overseas holidays have yet to be finalised, while they await the ban on leisure travel to be lifted, two thirds of UK adults are planning a staycation.

The research, commissioned by GoCompare Travel Insurance found that hotels and B&Bs (25%) and self-catering accommodation (21%) topped the list of UK holidays planned for 2021.  Other types of staycations include staying with friends (17%), while 13% are planning to holiday in a caravan, motorhome or campervan in UK. One in ten will go camping, 9% are planning a break in an Airbnb or similar accommodation and 7% are hoping to stay at a theme park.

When asked about their holiday plans for this year, just shy of a quarter (23%) said Covid was the reason that they will holiday in the UK, with 31% saying they are worried about traveling abroad because of the virus.  Concerns about possible delays or COVID quarantine requirements for foreign travel were front of mind for 30% of respondents.    One in ten said they were planning a staycation because they can’t afford to go abroad this year, while 16% will holiday in the UK because they prefer it to going overseas.

The survey also looked at whether people financially protect their staycation with travel insurance.  Depending on the location, type of accommodation, length of stay and the number of people holidaying – a staycation can cost £100s if not £1,000s.  The survey found that most (71%) of staycationers don’t bother with travel insurance, a third of whom don’t think it’s worth buying cover, while 12% don’t believe travel insurance provides any cover for UK holidays.     

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Unexpected and expensive incidents can, and do occur, on staycations as well as foreign holidays.  While the NHS makes insurance for unexpected illness or injury unnecessary for UK holidays, hospital treatment would be given at the location of the holiday, rather than at a hospital closer to the insured’s home.  Travel insurance can provide help for you to be transferred to a hospital that’s closer to home, which wouldn’t be covered by the NHS, unless medically necessary. 

Travel insurance also provides a financial buffer against pre-paid travel plans and accommodation being cancelled due to a range of unforeseen events – these could include illness, injury, redundancy, bereavement, and travel delays.  For cover to apply, insurers typically require the policyholder to have pre-booked at least two consecutive nights’ pre-paid accommodation at a commercial establishment, for example, a hotel or B&B. 

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Hannah Isitt from GoCompare Travel Insurance commented: “With overseas travel currently suspended, and uncertainty about how and when it will resume, many Brits are planning staycations.  If you’re thinking about holidaying in the UK this year, you should still consider taking out holiday insurance as soon as you book your holiday – just as you would for a vacation abroad.  While you may not need to worry about medical cover, there is still very valuable cover available in terms of financial protection for cancellations and baggage loss or damage.

“Restrictions and precautions against the coronavirus pandemic vary within the different countries that make up the UK.  As the situation changes, the rules can change at short notice.  The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) regularly updates its advice about travelling in the UK – so, it is important to check the rules for the area of the UK you are travelling from, as well as your destination and, follow advice for both.  If you travel against FCDO advice, you won’t be covered by your travel insurance.”

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For more information on UK travel insurance visit: https://www.gocompare.com/travel-insurance/uk-cover/


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