Travel insurance

Third of beach holiday bookings rushed

6 July 2009

AA European Breakdown Cover

Many UK families who take a seaside holiday abroad will give less than a day's thought to making their destination choice, says AA Travel Insurance.

Around a third of holidaymakers wanting a simple 'bucket and spade' break in the Med or other popular beach destinations will check out offers, make up their mind and book in one go.

AA Travel Insurance fears that either the lure of recession-busting cut-price holidays or shortage of money will make customers less careful when deciding where to go and who to stay with. This could result in disappointment when they arrive at their holiday resort or having to bear the cost of unforseen mishaps.

Normally, just over two-fifths of people looking to book a seaside holiday abroad will take a week to decide, while a further fifth will take up to one month.

Men are a third more likely to book a holiday within 24 hours while women are more likely to take a month looking through the brochures. Sun seekers of retirement age are those most likely to take the greatest care over their holiday travel arrangements and book at least a month in advance.

Do your research

Whether looking for the cheapest deal or picking up on last-minute bargains, holidaymakers should understand exactly what they are being offered and do a bit of research.

The holiday package being offered may be considerably slimmed down on 'standard' extras, such as transfers and airport taxes and some will charge a high premium for 'optional' travel insurance.

Christian Young, AA Travel Insurance's chief executive said: "Holidaymakers are often tempted to just tick the 'insurance' box on their holiday application form as part of the package. But it is important that they make sure they understand the cover they are buying and ensure they get the best option in terms of both cover and cost.

"But wherever you buy your insurance, it is vital to declare medical conditions; otherwise a claim might not be valid. Also, look for 'kids go free' and family offers which will also help save money as well as giving families peace of mind."

Check list

AA Travel Insurance advises travellers who do leave things to the last minute to:

  • Check that your travel operator is a member of ABTA or ATOL before booking your holiday
  • Always check the insurance cover being offered properly meets your needs
  • Put your passports, tickets and travel documents together in a safe place ready for departure and leave copies at home with family or friends
  • Ensure you have packed high protection factor sun cream, especially for youngsters, and wear sun hats when you get there
  • You can arrange AA Travel Insurance at the last minute if you have forgotten to do so, by telephoning 0845 092 1729
  • If you have a home insurance extension for personal possessions anywhere in the world, save money on your travel insurance by excluding baggage cover
  • Take EHIC cards if travelling in Europe (but do not consider them to be a replacement for travel insurance)
  • You and your partner should each keep debit/credit cards while away in case one of you loses a wallet or purse

AA Travel Insurance offers 'kids go free' with single trip and annual multi trip cover, as well as special deals for single parents and discounted online prices.

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6 July 2009