Lazy Brits are hopeless holidaymakers

Article date: 26 January 2004

A third of British holidaymakers travel abroad without knowinganything about the country they are visiting, a new study revealstoday.

Seven out of ten tourists admit they regularly travel withoutthe recommended medical jabs, any travel insurance or even thecorrect visas according to the ‘Holiday Habits’ studyfrom Norwich Union.

And it appears that thousands of clueless tourists are missingout on what should be the most enjoyable weeks of the year simplythrough a lack of planning.

The study of the holiday habits of more than 2,000 adults showsthat 89% of Brits have had a holiday spoilt, often by factors thatcould have been avoided with a bit more planning.

In fact, some last minute holidaymakers admit to travelling tothe Caribbean during the hurricane season or turning up at snowlessski resorts too early or late in the season.

Norwich Union’s ‘Holiday Habits’ study alsoshows:

  • A quarter of people spend under two hours deciding where totravel to – less time than it takes to check in at theairport
  • One in ten people book a holiday with no research about theresort or country they will be visiting
  • Nearly a quarter of lazy Brits admit to not knowing thelanguage spoken at their holiday destination when travellingabroad. And a third of people don’t even learn the basics ofhow to say hello, please, thank-you and goodbye when holidaying ina non-English speaking country
  • ‘Experiencing another culture’ is seen to be theleast important consideration when booking their holiday and 29%have travelled without knowing the local customs of theirdestination
  • 42% of people admit their holidays could be improved if theytook more time to research and plan them
  • A third of young people feel pressured into going on moreexotic and exciting holidays

Frankie Nicholson, product manager for Norwich Union Travel,said: "With the increase in last minute offers and popularity ofbargain holidays on the internet, more people are booking theirholidays in a rush. This means many don’t have the time tofind out key information about their destination, have the correctjabs or courses of medication, some even fail to arrange travelinsurance before leaving the country.

"A holiday is the highlight of the year for many people. Takingthe time to plan your trip in advance can significantly increasethe chances of having an enjoyable experience"

Norwich Union Direct’s Travel insurance includes a travelbooking service which offers thousands of holidays and flights witha ‘price promise’ to match the lowest availableprices.*

Norwich Union Direct Annual Travel insurance also includes aguaranteed discount of 7.5% off the lowest tour operator prices onholidays and charter flights, a hotel booking service and a HolidayPlanner service.

Norwich Union is a partner in the Foreign and CommonwealthOffice ‘Know Before You Go’ campaign, which is aimed athelping British nationals, stay safe when travelling overseas.Additional information on travel destinations is available

For more information about Norwich Union Direct’s travelproducts and services, customers should call 0800 121 007 or receive a 10% discount for taking out cover online.

*A guarantee to match the lowest available tour operatorprice available from an ABTA bonded independent high street travelagent (excluding low cost and direct sell tour operators that donot sell through travel agents).


Media contacts:
Charlotte Speedy or Matt Buchanan at QBO Bell Pottinger on 020 78612424
Lucy Haughey at Norwich Union on 01603 684 916/07860 161 720

Notes to editors:

  • Norwich Union commissioned research into the holiday habits of2255 UK adults. The study was conducted by YouGov in December2003
  • Norwich Union is the UK's largest insurer with a market shareof around 14%
  • With a focus on insurance for individuals and smallbusinesses, Norwich Union insures:
    • one in five households 
    • one in seven motor vehicles
    • more than 800,000 businesses
  • Norwich Union products are available through a variety ofdistribution channels including brokers, corporate partners suchas banks and building societies and Norwich Union Direct
  • Norwich Union’s news releases and a selection of imagesare available on the Aviva internet press centre at
  • An ISDN facility is available for studio quality broadcast.Call the press office on 08703 66 68 68

For all life & pensions media enquiries call 08703 66 6873
For all other media enquiries call 08703 66 68 68

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