Thrifty travellers plan to penny-pinch

Article date: 10 March 2010

After the "Barbeque summer" that never was and the incessant weeks of snow and ice, getting away from it all is a priority for 2010, with 64% of potential holidaymakers looking to take a holiday abroad this year1. However, a quarter of adults planning a holiday (25%) admitted they will be spending less than in previous years, according to research by Aviva2. More worryingly, almost a third (31%)2 confessed that they would either not be taking out any travel insurance or were undecided about purchasing it.

Of those "thrifty travellers" that are planning to spend less on their main holiday this year many agreed they are planning to be "cash careful" by2:

  • Setting a limit on the amount of spending money they have each day of their holiday (62%)
  • Not treating themselves to any new holiday clothes (45%)
  • Going self catering (41%)
  • Cutting back on eating out whilst on holiday (40%)
  • Looking for a "late deal" cheaper holiday (31%).

Whilst 31% of those going on holiday and looking to save money said they would seek out a bargain holiday by booking late, 30% of travellers will wait to book their holiday until only one or two months before they go and  48% said whilst they would take out travel insurance it would not be when they booked their holiday2.

Jerry Finch, travel product manger at Aviva, said: “After a cold, gloomy winter arranging a holiday can almost seem like a necessity but with the economic outlook still uncertain it does mean most of us are also looking to be careful with our cash. 

“Taking the time to unwind from the stresses of everyday life is one of the best bits of being on holiday which is probably why so many people are looking to enjoy a break this year – even if it means cutting back a little on what we spend whilst we are there! 

“However, cutting back on the essential protection that travel insurance offers can be a false economy. If you haven’t taken out insurance when you book your holiday you may not be covered if for example, you had to cancel your holiday, so don’t leave it too late.

“Remember accidents and illnesses do happen on holiday, and you could end up footing an expensive medical bill if you haven’t taken out travel insurance.  

“In one case, whilst on holiday in Barbados, a customer suffered lacerations when the sink collapsed. They needed medical attention and help travelling home at a cost of £1,355. Fortunately, this tourist had taken out travel insurance so everything was taken care of by us and they probably looked back on that annual policy premium of £52 as being money very well spent!3

“Don’t forget that the EHIC is not a substitute for insurance. If you need to be airlifted home or to get a refund on any unused accommodation because you were in hospital you will have to pay for this yourself and the cost of an air ambulance can run into thousands of pounds!

“To keep costs down just buy what you need – if you are likely to take more than one holiday in a year then check if annual insurance could save you money. This will cover you for any holidays as well as those last-minute shopping weekends and having one policy done for the year saves time too.

“If on the other hand, you know you will only be taking one holiday this year then single trip insurance would be a better option.

“Shop around and compare the amount of insurance cover, not just the price! Whatever you do – don’t travel without insurance!”

Aviva travel insurance tips

  • Organise your insurance policy as soon as you have booked your trip
    If you don’t and something suddenly happens such as a relative being taken ill, causing you to cancel your holiday, you won’t be covered if you haven’t taken out travel insurance, even if the holiday is in the UK.
  • Tell your insurer about any pre-existing medical problems
    If you don’t tell them your claim could be invalid which means you would have to cover all of the costs of your medical treatment.
  • Know your rights if your plane is cancelled or delayed
    As a general rule travel insurance is not responsible for getting you to and from your holiday destination – that is the job of the airline or tour operator. Under EU regulations for air passenger rights, all airlines departing from an airport in an EU member state have responsibilities to assist you if your flight is cancelled or delayed. Insurance can also provide cover in the event of a delay*.
  • Transport problems
    If you miss your flight due to car or public transport problems check your travel insurance will cover you.
  • A bargain is not always the best choice!
    Some insurance policies may seem like a bargain but if the one you choose doesn’t meet your needs or offer adequate cover in the event of a claim, it’s not a bargain.
  • The EHIC is not a substitute for travel insurance, it is complementary to it
    The EHIC (formally the E111) entitles you to state-provided emergency medical treatment in European Economic Area countries. The treatment available does vary between countries and it may not cover all the treatment costs (or any repatriation costs) so full travel insurance is essential.


Media contact:
Sally Leeman, press office, Aviva
Telephone: 01603 684225/07789 270677

Notes to editors:

1 YouGov results found: 64% of those in the UK that are looking to take a holiday of at least one week are taking their main holiday abroad this year.

2 Survey commissioned by Aviva and conducted by YouGov. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2063 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 22-25 January 2010. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

3 Aviva claims data 2009.

* Insurance provides compensation for each 12 hours you are delayed. You are also entitled to abandon your holiday after a delay of 24 hours and in this instance insurance will cover the cost of unused accommodation and travel costs that you cannot get back up to the policy limit.

About Aviva
Aviva is the world’s fifth largest* insurance group, serving 53 million customers across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.

Aviva's main business activities are long-term savings, fund management and general insurance, with worldwide total sales of £45.1 billion and funds under management of £379 billion at 31 December 2009. 

We are the largest insurance services provider in the UK and one of the leading providers of life and pensions products in Europe.   

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* based on gross worldwide premiums at 31 December 2008


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