UK: Foreign travel is more important than DIY, savings or pension - say UK holidaymakers

  • But fewer than four in 10 insure their travel plans when they book
  • And one in 10 don’t bother with travel insurance

Having at least one foreign holiday this year is more important than putting money into savings, improving the home or topping up a pension, according to a new survey of 2,000 British holidaymakers by leading insurer Aviva.*

More than half of people polled (57%) said a foreign holiday is one of the three most important ways to spend spare cash, with ‘savings’ coming way behind in second place as the choice of 33% of respondents. Home improvements were picked by 23% of people questioned, but pensions were a priority for just 8% (see full list in notes to editors).

Aviva’s Holiday Report also found that people plan to spend £1,400 per person on average on holidays this year, even before spending money is taken into account.

And although UK holidaymakers consider a break to be the most important way to spend disposable income, more than a quarter (28%) risk losing it all by putting off buying travel insurance until less than a month before they go on holiday - and almost one in ten (9%) don’t buy it at all.

Adam Beckett, Propositions Director for Aviva, said: “There’s no doubt that getting away from it all with a holiday abroad is a great way to relax and is, quite rightly, a highlight of the year for many of us. However, could prioritising a holiday abroad over savings or a pension be a risk to financial resilience? Making decisions about how we spend our money, whether it’s on the here-and-now or on protecting our future, is a tricky balance. Making small financial sacrifices today could not only contribute to financial resilience but also help to you ensure you can continue having those all-important holidays in the future.”

“Booking a holiday and then not buying travel insurance until the last minute is a false economy. Travel cover is not only designed to protect you while you’re on vacation, but also to cover against anything which might stop you from travelling. If you, or someone close to you, unexpectedly fell ill before your holiday meaning you couldn’t travel, you’re likely to lose that hard-earned money you’ve spent on the vacation.”

The main reason most people buy travel insurance is to pay for a medical emergency while on holiday (64%). This is followed by paying for the cost of a holiday if they, or a family member, became ill beforehand and couldn’t travel (25%). While 8% said it was to cover lost or stolen luggage while on holiday.

Aviva’s advice for buying travel insurance:

Buy travel insurance when you book your holiday: The best time to get it is as soon as you book your holiday. It’s not just designed to protect you while you’re away, but also to cover you against anything that might stop you from travelling. That could be you, someone you’re travelling with, or a close family member unexpectedly falling ill before your trip. It would also cover cancellation if your house became uninhabitable through something like flood or fire.

Tell your travel insurer about any changes to your medical history: Whether you’re buying a policy, renewing, or booking a trip under an annual policy, you should always update your insurer with your most recent medical information. This includes any investigations, diagnosis or hospital stays within the last 12 months. If in doubt, always call your insurer.

Tell your travel insurer about an illness in the family which might prevent you from travelling: As with your own medical cover, insurance might not be valid if your trip is jeopardised by a relative or travelling companion’s poor health, if the illness is caused by a known or on-going condition. You must declare all medical conditions beforehand and check with your insurer exactly what circumstances are covered.

Check whether your personal belongings are covered under your home insurance before buying baggage cover: It is worth checking if your home insurance includes cover for personal belongings away from the home as it could mean you don’t need to buy baggage cover.

Media Enquiries:

Aviva Press Office | Katy Hurren | 07800 692548 | | @Katy_Hurren

A copy of the Aviva Holiday Report, published June 2017, can be downloaded from the media centre on by clicking this link: Aviva Holiday Report.

Notes to editors:

1 Aviva Holiday Report, June 2017: Based on a March 2017 survey by Censuswide of 2,000 18+ GB adults who have taken a holiday in the past two years.

UK holidaymakers’ most important ways to spend disposable income:

  1. Having at least one foreign holiday           (57%)
  2. Savings                                                   (33%)   
  3. Having at least one holiday in the UK        (32%)
  4. Home improvements                                (23%)   
  5. Socialising                                              (20%)   
  6. Clothes                                                   (19%)   
  7. Keeping fit                                              (11%)   
  8. Buying a car                                            (9%)    
  9. Beauty                                                    (7%)    
  10. Pension                                                   (7%)
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