The dos and don’ts of a half-term holiday, according to an insurance provider

Hands holding a yellow aeroplane toy

Recent research from Aviva reveals that over a third of Brits (35%) are choosing to holiday in the UK this year, and 37% are opting to holiday abroad. With this in mind and half-term just around the corner, Aviva’s Kelly Whittington, Director of Travel Claims, has pulled together the ultimate check list to help give you peace of mind when it comes to protecting you and your finances:

1. DO purchase travel insurance as soon as you’ve booked your holiday - and that means holidays in the UK too! 

One in nine UK holidaymakers who plan to go away this year (11%) admit to never purchasing travel insurance, which is designed to help you in the case of an unforeseen emergency1. This could either mean something that occurs on holiday or an incident that happens beforehand that disrupts travel plans. By taking out travel insurance as soon as you book your holiday, it will give you peace of mind knowing that you are protected, both in the lead up to your trip and while away.

Although some may not think about travel insurance for a holiday in the UK, it can be a useful lifeline. Aviva research finds that those staycationing this year expect to spend £855 on average per person and travel insurance can help protect you if you need to cancel or cut short your trip. For holidays in the UK, most travel insurance policies will cover pre-booked holiday accommodation of two nights or more.

2. DON’T get travel insurance at the airport or once you arrive at your destination

Aviva research shows that over one in nine holidaymakers going away this year (12%) plan to purchase travel insurance either at the airport or when they have arrived at their destination. By doing so, travellers may not realise that they would be unable to make a claim, should the worst happen. This is  for a couple of reasons – firstly, because most insurers will state that all journeys must start from the UK. Secondly, you wouldn’t be covered for a journey that has already begun (which technically counts as soon as you’ve left your front door). Getting into the habit of taking out cover as soon as you’ve booked your trip is one way to make sure you’re protected from the get-go. 

3. DO check you’re covered for whatever you have planned

According to Aviva research, 1 .5 million Brits are set to go on a winter sports holiday this year2. While most standard travel insurance policies will cover you for a range of activities, they don’t always provide cover for injuries sustained during winter sports unless you purchase optional winter sports cover. This covers you for medical expenses as a result of incidents during the likes of snowboarding and skiing, while also providing cover against things like damage to your equipment, piste closures, or if you can’t take part in the fun because you’re not well. A broken leg alone, for example, can cost up to £7,500 during winter season so it’s worth considering purchasing the add-on. The same goes for more high-risk activities such as paragliding, which isn’t always included as standard. If in doubt, check your policy documents or speak to your provider.   

4. DON’T travel against government travel advice

If the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all travel, but you decide to travel anyway, you probably wouldn’t be able to make a claim, should you require things like medical treatment or assistance while abroad. Though it may sound obvious, rules change frequently, so it’s worth keeping an eye on both the government website and any local government services for any particular advice before you travel.

5. DO read through your policy documents to avoid being ‘double insured’

Before taking out travel insurance, it’s worth looking at your existing home insurance policy to see if you have personal belongings cover, which could insure your items outside of the home, anywhere in the world. Doing so could help you to avoid duplicating cover with travel insurance for your belongings and could save you some £££s for your holiday. Just be sure to check the excess and whether your no claims discount could be impacted as a result.

6. DO declare all medical conditions to avoid potential costly medical bills abroad

Medical treatment abroad can be very expensive, so if you travel without cover for existing medical conditions, this could have serious financial implications for you if treatment is needed for these while you’re on a trip. If ever in doubt about what is considered a ‘medical condition’, check your policy documents or contact your insurer directly.



1. Research was conducted by Censuswide with 2,001 nationally representative UK respondents between 15/12/23 - 18/12/23. 

2. 1.5 million statistic found by asking respondents if they plan on going on a winter sports holiday (2.75%). 55 is 2.75% of 2001 (the sample size of the research), so 2.75% of 54,711,707 (the ONS 2021 midyear estimate) is 1,504,572 which can be rounded to 1.5 million.


Amy Penn

General Insurance

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