Holiday bookings are soaring, but what do you need to be careful of?

It’s no secret that the travel industry was hit hard during the Pandemic; people were unable to leave their houses unless essential, planes were grounded, major airports closed terminals and international borders were shut. But, as the world begins to return to ‘normal’, there has been a surge in travel bookings with Brits desperate to head abroad for some summer sun.

A study carried out by travel medical company, Collinson, found that 93% of leisure travellers are planning to travel abroad in the next year, with 43% of them revealing they had put money away during the pandemic to spend on a holiday. Despite the eagerness of some travellers, 48% are concerned about a COVID-related cancellation causing them to lose money.

Whilst most travel companies and tour operators now include COVID-cover as part of their terms and conditions, travellers are urged to also ensure their travel insurance policy is suitable for their needs and offers cover for their concerns. Most travel insurers will now cover cancellation costs if someone named on the policy contracts COVID prior to travel. Cover is not available, however, for travellers who are turned away at borders for not having the correct COVID-related entry requirements i.e. a negative test or evidence of vaccinations. As cover differs between policies and companies, the terms and conditions should be checked carefully.

Collinson also found 44% of those who participated in the study were looking to travel more frequently. Those who do have two or more holidays booked within the next 12 months may want to look at the benefits of a multi-trip travel insurance policy as opposed to taking out several single trip policies. Not only will it be more cost effective, it will also ensure cover is in place for all trips (as long as it is within the destination covered and does not exceed the maximum trip duration) as travel insurance can be easily forgotten when planning a holiday. Individuals named on the policy are also able to travel separately from the rest of the party.

Another essential to check when buying travel insurance is the cover limit for trip cancellation or curtailment. With 63% of travellers saying they would rather spend more money on holidays than material things at home, previous policy cover limits may now not be suitable. Failure to ensure the policy covers the entire cost of the trip will lead to financial if they need to cancel or return home early. Some insurers may offer to cover up to the policy limit, but this is dependent on the individual travel insurers claims policy.

There is still a long way to go for the travel industry to make a full recovery and catch up with the current demand, however after a turbulent few years it is certainly a step in the right direction.