• Over a third of late-booking holiday-makers risk losing money by buying travel money at the airport.
• One in seven do the same with travel insurance
• Nearly a fifth of late-bookers don’t buy any travel insurance
Britons love a bargain when it comes to taking a holiday with eight in ten saying they have taken advantage of a last minute deal. But they are not so canny when it comes to travel money and insurance, a report for Debenhams Personal Finance has revealed.
As much as £100 can be lost, wiping out holiday savings, by people forgetting to check for the best offers and leaving buying travel money and insurance until they get to the airport.
With the cost of late summer holidays set to fall as operators slash prices of unsold hotel rooms and apartments, savings of up to 40% are available on late-booked breaks.*
However, forgetting travel insurance can be a staggering £54 more for family cover for a single trip, when bought at the airport compared to booking in advance** while holidaymakers can be 11% worse off when changing money, that’s £40 on a typical £360 transaction.***
The study, into last minute holiday habits, found that over a third (34%) of respondents admit they have bought travel money at the airport.
One in seven (13%) also confess to leaving insurance to the last minute at the airport, while almost one in five (18%), say they forgot, or didn’t bother purchasing travel insurance, risking medical bills of hundreds of thousands of pounds in cases of serious injury.
Mike Hazell, Director of Debenhams Personal Finance said: “We all love a bargain, but sometimes the thrill of getting a last minute deal means we forget about all the other ways we could save money on the holiday. Instead of cutting costs we may be adding unnecessarily to the overall price of going away.
“You can leave getting travel money to the last minute and still get a good deal by using our in-store service. Cost-effective holiday insurance can be booked online, or by phone right up to the day of travel, with documents sent to you by email.
“Travelling without insurance may seem like an easy saving, but should a medical emergency occur it can be a ruinously expensive decision and in some countries may leave you struggling to secure urgent treatment.”
The study found that thrifty travellers loved to boast about their bargains with 85% saying they considered last minute holidays a good deal and over 50% said they would openly tell other people how little they had paid.
However, when it came to changing cash into foreign currency and ensuring they were protected from injury, theft and baggage losses, many holiday makers seemed unaware they could be losing money.Three out of ten (31%) said they thought where they bought their holiday cash made no difference to the price and over a quarter (27%) thought insurance deals at the airport were just as good, or even better than from a high street agent.
One in five people admitted to paying out for medical bills that they hadn’t insured. Some 15% of holidaymakers found themselves paying £100 or more, one questioned in the survey admitting to having a medical bill of £3,000.
Almost two thirds of those (60%) who holiday in Europe thought they could claim health care through the European Health Insurance Card, but only 18% knew that under new rules brought in last year they would have to pay a patient contribution in some countries.
Mike Hazell added: “The message from our survey is, buy those necessary holiday add-ons like insurance and travel money before you hit the airport to ensure more spending money in your pocket.”
Notes to editors:
Survey of more than 1000 UK adults aged 18 and over, conducted August 2015 by Gorkana.
*Average saying according to moneysupermarket
**Cost of travel insurance for family at airport £70; at Debenhams £16.00
*** Average cost of money at airport 11% more expensive that Debenhams.
Debenhams Travel Money
Debenhams offers travel money at 74 stores. Find out more about Debenhams Travel Money at www.debenhams.com/travelmoney
Debenhams Travel Insurance
Debenhams offer Travel insurance online via http://finance.debenhams.com/insurance/travel-insurance/ or telephone by calling 0843 658 0371.
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