Columbus Direct cites rise in holidays abroad this Easter as UK 'staycations' prove to be 25% more expensive

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Dismal weather puts 20% off taking a holiday in England

With Easter holidays just around the corner, many Britons are abandoning the trend of taking holidays within the UK for trips abroad instead. Travel outside the UK over Easter has steadily risen over the last several years and it is fast becoming the busiest travel time for Britons.

However, while 89%¹ of Easter travellers holidayed within the UK in 2012, there is a different pattern for 2013 with domestic holidays dropping by 4% and holidays abroad rising by 10%. According to Visit England, this will mark the first year that UK holidays are dropping and holidays abroad are rising.

There are several factors affecting the trend towards holidays abroad this year. One of the most important considerations for travellers in the current economic climate is value for money. Holidays in London cost 25%² more than the average beach holiday abroad so it’s little wonder that Britons are choosing to broaden their horizons.

Another motivation for Britons to leave the country this Easter has been the unusually poor springtime weather over the last few years. Up to 20%¹ of Brits are planning trips abroad for Easter 2013 as a direct consequence of the poor British weather in 2012. With Spain, Egypt, the Canary Islands and the Caribbean topping British wish lists for 2013 destinations, sunshine is certainly high on the list of desired holiday attractions.

Greg Lawson, Head of Retail at Columbus Direct, commented: “Last April was the wettest in the UK since records began and the coldest April recorded in over 20 years. With the recent unpredictable snowfall, bitter winds and rain, it is no wonder people are looking to get away from the UK this summer.

“The pressure of tougher economic times on our lifestyle choices means that certainty of holiday cost price is becoming a bigger consideration for most people. It is disappointing, but not surprising, to see that a holiday in our capital is 25% more expensive than a holiday abroad.

“At Columbus Direct, we have seen an increase in travel insurance sales in advance of the Easter holidays this year. If customers are looking for value for money on holiday, we assume that they will also be looking for the best price in travel insurance.

“Families that may be travelling in the UK and abroad this year may have an annual policy and it is important to check that each person can travel independently as this allows children to be covered on school trips, for example. Some companies will cover young adults up to 23 years of age on family policies but often this requires them to be resident at the family address in the UK.

“When budgets are tight, it is tempting to focus on price alone but we strongly recommend taking extra time to check that what you might want cover for is included in the cover. If this is still the cheapest policy, then you can buy with confidence. A few extra minutes will save you money in the long run.”

Columbus Direct tips on Easter’s travel insurance:

  •     Check that all the destinations that you are travelling to, or through, are covered
  •     Ensure you have the correct type of insurance in place to cover items such as expensive jewellery, which may not be covered in your travel insurance
  •     Always keep a copy of your insurance policy details with you and saved in your secure email account as back-up. Keep any paperwork, such as tickets, receipts, medical bills, police reports in the event of unforeseen circumstances
  •     Make sure you have the name of your insurance company and the 24-hour international emergency telephone number on you at all times
  •     Check the FCO website http://www.fco.gov.uk/travel for country-specific advice. If you go to an area which the FCO advises against travel to, your travel insurance is unlikely to be valid

-Ends-

Notes to editors

Research

1. Research from Visit England: "The Staycation: - 2012 and Beyond", Autumn 2012

2. Research from M&S Money: "Sun, Sea And Sand or Staycation", 11 June 2012

About Columbus Direct:
Columbus Direct is a leading travel insurance specialist which was established in 1988 selling both online via columbusdirect.com and offline via call centre channels. We have a history of innovation in the industry, including being the first company to sell travel insurance direct to the consumer in the UK and also the first to fully sell a policy online.

Customer satisfaction and value for money are the driving forces behind Columbus Direct and we pride ourselves on providing a quick, efficient and hassle-free service.
We have covered over 15 million holidaymakers since 1988 and our latest customer surveys show that over 95% of customers would recommend us to their friends and family.

Columbus has won multiple awards including Best Direct Travel Insurance Provider in the 2012 Your Money awards, the 2012 ITIJ Travel Insurance Intermediary of the year, 13 Which? Best Buy awards, The Best Customer Focus Award from the Best Business awards, Best Travel Insurance provider from Your Money and also the Best Travel Insurance Provider award from the Personal Finance Awards 2011 and 2012.

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Adrian Beeby
FWD PR
+44 (0)20 7623 2368
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