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Holidays are sacred to the UK, no matter what the cost

18th April 2011

Some Brits would risk everything to get away this year

3.2 million people would cut travel insurance from their budgets in order to have more spending money on holiday this year, according to a survey by Direct Line.

The research revealed that cutting back on duty-free (61%), or new clothes (60%), are the most popular ways to save money for travellers on a budget. However, one in 15 UK adults are willing to risk their luggage, health, or even the cost of their holiday by travelling uninsured.

The research also showed that people in some groups are more likely to risk travelling without insurance than others:

  • Men (9% or 2.9 million) are twice as willing to cut travel insurance as women (4% or 1.0 million)
  • People in London (9% or 0.6 million) are twice as willing to cut travel insurance as those in Yorkshire & Humberside and Wales (both 4% or 0.17, 0.10 million)
  • People aged 18-34 (12% or 1.78 million) are more likely to risk travelling without insurance than people aged 55 and over (2% or 0.32 million).

Tom Bishop, head of Direct Line travel insurance, said: "Looking for a great holiday at a great price is the first thing on most people's minds when they want to get away. One thing that's easy to forget is how much it would cost if things went wrong. Going without travel insurance could mean shelling out for lost luggage, medical expenses, or even losing the cost of your holiday if you have to cancel.

"The easiest way to make sure you’re protected all year round, whenever you decide to travel, is to buy an annual policy. Whichever policy you choose, ensure it is in force as soon as you book your travel arrangements, so that you're protected in case of strikes, cancellations, or any other unforeseen events."

According to Advantage Travel Centres, many people are using the consecutive four-day weekends to get up to an 11 day holiday with the need to only take three days of leave from work, while others are waiting until the last minute to book a country getaway or short European city break. Many Brits are choosing to escape the Royal Wedding festivities altogether at the same time as many tourists flock to London to be part of the celebrations.

John Sullivan, spokesperson for Advantage Travel Centres, said: "The upcoming four-day weekends are the perfect opportunity to get away for a short break, whether you want to stay in the UK or take a quick trip abroad. The savviest savers will have booked their trips months ago, but there are still plenty of late deals to be had if you know where to look. Independent travel agents have specialist expertise, so they can find you the great deal, hidden gem or perfect escape you're looking for."

The threat of airline strikes or the financial collapse of travel providers can wreak havoc on plans for a relaxing holiday, but travel insurance from Direct Line can protect against all of these things. There's cover for medical treatment if you or a member of your party have an accident or fall ill, emergency cash transfers if your purse or wallet gets stolen, and the cost of your trip will be protected if your airline or tour operator goes bust.

Direct Line recommends that all travellers should buy travel insurance as soon as they book their trip, so that they are protected in case anything goes wrong before they pack their bags, as well as once they've left home.

For more information please contact Erica Nelson PR Manager for Direct Line on 0208 313 5830 or Email:

Notes to editors: Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 2,007 UK adults aged 18+ from 28-31 January 2011, on behalf of Direct Line. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria. [OP1864] The population figure used for comparison was 49.5 million, the 2011 UK adult population projection from the Office for National Statistics.

Advantage Travel has 800 independent travel agents across the UK

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides car, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc. Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0845 246 3761 or visiting