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January sales entice early holiday booking

1st February 2012

  • 8.7 million UK adults have already booked their main holiday for 2012*
  • A further 8.9 million have started looking at deals but haven’t booked yet**

Research commissioned by Direct Line travel insurance shows that the January sales aren’t just for clothing and home furnishings, with many people in the UK taking advantage of discounts on flights, hotels and package holidays to organise their main holiday early in the year.

Nearly 20 per cent of those who have made plans for their main holiday have already booked either short- or long-haul travel arrangements, while another one in five are still weighing up the deals on offer.

Regionally, people in some areas seem to be either more keen to get away or less keen to spend money on a holiday. Only one in five (20 per cent) Londoners said that they weren’t planning to take a main holiday this year, while nearly half of people in Wales (46 per cent) said they were planning to forgo a main holiday.

Adults planning to give up a main holiday this year, by region:

Rank UK Region % giving up main holiday
1 Wales 43%
2 North East 37%
3 East of England 32%
4 South West 33%
5= Scotland 27%
5= Yorkshire & Humberside 27%
7= South East 25%
7= East Midlands 25%
9= West Midlands 24%
9= North West 24%
11 Northern Ireland 21%
12 London 20%
  UK weighted average 27%

Tom Bishop, head of travel insurance at Direct Line, said:
“Whether you’re taking advantage of January sales to book your holiday now, or just scouring the web for deals later on, be sure to book your travel insurance as soon as you book any of your travel arrangements. That way, you’ll be covered for cancellation should you be unable to travel for an unexpected reason, and you won’t have to hunt around for a deal at the last minute.

“Consider taking out an annual policy for another way to save money throughout the year. You’ll be covered for 12 months without having to think about a policy for every trip, including cover for cancellation all year long. If you go abroad more than once a year, or plan to take more than one trip within the UK in addition to a trip abroad, an annual policy may provide better value for money than separate single trip policies.”

Booking now could save you money
Direct Line travel insurance is offering 20 per cent off all annual travel insurance policies bought online, and 10 per cent off all annual policies bought over the phone, from 5 January to 29 February 2012.

For further information, please contact:
Erica Nelson
PR Manager
Direct Line
Tel: 0208 313 5830
Mob: 07919 218 045

Notes to Editors

*Results from a nationally-representative survey by Opinium Research of 2,016 UK adults from 10-12 January 2012, on behalf of Direct Line. 17.4% of UK adults have booked a long-haul or short-haul holiday for 2012. ONS population projections give the UK adult population (18+) for 2012 as 49,924,000 17.4% of UK adults is therefore 8,716,889 **17.8% of UK adults have started looking at deals but not booked yet. 17.8% of UK adults, based on above figures, is therefore 8,890,236

Direct Line travel insurance offer

Direct Line travel insurance is offering 20 per cent off all annual travel insurance policies bought online, and 10 per cent off all annual policies bought over the phone, until 29 February 2012.

Terms and conditions:
Offer available from 05.01.12 to 29.02.12. Introductory discount applied to the premium.

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