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Travel insurance a must, whether abroad or close to home

02 July 2008 / by Daniela Gieseler
Nearly seven million British adults (15 per cent) prefer to spend their holidays in Britain and have never ventured abroad, research from Sainsbury's Finance has found.

All in all, UK residents book more than 50million domestic holidays annually, spending a total £10.9 billion.

Contrary to widespread belief, Sainsbury's says that it is therefore equally crucial for those who travel abroad and those who stay close to home to take out travel insurance in order to be well equipped for potential calamities such as lost luggage, delays or cancellations.

"British people often holiday in the UK, whether it be their main get-away or a short break or long weekend," Neil Laird, Travel Insurance Manager, at Sainsbury's Finance said.

"It can be easy to overlook travel insurance if you are not going on a foreign break but many of the problems that you can encounter abroad can also happen here in the UK on holiday, so it is important to ensure that you have adequate cover."

Travel insurance might prove useful if a holidaymaker has to cancel their holiday due to an illness, or has to be transferred from a hospital at their holiday destination to a hospital closer to home. Also domestic flights might be cancelled or delayed, and valuable items such as cameras, mobile phones or credit cards could be stolen or lost - whether at home or abroad.

Those heading abroad should remember to get their travel money in time, as last minute dashes might prove expensive, has said.

Research by found that one in two people travelling abroad leave it to the last minute to get foreign currency, cash that will cost them far more than using cheaper – and safer – options such as debit, credit or prepaid credit cards. Another 16 per cent will use traveller's cheques.

Steve Willey, head of travel money at, commented: "It is sad to see so many people paying far more than they need to. Cash and travellers cheques are a more expensive option than the best plastic."

"Making some smart moves now rather than relying on cash from the airport will give you more spending power on your holiday. The formula is pretty simple – get the right debit card and credit card now."

"Prepaid cards offer the best foreign exchange rates and anyone can have one," Mr Willey recommended, "but you need to be sure to get one with the lowest fees. CaxtonFX and some FairFX prepaid currency cards will work out far cheaper than the bulk of credit and debit cards."

© Fair Investment Company Ltd