Whether it’s topping up your tan, getting your hair done or launching into a foreign language crash course – planning a trip abroad can mean a to-do list as long as your arm. However it seems that many of Britain’s over 50s have got their priorities skewed when it comes to preparing to jet off on their summer holiday.
A poll of 10,657 over 50s by Saga Travel Insurance found that almost a fifth (17%) of over 50s travel without any insurance and a further quarter appear to be emergency buyers getting cover within four weeks of travel. Buying cover in a rush may leave people exposed as some travel insurance policies are full of terms and conditions which can hold nasty surprises when it comes to making a claim.
This could also be a costly mistake particularly as cancellation claims make up a huge proportion of the total travel insurance claims for this age group, not buying cover far enough in advance could mean that people are not able to claim back any money paid for their holiday should they need to cancel at short notice.
The survey also asked about other things people do in preparation for their fortnight in the sun. One in ten over 50s embark on a diet and exercise regime, with women three times more likely to do so then men. Typically they begin their quest for a bikini body more than three months before their holiday, significantly sooner than they think about protecting themselves or the deposit they might lose if they have to cancel their holiday.
Additionally, over half read up on the culture and traditions of the place they’re headed, 48% buy a book for the journey, while 36% learn some foreign phrases. 1% say they visit a tanning salon to ensure they are bronzed before they go.
Regionally, those in the West Midlands and Wales are most likely to travel without cover at all (26%), Londoners are the most likely to wait until the last minute to take out cover, 13% say they wait until a week or two before departure and the North East tops the poll as the most keen to be buff for the beach, with 14% aiming to tone up and trim down before the off.
Roger Ramsden, chief executive, Saga Services, commented: “Everyone wants to look good on the beach, but getting covered on holiday isn't just about slapping on the sun cream or putting on a hat. You don't want to go without protection to foreign parts and getting the right travel insurance will help ensure happy ever afters. With more over 50s getting into sporting holidays this is particularly important.
Typically the over 50s book their holidays a long time in advance and it make sense to take out cover at the same time to ensure you can claim back your deposit if you are no longer able to travel.”
Saga Travel Insurance offers up to £10,000 worth of cancellation cover, up to £10 million emergency medical cover and cover for most pre-existing medical conditions.