With the festive break over and the cold chill of winter here to stay, the thoughts of many will turn to holidays in warmer climes.
Tomorrow (Saturday) is forecast to be one of the most popular days in the calendar for British nationals to book their holiday breaks this year.
For a 24 hour period on ‘Sunshine Saturday’, tour operators will be offering a host of tempting deals and discounts, and millions of people are expected to take advantage and look to grab a bargain getaway.
In anticipation, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) is teaming up with weather broadcaster Becky Mantin to offer advice on how best to plan a sunshine break abroad, reminding travellers to take out adequate travel insurance and prepare fully to ensure a trouble-free holiday in 2016.
A new animation video highlights some of the risks of travelling abroad without adequate insurance cover.
According to the Association of British Insurers, the average cost of a claim for medical expenses is £1,022, which is significantly higher than the £32 average for an annual travel insurance policy.
The FCO and Becky are advising British nationals to research the right insurance options, understand the potential costs of not being adequately insured and to give detailed and accurate medical histories to insurers. In addition, travellers to Europe should also ensure they apply for their free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) at www.ehic.org.
Becky Mantin, weather broadcaster, said: “I’m predicting that this ‘Sunshine Saturday’ will be an excellent opportunity for people to explore some fantastic travel deals, and maybe even book a well deserved bargain getaway abroad.
“But after you’ve found your perfect deal and clicked that ‘book’ button, ensure you also start to think about making the right pre-travel preparations. Getting adequate travel insurance is particularly important – without it you risk putting a real dampener on your holiday, as well as being out of pocket!”
Cara Fortune, from the FCO’s Know Before You Go team, said: “It is great that many British nationals will be looking to bag a holiday bargain this Sunshine Saturday, but it’s important not to scrimp on insurance cover. A medical emergency abroad can be extremely expensive if you are not adequately insured.
“Come rain or shine, taking out appropriate travel insurance should be at the top of your to-do list before heading overseas. If not, it may not be the holiday you bargained for!”