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Travellers say holiday safety is their main priority

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A string of international terrorist incidents mean that British holidaymakers are more likely to worry about security risks when booking their next trip.

London Heathrow airport

Picking a safe and secure destination has become the priority for British travellers booking their 2016 holidays.

This is according to a survey published by travel insurance firm Holidaysafe.co.uk

Growing concerns

Its research has found that 46% of would-be holidaymakers say safety is their number one priority when choosing where to go this year.

This is ahead of value for money, with the survey revealing that just 33% of respondents say this is the most important factor when they come to book a trip.

The growth in security concerns come in the wake of a number of high-profile incidents in popular destinations, such as November’s ISIS attacks in Paris and speculation that the crash of a Russian passenger jet flying out of Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt in October was caused by terrorists.

Amber Howard at Holidaysafe said: “Travelling the world and exploring new places is always exciting but it is interesting to see how attitudes towards destinations have changed.

Seek official advice

“Our customers’ safety is always the highest priority for us, and we encourage people to check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice before departing, for more information on their chosen destination.”

The FCO’s advice to travellers can be found on this section of its website.

Howard added that as well as choosing a destination with care, ensuring you have the right kind of insurance cover can provide peace of mind.

“Travel insurance can give you the peace of mind knowing that you are covered should the worst happen when you are abroad – from lost luggage to unexpected medical expenses,” she said.

More holidays at home

Cornish coast

“Always check that your policy is suitable for your needs and activities – especially if you are planning on doing extreme sports as they are not always covered as standard.”

Holidaysafe’s research also found that 14% of people were now more likely to take their holidays in the UK due to concerns about the safety of overseas travel.

Meanwhile, a study carried out by Sainsbury’s Bank has found that a greater number of Brits are planning a UK-based holiday in 2016 than are intending to head to foreign destinations.

Three-quarters of those questioned said they intend to take a trip within Britain this year against two-thirds who plan to go abroad.

City breaks most popular domestically

But 58% of us will holiday both at home and abroad, Sainsbury’s found.

The type of break planned varied according to whether it was in the UK or not: domestic holidaymakers are most likely to take a city break, while beach holidays are the most popular option for international travellers.

Tom Thomson of Sainsbury’s Bank Travel Insurance said: “A good proportion of holidaymakers are early bookers, who plan ahead and like to have something to look forward to.

“We’d encourage people to put a similar level of planning into choosing their travel insurance as if they don’t choose the right policy they might give themselves something to regret.

Thomson added that travellers who booked their trips independently rather than as packages or through a travel agent should take extra care to get the right cover as they were less likely to be protected by industry schemes such as ATOL.

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