As we wait for the UK’s roadmap for international travel to be finalised, and with news that there could be opposing travel guidelines from the UK Global Travel Taskforce and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, it seems that Brits are putting their passports aside and opting for staycations for the remainder of 2021.

Indeed, two-thirds of UK adults are planning a staycation in the UK this year; and topping the list of staycations are those in hotels and B&Bs (25 per cent), and self-catering accommodation (21 per cent).

Spain is the overseas holiday destination of choice

And if you wondered where those 13 per cent of Brits that are keen to go overseas were headed, then you’ll most likely find them in the sunny climes of Spain – according to new data from travel health experts Practio, more than 16.9 million Brits (about 11 per cent of the UK’s population) plan to jet off overseas to Spain once travel restrictions lift. This intel comes following announcements that Spain is set to be included on the UK’s ‘green list’ when its travel traffic light system is announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson later this month. 

Further to that, Practio’s data predicts that the amount Brits are due to spend in Spain in 2021 will be over £10,882,093,347; with holidays mostly cancelled in 2020, that number could be significantly higher if Spain presses ahead with plans to allow Brits entry ahead of other countries, Practio says. And with holidaymakers expected to spend an average of £645 per visit, travel insurance could well see an uptick in policy purchases.

Commenting on the research, Dr Jonas Nilsen, Managing Director and co-Founder of Practio, said: “By predicting future trends, we can better equip travellers and businesses that thrive off tourism by helping them to prepare for what’s to come and how they can make the most of Brits’ travel habits.”

He added: “It’s also been great to see some of the emerging trends and how travel is changing; we’re seeing the go-to destinations start to change with more money being spent in countries further afield, which should be a good sign for the future of the travel industry beyond the pandemic.”

Even domestic trips need adequate financial protection

Back on UK soil, however, it seems that travel insurers have some work to do to get the vast majority of travellers that are planning to vacation domestically this year to consider the risks of domestic vacations, as 71 per cent of those holidaying in the UK have asserted that they don’t plan to protect their staycation with travel insurance. Data from GoCompare also highlights that one-third of respondents don’t think it’s worth buying travel insurance cover for their staycations, while 12 per cent don’t believe travel insurance provides any cover for UK holidays. 

As just under one-quarter of respondents (23 per cent) identified Covid as the reason they were foregoing overseas travel in 2021 (with 31 per cent reasoning that they are worried about travelling abroad because of the virus), it’s understandable that foreign holidays have been put on the backburner for most people this year. Concerns about possible delays or Covid quarantine requirements for foreign travel were cited as a deciding factor for 30 per cent of respondents – and this has proved to be the case elsewhere too. Further to that, 10 per cent of people said they were planning a staycation because they can’t afford to go abroad this year.

Customer education should be prioritised

But GoCompare is quick to highlight that travel insurance for domestic trips can enable a traveller to be transferred to a hospital closer to their home, should they fall ill during their vacation – this wouldn’t be covered by the NHS, unless medically necessary. Travel insurance (as long as the traveller has opted for the appropriate coverage) also provides a financial buffer against pre-paid travel plans and accommodation being cancelled due to a range of unforeseen events, adds GoCompare – these could include illness, injury, redundancy, bereavement, and travel delays. And with money being a key concern for so many people this year, the protection that travel insurance affords should be high on the list of people’s priorities.

Some effort should be made to educate potential staycationers of how travel insurance can help augment and provide peace of mind for their trips this summer.