In the 21st century, millions of us are changing the way we organise and enjoy our holidays. Texts have replaced postcards, the best travel prepaid cards have replaced travellers’ cheques and more and more single-trip travel insurance policies are hitting the market.
So, are you keeping up with the holiday trends, or are you still doing things the traditional way?
Facebook could mean the end of postcards
According to a recent survey by AA Travel Insurance, the days of the old fashioned postcard seem to be over. Just a third of British holidaymakers now send a ‘wish you were here’ message by postcard to friends and family at home, with the most popular way of keeping in touch now being a text message.
In addition, more and more people are uploading photographs or videos to their Facebook page while abroad so people can keep track of what they are up to and what they have seen.
Mark Huggins, director of AA Travel Insurance, is sad that the days of the postcard appear to be numbered. He said: “This really is the most personal way to send a message home – from choosing the image to composing a compelling summary of your thoughts in your own handwriting.
“And, of course, pens don’t need a left-at-home charger to work, while losing a ballpoint in the sand won’t result in an insurance claim! Most people enjoy receiving a postcard through their letterbox.”
The best travel prepaid cards now the perfect choice
As the postcard falls out of favour with travellers, another type of card, the prepaid travel card, is becoming more and more popular with British holidaymakers.
The best travel prepaids allow you to top up your card with cash before you set off on holiday. You can then use the card to pay for goods and services and at an ATM to withdraw local currency, as and when you need it.
Mark Huggins added: “Currency cards are rapidly becoming the most convenient and secure way to take care of your holiday money.”
They’re also the perfect way of taking cash abroad if you’ve experienced credit problems in the past. Unlike credit cards, which generally require you to have a good credit history, travel credit cards for bad credit are widely available. As there’s no borrowing on these cards, companies are happy to provide travel prepaid cards for bad credit applicants.
More and more single travel insurance policies on the market
In the past, many people have covered themselves for their holidays by taking out an annual travel insurance policy. Now, however, there has been a significant increase in the number of single trip travel insurance deals on the market (a possible explanation for this is that consumers don’t want to buy annual travel insurance in case they cannot afford a further holiday later in the year, due to the current economic climate).
Defaqto recently found that there are currently 378 single-trip travel insurance policies on the market compared to just 308 in 2008. This equates to an increase of 23 per cent.
While this is good news for consumers, it means that finding the right travel insurance cover can be tricky. There’s no doubt that price is always a consideration, but it’s vitally important that you shop around to find a travel insurance policy that provides the cover you need.
Mike Powell, Defaqto’s Insight Analyst for General Insurance, said: “It is important for people that are planning a summer break, either abroad or in the UK, to think about arranging insurance to cover their holiday, their possessions and themselves.
“Consumers have never had so much choice when it comes to travel insurance. Not only has there been significant growth in the number of policies available, but policies are very different in terms of what they cover and the level of cover they provide.”