Holiday Cancellations Are Costing Britons a HUGE Amount Collectively

Posted by Sue Anderson, 13th Oct 2015

Without being able to see into the future, it's pretty hard to know whether or not you'll be able to stick to the holiday plans you've made. What if you fall ill? What if something you simply cannot miss comes up back home? It goes without saying that before booking a holiday you should be absolutely sure of three things: that you can afford the trip, that you're sure you have the dates available and that you're certain about the destination and accommodation. However, life is unpredictable and sometimes holiday cancellations do need to happen.

We polled 2,785 people aged 18 and over from around the UK and asked them about holidays they had planned or been on within the last year. We wanted to identify any holiday cancellation trends and also to find out the reasons behind Britons abandoning holiday plans.

Holiday Cancellations Cost Britons £1.2bn Collectively Per Year

When we asked 'Have you personally had to cancel any holiday plans abroad after committing to a booking in the past year?' almost one quarter (23%) of the people taking part told us 'yes'. These people were asked how much money, if any, they had lost as a result of their cancellation; with the majority (87%) claiming to have just lost a deposit and the average amount being revealed as £110.00. That may not sound like an earth shattering amount, but what does that add up to, collectively, for the whole of the UK?

With an estimated 50,909,098 adults in the UK, according to the clever lot over at the Office for National Statistics, the results reveal that (based on 23% of people cancelling holidays they'd personally booked in the last year and the average amount lost being £110.00); as much as £1,288,000,120 is lost in holiday booking cancellations each year.

Illness and Injury Top Causes of Holiday Cancellations

When we asked the relevant respondents to tell us the main cause behind the abandonment of their planned trip away, the top ten reasons - drum roll please - were as follows:

1. Illness - 12%

2. Injury - 10%

3. Inflexible work commitments - 10%

4. Relationship break-up - 9%

5. Death of a pet - 7%

6. Death of a loved one - 6%

7. Unforeseen financial circumstances - 6%

8. Childcare arrangements fell through - 4%

9. Phobia (flying etc.) - 3%

10. Pregnancy - 2%

Only 4% Who Cancel Holidays Have Insurance Covering Eventuality

The results did however reveal that 65% of those who'd had to cancel a holiday booking in the past year did end up going abroad at a later date. When asked if they'd stuck with the place they were originally planning to go to, the majority (71%) actually changed their mind and went somewhere else.

Our study also revealed that, shockingly, only 4% of those who'd previously had to cancel holiday plans had travel insurance with cancellation cover at the time; whilst the overwhelming majority (96%) did not.

Sometimes, things happen in life that get in the way of holiday plans. You can't predict circumstances like illness, injury or the death of a loved one, which is why it's vital that you take out travel insurance with cancellation cover as soon as you book. It's worrying that only 4% of people had a policy that included cancellation cover when they had to pull the plug on their holiday plans.

It's also always best to look for travel agencies that offer low deposits and bookings that you don't have to pay in full until a few weeks before departure... like us! That way, if something does come up, you aren't going to lose too much if you haven't got round to taking out an insurance policy.
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