Travel Insurance

Spike in UK staycation searches as airport strikes cause chaos – do I need travel insurance for UK holiday?

A surge in bookings for UK staycation holidays is expected this summer as strikes cause chaos at airports both home and abroad, new figures suggest.

This article was first published on June 20, but has been updated after Heathrow security staff called off their strike action.

Searches for caravan and lodge holidays in Cornwall have spiked by up to 174 percent according to data from Parkdean Resorts, which operates 66 parks across the UK.

With the cost of living crisis hitting families, plus foreign travel being subject to airport strikes, Britons appear to be looking closer to home for their summer holidays this year.

Parkdean's eight Cornwall parks have seen an 83 percent rise in searches in the last three months, and 22 percent more year-on-year.

Its Crantock Beach Holiday Park, near Newquay, saw the biggest leap of 174 percent when looking at Google searches.

Meanwhile searches for cancellation travel insurance more than doubled in the last week, according to Parkdean.

Strikes are taking place across Europe throughout the summer, with France, Spain, Italy and Sweden all staging walkouts.

In the UK, Heathrow Airport security staff announced they would stage 29 days of strikes through the summer holidays in a long-running pay dispute. The Unite union called off the industrial action on June 24 after securing a 15.5 percent pay rise. There had already been 18 days of strikes in Terminal 5 this year.

Security officers, terminal technicians and aircraft refuellers at Birmingham Airport are being balloted for strike action, Travel Weekly reports.

Meanwhile union Prospect is balloting its members at Norwich Airport about whether to hold industrial action.

In France, mass action is taking place in protest at the government's changes to retirement age. During the last mass protest on June 3, Ryanair cancelled 400 flights across Europe due to a shortage of air traffic controllers.

Xavier Vallee, chief customer officer at Parkdean Resorts said: "The stories about airport strikes are the last thing any family wants to hear before their summer holiday – people want control, not a holiday that might be cancelled at the last minute, so it's no surprise that they're looking for UK breaks."

Do I need travel insurance for UK? How much is it?

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Although many families may not think about taking out a travel insurance policy when staying in the UK, they can be helpful and are very cheap.

While you will not need health insurance if you're a Briton holidaying at home, cancellation cover can be vital. Holiday lets in the UK can be very expensive, especially when staying at popular destinations such as Cornwall in peak times such as the school holidays.

A week's stay at Parkdean's Crantock Beach caravan park starts at £1,049 in the school holidays in July, or £709 for the rest of the month.

Our research shows you can buy a single-trip policy for a couple with up to £5,000 of cancellation cover for under £10 for a week-long trip in the UK.

Alternatively, if you are likely to travel again within the year, it may be worth looking at an annual policy for foreign travel. You'll get all the cover that comes with a European or worldwide policy, and then any UK trips you make will be protected too. However, not all policies cover UK breaks, or may have further restrictions (like a minimum 2-night stay or travel a minimum distance from home) so do read the small print.

Click here to compare travel insurance policies.

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Helen Barnett

Helen is a journalist, editor and copywriter with 15 years' experience writing across print and digital publications. She previously edited the Daily Express website and has won awards as a reporter. Read more here.


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