Holidaymakers rush to book holidays this January

6 Jan, 2020

This January will be the most popular month for people to book holidays for the coming year according to new research from Sainsbury’s Bank Travel Insurance. The study indicates that around 6.4 million people across the nation are looking to book getaways then.

More than three quarters (76%) of UK adults will go on holiday in 2020, spending an average of £757 each per getaway. Cruises are the most expensive type of holiday with these holidaymakers planning to spend an average of £1,650 each.

Sun, sea and sand is the biggest draw for UK holidaymakers with 40% choosing an overseas beach holiday this year. The other most popular vacations are overseas city breaks (28%), UK city breaks (24%), UK seaside holidays and UK countryside and walking holidays.

Average cost of the most popular holidays
Holiday type Cost per person (£)
Overseas beach holiday £1,039
Overseas city break £588
UK countryside/walking holiday £380
UK city break £356
UK seaside holiday £347

Although holidaymakers are willing to spend significant sums on heading overseas, a fifth will not be buying travel insurance. A further 22% will only buy their travel insurance in the week before they travel. These statistics are concerning in light of Sainsbury’s Bank insurance claims data which found a typical travel insurance claim was £631 in 2019, nearly the average cost of the holiday people said they were planning.

Sainsbury’s Bank’s travel insurance claims data shows that half of all claims were due to medical expenses, 20% for lost or stolen personal possessions and 15% for cancellation, meaning travelling without insurance is a big risk to take when travelling abroad.

Jason King, Customer Director at Sainsbury’s Bank, said: “Booking a holiday at the start of the year will certainly help chase away those January blues. Taking it easy is one of the biggest draws of a holiday, however unexpected events can happen. Think about what kind of travel insurance policy you need as soon as you’ve booked your holiday.”

Sainsbury’s Bank top tips when buying travel insurance

Single trip vs annual cover. How many holidays do you typically take in a year? Even though you may only have one holiday booked now, if you usually jet off later into the year it may be cheaper to buy annual cover.

Consider any medical conditions. Ensure you declare any medical conditions you may have and whether you may need to add on medical cover for pre-existing conditions.

Get cover for adventures. If you are heading to the ski slopes, make sure you have winter sports cover should you be involved in an incident.

Check for offers and discounts. When shopping around for insurance, make sure to take advantage of offers. Sainsbury’s Bank Travel Insurance offers up to 20% off for Nectar members.

Holidaymakers can find out more online at