A hol lot of vacation worries

Going on holiday is supposed to be a time when any cares and worries disappear but Scots manage to find plenty to fret about before flying.

Anxious about travelling? Take control and have a contingency plan in place in advance.
Anxious about travelling? Take control and have a contingency plan in place in advance.

New research from the UK’s travel protection body ATOL has found that Scottish holiday makers are failing to take action to safeguard against those pre-holiday fears.

The hotel not being up to standard is the top travel worry (38 per cent), closely followed by losing a passport (36 per cent) – with one in five Scots (20 per cent) arriving at the airport three hours early to ensure they catch a flight.

More serious concerns are also playing on people’s minds such as having forgotten to turn something off at home (27 per cent), losing key travel documents such as your passport (37 per cent) and travel companies failing (18 per cent).

A quarter of young people, aged 18 – 25 years, admitted they worry about a lack of wi-fi at the hotel and leaving their phone charger at home (22 per cent).

However, the research revealed that this fretting does not always lead to practical action, with nearly a quarter of Scots (24 per cent) admitting to travelling without insurance. Nearly two thirds (64 per cent) fail to check for ATOL protection before booking their trip, leaving them vulnerable should their travel company fail.

More than half of Scots (58 per cent) have experienced difficult situations on holiday. Figures show that since 2010 more than 316,000 holidaymakers have been rescued or reimbursed by ATOL, the UK’s statutory holiday financial protection scheme, due to travel company failure. This means those holidaymakers were not left out of pocket and were able to get home at no extra cost, despite their travel company collapsing. Furthermore, over a third of Scots (34 per cent) have needed medical attention on holiday in the past and nearly a sixth (14 per cent) have lost their possessions or had them stolen.

Psychologist Donna Dawson said: “People spend too much time worrying about things that are outside of their control, such as the weather and getting ill while on holiday. It is far better to concentrate on those things that you can control. Taking practical steps to protect you, your family and your holiday will give you peace of mind.”

Andy Cohen, head of ATOL, added: “Booking a holiday with ATOL protection should be at the forefront of customers’ minds when planning their break.”