Second lockdown warning for holidaymakers
Since lockdown began, one in five Brits have lost an average of £687 on holidays, totalling £5.7bn, according to ClearScore.
The credit broker says 10% of Brits are still planning on spending an average of £2,941 on holidays, so a second lockdown could see an additional £4.3bn lost through cancelled travel plans.
Added to the £5.7bn UK households have already lost, a second lockdown could mean a total loss of about £10bn.
Thousands of travellers have struggled to get refunds from airlines and holiday firms since lockdown began, with many operators stalling on paying back cash and offering credit notes instead.
But according to ClearScore’s research one in 10 (10%) Brits are still planning to book a holiday in 2020, spending an average of £2,941.
One in four (23%) people still planning to travel in 2020 have said they intend to spend less than initially planned.
Of those who say they will spend less, a third (34%) are doing so due to having less disposable income, whilst 31% have said they’re trying to be more careful with money and save more.
Data from ClearScore shows that the average household has managed to save £6,650 during lockdown.
However, with 89% of people planning to use cash to pay for their next holiday, almost half (44%) of that £6,650 could be wiped out if they don’t use a credit card or take out the necessary insurance in the event of another lockdown.
This is because spending on debit cards and cash doesn’t carry the same consumer protections as credit cards.
Justin Basini, ClearScore CEO, said: “With only 19% of the UK planning on using credit cards to pay for holidays, Brits using their savings to book travel leave themselves at risk of losing a lot of money in the event of another lockdown cancelling holiday plans.
“It’s safer to use a credit card in order to obtain the consumer protection and charge-back options they offer, even if it means putting it on a credit card, then immediately paying it off using your savings or income.”
How to protect yourself if you plan to travel this year
- Pay for holidays using a credit card
Using a credit card to pay for your holiday means you’ll be protected by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.
Purchases between £100 and £30,000 can be refunded by your credit card company should your holiday be cancelled.
- Take out travel insurance
Many travel insurance providers have updated their terms with coronavirus exclusions. Make sure you read the small print to check whether cancellations, medical costs and repatriation due to coronavirus are included.
Insurefor.com and Trailfinders are examples of travel insurers currently offering some type of coronavirus cover whilst on holiday.
- Check for late cancellation protections
Many hotels, flights and package deals offer buyers the option to pay an extra non-refundable fee in order to be able to cancel at late notice without being penalised or having to pay a hefty fee.