PersonalAugust 2, 2018

Travelling without insurance ranks #46 on British Traveller regrets

As far as being sensible goes, having travel insurance should be at the top of the priority list. But it seems like it comes quite far down the list of holiday regrets, behind leaving your passport in your room and being hospitalised, but above riding mopeds without helmets.

SPANA, the animal charity which works towards the welfare of animals working abroad, such as those which are critical to the tourist industry, conducted the research which showed that allowing others to dictate how you spent your holiday was the number one regret. After that came “choosing a destination that was too touristy” and “choosing a destination where there was literally nothing to do.”

Travel decisions featured heavily in the list, with some lamenting the decision to go out the night before an early flight, wishing they’d paid for priority boarding and resenting not leaving enough room for holiday purchases in their luggage.

It also appeared that some holidaymakers regretted not being more adventurous, with  “failing to try local foods when given the opportunity” and “being too scared to experiment with different sports and activities” both making the top 20. On the flipside, “getting food poisoning”, “embarking on a holiday romance” and “drinking local alcohol to excess” shows that a happy medium might make less room for remorse.

While insurance appears to be less of a priority, getting it right could help solve a lot of the other holiday misdemeanours. Alas, there’s no cover for “choosing a destination that was too ‘British’”. That’s something that can only be helped with a bit of research.



1. Letting others dictate how you spent your holiday, rather than doing what you wanted
2. Choosing a destination that was too ‘touristy’
3. Choosing a destination where there was literally nothing to do
4. Falling out with the people you went on holiday with
5. Deciding not to purchase a souvenir and then wishing you had
6. Choosing a destination that was too ‘British’
7. Forgetting to wear sun cream / sunbathing all day and getting badly burnt
8. Drinking local alcohol to excess
9. Drinking too much on a night out and behaving badly
10. Getting food poisoning
11. Not bringing plug adapters
12. Choosing not to leave the resort, and failing to ‘sightsee’
13. Not making any effort to learn language basics
14. Going on holiday with the wrong people (in-laws, annoying friends)
15. Failing to try local foods when given the opportunity
16. Getting ripped off (e.g. not knowing the exchange rate or currency value)
17. Falling into a deep sleep on the sunbed and getting sunburnt
18. Being too scared to experiment with different sports and activities
19. Going out on the last night before a really early flight home
20. Not taking more sun lotion / mosquito repellent and paying more for it abroad
21. Walking through unsafe, unlit areas at night
22. Not telling your bank you’re going abroad
23. Not ‘switching off’ from work
24. Forgetting your phone charger
25. Embarking on a holiday romance
26. Deciding not to embark on a holiday romance
27. Not saving space for holiday purchases
28. Not paying for priority boarding
29. Talking about work on holiday, instead of enjoying the holiday
30. Being overly trusting when approached by people
31. Trusting a local and ending up lost
32. Not arriving early enough to reserve your sunbed with a beach towel
33. Not querying your hotel room on booking – so you end up with a bad view
34. Forgetting your ear plugs
35. Not knowing local dangers (e.g. avoiding tap water, salads etc)
36. Deciding to get a really early flight home
37. Leaving your passport in the room
38. Sleeping with a stranger
39. Booking the cheapest hotel – and being stuck in the middle of nowhere (no research on locations, facilities etc)
40. Working on holiday instead of relaxing
41. Being hospitalised / sustaining injuries
42. Not paying extra to take more luggage
43. Not researching the hotel, and its other residents, well enough
44. Not knowing what to do in an emergency (e.g. 999 equivalent)
45. Getting into unsafe taxis
46. Travelling without insurance
47. Taking all your currency out with you
48. Not knowing local customs (e.g. appropriate dress)
49. Riding mopeds without helmets
50. Sleeping on the beach

Source: SPANA