Travel anxiety study finds 70% of Britons feel nervous about the future of travel with COVID

A new travel attitudes survey from Medical Travel Compared reveals how Britons across the UK are feeling about holidays abroad in 2021. 58% of Britons worried they’ll catch COVID-19 abroad; 80% of Britons expect travel to become more expensive

After a year of uncertainty, particularly around our holidays and quarantine-free travel corridors, how are Brits feeling about the idea of travelling abroad again in 2021? travelling abroad

Specialist travel insurance firm Medical Travel Compared have surveyed 2,000 holidaymakers from across the UK to reveal the future of travel in a COVID-19 world. From catching the virus abroad to having to quarantine upon arrival, Brits admit their travel fears and anxieties.

The UK’s top 5 travel fears right now

Rank
Travel fear
% of Brits
1
I’ll catch COVID-19 abroad and become unwell
57.90%
2
Having to quarantine when I arrive at my destination
52.70%
3
Being stranded in another country because of a local lockdown (my holiday country won’t allow me to leave)
52.30%
4
Someone in the aeroplane having COVID-19
52.10%
5
Being stranded in another country because of a UK lockdown (the UK won’t let me back in)
51.40%

 

Despite the increase in COVID travel fears, just 1 in 4 Britons are concerned about having to quarantine when they arrive back home from a holiday abroad. Even fewer (6%) fear being tested for COVID-19 in an airport. Low morale around travel is evident, with the survey revealing that 48% think they won’t be able to travel as often as they would like to in the future as a direct result of the pandemic. travelling abroad

Which UK cities feel the most and least anxious about COVID-19 and travel? 
With different regions in the UK in and out of lockdowns throughout the pandemic, the research also highlights differing levels of anxiety across the UK. Medical Travel Compared’s results show that Aberdeen is the most anxious UK city. 88% of Aberdeen residents confirm that their anxiety has increased since COVID-19. This was closely followed by Coventry (84%) and Plymouth (83%).

The survey revealed that not all UK cities are feeling as nervous about COVID-19 travel. Derby is least anxious UK city with only 44% of residents feeling an increase in their travel anxiety. Closely following Derby’s relaxed attitude was Lancaster (49%) and Birmingham (59%).

Top 5 travel anxious cities travelling abroad

Rank
City
% who feel that their travel anxiety has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic
1
Aberdeen
88.20%
2
Coventry
83.80%
3
Plymouth
82.70%
4
Sheffield
79.60%
5
Exeter
76.40%

 

Bottom 5 travel anxious cities

Rank
City
% who feel that their travel anxiety has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic
30
Derby
44.00%
29
Lancaster
48.70%
28
Birmingham
58.90%
27
Leeds
60.20%
26
Kingston upon Hull
61.10%

 

What we miss the most about travel
As COVID-19 continues to cause thousands of holiday cancellations, the research unveils what parts of travelling abroad the UK has missed the most this year. Taking the top spot was the weather; 63% state they miss this aspect of travel the most. Exploring new places (62%) and downtime away from the day-to-day/a chance to relax and unwind (54%) took close second and third places.

Top 3 tips for nervous travellers for 2021 

Medical Travel Compared has provided their top 3 tips for helping Brits to manage their anxiety, stress and worry surrounding travel as we look forward to 2021 travel plans.

Preparation of all necessary travel medication
If you need to take medication on holiday with you, prepare well ahead of time to ensure nothing is forgotten. Remember to pack medication into your hand luggage in case hold luggage goes missing. Some medication may require a doctor’s letter, but you can check this with your GP. Ensure you have enough medication to last your entire trip and remember to take your repeat prescription with you. Having enough medication packed beforehand should help ease any travel worries.

Organise all travel documents prior to your trip 
Becoming unwell whilst abroad is a big travel fear for many – but less scary if you have the correct insurance cover. The costs of uninsured healthcare abroad can be high and processes confusing. Don’t forget the importance of declaring medical conditions when taking out travel insurance: not declaring existing conditions can invalidate your insurance. Having all of these documents including passports and visas, if needed, can help reduce any added stress and anxiety.

Familiarise yourself with the new COVID safety precautions in both the UK and your final destination 
Knowing the new COVID safety precautions in both the UK and your chosen holiday destination can help reduce any COVID fears and make your travel less stressful. You’ll then know what to expect at the airport and your destination. This can include when you’ll be required to wear a face mask and any tests that may be needed prior to travelling. Don’t forget to have plenty of hand sanitiser and face masks packed for the duration of your trip.

Dr Sarah Jarvis, MBE General Practitioner (GP) and consultant to Medical Travel Compared comments: “Britons’ single biggest COVID-19 related fear is becoming unwell with the condition when they’re abroad. Travelling without medical insurance can mean not just huge costs but also enormous anxiety if there are problems accessing healthcare because you’re not insured. It’s important to remember that if you haven’t declared existing medical conditions, and haven’t taken out insurance which covers these conditions, your travel insurance could be invalid.”

“Nobody wants to become unwell while they’re abroad – but the prospect is less scary if you have the correct cover.”

“I’m not surprised that not being insured if they become unwell on holiday is Britons’ biggest fear about travelling abroad. The costs of uninsured healthcare abroad can be astronomical, even before the cost of medical repatriation is taken into account. We need to raise awareness of the importance of declaring medical conditions when taking out travel insurance: not declaring existing conditions can invalidate your insurance. With Brexit just around the corner and no clear plans on what will replace the current EHIC cover, it has never been more important to have the correct travel insurance.” travelling abroad

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