Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that Brits made 42 million trips overseas for holidays in 2015, an increase of 9.4% on 2014.
With 13 million visits, Spain was the most popular destination by some stretch, and this trend is set to continue with the country receiving a 37% rise in bookings so far in 2016.
A key factor in this rapid growth has been increased fear of terrorism, which has seen holiday makers avoid destinations such as Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia and instead opt for established European locations that are deemed ‘safer’.
However, some commentators are suggesting that a significant hike in tourist numbers could place additional pressure on the infrastructure and leisure facilities in popular destinations.
An unwanted side effect of this strain may be an increased number of accidents or illnesses which blight people’s holidays and can have a lasting effect on their lives.
Due to a large number of people being in an environment where facilities are often shared, package holidays and cruises are regularly ruined by cases of fast-spreading illnesses or outbreaks of food poisoning.
Likewise, many holiday makers can have their hard-earned rest disrupted by accidents caused by faulty equipment, unsafe surfaces or poorly managed excursions.
A higher number of visitors would put greater pressure on resources, thereby increasing the risk that hygiene, maintenance and health and safety procedures are not carried out to the required standard.
Situations that arise from this may have short-term repercussions, however others could result in life changing and tragic outcomes.
Regardless of the destination, you need to take adequate precautions to protect you and your family against unexpected incidents.
When booking a package holiday it’s important to ensure that it falls within the meaning of the Package Travel Regulations 1992, which you can check here, otherwise you may find yourself unable to claim in the event of a problem.
If you do suffer an accident or require medical attention abroad, it can sometimes be difficult to know who to turn to.
When in Europe, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) means that you are entitled to free or reduced-cost medical treatment if you fall ill or are injured while in another EU state.
It’s important to note that the level of treatment available depends on the country visited, not your home country, so travel insurance is still necessary. This is particularly relevant if you require special (and possibly costly) assistance to return home for further treatment.
Elsewhere, the relatively low cost of comprehensive travel insurance which includes medical cover can bring you the assurance that if something does go wrong, you’ll be in safe hands.
None of us expect to suffer during our holidays, but taking precautions is a good idea and should give you peace of mind whilst abroad.
If you do encounter problems while travelling, it’s important that you report what has happened to your holiday rep or tour organiser.
You should also collate key details such as photographing the issue, taking details of other witnesses and keeping safe key paperwork such as booking documents and receipts for any costs incurred.
If you believe you may have a claim against your holiday provider, it’s crucial that you seek legal advice upon your return.
Your Legal Friend’s team specialises in helping people who have suffered an accident or illness while on package holidays and cruises to claim compensation against UK tour operators.
The team can help you to claim back any out of pocket expenses incurred as well as loss of enjoyment during the holiday or loss of earnings on your return.
We can discuss your situation confidentially with you, help you identify if you have a case and walk with you through every step of a potential claim.
If you’ve suffered an accident or illness on holiday, call our highly experienced team on 0808 301 8214 now.
For further advice on travelling abroad, see our helpful guides here.