As we gradually move into spring and the Christmas holidays become distant frost-tinged memories, more and more of us are starting to discuss where we’d like to spend our holidays this year. The current economic climate has certainly had an effect on where and when we are likely to travel in 2009, with a weak pound and an extremely competitive travel insurance market to consider, is the rest of the world really a cheaper destination than the Euro zone?

In a recent report by Mintel, the consumer and market research company found that although the recession has affected many, for much of the country the effects have been significantly less ‘severe than perceived or expected.’ They also found that despite the exaggerated affect of the economy on the travel industry, many of us are still considering overseas travel, and being more inclined to travel outside of the Euro zone.

Since we moved into 2009, many articles have been written of the benefits of travelling to destinations that lie just outside the Euro zone, such as Turkey and Croatia respectively. The pound still retains some strength against the lira and the kuna, and in terms of tourism pros – both of these are destinations experiencing an increase in popularity due to investments in accommodation and self-promotion over the past few years.

Turkey is all its glory

Similarly, these destinations prove well financially due to their relative proximity to the UK in comparison to the rest of the world. However, in terms of travel insurance, destinations outside of the Euro zone typically call for higher premiums and so travellers should take this into account. In a recent press release form a top insurance provider, discussing the Mintel findings, it seemed obvious that one of the factors that is keeping the travel industry certain that 2009 won’t be such a bad year is the fact that the more people who travel further, the more insurance they are going to pay.

Many insurance companies like the Post Office are pointing out the benefits of annual travel insurance, particularly for those who are considering going abroad more than once. Yet, in order for those planning one trip to save money on your holidays this year, it will take the weighing up of three primary factors, including: distance, the exchange rate, and whether you are inside or outside of Europe. Once these have been considered, I expect that Europe may well look, at least, almost as enticing as it always has done for us.

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