What better way to cope with the post-Christmas, winter blues than booking a family summer holiday? Every year millions of Brits look to book their holidays in the sunshine on the first Saturday of January, and, as a result the day has been dubbed ‘Sunshine Saturday’.

This year’s Sunshine Saturday falls on 6th January, and travel companies are already preparing for their busiest day of the year; some companies are expecting to take more than double the amount of bookings compared to every other weekend throughout the year.
As well as in-store sales, travel companies believe their online sales will shoot up too, as many Brits will choose to book their family holiday through the company’s website rather than facing the crowds.

It is believed the reason for this peak day is Brits will be making the most of the January sales and looking to book a bargain summer family break. So, what should you bear in mind when booking your 2018 family holiday?

A family holiday is the perfect time to get together, experience something new and make ever-lasting memories. Whether you’re planning to spend a week or so, lounging around the pool embracing the hotel’s facilities or pack each day with a different excursion, by making sure you have the right travel insurance you can head abroad with peace of mind that should the worst happen – you will all be covered.

Once you have battled the crowds or clicked your way through the internet and purchased your dream family trip, your next point of call should be buying your travel insurance. It is recommended that you book travel insurance as soon as you pay your holiday deposit, that way you will be covered for cancellation should something happen and you are not able to make your planned trip. It is worth noting most travel insurance companies will offer a discount for family policies, and in some cases children (under 18 or 21 years, depending on your policy) are insured free of charge when travelling with an insured adult. Having every family member on the same policy will ensure you are all covered should something happen.
One thing to be aware of is the excess on travel insurance policies; on the majority of policies, the excess is per person, so if you have a policy with £100 excess as a family of 5, and need to cancel your holiday, you would have £500 taken off the amount you are claiming for. However, there are family policies available which will only take a percentage, generally 10%, of the value of the holiday as an excess for cancellation claims, which can work out better value for families, particularly those large in size. These policies are not generally found on price comparison sites so you may need to do your research and go direct to find them.

Another thing to consider is gadgets. Most brits will be taking at least one gadget on holiday with them, therefore we recommend looking for a travel insurance policy that will cover gadgets. It is important to make sure you check the policy cover carefully to ensure the cover limit is adequate, some policies could have a single article limit as low as £500, which wouldn’t be nearly enough if you have a new iPhone X! It is also worth noting, most policies will have an age limit and may not provide cover for second-hand gadgets, so if your gadgets don’t quite meet the criteria outlined by your travel insurance provider, it may be better to look for specific gadget cover elsewhere, or check if they’re included under your home insurance instead.

All those who are planning to undertake different activities as part of their family holiday should check the policy wordings to make sure their chosen activities are covered; most policies will only cover a limited selection of activities as standard, and allow you to add on those that are deemed riskier for an additional premium. In general, travel insurance companies will allow you to add on individual activity packs or cover for certain activities for those who are participating. This is handy in keeping costs down so you don’t need to pay to cover the whole family for an activity that only two members are taking part in. In addition, some providers will allow you to add on activities when you are abroad – for those spontaneous moments, but as not all policies offer this it is worth checking the provider before purchasing.

Some of the most popular family holidays involve a trip to a theme park, with Disneyland on the top of many dream family holiday lists. To get the most value for money, many people book and pre-pay for their theme park tickets, however if you need to cancel the holiday, the costs of these pre-paid tickets are not generally covered under your travel insurance. Some prices can reach well over £1,000 for a family ticket, so we strongly recommend that you look for a policy that offers additional cover for your park tickets, excursions, car hire etc. just to make sure you are not left out of pocket should you need to cancel your family break.

Once you have bought your travel insurance, it is a good idea to make sure everyone’s passports are in date, as there is nothing worse than arriving at the airport to find your child’s passport ran out two weeks ago…