14 May 2016, 01:00

The Saga City Slickers

• One in ten over 50s will go on three city breaks in 2016
• On average, people spend £400 on flights and accommodation and take £300 worth of spending money for three day breaks

Over 50s are keen explorers and as well as going on long holidays to far off destinations, many are keen to visit cities with half saying they will go on at least one city break this year, according to research by Saga Travel Insurance.

However, the poll of almost 9,000 over 50s shows that many are not content with exploring just one new city a year. Keen to spread their wings and absorb new cultures, one in six people say they will go on two city breaks in 2016, while one in ten will go on three short breaks by the time the year is out.

The most common European cities the over 50s visit are Paris, Barcelona and Rome, whilst London, Edinburgh and York are UK favourites.

The over 50s don’t appear to be opting for cheap hotels or budget airlines when they go on a city break as they spend around £400 on flights and accommodation per person, and 1 in 14 estimate that they spend more than £700 on a luxury weekend away.

Even if people are only planning a short European break they are wise to pack travel insurance and not just rely on an EHIC card as it doesn’t cover you in all circumstances. For instance, if someone falls ill in Spain and is taken to a private hospital then their EHIC card will not cover the cost of their treatment. However, if Saga Travel Insurance customers have an EHIC card and they use it to make a medical claim then they won’t have to pay an excess.

Kevin McMullan, Head of Travel Insurance at Saga, commented: “The over 50s are keen to absorb themselves in the hustle and bustle of Europe’s major cities, for those taking more than one trip a year, it is worth considering annual travel insurance as it is often much cheaper than taking out a separate policy for each trip. For people travelling independently, is it key to make sure that your travel insurance covers you for every eventuality, for example if the hotel or airline you are using goes bust, you need to make sure that your insurance will get you home or refund any cancellation charges.”

Even though people are only going on holiday for a couple of days it appears they don’t want to be caught without enough cash while they’re away. On average, people take almost £300 worth of spending money with them to pay for food, drinks and museum entrance fees. However, 4% pack more than £500 worth of cash in order to see their holiday destination in style.

Joanna Fowler, Head of Saga Credit Cards, commented: “Whether you are going away for two weeks or three days it is important to make your spending money to go as far as possible. That’s why it is a good idea to take some cash to use in local shops and markets and a credit card that is kind and doesn’t pick your pocket by charging unfair fees. However, always let your credit card provider know before you go away so they don’t think your card is being used fraudulently.”

Saga offers the following tips to make spending money go further on city breaks:
1. If you are planning more than one trip to Europe this year buy euros in bulk as you can get a better rate if you exchange large sums of cash.
2. Before going abroad, always check with your bank or credit card provider to find out if you will get charged for drawing cash out from an ATM or using your card abroad.
3. When using a credit card abroad always accept the bill in the local currency and not sterling as you could get charged more.


Notes to Editors:
*Populus interviewed 8,798 Saga customers, all aged 50 and over, online between 18th and 26th April 2016. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. For more information visit www.populus.co.uk.

Most popular UK cities to visit in 2016 Most popular European cities to visit in 2016
London Paris
Edinburgh Barcelona
York Rome
Liverpool Amsterdam
Glasgow Berlin
Dublin Prague
Manchester Lisbon

Saga is offering the following tips on how to stay safe abroad:
1. Keep your purse, wallet and travel documents in a safe place and avoid hanging an expensive camera around your neck. While it may seem like a hassle getting it in and out of your bag it will be worth the effort.
2. Don’t carry all your money in your purse or wallet; hide some in a hidden luggage compartment.
3. Stay alert in confined spaces and near passageways. Try to avoid standing near the doorways of trains as groups of pickpockets can take something from you as they get off the train.

About Saga Travel Insurance
Saga Travel Insurance is a Which? Recommended provider and Defaqto 5 star rated. It offers wide-ranging cover including:
• Cover for most pre-existing medical conditions
• Up to £10 million emergency medical cover, which can pay for your return home, if necessary
• Up to £10,000 cover (per person, per trip) should you or your travelling companion have to cancel or abandon your trip
• Up to £5,000 for lost, stolen or damaged baggage so you’re not left out of pocket
• 24-hour English-speaking travel assistance helpline for advice before and while you are away.
• Saga has no upper age limit
• For more information about Saga Travel Insurance, please visit http://www.saga.co.uk/travelinsurance

Saga Platinum credit card
The Saga Platinum credit card is available for UK residents aged over 50 and all Saga cardholders can manage their accounts online. The Saga Platinum credit card offers:
• 11.9% APR (variable)
• 0% foreign currency fees on transactions made abroad
• 0% on purchases for the first 9 months
• 0% on balance transfers for the first 9 months (3% fee applies)
• For more information about the Saga Platinum credit card visit: http://www.saga.co.uk/money/saga-credit-card



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