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Luggage worth more than a trip abroad

5th July 2013 Print

Packing for a summer holiday can be a heavy business, with GB holidaymakers now cramming their suitcase full of goods worth thousands of pounds, a 67% increase over the past five years.
According to research from LV= travel insurance, the average GB holidaymaker now takes more than £2,500 worth of clothes, shoes, electronics and jewellery in the suitcase and hand luggage - the combined value of which is more than three times as much as they spent on the break itself.  
On average, Brits will take £700 worth of electronics (including cameras, ipads, phones and laptops), around £400 in clothes and shoes, £350 of accessories such as jewellery and close to £100 worth of toiletries on their trip abroad. Surprisingly, one in six (15%) people will also pack at least £500 worth of cash in their case before it goes in the hold.
With almost seven million under-16s taking luggage abroad in the past five years it's not just adults carrying an excess of valuable items. The growing popularity of the Trunki - designed to allow youngsters to take their own bag on holiday and rest on it when they are tired -  means that children as young as three are pulling around items such as gadgets (£151) and clothes (£149), worth nearly £550 on average when combined with the value of the case itself. 
But it would seem most of this additional luggage is unnecessary with holidaymakers failing to use a fifth (18%) of the items they take with them on holiday. 
As well as proving cumbersome, over-packing can be costly. Nearly one in five (17%) holidaymakers have had to fork out for excess baggage charges on arrival at the airport, totalling £412 million over the past five years  - around £84 each.
Of course, valuable baggage is an attractive target for thieves and as a result more than half a million GB holidaymakers report that they have had a suitcase or hand luggage stolen while travelling abroad. Of those who had something stolen gadgets (32%), sunglasses (23%) and jewellery (19%) were the items commonly taken by thieves overseas. 
One in six (16%)  holidaymakers have travelled without having either travel insurance or the optional personal belongings add on in place. Often personal belongings cover is not included as standard on a travel insurance policy and must be purchased as an add on. Without this holidaymakers wouldn't be covered by their travel insurance for any loss, theft or damage to their personal belongings. 
Furthermore, valuables - including cash, jewellery and gadgets - are never covered if they are stored in the hold on an aeroplane and Brits must ensure that they carry expensive items, such as these, in their hand luggage.
Selwyn Fernandes, Managing Director of LV= travel insurance, comments: "The plethora of gadgets now being taken abroad has pushed the value of luggage to more than the holiday itself. With suitcases and contents worth so much, it is vital that travellers check they have travel insurance in place and are fully protected just in case their belongings go missing or are stolen. Travel insurance exists to cover day-to-day belongings rather than a vast array of expensive items. So if you have a number of valuables it is worth checking that any insurance you have in place for them, such as personal possessions, includes cover for when you are abroad."
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