British holidaymakers preparing to return home from their summer breaks this year are being urged to pack their bags with caution. New research from Lloyds TSB Insurance shows that personal belongings worth more than 2 billion Pounds ($3.5 billion) are left behind in tourist destinations.
However, 15 per cent of these travellers are uninsured.
More than half of those questioned (56 per cent) said they’d forgotten belongings abroad, including toiletries (25 per cent), clothes (23 per cent), sunglasses (17 per cent), shoes (7 per cent) and jewellery (5 per cent).
Other more unusual leave-behinds included frying pans, hot water bottles, a potato peeler and cheese!
Phil Loney, managing director, Lloyds TSB Insurance, suggested that part of the problem might be the reluctance to admit that holiday is over and it’s time to return home.
“The post holiday blues are hard enough to handle, without the added stress of lost property. Leaving behind the odd toothbrush isn’t so much of a problem, but forgetting more valuable items can cause real headaches,” he advised.
While hotel rooms are the most common place for these items to be forgotten (42 per cent), one in ten (10 per cent) had left valuables on the beach, while others had misplaced belongings when they were out an about (18 per cent).
Bad planning seems to be the reason for most of these cases – 14 per cent blamed the fact they left packing until the last minute, while one in ten (11 per cent) completely forgot which items they’d brought with them. One in ten (8 per cent) also admitted they’d had to leave in a hurry.
Added Loney: “A simple checklist of everything you’ve brought on holiday, can help make packing much less of a struggle. However, there really is no substitute for travel insurance. Even the most diligent bag-packer can’t guarantee they’ll remember everything – and when you do forget something abroad, whether it’s under the bed or in the beach café, it’s reassuring to know you’ll have it replaced for you.”
Although the lost property lockers in tourist hotspots worldwide will, once again, be overflowing this summer, very few people ever try to reclaim their personal belongings. Less than a fifth (18 per cent) make any attempt to retrieve the items they’ve left behind.
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