As recently-finished A-level and university students embark on their gap years, worrying new figures released today by InsureandGo, the travel insurance provider, reveal that one in eight of Britain’s young backpackers (12%) have been a victim of theft while on their travels. A further 5% of Britain’s young backpackers have been mugged while they have been abroad.
The study also reveals that male backpackers are much more likely to be victims of mugging than females. 7% of male backpackers claim to have been a victim of mugging, compared to only 2% of females. 12% of males have been victims of theft compared to 11% of females.
Perry Wilson, founder of InsureandGo, said: “For many young people going travelling is the best time of their lives, but it’s all too easy to forget that some places are full of unscrupulous people who are waiting to prey on backpackers. Young people shouldn’t be put off having fun, but they should take care not to put themselves in dangerous situations and they should plan their trip as carefully as possible. We would urge travellers to read about their destinations beforehand and make sure they have comprehensive travel insurance before they depart.”
Regionally, backpackers from the North West are the most likely to have been victims of theft while travelling (16%), with those from Wales & the West next most likely (13%).
North West : 16%
Wales & West : 13%
Midlands : 12%
North East / Yorks & Humber : 11%
South East & East Anglia : 11%
Scotland : 10%
Greater London : 10%
Unfortunately, it seems that many of Britain’s young backpackers are not listening to warnings to take care, as many of them are still embarking on their travels uninsured. Some 37% of them do not always have travel insurance while away, and a worrying one in five (20%) of them rarely or never have it, meaning they would not be covered for any stolen possessions or medical bills resulting from a mugging that might occur while they are abroad.
InsureandGo’s backpacking policies offer a range of benefits such as a 24-hour worldwide emergency helpline, available 365 days a year, and automatically cover a wide range of adventure sports and activities.
(1) Research was conducted online by independent research company TNS between 18th-29th June 2009. 1203 GB adults aged 16-34 were interviewed.