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Gadget-mad Brits now taking £20bn electronic devices on holiday with them

Press release   •   Jun 20, 2016 00:01 BST

58% of families take six or more gadgets on holiday

One in 10 have lost or damaged devices while abroad

13% would be more worried about losing their phone than their passport

It’s no secret that us Brits love our holidays – in fact every year we make 37m trips abroad* – but along with sunglasses, sun tan lotion and flip flops we are taking an ever-growing haul of electronic devices to keep us amused and ‘connected’.

New research from RAC Travel Insurance** reveals that British holidaymakers take an average of 3.2 gadgets away with them, totalling 121.4m throughout the year. The value of these devices is estimated at a whopping £20.2bn.

In fact, our love of electronic devices now appears to be as much a part of a holiday as the clothes we pack, so much so that 8% of British holidaymakers say they pack their gadgets before their underwear. What’s more, 13% would actually be more worried about losing their phone than their passport while away on holiday.

When it comes to the family holiday the gadget count of phones, tablets, book readers, MP3 players and cameras rises to perplexing proportions with nearly six in 10 (58%) saying their suitcases and hand luggage contain six or more devices. In fact, 5% of those admit to taking away a haul of 12 gadgets between all the family.

Individually, more than half (53%) of UK holidaymakers claim to take a minimum of two gadgets away with them, and 38% take more than four, with a surprising 6% of those admitting to packing as many as six.

Number of gadgets
personally taken on holiday
% of respondents
1 9%
2 23%
3 30%
4 19%
5 11%
6 6%
7 1%
8 1%

The value of all these electronic devices on each trip can mount up for some as 31% of the holidaymakers surveyed estimate they personally took away with them between £200 and £500 worth of electronic devices.

But sadly, for one in 10, their holidays will be spoiled by breaking or losing an electronic device. Of the 10% who broke or lost a gadget on their travels abroad 29% reported they had dropped it or cracked the screen, a quarter (26%) had it stolen, 23% said it had suffered water damage and a fifth (20%) said they had lost it.

RAC Travel Insurance spokesman Simon Williams said: “For many holidaymakers electronic devices have become an extension of themselves to the point where some people almost feel naked without their mobile phones, and not being able to browse the internet and answer emails from the convenience of a tablet can give some anxiety attacks. The 13% who admit to being more worried about losing their phone than their passport would no doubt fall into this category.

“Despite the strength of this attachment for gadgets we found two-thirds (66%) of people on holidays don’t take advantage of hotel safes and a brave, or perhaps misguided, 8% say they leave their devices in an unattended bag on the beach while they go in the sea for a dip.”

RAC Travel Insurance looks to ensure its customers are covered on every step of their trips whether that’s making a claim for a lost or damaged phone, tablet or camera to sorting out medical expenses, helping with the costs of lost baggage or assisting with the hassle of disrupted travel arrangements. Each RAC Travel Insurance policy provides a level of gadget cover as standard which can be increased to cover a maximum of £3,000 worth of devices.

Travellers can take out single trip or annual multi-trip insurance, each with three levels of cover available. Cover can also be chosen to suit your needs, whether travelling alone or with a partner or as part of a larger group.

Notes to Editors

* Office of National Statistics Travel Trends Section 3 - Number of visits abroad: by region of visit and purpose of visit 2009 to 2013

** Research carried out with 1,216 members of the RAC Opinion Panel 

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