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Tourists in trouble: More than 3 million Australians suffer travel mishaps

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Millions of Aussies are running into trouble while travelling, according to new research by Finder.

A Finder survey of 1,110 respondents revealed almost 1 in 3 Australians (28%) – equivalent to 3.5 million people – suffered a travel mishap while abroad in the past 12 months.

The research shows 1 in 7 (14%) endured travel delays, while 8% lost personal items.

A disturbing 5% of Aussies were scammed while travelling overseas and 3% were the victim of theft.

Concerningly, 3% – equivalent to 377,275 people – ended up in hospital.

Gary Ross Hunter, travel insurance expert at Finder, said a surprising number of Australians run into trouble while out of the country.

"Aussies are flocking overseas but some dream holidays are turning into vacations from hell.

"People are left shocked and dismayed when their travel plans get disrupted. Without insurance you could end up with a huge bill you can't afford or worse."

The research found young holidaymakers were much more likely to get into strife overseas.

Almost half (44%) of gen Z and 41% of gen Y had endured a travel mishap in the past 12 months, compared with only 18% of gen X and 11% of baby boomers.

Hunter said travel insurance costs should be part of every traveller's budget.

"It's great to see so many people travelling again as the world recovers from the pandemic, but remember – travel can be risky.

"No one thinks anything bad will happen to them, but the research shows travel mishaps are quite common.

"While certain precautions can be taken, such as avoiding dangerous areas or keeping your personal belongings close, many things are beyond our control.

"Travel insurance can help reimburse you for non-refundable parts of your trip or help you if you're injured or face an emergency," Hunter said.

Finder recently revealed the winners of its Travel Insurance Awards 2023.

Southern Cross Travel Insurance took top gong for Best Travel Insurance - Comprehensive, while Fast Cover Travel Insurance was awarded Best Travel Insurance - Value.

Have you experienced any of the following travel mishaps in the last 12 months?
Travel delays14%
Misplacing items8%
I was scammed5%
Losing luggage4%
Theft (pickpocketed, items stolen from room)3%
Ended up in hospital3%
Missed my flight3%
Credit card was skimmed2%
Got in a car/motorbike accident1%
I was mugged1%
No, I have not had any travel mishaps72%
Source: Finder survey of 1,110 Australians May 2023

Learn more about Finder's Travel Insurance Awards 2023 here.

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    RitaAugust 25, 2023

    I am away for 4 weeks overseas.
    Week1 land travel
    Weeks 2,3. Cruise
    Week 4 more land travel.
    Will my cost be cheaper if I do a separate policy for the cruise and 2 single policies for the land weeks

      SarahSeptember 22, 2023Finder

      Hi Rita,

      It depends on the specific locations you visit, your age and the type of cover you require, as the price of the policy depends on a number of personal circumstances. Your best bet is to contact an insurer to compare a few different options.

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