Winter Holidays On The Rise in 2024

Winter holidays are on the rise as 39 percent plan to take up a winter sports activity this year – with one in four planning to take up skiing (25 percent)

Winter holidays are on the rise as 39 percent plan to take up a winter sports activity this year – with one in four planning to take up skiing (25 percent).

As many as 40 percent of Gen Z and millennials (16–44 years) say they now prefer winter escapes to sitting on a sun lounger for two weeks, according to the new Post Office Winter Sports survey.

It comes as 45 percent of Brits say they want to be more adventurous, and 48 percent want to do more exercise.

Enjoying snow (31 percent), mountain views (29 percent), cosy cabins (27 percent) and fresh alpine air (27 percent) topped the list of reasons why Brits would prefer a wintery trip.

Wintery comfort food (24 percent), hot tubs (22 percent), a hatred of summer heat (18 percent), seeing the northern lights (21 percent) and the smell of pine trees and chimney smoke (18 percent) also made the list.

Classics like tartiflette (7 percent), raclette (9 percent) and fondu (14 percent) finished bottom of the list of winter holiday comfort foods – with stew (34 percent), hotpot (32 percent) and shepherd’s pie (30 percent) the nation’s preferred dishes.

21 percent said they liked the daily exercise that winter sport offered – with 20 percent fond of winter festivals and 16 percent loving the après ski. And 13 percent simply enjoy chatting on chair lifts amongst the mountain views.

But despite the perks of winter holidays, Post Office is urging those going away to take out sufficient winter sports travel insurance and check its terms and conditions, with its latest Winter Sports Survey revealing a worrying lack of knowledge on what might invalidate it.

It comes as 53 percent of those who plan to go on a winter holiday have previously ended up injured – from bruises to fractured bones.

Most accidents occurred when getting on or off ski lifts (25 percent), exploring off-piste (25 percent), walking around resorts (24 percent), on the on-piste slopes (24 percent) and socialising in bars (23 percent).

What’s more, 69 percent of those who had an accident on the slopes had been drinking alcohol – with 41 percent admitting to having multiple drinks. Yet, 67 percent had no idea drinking alcohol could invalidate their travel insurance cover.

It also emerged that; 63 percent didn’t know they needed to wear safety equipment; and 66 percent hadn’t realised they’d need add-ons for certain activities.

82 percent had no idea their holiday insurance could be invalid if the injury occurred off-piste.

These findings come as a third (32 percent) said their travel insurance was insufficient – with a quarter (26 percent) simply never thinking to check if their level of cover sufficed.

Gen Z (16–24-year-olds) were the most unlikely to be travel insured because they didn’t think they’d hurt themselves – despite being the demographic that’s been injured most (55 percent), whilst 23 percent of those with insufficient travel insurance for winter sports wrongly thought they were covered by the government.

Paul Paddock, Head of Travel and Protection at the Post Office said: “Our findings show that winter sports breaks are increasingly popular but that awareness of travel insurance requirements for such trips remains low. When taking out travel insurance, it is essential to check and understand what it covers and what might invalidate it, such as failing to wear the correct safety equipment or skiing off piste.”

The Post Office research also found that just 10 percent look for public liability cover when purchasing winter sports travel insurance. This is despite the high-profile publicity around the Gwenyth Paltrow ski crash trial last year – which highlighted the importance of public liability cover should anyone accuse you of causing injury to them or their ski equipment in the event of a crash on the slopes.

The case saw the ‘Iron Man’ and ‘She Said’ actress accused of causing injuries to Terry Sanderson from reckless skiing – accusations she was fully vindicated of.

The most sought-after feature in winter travel insurance policies is medical cover and repatriation (24 percent) to get you home in the event of a significant accident on the slopes.

Paul continued “Ask yourself ‘what does my travel insurance cover?’ Does it include cover for winter sports, or do I need an add-on? Does it include public liability insurance should you get involved in an accident on the slopes? Does it feature gadget cover insurance should you tumble and crack your phone? Are flight cancellations covered if there’s snow on the runway? Does it even include ski insurance – and then ask yourself does it cover all the activities you want to do?

“These are all important questions to consider when doing your homework – it can protect you and your family against any unexpected incidents that might come with winter sports. Knowing that you’re prepared for all eventualities can provide peace-of-mind so that you can really enjoy your trip.”

Western Europe emerged as the most popular destination for winter sport – although age played a factor in likelihood of travelling elsewhere. With Gen Z (16-24 years) most likely to head to Eastern Europe and Asia for their winter sports holidays.

Skiing isn’t the only extreme sport Brits are expected to take up this winter – with 21 percent saying they’d book a free-diving course following the popularity of the Netflix series ‘Deepest Breath.’