Travel insurance: Backpackers ditch Rio for Benidorm

Thursday, 08 June 2006

As early as last year, sweaty, spotty young university undergraduates declared the only place worth going on a backpacking jaunt was off the beaten track, to countries such as Peru, Chile and Brazil.

However, new research has found that most now prefer to visit old tried and tested favourites such as Spain, Greece, Italy and the USA on their trips.

The US was voted the second most popular destination in the Lonely Planet survey, close behind Australia.

But more adventurous destinations such as Chile and Brazil have been replaced in the top ten by Thailand and Italy, with backpackers even admitting they would enjoy going around the British Isles.

"There has definitely been a surge in people travelling to the 'old favourites', countries such as the United States, Spain, Italy and Greece," Tom Hall, Lonely Planet's travel information manager told the Independent.

He added: "These destinations have always been popular with Brits but factors such as cheaper air travel and the accessibility of long-haul destinations has meant that people have been travelling further afield.

"Fashionable destinations come and go but the classics remain."

But backpackers – even those heading to European destinations – are urged to make sure they have the best travel insurance available, should anything go wrong.

Travellers looking to be away for a long time could invest in annual travel insurance, which covers for multiple trips, with many of the best deals available via a quick insurance quote online.

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