Britons shun holiday research

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The Independent Online

Holidaymakers often know little about the countries they visit, according to a survey. Almost a quarter do not even know which language is spoken at their destination.

A third cannot converse in the local dialect for such basic words as "hello", "please" and "thank you", the survey for the insurance company Norwich Union found.

The survey of 2,255 British adults also showed:

* A third travel abroad without any knowledge of the country they are visiting;

* 70 per cent regularly travel without the recommended vaccinations, travel insurance or even the correct visas;

* A quarter spend less than two hours deciding where to go.

* "Experiencing another culture" is the least important consideration when booking their holidays, and 29 per cent have travelled without knowing the local customs of their holiday destination.

* 42 per cent admit their holidays could be improved if they took more time to research and plan them.

* A third of young people feel pressured into going on exotic and exciting holidays. Frankie Nicholson, of Norwich Union Travel, said: "With the increase in last-minute offers and the popularity of bargain holidays on the internet, more people are booking their holidays in a rush."

"This means many don't have the time to find out key information about their destination, or have the correct jabs or courses of medication, and some even fail to arrange travel insurance before leaving the country.

"Taking the time to plan your trip in advance can significantly increase the chances of having an enjoyable experience," he added.