Travel injuries – what we know about getting hurt on holiday

by Audrey on July 25, 2013

Holidays are supposed to be all about fun and relaxation. They’re meant to provide an escape from our daily lives, broaden our horizons and give us some fond memories that will last a lifetime. Thankfully, the majority of holidays do just that, but for many unfortunate and hard-done-by holidaymakers in the UK, that’s not always the case.

On holiday, you can never be too sure what could happen to you, regardless of where you’re staying. Every location has different hazards and dangers which can be encountered unwittingly or on purpose. Also, there are a number of common settings in every country where injuries can occur surprisingly frequently, but whatever the cause, injury on holiday can be hard to take.

Jumping off cliffs - Flickr CC powderruns

Holiday hurt

The key statistic to arise from the survey was that four out of 10 Brits said that they had been injured at least once while on holiday, which sounds pretty surprising, especially given that many people go on holiday to do gentle activities like sightseeing.

Many injuries that occur on holiday might be relatively minor; sprains, slight bruises, the odd grazed knee are all prime examples. These tend to heal in next to no time, and don’t require immediate medical attention, although they can impair enjoyment of any break to some degree. Sadly, for one in three people in the survey, they have been forced to go to hospital after a holiday injury.

Financial and physical pain

The sheer number of Brits being hospitalised on holiday is worrying. In some cases, injuries sustained can be fatal, but those who survive may discover that receiving medical treatment could lead to yet more pain. 48% of those forced to go to hospital had to pay some costs, which would likely make a disappointing holiday become more of an unmitigated disaster.

Some of the causes and specific locations for holiday injuries aren’t quite what you may have expected. 23% of respondents in the survey said they had been most recently injured in the UK; 17% said Spain, 8% said they were holidaying in Greece while 7% said France was the last place where they got hurt on vacation.

Some of the activities mentioned seemed equally surprising. 17% of people said they were hurt while sightseeing, while 14% said the same while on the beach. 10.8% spoke of injuries while in a car; 10.4% said by the poolside. It shows that whatever you do on holiday, there’s always the slight threat of being hurt, even if through no fault of your own.

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