A study of 2,000 adults, ahead of the October half-term holidays, found more than six in 10 have experienced some sort of ‘unexpected’ moment while away.

Common holiday mishaps included leaving an essential item at home, such as a passport, forgetting to organise travel insurance, and turning up at the wrong accommodation.

Nearly a third (32 per cent) put these sticky situations down to being in too much of a rush, while 20 per cent didn’t check the required crucial information before travelling.

The M&S Bank study also revealed holidaymakers will typically spend more than six hours in total planning a break, with almost all (93 per cent) believing it to be important to plan a holiday in advance.

And almost a third book a trip away more than six months before they are due to travel.

Paul Stokes, head of travel at M&S Bank, said: “As much as holidaymakers often spend time planning to ensure things don’t go wrong when it comes to their holiday, our research suggests that they often do, and perhaps more often than we expect.

“Whether going abroad or staycationing, a lot of time and energy is spent planning a holiday, with many things to consider, from where people will be staying to ensuring they have the correct currency and travel insurance in place.”

The research also revealed that no matter how much planning goes into a holiday, 45 per cent of people always experience some kind of mishap.

As a result, a third have had to spend more money than originally planned, 18 per cent had to claim on their insurance and a further 13 per cent cut their stay short.

But while 62 per cent stated that although not necessarily fun at the time, holiday mishaps can be a humorous talking point after the event, that friends and family look back on fondly.

Accommodation, checking passports are in date and considering what the weather will be like are at the top of people’s to-do lists.

Whereas travel insurance, getting their currency, and how long it takes to get to their destination are things people tend to forget.

The study also revealed that up to one third of travellers have been on holiday without travel insurance.

Of those, 42 per cent don’t consider it a necessity and a third don’t think they’d ever need to make a claim.

Paul added: “With our research showing that nearly half of all holidaymakers always experience a holiday mishap, ensuring you have adequate travel insurance in place, should the worst happen, can help alleviate any worries, so more time can be spent enjoying that well-earned break.

“To help make planning for holidays a little easier, we also provide a click and collect currency service in store – so holidaymakers can pick up their holiday essentials at the same time as their euros and dollars enabling multiple ticks off the holiday to-do-list in one stop.”


1.            Forgetting an essential item, such as travel insurance, underwear or passport

2.            Packing for specific weather conditions only for the weather to be the complete opposite on arrival

3.            Breaking something in the accommodation

4.            Forgetting sun cream and getting badly sunburnt on the first day

5.            Getting lost and missing the flight/ boat/ train

6.            Been bitten by a bug, requiring medical treatment

7.            Falling ill after eating something, requiring medical care

8.            Realising after getting off the plane something has been left onboard

9.            Being stung by something, such as a jellyfish or a bee, requiring medical treatment

10.          Getting stuck in traffic and missing the flight/ boat/ train

11.          Breaking a bone or significantly injuring yourself, requiring medical treatment

12.          A taxi not turning up and missing the flight/boat/train

13.          Forgetting a tent or sleeping equipment for a camping holiday

14.          Having an allergic reaction, requiring medical treatment

15.          Mixing up holiday destinations and arriving at the wrong destination/accommodation

16.          Leaving spending money/currency at home

17.          Booking the wrong accommodation/travel dates

18.          Arriving at a destination to find their child has replaced the contents of their luggage with toys

19.          Falling into the pool and injuring yourself

20.          Losing a passport

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