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Millions of Brits will suffer a summer holiday mishap - here's where the risks are highest

Mark Dorman
While you’re watching the waves, who’s eyeing your phone? (David Ramos/Getty Images)

Summer holiday season is poised to get into full swing but for millions of Brits, two weeks on the beach can be a nightmare.

One in ten will fall foul of some kind of mishap – from falling ill to have property stolen, from cancelled flights to pranging the hire car.

Spain tops the table for the country where Brits encounter most holiday hazards – with one in four trips there hit by some kind of incident.

Countries where you are more likely to have an accident (Source: comparethemarket.com)

The Canary Islands (20% of visits), Greece (17%) and Italy (11%), fill the next three places.
Chief among Britons’ concerns was losing property – whether that be their passport, or phone, cash or camera.

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Some two thirds of UK holidaymakers worry about injuries or sickness affecting them on holiday.
As a result, almost half (48%) will steer clear of eating certain foods while abroad just to avoid food poisoning.

On average, one in 20 trips (5%) involved an illness of some kind. The countries where people were most likely to be struck down were Spain (14%), Greece (12%) and Canary Islands (also 12%).

Countries where you are more likely to fall ill (Source: comparethemarket.com)

The findings were produced by comparethemarket.com, from a poll of some 8,000 British sunseekers. An interactive map can be found here.

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It reveals:

  • Watch out in Spain – this popular hotspot is where you’re most likely to have your belongings stolen AND suffer an illness, with almost a quarter of trips (24%) involving a mishap
  • New ‘mishap map’ charts the incident capitals across Europe
  • Russia is destination where you’re most likely to deal with flight issues
  • Car accident capital is France
  • Most activity based injuries happen in Austria
  • Russia seems to be the place to avoid if you are looking for a smooth travelling experience as those polled showed it topped the flight issues (delayed or cancelled) list at 3%.

The place most likely to lose your luggage was also Russia (2%), but for cancellations it was Spain (1%) that again, came out on top.

Countries where you are more likely to lose something or have it stolen (Source: comparethemarket.com)

One in five Brits (20%) confess to being put off skiing by the fear of an accident happening, and over a quarter (28%) would not take part in some sporting activities for fear of hurting themselves.

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“No one wants their holiday to be blighted by a mishap – big or small – so it’s always worth taking the necessary precautions,” said Stephanie Corbett, travel product manager at comparethemarket.com.

“Keep an eye on your belongings, use a hotel safe and don’t fall asleep in the midday heat of the Spanish sun!”