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European gappers becoming ‘more cautious’

European gappers becoming 'more cautious'

People booking flights within Europe to embark on a gap year have become more cautious.

This is according to Direct Travel Insurance, which reported a 25 percent increase in the sale of its backpacker policies in July compared to the same month in 2008.

The company said this represents a change in attitudes among gap year travellers, with previous statistics suggesting that travel insurance "can sometimes be overlooked".

Gappers heading to Europe appeared to be the most concerned about safety, with Direct Travel Insurance reporting a 40 per cent increase in sales among people heading to the continent.

Jonathan Cooper, the company’s managing director, explained that, while backpacking is often "very enriching", things can occasionally "go wrong".

"Our figures show that young travellers are becoming more aware of the risks they could be facing," he said.

It was also revealed that sales of worldwide backpacker policies excluding USA Canada and the Caribbean and USA Worldwide were up 27 percent and 15 percent respectively.

According to NatWest, almost a quarter (24 percent) of students took a gap year for 2006 by deferring to 2007.

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