While the majority of Brits struggle to cope with the ongoing rise in the cost of living, as fuel and food prices go up far beyond the rate of inflation, it would be hard to imagine that the country’s football players have anything to worry about.
Indeed, with the start of the new season still some days away, most newspapers have been focused on the off-the-field activities of the stars, with rumours rife about possible transfers and professional tiffs.
Not surprisingly, much of the attention has been aimed at Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo, who, after further enhancing his reputation as one of the continent’s brightest stars in the European Championships, has been living the ultimate playboy lifestyle in Los Angeles.
However, while following the Portuguese boy-wonder’s holiday saga may well provide much entertainment over the breakfast table, it is the summer situation of another Premier League player which offers the best lessons to the millions of Brits due to jet off for their well-earned breaks over the next few weeks.
Arsenal defender Kolo Toure, one of their top performers last season, is likely to be out of action for a couple of months at least after he contracted malaria while spending time in his native Ivory Coast.
A source at the London club explained to the Daily Mail: "It was obvious to everyone that Kolo was not feeling himself when he met up with the squad.
"He was rushed to hospital and tests showed he had contracted the disease. The medical staff are very concerned about him and are trying to work out how long he will be out for."
Don’t kick off a holiday without insurance
Fortunately for the player, not only does he earn a healthy wage, despite not having a household name such as Beckham or Ronaldo, but he also has access to some of the finest medical professions in the country through his job.
However, for the thousands of Britons who fall ill or sustain an injury while on holiday getting back home and back on their feet is not so easy, and heading overseas without adequate travel insurance can turn a dream trip into a nightmare.
Significantly, though cutting corners on cover may not have been such an issue when the typical Great British holiday was a weekend in Blackpool, new research shows that we are becoming increasingly adventurous, with weeks away to the heart of Africa or a weekend bungee jumping in the fjords of Norway no longer the preserve of the intrepid few.
According to STA Travel, the top five adventure packages for 2007 are testament to this growing confidence of British travellers – and in turn, the growing need to take out comprehensive insurance.
Rafting in the Grand Canyon, trekking the Inca Trail or to the Everest Base Camp, seeking out the mountain gorillas of Uganda and travelling on the Trans Mongolian Express all top the list of ‘must-dos’, particularly among youngsters looking to take time off before or after university, though with youth comes a relatively-widespread recklessness when it comes to getting insured.
"Travel insurance can seem like an unnecessary extra cost. However it is undoubtedly the wisest purchase you can make before going on your gap year, in case you lose your belongings or need medical attention," explained a spokesperson for STA.
"You should ensure the travel insurance you take out covers all the countries you plan to travel to and any activities you plan to participate in."
Pay a little extra and lose your travel inhibitions
Separate studies, and widespread anecdotal evidence, also suggests that most adventure activities are signed up for on the spur-the-moment by holidaymakers as they get wrapped up in their travels and don’t want to miss out on a once in a lifetime opportunity.
As such, it can not only pay to take out a fully-inclusive policy, but a traveller who knows that they are covered for any extra activities is in a better position to sit back and enjoy their trip as it comes without having to worry about a host of ‘what if?’ scenarios.
Of course, simple steps such as getting vaccinated against the likes of malaria are just as important as remembering a passport or airline tickets and, as Kolo Toure will no doubt acknowledge, can prevent ensure travellers come back from abroad with nothing but happy memories.
However, when it comes to peace of mind and guarding against potentially astronomical medical fees, nothing beats factoring all the worst-case scenarios and paying just that little bit extra for a travel insurance policy, particularly for those Brits keen to go off the beaten-track.