Travel insurer American Express has emphasised the attractions of multi-trip holiday insurance.

Nearly a third of Britons enjoy two or more holidays a year, according to the British National Travel Survey.

And the lure of a winter holiday has grown to the extent that 29% more people headed overseas last year than in 1997.

But, the report found that many holidaymakers are spending more than they need on travel cover.

Single trip cover can cost up to £100, the same as an annual policy.

Sarah Harper, head of insurance services at American Express, said: "Many holidaymakers will be putting money by to get away this winter, and for those likely to take a second holiday during the year, it makes sound financial sense to take out an annual policy."

American Express also advises travellers to shop around for this cover to ensure it adequately meets their needs.

She stressed: "Holidaymakers need to look closely at policy details. All good travel policies will cover you for skiing as well as snowboarding, but, anyone considering buying a policy based on price alone needs to be aware of the potential costs and pitfalls."

Columbus Direct has some further tips.

It advises winter sports holidaymakers that they should be covered for medical expenses, travel delays and cancellations, personal baggage, loss of passport, personal liability, legal expenses and 24-hour medical assistance.

They should also check whether off-piste skiing and high risk sports such as snowboarding are covered by their policy.

In the US medical expenses can be seriously costly and holidaymakers should obtain at least £5million to £10m of medical cover.

In Europe a reciprocal agreement exists between European Union member state that allows holidaymakers to receive medical treatment, however, this only applies to public hospitals. Private patients will need extra cover.