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Date: 04/05/2011

What is a Shapecation?

With the recent invention of the staycation – the term coined to describe a holiday in the UK – a new trend has been hitting the travel market – the shapecation.

With those exploring the world on their backpacker travel insurance, visiting remote and unusual destinations is often part of the experience, but shapecations are a craze rising in popularity among those just enjoying a holiday on their single trip travel insurance policy.

The term is used to describe a holiday where the destination is chosen due to the unique geographical aspects of the country, or more often, the island. One of the first shapecation hotspots to come to the attention of trendspotters was the Croation island of Galesnjak. The small islet had been rising in popularity with many scratching their heads over the sudden rise in tourist traffic. However, the reason for the trend soon became clear – on Google Earth the outline of the island forms a distinctive heart shape, making it a popular romantic choice.

The latest shapecation hotspot is rather more unusual – an archipelago shaped like Gorbachev's famous birthmark. The remote Russian destination of Durak Aprel, previously mainly visited by Russians and those on backpacker travel insurance, lies off the Siberian coast and is not the easiest place to travel to. However, travel agents are seeing an influx of requests asking for a trip to the 'birthmark islands,' with the number of westerners wanting to visit rapidly rising.

The islands are renowned for their unspoilt and stark beauty and those that have managed to get across to experience them first-hand have described the trip as well worth the effort. Anyone hoping to visit should check with their single trip travel insurance provider that the cover is valid as the journey is notoriously difficult and not the easiest sea crossing to make.