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Essential Travel is one of the UK's leading online travel essentials providers. Since 2001, over 5 million British travellers have enjoyed peace of mind when travelling with the company's fully comprehensive, competitively priced travel insurance. In addition to this, they have offered priority access to the most sought after airport car parks, hotels and lounges in the UK while also offering excellent rates on car hire and car hire excess insurance. was created as a result of a merger between Essential Travel, co-founded Stuart Bensusan, Richard Hannan and Philip Jordan, and Online Essentials, owned by Simon Purnell and Stephen Smith. The two teams saw the potential the internet provided to offer great value travel essentials straight to the consumer in an easily accessible format.'s aim was to provide customers with a quick and easy web platform to book a full range of travel extras or 'essentials'. Another goal was to provide the travel industry with a 'white label' solution to embed into their own holiday websites to help increase ancillary sales.

Quickly developing a reputation for innovation and fairness to the consumer, built one of the UK's first online quote-comparison engines. The company continues to monitor the market closely to ensure it only offers the most reliable, comprehensive, good-value products, all instantly available through the secure and easy to navigate website.

In March 2010, was acquired by Thomas Cook, the second-largest leisure travel group in the UK. In 2014, became part of the Holiday Extras Group. has frequently received recognition for its modern approach and high standards in the industry. In 2008, Real Business magazine declared one of the Top 100 fastest growing companies in the UK and 2009 saw it win Best Travel Insurance Website at the Travolution awards. In 2010, received the Best Travel Add Ons Website Award at the TravelMole Web Awards, and was nominated for Best UK Airport Accommodation and/or Parking Provider at the prestigious British Travel Awards.