Whether you’re off on a big family adventure or a solo mission to soak up the sun, you’ll want to know your holiday is protected. ATOL launched in the 1970s to help travellers just like you. Every UK travel company must be an ATOL holder to sell you a package holiday. This is great news! It means that if your holiday provider ceases trading, you are financially protected.
But how does ATOL work? Check out our five top tips to think about when booking your next escape.
- Check your travel company is an ATOL holder
By law, every UK travel company must be an ATOL holder to sell package holidays. There are a few ways to check if your travel company is covered before you book:
- If the ATOL logo is on their website, brochure or shop window
- If they have a unique four or five-digit ATOL number
- If they are listed on our online checking tool
Remember that non-UK travel companies may not be covered by ATOL, so make sure to double-check if you’ll be protected. You can check by using our simple online search tool: https://www.atol.org/about-atol/how-to-check-for-protection/
- Make sure that what you book will be covered
A package holiday must consist of flights, along with accommodation, transfers or car hire, to be ATOL protected. ATOL will then cover this whole package, potentially saving you both time and money. Find out more about ATOL here. https://www.atol.org/about-atol/
It is important to check what your package consists of. ATOL protection will sometimes cover flight-only bookings. It will never cover accommodation-only bookings. Make sure to speak with your travel operator to find out if you’re protected.
- Be vigilant when it comes to scammers
Some travel companies will claim to be ATOL holders to trick you into believing they are credible companies. If you book with these companies, your holiday won’t be covered and you could end up losing a lot of money.
Look out for the warning signs, like deals that look too good to be true, or payment methods that require you to make a bank transfer to secure your booking. Search for the company name on our database to check they are legitimate.
- Keep your ATOL certificate safe
When you book your holiday, you should receive an ATOL certificate. If your holiday provider ceases trading, this certificate tells you exactly what you’re entitled to and how to claim. It will also tell you what action you need to take to continue your trip.
It’s important to have your certificate with you on holiday in case of emergency. You can take a print-out or store a digital copy on your phone, tablet or laptop.
- Get travel insurance as soon as you book
You should consider taking out insurance straight after booking to make sure you’re covered, should anything go wrong before or during your travels.
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