So, you’ve found your perfect holiday? That sunny week away, a historical city break, or an activity weekend and you’re all set to start booking. In fact, you’re itching to get booking.
Before you do, here are some helpful tips to make sure your bookings are financially secure
Book an ATOL protected package holiday
An ATOL protected package holiday is the best option possible when it comes to shielding your holiday from any risks.
Travel companies organising and selling package holidays (more than one travel element, e.g. flights and hotel) which include flights to UK consumers are legally required to hold ATOLs.
ATOL protection means that if the travel company you booked with goes under before or whilst you’re on holiday, you’ll either get a full refund, or you’ll be able to continue with your holiday at no extra cost.
Package holidays sold to UK consumers also protected by further rules, one of these is that if there is a substantial change to your package holiday (e.g. cancelled flights), then you’re entitled to a full refund.
Know what’s not fully protected
If booking a DIY holiday is advantageous to you (booking your flights, accommodation, car hire etc individually), then booking directly can help you to protect your money, but in limited ways.
If you book through a third party, such as a flight comparison website and your flight is cancelled, airlines will communicate with that third party, rather than you. Third parties can also charge administration fees when processing refunds.
Taking out travel insurance the moment you’ve booked your trip is something that we always recommend. Travel insurance means a lot less stress and expense if something does go wrong on your holiday.
It’s even more important than usual to read insurance policies carefully before purchasing ones. Different offers provide differing levels of protection, especially on issues related to Covid-19.
Book with a credit card
If possible, it’s always a good idea to book holidays using a credit card, especially if you are booking a non-ATOL protected holiday.
Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, it is sometimes possible to get your money back should you not receive the holiday, flights, etc, that you paid for. However, remember that this becomes harder after 120 days have passed.
Know what to do if things go wrong
It’s really important to remember to download or print off a copy of your ATOL certificate to take with you when you travel, in case anything goes wrong while you are abroad.
You can find further advice about the ATOL scheme and how it supports passengers on our website at: https://www.atol.org/about-atol/what-does-atol-protection-mean/.
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