Travelling hasn’t been fun for everyone in 2010. A big cloud from Iceland and the collapse of several travel operators meant that a lot of dream holidays ended in tears. Many people saw their trips cancelled or found themselves stranded abroad. Some even had to pay huge amounts of money to get back home. So how do you make sure your next trip doesn’t become a holiday from hell? Here’s an easy guide to protecting your holiday.
The first thing to do is check that the agent or company you’re booking with holds an Air Tour Operator’s Licence (ATOL) from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). This will cover you in case the company supplying your holiday goes bust. However, new rules mean that you’ll only be protected if several components of your trip (like flights plus accommodation, for example) are booked together. This means that hotel or flight-only deals are not covered.
Self-package trips, where flights, accommodation and other components are booked separately, will not be covered by ATOL from 1 November, 2010. For this kind of holiday it is important to buy the right travel insurance. Look for a policy that includes End Supplier Failure to make sure you are covered.
Another trick is to pay for your holiday by credit card – the Consumer Credit Card Act 1974 offers protection. However, this only covers expenses over £100, which does not always include things like cheap flights to short-haul destinations – so beware. Visa debit cards also offer some level of protection. However, no other payment method will.
Following these simple steps should go a long way ensuring you are protected. You should also talk to your provider and insurer, and ask exactly what they cover and what to do in case something goes wrong. Happy holidaying.