With thousands of holiday makers stranded after the shock demise of the oldest travel group The Thomas Cook Group, what should you look into before you book your dream holiday?
Travel insurance is key. If you have a couple of holidays abroad, it may be more cost effective to purchase an annual policy then you are covered in advance. Many people book their holiday but then leave their insurance to the last minute or even don’t cover themselves at all. Booking early on can protect you if anything happens before you travel, such as illness, redundancy or problems with airlines and hotels.
If you are on medication, keep these in your hand luggage and take with you a copy of your prescription from your GP. You will also need to inform your insurance company of any current medical history as this may affect your policy and ultimately you may not be covered if anything happens whilst you are away.
Paying with a credit card may provide legal protection if something happens to the company you’re buying from. Always check the card’s terms and conditions for details.
Check your passport is in date. It is recommended that you have a minimum of six months left on your passport before you can travel, so if you need to order a new one, allow plenty of time, especially at peak times.
When booking a holiday, package holidays usually ensure you get the most protection if something goes wrong, where a flight is part of the package, it will be ATOL protection, otherwise from ABTA or similar. Flight-only arrangements bought through a travel agent aren’t always protected under the ATOL scheme. You should always check first.
If you are actually abroad when you hear some bad news about your airline, in the first instance if you are on package holiday, speak to your travel operator and they will be able to advise you. Or you can contact the Civil Aviation Authority for guidance on +44 (0) 333 103 6350. They will explain the situation and discuss your options.
Just a few simple checks before you go away will provide reassurance for you and your family and you can relax and enjoy that dream holiday.