Holidays 2018: Online booking safety top tips revealed | Travel News | Travel

Booking a holiday in 2018 is at the front of most Britons minds as they start a new year.

Yet 2017, despite being the safest aviation year on record, saw a number of issues such as cancelled flights and natural disasters.

They can all spell problems if caught up with them by delaying a trip as well as being an expensive hassle.

TravelSupermarket travel expert Emma Coulhurst has revealed the best advice to follow to avoid holiday booking problems that cause disaster.

Always pay by credit card

Whilst credit cards often have a small fee on top, it can be much safer to book with one. 

Coulhurst reveals that it protects customers thanks to Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act “when paying anything over the value of £100”.

For travellers who don’t have a credit card, a debit card is still a better option if paying for everything upfront.

Any firm asking for cheque or bank transfer are to be avoided as there is no protection at all.

Make sure the holiday is ATOL covered

An ATOL protected holiday means that a problem with the airline or travel firm is covered and travellers can be reimbursed.

In 2017, this included holiday firm Diamond Shortbreak Holidays that went bust in March or Monarch Airlines that went into administration in October, cancelling 300,00 bookings.

It can even include when “the FCO advises against travel to your destination,” according to Coulhurst.

Those who booked with Monarch were refunded and given free transportation home in replacement of their flights so is worth checking the holiday being booked has an ATOL license.

Always have travel insurance

If not booking a holiday package, ATOL protection may not apply if choosing flights and hotels separately.

When booking travel insurance for reasons such as health and theft, it is also worth checking if it includes End Supplier Failure as Coulhurst explains that this “will protect you should a company you have booked with go bust”.

Avoid fake websites

Whilst many may think they could spot a fake website, fraudsters are becoming much more sophisticated to catch people out.

ABTA reveal some of the key things to look out for are any websites offering a holiday much cheaper than any others, low-resolution images and logos or only been offered a bank transfer payment option.

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