As travel is finding its feet and restrictions are beginning to ease, many of us, consumers and travel businesses alike, are looking forward to travelling far and wide again. Consumer confidence is rising and in the travel industry, we’re all looking forward to doing more of what we love. All this excitement can sweep us up, but it’s still important to check financial protection before booking.
This doesn’t have to take away from the fun of booking your next great holiday, however. As an easy and worthwhile habit, checking your financial protection before you book doesn’t have to be stressful. Especially with a travel expert on your side. An excellent travel agent will ensure you have the proper financial protection and explain how you are protected.
What Financial Protection Do I Need to Check for Before Booking?
There are many ways in which your booking can be financially protected and most key points you can look out for before you go ahead and book. Your protection will be reliant on the type of booking you make, making it even more important to check for these key elements before you book your holiday. Your financial protection applies from the moment you book to the moment the contract ends and you return home.
When you’re specifically looking at forms of protection that apply directly to the type of booking you’re making, here are some pointers to keep in mind and ask yourself as you’re checking your holiday before you book.
1. Is Your Booking A Package Holiday?
You can find out the details of what does and does not count as a Package Holiday in our article, but in short, the easiest way to recognise a Package Holiday is if it is sold under one price and includes more than one element, such as flights, transport, car hire, tourism elements etc.
You can also ask your travel agent or tour operator to confirm this, as they are obliged to make you aware if you’re booking a package or linked travel arrangement.
When you book a package holiday or linked travel arrangement, this is then protected by the Package Travel Regulations that you can find on the government website. Linked travel arrangements do not have nearly as much financial protection, however, thus we recommend package holidays.
2. Does Your Package Include Flights?
If your package holiday does include flights, then this will be protected by the ATOL scheme. There are a couple of exceptions that you can check out on our ATOL Guide, but for the most part, any package holiday including a flight will be financially protected by ATOL, a Scheme run by the Civil Aviation Authority to protect consumers against insolvency.
3. Is Your Holiday Booked with A PTS Member?
If you’re booking with a PTS member, you’re not only protected by the Package Travel Regulations and ATOL (where applicable) but you’re also protected by the PTS Independent trust account system. This means that your money is kept separate and protected with insurance and ATOL (when applicable) from the second you book until the moment you come home from holiday. So, if anything should happen, or you just want to know where your money is, you can get in contact with your PTS member and they can tell you exactly where your monies are.
To find out if you’re booking with a PTS member, there are a few ways you can check:
– Check their website for the PTS logo and unique PTS number
– Contact PTS directly at 0207 190 9988 to confirm that your travel business is a member
These are some of the best forms of financial protection for your holiday booking. So, we highly encourage consumers to check for your protection models before you book so that you can ensure you have the best protection you can and therefore can enjoy your holiday with peace of mind.
Extra Forms of Financial Protection to Check Before Booking
Though they are not vital to check before you book, there are other methods of financial protection that are thoroughly worth investigating when you’re looking to book a holiday. This includes getting good travel insurance to protect you in a variety of circumstances from the time of booking and booking through merchant services such as with a credit or debit card in order to take advantage of the extra protection that The Credit Act may provide.
Though booking with a credit or debit card is more of a last resort form of protection, since it is not as guaranteed, having that extra protection can give you further peace of mind. Furthermore, if you are ever asked to pay by BACS ensure that you check the BACS details and that you are paying into a trust account. Again, you can easily check this on the PTS site for all PTS members. You should never pay by BACS into an unauthorised bank account.
So, when you’re ready to book your next holiday don’t forget to look out for your PTS travel agent member to find the best holiday for you. And, if you’d like to learn more about how you’re protected by the Package Travel Regulations or other forms of consumer protection with PTS, you can check out our page.