Do Not Book Your Package Holiday Before Reading This
It's that time of year again where we start searching for our perfect summer holiday. Many of us will be booking a package holiday this year as it saves us the trouble of booking travel, accommodation and activities separately. But how do you make sure that your holiday will go to plan, and what can you do to make sure your holiday runs smoothly?
Pick the Right Travel Operator
Before booking anything, it is important to first check up on the travel operator offering the package holiday. Making the right checks on the travel operator is a way of ensuring that you will be protected from losing out on any money.
Operators that sell package holidays that involve air travel must have an Air Travel Organisers Licence (ATOL)
. If a firm has this licence, it means that they work with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)
. The travel operator pays money to the CAA which ensures that if anything goes wrong and the operator can't pay you back, the CAA will pay you directly.
You can make sure your travel operator has an ATOL by checking up on them on the CAA website.
Make Sure it's a Proper Package Holiday
There are special protections afforded to people who book and go on package holidays as opposed to people who choose to travel independently. The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 (package travel regulations) is a piece of legislation that gives these protections if things go wrong.
To be able to take advantage of the package travel regulations, you need to make sure that your holiday is classed as a package holiday. It qualifies if the holiday is inclusive, arranged in advance and involves an overnight stay or is longer than 24 hours.
It must also include two of these;
- Transport (but not to and from the airport)
- Tourist services (special arranged activities)
Don't Forget Travel insurance
Often, people travelling within the European Economic Area (EEA)
believe that their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is enough to look after them should you need medical assistance whilst on holiday. Although the card can allow you to seek medical help at a reduced cost, it only applies to state healthcare. What the card alone covers can vary between countries, but often the calling out of an ambulance, the need for special help getting home and repatriation is generally not covered.
Because of this, it is advisable to make sure that you remember to buy travel insurance before going away
What to do When Things go Wrong
Travel operators are required by law to use reasonable care and skill, and the package must in reality match the description advertised and be to a reasonable standard. The package travel regulations make sure that you are entitled to get your money back if your holiday isn't up to scratch.
Often, it is only when people arrive at the holiday destination that they realise it is not what they were expecting. If something does go wrong whilst you are away, for example, you fall ill or suffer an injury, or the holiday isn't what you expected, then you could be entitled to compensation. You can even make a claim if you suffered an accident due to the negligence of a third party, or if you experienced a loss of enjoyment.We have solicitors that specialise in holiday claims that will be able to help provide you with advice and find out if you could make a successful claim.