Holiday claims: how to avoid them this autumn and simply enjoy the sun


There are some lovely destinations for a sunny autumn break. But be careful to pack the sunblock and watch the food in those faraway places, cautions Nick Harris.

The golden rule to remember is that, just because it’s autumn, it doesn’t mean you’re less at risk from sunburn and other holiday problems. Wherever you are, the autumn sun can be deceptive, so it’s important to be careful.

Package Holiday Claims

If you head further south, things can be less predictable than at home. Hotels aren’t always as they’re described in the brochures, and it’s wise to make sure your insurance covers you against accidents and ill-health, especially food-poisoning caused by poor hygiene standards at your hotel or resort. The last thing you want is to come back needing to make a holiday illness claim for compensation!

Holiday claims aside, autumn’s a great time to travel, with wonderful weather and seawater often at its warmest. Prices fall from September to late October as the schools go back and there’s less demand, and since operators use nearly as many charter aircraft as in peak season but with fewer passengers, there are plenty of last-minute package deals. Scheduled flights are cheaper, too, with fewer delays, shorter security queues and quieter departure lounges and hotels.

As always when you’re flying, double-check you’ve ticked all the boxes on your booking details and you’ve left nothing to chance, especially if you’re travelling with one of the ‘no-frills’ airlines. The airwaves are littered with holiday travel complaints against unscrupulous operators.

What can you expect on arrival? In places like the Costa Brava, temperatures can still reach 25°C. By about mid-October it's best to head further south to avoid chilly rain and wind, while further afield Mauritius is at its best in autumn. The Indian Ocean island is only 3 hours ahead of BST, so you’re unlikely to be troubled by jet lag; but it’s worth packing some pick-me-ups if you want to really enjoy your holiday.

Wherever you decide to go, however, don’t forget those all-important safeguards – they could be the difference between an unforgettable holiday and one you only remember for the compensation claim. If sunblock is second-nature in the middle of August, it still applies when the leaves are turning at home.

Always be careful about what you eat and drink, especially further south, and be mindful that, in many regions, poorly-maintained roads, taxis and buses can make travel hazardous. In other words, make sure there’s no fine print in your travel health insurance you might have missed. Otherwise – enjoy!

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