Top 12 Tips for Avoiding a Nightmare Package Holiday


Holiday Claim Super Guide

You want to have a great time when you go abroad and expect that every element of your package holiday will be stress free. The advantage of an all-inclusive holiday is being able to unwind without having to worry about finding somewhere to go out to eat, how expensive the drinks at a bar are and carrying a bureau de change wallet filled with foreign notes around with you.

Holiday Claim Super Guide

Every year we handle claims from holiday makers who had something on their relaxing break abroad go wrong, and in this article we're going to list the top 12 tips for making sure that your dream holiday doesn't turn into a nightmare.

12. Ask Uncomfortable Questions

One of the stereotypes that we have as Brits abroad is that we're all very polite and won't speak up if something isn’t right. Of course, this does not mean that stereotypes are true for everyone; but some of us would rather put up with something that has bothered us, rather than cause a fuss.

We recommend speaking up and asking the questions that might make you feel uncomfortable, but ultimately need to be raised to get results and ensure that you, your family, and other guests are safe.

11. Check Your Food

One the most common types of claim that our specialist travel solicitors handle concerns food poisoning. This can be caused by a bacterial infection such as Salmonella, E. coli or Campylobacter, with undercooked food often to blame. Before enjoying that chicken or beef burger, make sure you cut into it and check that it's been cooked through.

If any part of the meat is pink, then it's likely not been cooked thoroughly enough, and you may run the risk of ingesting a holiday ruining illness. This also applies to eggs - especially omelettes - so if they look underdone, let the staff at your resort restaurant know.

10. Perform the Note Trick

A redditor (who has since deleted their account) shared an image of a note that they found in their bed sheets after settling in for the night. The note simply read; "If you're reading this, then house-keeping did not change your sheets!" This has sparked coverage by news outlets such as the Metro and across social media with people suggesting that this is a great way to make sure that your room is being properly cleaned. If you find a similar note it's likely that the staff hasn't done a thorough job, but it can't hurt to try this trick yourself to be sure.

9. Follow Your Nose

Our sense of smell, much like taste, serves an important purpose to stop us from consuming anything harmful, and your sense of smell can save you from a terrible fate at your resort swimming pool. Swimming pools around the world are kept at a warm temperature, and with a number of people taking a dip throughout the day, they provide an excellent environment for bacteria and parasites such as Cryptosporidium to find new hosts and spread.

Chlorine is used in pools as a disinfectant to kill those nasty bugs that can ruin a great holiday, so if you can't smell that distinct chlorine scent, the water in the pool at resort may not be safe.

8. Don't Trust the Water

Consuming water on holiday is rather important; it keeps us alive and stops us from experiencing dreadful headaches and chapped lips. Dehydration can be exceedingly detrimental to your health, but with many package holiday destinations being in developing countries, clean tap water isn't always guaranteed.

The water that we drink from the tap needs to be potable (meaning safe to drink), otherwise we run the risk of consuming contaminated water that could contain harmful bacteria and even human sewage. While it's a good idea to ask if the water is safe at your resort, the safest option is usually to only drink from sealed bottles of water.

7. Fruit Can Be Bad For You

While fruit is generally very good for your health if consumed in moderation, fruit abroad can contain some unexpected health risks for unaware tourists. In many countries fruit is washed with tap water, which presents the same problem as consuming local water, as the risks of infection is passed onto the fruit.

Of course, you don't want to completely avoid fruit abroad, but instead try to only eat peelable fruit such as bananas and oranges that you have peeled yourself, as the fruit inside should be unaffected.

6. Money is the Root of all Evil

One of the most obvious pieces of advice that we can impart concerns your personal hygiene. If you're a hygiene expert who never forgets to wash their hands, then this tip might be moot, but if you're one of those people who might forget to wash their hands once in a while, then it's time for change. Foreign currency can be a hot bed for disease and unfortunately those who don't wash their hands after the toilet can spread particles of faeces through money.

Be sure to wash your hands after handling the local currency, a great way to achieve this is to keep disinfectant gel or anti-bacterial hand wipes with you while on the go.

5. Be Wary of Wet Mopping

A common cleaning practice at hotels and resorts in warmer climates is wet mopping, which involves wetting the floor to clean it with a mop, leaving the excess moisture to air dry. While this is a time and effort saving technique, it can create a slip hazard for anyone unfortunate enough to be walking by before the heat has dried the floor.

Remember to keep an eye out for tell-tale signs such as especially shiny (wet) marble and just cleaned notices, and make sure that children don't run in these areas.

4. Watch Out

Aside from wet floors, one of the more common causes of injury on holiday is poor maintenance, and issues with cracked tiles, broken paving stones and other such problems are a common cause of trips and falls at package holiday resorts.

Be sure to keep your guard up and watch out for these types of hazards to avoid missing out on your well-earned break.

What if Things go wrong?

In the event that even after following these steps you find that something on your holiday goes wrong and you have to spend the rest of your holiday in bed, or even worse in a hospital as a result of an injury that wasn't your fault or an illness caused by poor hygiene, then there's a few things that are important to do.

3. Get the Problem Rectified While on Holiday

It might be tempting to try to ignore a holiday illness and carry on, but it's important to make sure that you receive a diagnosis and treatment. Some infections might seem relatively harmless at the time, but if left untreated they can cause detrimental symptoms to emerge, along with long term health complications.

It's also important to raise the issue of your illness or injury with the staff at your hotel, as well as with your tour operator. This will allow them time to try to rectify the cause of your illness or injury and provide you with help, but it also shows that you raised the issue. Try to get a record of your complaint from both the hotel and your holiday representative, as this can be used as evidence in making a compensation claim at a later date.

Making a Claim

Upon returning home you'll probably be pretty annoyed that your holiday was ruined by spending most of it feeling unwell or receiving treatment for an injury. You might even be unable to return to work once you get back to the UK.

If you were on a package holiday, then you're covered by The Package Travel Regulations 1992, which enables you to make a compensation claim for any element of your holiday that wasn't as advertised or caused you to come to harm.

2. Don't Trust your Tour Operator

Your tour operator will hopefully have been helpful and done all that they can to help you through your traumatic holiday experience. You might want to make a complaint and pursue your compensation with them yourself, but there is a better option.

Tour operators can be very helpful and friendly, but they usually won't pay out more than they have to. When people make claims against tour operators themselves, tour operators' often rely on your lack of legal knowledge and experience, and try to pay less than you're entitled to, even offering vouchers instead of money. In most situations surrounding a holiday illness or injury claim, it's best to receive advice from a specialist solicitors firm who has experience in handling claims of this nature every day.

1. Receive Legal Advice

By receiving expert advice from a Travel Law Specialist, you'll get a better idea of the value of your claim and your rights surrounding compensation. We can provide you with a free no-obligation assessment of your case and advise you of the best course of action for pursuing a claim. We'll take away the stress of processing a claim, and provide you with a dedicated solicitor from a team of experts who have experience of working with tour operators.

We work on a 'no win no fee' term, meaning that we will strive to get you the most compensation that we can, as we only receive payment once a case is successful.

Find out More

It only takes a few minutes to find out if you're able to make a claim against your tour operator, and we won't charge you for calling us to find out. Either complete our contact form and we'll call you back, or call us directly on 0808 145 1353 and a member of the team will advise you on the best course of action.

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