Holidays: Easy trick to boost chances of refund if your holiday is cancelled

Holidays have been cancelled in droves over the past month amid the coronavirus pandemic. Many people still worry future trips could also be in jeopardy. A number of countries have been added to to UK’s quarantine list in recent weeks.

So how can you protect yourself against losing money if you’re wanting to book a trip?

A travel expert has revealed a handy hack.

Gilbert Ott at God Save The Points explained in his travel advice the trick is to turn your trip into a package holiday.

However, this doesn’t mean forking out for a complete, traditional package holiday.

In fact, you only need to include just one extra add-on to make it count.

Ott explains that even renting a car for one hour or a hotel for a night alongside your flight makes it a package holiday.

This can make all the difference when it comes to your right regarding getting a refund.

Package holidays offer ATOL protection.

Travel association ABTA explains: “ATOL cover means that if the ATOL protected company fails and your holiday can no longer go ahead you will be entitled to a refund if you are yet to travel, and hotel costs and flights home if you are abroad.”

If you booked a package holiday which cannot go ahead as planned, you are entitled to a refund.

This should normally be paid within 14 days – although be warned there are delays amid these unprecedented times.

A second benefit to fashioning your own package holiday as Ott suggests, is that it can make your trip cheaper.

The because airlines regularly offer special discounts and greater availability of lower prices when you book two elements, making it an ATOL protected package.

By getting this extra cover your money with be protected if the company you’re travelling with goes under before or during your holiday.

This protection is not offered when you booked holiday elements individually.

You’ll also be covered if you choose not to go rather than it being cancelled.

If the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against travel to a country after you’ve booked a package holiday, you’re eligible for a full refund, or a voucher of the full amount, even if the trip goes ahead.

It’s also well worth booking a holiday through a human travel agent rather than online if you’re nervous about booking future holidays.

“Book with a human travel agent who will be able to guide you through it,” explained travel expert Simon Calder.

“Increasingly companies are offering a degree of flexibility because they understand people want to have the chance to be flexible.”

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