July 12, 2016
Thinking about booking a holiday?
Despite what you may think if you take a look at the rain outside the window, Summer holidays are now upon us. This also means that we are likely to be more exposed to travel booking frauds when looking for last minute bookings to avoid the British weather, or cheap flights to find the sunshine.
Whether you’re booking a family holiday, accommodation in the most sought after area of town, or simply a flight, payments are sometimes transferred only to discover that the holiday / airline ticket doesn’t actually exist and you have in fact been dealing with a bogus travel company. Online fraudsters will often attract potential customers with surprisingly low prices and ‘one time only’ offers that are simply too good to pass up, requesting payment by the preferred method of direct bank transfer.
You may even be suspicious that it’s such a great offer, but then think ‘who can afford to pass up such a good deal’? Typically, if it seems too good to be true, it IS too good to be true!
Here are some basic tips to help keep you safe when booking holidays, accommodation or flights online.
- Paying for a holiday, airline tickets or accommodation via direct bank transfer – no reputable company will ever request payment via this method
- Responding to unsolicited calls, texts or emails offering holidays at incredibly low prices
- Whenever possible, pay for your holiday by credit card as it offers increased protection
- Always remember to look for the ‘https’ and locked padlock icon in the address bar before entering your payment details
- Never feel pressured to make a booking for fear that you will miss out on this ‘low price’ opportunity
- If you have never used the company before, take your time to do some online research to ensure they are reputable
- Should you make a booking through a travel company, check directly with the hotel / airline that your booking does indeed exist
- Always check the hotel / airline direct booking prices – sometimes they are the same, or even cheaper, and some hotels will even match the best online price if you book direct with them
Don’t forget your travel insurance!
Check that the area you are travelling to, and the amazing but potentially risky activities you may get involved in (such as scuba diving, paragliding or bungee jumping!) are covered by your policy and not excluded.
It doesn’t add that much weight to put a copy of your travel insurance policy in your suitcase, just in case. Or, if you’re not one of those people who can pack light, photograph the document with your phone so you always have the details and contact numbers to hand – you can always zoom in to read the small print!