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News3 expensive holiday mistakes
Avoid these expensive holiday mistakes
11 May 2017
3 expensive holiday mistakes

Youíve got to love holidays. Sightseeing in the sun, beach time, yummy food Ė and all with nothing more to worry about than keeping the sun cream topped up.

At least, thatís how it should be.

Sadly, holidays donít turn out that way for everyone. With booking scams on the rise, more and more travellers are seeing their holiday dreams turn into a nightmare. And although thatís a situation most of us will never have to deal with, thereís still the risk of being ripped off, or simply paying more for your holiday than you need to.

We donít want to let that happen! So hereís the lowdown on 3 holiday mistakes that could be really costly Ė and how to avoid them.

Mistake #1: You donít check your passport before you book

We know, we know Ė itís just so tempting to get stuck into browsing for holidays and skip the boring stuff. And before you know it youíve bagged an Ďunmissableí deal Ė without checking whether your passport will get you there.

Trouble is, you could be setting yourself up for a lot of hassle and expense (up to £137 per passport) if you realise last-minute that you, or someone in your family, needs a new passport. 

To avoid all this, follow our passport action plan:

  • Check your passports before you start shopping round for holidays. Remember, itís not always enough for them to be in-date Ė depending on your destination you might need to have a certain amount of time left on them before they expire.
  • Next visit Gov.uk to check the passport and entry requirements of all the countries youíre thinking of going to. 
  • You wonít need a visa for most countries in Europe, but there are some exceptions (e.g. Turkey), so itís best to check this out.
  • Sort out any new passports and visas you need before you book your holiday. (Everyone in your family will need their own passport Ė even babies!)

It normally takes 3 weeks to renew an adult passport or 6 weeks to get a new one. However, as with any application, mistakes and other issues can hold things up, so itís always safest to wait until youíve got your valid passports before booking.

Mistake #2: You donít compare deals 

Thereís so much competition between holiday companies, airlines and hotels that if you just go for the first deal you see, you may well be missing out on a better bargain.
So hit the comparison sites and shop around.

If youíre going to a popular holiday destination for the standard seven, 10 or 14 days then a package holiday (with flights and accommodation included) will usually save you money. Ice Lolly and Travel Supermarket are good places to hunt down the best package deals. 
As a bonus, package holidays usually come with ATOL or ABTA protection (see below), meaning youíll be entitled to a refund or alternative accommodation/flights if the travel company goes bust.

Top tip: Always check exactly whatís included in a holiday package. Cheapest isnít always best Ė sometimes itís better value to pay a bit more for a deal with added extras included.

Mistake #3: You donít check up on the holiday company

Last year, almost 6,000 UK holidaymakers fell victim to booking fraud. To avoid it happening to you, itís important to do some thorough checks on your holiday company before booking.
Your first port of call should be online reviews. Find out what others are saying Ė if the company is dodgy then thereís a good chance that someone else will have posted a warning about them.

Check whether the company is a member of ABTA Ė this means theyíre a verified firm that has signed up to high standards of customer care. You should see the ABTA logo on the companyís website, and you can double check they really are a member by searching ABTAís directory.

If your package holiday includes flights, then by law it must have ATOL protection. A reputable travel firm will give you an ATOL certificate once youíve booked. Follow the advice of Money Saving Expert to make sure your certificate is legitimate.

Top tip: Scammers often ask people to pay for a holiday via bank transfer or cash, making the payment difficult to trace. Never do this Ė pay by credit card or debit card instead to give yourself more protection. 

However, if you do pay by credit card make sure you pay off your bill in full at the end of the month to avoid big interest. If you havenít got the money set aside already, it may well work out cheaper to pay off the card by taking out a loan with us.

Need to spread the cost of your next holiday? Our loans are often cheaper than credit card borrowing Ė visit our loans page for full details.

How to contact Bristol Credit Union

Main Branch

112/114 Cheltenham Road
Bristol, BS6 5RW

By phone

Call us on 0117 924 7309

By email

Find Us here:
Bristol Credit Union Tel: 0117 924 7309 Fax: 0117 989 2540 Email: info@bristolcreditunion.org.uk Web: http://www.bristolcreditunion.org
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