How to Know Your Travel Arrangements are Rock Solid!
We all know the drill, right? It’s vacation time so we start scouring the Internet to find the best deal for our family.
How often do you book on a discount vacation site and bypass reading all those pesky terms and conditions on the way to the checkout? Have you ever been burned by the fine-print? Did you know that those terms are not always in our favour, and don’t always guarantee anything about that vacation we just booked?
So how can we solidify our travel arrangements and avoid getting burned? Well, definitely do everything in your power to book with someone reputable and with a great customer track record. If you do feel the need to shop around, I’d highly recommend you read through the fine-print each time you book on a new site for the first time. You want to make sure you feel comfortable with those terms before you book. Pay special attention to pricing guarantees and the timing of when money actually changes hands from you to the booking agent to the end resort, hotel or airline.
Avoid Another LowCostHolidays.com Mistake
As their name says, LowCostHolidays.com was a online travel agency offering discount vacation packages to customers in the United Kingdom (UK). Hundreds of thousands of people used this booking site to find great deals on family vacations.
A couple of weeks ago, LowCostHolidays.com closed down, unexpectedly stranding 140,000 customers whose summer vacation plans are now in jeopardy! Financial hardship and increased competition were blamed for the collapse.
Now, this begs the question: What happens to all of those existing bookings?
Turns out, like many discount travel sites, LowCostHolidays.com was merely an intermediary between customers and travel services. This makes the “what to do next” question a little more tricky.
Airlines believe they don’t necessarily need help to fill their flights. As a result, they demand payment upfront from any booking site. This is great news for LowCostHolidays.com customers as most flights were booked and paid in full with the airline, so tickets remain valid.
That’s where the good news ends, unfortunately. Many hotels, resorts, transfer companies, etc. rely on booking agents to help deliver their business. This means they often don’t require payment upfront, and booking sites often paid them up to 2 months in arrears of when the vacation actually took place. Per the notice on the LowCostHolidays.com website, most of these bookings were not paid to the dealers, and are therefore not secured travel arrangements.
The Internet is full of tempting deals on travel. Just be sure to do some due diligence of your own before handing over your credit card. Make sure you review the fine-print when using a new booking site to see exactly how much of the risk is actually in your hands.
Rock Solid Travel Agency Websites
If you’re like me, you don’t want to have to comb through fine-print of websites each time you want to take your family on a hard-earned vacation. So what can you do to protect yourself and your travel arrangements?
Find a trustworthy booking agent with a rock solid guarantee.
I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather put in some work now and reap the rewards going forward then work hard every time I want to book a vacation. All it takes is a bit of research … and I’m not talking simple Google searches!
If you want a reliable booking agent, the World Travel Awards would be a logical place to start. Personally, I book with the one who has won the World’s Leading Travel Club award for the past 4 years. They have amazing terms, and my travel arrangements are rock solid!
Okay, so that company is great, but what about price? Doesn’t this great service come at a premium??
In many cases, I’d agree with you, but this company also has some of the best price guarantees in the business. That’s a big reason they keep winning the award year after year. Seriously, these guarantees should be industry standard, but for some reason they’re very difficult to find. They’ll beat any published lower price on flights and hotels, or even send you on a trip for free if you manage to beat their packaged rate! These guarantees and more leave me feeling at ease with my travel arrangements any time I book a vacation.
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World’s Leading Travel Club – Rated the best Travel Club in the world for the past 4 years in a row. Not only that, they also win Best Travel Club in most of the major regions of the world too! Learn More
LowCostHolidays.com – A now defunct discount travel site offering vacation packages to customers in the United Kingdom. Their collapse left 140,000 customers without travel packages they had already paid for. Learn More
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