How to book a holiday during a pandemic
The Guardian|January 15, 2022
Money hacks
Helen Dewdney

Check if you can cancel

It’s essential to check what will happen if you need to cancel your transport or accommodation, whether you are booking the different elements yourself, or opting for a package.

Many companies offer free cancellation but read the small print – there will be a deadline for this, and it could be several weeks before you holiday is set to start.

Read flexible policies carefully. Qin Xie from the blog Heymoneytalk says flexible booking should mean not paying an admin fee or losing your deposit if plans change. “What’s included in flexible booking obviously depends on who you book with, but amends are usually for travel dates and/or destinations,” Xie says.

If you are booking a holiday let only, book through a third-party site that has a clear refund policy and which takes secure payments by credit card.

Your contract is always with the company or person to which you paid the money. For example, if you book through Airbnb you need to contact the company for a refund, whereas with Vrbo you need to contact the property owner.

Protect payments

Put your holiday on a credit card, if possible – under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act this gives you protection on purchases over £100, and will cover your costs if a holiday firm you have booked with goes bust.

To benefit from the cover, make sure you book and pay directly with the holiday company, rather than using a third-party payment company such as PayPal.

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