How not to get ripped off when buying a Holiday!
Over the last 20 -25 years of being in the travel industry we have seen stories surface every year about people being ripped off by unscrupulous bogus travel companies claiming to offer amazing and unbelievable prices on your next holiday. Well we at AsktheTraveller like a bargain as much as the next person, but sometimes when it seems to good to be true it actually is too good to be true.
Today in the news another annual story unfolds about holidaymakers being ripped off
This time with with the advances in websites we are all going online to purchase goods and services, many of us use the internet to book flights and accommodation etc without really knowing whom we are booking with. Also we are booking these elements like commodities and impulse purchases, after all it has become much easier and that's great news for everyone, but with speed comes the ability of fraudsters to get your money even quicker.
The problem is this can quickly come back to haunt you.......
Firstly, remember that anyone can set up a website - Yes anyone! You need to make sure you are confident with whom you are booking with. A couple of ways of checking a companies validity is to check if they have an ATOL license, without an ATOL license you may as well have stuck your finger in the air and said lets gamble with my money. Sure many companies have ABTA logo's, but lets be honest, if companies go bust this really is not going to help you. If it hasn't got an ATOL then frankly don't book it at all.......................
Either way check online before paying money at the link below:-
Secondly, regardless of companies going bust, some people out there are just looking to take your money and run. Check that the website your are on is actually the website you thought you were on, many copycat websites exist again trying to take your money as you think you are booking with a reputable company. If in doubt pay with a credit card, at least this may offer some way of getting your money back. Only Bank transfer or pay with debit card with people you 100% trust.
Thirdly, book your flights, hotels etc all together. Many people still believe they can get cheaper booking everything direct as elements of a trip. Of course this makes sense right, as you're cutting out the middle man. Well in fact, we can we let you into the best kept secret in travel, it's not actually true. If you book flights, accommodation in fact everything through an ATOL protected Tour operator you can benefit from their ability to get discounted prices, in fact, nearly 100% of the time the price you pay direct to a hotel for example, those in the trade will at least be able to match if not better, as the headline price is usually advertised as "Best Available Price" or "Published price" - this does not mean cheapest price!!! Tour operators can get discounts of the best available prices of up to 40%, then once they add on their modest mark-ups you are still saving huge amounts. In addition, you are fully covered by ATOL if you book the lot.
As an example, we had some clients wanted to go to Canada for a few weeks - they were staying with friends and wanted flights into Vancouver. Direct flights for the family of 6 were about £5500 just for the flights. They came to us at AsktheTraveller, we looked at the problem and asked do you not need a car? Well a mini van for the family as well......yes that's another £800 - £1000 for 2 weeks in school holidays on top a total of £6500. Not so, with our ability to leverage industry contacts and special combined deals we were able to get them flights and car hire all inclusive of additional drivers, full insurances etc and ATOL protection etc for less than £4000 --- That's a saving of approximately 35% + (£2500) on if they booked it all direct with the airlines and car companies ---FACT!
Hey, of course that's an example and sometimes we are not the cheapest but are the same price, sometimes yes we are slightly more (Not often). However the morale of this story has another twist. This family choose an airline who by chance decided that their staff would go on strike the day they were due to leave - no flights, no alternatives, nightmare!!!! Well guess what - that's where we really earn our bacon - within hours of AsktheTraveller calling our contacts and making sure our clients were treated as VIP's - we had them re-protected on direct flights again and arriving 15 mins earlier than the other now cancelled flights.
All of this with no cost to the client, minimal stress, no computer says "NO" as you booked it all online through a faceless website. No, we kept clients up to speed with constant calls and reassurance that as these clients were booking with us, fully ATOL protected, over 25 years of travel experience and their holiday was safe.
Safe, secure and fully bonded..........Learn a lesson, when booking more than just a flight, book with an ATOL protected specialist and when your looking for
Local Experts, with Local Knowledge who can offer Exceptional Holidays - look no further.......
Just AsktheTraveller !