Booking holidays can always been an ordeal if you are not careful and most of the time customers get taken for a ride when they realize that the holiday in reality does not turn out to be as it was promised by the agency.
Booking holidays via the internet is becoming more popular and promising as travelers get to choose the place, accommodation and other aspects of their holiday themselves. However, one needs to be careful while booking anything online let alone travel packages. Here are a few tips to ensure that your first experience with a holiday booked via the internet is pleasant.
Check for accreditation: It doesn’t matter if you book your holidays online or via a travel agency. The first thing you need to check for is whether the company or website you are associated with is a legitimate one.
In case of travel websites which allow you to book holidays, check for ATOL accreditation which would usually be an ATOL sign at the top left hand corner of the page. It is also considered wise to read the policies and terms of the website to see if they are accredited to any major travel organizations like ABTA or TTA.
Search for good deals: It is not completely necessary that you need to book with the first website you visit. Search around a bit. Open up Google and search for travel websites and you would get a lot of choices.
A reason this is recommended is because some websites have priority deals with certain hotels and resorts and offer great bargains that you would not want to miss out on. In case you get confused with handling all the details, open up websites like travelsupermarket.com or traveljungle.com. Give your specifications and these websites do your job of searching numerous travel related websites and coming up with the best prices and deals.
Check for cancellation policies: Before you decide to book online, it is recommended to go through the cancellation policies of the particular website and hotel you are interested in. Some hotels and websites provide half the money back upon cancellation and others do not. It is better to have an idea of what to expect and what not to expect in case you need to cancel the holiday.
Good websites normally have a ‘contact us’ section with a geographical address and a telephone number to contact in case of emergencies. You may want to check the address and try out the number to see if it’s genuine or fake.
Get confirmation of the final price:Before you actually decide to book with a website, be sure to get the final price of the holiday up on the page and the particulars of the holiday included in the price. Take out a printout of the page for future use. Also check the FAQ page of the website to see the general booking procedure.
Booking Procedure: Ok, if you are interested in a particular website and decide to go ahead and book a holiday there, here are a few knick knacks you need to be aware of. Once you get all the particulars open on the page and click on book, you will be asked to fill a form which would normally require the names of the passengers traveling, their ages and passport numbers if you are traveling by flight to the destination. Sometimes you will be asked to provide only your mail address and a representative gets back to you with the procedural details via email.
Be wary of providing card details: Once you fill in all the details and click on another button (which usually says ‘confirm’), another page usually pops up asking for your card details. Here comes the tricky part. Most of the time, payments made by debit cards are subject to fraudulent use and you may end up losing your money.
A better option would be to use a credit card which allows only the specific amount to be scratched off your card. Be aware though that almost all websites charge an extra fee for credit card processing that goes as either a separate amount or as a percentage of the total holiday cost.
Take out Necessary Printouts: Once you book the holiday, you will get a confirmation page which usually contains the flight particulars, details of the hotel you will be staying in and other particulars along with a confirmation number. Take a printout of it and keep it in hand while you travel, lest something might go wrong and you would have to produce it at the destination to clarify the details.
Don’t delete the confirmation email either. Keep it safe in your inbox until you complete your holiday and come back home. This lets you be aware of discrepancies if any in the total bill or other specifications in the holiday.
Take the time to choose your holiday and be wary of all the above points when you are booking one online. For a holiday is meant to be enjoyed and remembered, and you wouldn’t want little disturbances to damper your holiday spirit would you?