Holiday booking- what do I need to know?

We’re booking a summer holiday to Spain. It’s been a while since we’ve gone on holiday, and we really don’t want anything to go wrong. What can we do to protect ourselves and prepare for the unexpected?

The chances are you’ll have the relaxing holiday you deserve, but there are a few things you can do in advance to help give you some reassurance if things were to go wrong. First up is the golden rule of getting travel insurance and brushing up on what your rights are.  

It is important to check your passport and whether it is not only in date but has enough time left on it for the country you are visiting. Renewing it can take several weeks so you don’t want to leave this until the last minute. You can check the validity of your passport for your trip on GOV.UK as well as the entry requirements of the country you’re travelling to. 

Flight delays and cancellations could happen to any of us, so it is worth knowing what your rights are if this happens.

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If your flight is delayed long enough, your airline must give you access to food and drink vouchers, phone calls and emails, and accommodation if you’re delayed overnight. If your flight is cancelled, you have a legal right to a full refund or replacement flight to help you get to your destination.  

Bags and items such as buggies going missing is another classic holiday nightmare. But you do have a right to compensation if your airline delays, loses or damages your checked-in luggage. The Citizens Advice website shows you how to do this, and you can always call our consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 if you need further help.  

You might also get compensation for other things going wrong on your holiday, for example if a day trip gets cancelled, or if you paid for a deluxe room but only got a standard one. This will depend on whether you booked a package holiday, made ‘linked travel arrangements’ or organised the holiday yourself as an independent traveller.  

To conclude, we come back to our golden rule for holidays- get travel insurance! Why? Well, it can cover many of the things already mentioned, like flight delays and lost luggage, but also things like a holiday cancellation as well as a medical emergency. You should get insurance as soon as you book a holiday to make sure you’re covered from the get-go but check first to see if you’re covered for what you need through an existing insurance policy or through your bank account. 

Hopefully you won’t face any problems while on holiday, but early planning and preparations can go a long way. If something goes wrong and you need advice on a consumer travel problem you can always check our advice pages or call our consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 

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