Package holidays are not everyone’s idea of the perfect getaway, but for those of you who would prefer a DIY holiday there are a few important things to consider before booking.
Firstly, remember that paying for your DIY holiday by cash, cheque or debit card can be risky as there is always the chance that the airline company or hotel you have chosen could cease operating without any warning. And that means goodbye holiday.
But package holidays face no such risk as they are protected by ATOL (Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing), a protection scheme specifically devised to reimburse holiday-makers in the event of such a disaster.
Sadly, though, DIY holidaymakers are unfortunately not protected under the ATOL scheme.
So how then do you avoid the dreaded package-type holiday this year and safely go about organising your fun-in-the-sun independently?
There is one fail-safe form of insurance against travel disasters for those who prefer DIY holidays, and that is the trusty old credit card.
The advantages of a credit card payment for DIY holidays
Your credit card offers you complete protection when paying for your hotel booking and purchasing your airline tickets and is an invaluable safety measure for any independent holidaymaker wanting to make more than one purchase to complete their holiday plans.
Any credit card transaction of not less than f100 or more than f30,000 is protected.
Paying by credit card also covers you for any incorrect information or breach of contract by a travel company.
Don’t forget that there are numerous low cost credit cards to be had, allowing you the freedom to spend a lot more money for those little holiday luxuries together with the confidence that you are fully covered against unforeseen disasters.
Are there any disadvantages?
Credit card transaction fees could be a possible aggravation, but the advantages of a credit card payment far outweigh the disadvantages of paying for your holiday by cash, cheque or debit card.
Worse still, you could possibly lose out on your holiday altogether, not to mention all those precious Pounds that might be lost as well.
Many travellers believe that travel insurance will cover any travel disasters which might occur.
This may be so in some instances, but travel insurance offers no protection to you at all if an airline company goes out of business overnight, with the exception of EasyJet.
So relax, let that handy little credit card work for you and enjoy your holiday with complete peace of mind.
That’s far better than risking what could become a very costly and disastrous DIY holiday nightmare.
Shirley Stevens is a freelance travel writer with a background in personal finance. She writes extensively for credit card sites like ChooseMoney.co.uk, which allows you to compare travel credit cards.