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Beating The New Year Blues But Be Careful!
Phil Hopkins, Arts & Travel Editor
ATOL Protected
In the wake of ‘Sunshine Saturday’ around 690,000 people living in Yorkshire and Humber will have now booked holidays in a bid to beat the New Year Blues!

That’s according to research from ATOL, the UK’s air holiday financial protection scheme.

Last Saturday, dubbed ‘Sunshine Saturday’, saw the biggest spike in holiday bookings, as UK holidaymakers set out to beat the post-festive season blues.

The research also revealed that 2018 is set to be the year of the package holiday revival. Almost two thirds (62 per cent) of consumers living in Yorkshire and Humber are booking, or considering booking, package holidays this year, citing convenience and ease of budgeting as the main reasons for choosing this type of break over a DIY trip. By comparison in 2017 under half (47 per cent) of consumers booked package holidays.

Another key benefit of the package holiday is ATOL protection, something that over 22 million Brits consider a top priority when planning a holiday abroad. ATOL protection ensures holidaymakers are protected should the worst happen, and their travel company fail.

Some top tips on how best to protect your holiday:

1. Check for ATOL protection: Make sure your package holiday is ATOL protected before booking. This will also help protect you if your travel company collapses.

2. Always pay on credit card: If you are not booking a package holiday, always pay for your trip with a credit card. By doing this you will be protected for up to £30,000 under section 75 of the Consumer Credit
Act.

3. Check your travel agent: As well as being ATOL protected, it’s worth seeing if your package holiday company is a member of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) or another respected industry body.

4. Get travel insurance as soon as you book.

5. Use Google Street view and read reviews: Use Google Street view to scout around the location of your hotel or holiday home to check if it is the same as the website/brochure promises. It’s also a good idea to read previous reviews – remember to take the extremely positive and negative ones with a pinch of salt, and instead focus on those in the
middle which give a more balanced view.

6. Budget wisely and watch out for hidden costs: Use a foreign currency pre-payment card to avoid rip-off transactions and bank fees, and never exchange money at the airport. Make sure you also check the airport and resort fees, such as baggage allowance and hotel transfers,
to avoid any nasty surprises.


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Richard Moriarty, Consumers & Markets Director at the Civil Aviation Authority said, “Lots of consumers research holidays over Christmas and New Year, and now people are back to work and reality, it’s no surprise that millions of people across the country are now booking their trips abroad.

“We’re urging all those planning their holidays this January to ask about ATOL before booking. Having an ATOL certificate means that your holiday is financially protected, and will prevent you from being stranded or losing money if you travel company or airline goes bust.”

Visit www.packpeaceofmind.co.uk for more information about ATOL protection.

Beating The New Year Blues But Be Careful!, 11th January 2018, 13:42 PM