10 Tips for choosing the right package holiday from a brochure
Booking holidays is now so easy that it is tempting to book on the spur of the moment the minute you find a deal you like the look of.
But holiday brochures and Internet descriptions of resorts and hotels are designed to act as an inducement to buy – ie they are designed to convert your initial interest into a sale!
There are a few steps you can take when choosing a package holiday from a brochure or online tour operator to make sure your dream holiday does not turn out to be a nightmare.
- If a holiday description seems too good to be true, compare resort and hotel descriptions with rival holiday brochures and sites like Tripadvisor, which features reviews and images from holidaymakers who have actually stayed at the resort or hotel
- Make sure your holiday is a regulated package holiday and is ATOL protected – which will ensure that if anything goes wrong, you will have some legal protection under the 1992 Package Travel Regulations
- If you are unsure about any of the details of the resort or hotel, travel agents carry a publication called the Gazetteer which lists all the relevant details of a resort or hotel – this is usually available at a high street travel agent and you can check what it says against any brochure or online description
- There is nothing to stop you emailing or phoning a hotel abroad to check details even if you are intending to book through a package tour operator
- If you are unsure about booking a brochure holiday, make a list of all the things you want from your holiday – eg Kids’ Club, beach location, peaceful or lively resort – and see how many of your wish list the holiday, resort and hotel fulfils
- Do not be tempted to book a holiday just because it is cheap – you may be lucky, but gut instinct often plays a part, so take a deep breath before you commit and look at other holidays first
- Reading the Booking Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) before you book is crucial – and you should also print these off in case you do hit a snag on your brochure holiday
- When you book a holiday, all the different aspects of it such as transport, accommodations, any meals or excursions form part of a contract and if your holiday is protected with an ATOL certificate at the time of booking, this will protect all the components of your brochure package holiday if something goes wrong, so always book a regulated package with an ATOL certificate
- Remember that all the holiday and hotel descriptions in a brochure or on a website also form part of the holiday contract, so if any aspect is not accurate or the holiday is changed, your package tour operator is legally responsible for supplying a holiday of the same or similar standard
- Don’t forget to take the holiday brochure or website details with you on holiday – including the T&Cs and any helpline numbers.