We all lead busy lives and in doing so, we sometimes make simple mistakes in our daily transactions, which can cost us in time and money. When it comes to travel, holiday makers commit some simple errors which not only affects their pockets but can have an effect on their planned getaway. Because of my work in helping holiday makers, there are some key pointers I want to share with you which may help you recognise these potential travel problems when booking online:
1. Failure to read T&Cs: Whilst the urge may be to yawn and fall asleep, I would urge you to stick with me on this one. In all contracts the T&Cs (terms and conditions) are always central to what should happen if something goes wrong in the contract; they set out what a travel company say they will do to help you or indeed not accept. For travelers, they should understand what travel companies will do if things go wrong; how will they put it right; what your responsibilities are to advise them of a problem; how they describe the product you are buying - do they limit your rights; in which country are they based and where can you take action if you cannot resolve your dispute with them amicably? These are the basic questions or points you should understand, regardless of the product and you should always have the answers to these points and questions before you click and go. By taking the time to read the T&Cs, it will either make you think twice about your purchase or equip you with key information if something does go wrong!
2. Check your spelling! Sometimes in a rush, some holiday makers have entered incorrect spelling of family names! If it's your fault, then you may have to pay a fee to change the names so that they match your identity documents. If on the other hand the travel company made the mistake, then you can compel them to change your personal details without charge under the Data Protection Act. Taking the time to check your details will save you the hassle of dealing with this common problem!
3. Check you are booking the destination you want! This may seem like common sense but sometimes the way our IT equipment or some websites operate can lead us unwittingly into choices we did not intend to make! For example, booking to travel to Birmingham in the UK or Birmingham, Alabama in the USA - you need to make sure you have chosen the correct destination? Drop down boxes can deliver anomalies, simply because the click we thought we were making actually delivered a different click choice! Whilst some holiday makers have been ridiculed for their unintended 'choices', remember, it could happen to anyone. The simple rule is to always check and double check your choices!
4. Always check whether a website is bona-fide! In this digital age it is easy to assume that whatever is delivered through our internet searches must be genuine! Sites which are not so genuine tend to offer unbelievable prices which unfortunately tends to blind the viewer. This 'hook and bait' operation is often here today and gone tomorrow causing some consumers to make decisions they wouldn't ordinarily make! If it looks too good to be true then check and double check as to whether a site is genuine - search for their trading name, web address or other details at the bottom of the website. Using these details add the word 'complaints' into your search terms and determine if other consumers have been caught out by these 'great' offers! You have worked hard for your cash - take extra care before you part with it because all that glitters is not necessarily gold!
5. Check you are only paying for what you have booked! As you move through the booking process or indeed before you click and go, check the rolling summary on the page for what you have ordered. Does it reflect your destination and dates? Has it added bags in when you don't want them? Has it automatically booked seats? Are there extra costs which you are not sure about? Keep an eye on that summary before you click to pay because it may be too late to correct errors when you've pressed the submit button!
By recognising these common mistakes and making sure you don't repeat these errors, you will reduce the potential for problems as you head off to your destination relatively stress-free!