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Experts offer top tips for booking your summer holiday

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With summer fast approaching, maximizing the excitement of a future holiday and minimizing the stress of the entire process is essential.

Insurance experts at Howden Insurance have compiled some top tips for travel enthusiasts wanting to book their 2024 summer holiday; from insurance advice to the best times to fly, these tips will provide you with insights into a successful booking process.

Take out travel insurance as soon as you book for guaranteed protection

The best time to buy travel insurance is directly after booking the holiday.  Depending on whether you are looking for just a single trip cover or planning multiple trips this year, the cancellation benefits from your chosen policy will begin as soon as your insurance plan comes into effect. Whether you become injured before your holiday, are made redundant and can no longer afford it, or your passport hasn’t arrived in time, you are more likely to receive greater benefits and cover than purchasing it closer to the holiday.

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Fly mid-week to save money

When it comes to catching a flight, keeping costs at a minimum is a must. Tuesday is the cheapest day to book a flight, but for domestic flights, between Monday and Wednesday is your best bet for getting a great deal. For international flights, Wednesday and Thursday are the cheapest days to book, with potential savings of up to 20%. Airfare can be prone to slight fluctuations depending on how close the flight is to the time of booking, so it is important to keep a constant eye out for any offers or deals that might occur. However, booking in advance is more likely to be a money-saving guarantee.

It’s also useful to remember that even small adjustments can save you the most money; Prices for food and beverages in the airport or on the plane can be very high, so instead of spending a fortune on the journey to your chosen destination, pack yourself some snacks and put the money you save toward your holiday spending.

Look into booking toward the end of summer for lower prices

Flights are available to purchase for about a year in advance, and prices are guaranteed to change throughout the 12 months; they tend to spike closer to the time, so booking at least six months before you intend to go on holiday is recommended, especially if you are planning a long-haul flight. Prices in summer are more than likely to reach an all-time high in June and become less expensive in August, so if you have the flexibility to book later in summer, the end of August is your best bet if you want to save some money whilst still getting a healthy dose of vitamin D and sunshine.

Check Tripadvisor before booking to compare hotel prices, ratings, and inclusions

It is easy to browse for places to stay abroad and select the cheapest one, but there are certain things that need to be taken into consideration; you don’t have to spend a fortune on a 5-star hotel to guarantee good quality and a great stay. Always research by comparing reviews to their prices, as cheaper hotels can have just as good recommendations as much more expensive ones.

It’s sensible to price up the offerings of different hotels – all-inclusive may seem more appealing when it comes to saving money, but some hotels can be misleading in what exactly that entails. If you’d like unlimited alcohol or drinks on your holiday, it can be a common misconception that all hotels include that in their packages. The hotel may advertise ten restaurants in the hotel but, in some cases, not all will be included in the price, so double-check the fine print to avoid disappointment upon arrival.

Avoiding the ghost broker scam

Choosing the right travel insurance can be overwhelming, especially if it is your first time looking for cover for your trip. Fraudulent travel insurance providers can easily take advantage of you if you are uneducated or unaware of the potential scams you may encounter – to avoid this, ensure the agent or company you purchase from is licensed and legitimate.

A common insurance scam is the “ghost-broker” scam, in which individuals present themselves as licensed agents selling travel insurance on behalf of well-known insurance companies or ones they have fabricated. Customers who pay for claims from such brokers can be left with invalid travel insurance if they do need to make a claim and are effectively “ghosted” by their travel agent; they can even end up having to pay out of their own pockets. If you have friends and family who have travelled previously, it may be worth getting recommendations so that you know your purchase will be reliable.

Be aware of “add-ons”

Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you are unsure about any part of your policy, as legitimate insurance companies will have no issue answering any queries you may have. Any suggested ‘add-ons’ or extra benefits included with a main policy, such as ‘cancellation for no reason’, is a prime example of a suggested add-on that should already be included in your policy. So, there is a large chance that the said ‘agent’ is just trying to get more money out of you, and the whole insurance plan could possibly be illegitimate.

It’s essential to recognise that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is, so it’s wise to shop around first and not settle on the first policy you see.

The dangers of phishing

Phishing is a common scam involving emails, texts, and phone calls that appear to be coming from the insurance provider you have enquired about or bought a policy from. These can be very realistic and misleading, but any company asking for personal information or bank details in this format is likely a scam – always ensure any contact from these companies comes from a verified source to avoid a stressful outcome.

A spokesperson from Howden Insurance has commented on the findings: “Booking a summer holiday can be a stressful time as there are so many aspects to consider, but having the right travel insurance for you is the best way to keep your mind at ease before and during your holiday so you can enjoy yourself and unwind. Insurance scams are extremely common and can be very believable sometimes, so it is important to be made aware of all the potential ones that may come your way.”

Tags: booking, Experts, summer holiday

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