Holidaymakers beware: what to look out for when browsing travel ‘deals’

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

The gloomy winter weather and the start of a New Year mean that now is the perfect time to book a summer holiday.

compare travel cardsHowever, with a mass of Brits booking trips overseas, travel operators are looking to cash in, and tricks of the travel trade are not in short supply. Here are a few things to look out for:

Problematic price-match promises

It’s best not to think of price match as a guarantee of low prices, mainly because it is very difficult to find an identical holiday to the one you’ve just booked.

The Virgin Holidays Price Match Guarantee will give you a full refund on your holiday if you find exactly the same holiday being offered elsewhere for a lower price – but the same really does mean identical, down to dates, car hire and insurance. It is therefore usually more worthwhile to compare rates before you book, rather than after.

Dubious discounts

Some holidays look cheaper than others because they are purposefully advertised as a special offer, when in fact once you’ve added on all the extras the figures look more than a little scary.

Once you have a final price, get some quotes from various other sources and compare costs between competitors.

Questionable car hire charges

If you think a headline price is too good to be true, it probably is. Unbelievably low headline prices are unlikely to lead you to the cheapest car, especially after adding in the cost of insurance, excess waivers and fuel.

Ask yourself whether you will really need a car whilst overseas. What are the public transport links at your destination like? Is it cheap to get around without a car? If research confirms quality public transport, it may be best to overlook the car hire altogether.

Another good way to keep the overall cost of a holiday to a minimum is to organise your travel money in advance in order to avoid expensive airport rates.

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