Spain is consistently one of the top destinations for UK travellers, and the country’s Government has just announced Covid-19 restrictions have now been dropped for visitors – just in time for October half-term too!
Tens of millions of us can’t get enough of what Spain has to offer – whether that is sunny beaches, historic cities offering world-famous architecture and culture, vibrant nightlife on a Balearic Island or amazing food and drink.
Most of us are likely to have visited Spain at one time or another so it is no surprise that the country welcomes 30 million British tourists a year.
If you are planning a trip to Spain anytime soon, here’s what you need to know when booking:
Book an ATOL protected trip
Every travel company that sells air package trips in the UK is required to hold an ATOL, which stands for Air Travel Organiser’s Licence. The scheme also applies to some flight bookings.
Usually, an ATOL protected package is typically where the flight and accommodation are booked together, but can be a flight plus another item such as car hire or tickets for an event.
If a travel company with an ATOL stops trading, the scheme protects you if you have booked an air package trip with them, making sure you don’t get stuck abroad or lose money.
Before booking, you should always check that your travel firm is a legitimate ATOL holder. You can do this on the UK Civil Aviation Authority website.
When you book, your travel company must provide you with an ATOL Certificate, which tells you what you are protected against if they stop trading as an ATOL holder, and shows exactly which parts of your booking are ATOL protected.
Use a credit card when booking
Using a credit card can allow you to benefit from enhanced purchase protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.
This means if you pay for your flight or accommodation with a credit card and something goes awry, in many cases your credit card issuer should provide you with your money back (as long as the purchase is between £100-£30,000).
Take out travel insurance
Travel insurance can provide extra protection if your trip doesn’t go as planned.
It can protect you from a variety of things going wrong, from cancellations, missed transport, medical emergencies and lost/stolen items. Always check the insurance terms and conditions for full details of coverage.
Without travel insurance, you are responsible for paying to deal with most issues whilst away or you could lose money already paid if you have to cancel your trip.
Travel insurance is widely available online and different types of coverage should be considered.
Michael Budge, Head of ATOL at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said:
“With Covid restrictions finally easing, millions of UK travellers are likely to hop on a plane for the short flight to sunny Spain. The first package tours sold in UK often visited Spain and our love affair with the country has grown from there, with 30 million British tourists visiting every year.
“Booking an ATOL protected trip, paying by credit card and taking out travel insurance provides extra certainty that holidaymakers can book with confidence and get back to travelling again.”
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