Top tips from On the Beach on how to protect your holiday

Hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers have been hit by the sad collapse of Thomas Cook. Breaks have been cancelled and flight availability and holiday prices are volatile across the UK travel industry.

So what can you do to ensure any future holidays are trouble-free and safe. Beach holiday expert On the Beach shares its advice for customers with readers on how to protect your holiday.

Ensure that your booking is ATOL protected
All UK travel companies selling package holidays must hold an ATOL certificate by law. This means that booking your flights and accommodation in one place will keep your money safe and that – should the absolute worst situation happen and your travel company collapse – you would get your money back or a replacement holiday.

Booking through an agent that has access to a wide range of flight providers and hotel chains will mean that you can combine access to a large variety of choice with the peace of mind that comes from booking your flights and accommodation at once, and thereby benefiting from ATOL protection.

Consider long haul getaways
Exploring destinations a little further afield, and that have a large range of flight providers travelling there, offer great value for money right now. If you’re looking to get away between now and the New Year then there are great options available and good value deals to be had to destinations that include Cancun, Barbados and Dubai. A week’s stay, including flights, at the 4*Smart by Oasis hotel in Cancun is available for £846 during December.

Be flexible with your destination
There’s no doubt that those destinations where Thomas Cook provided a significant proportion of flight capacity will have the highest demand in comparison to availability now that those flights are unavailable.
That includes destinations such as Turkey – where around 50% of the flight capacity was run by Thomas Cook. If you’re looking to holiday in Europe and need to depart in the next few weeks, then mainland Spain will provide some of the best deals for flights departing in the short term.

If you don’t have a specific destination in mind, then being flexible with your destination, and selecting ‘search all destinations’ on will help you access the widest possible range of deals available.

Widen your airport options
If you’re looking to get the best deals and availability, extending your departure airport choices could open up more travel options and better deals. Try looking at airports within a 90-minute journey of your home to widen the options available and consider booking flights that depart from and return to different airports, giving you access to a broader range of airlines, flight times and the cheapest outward and inbound deals. 

Book using a credit card
Using a credit card to book your holiday won’t incur additional fees and most credit cards provide free protection on purchases over £100, giving you extra peace of mind and security should anything happen to your travel company. This also applies when you’re making deposit payments, providing this is more than £100.  Just make sure that you choose a 0% card and make repayments within the 0% interest period. 

Simon Cooper, CEO and Founder of On the Beach said: “Inevitably in the wake of such a sizeable collapse, and with demand hugely outweighing available flight seats, prices are currently volatile. Though as suppliers have chance to respond and increase their capacity, more supply and more regular pricing will become available in the coming weeks and months.  So, my advice would be to keep checking back to find the best deals as they become available.”