Travellers have been warned to exercise caution and check package details when booking a holiday tomorrow, the first Saturday of the New Year.
Dubbed “Sunshine Saturday”, 7 January is predicted to see a surge in bookings as one of the most popular dates to plan a trip.
Industry body Abta – The Travel Association today predicted a bumper day for holiday bookings this weekend.
It said Sunshine Saturday would be “one of the busiest for a number of years” due to largely relaxed Covid restrictions in the world’s top destinations, despite the cost of living crisis.
However, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) issued a statement urging travellers to exercise caution, check for Atol protection and read the small print on seemingly bargain holiday deals.
The aviation body issued a list of seven top tips for booking a holiday to ensure consumers won’t lose money if something goes wrong, as well as four tips for checking for hidden costs from an unfamiliar tour operator.
A recent consumer survey by the CAA found that seven in 10 consumers thought it was even more important to have a holiday protected by Atol since the pandemic.
Michael Budge, head of Atol at the CAA, said: “This weekend, typically known as ‘Sunshine Saturday’, is traditionally the busiest time of the year for people booking their holidays.
“Many consumers will be taking advantage of deals so it’s more important than ever to make smart decisions when booking your next trip.
“Holidays can be a significant financial outlay, especially in the current economic climate. Our research tells us that many consumers thought it was important to have a trip financially protected by Atol.
“Our top tips will help many people to stay financially secure and watch out for hidden costs.”
Abta said that research at the end of 2022 had shown that 61 per cent of Britons polled were planning to go abroad this year, with 31 per cent saying they will book earlier than normal in order to get the best price for their holiday.
Its poll of 2,000 British consumers found that the top five holiday destinations for 2023, in order of popularity, were Spain, the US, France, Italy and Greece.
The CAA’s top tips for booking a holiday this weekend:
- Book an Atol-protected trip and keep your Atol Certificate.
- Before booking, check that the travel provider is a legitimate Atol holder, which…