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Millions of Brits prepare to book summer getaways

New research by ATOL, the holiday protection scheme, has found that 5.2 million Brits are set to book their holiday this month.

As UK holidaymakers attempt to shake off the post-festive blues, this Saturday, January 5th, kickstarts a month of holiday booking excitement.

The price of the getaway is still the number one factor when booking holidays, with over a third of Brits (35 per cent) admitting they are looking to grab a bargain by booking their next holiday early.

Another quarter (26 per cent) say they are looking forward to sunshine and hot weather after such dreary weather this winter.

However, despite a large number of expected holiday bookings in January, seven out of ten (69 per cent) of those surveyed admitted they do not always seek financial protection for their holiday getaways, putting themselves at risk of being out of pocket if their airline or travel company goes out of business.

Andy Cohen, head of ATOL, said: “January traditionally sees Brits rushing to book their summer holiday, with Sunshine Saturday still expected to be one of the busiest booking days of the year.

“However, with consumers taking advantage of holiday bargains and booking quickly, many are missing out on financial protection.

“If you are booking a package holiday, make sure you check for the ATOL logo to ensure you are protected.”

For all those looking to book their holiday this January, consumer travel expert, Harry Wallop, has partnered with ATOL to provide top tips on how to best protect a holiday:

  • Check for ATOL protection: Look for the logo on your travel company’s website, brochure or shop front.
  • Pay on credit card: If you are not booking a package holiday, always pay for your trip with a credit card. By doing this you will be protected for up to £30,000 under section 75 of the UK Consumer Credit Act.
  • Watch out for hidden costs: Use a foreign currency pre-payment card to avoid high transactions and bank fees. Make sure you also check the airport and resort fees, such as baggage allowance and hotel transfers, to avoid any surprises.
  • Check financial protection if booking with foreign-based travel companies: There are some foreign-based travel companies which offer holidays to UK tourists, but these will often not be ATOL protected. Do your research and check what financial protection they provide.
  • Get travel insurance as soon as you book: You should consider taking out a policy as soon as you’ve booked your trip to ensure you’re covered should anything go wrong before you take off.

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