There are obvious advantages by booking so very last minute such as finding the cheapest deals, go where the fabulous weather is guaranteed and allowing your circumstances to dictate where and when you go.
The study by ATOL also found regional disparities with people living in London more likely to leave booking until on the day of departure and men are more likely to say they would consider booking later than women.
Sometimes finding a great deal can be the major factor when booking a holiday, but one thing which must be checked is that your holiday bargain is ATOL protected. The ATOL number can be found on the website or holiday brochure. If they don’t have one, then it’s probably best to avoid buying. ATOL is there to ensure that you don't lose the money you paid out or become stranded abroad if your travel company collapses. If an ATOL protected travel company ceases trading, the scheme protects customers who have booked holidays with the firm.
You should also only book a last minute holiday if you are certain that you will be able to get your travel insurance – unless you have an annual travel insurance policy.
ATOL used the late booking research to highlight the importance of protected holidays as the summer half term getaway is about to start. It issued four easy tips to help consumers protect their holiday:
- Look for the logo: Spend just a couple of minutes looking for the ATOL logo on the travel company’s website.
- Check out the credentials: Use ATOL’s online checker at www.packpeaceofmind.co.uk to verify the ATOL number given to you by your travel company.
- Keep the documents: Take, or photograph with your phone, the ATOL certificate you received from your travel company on your trip.
- Pay with plastic: Use your credit or debit card to pay for your holiday as these give some protection if your travel company goes bust.
Have you ever booked a last-minute holiday? If so let us know why in the comment section below. If you would like to book a holiday, call our team on 01243 213 213 or need travel insurance for an existing holiday call us on 01243 784000.