How to safely book a trip online?

Over 60% of travelers book their tickets or accommodation online. However, booking online isn’t without risks, online scams are on the rise. Here are some things to keep in mind to book online safely.

5 questions to ask yourself

1. Have you compared offers and deals?

Before buying, it’s important to compare fares. Lot of websites offer excellent bargains so you might want to explore your options before booking. Take a look at fares, booking conditions, cancellation policy, accommodation, options, reviews…

2. Is this website trustworthy?

Do not trust unknown, poorly referenced websites with very few visitors. Always favor renowned websites. It’s not uncommon for untrustworthy website to briefly appear online to attract customers and disappear just as fast, so you can’t take any legal actions against them.

3. Does the accommodation you want to book exist at all?

Look up information through different means and websites. Use Google Street to check if it’s real. Call reception or a contact on-spot to verify it matches the description. Check the address on Google map to see if the localization and surroundings are accurate to that of the description (is it close to the beach, supermarkets…)

4. Are the fares accurate?

Generalist websites may seem to offer good deals, but sometimes it might be cheaper to book directly through the hotel website.

Be careful regarding any additional expenses and costs for which you could be charged and that might not be included in standard prices (breakfast, parking lot…)

Are payments taken on a safe platform? Only pay on websites which provides a secure payment system.

Make sure you don’t get charged for management costs.

Some low-cost airlines reserve the right to modify a flight or a booking on simple notice, leaving you with no other option but to accept or cancel your reservation, which may have negative repercussions on your holiday plans.

5. Have you thoroughly fill the booking form?

  • Check out if there are any deadlines to make changes to your reservation
  • Favor booking via email so you may keep a written evidence in case of dispute
  • Always proof read what you’ve written in the form, you may be charged to make additional changes
  • Go through the form before sending it and copy it
  • Pay attention to additional services that you may be charged for without your knowledge.

This article was first published by Europ Assistance Belgium. Discover more insight here: http://blog.europ-assistance.be