General Travel Advice
Even the experienced traveller needs to take a great deal of care in planning a trip. Most of the time nothing goes wrong, but if it does you really do need to be prepared. Take advantage of our printable travel trip check list and avoid the pitfalls that are regularly reported to us.
In recent months we have had many cases where holiday stopping events have occured after booking. ALWAYS arrange travel insurance as soon as you make your flight or holiday booking. Tour operators and travel agents will not normally refund however bad the tragedy. They make sympathetic noises but some see it as a bonus rather than a problem. To them it's a holiday they may be able to sell twice! Use our travellers check list at this link.
Travel Regulation Care
Travellers must be aware that it is their personal responsibility to ensure that they meet all Visa and other travel requirements before commencing their journey. The consequence of not doing so can be profound.
Mr K's family recently travelled to Brazil without him, but when Mrs K and her children attempted to return to the UK, they were prevented from doing so by the Brazilian authorities who will not allow a lone parent to take children out of the country. In this case, not being aware of the regulations before travel has caused a great deal of distress and additional expense.
Expect travel agents and airlines to offer advice on such matters, but they do not have the final responsibility; YOU DO! Check with the visa section of the relevant embassy if you are not certain that you are absolutely aware of the requirements you must meet for your journey.
Stop being a 'Sticky' Customer!
What is a 'sticky' customer? This is a term companies apply to those customers who either by design or ignorance can be relied upon to stay with the company. This happens where a company earns a reputation for being good value and despite market trends offering better value almost everywhere else, the company retains its customers because those customers are too lazy or too foolish to research other opportunities.
Beware Europcar on the Continent
Over the past couple of years we have had a number of e-mails about outrageous charges levied by Europcar for minor damage to hire cars. Europcar, owned by EURAZEO, is a franchise organisation with some very dodgy franchisees. Nice seems to be the worst place to hire from this company. The credit card of one customer was debited over €919 for a small dent in a bumper caused when they left the vehicle in a car park. More recently, another Europcar Nice customer's card was debited more than €500 for a dent in the steel wheel of a Peugeot and another in Malaga, €800 for a broken clutch cable! You can avoid such overcharging by using a credit card with a very low spend limit or avoiding this company altogether.
Before Travelling to any suspect region, check the latest travel advice with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office:
Finding new experiences is one of the great joys of travel. In these days when conforming to a pattern is more and more a part of life, when you find something different it is worth letting people know. If you are going to the Auburn area of California drop in and see Charlie Green at his fabulous winery in the hills.
We have had a host of recent complaints about this company who take additonal charges from credit cards without the customer's authorisation. Although they are Fly.co.uk they operate out of Leipzig in Germany. They do not return calls and frequently send information etc. in German. Our advice is to avoid them like the plague.
Airline Return Tickets - Warning!
James who is currently in Australia e-mailed to say that he was stuck in Australia. To ensure that he could travel back to the UK on the same flight as his girl friend he purchased a return ticket intending to use only the return half. When he did not turn up for the outbound flight the airline voided to whole ticket so he lost his money.
This highlights a problem that can affect quite a number of people and one that arises from general ignorance of airline practices. If you purchase a return airline ticket and do not make the outward journey, the airline will void the whole ticket. They assume the right to believe that if you did not go, you will not be coming back. They pocket your money and sell the ticket again.
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