Expert explains how to avoid ‘devastating’ holiday scams

An online consumer expert from has warned Britons how to avoid several common scams that could cost them their holiday. John Stirzaker said: “The moment the weather starts to warm up, our first thoughts immediately turn to booking a holiday. Unfortunately, many scammers are using people’s desire for a break as an opportunity to exploit and deceive others out of their hard-earned money.

“This isn’t only devastating to many families who have saved for years to afford the holiday, but it can make them scared to ever book one again in the future.”

Check reviews on multiple websites

“Review standards vary in each country, so while it may be listed as a five-star, it may in fact be lower.

“Hotel owners can also dispute any low reviews if ‘unjustly’ made, which can make the reviews higher than they should be.”

Britons should check the hotel’s reviews on a few different sites before choosing their accommodation.

Double-check the booking site

“Scammers can create fake webpages that look identical to legitimate booking sites meaning you’ll be directly paying into their pocket for a trip that will never happen.

“Always make sure the links are correct by double-checking for any misspellings and if the site quality is lower than it should be.”

Websites that appear to be low quality could be a scam. Britons should look out for bad grammar or incorrect spelling.

British tourists can also try reverse-searching images on Google to check the photos haven’t been ripped from another site.

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Ride airline verified coach transfers

“When booking coaches, try and stick to airline-verified ones that are the same as your flight, otherwise you could be conned by paying over the odds for spare seats on a random coach at the airport. They may also take the longer route to get you to pay more for the ride.”

Britons can check reviews to find a reputable coach company or they could ask their accommodation provider for advice.

If Britons have booked a package holiday, they may get a transfer to their hotel included in the overall price.

If it’s a city break, it may be better to take public transport or a taxi to the centre of the city.

Travel insurance

“Only book travel insurance via verified websites with certification and approval checks otherwise you could be giving your bank details to fraudsters.

“When you book through verified sites, read the fine print before going through to check everything it covers in case of worst-case scenarios. Quotes may also be higher if you have pre-existing medical conditions so make sure to fill out the form correctly.”

Britons could try using a comparison site to find the best deal on travel insurance for their holiday needs.

It’s nearly always cheaper to buy travel insurance separately rather than purchase it through an airline.

Hold off from buying experiences unless it’s a verified package holiday

“Experience deals may not be sold at the right price or won’t provide what’s in the description if it’s booked on external pages.

“Try booking these things through your hotel to make sure they’re legit or you could end up paying double the amount you intended to.”

Britons should shop around before booking experiences to make sure they’re getting the right price.

This is also the case for cruise passengers who may be able to find a better deal separately than with the cruise company.

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