Martin Lewis shares the safest way to book summer holidays

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In this week’s Money Saving Expert (MSE) newsletter, has shared his “key” tips for booking holidays from May 17. While travel has been given the go-ahead to some destinations, restrictions around the world are likely to fluctuate in the coming months.

According to Martin, this is why opting for providers offering “flexibility” is crucial.

From booking flights to selecting a hotel, in the wake of coronavirus, many firms have updated their cancellation and rebooking policies to offer more opportunities to make fee-free changes.

In some circumstances, firms are even allowing people to cancel their holidays without losing a penny.

“As travel insurance won’t protect you for Covid cancellations, bookings with flexibility are key,” said Martin.

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© Getty Images Martin Lewis holiday advice

“Look for those that let you easily change your mind or the date, or cancel.”

Package holidays have been cited throughout the pandemic as neon the safest options due to their coverage under the Package Travel Regulations.

According to this law, holidaymakers are entitled to a refund if the travel agent, airline, hotel or any other business operating part of all of the package holiday goes bust.

It also applies if a destination shuts its borders to Britons, or the holiday is not executed as advertised.

However, Martin warns it is important to check previous customer reviews, as “not all firms have offered the swiftest remedy” when previous problems have arisen.

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The good news is, it isn’t just big-name holiday providers and airlines who are offering these flexible policies.

“Many cheap flights now offer free date changes,” explained Martin.

“You’ve a legal right to a full refund if the flight’s cancelled, yet many airlines now offer flexibility if you choose to change too.”

Furthermore, hotels around the world have also gotten on board with expanding their cancellation and rebooking policies.

© DX green list mapped

Holidaymakers should be sure to check the terms and conditions of their accommodation provider before booking.

However, the financial expert also warned that flexible place may not be covered if a firm suddenly goes into administration.

This is why paying for all bookings using a credit card is “the strongest protection.”

“Section 75 refund rules mean the card provider is jointly liable for items costing £100+,” he explained.

“So using a credit card, repaid in full of course, so there’s no interest, is best practice, and also helps if the travel firm were to go bust.”

Debit cards also benefit from protection in this instance, though to a lesser extent.

While they do no offer Section 75 capabilities, they do offer the “protection of the chargeback rules.”

A chargeback is a transaction reversal made by the bank or card issuer to dispute a transaction, in this case, if the holiday is not provided.

If successful it secures a refund for the purchase.

In any instance, it is crucial Britons do their research before making any solid plans to travel this summer.

Martin Lewis is the Founder and Chair of MoneySavingExpert.com. To join the 13 million people who get his free Money Tips weekly email, go to www.moneysavingexpert.com/latesttip

You can view more of Martin’s tips on travel at


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