(NC)-As the holiday season approaches, people are looking to get that one special gift for their family of special someone. So you decide to book a vacation of a lifetime. Or so you thought! To ensure you truly have that vacation of a lifetime, here are some holiday travel tips from Ontario's Consumer Protection Branch.
Book with a registered Ontario travel agency or wholesaler to ensure you are protected in case of an airline or cruise line failure. Under the law, travel agencies and some online travel companies in Ontario must be registered with the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) and meet the requirements and regulations of the act. Dealing with an Ontario-registered agency is your protection under the act and the Travel Industry Compensation Fund.
Talk with your travel agent. Understand what services are offered, the prices and the terms and conditions of your reservation, including refund policies and any penalties.
Some travel agents charge a non-refundable travel-counselling fee. Find out in advance if your travel agent does.
Don't let illness or mishap cost you the price of your vacation. Play it safe by taking travel cancellation insurance.
Get it in writing. Before you buy, always get a written confirmation with all the details of your trip.
Both Ontario travel agencies and travel wholesalers must disclose the full cost of the travel services in their advertisements. This protects consumers from hidden fees (i.e. a trip to London is advertised as $200, but when you book, you pay an additional $200 in taxes, surcharges and other fees). The ad must provide the total price of the trip or the base price.
Protect yourself from fraud and identity theft. Never carry more personal documents than you need and be sure to keep them safe.