Booking Holidays & Travel Safely Online

holiday bookings

Most of us look forward to an annual holiday or short break which, more often than not, we find and book online.

But fraudsters also love the internet. They use fake websites, listings, emails, advertisements, social media posts and texts – and also phone calls – to trick you into paying for a holiday or other travel to Never Never Land. In other words, it simply doesn’t exist.

To help save you from losing your holiday and your money, we’ve put together some expert tips on safely searching and booking holidays and travel with confidence.

Don’t end up in Never Never Land

  • Thoroughly research your package holiday, flight, accommodation, cruise, pilgrimage or other break/travel to make sure it’s authentic.
  • Be wary of unusually cheap holidays/flights or high deposits.
  • Check that accommodation actually exists by finding it on Google Maps and looking for independent reviews and recommendations. Make sure there’s a phone number, and call the owner/agent directly to try to ascertain if the person you’re booking the holiday with is authorised to sell it to you. If the number isn’t provided, email and request it. Ask questions to see if they have knowledge of the area.
  • Check reviews on TripAdvisor or similar sites.
  • If you’re booking accommodation via Airbnb, always keep communications and payment on the Airbnb platform, and don’t be tempted off it as this may indicate an attempt at fraud. You can find online safety advice at
  • Never pay by bank transfer to a company or person you haven’t had personal experience of buying from previously. If it’s a fraud, you may never get your money back. Paying by credit card means more chance of getting your money back if something goes wrong.
  • Check that travel agents and tour operators you book holidays and travel through are members of trade associations such as ABTA or ATOL, by checking on these bodies’ websites.
  • Check terms and conditions prior to making any payment.
  • Before paying online or providing any confidential details, type in the website address you know to be correct (instead of following a link) and ensure the payment page is secure (begins with ‘https’ and has a locked padlock in the browser window frame).
  • Keep confirmations and payment receipts, and check bank / credit card statements for irregular entries.
  • If lose money to fraud, always report it immediately to your bank, as this will increase your chance of getting your money back and the fraudster being traced. Also report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre, on 0300 123 20 40 or at In Scotland, report fraud to Police Scotland by calling 101.

Click here for full information on booking and paying for holidays and travel online with safety and confidence.


In partnership with