Free Independent travellers like to make their own plans, build and book their own itineraries.
With lots of offers available its tempting to book that AirBNB, some flights, transfers and excursions (all on separate bookings)
Since covid, tourism is restarting but with staff issues, IT challenges, and increasing inflation globally, the risks of holiday disasters are higher than ever.
How can you protect yourself ?
If you purchase travel independently you’re more or less on your own when things go wrong. You can get some protection if you purchase with a credit card, as the consumer credit act requires the supplier to full-fill their obligations, and both the bank and the merchant have joint responsibility.
If you buy via a travel agent as a tour, package or dynamic package, you will be protected by EU package travel regulations. Package Travel Regulations are a EU Law (now adopted also by UK post Brexit), which makes the travel agent (or tour operator) the principle. The principle has the responsibility of all the elements in your booking.
If your flight is cancelled or delayed, and you cannot reach your hotel, as a package it’s your travel agents responsibility to help resolve the issues.
WIth flights being cancelled due to limited staff availability1 and/or IT issues2 there has been a higher than usual amount of disruption and for an independent traveller this can cause itinerary challenges and stress when you should be enjoying your holiday.
When you buy more than 1 travel components (flight, hotel etc) via a travel agent, package travel regulations come into effect. Travel purchased within 24h of another booking (under certain conditions) are also covered under linked travel arrangements.
My recommendation is to book travel as a package with your preferred travel agency to protect yourself, at least for your flight + hotel component. not only will you get better protection, you might also get a better price too!