How to trip the light fantastic
Anthony Dennis asks industry experts to share their top tips for avoiding trouble while roaming the world
FOR a pursuit with such a faithful and passionate following, travel can sometimes be a cruel master.
One mistake, one lapse in concentration, one act of carelessness, one poor decision can destroy a holiday and all of its memories.
But many mistakes can be avoided by adequate preparation and research before you take off.
Here, then, are some of the most common mistakes and some commonsense ways to avoid them:
1 Net loss
Penny Spencer, managing director of Spencer Travel, nominates ‘‘ DIY travel’’ – where travel is booked online – as one of the most common areas where travellers come unstuck.
‘‘ One of my clients booked a flight online in 2010 when he wanted to travel in 2009,’’ Spencer says. ‘‘ So, on turning up to the airport, he found he was at check-in a year before he had booked and the flight was full.’’
Airlines, too, report tales of couples turning up at airports for their honeymoon trip only to discover that they’d entered the wrong date or even the wrong destination when they’d booked the flights online.
Although more and more of us book online, credible travel agents remain a more reliable method of arranging a trip, especially if you’re not a regular traveller and are unused to booking a large amount of travel online.
Remember, too, that not every site is genuine. Spencer recalls one client who arrived at a New York apartment for which he’d booked and pre-paid online. But the owner had no record of the transaction. It was a fake site – his money never reached the owner.