Once upon a time, when people wanted to book a holiday they went to see the travel agent. Usually found on a high street with heavy pedestrian traffic, the travel agent was the start of vacation dreams for several decades – until a new, flashier kid arrived on the block.
With the advent of the Internet age, life for travel agents and holiday makers changed forever. Now, we can go online and find the best deals to suit us, all without paying a hefty arrangement fee to a travel agent. It’s simple, easy and can be done from the comfort of your living room – but the travel agents aren’t going out of business just yet… so what’s stopping everyone converting to Internet holiday booking?
Clearly, the biggest difference between online travel agents and personal, high street conventional travel agents is the face-to-face factor. With a conventional travel agent, you can sit down and discuss your needs with an actual person, and you can get recommendations as you browse. The Internet loses this personal sense a little, and may explain why some have yet to discover the joys of Internet holidays.
The main concern, however, appears to be concerns about Internet safety and passenger protection. Holidays are expensive – that’s a given – and many people just don’t feel comfortable tapping their credit card details in to a faceless computer.
If that’s why you’ve yet to book a holiday online, don’t panic. Use the usual security checks before entering card details, ensure that a ‘https’ web server or a small padlock icon is visible in the URL address bar – this usually means a site is security-protected, and you’re good to go. However, if you strongly perceive a scam, call your bank to block the transaction and your card immediately. Remember, some banks offer additional security by requesting for purchase authentication via your smartphone.