Smart Travel Tips For Consumers
No matter where you travel, smart travel planning is an investment that is well worth the effort. Know your rights as a travel consumer and keep these tips in mind for planning a successful vacation.
Choose a TICO-registered travel agency
Always book your vacation with a travel agency registered with the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO). That way, if you don't receive the travel services you paid for due to the bankruptcy or insolvency of a registered travel retailer, wholesaler or an airline or cruise line, you can claim for a reimbursement of up to $5,000 per person from the Ontario Travel Industry Compensation Fund.
Online booking options are on the rise. If you are considering booking your vacation online, look for the Ontario registration number on the website. Contact TICO at www.tico.ca if you are not sure where to find this. Also keep in mind that travel agencies that sell travel services online are required to follow the same disclosure requirements as when a booking is made in person.
Don't be fooled by misleading advertising
Remember that advertisements by Ontario travel agencies and wholesalers must show the full cost of the trip, or the base price plus all the taxes, surcharges and other fees. Ask questions when booking your trip Some travel agents charge a non-refundable travel counselling fee or service charge. In Ontario, the law requires that those who do charge these fees must inform the customer before providing these services. Always find out in advance if your agent charges such fees.
Cancelling the trip
Ask your agent about any terms and conditions of your booking, any insurance coverage, refund policies and penalties at the time of booking. In fact, TICO-registered travel agents are required to disclose this information before selling travel services to you.
Always get a receipt
When you make a payment, your travel agent is required to provide you with a receipt. The receipt should state items such as your name and address, the total price of the travel services, any fees, taxes and charges, the business name and registration number, and information about trip cancellation insurance or health insurance.