What you need to know when booking travel online

by | Jun 22, 2023 | Travel and Leisure

With so much information at our fingertips, booking travel online can be a major convenience. Within moments, you can book airline tickets, reserve hotels and line up activities. But it’s important to know who you’re booking with. Not all websites offer the same consumer protection.

All booking websites and in-person travel agencies based in Ontario are regulated by the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) and have to follow consumer protection laws. This includes everything from travel agencies in a local plaza or main street, to major online booking platforms.

If you book with a registered company, you’ll be given important information to help you make informed decisions when planning your trip. This includes:

  • All-in pricing, meaning no hidden charges or surprises.
  • Information about any fees or penalties in case you end up needing to change or cancel your booking.
  • Disclosure of unique conditions that may affect your decision to book. For example, if you are booking a resort with a vast children’s waterpark, you would need to be informed if the waterpark is going to be closed for renovations during your stay.
  • Necessary travel documentation for each person, based on the nationality of the passport they hold and the requirements for the destination.
  • Availability of travel insurance, including out-of-province medical insurance and trip cancellation insurance.

Booking websites located outside of Ontario aren’t held to the same standard. While it’s easy to quickly click through to the purchase page, it’s worth taking a minute to ensure you know who you’re really buying from.

To verify if you are booking with a registered, Ontario-based booking website, you can check the agency search feature at tico.ca

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