Top of main content

Things to consider when booking a holiday

You can’t guarantee your next holiday will go without a hitch. But with a little forward planning, you can reduce the impact of things going wrong.

Before you book your next trip, here’s what you need to know.

What is the latest travel guidance?

For foreign travel advice, visit GOV.UK. You’ll find the latest information on coronavirus, as well as safety and security, entry requirements and travel warnings for different countries. 

What cover do you have if you pay with a credit or debit card?

If you pay for a holiday or flights costing between £100 and £30,000 with credit card, you may have protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. Not all situations are covered but you may be able to claim if the airline or travel company goes bust, for example.

Debit card payments and purchases are not covered by section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. But your card provider may be able to recover some of the money, under the 'chargeback' scheme in the event something goes wrong.

Claiming a refund from either your travel operator or your card provider may lead to a better outcome than claiming via your travel insurance, as you may be able to claim the full amount you paid without having to pay an insurance excess. You could also potentially recover losses for all party members on the booking.

Before making a claim, make sure you follow the supplier’s refund and re-booking terms in the first instance.

If you already have travel insurance, what’s covered?

Before booking any new travel, check with your insurer to see what sort of cover you’d have if:

  • you travel to countries where restrictions are still in place
  • your destination enforces travel restrictions after you book
  • you get coronavirus before you’re due to travel
  • you get quarantined at an airport

If you don’t yet have travel insurance, what sort of cover is available?

As coronavirus is a known event, you may struggle to get coronavirus-related cancellation cover. But there are plenty of other things you’ll likely be covered for, such as:

  • medical costs, including the cost of treating you and getting you back home
  • lost or stolen baggage
  • delayed or missed flights
  • personal liability for any injuries you cause

When should you take out travel insurance?

If you decide to get travel insurance, it makes sense to buy it as soon as you book your holiday. Because, as well as covering you while you’re away, travel insurance can also cover you for things that might go wrong before you travel, such as:

  • finding out your travel company’s gone out of business
  • being made redundant
  • getting ill or injured
  • experiencing a death in the family

If you’re planning two or more trips within a 12-month period, you may want to consider whether annual or ‘multi-trip cover’ works out cheaper for you. This depends on where you're travelling to and how long you’re going for, so compare the cost against single-trip cover before buying a policy.

How can we help?

We no longer offer single and annual multi-trip travel insurance policies at HSBC but M&S Bank, a member of the HSBC Group, does. Terms and conditions apply.

And if you’re looking for ways you can manage your money while outside the UK, we can help.

Our HSBC Global Money Account allows you to spend money abroad (withdraw cash or make card purchases in multiple currencies) without paying HSBC fees – just as you would at home. 

Global Money is available for eligible HSBC Current Account holders who have the HSBC UK mobile banking app and a valid email address that’s on our records. Terms and conditions, and other non-HSBC fees may apply.

You can also order Travel Money online from HSBC – choose home delivery or collect from one of our Full Service or Cash Service branches. The minimum order for Travel Money is £100 and you have to have an account with HSBC, first direct or M&S Bank.

M&S Travel Insurance is provided by Aviva Insurance Limited. Annual multi-trip age limit of under 80, with no age limit for single trip policies. 

M&S Travel Insurance is not available to customers who live in the Channel Islands or Isle of Man.