FCO advice

Whether you can cancel a holiday because of civil unrest or natural disaster will depend on the advice given by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) at the time.

If the FCO says it's unsafe to travel, most tour operators will cancel your trip and find you a suitable equivalent holiday or give you a refund.

However, if the FCO says travel may be safe, your tour operator may decide to go ahead even though you don’t want to.

Essential travel

As long as your travel operator can provide a safe, secure and enjoyable holiday then they are not obligated to give you a refund or find you an alternative trip.

If the FCO has not advised against all but essential travel to the area, your insurance company is also unlikely to pay out if you decide to cancel or curtail your trip because of safety fears.

Package holidays

If the FCO says it’s unsafe to travel, most tour operators will cancel your trip and find you a suitable equivalent holiday or give you a refund. 

If your tour operator refuses you can argue that your enjoyment and relaxation will be ruined and that you’d be entitled to compensation under the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements 2018.

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Complain about a holiday

If you booked a holiday and it didn’t go how you planned, we can help you make a claim.

Complain about a holiday

What if I'm already abroad?

If you’re already abroad and your package holiday is affected by a natural disaster or civil unrest you should contact your tour operator. 

The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements 2018 obliges your tour operator to: 

  • Make suitable alternative arrangements, at no extra cost to you, for the continuation of the package and will, where appropriate, compensate you for the difference between the services to be supplied under the contract and those actually supplied. 
  • If it’s impossible to make arrangements, or these are rejected by you for good reason, your tour operator must, where appropriate, provide you with equivalent transport back to the place of departure or to another place to which you have agreed and will, where appropriate, compensate you.

Can I claim on my travel insurance?

If you’re travelling over the next few weeks, check your policy to see whether you’re covered if there is a natural disaster or civil unrest. A lot of standard travel policies may not cover protection in this event. See our guide if you’re having problems claiming on your travel insurance.

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