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Consumer Rights.

Updated: 23 Nov 2021

I have to cancel my package holiday, what are my rights?

You may have to cancel your holiday due to unexpected circumstances. Find out what your options are here.
Which?Editorial team
I have to cancel my package holiday

Can I cancel my holiday and get my money back?

You can cancel your holiday plans for personal reasons, but you’ll probably have to pay a termination fee.

The cost of the fee is usually a percentage of what you paid, and can increase the closer your trip gets. For example, if you cancel 60 days before it starts, you could lose 50% of its cost.

The law says cancellation fees should be ‘reasonable and justifiable.’ You can ask a travel company to provide justification for its termination fees if you think they’re unfair.

Can I claim through my travel insurance?

If you need to cancel your holiday, you're not legally entitled to a refund from the travel agent or tour operator. 

But you might be able to claim back the cost of the holiday from your travel insurance provider. Check your travel insurance policy to see if you're entitled to make a claim.

Travel insurance will usually pay out if you have to cancel or cut short your trip because of illness or the death of a close relative, for example.

Take a look at our Best Buy travel insurance policies.

When can I cancel my package holiday without paying fees?

You're entitled to cancel without paying any fees, and get a full refund, if the UK Foreign Office has warned against travelling to your holiday destination. This might be because of a security risk, natural disaster or disease outbreak.

If any part of your package holiday is changed significantly, you can also cancel without paying termination fees.

This could be any one or more of the following:

  • the precise accommodation, standard of accommodation and accommodation facilities
  • the type and standard of transport
  • the place of departure and destination
  • any facility or service advertised or promoted as forming a part of the package

Under the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018, you can also cancel your package holiday without fees if the price rises 8% or more after you’ve booked and paid for it.

And if the company you booked with cancels your holiday, you’re entitled to a refund and possibly compensation.

Can I transfer my package holiday to someone else?

You can transfer your package holiday to a friend or relative as long as they meet all the requirements of the trip - for example, any age requirements.

You'll need to tell your travel company seven days or more before the start of the trip if you'd like to do this.

There may be a transfer or administration fee, but these shouldn't be excessive. The package holiday organiser has to be able to provide proof of the transfer costs.

You and the person you transfer the package holiday to are jointly liable to pay the transfer costs.