Booking Risks

Seuss Train Ride

One of the most gloomy sections of the guide but very important nonetheless. We all know what a good old recession can do to holiday and flight companies so always be aware of the booking risks. Many Orlando providers have gone bust down the years so protect yourself when booking.

Booking Risks For Villas

The last worldwide recession saw the value of property in Orlando slump to devastating levels and this could impact your holiday. There would be a big risk attached to renting and pre-paying for a villa if a recession was around the corner. I have contemplated buying a villa in Orlando in recent years and I’ve watched prices consistently.

In July 2008 I spotted a beautiful 5 bedroom detached villa with swimming pool and Jacuzzi going for just $340,000. These were the days where £1 bought you $2. This seemed quite a good deal as this home would be valued at least £500,000 back home. A few years after the last recession, that house was repossessed and put on the market for $170,000. Some other Orlando area Homes that were selling for over $300,000 listed for around $100,000. In late 2008 more than 50,000 Orlando homes were repossessed in a one month period.

You may think that this scenario wouldn’t affect you as you are probably not looking to buy an Orlando villa but you’d be wrong. Any person that rents a villa as part of their holiday is at risk of losing money. If you pay for your fortnight in a villa and it gets repossessed, you could lose that slot and any money you paid.

Ways to protect yourself

There is no way to protect yourself from this scenario 100%. Here are Mr Brit’s tips to reduce the likelihood that your holiday gets wrecked if a recession happens:

1 – Pay all money on credit card . This is the most secure way of insuring your deposits and purchases. Pay the deposit or the whole amount if need be, then clear your balance the following month. Clearing the balance is important if you don’t want excessive fees. If you are renting from a private person, demand to pay by credit card. If they say that they cannot accept payment by credit card, tell them the deal is off. Even Paypal allows buyers to pay any bill by credit card so put this to the owner. Make sure you check with your credit card company that you will be fully insured if booking a private villa.

2 – Rent from a British owner. This doesn’t guarantee anything 100% but imagine how hard it will be chasing an American owner for your money. If you rent from British owners you will have their UK address and contact details. This will make it far easier for you to find out if they have gone bankrupt. You would be much more likely to get your money back if you rented ‘British’ and the worst happened. The best way to find a British owned villa is to Google ‘Orlando villa +44’. This will bring up website results that advertise a UK dialing code. Remember – USE YOUR CREDIT CARD!!!

Booking Risks For Tickets

If you are buying your theme park tickets from Walt Disney World directly, it is a safe bet that you will not lose any money. If you are buying from other ‘Ticket Companies’ pay with a credit card. No if’s and no but’s about it. Any ticket company that sells Orlando theme park tickets would see their turnover reduce drastically in a recession.

No company is ‘bullet proof’ so make sure you pay by credit card to reduce the risks of losing your money. Even if you hate using your credit card, use it and clear the balance the following month. Your purchase is still protected even if you have cleared your balance at the correct time.

Virgin Atlantic

Booking Risks For Flights And Holidays

Popular airlines have gone out of business in recent times and we are not even in a recession. Airline businesses are some of the most fragile businesses in the world. Even the ‘big boys’ sometimes get the jitters. During the last recession Virgin Atlantic was also at risk. Richard Branson commented that when Northern Rock ran into financial trouble, it could have taken Virgin Atlantic with them. VA had over £1 Billion in their Northern Rock  accounts and Virgin needed this money to trade. This just shows you that even the biggest airlines could run into trouble.

As with all flights and holiday purchases, your car hire also has booking risks. Make sure you also pay for your car hire on your credit card. You will be more likely to get your money back if the company goes bust.