Customers are advised to take care and to do their research when booking a sailing holiday – there’s more to consider than just the price of the boat.
The 2023 sailing season is nearly finished, so eyes now turn to next summer – sailors around the world are starting to think about when, where and on what sort of boat they will get their sailing fix in 2024! It’s an exciting time and there are so many possibilities and places to sail – take the family on a big catamaran in the Ionian? Or a group of friends on a yacht from Dubrovnik? Maybe push the boat out and get a romantic yacht for two to sail the enchanting Costa Smeralda in Sardinia?
Along with researching places to sail, UK-based Yacht and Catamaran charter experts PlainSailing.com are reminding sailors to be careful and also do their research over who they book their boat with. Amidst all the clamour and enthusiasm to get something booked, this is one of the things which is often overlooked. If you’re spending thousands of euros, check the reviews and news to make sure that you’re spending it right.
Whilst it can be satisfying to get the lowest possible price for a sailing holiday, choosing the right boat, and booking with a company who will look after you, is important – and getting it wrong can turn a holiday into a nightmare. Services like PlainSailing.com offer a super-responsive customer service team and only work with professional and trusted boat charter operators – but other booking websites will allow you to book any old boat out of 50,000, will take weeks to answer an email once you’ve parted with your cash, and don’t have a customer phone line.
In addition, PlainSailing.com are advising customers to check the small print to make sure that the price they see on screen is the price that they will have to pay – often there are additional mandatory fees which are not shown in the headline figure, so it can be hard to compare prices on different websites like for like.
Tommy Tognarelli, co-founder of PlainSailing.com, said “We’ve still got boats on the water, but our inbox suggests that a lot of people are already thinking about booking something to look forward to in 2024 – which is great!
“In 2023, we’ve seen a number of customers come to us to save their holiday – including a number where the big company that they had booked with and paid hadn’t actually gone ahead and booked them a boat. They find out at short notice, there was no-one they could call, and now they have months chasing chargebacks via credit card companies… It’s a stressful way to prepare for a holiday!
“So we’re urging all sailors and potential sailors to be careful who they book with. Not all boat booking websites offer the same level of service on- and off-the-water as each other, or have the same attention to customer satisfaction, so it’s important to book with the right one. It’s clearly not worth saving a hundred euros here or there if you end up having a nightmare instead of a holiday.”