Holidaymakers have been using España Breaks for many years to find great accommodation all over Spain at great prices.
Since (in most cases) you will be booking direct with the holiday home owner, you should remember this is different to booking a package holiday. No reps, no mealtimes - you are booking a home from home.
This guide highlights the do's and dont's of booking a holiday rental direct and making the most of your stay.
In June 2009 we introduced our AdScore system. This is an advert rating system shown next to all adverts with the icon.
This is a score out of 100 that rewards all the things on an advert that we know renters like to see. A high AdScore means the advertiser has provided lots of good information and has worked hard to make it easy for you to book. In particular we give good scores to verified advertisers and those who offer credit card or PayPal facilities.
Please note a low AdScore doesn't mean you shouldn't look further at a property but you should take extra care when booking.
To date we are the first in the industry to use a system like this and it is intended to reward high standards by property owners who do the best for holidaymakers.
You can do a lot via email when booking your accommodation but we strongly recommend you speak personally to the accommodation provider before confirming a booking or making payment. Ensure they answer all your questions and give clear, concise instructions on how to pay.
In 2009 we introduced a voluntary identity check for all advertisers, which asks them to prove they are who they say they are.
Look out for ID checked advertisers with this sign: VERIFIED ADVERTISER
Credit cards offer vastly more protection to customers than other forms of payment. Problems with holiday rentals bookings are rare but in the event of a problem it is much easier to reclaim your money via a card payment. PayPal also offers some protection via a disputed payment system.
Conversely we DO NOT recommend payments via cash, cheque or bank transfer since this offers you no protection in the event of a dispute.
Advertisers who allow you to pay via credit card or PayPal are shown in our listings with the logo. Both offer more protection than direct cash payments.
In the event of an airline going bust, customers who have paid by credit card will normally be entitled to a full refund. Visa debit (NOT other debit cards!) offer similar protection via the Visa chargeback scheme.
It may be possible to get full ATOL protection on scheduled or charter flights if you book your flight with an ATOL bonded agent. The ATOL scheme includes a repatriation service in the event of an airline failing. (Note that booking flights direct with airlines does not normally include ATOL protection.)
You should never travel without full insurance, even within the European Union. Spanish healthcare is not free and going without proper cover could leave you with a nasty bill should a member of your party fall ill on holiday.
We also recommend your travel insurance includes supplier failure protection. This will cover you for additional flight/accommodation costs in the event of an airline or holiday company going bust. Very few insurers offer this so check your policy.