Travel Has Changed – Top Tips for Booking Travel in 2023

While many of us had to pause travel over the last couple of years, Ontarians’ desire to start seeing the world again is growing.

Whether you’re travelling to reconnect with family or friends, finally taking that cruise or tour you’ve been thinking about, or going on a once-in-a-lifetime bucket list trip, we want you to have a positive experience.

Consider these tips before booking your next getaway:

1. Know who you’re buying from.

Any travel agency, booking website or tour operator based in Ontario must be registered with the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) and follow consumer protection laws.

TICO is Ontario’s travel regulator, overseeing travel agencies, booking websites and tour operators on behalf of the Ontario government.

It’s easy to see if a travel company is registered, simply use TICO’s online search tool.

2. Have all the details to make your trip spectacular.

TICO registered travel agencies and booking websites must disclose important information to you prior to booking. This includes:

  • All-in pricing, meaning no hidden charges or surprises
  • Information about any fees/penalties if you need to change or cancel your booking
  • Disclosure of unique conditions that may affect your decision to book (e.g., construction at a resort)

Additionally, travel professionals have the inside scoop on destinations, entry requirements and other important travel details. They can help you navigate the many travel options available and help tailor an experience that’s just right for you.

Travel professionals are there to help if there are issues before, during or after travel, providing you peace-of-mind throughout your travel experience.

3. Have the right travel insurance.

We’ve all come to expect the unexpected over the past few years, so having travel insurance is a good idea.

All TICO registered travel agencies and booking websites must advise you of the availability of travel insurance. Some companies also sell travel insurance and will ask you if you would like to purchase it from them.

4. Support when you need it.

In the event that something goes wrong, consumers who purchased from a TICO registered travel agency or booking website can file a complaint with TICO. Our team reviews all of the information, with the goal of reaching an equitable resolution between the consumer and the company.

TICO also administers the Travel Industry Compensation Fund. The Compensation Fund covers up to $5,000 per passenger for travel services that were not received because of the bankruptcy of an Ontario travel agency or website, Ontario tour operator or any airline or cruise line. There are certain conditions that apply.

This protection is only available when you buy travel from a TICO registered travel agency or booking website.

Be sure to have consumer protection on your side by double checking that the travel agency or booking website you’re using is registered with TICO. By purchasing from a TICO-registered travel agency or booking website, you are automatically covered. For additional travel tips, follow TICO on Facebook.