We were so excited, this year we were going back to Costa Blanca for the first time in years after trying other resorts in Spain. We always holiday in Spain and after planning for months we decided on and booked the Hotel Sol Pelicanos Ocas. Why you may ask, well we thought it would be fun to book this particular hotel because it’s where one of our favourite TV programmes is filmed… ‘Benidorm’.

Hold-on what is everyone talking about this Covid for, this is getting serious, we are watching Boris and his two medical advisors every night. Surely this is a bad dream but no its not, it is real, and Lockdown did happen… But even then, we thought it will last just a few weeks or a month at worst… how wrong we were, we never thought for a second that our well-planned holiday would be in jeopardy. As the lockdown continued news after news of holiday cancellations started to appear and then we got the dreaded news… yes, our holiday was to be cancelled and we must now contact our travel provider.

We thought this would be an inconvenience at best, all we had to do was phone our holiday company discuss alternatives and transfer the booking over… then the nightmare began. Never in our wildest dream did we think our holiday company would refuse to refund, isn’t this what being ATOL covered is there for? We must have phoned them every other day… excuse of every kind was given, blaming the airline, blaming the hotel, blaming the politicians etc… We were getting seriously affected by this now, they had taken our money and they would not return it.

Sitting at the laptop one evening in late July I started to search random sites looking up ‘travel now’… I have no idea why; we still had not received our original money back from our so called big and trusted tour operator ‘not’… we had no means to fund a holiday even if we found one.

But I became intrigued, just by searching travel now I came across phrases like travel now pay later and fly now pay later holidays. I know you can buy anything from washing machines to cars on a buy now pay later basis, but I had never seen this for holidays. Both my husband and I were intrigued, could this be the answer to our problems, could we book a holiday now and travel as early as next week and pay back over a year. There must be a catch but no it all seemed genuine. The company that offered this was called Jet Now, I looked at their website and blow me down with a feather, its true you can book your holiday now and pay back after we return.

We probably spent a whole weekend looking at different destinations, we started to lean towards Turkey because it was not on the governments quarantine list then and the prices were amazing… We finally decided upon a 5 Star All Inclusive Jiva Beach Resort near Dalaman. We have never been to Turkey but plenty of our friends and families have and it was a combination of Turkey not being a banned country and their endorsements of the country that finally did it for us.

 Come Monday morning we turned off ‘This Morning’ not even Holly and Phillip would distract us from our mission. We dialled the number ever so slowly making sure we entered Jet Now’s number 0203 475 3022 carefully hovering over the last number 2. One deep breath and after 2 rings this pleasant male voice answered the phone, ‘good morning and welcome to Jet Now, my name is Jason how can I help you today?’ My stuttered response was all garbled… why was I so nervous I don’t recall being like this when buying a new dishwasher on the buy now pay later basis, I composed myself and slowly but clearly said ‘Good morning,  I am intrigued by your website claims that  I can book a holiday today and pay it off over 12 months?’

Low and behold it was true, everything the website claimed was true. But then it dawned on me what happens if this next holiday gets cancelled, will I go through the same process as I had with the other well established tour operator and worse still be required to pay back the money even though my holiday was cancelled. ‘Not at all’ came the response from my new friend Jason with his calming and reassuring tone, ‘we are members of the Travel Trust Association, we hold your money in trust, if your holiday is cancelled we will refund straight away’.

So the process was explained, we choose the hotel and the package we want like room style, whether we wanted an Attic Room or a Deluxe Double with a Swim Up Room (never had one of them, we choose that) although it did bother me for a while, did that mean we have to swim to the restaurant lol. The other reassuring part was the holiday was with Jet2, we always fly with them and know from experience that the moment we will arrive in Turkey we will be met by a rep who will take care of us throughout our stay.

We said our good-byes to Jason who offered to be there if we needed anything further, we decided to have a cup of tea before finally deciding whether to apply for a holiday on a book now pay later holiday basis. OK let’s do it, we choose our hotel and knew straight away how much it would cost in monthly repayments and how much the one-off transaction fee would be, we proceeded to check-out. After keying in a few pieces of personal information we reached the point where we could either spread the cost over 3, 6 or 12months, we still couldn’t believe it, it was like standing in a sweet shop as a kid choosing which coloured gobstopper to buy, we choose 12 month option because it provided us the opportunity to have a very affordable 5 Star All Inclusive.  

So here we were, the button is there on the screen and all we needed to do was hit ‘Purchase’… my hand was shaking a little, we had got this far, we had started to dream about a holiday again in the year of the pandemic, could it really be possible… I counted down 3.2.1 and boom there in front of our eyes was the answer to our problems, Jet Now had delivered, we were accepted for credit, we just had to accept, and our holiday was booked.

So in a week’s time we would be heading off to Turkey to a 5 Star All Inclusive, we couldn’t believe it, we decided to chase up our money with the other tour operator once home, we were determined to enjoy our holiday and not worry, so we had achieved it, our first time to Turkey and all because of a company called Jet Now.

We have been raving about this company to all our friends and families and we will certainly use them again and who knows we may speak with the ever so friendly Jason again!!