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ATOL stands for Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing and is a United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority scheme to give financial protection to people who have purchased package holidays and flights from a member tour operator. 

The law says your holiday must be protected if it is a package holiday and it protects most air package holidays sold by travel businesses. 

If a travel business with an ATOL ceases trading, the ATOL scheme protects consumers who had booked ATOL protected holidays with the business. It will support consumers currently abroad and provide financial reimbursement for the cost of replacing parts of an ATOL protected package.

The scheme is designed to reassure consumers that their money is safe, and will provide assistance in the event of a travel business failure.

You are NOT covered by ATOL when you book holiday components (flights, hotel, car etc) separately – they must be in one single transaction.



When you use an independent travel agent you book with a human and in this post-Covid world, booking with an actual person who knows what they are doing can prevent all sorts of disasters.

But above all else, when you book with a human you are supporting a small business, or in case of Charitable Travel, you are able to donate to a UK registered charity of your choice at no extra cost to you. So technically you are helping many humans by booking this way. That much can’t be said for the likes of Expedia can it?

The amazing humans at Charitable Travel include Girl About Travel Club’s dedicated personal travel agent Lizzi, and Charitable Travel’s founder and social entrepreneur Melissa. Between them they have over 75 years experience in the travel industry – that’s a lot of holidays planned and booked on behalf of a lot of people! 

Independent travel agents act, first and foremost, on behalf of their customers, and a good one is worth their weight in gold. They are more likely to have seen first hand the destinations and hotels they are going to suggest to you.

They can pretty much book anything and everything and will often advise you on their own personal experiences. A really good personal travel agent has been at it for years, will have a little black book of amazing hotel contacts and local ground-handlers and a small circle of devoted customers.

You DO NOT pay more to use a travel agent - it's a myth. Travel agents get discounted rates on hotels and airfares, and make their money on commission from the holidays they book through a tour operator or directly; the commission they earn comes off the profit margin of the tour operator, hotel or airline.


Our partnership with the UK’s only not-for-profit travel agency – Charitable Travel – means you can seamlessly enquire and book incredible holidays via the club, while donating 5% of the booking value to one of our chosen charities. All with the peace of mind of ATOL protection when you book a package holiday.

Charitable Travel’s Founder, Melissa Tilling, is a veteran of 34 years in the travel industry and the social entrepreneur behind the unique Charitable Travel community interest company – a company right now entirely run by women.

“Every penny of profit earned by Charitable Travel, everything we do and everything we offer Girl About members, supports charity fundraising and good causes,” says Melissa. “We are a registered social enterprise and a financially protected travel agency.

“Our purpose and mission is to help you with your holiday plans and at the same time support the great work that UK-based charities deliver around the world. When you book a holiday or cruise with us, we sacrifice travel agency commission so you can make a free five percent donation to your choice of registered charity through our dedicated JustGiving website.

“We pride ourselves in offering travel expertise, a wide choice of holiday options, quality, great value and a unique way of creating travel-for-good for our customers as a true not-for-private-profit social enterprise.”