Specialists in Orlando villa holidays

Covid-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Some helpful FAQs to explain the Covid-19 Pandemic and the options open to you

Please note though that since this pandemic is rapidly changing any advice, Guidelines and Rules from ABTA, British & American Governments and our Suppliers are changing daily, the situation and our responses may differ from time to time.

  1. Is my holiday protected by ABTA?
  2. What is the difference between a ‘Package holiday’ and a ‘Non-Package holiday’?
  3. I’ve paid the deposit but don’t want to/can’t go on my holiday now, can I have my deposit back?
  4. My balance is due, can I defer the payment date please?
  5. If I change my dates and then restrictions are lifted, can I go back to my original dates?
  6. I’ve paid the balance for my holiday, but can I have a refund please?
  7. My booking is not a Package - How can I make a claim on my travel insurance?
  8. If I cancel my holiday can I claim any of the ‘Optional Extras’ back from you?
  9. Can I cancel my Attraction Tickets?
  10. Can I change the dates for my Attraction Tickets?
  11. I don’t have confirmation that my flights have been cancelled yet, what are my options?
  12. Can my deposit be used for a later holiday?
  13. If I must move dates can I change villa?
  14. Will any new dates I choose be the same price?
  15. How can I ensure that I am not adversely affected in the future by a similar issue?
  16. Covid-19 Guarantee from Debbie’s Villas

1. Is my holiday protected by ABTA?

We are ABTA Protected members and adhere to their strict codes of conduct at all times. Your holiday is protected if Debbie’s Villas cease trading, but the ABTA Protection does not cover bookings which are affected by situations such as a pandemic. If you have purchased a holiday with us that is considered to be a ‘Package Holiday’ then you will be protected under the Package Travel Regulations and you are eligible for a full refund if your booking is affected by the pandemic. However, ABTA are encouraging all Package customers to accept a change of dates, rather than request refunds (which can put a strain on travel companies at this difficult time for the travel industry).

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2. What is the difference between a ‘Package holiday’ and a ‘Non-Package holiday’?

A package holiday is one where you have booked two elements of your holiday from the same supplier at exactly the same time (and made one payment towards both). For example, if you booked your Villa accommodation from Debbie’s Villas at the same time as you ordered Attraction Tickets or Car Hire then this is deemed a Package Holiday by ABTA and therefore covered under the Package travel Regulations. However, you would only be entitled to a full refund if one of the elements of your Package was directly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic - for example if the Theme Parks were closed as a result. But if the villa/car hire is available for your arrival and the theme parks are open, then the Package is unaffected even though your flight (which you have sourced elsewhere) may be cancelled. Please note that many of our suppliers are taking longer than normal to provide refunds, and as per ABTA guidance we will be unable to refund our customers until we have received the funds back from our suppliers.

If you book your villa accommodation and then later added Attraction Tickets or Car Hire then this is NOT considered a Package by ABTA even though, for administration purposes, we assign the same reference number to your booking. Holidays purchased in this manner are not covered under the Package Travel Regulations and you will not be eligible for a refund should you not be able to travel because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

If you purchase your villa accommodation only from us and do not add additional elements such as Attraction Tickets or Car Hire then this type of holiday is ‘Accommodation Only’ and you will not be covered under the Package Travel Regulations and you will not be eligible for a refund should you not be able to travel because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

By adding Optional Extras to a booking such as Mobility Scooter or Barbecue does not mean that the holiday changes from Accommodation Only to a Package.

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3. I’ve paid the deposit but don’t want to/can’t go on my holiday now, can I have my deposit back?

Deposits for holidays with any travel company are non-refundable. If you can no longer go on your holiday and need to cancel then you will need to speak with your Travel Insurance provider, unfortunately we cannot refund your deposit.

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4. My balance is due, can I defer the payment date please?

Although the current Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice is not to travel "indefinitely", this is standard procedure and it just means the FCO do not have a date yet on when they will change their stance. In terms of dealing with holidays, then 'imminent departures' only are deemed to be affected (this is generally taken as any holiday arriving in the next few days). In view of this, you do need to pay your balance by the due date.

We currently have Balance Due dates set as 8 weeks before your arrival date. We believe this is one of the shortest amount of time in the travel industry for overseas bookings, with many of our competitors requiring the balance to be paid 12, 16 or even 20 weeks before arrival date. It is impossible to defer this date any further without us incurring massive financial penalties from our currency providers who we have entered a contract with to buy Dollars in order to pay for your accommodation. If your balance is not paid by the due date, then we will need to cancel your holiday as per our existing terms and conditions.

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5. If I change my dates and then restrictions are lifted, can I go back to my original dates?

Possibly, but this will depend on your original villa choice still being available for your chosen dates. If not, you would need to choose another villa (and pay whatever the price is of this villa). Admin fees might be payable but these will be explained to you before you commit to making the change.

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6. I’ve paid the balance for my holiday, but can I have a refund please?

Unfortunately this will not be possible - Although this might seem harsh we have to look at the bigger picture here for all of our customers and partners alike. We have entered into a contract with the villa owner to provide them with your booking and it is not their fault that the current situation has arisen. If you have booked Accommodation Only or your booking is not considered a 'Package', then the villa owner is under no legal obligation to offer us a refund.

We have spoken to many owners who rely and budget heavily on rental income (which is usually continuous in the Orlando rental industry) and they simply cannot waive all the monies they were due to receive - They have continuing financial responsibilities regardless of whether the home is occupied or not and in a majority of cases they could have rented their home out to an American who could still have occupied the weeks that had been blocked out for you. They feel that it is unfair that the villa owner has to be the one to suffer financial hardship when they have done nothing wrong (they also cite travel insurance as the perfect solution to this situation, that way both parties receive their money).

However, as a goodwill gesture many owners have allowed us to offer a change of dates for your holiday, so you still get the holiday you have saved hard to pay for and they still get an income, it is not ideal for either party, but at least neither party loses out completely - and we strongly recommend that you consider this as a compromise, especially if you have not taken out travel insurance. We advise all customers to take out travel insurance at the time of booking their holiday so the onus really is on the customer to ensure that they have adequate protection in place should anything unforeseen occur and it is not the responsibility of the villa owner to protect the holiday of a guest.

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7. My booking is not a Package - How can I make a claim on my travel insurance?

Please contact your travel insurer - We will be happy to confirm all details of your booking with them to assist with any claim you may have. We also advise you to inform your insurer that your booking is not a Package as they may initially say that we need to refund you, so you will need to make them aware of this difference.

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8. If I cancel my holiday can I claim any of the ‘Optional Extras’ back from you?

For ease and to avoid complications with your travel insurance clam, we would advise you to initially try and claim the whole booking amount (including optional extras) from your travel insurer. However, if required we would be able to refund these to you (eg Pool Heating, Barbecue, Mobility Scooter, Cot, Highchair or Upgraded Welcome Pack). The Booking Fee and Breakage Insurance is part of the booking cost and will not be refunded, but this can be covered by travel insurance.

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9. Can I cancel my Attraction Tickets?

Yes, the ticket cancellation charge is 15% of the total cost of each ticket. We need to wait for the refund which will be coming from the theme park companies and then back from our trade supplier.

Alternatively, your travel insurer may well be able to cover you for either all your ticket money or the 15% difference. We will of course provide them with anything they need to facilitate the claim.

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10. Can I change the dates for my Attraction Tickets?

Yes, but since each theme park company has different sets of rules please speak with us. Some of these companies are being very flexible and accommodating changes to suit all customers, others are being less helpful and accommodating.

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11. I don’t have confirmation that my flights have been cancelled yet, what are my options?

We will always try to be as flexible as possible and we understand that you might not yet have all the information you need from your airline before making a decision. However, we still need you to continue with your booking and to pay your balance by the Balance Due date to avoid it being cancelled. The options regarding moving your dates/transferring your villa will apply.

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12. Can my deposit be used for a later holiday?

Yes, in the form of a 'change of dates'. If you have only paid your deposit and would like to change the dates of your holiday then it might be possible to change your dates for a later time, for an Admin fee of £25 plus any additional difference in rates due to Seasonal prices changes. If you change the villa as well as the date of your holiday then the Admin fee will be £50 plus any additional cost associated with your new villa. If you have passed the date of your Balance Due date then we reserve the right to cancel your holiday as per our existing terms and conditions.

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13. If I must move dates can I change villa?

As the Villa owners are allowing a date change as a gesture of goodwill then it is only fair that you choose a date that is available in their calendar. If this is not possible then we will speak with the owner and see if they are willing to be more flexible and allow you to choose a different property. As they have no legal obligation to do this, we would need you to be as flexible as possible with any request of date changes.

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14. Will any new dates I choose be the same price?

Possibly not. If you are moving from a Low or Mid season date range because of this pandemic and now want to go next Easter the rate will be higher. This is not profiteering on our part or that of the owner, this is because each home has a different rate for each season. The prices can easily be seen on our website so that you can choose a date range within your original budget.

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15. How can I ensure that I am not adversely affected in the future by a similar issue?

The simple answer is to book a Package Holiday with us, which we have been offering for many years. If you book two elements together (a villa plus Attraction Tickets or a Car Hire) at exactly the same time and you will receive the Protection of the Package Travel Regulations – We are already booking for many customers into 2021 and 2022 so we’d love to hear from you.

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16. Covid-19 Guarantee from Debbie’s Villas

If you book a villa holiday through Debbie’s Villas, with or without Car Hire or Attraction Tickets for any date in 2021 or 2022 and your flight is cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic then we will guarantee to refund the cost of your accommodation immediately. (Booking must be made from 20th July 2020 and for a minimum of 7 nights)

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