As we move into the busiest holiday booking period of the year, between Christmas and January, the UK Civil Aviation Authority has found that more than half (51 per cent) of UK holidaymakers don't always check that their holiday is financially protected.

There are many things that Brits look for when researching holidays, particularly around costs and location, however, the latest figures show that less than half of us stop to think about what happens if our travel company, airline or hotel goes out of business.

The ATOL scheme is there to protect holidaymakers in those situations, and the Civil Aviation Authority is reminding those booking holidays to always check for ATOL financial protection.

Commenting on the findings, Andy Cohen, Head of ATOL, said: “We are entering the year's busiest booking period, so consumers need to know how to keep themselves protected and ensure peace of mind when booking a holiday during the festive period.”

To protect your holiday, always follow our five top tips:

1. Check for ATOL protection: Look for the logo on your travel company's website, brochure or shop front

2. Pay on credit card: If you are not booking a package holiday, always pay for your trip with a credit card. By doing this you will be protected for up to £30,000 under section 75 of the UK Consumer Credit Act.

3. Watch out for hidden costs: Use a foreign currency pre-payment card to avoid high transactions and bank fees. Make sure you also check the airport and resort fees, such as baggage allowance and hotel transfers, to avoid any surprises.

4. Check financial protection if booking with foreign-based travel companies: There are some foreign-based travel companies which offer holidays to UK tourists, but these will often not be ATOL protected. Do your research and check what financial protection they provide.

5. Get travel insurance as soon as you book: You should consider taking out a policy as soon as you've booked your trip to ensure you're covered should anything go wrong before you take off.

The Civil Aviation Authority, which runs the ATOL scheme, is reminding those looking to book a holiday over the Christmas and New Year period to look beyond the price and always ensure a holiday package has ATOL protection.

Visit http://www.packpeaceofmind.co.uk/ for more information about ATOL protection.