Today – Blue Monday – is expected to be one of the busiest days for holiday bookings, according to the Civil Aviation Authority.

Research by the regulator’s Atol protection scheme found that 5.2 million people are expected to book a holiday this month.

Cost remains the top factor determining booking holidays, but seven out of ten (69%) of those surveyed admit to not always seeking financial protection, putting themselves at risk of being out of pocket if their airline or travel company goes out of business.

Head of Atol Andy Cohen said: “With the gloom surrounding Blue Monday, it’s no surprise that many UK holidaymakers are rushing to book summer travels to lift their spirits.

“If you are booking a package holiday today, look beyond the price and ensure your peace of mind by checking that the holiday is financially protected.”

The CAA and Atol issued five top tips for consumers on how to best protect their travel:

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.