Many will travel to the UK for the London 2012 Olympic Games only to find that they have been swindled by bogus booking sites – don’t let this happen to you!
You know what they say: “One rotten apple spoils the whole barrel”. And with the Olympics 2012 just around the corner, it seems a lot of rotten apples – I mean, people – are hoping to make a quick and easy buck in the build up to the big event. Now that is not good sportsmanship.
Already, we have heard that landlords across east London are attempting to up their rents and charge tourists 15 times the normal rate during the Olympics. London cab drivers are threatening to go on strike if their bid to raise fares by 22% during the Games is rejected and sites like www.britainolympics2012.co.uk are one of many claiming to be an official site of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and flogging fake Olympics tickets.
On top of that, hotel booking sites have been springing up offering bogus hotel rooms – you know, the kind that do not actually exist!
Here are important steps to take to make sure your Olympic plans go smoothly:
Booking Accommodation for the 2012 Olympics
The London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) has official partnerships with Visit London, Visit Britain, Holiday Inn and Thomas Cook where you can book accommodation with peace of mind. Other major accommodation providers, such as HostelBookers, are not official affiliates of LOCOG but are well known in the industry and can be used to book cheap hotels in London.
Remember, there are hundreds of events taking place around the capital so you don’t have to stay right next door to the Olympic Village. London also has a fantastic transport network so visitors should consider central options to get the most out of the sporting events during the day as well as the nightlife.
A couple of top-rated properties to consider for your stay include:
Clink78: Experience authentic London in this old courthouse conversion. Close to King’s Cross station, guests have fantastic access to the London transport network with tubes, trains and buses to all parts of the city. There is still plenty of availability during the 2012 Olympics and prices range from £25-£40 per person per night in either shared or private rooms.
Palmers Lodge – Swiss Cottage: a historic Victorian grade II listed building, the place has been lovingly restored with stunning wooden bunks with cute privacy curtains, a cosy bar and a good restaurant serving home-cooked meals. Private and shared rooms available from £40pppn including breakfast.
Generator Hostel London: If you have come to party and well as play ball, the Generator is well-known for its organised pub crawls, bar and events and up for a good time guests. Check out their dormitories and private rooms from £34-£48pppn.
If you have not considered hostels, London prices for a private room during the 2012 Olympics will be costly, so now might be the time to take a look at some shared dormitory rooms!
Booking Tickets for the Games 2012
The UK European Consumer Centre has set up a useful site with tips about known Olympic accommodation and ticket scams. They advise customers to:
- · Carefully read all the terms and conditions.
- · Double check the company’s contact details and address which, if legitimate, should be easy to find
- · Avoid purchasing tickets to an event that has sold out on other sites
- · look for the ‘s’ in https which is a padlock on the payment screen that is a mark of security
- · Not fall for ‘too good to be true’ deals. Because they probably are!
Specifically for buying Olympic tickets, copy and paste the web address in to the LOCOG online website checker. Remember, this is only for Olympics ticket booking sites, not accommodation providers.
For more advice from the official London 2012 website, including a list of known Olympic scams, read their list of tips for staying safe online.
About The Author: Madeleine Wilson is a travel writer and currently the editor of the HostelBookers blog. Her articles have been featured on Lonely Planet, MSN and The Huffington Post.