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Booking your holiday for 2021, what to look out for

25/02/2021


Booking this year's holiday

We’ve been looking at holidays following the Government announcement on the 22nd February bringing hope for 2021 travel, including key dates and important factors to consider.

We are definitely feeling more optimistic about travel. In the first 24 hours since the announcement, travel firms have already seen an increase in enquiries with easyJet reporting a 630% uptake on holidays, while Thomas Cook has noted a 60% increase in traffic to its website since the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday.

So when and where can I go?

The English lockdown roadmap sets out two significant dates for travel, both inside the UK and overseas. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have yet to make their plans clear.

April 12 – Self-contained accommodation such as campsites, holiday cottages (with your household only) can reopen. The Mirror has a guide on when holiday parks plan to reopen which may be useful.

These roadmap dates are for England only – it’s not yet clear whether Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales plan to allow England residents to visit for a holiday.

May 17 – All other accommodation can reopen. This means that in England at least you’ll be able to stay in a hotel, bed and breakfast and hostels.

Subject to review overseas travel including traditional beach holidays, cruises, rail holidays and visiting friends and family will be reinstated. The exact requirements are yet to be announced.

Boris Johnson said the Government is being guided by data rather than dates – so these could be pushed back..

Where can I go abroad?

At the time of writing, international travel for leisure is still illegal for all residents of the British Isles as part of the ongoing lockdowns. And whilst England has the target date of 17 May the rest of the country is still in the dark.

Also unclear is what restrictions will apply. Will we return to a travel corridor system? Will there be a requirement to quarantine, either at your destination or when you return home? Will you need evidence of vaccination to cross borders? Will you need evidence of a recent negative COVID test? No one knows yet.

From April 12 a Global Travel Taskforce is being launched "to facilitate return to international travel while still managing risk from imported cases & Variants of Concern”.

Here are some key points to consider when thinking about destinations:

  • Whether a country is opening borders to Brits and any quarantine rules – Cyprus and The Seychelles have already said they will lift quarantine rules for travellers.
  • What restrictions or requirements will be in place when you’re returning to the UK – currently this includes showing proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of travel, followed by 10 days of quarantine with Covid tests taken on day 2 and day 10. (If a country is added to the UK's 'Red List', you’ll need to stay in a quarantine hotel on your return – and fork out the cost of at least £1,750 yourself). For more information, read the UK Government foreign travel advice
  • The International Air Transport Association (IATA) says it expects its Digital Covid Travel Pass will be ready "within weeks”. The pass is an app that verifies a passenger has had the Covid-19 tests or vaccines required to enter a country. It also verifies they were administered by an approved authority. The industry body sees the pass as essential for reopening air travel, as many countries still have strict restrictions or quarantines in place.”

Should I book a holiday now?

Obviously the choice is yours, but there are a number of factors to consider:

  • Booking early to beat the rush: Our staff  have already seen self-catering accommodation selling out for trips from 12 April. Popular locations such as Cornwall, Devon and the Lake District are seeing tremendous demand already – so booking now could save you the hassle of settling for second best later this year, or having to wait until next year to go to your favourite destination.
  • Look out for deal: Travel firms need to make up for lost time and have some tempting offers for both UK holidays and holidays abroad to encourage you to book now.
  • Flexible booking policies: If booking UK hotels look for a ‘no quibble’ cancellation policy. Overseas operators are also offering more flexible options for cancellation and changes. For example, Butlin’s has a  Covid Guaranteewhich includes no-quibble refunds, British Airways offers free amends with its Book with Confidence offering, and TUI offers Covid cover and free amends in its Travel with Confidence offering.

The main risk to consider is, because the lockdown roadmap is being guided by data, those key dates could change, and mean your holiday is cancelled. In this scenario, if the firm has to cancel your holiday you’ll be offered options such as rebooking or a refund, but it’s worth noting that this will be dependent on the booking policy for your holiday – so if you book make sure to check the fine print.

For holidays abroad, there are a number of factors that come into play including a country’s Covid-19 risk, quarantine rules and whether borders will be open to Brits. If you book a package holiday and the Foreign Office advice doesn’t allow for travel, you are entitled to a refund or rebooking to a later date if the company cancels your trip. Again, check the fine print of your booking policy. This does not always apply to independent travel

What happens if the travel rules change – will I get my money back?

Not necessarily, sadly. It really does pay to check and understand what it is you are agreeing before you make your booking.

If the Roadmap changes you may find your chosen holiday is no longer available.

Most hotels and accommodation providers in the UK have been offering you the option to rebook for free and many have a ‘no quibble’ cancellation policy up to the day before the due arrival date. However do double check the terms before giving over your card details for payment, as in some cases it may just be an option for a credit against a future booking that’s offered.

If you’ve booked a package holiday abroad, you should be entitled to a refund because the company is cancelling your holiday. Travel firms tend to get in touch with those due to depart imminently, and offer a range of options including a refund, credit with the brand, or a chance to rebook to a later date (sometimes with an extra incentive).

However if you’re travelling independently you need to be extremely careful. Not only do you need to understand the options offered, but you also have to be prepared to deal with your travel or accommodation provider at a distance. Having said that many international hotels do offer the option to book online with payment taken on date of arrival. Check out the online booking site or discuss with your travel agent to ensure you fully understand.


And of course - don't forget your travel insurance

Do make sure you have adequate travel insurance. If you or your travelling companions can't travel due to your own health, including COVID19, you won't be covered by many of the arrangements mentioned above. Consider also the additional costs if you fall ill or have an accident whilst overseas, again including contracting COVID whilst on holiday. Good quality travel insurance from travel Insured with a COVID guarantee is important. Call us today on 01424 718790 or return to our online quote option

Correct as of 25 February 2022 but subject to change as the situation develops.

 

This product is provided to Travel Insured by goodtogoinsurance.com who are appointed representatives of Ancile Insurance Group Ltd who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority – no.471641 By clicking the box at the foot of this page, you will be taken to our dedicated travel insurance site provided by goodtogoinsurance.com where you will be able to get a travel insurance quotation and view full policy information. The quotation you will obtain is provided on a non advised basis which means that no advice is given or implied and you are solely responsible for deciding whether the policy is suitable for your needs. Contact us if in doubt or if you require advice.

This insurance would meet the demands and needs of someone who wishes to insure their trip away from their home for cancellation costs, medical expenses and other specific risks required for that trip according to their individual circumstances..


If you experience any problems when using the site, contact us on 0845 850 1066.

I have read and understood the above detail

click here to obtain an online quote

This product is provided to Travel Insured by Ancile Insurance Group Ltd who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority - no.471641. By clicking the box at the foot of this page, you will be taken to our dedicated travel insurance site provided by Ancile Insurance Group Ltd where you will be able to get a travel insurance quotation and view full policy information. The quotation you will obtain is provided on a non advised basis which means that no advice is given or implied and you are solely responsible for deciding whether the policy is suitable for your needs. Contact us if in doubt or if you require advice.

This insurance would meet the demands and needs of someone who wishes to insure their trip away from their home for cancellation costs, medical expenses and other specific risks required for that trip according to their individual circumstances..

If you experience any problems when using the site, contact us on 0845 850 1066.

I have read and understood the above detail.

click here to obtain an online quote

This product is provided to Travel Insured by Ace European Group Ltd who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority – no.202803. By clicking the box at the foot of this page, you will be taken to our dedicated business travel insurance site provided by Ace European Group Ltd where you will be able to get a travel insurance quotation and view full policy information. The quotation you will obtain is provided on a non advised basis which means that no advice is given or implied and you are solely responsible for deciding whether the policy is suitable for your needs. Contact us if in doubt or if you require advice.

This insurance would meet the demands and needs of a business which wishes to insure business trips away from the UK for cancellation costs, medical expenses and other specific risks required for that trip according to their individual circumstances..

If you experience any problems when using the site, contact
us on 0845 850 1066.

I have read and understood the above detail.

click here to obtain an online quote

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