Booking this year's holiday
been looking at holidays following the Government announcement on the 22nd February
bringing hope for 2021 travel, including key dates and important factors to
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
Johnson said the Government is being guided by data rather than dates – so
these could be pushed back..
Where can I go abroad?
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
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
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”.
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?
the choice is yours, but there are a number of factors
- Booking early to beat the
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.
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
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
What happens if the travel rules change – will I
get my money back?
necessarily, sadly. It really does pay to check and understand what it is you
are agreeing before you make your booking.
Roadmap changes you may find your chosen holiday is no longer available.
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.
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).
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
as of 25 February 2022 but subject to change as the situation develops.