The Coronavirus pandemic had hit the travel industry hard, people have been stuck in homes for so long, that the prospect of looking forward to a nice holiday abroad is exciting. Many families are continuing to book getaways and keep fingers crossed that the world won’t be venturing into another global lockdown. Although travel is not at a halt, here are some things to bear in mind when traveling abroad within the upcoming year.
Keep up to date with restrictions:
As many know, Covid-19 restrictions and regulations change rapidly. Government figures reported 10 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK even with the various steps set out by the Government, so, it’s important to make sure you check all restrictions before traveling.
Families will want to bear in mind the various possibilities before you booking holiday travel. Following the traffic light systems of rules and regulations that many countries all around the world bought into is important. Many are accepting visitors whilst others are keeping their borders closed for all but essential travel. Bear in mind that those with fewer restrictions are likely to be much busier than normal.
“Some destinations may ask you to quarantine if you’re arriving from a country that’s considered high risk in terms of coronavirus. Others will allow you to skip quarantine if you’ve been vaccinated, can prove you’ve recently recovered from Covid-19, or can provide a negative test,” offers consumer guide Which?
“Additionally, it’s important to bear in mind whether the UK expects you to quarantine on your return and whether this can take place at home (amber list) or at your expense in a hotel (red list). Hotel quarantine costs a whopping £1,750 for a single person, so don’t get caught out.” Looking at these different options is essential when deciding on the perfect travel destination. Also, looking at our guide for the perfect destinations for international family travel in 2022 could be very helpful.
Get good medical and travel insurance
Any kind of medical emergency on holiday is never what any traveler expects. With the Covid situation still prevalent, insurers are tightening up their policies. Be sure to search for the perfect policy that covers contracting or being quarantines for Covid. It is essential to check the details of any insurance thoroughly; understand exactly what is covered, any excess you will have to pay, and the unexpected small print.
According to Money Saving Expert: “Most policies will cover you if you catch Covid and can’t go on holiday. But, before booking a trip, be aware that most travel insurers:
- Won’t cover for cancellation if entry restrictions in the destination, local, or national lockdowns in the UK, mean you can’t go on the trip.
- Won’t cover for ANYTHING if traveling to a country or region against the advice of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).”
Know your rights and cancellation policies
If any restrictions change before you travel, or quarantine is needed at either end, the holiday company should offer you a change of dates or destination. Some may also offer a refund, although they don’t automatically expect this.
Citizens Advice states: ‘If your booking is cancelled because of Coronavirus, you might be able to get a refund or choose to rebook for another time.
Travelers will automatically have the right to a refund if the booking was for either:
- a package holiday
- a UK or European flight
If the booking was for something else, check the terms and conditions. This will help to find out if refunds are available, and how long they take.
Don’t panic – companies understand the need for safety
Travel companies are still taking the pandemic seriously. There have been concerted efforts all round to ensure cleaning and sanitation remains up to scratch. Admittedly, travelers will also have to play their own part. Being sure to sanitize hands and wear face masks when asked.
Cruise ships, for example, have always been sparkling clean. Although, having everyone in a confined space for a long period of time can be concerning. This has made companies think even harder about how they can keep cruising safe. With all that is going on, travelers should pay close attention to cruise lines to ensure they are choosing the perfect cruise for them. “Cruising has been under the media microscope like never before thanks to the pandemic, and many lessons have been learned,” says Simon Veness of The Cruise Line. “With that in mind, the cruise lines have implemented an extensive array of extra health and safety practices and procedures that should ensure there is nowhere safer on holiday, including extensive sanitization measures, enhanced protocols, and state-of-the-art ventilation and filtration systems.”
Respect the rules in the country you are visiting
Remember to bear in mind, not everywhere around the world has the same rules as the UK. In some places, travelers may find restrictions have eased considerably, and others will have tightened up.
It is vital that guests do what is asked, and choose not to argue or complain. The methods have been put in place to ensure safety and stop the transmission, both in that country and for those who are traveling elsewhere.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides guidance on COVID and non-COVID risks overseas. Check FCDO travel advice for your destination and their general travel guidance regularly, as information may change. It is also possible to subscribe to email updates for your destination, to help you prepare.
Everything is taking longer than usual at the moment, as operators get to grips with the new arrangements.
Entry into any county may see longer queues as all documentation gets checked by border control. This may include results of negative tests, vaccination status’s, as well as your passport/visa.
Restaurants have booking procedures, hotel rooms may not be ready when you check in, transfer shuttles may restrict numbers. All these things can frustrate, but are currently necessary, and unexpected.
Final thoughts : Inspiration
Going on holiday is taking more effort than it did before. Honestly, it may be a long while before traveling is back to its old normality. But, if travelers keep fully informed as to what is expected before, during, and after, things will go smoothly. There is no reason to not enjoy some summer sunshine whilst sipping a cocktail by the pool in 2022. But, be sure to bear in mind all of the different attributes for a perfect holiday.
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Boutique Travel Advisors is a full-service, luxury travel agency. We specialize in creating bespoke itineraries for discerning clients around the world. Please visit our website or call 480-787-1477 to speak with a dedicated travel expert.
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Author: BTA World Corespondent, Kate Sheppard