Ought to I e book a vacation for spring?
I booked a vacation this month – should I cancel?
Although the government tells us not to leave home or travel unnecessarily, and therefore holidays are not on the menu, do not unilaterally cancel your arrangements – doing so could risk undermining your right to a refund. Instead, wait for your tour operator or airline to cancel your vacation or flight. If you are traveling in the next three to four weeks and haven’t heard anything, please contact us to confirm that the arrangements will be canceled.
Do I get my money back?
Current government recommendations mean that tour operators are required to cancel your vacation and offer a refund in such cases. There’s no clear cut-off date – we don’t know when or if the council will change or end, so operators can resort to it at their own discretion. For example, Tui canceled all holidays in England through mid-February and holidays in Scotland and Wales through January 31. EasyJet Holidays can also cancel departures scheduled before mid-February.
The situation with flight bookings is slightly different. Many will certainly be canceled, although some airlines, including BA and Ryanair, have yet to confirm which ones. In this case you are entitled to a refund. If your flight is still in progress and you booked it with the airline or through a broker with no related vacation policy such as a hotel booking, you may not be eligible for a refund. In these cases, however, airlines generally allow passengers to request a voucher or to rebook for a later date.
What about a ski vacation?
The ski holidays in January have already been canceled by all major operators or are imminent. The biggest one, Crystal, has canceled all flights through February 12th. This leaves a question mark over half of the semester. It will likely be a few more weeks before a decision is made, but honestly things don’t look hopeful. Mid-March seems far more likely than the earliest possible restart date for British skiers.
What about spring break? Will they happen? Is it safe to book?
If all goes well with the vaccination program, it is entirely possible that the virus will be reasonably under control in this country by Easter – or at least that deaths and hospital stays have dropped dramatically. So – keep your fingers crossed – there’s a good chance we’ll be able to travel freely by then. The big question is how many countries will be open to us. Some of the best opportunities are likely to be countries that are most dependent on British tourists: for example, Spain, Greece and Turkey. But it’s probably a little early to commit to spring booking. Wait until we know the vaccines are working and then check out the possibilities.
Will travel be back to normal this summer?
I trust it – normal, or at least relatively normal. If not, the world will be in a very bad place. But I think we have good reason to be optimistic, and if you’re looking to travel on a peak week from early July, I see no reason why you shouldn’t book now and make sure you get the vacation you want. Just make sure you book with a tied tour operator so your money is protected if the company goes out of business. And I would recommend working with a member of Abta (abta.com) or Aito (aito.co.uk) – the two organizations have a code of conduct and a dispute resolution service if something goes wrong.