Ought to I e-book a vacation in 2021? Your journey questions answered

Things are a little uncertain, but you can still plan ahead (Image: Getty Images / iStockphoto)

With the Covid-19 vaccinations going on, traveling abroad could be easier for the British in 2021.

However, there are many factors that come into play. So do a little research before booking.

Read below to see how your top travel questions are answered.

Is it really worth booking a vacation now?

This has some obvious advantages, including better availability. The later you leave it for popular destinations like Greece or Spain or flights to cities in which the newly arranged European Football Championships Euro 2020 (June 11th to July 11th) take place, the less likely you will be able to back up your selected data.

Attractive advance booking discounts help attack your wallet.

When is it likely to be safe to book a vacation?

Late spring and beyond is the bet of the experts, as vaccination programs are running worldwide and the number of European cases falls in warmer weather.

“I think long and short-haul travel and vacation will resume in May,” predicts Noel Josephides, director of the specialist travel association AITO.

Noel Josephides, director of the travel association AITO

Noel Josephides, director of the AITO travel association, says you may be able to leave in May

Should I book a last minute trip?

This obviously reduces the risk of your plans being disrupted by UK virus spikes, the ever-changing lists of FCDO travel corridors or suddenly impractical entry requirements.

There can also be great deals. The most obvious disadvantage is again the greatly reduced availability.

What should I look out for when booking a vacation?

As travel agents, airlines and cruise lines seek to woo reluctant travelers, flexible booking policies have increased.

As a rule, you can use it to change, change or postpone a trip free of charge, for example if our Foreign Office advises against non-essential trips to your destination. Some companies even offer free cancellation within a set lead time.

Always scour the fine print, however: often only one change is allowed for free, while conditions can exclude selected dates or destinations. Some of the best flexible booking policies have been rated by Which.

Girl with a rubber ring in her living room

The pandemic doesn’t have to mean missing out on the beach entirely (Image: Getty Images)

Are there any special Covid guidelines offered by tour operators?

Yes. For example, if a Tui vacationer gets infected with the virus while traveling, all costs are covered. This also applies in the event that his region receives a regional block on the planned departure dates.

Jet2.com and Jet2holidays also offer Covid-19 protection for cancellations and medical claims abroad.

What type of travel insurance is best?

Travel insurers have adjusted since the beginning of the pandemic. New guidelines like Trailfinders and All Clear now also include the medical costs associated with Covid.

However, almost none covers losses caused by forced quarantine or vacation cancellations or restrictions due to bans or a change in FCDO advice.

Is it better to book flights and hotel separately?

Categorically no. As Josephides says, “If you book flights and accommodation separately, you have two contracts with suppliers.

A problem with one has no impact on the agreements with the other supplier, who expects the contract to proceed as normal (i.e. they do not offer a refund). In fact, DIY bookings significantly increase the risk of getting out of pocket.

So package deals are safer?

No doubt. In accordance with package travel regulations, UK package tour operators holding an ATOL license from the CAA offer full financial protection – not to mention more expertise – in the event that trips are canceled. All AITO or ABTA tour operators are ATOL licensed.

Woman with luggage stands at almost empty check-in counters at the airport terminal

When booking flights, it’s better to go on a package deal (Image: Getty Images / EyeEm).

What Covid restrictions are likely in other countries?

If their borders are open at all, most travel destinations will only allow travelers who – usually between 48 and 96 hours old – provide evidence of a recent negative Covid-19 test result.

Please refer to the government website for specific country requirements. While a generally accepted “vaccination certificate” is likely in the future, it is very unlikely that it will come about this year.

Are holidays getting more expensive?

Probably unfortunately. Tui, the UK’s largest vacation company, has stated that its prices are a seventh higher than in 2019.

Flight capacity has now been greatly reduced – and fewer seats and less competition guarantee higher fares.

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MORE: easyJet Holidays is canceling all trips until the end of March during the lockdown

MORE: How do I get a Covid test before I travel? Can you get it from the NHS?

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