Is it worth booking a holiday in 2020 or even 2021?

Is It Worth Booking a Holiday in 2020? Or Even 2021?


As the UK’s lockdown restrictions begin to ease, many of us are starting to get back to a more normal life again. Among other things, this means wondering how soon we can start travelling.

Would it be a sensible decision to travel this year or next? 

Where Can You Travel To Abroad?

At the time of writing, the Foreign and Commonwealth has recently issued updated guidelines on where Brits can travel to. From the start of July, we can head to 67 different destinations, as listed here.

There is no longer the obligatory two-week quarantine period when arriving to the UK from certain countries. It is worth pointing out that this list isn’t exactly the same as the earlier one, but close to 50 countries are on both of them. 

You will need to check first of all what the situation is like in the place you want to go to. For example, Spain has recently been imposing local lockdowns due to fresh outbreaks of Covid-19. You probably won’t be able to get a refund if you can’t travel because you get caught in a lockdown.

Remember that some countries will be stricter than others in letting tourists enter too. If they detect any of the symptoms when checking you, they might send you straight back home. 

What About a UK Trip?

Most travel industry analysts expect to see greater growth in domestic travel this year, as people settle for shorter trips closer to home. This makes sense, as it lowers the risk of being caught out far from home if a lockdown period is imposed.

You can now travel freely across the country, but you are urged to use common sense to avoid risks. Many hotels are now open, with increased cleaning procedures and fewer guests being accepted. You might also notice that your check-in and check-out times are affected.

Above all, you should do some research on the area you want to travel to. Are the main attractions now open? Is it at risk of suffering a new lockdown due to rising infection rates? This could be a terrific opportunity to visit new places you had never thought of going to before, if you get it right.

What Major Attractions Are Now Open?

Across the world, different approaches are being taken to opening up the economy after this difficult period. For example, Disney’s attractions and theme parks are opening on 11th July, but some of the attractions and services may be limited. 

Italy and Spain have opened up their main attractions, but with strict procedures and safety checks now in place. It is a situation that is subject to change, so you will want to check the latest updates before booking to go anywhere.

I discovered the following details from around the planet with some online research.

  • London Zoo, Kew Gardens and Tower Bridge are among the big London attractions now open.
  • Edinburgh Zoo and Royal Botanic Gardens are open, but you need to pre-book for either of these family attractions.
  • Welsh indoor attractions are still banned, but outdoor attractions are open again.
  • Buckingham Palace will not be open to the public this summer.
  • Stonehenge is open but you need to pre-book, with numbers strictly limited.
  • The Eiffel Tower is open, but you need to go up the stairs rather than use the lift.
  • The fantastic Louvre Museum is open, but you need to book online and then wear a mask during the visit.
  • Much of Latin America is still locked down, as infection rates keep on rising.
  • The Acropolis in Athens is open but to a limited number of visitors.
  • The historic Colosseum in Rome is open.  
  • The different US states have varied their rules several times and are struggling with rising cases.
  • You can visit the Tower of Pisa but only 15 people can enter it at a time.
  • The incredible Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona is open to certain visitors, such as health workers, but no date has yet been given for when the general public can go there.

All of these attractions are subject to change, so checking regularly is recommended.

Travel Insurance and the Refund Issue

There is no denying that any travel booking you make in the next year has a risk attached to it. No one can say for sure whether the trip will be cancelled or affected by new lockdown measures.

The International Travel & Insurance Journal reported recently that a number of top insurers – such as Saga and the Post Office – are starting to offer cover for Covid-19 treatment abroad and repatriation to the UK.

Some insurers won’t cover you for anything related to the virus. Others will cover you for medical expenses but not if your trip is cancelled or postponed. Therefore, this is the number one question to ask any travel insurer in 2020.

The future cost of travel insurance isn’t clear, but it is expected to be more expensive than it was before the lockdown.

What Are Travel Companies Offering?

Hotels, travel agencies and other companies are all as desperate for us to start travelling again as we are to do it. Therefore, they are looking to make it easier for us to make a booking.

Naturally, you need to look carefully at the terms and conditions on any offer. However, in general terms you can expect to see the following.

  • Free hotel cancellation. Many hotels have extended their free cancellation terms. It makes sense to book with a hotel that has a generous policy in this respect.
  • You should get back your money if the hotel is closed due to lockdown / government advice.
  • If the hotel is open but you can’t travel because it isn’t on the UK government’s list of approved destinations then things get trickier, and you might not get a refund.
  •* and Airbnb* have both been issuing refunds. In the case of Airbnb, bookings made before 14 March for a check-in before 15 August 2020 are eligible for a full refund. For anything else, a refund only applies if the host or guest is sick with Covid-19.
  • You can see here a list of the policy changes by major travel firms. Most are giving free cancellation or changes to holidays.
  • If your flight is cancelled you will get a refund, provide that it is an EU airline or there is an EU airport involved. Some airlines may offer you vouchers, but it should be a cash refund.
  • If your destination in on the list of countries it is safe to travel to, you won’t be entitled to a refund if you choose not to fly, as cancelling will be seen as being your decision.    

Bear in mind that everything covered here is subject to change. Be sure to check the exact details before making any booking.

Making a Decision

As we can see, it is possible to travel now and the industry has made some changes to entice you to do so.

It is really a personal choice for everyone to make. Are you happy with the risks, both health and financial? It comes down to how keen you are to get away. Personally, I think that it makes sense to take short breaks close to home for the rest of 2020, and then assess the situation for longer trips at the end of the year.

If you decide to head off somewhere, then remember to take all of the necessary precautions before going on to enjoy a safe trip that is memorable for all the right reasons.  

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