If you are planning a trip abroad to beat the winter gloom, do you read the small print? These tips on booking successful holidays during a pandemic will help you on your way.
Consider a package holiday
Travel agents have access to the latest airline information and holiday offers. They are knowledgeable about amending holidays and alternative destinations. Albeit cheaper to buy a flight and accommodation separately, if you book a package, you have more protection from the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018. The travel operators must inform you of any alterations to the package without undue delay. You then have the option to cancel with no penalty if the holiday changes significantly.
Check cancellation policies
Whether you are booking a package or the different elements yourself, make sure you are aware of the processes needed to cancel transport or accommodation. Although free cancellations are offered, there will be a deadline and it could be several weeks before your holiday is due to begin.
Protect your payments
Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act gives you protection on credit card purchases of more than £100. This will cover your costs if a holiday firm you have booked with goes bust. To benefit from this, make sure that you book and pay directly with the holiday company. If you buy a rail, coach or cruise holiday from an ABTA member your money will be protected by its financial protection scheme.
Keep an eye on the latest travel updates
Regularly check the FCDO website for entry requirements to the country you plan to visit and keep an eye on the UK entry requirements. The government website will state which Covid test is required and the timescales before leaving and returning.
Take out insurance
Always buy insurance at the time of making your booking and check for details of Covid cancellation and medical fees. Look at the quarantine rules for the country you are travelling to as some will make you move hotel if you test positive. Ask your insurer what it will pay for if you are unable to return home and must extend your stay. If you are due to travel after your annual insurance expires, make sure you renew it before you travel. If the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) puts a warning in place for your destination during any gap in your policy, you won’t be covered.
Have your paperwork to hand
When holiday time comes around, make sure you have booked any Covid tests that you need. Make physical copies of everything and don’t rely on the airport’s wifi to download documents on the day of departure.