“When can I next go on holiday?” has been the question on a lot of people’s lips recently. With the on-going pandemic ruling out travel for most of the world, it’s no wonder that the urge to explore and escape has built up and many people are now dreaming of the day they can pack their suitcases again and see the world.
If you are experiencing a serious case of wanderlust, why not start planning a future holiday as something to look forward too? Below, seasoned travellers offer their top tips for those who are.
Staycations have boomed in the last year as travel restrictions have meant many people are looking closer to home for their destinations. But, until the world really opens back up again, why not keep in the habit of a staycation?
Emily, a blogger at Twin Mummy and Daddy, certainly is, telling us: “My top tip for booking a post-pandemic holiday is book a ‘staycation’. Not only is it better for the environment, but it also means if anything changes in terms of lockdown restrictions, you won’t have far to travel back home again if needed.
“We’ve re-booked our camping trip, which was cancelled in 2020 due to lockdown. A great thing about camping is that you have your own pitch, which is great for social distancing, and of course, the majority of your time is spent outdoors - cooking, kids playing, relaxing etc. This again makes social distancing and ‘safe holidaying’ even easier.”
Travel insurance and ATOL protection were once seen as an added bonus, but, with lockdown rules everchanging all around the world as circumstances change, making sure you are protected financially is more essential than ever.
Claire from Stapos Thrifty Life Hacks has converted her travel style to make sure she is covered: “I'm all for a bit of DIY when it comes to travel. I enjoy booking each element separately, the flights, the hotels, the connections. But this is something I'll be avoiding for now, because if you book each element independently, then your holiday won’t be ATOL protected.
“ATOL is a UK financial protection scheme which protects most air-package holidays that are sold by travel companies in the UK. The scheme will protect you if the company you book through suddenly goes bust, so it offers peace of mind. In the wake of the pandemic, I’ll be making sure that everything I book has this protection, just in case something goes wrong.”
Victoria of Travel Vixta agrees this is of the utmost importance, explaining: “My top tip is to check the small print regarding refunds or rebooking any holidays you are interested in post-pandemic. We never know when the next lockdown might be or whether the place we plan to visit will go into lockdown. Many people have been caught out in the current pandemic with holiday refunds not issued and instead holidays having to be rebooked. If this could cause financial difficulty or the holiday is for a specific event only, then make sure your holiday comes with a guaranteed refund in the event of cancellation.”
Unfortunately, with everything that’s going on, one lesson we’ve learnt is that life doesn’t go to plan. When you are arranging your holiday, make sure that you manage your expectations and ensure that you are prepared for it falling through.
This can be especially essential with children who may not fully understand why their plans are changed last minute. Make sure to keep their expectations realistic - if you are really unsure of what may happen you could always keep it as a surprise for them and only tell them the night before!
Petra, from A Mum Reviews, offered this as her tip, explain: “My tip is to book a holiday for a time that you think will be safe to travel but to remember that the date is not set in stone to avoid disappointment in case you need to rebook. You can still plan your holiday and everything you'd like to do on holiday, of course.”
For those who are used to going on more spur-of-the-moment holidays, one advantage to pre-planning a trip is giving you plenty of time to plan ahead. This can mean doing research about the local area, finding the best places to eat and even discovering hidden gems you may never have known about.
Catherine, from Growing Family, explains how this research time can be used to learn about current COVID restrictions in the areas you are going and find out how local businesses you may want to visit are handling the pandemic: “I would recommend planning the activities you want to do during your holiday well in advance. Some businesses may still be operating limited opening hours or have restrictions on numbers, so consider booking in advance to avoid missing out. Check the cancellation policy before booking, ideally, you want any expensive trips or tickets to be refundable in the event of a change in pandemic restrictions. Your travel insurance may cover you here too, so it’s worth checking the details on your policy.”
Robbie, from Paternal Damnation, also spoke about the use of planning: “Planning a holiday far in advance not only gives you time to save plenty of spending money but also gives you ample opportunity to research all the restaurants in the area. This means that when you finally arrive, you'll be able to sidestep the often-overpriced eateries set up for tourists and save money by dining like a local instead.”
With these tips, you’ll have all of your bases covered and line yourself up to enjoy a wonderful holiday in the future.
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